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JimAttrill

Germans not interested in WWI anniversary?

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I have nothing but admiration for those who gave their lives in WW1

But, us Brits do 'bang on' about it a bit don't we?

 

Yes, 'lest we forget' is a very apt saying, as history can and does repeat itself.

 

No-one who fought is alive today.... I just think it's time we moved on from it...it was a century ago after all

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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I find it quite strange to celebrate the beginning, the outbreak of a world war.

I don't know if anything is planned for Germany for the END of the war - but that's what I would celebrate.

War memorial celebrations, I guess, are always the victors' celebrations.

They have - IMHO - something to do with the pride about the victory.

They may give those, who lost a loved person, at least a bit of a feeling, that he or she didn't die for nothing.

For the defeated, there is no such consolation.

 

Germany has a day every year since 1952 - the Volkstrauertag (people's day of mourning), on which

we remember the fallen, the waste. It is a quiet memorial. Families which lost their members would

go to the cemetaries, and maybe to church. But you would see less and less widows on the cemetaries

every year - even those of the fallen of Word War Two will soon have all died.

 

In October 2010, 92 years after the defeat, Germany payed it's final instalment - the last payment

of monitary reparations. Not sure if many countries payed so long and so much for their war deeds,

but Germany did. And though it cannot bring back all the fallen young men - what a waste, imagine,

what they might have achieved with their young lives! - it did at least make the rebuilding of towns

and traffic roads and rails possible; the recultivation of the shell-ploughed pockmarked land; it allowed

the rebuilding of schools and hospitals, churches and historical buildings. That is something.

 

If I would have to vote for a memorial day - it would be the day when the war was officially ended.

That should be a very good reason for a celebration - for either side.

Edited by Olham
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In October 2010, 92 years after the defeat, Germany payed it's final instalment - the last payment

of monitary reparations...

This comes as a complete surprise. I had always heard that Germany used the worthless Marks of the Great Depression (when it took as many as 5,000,000 to buy a loaf of bread) to pay off the reparations demanded by the Versailles Treaty. A few minutes spent on Wikipedia shows this was not true at all.

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I am with Hauksbee on this - I was taught that the German superinflation of the twenties was done deliberately in order to pay reparations in worthless marks.  Not right, so it seems. 

 

And yes, we should celebrate the END of the war (as in Remembrance day Nov 11th) not the beginning of the war.  Although the more I read about the way people thought in 1914 it seems that both sides were looking for an excuse for a 'lovely war' which would be over by Christmas with medals given out on both sides.  And the Archduke (who dat?) in Serbia (where dat?) provided good reason to start blowing the bugles.  Real war-weariness came much later. 

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Still today, these problems are regarded under very different aspects.

I just read in WIKIPEDIA about the Treaty of Versailles, and I realised, that the English text - especially about the hardship

and the consequences of the treaty's conditions - is pretty much different from the German WIKIPEDIA text.

 

Seems that it is such a complex matter, that it can be regarded from quite different angles, with differing conclusions.

Which seems to be a major problem in politics generally: politicians often do not have enough phantasy or imagination

to forsee ALL consequences of their decisions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_ultimatum

Edited by Olham

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I agree that the end of the war is worth celebrating more than its beginning.

I also suspect that the proposals to celebrate the beginning are part of the 'sooner rather than later' trend in media driven celebrations (Millennium in 2000 anyone?  The 20th century was, at the time, regarded as beginning in 1901). As such it has more to do with selling memorabilia and politicians scoring points than actual celebration.

 

Oh, am I getting too cynical?

 

In preparation for the onslaught this summer, I have been reading up on the very complex diplomatic relationships that led to the escalation of a conflict in the Balkans.  I hope to be able to argue it well before the xenophobic rhetoric starts.

 

I also fully intend to celebrate the Christmas peace.

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I think usually it's a remembrance here in the UK rather than a "celebration", the word is used loosely if in that context, or we celebrate the men and women in wars who sacrificed - not the war itself.

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Not to sound too disrespectful, but where besides the UK and some of their former colonies, France, and Belgium is even the end of the Great War much remembered? Here in the USA November 11 is Veterans' Day, with no specific reference to WWI at all. Not saying it's right...I believe it isn't, personally...it's just that 1914-1918 was overshadowed by 1939-1945 in nearly every aspect. And many have somewhat tied the two together, blaming the heavy-handedness at Versailles of the Allies for setting the stage for someone like Hitler in the first place, thus creating almost a sequel, or even Act I/Act II, scenario (the war started in 1914 and ended in 1945 with a 21-year intermission).

 

As for the hoopla over marking the war's start, I think that's more the fact that "it's 100 years since X happened" than celebrating the beginning of something so horrid.

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I think usually it's a remembrance here in the UK rather than a "celebration", the word is used loosely if in that context, or we celebrate the men and women in wars who sacrificed - not the war itself.

Of course, Pol - I never thought the British would feast the beginning of a war.

But wouldn't the celebration of men and women in war who sacrificed, still make better sense at  the END date of a war?

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Sure Olham more sense if it's only the loss you are commemorating, and I am sure they will have an event for that too, but the start is a pretty world shattering significant date is it not?  So it's very appropriate to remember it and hopefully by doing so other war starts may be avoided, even if one is then it's worth while.

Edited by Polovski

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Just a twist on this which skirts on politics, but there are some who believe aspects of this banging the drum for Blighty has some bearing on Scotland's independence referendum.

Before you dismiss it, Stirling is holding the 2014 Armed Forces Day on the same weekend as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. Coincidence? Fat chance. 2014 also celebrates 350 years of the Royal Marines, and it is commonly held that Portsmouth was first choice for Armed Forces day until the politicos got hold of it.

Furthermore, the main event is happening in Glasgow, the week after Glasgow's Commonwealth Games, and yet again, why Glasgow?

 

All things considered, it seems a touch too contrived, and there is a lot of cynicism about this celebration of the beginning of the war, when all decency requires quiet commemoration of the War's end.

 

I hate politicians. Armed Forces Day is an occassion for the old and the bold to remember fallen comrades, but there is every expectation it is going to be a banner-fest of Union Jacks and Good to Be British nostalgia to remind us would be rebels of our place in the world.

 

I hope this passes moderation for politics, but when there are pound coins with Kitchener saying our country needs us, there are times you want to pinch yourself and re-read Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est... The whole thing is not going down well.

 

Edit: It could even backfire spectacularly. David Cameron is refusing a head to head debate with Alex Salmond, and one particularly cutting satire had David Cameron as an Eton Posh boy dressed as WW1 officer class who's a consciencous objector when it comes to Scotland's big debate.

Edited by Flyby PC

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See what I mean?

 

http://tinyurl.com/p9g7y8q

 

 

Edit: Also notice the poll. 88% -12% saying no. People are genuinely disgusted when the war dead as used as rallying call for the Union.

Edited by Flyby PC

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Not without filling in a survey for Google we can't.  I'll take your word for it, because I'm not surprised.

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Sorry Maeran, the link takes me direct to a page with the Dunfermline Press, but there's always loads of rubbish on newspaper sites.

 

Anyway, To quote:

 

LIZ SMITH, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, has written to the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) to call for the Union flag to fly on the Forth Road Bridge to mark the centenary anniversary of the First World War.

 

Incidentally, if you hear anyone saying how proud they are to be Scottish, there's a very high chance they're a unionist opposed to independence. It's a curious phenomenon. Strange times...

Edited by Flyby PC

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