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A Preludeto Hitler'sGreaterGermany
HITLER'S Greater German Reich was foreshadowed in the many plans and partially completed framework for the victorious imperial Germany which so many Germans expected to see emerge from the First World War. The empire was to be expanded. It was to be the uncontested economic and military master of Europe. On its eastern and western frontiers it was to have subsidiary or client states closely connected with it economically, politically, and militarily. Above all, it was to be oriented politically and economically toward further eastern colonization and expansion. These plans originated in the facts of military occupation of areas outside the Second Reich, and in the economic necessity of the Central Powers, cut off from the rest of the world by the Allied blockade. On the eve of the First World War Germany had abandoned all but the semblance of Bismarck's system of security through a European balance of power, in exchange for a role in world politics which was, in fact, ill suited to preserve the peaceful world which not only her industrial and trading economy but her very geographic location and political history required. The stage was set in I914, not only for war but for a complete reorientation of German political and economic ambitions. In spite of her navy, her colonies, and her world trade, Germany at war became once more a continental state in the heart of Europe. As an industrial state, Germany needed food and raw materials which she did not have within her borders. During the war years and afterwards, she had to find more secure and defensible sources for these necessities. Germany needed a system of security to replace the Bismarckian one which had worked until modern capitalism overtook the Prussia-Germany of I890. The actions of William II and his ministers up to I9I4 indicated that they had not really foreseen the possibility of world war. A substitute system had to be constructed in wartime for the contingencies of a warring world. At the outbreak of the war most Germans, like the other people of Europe, expected a short period of hostilities, conducted with limited ob43
pp. 8-9. demandeda war "for securityonly" and a peace "justto all neighboring therewere otherswho welcomedthe war as an opporpeoples.the SocialDemocraticpartychairman. VIII. as tees. 313-15. 55."' that a world war did During the fall of I9I4 the Germansdiscovered not develop exactly after the fashion of i866 or I870.The Reichstagitself becamemore and with the problemsof a war economy. 19I7). 2 Die Ursachen des Deutschen Zusammenbruchesim Jahre z918 (Das Werk des Untersuchungsausschussesder VerfassungsgebendenDeutschen Nationalversammlungund des DeutI91 schenReichstages -r926) citedas Ursachen. i5-. 39: Guichardinterpretsthe German "War Zone Declaration. Spahn. as evidence that the German leadershiphad detrmined to accept the challengeof economic warfare. 1930)."Certainly.pp.it was increasingly of game to survive.demandedfor Germany "at the conclusionof the most seriousof all wars. not a war of conquest. I. to tunityfor Germany breakout of "encirclement. Fall of the German Empire: Documents of the German Revolution (Stanford University.6. a peace which offers to the Germanpeople a securityagainstall enemies. 57.44 Robert Lewis Koehl jectives in view."People in high positionsbegan to realize the gravity of Germany'sposition.becauseof her relianceon foreign products. As casualties. Ursachen. p.To these men.VII. not merely on paper.x926).The aftera long process Germansalso believedthat Germanyhad been attacked of encirclement: they thoughtthat the war had been thrustupon the Reich. the Germanairgradually tion and then with demandsthat the settlementwhich Germanywould reach after the ultimate victory should make impossiblesuch unpleasant Therewas talk of "guaraneventualities actualinvasionof the fatherland.55."2The idea of defensehad not disappeared. (New York. 7. besideit were and introduced vision of a futureReichwhich could not be attacked the the made.speaking I94 "purelydefensivewar.in case of prolongedhostilities. .therewas a shift fromthe talk of a Dr. in the Reichstagfor all partiesexceptthe Socialist.comparable the sacribut fices made. Lutz. 4. 69. more preoccupied clearthat Germany must play a carefuleconomic at least.The Naval Blockade. Louis Guichard. 77-78. Haase. 1932).war regulations. In his reply to the kaiser.3 It was inevitablethat the economicrequirements warof time shouldsuggestsolutionsinvolvingthe use of the products territories to contiguous Germanywhich were being occupiedin the courseof military 1 Ralph H. followed by a more or less negotiatedsettlement. Salomon Grumbach. 289. Das annexionistischeDeutschland (Lausanne."Even beforeChristmas. Hereafter 8 Grumbach. I9I5. 284-85.and the continualdrafts of men for the front impressedthe Germans with the magnitudeof the war. (Berlin." 19z4-z9z8 which opened the first submarine campaign in February. for sacrifices already ideaof compensation German filledwith speculaAfterNew Year'sDay 19I5. said the kaiseron August This was a defensivewar.
were not German and barons the culture-pioneers still (Kulturtrdger).Hadnot Germans staked thisclaimin the thirteenth out century. the historically To of minded. preface. the speeches and declarations morespecific: became "We shallnot surrender whatwe haveconquered our blood. Rose. but agriculture for mineral and deposits industrialization promised greatfuture capitalist a here ran exploitation. J.I9I6.thatthe border quo peoples theRussian of Empire wouldnever return Russian to bondage. he remarked Europe Later. New hopeswere aroused in several sections the populace. I. of Th'ose one section in the occupied of saw 4 Max Sering and Carl von Dietz. and German had businessmen craftsmen foundtheirwaythere." The CambridgeHistory of Poland. "RussianPoland in the Later Nineteenth Century. 1939). especially pp. W. acquired basisin fact:conquered territory. Balticprovinces the Russiaoffered sparsely a to populated for settlement whichGermany area hada goodclaim. I9I5. for not onlydid it havea productive too.In the Balticstatesthe localpopulation beensubordinatd and for to nationally economically Germans centuries." Areasbelonging the enemy themselves to lent easily expansionist to planning. 393-394.lying temptingly outstretched (geographically speaking)to be cut off from "Mongol" Russiaand reunited with the Westby German Poland beenPrussian civilization. had Congress and Austrian for and territory twelveyearsin the lateeighteenth cerntury. a Unfortunately. . reinforcing still olderGerman communities times.4 The fantasies dreams the futurerife in Germany her armies and of as in pushedforward I9I5 into Polandand into the Balticstatessuddenly a AfterAugustandSeptember. .a Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany 45 operations." Chancellor with Bethon of the stated he hoped mann-Hollweg announcing capture Warsaw that and Germany Polandwouldembark upon a new era of peacetogether. in April. . that couldnot go backto the status ante. Schriften der Internationalen Konferenz fur Agrarwissenschaft (Berlin. in especially Courland? Polandwas an even betterprize. In the east the most obvious regionsof this kind were the Baltic and provinces Poland. II (Cambridge. of these Back noble sentiments thepsychologilay cal temperof the German people. the Germany nationalist up against sternopponent: hardyPolishnationalism a to Polandfor anxious develop had the Poles. xiv-xxiii.Polandwas datingfrommedieval an economic asset. Agrarverfassungder deutschen Auslandssiedlungen in Osteuropa. Whenthese short-term solutions merged long-range with schemes for strategical economic and security. 1941). 395 ff. resultwas whathas beencalled the "annexationism. Beforetheireyesat last weretangible fruitsof victoryin the occupied territories.
The occupation of the southern Baltic provinces was the result of a similar ill-timed flanking movement which became stalled. and Das Land Ober Ost: Der Ausbau der Militirverwaltung.5 got In the west the Germans the Belgianand Frenchcoal minesinto production by means of rigorousmilitary measures. herausgegebenim Auftrag des Oberbefehlshabers Ober Ost (Berlin. the seizures of Poland in July and August and of Lithuania and Courland in September were not politically motivated. 1917). 285. 30.which always of by accompanies war. 114. pp. Lithuania. 210-I4. I88). 38.developdevicesto regulatethe economic of struction transportation take upon themlife of the areasthey occupied. 313-14. W. I. i88 ff.and the Balticprovinces they and their children could settle. 263-65. 60-62. p. Russians. Guichard. Home stocks were not yet exhausted. was heightened the withdrawal all governingofficials (namely.completely selves the governmentof the regions of Poland. See Liddell Hart. most supplies The Germaneconomicpositionin 1915 was not desperate: were receivedin quantityvia the neutrals.Belgium. Ursachen.they did not eastward. I99-20I. 52.and Courland which they occupiedduring the summeroffensiveof I9I5.Naturally. In spite of the fact that the German offensives on the eastern front served to reinforce the annexationist trend in Germany.Holland and the Scandinavian countriesand even Italy. Daniel. The most they had was a two years'supply. 279.d.46 Robert Lewis Koehl land in which regionsof France. pp.Merely to enable them to carryon the war. My War Memories (London. pp. with Americaafter of the expertscould see the possibility losing connection incident in May (and the Germanstried to maintain the the Lusitania their submarineoffensivepolicy throughout connectionby circumscribing I9I6). 47.occupiedRussianPolandwas separated 5 Grumbach. 93-94.' as economicestablishment they marched find any such developed to The Russianshad allowedtheireasternfrontierprovinces remainwithout adequaterailroadand road facilities. VIII. see Erich Ludendorff. 1935). Ost. . P. pp.Economicdislocation. see also Consett and Daniel.ratherthan local population). 1924). 6 For a discussion of coal. the Germanoccupyingforceshad to undertakeconfacilities. for a general picture of conditions in eastern Economic Europe. Thereforeit was insistedthat the occupiedregionsbe made to run on a payingbasis. p. Blockade and Sea Power (New York. see Montague W. I.Poland. 5923).and. Consett and Octavius H. Presseabteilung 7Ludendorff refers to the blockade as the deciding factor in the case (Memories.). The An Account of the Transactionsby Which Germany Triumph of Unarmed Forces (i914-19I8): during the Great War Was Able to Obtain Supplies prior to Her Collapse under the Pressureof Forces (New York. p.Lack of the proper fertilizers and a declining supply of agricultural labor due to recruitment also lowered domesticcrop yields. A History of the World War (Boston. Maurice Parmelee. Poland was occupied in an attempt to encircle the Russian army. n. in general.7 from the other From the outset.However. In the fall of 19I5 the Germanharvest failed. those of anothersection saw official positions.. which withdrew before German and Austrian forces could join in its rear. 43.those of a third saw a marketpossibilityfor their wares. The experts also knew that the home stocks could not last much longer.
Moreover. I9I6.and the Germanshad appropriated greaterpartof the country.Thus it was the Austriansand not the Germanswho began to deal with Poland'sfuturefirst. "Galicia in the Period of Autonomy and Self-Government. .I915. D." ibid. "At the occupationof Poland we were alreadyunfairly the treated.to make a trip of inspectionin Poland in September. R. General von Beseler."Die Schuld an der Wiederherstellung Polens. Die Urkunden der Obersten Heeresleitung (Berlin. "The Polish Question during the World War. Polesin Galiciawere not particularly discontented with theirlot. 312-13. which had a voicein the Austrianparliament. Schaefer. quoted in Erich Ludendorff. Max Sering.d.. The landowningPolishnobility.They hoped. 48I-83. n." Actually.by extendingHabsburgcontrolto the bulk of CongressPoland. 9 Dyboski. Austhe The trianinterestin Polandwas of lastingimportance. 297-98. 467. pp. II. August 6. JosephPilsudskiwith seventeen "legionnaires" officially had captured Kielcein RussianPoland (with the help of the Austrianarmy) and set up a provisionalgovernment. For occupationpurposesthe Austrianswere assignedthe smaller section around Lublin. meanwhile the Germansremoved Poland from its insignificantstatus as Government" whichwas a zone of communications settingup a "General by to at leasttheoretically directlyresponsible the kaiser. Dyboski.). Count Ottokar Czernin.A Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany 47 occupiedareasand split betweenthe Germansand the Austrians. 463-66. In the World War (London. I849-1914." Cambridge History of Poland.whether by annexationto Austriaor in somecomplicated Ausgleich.throughoutthe war Habsburgstructure Burian and it was the aim of the foreign ministersof Austria-Hungary. before the offensive had divided the zones of occupation.VIII. Czernin." a pamphlet published by Die Monatschrzftfar das Deutsche Volk (Munich. 200-205. p. Ursachen. However. German and Austrian delegatesto a conferenceat Kattowitz in May. while Germanytook the northernand western sections.Under him there developedan administrative unfit for systemafterthe Prussianpattern. Each state set up a militarygovernmentin its region. an economist. His report was not filed until July. I9I5.to becomethe leadersof a Polish kingdomwhich would form the third partnerin a trialisticstate. 447-60. 1920).' Czernin says.9 for At the headof this Germangovernment Polandwas a militarygovernor.In fact. to win Poland for the Habsburgs. Estreicher.who did not wish to see their power in the diminishedin this way. pp. 1914. I919). On Poland had been a politicalissue from the very beginningof hostilities. alreadydominated non-Polish EasternGalicia. The first move of the Germanstoward a planned exploitationof their section was to commission Dr. pp.utilizing both militarypersonnel 8 St. Unalterablyopposedto their scheme were the Hungarians.
3I3-14. upwardsin the poor channelsof communication Owing to the notoriously Generalvon Prussianadministrative system.were of the opinionthat the systemwas workingsmoothly.the peopleat the top. I9I5 the Austrianforeign minister.which of coursedid not suit Austrianplans.VIII. x85-86. in monarchy the nearfutureby proclamahereditary set up as a constitutional and monarchs. although some were employedby the was typicallythorough.believedthat he legion within the Habsburg of a small Austro-Polish for could get a largenumberof recruits a Polish armyunderGermandirecHe tion. . were to be persuaded something.48 Robert Lewis Koehl in Poles had no part in this government the combatand Germancivilians: Austriansin their years I915-19i6. aboutthe commonfutureof the Germans generalities I9I5. The Germannewspapers this time were instructed "go The of easy"on the Poles.in spite including not only a of rigorousGermaneffortsat economicexploitation. Ursachen. of opinion about the future economicstatus of Poland. and the requisitioning agricultural produce.and the Polish railways Therewas somedifference wereto be dividedbetweenAustriaand Germany. in On the contrary.then.In fact. speechto friendly to at and the Poles.to take over the whole of Poland. however.The Poles. The administration school inspectors. wished. but the German 10 Lutz. draftingof the unemof ployed for work in Germanplants.The to result was a visit paid by Bethmann-Hollweg Vienna on August ii and it At the two-dayconference was decidedthat Poland should be 12. the of systemof taxationbut the dismantling factories.Count Burian. that Germanyhad not announce.he connectedthis statement again be allowed to controlthe gates of invasiontoward Germany.even to the creationof zone.d next April (I9I6) Bethmann-Hollweg openedthe problemof Poland but that a returnto the statusquo was imwith the remarkthat Russiacould not possible. BethmannHabsburg Hollweg seems to have hoped for a more Germansolution tol the Polish problemeven then.it was greeted with completeoppositionby the Poles. I.althoughhe was carefulto limit himselfin his August I9.however. I9I6. Generalvon Beseler.'0 At the same time Burian was insisting on the Austrianpoint of view that Poland should be opened up at least economically for both partners. Boundaries actualimplemention of the GermanandAustrian of the proclamation were to awaitthe end of the war. especially Beseler. had already discussedthe Austrian desire to include Poland within the and statewith the Germanchancellor had beenput off. if he could offer the Poles some semblanceof self-government. A Polish army tation was to be called into being immediately.misled by the continuedexistence army.
13 Apparently. the Polish attitude probably worsened.A Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany 49 inclusionin a Germantariffunion.especially from he feareda counter-proclamation the Russianside in October. As this query had no answer as yet.3I8-I9. 3I9. and the since chancellor seems to have been happyenough to get started." Ludendorff was sold on reconstitutingPoland. 12Ludendorff letter to the Deutscher Lodzer Zeitung.'2 The actual proclamation not appear. he proclaimed the nomination of a Polish council of state and promised the election of a united diet. The teamof Hindenburg and Ludendorff was aboutto be given controlover the armiesof both powers.'4 Von Beseler then took it upon himself to implement the proclamation beyond the decision of August I2.3I6-I7. VIII. in Grumbach. 9. In any case practically no recruits turned up for the Polish army. p. Here von Beselerwas allowedto announce German-Austrian the decisionof August I2 and to explainhow he was going to use the imperial was proclamation raisetroops. n. In a letterto a Germanpaperpublished Lodz in February.and the German of of armywas aboutto undergothe shake-up August 28. the Brusilovoffensivehad reoccupied Bukovinaand EasternGalicia.1.-" any If the agreement seemsto favorGermanplans. On November I3. 24.it will help to recallsome othereventsgoing on in August. Urkunden. did How closelythis proclamation connected was with von Beseler's notionthat is he "couldraisefour divisionsof Polish troops" shown by the proceedings of a preparatory to conferencecalled by Bethmann-Hollweg which some governmentofficialsand some of the German nobility were invited on October2I. 3I8. beyond questions as to how soon the German administrators would give place to Poles. I9I6.The Reichstag not told of the proclamation to of did beforehand. p. I9I6. dated Feb.The Austriansmight well look to their interests. 14 Ibid.until November 5.as usual not for similar reasons. view was more positivelyrepresented: to Neither state would surrender territory the new Poland. Ursachen. pp. 18 The proclamation givenin Lutz.I9I6. 298-300. without waiting for permission to come down from 11Ludendorff.and Bethmannwould support von Hollweg must have realizedthat a man like Ludendorff in Beseler's point of view. The vague character the announcement not preventbut perhapsinvited criticismby some of the Germanparties..however.The Austrianmilitarymachinewas going to need a transfusion militarystrengthfrom Germany. the then chief of staffof the Army of the East had written that "Lodz would retain its historicalsignificancein a western society: Mitteleuropa. the Austrian and German proclamationsdid not provoke any great stir in Poland. . Ursachen. I9i6. 760. VIII. including I8. is VIII.
Even before plan an to Czerninhad submitted the Germangovernment entirelydifferent and that with Poland.I917. Czernin seems to have understoodbetter than his just how serious a position the Central Powers German contemporaries Reichstag."Its functions subject to German and Austrian commissioners' and disregarded all executivepower was in the hands projectswere largely ContinuedGermaneffortsto developa Polish of Germansand Austrians.was to involve Germanyin the creation. also seemed to promise somethingbetter for Poland than the CentralPowers could offer."6 would Austria-Hungary inheritance. When againsttheir for by Pilsudskiwas arrested the Germans makingpropaganda the councilof stateresigned. PP. of course. was Germany to be allowedto havePolandas a Hohenzollern 15 16 Dyboski." army were made especiallydifficultby the attitudeof Pilsudski. of the July. The Polish council met in January.He professed believethat the Germans(who werenow in commandof the whole easternfront) were using the Poles as cannonfodder. I9I7. Memories.I917. The Russian revolutionof March. A similarproclamation issuedfor the Auszone.of a realpuppetstate.Karl. the war. was councilof state but no diet.whichcorresponded his expectation Germany regarding be fortunateto get off with a negotiatedpeace.who The Austrianshad not abandoned carriedon had replacedBurianafterthe Rumanianattackon Transylvania.This with getting for Germanyvery largesectionsof Poland view was concerned solution. and. 1. attemptto his predecessor's to at the new emperor. their interestin Poland.Czernin. the militarypoint of view was getting an ever larger hearing in Germanyas the collapseof the Russianfront developed. appeared supremeheadquarters persuadethe kaiserto allow the archdukeStefan to be nominatedas regent of Poland. In win Polandfor Austria-Hungary.50 Robert Lewis Koehl thc Germangovernment.15 "PolishArmy"in July. 467-70 6 Czerinin.and without notifying the Austrianauthorities. Ursachen. i 45-46. This attemptfailed. 320.functionedin a purely advisory manner. April.The effect of the trian however.1917. . 398-400. Von Beseler was not punishedor removed. VIII. It had a few organizing and administrative approval. peaceresolution the German werein. I9I7.who had legion at the close of the resigned from leadershipof the Austro-Polish to Brusilovoffensive.and in no way with an "Austrian" few months in office. Ludendorif. von Beselerwas which set up a twenty-five-man to instructed issue still a thirdproclamation.After a by pure annexation. :zoo-2o6. To prevent this developmentfrom getting out of hand.during announcement.
a Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany Si in for wouldcedeAlsace-Lorraine including Galicia.Hoffman wished to limit Germany "absolutely to rectifications prevent to necessary" strategic suchpolitical as imbalance Ludendorff's suggested. That temporarily out of existence.'8 plan at on Meanwhile.andwas-based "adequate" coal frontier modificationsin Germany's favor. Austrian a The government also this recognized new council well as a second. I917. he alsoseemed of state(after willingto seewhatremained a Polish Germany had takenwhat it wanted)exercise even self-determination to the extent of joining could witha Russia (withwhichin August. wasinstructed issue who patent to to themjointly withtheAustrian in The governor Lublin. Kreuznach December the high command 12. 18 Ursachen. The Polishstatehad. to line Ludendorff's ran closeto Warsaw. had developed strongdifference opinionas to how muchof Poland a of shouldbe annexed Germany. had tentatively of agreedto a solutionto the disposition Polandwhich Michaelis' successor. took officially refused Czernin the at of offer. gone it was not the purpose the kaiser his advisers losethe valueof a of and to puppet regime a territory in whichtheywerestilloccupying exploiting and can be seen in theirnext creation: regency a of council. restored. return whichGermany as backto France makepeace. mayor Warsaw. as of council state. fromthe German kaiser von Beseler. Polandwas to formthe third member a trialistic of state. and General Hoffmann. Thesenew organs government setup in September. consisting three Poles-Prince Lubomirsky.17 By Christmas. the of Archbishop Kakowsky of and Cracow. and he AfterMichaelis office chancellor.however. Hertling. Germany probablyhavemade peace). They did not announce that everyclauseof the six-article letterspatentwas hedgedwith extraordinarily carefulcontrols. leavingnothingto the sole decisionof the Poles. p. 32I-23. 220. had arranged with Czernin. . the letters patent and other related documents are given in Lutz.Ludendorif stated he hadonly agreed later that 17 Dyboski. 760-64." it although guaranteed economic German concessions. asin such on the Dombrowa fields. sevenmillion whichwouldgiveGermany nearly Poles. I. 1917. Ostrowsky.VIII. 473. Apparently the behest Ludendorff. largelandowner. governors' proclamations announced the new Polish"government" that wouldhave a prime and minister thatit wouldgo beyond previous its advisory functions. Ludendorff his subordinate. by letters of were I9I7.This solution Habsburg was certainly "Austrian.
Yet the Germans did not have an easier time of it here in this far-off corner of Europe than they had in Poland at the crossroadsof eastern Europe. II. VIII. on the Kreuznach conference see Ludendorff. furthermore. 53I-35. the military commands of Suwalki and Vilna had been unified. Left-wing Reichstag members had not grown silent either since their peace resolution. Kovno. pp. I. 329-30.52 Robert Lewis Koehl to this settlementon the basis of his broad defensivebelt. neverwantedto acceptsucha tag-endPolandas wouldhavebeenleft to themby Ludendorff's partition. i9i6. Grodno. . Germany and Austria-Hungary seemed to have reached an agreement about the future of Poland. for Czernin had not silenced Hungarian opposition to trialism and Ludendorff did not completely dominate Hertling's government. a military government was set up 19For the Hertling-Czernin agreement see Dyboski. especially since the eastern front in the north had become very stable. 206-207. as well as the appendage of Congress Poland called Suwalki. these regions were each administered as part of the rear echelon of military units of the Army Command Upper-East (Ober Ost). this region had been even less developed economically and culturally under Russian administration than had Poland. as well as Bialystok and Grodno. In the second place. The Austrians of they must have beenleft in ignorance this interpretation. In the first place. 487. Czernin's attitude toward a "tag-end" Poland is given in his memoirs. In the third place. 545-48. 20 For their complaints see Lutz. From the fall of I9I5 until Hindenburg's order of June 7." Das Land Ober Ost. In German hands by September. Austria-Hungary and Germany would find themselves not with fewer problems but with more-even with regard to Poland. Vilna. and Bialystok. Ursachen. were the Russian provinces of Courland. order. Hindenburg's order recognized the necessity of unifying the administration of this sizable area. they had farther south. inner political quarrels within the German government and army sabotaged the common plans. there was no rival such as AustriaHungary. p.20And at the conclusion of peace in the east. 78-84.'9 On the eve of the peace with Russia. The German experience in the Baltic provinces of Russia was very different from that in Poland. Even before his order. They reckoned as falsely here on co-operation from the population as. pp. I9I6. Memories.21 As a result of the June 7. That agreement was more apparent than real. 21 "Der Ausbau der Milifirverwaltung. the Germans found not one nationality but several. 78I. I9I5.
This consolidation markeda point in the Germanplans when it seemeddesirable preventPoland from becoming to so large (by demandingthe Lithuanianarea) as to become a political Frankenstein her creators. regiondid not undergoany seriouschangesin 1917. On of however. theheadof themilitary and At government was the firstquartermaster the staffof the ArmyCommand OberOst." Land Ober Ost.also in the fall of I917. who was now PrinceLeopoldof Bavaria. Memories. II. including firstquartermaster. 2o6. whenhe became until supreme commander the German Austrian of and forces.but unlikevon the Beseler.I.He was veryfondof his plan was own to makethisLandOberOsta colonial for of territory the settlement "his" afterthe war." as the political such section. therewerethreedistrict of commanders. function to alongside rear-echelon which the remained. In thefield. for A and Lithuania. an equalrankwith Waldersee. 521. the concerned themilitary with government.but withoutany or political tradition of its own. Another administrative change which had little effect upon the actual management of the region occurred in the fall of A governorgeneral. corresponding the old provinces to Courland. systemwas so complicated a military The that personage responsible everytownship was for (Amtsbezirk) village. The city of Riga was addedto the Courlanddistrictafterits capturein the fall of I917.Walderseestill only represented Army Commander Ober Ost.Count Waldersee.Freiherr von who borethe title Reichskommissar the BalticTerritories Falkenhausen. and They hadsmaller staffs correspondingthemilitary to government of members the X Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany army staff. Eachof the othernine had a "section. etc. I9I6. Therewereten staffmembers.it was Ruthenian White Russian. Bialystok-Grodno.S3 commands forthewholeregion. The districtof Bialystok-Grodno joined to the region of was Lithuania. agricultural the economy section. . finance the section. population Bialystok-Grodno neither to The of was Polish nor Lithuanian. 471.22 the Administratively.as well as a havenfor the refugeeGermans soldiers from inner Russia. Ludendorff. 22 "Ausbau. In each county (Kreis) a reserveofficerwas responsible the to district commandant. pp. Suwalki-Kovno-Vilna (Lithuania). This strictlymilitaryformation contained almostno German civilian personnel fewernatives. more complicated systemof administration scarcely can be two parallel military systems (military governmentand rearimagined: 1917. 86-93.was an undersecretary the ministryof the interior. of whichwas Hindenburg's command August28.took over the responsibilities of the first quartermaster the militarygovernment with staff. and Much of this system Ludendorff's work.
That the rye and potato harvestof 19I5 was quick was due to Ludendorff's largely securedfor the army of occupation action on arriving at his new headquartersat Kovno in September. of a regionfor the good of its inhabitants. Lieferung 5 (Breslau. agricultural to theseeffortsshowed According Ludendorff. Ursachen. VIII.the situationreflected rivalries at government thisperiod. vi-vii. the Poles had begun to use the German and Austrian disagreements. Land Ober Ost.54 Robert Lewis Koehl who had no civil administrator echelon commands) and a "responsible" and the personnelat his disposal!Of course. methodswere propagandized. See "Litauen" in Handworterbuch des Grenz. I9I6. 373. agriculture the drainage systems. and better farming well as seed. They had farm machinerysent from Germanyas was experimentation begun. troopsrequirethe wood for buildingsheltersand for fuel but wood was also were Resinandcharcoal shippedbackto the Reichand as far southas Serbia. politicalconsideration the localpopulation playedless of were corEconomicrequirements a part in the areaof the Balticprovinces. where the semi-civilian orderof June 7.too.Consequently. I917.24 The region was primarilydevoted to agricultureand forestry. other productsof the Baltic forestsimportantto the Germanwar effort. not to speak of the Allied promises as political ammunition (Ursachen. respondinglymore significantand were pursuedmore ruthlesslythan in were moved to occasionally administrators Poland. 84-85. Not only did the local Lumberproductionwas also of great significance. I9I6." Land Ober Ost. so important to the swampy sections. 319). 330-31. presslystated that "The interestsof the Army and the Reich must always This precedethoseof the occupiedterritory. They repaired which they found on the greatestatesof Courland. etc. after the November.und Auslandsdeutschtums.23 of indeterminacies the German had of Thus far. the greatest efforts were made by the military government to exploit the raw materialsavailable. I939). pp.III.These men were supposed help the countyofficers and forest productsfor which they were to get the quotas of agricultural The Germanswere not content with the backwardforms of responsible.but also suppliedthe city of Berlin with some food. 24"Ausbau. proclamationconcerning the re-creationof a Polish state. exHindenburg's look out for the native population. pp." was not living up to the Hague the powerto administer revenues the which required occupying Convention. .using army horsesfor plowing. for in I9I6 das Land OberOst not only providedfor itself and its militaryburden. the Polish nobility of Lituania even called for reunion of the two kingdoms and the restorationof the frontiers of 1772 in May. results. VIII. They took over many of these estatesand ran them with militarypersonnel. So-called experts"(also militarypersonnel)were assignedto the reserve "agricultural to in officers each county. 23 Preface.
I. AfterOctober. the However. on than to That Ludendorff not alonein his interest someformof annexation was in for Land Ober Ost. especially pp. 380-8I (railroads). I9I6 Germany in greatneedof mento replace menwho By was the hadbeencalledto the army. the financial was system dasLand of Ober The Germans Ost.onlythrough useof therationing the systemwas it possible the occupying for forcesto get workdoneby the civilian whichhadno partin themanagement itsownaffairs population. oblivious thebasic thattheirhuman of fact "material" afterall. of andlittleinterest a German in victory. unco-operative. 59. created theirown banksandtheirown Ober Ost the currency relieve loadon the homefinancial to system. "But it was hard to persuade the population that they had not only rights but also duties. among themonethatmade barbed wire. I94-200. Bialystok and wererunby the German army."Wealsosupplied WarDepartment skins with the The andhides. "Wilna."ibid. however. general. 52I. andscrap-iron. 335-36 (friction). thedaily new and friction between Prussian autocratic thoroughness an almostmedieval and peasant culture.a Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany 55 Ludendorff wrotelater.. as a window theBaltic. it couldeverhavebecome Germany. I9I6.Memories.copper brass(salvaged course).330. in Kovno. bestuse for locallaborwas foundto be in theregion itself. evena worseeconomist he was than a politician. the wholeregionoperated a yearly. was however. From the pointof view of the hopeful Ludendorff roadto soundeconomic the had withrestrictions development butto be paved against "speculators. was. 195-97. taxes. region probably important Russia The was more to economically..In fact. Manyprojects remained on Not paper. 25 . Ludendorff hopedto usethe localpopulation of threemillion a reservoir labor-power. p. 26Ibid.human. muchthey succeeded How in doingtellsus moreabout slowdevelopment localresistance this the of in regionthan aboutGerman organizing ability. pp.Y Farfromaccepting conditions whattheyregarded a backward." Oskar Woehrle.25 Not the leastsignificant theeconomic of resources anylandis itslaborof power. 2I6-I8. on self-sustaining budget. 391 VIII." and theBaltic wouldhavebecome important an provinces element theGerman in The economy. the of as "colonial" region. in thiscategory. Germans The couldnot understand thatnew railroad lines (on whichonlyGermans rode)andschool systems (with purelyGerman instructors. passim." Land Ober Ost. therewereno trained since Lithuanians orLetts)couldnotmakeupforendless requisitions. (schools). II." and of rags existing factories Libau. Ludendorff.Ursachen.the Germans aboutcreating bureaucratic set a paradise. and undercertainconditions. "Litauen. someefforts as of weremadeto and to get laborers go to Germany.
" By that year the German government had begun to take a political interest in the Baltic provincesfor at least the reasonthat the Poles were beginning to talk about absorbing Lithuania into a new state. 28 Leon Dominian. new politicalunit wascomposed and gentry(Ritter therewasno opposition In Germans with a few LettsandLivonians.We have observedthat the area which the Germans in called "Lithuania" I9I7 was much largerthan the area of "Courland.It is hardly coincidencethat a Lithuaniannewspapers appeared. Mitt. Pet. "Litauen. Rosen. pp. per cent of the "Germancity" of Riga. had largePolish (in and aroundVilna) and by as constituted the Germans. "Unsere Kriegspresse.In Courland. pp.and especiallyin of Suwalki. in At I917. I78-79. Ruthenianminoritiesand a small Germanminority. of by the consentof the militarygovernment the old feudalassembly knights of This undLandschaft). pp. I03-I05.where the Germanswere reallythe landowningnobility. Frontiers of Language and Nationality (New York.the same time. The Lithuanianpatriotswere led by Anton Smetona. "Geld und Kreditwesen. I38-42."Land Ober OstJ.28 clinedto a closeworkingrelationship the same time that the Lithuaniancouncil of state was formed. with Germany.27 The facts were very different. 329-33). and the administrative attemptsat electinga diet or seimas. the same time that the civil governmentof Germany found use for a politically conscious Lithuania.the Germans Lithuania."Handwirterbuch. to worryabout. Ludendorff.I. 19I7).which had been part of the Neuostpreussen I795. After severalunofficial the Germansfinally sanctioned formationof a councilof state or tarybain I9I7. Memories. Ursachen.VIII. least in Courlandand in the thin strip of coast from Memel to Riga. to admirerof Western(or German?)culture. a suggestion which also At had its historicalprecedent.and lookedto the alliesfor salvation. Ludendorff.I. I92. Lithuanianrefugee committeewas set wereextended-all at the of boundaries Lithuania up.The Germansformedtwenty-five population.56 Robert Lewis Koehl to is the Balticprovinces traceable the old view that this areaaboveall was that at (urdeutsches colonialterritory" "original Germany's Siedlungsland)." Land Ober Ost. at in were represented the townsbut scarcely all in the ruralareas.immediately 27 Otto Fischer. 1915. the was "onlyexistingcivilization" German. Courland called afterits appointment.In opposition the tarybawere federalunionwith the new which desired forcesof Lithuania. 336.they formedonly eight per cent of the total which otherwisewas Lettish. . Sept. pp. the democratic The taryba was moreinRussianstate. the Lithuanians began to rediscovertheir old nationalism.This very council.. pp.the restof the population was Lithuanian.an September. Die ethnographischeVerliltnisse in den baltischen Provinzen and in Litauen. a similarcouncilfor Courlandwas calledinto being with September.Memories. 105-108 (Dominian's figures are taken from H. 372-74. In Lithuania.
" fact.9 the should That it was the high command's intention that the Lithuanians memoirs. Land Ober Ost. 373). The Lithuanians showing littletoomuchself-determinationmany were a for Germans. for travel restrictions. Ursachen. to years rich German economic strategical and seemedalmostachieved.see Lutz. pointof viewwasbetter regulated. 331. The good Lithuanian bargaining position was due to the Polish "Frankenstein"threat as well as to good connections with the Entente and the U. takentheirpart. For Erzberger and the Social Democrats see Ursachen. Caucasus. Erzberger. VIII. 353-5530Ludendorff. in Lithuania. Furthermore. evenTurkestan.e.however. viii. Courland making definite and by a settlement theireastern with opponents.III. Memories. I. Germans the were aboutto embark upona lessandlessrealistic policyas a result theirignorance of of theconditions in prevailing eastern Europe. Onereason in the better lay bargaining position whichtheyfoundthemin selves. Furthermore. via Switzerland ("Litauen. p. has to lookin vainfor a similar from declaration the Courlandish whichfromthe German council. wereCatholic.a Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany 57 uponthe German of kaiserto assume crownas archduke Courland. on i. 374.the Social At the Democrats werecallingfor broader representation boththe Lithuanian for andCourlandish "governments. they planning economic the exploitation onlyof the areas not already butof widerandricher held territories: Ukraine.S.A. agitations the the and The of earlier seemed bebearing fruit. 1." sametime. so obliging.19I7. 33637.) Therewas evidence that the armycommand holdingbacktravelpermits was in fromLithuanians thetaryba wished discuss Lithuanian who to the status theGerman in system withtheGerman government. 471.speaking a Catholic in had at gathering Zurich. 78I. security Actually. thewholepopulathey not as tionof Courland As earlyas August. Matthias of was. "Lettland."Land Ober Ost. 335. p. makea similar The offerto William is clear II fromLudendorif's Lithuanians not evenin thehand-picked taryba." Land Ober Ost. were." Handwdrterbuch. the GermanCenterparty. p.urging"self-determination. issued "declaration a ofindependence" directed primarily against Russia.neither (In council morepowerhad and probably less-than the Polishcounterpart.(Finland madea similar had declaration without the impetusof German occupation.3' When the Germannegotiators went to BrestLitovskthey were prepared to set the seal of permanency upon the German handiwork Poland. December I9I7. went as conquerors. .30 Two daysbefore formal the negotiations opened Brest at Litovsk.. 29Preface. Lutheran. thetaryba ii.VIII. 81 "Litauen.) taryba The was declaration not especially popular themilitary with admingovernment withtheHertling nor one istration.
The result was that wherevermilitaryforce could show victoriesin I9I8 (and this was certainly possibleat Brest Litovsk). 127-29. and as well as Hindenburg. March igI8 (New York. 104-Il. In the World War.the future negotiatorat Brest Litovsk. pp. Wheeler-Bennett.The secondtook the form on supremeheadquarters. 257-302 passim.did not ward the goals of the expansionist representthe well-plannedrealizationof both short-termgoals (survival of in wartime) and long-termones (the creation a powerfuleconomic. The Forgotten Peace: Brest-Litovsk.This progress. The first occurredunder the chairin manshipof the chancellor. the eighteenth. p. John W.Naval Blockade. of a crown councilat Kreuznach. It represented more territory. the Germansheld two consultations among themselvesin December. The type of negotiationswhich von Kiihlmanncarriedon behind the and Day offerto the Ententeof "No annexations no faqadeof the Christmas The proposalswhich indemnities"was in fact expansionistin character.32 for In preparation making peace.the militarypoint of view includedGermanexpansion Poland and a union of Lithuaniaand Courlandvia the Hohenzollerncrown. Berlinon the sixth.Ludendorff.I917.and held back on his views at this time. The civil governmentwas not in agreementwith the high command.58 Robert Lewis Koehl "Greater Germany" looked closest to realization just when the pressure of the economicand militaryforceswhich had calledit into being reached imports from defeat. Ursachen. GeneralHoffmann. in Naturally.Germany's a point wherenothingcould save Germany She from the neutralshad dried up.milimerely the militaryoccupationof tary. and political bloc).was the failure to reachany unanimityaboutthe kind of peaceGermanywished to make. 223.he went to the conference BrestLitovskawarethat he would have to opposethe high commandwithoutever havingtold them his reasons. I9I8. on this page). I Guichard. was venturewouldcontinuethroughout The greatimperialist shortof manpower.but in the last analysisit had to submitto militarydictation.33 This indicationof fear of the militaryparty by the governmentmight well be taken as a symbol for the whole of Germanpolicy in I9I8. the signing of treatieswith puppet governmentsincapableof fulfilling their of promises economicaid. I939). 218 (see also n. Her stockpileshad disappeared. at which were presentnot only Hertling but von Kiihlmann. The amazing thing about this secondmeeting. VIII.Von Kiuhlmann alreadyseems to have expectedthat BrestLitovskwould be the preludeto a generalpeace. Germanyseemed to progressfartheralong toelement. . however. but in vain-it was too late.pp. 82 3 Czernin. the creation of more and more offices and agencies. though few Germans realized it. As a at result.
whichthe kaiser on at presided.not awarethat Ludendorff to would carryout not only the preventive occupation the northern of the of half Baltic coast. pp. VIII.35 At the Homburg conference the thirteenth. I. 327.Therefore. n. 230-31. Ursachen.The attentions the German Austrian of and parties turned moreandmoreto the "bread with the Ukrainian peace" and Republic.von Kiihlmann's Fabian policywasdefeated the Ludendorff by plan of a limited military demonstrationstraighten theGerman around to out lines Dvinsk and remindthe Bolsheviks which side the powerlay. 35 zi Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany Wheeler-Bennett. Apon parently. German party Brest at did whose Litovsk notconsider abandoning system the groundworkhad been laid down in the pastyearsof warfare. wished since the who to stayin theiroccupied zones. Excitedprotests fromLudendorif Hindenburg this timeindicate the highcomand that at mand objectedto the Germangovernment's conceptof Angliederung in (affiliation) theplans Poland theBaltic for and region. too. 228. Thus.59 the Germans the madeto the Russian delegation regarding evacuation of Polandandthe Baltic to provinces indicate theyintended stayin these that areas. wassubjected pressure home. pp. Hertlingagreed this plan. negotiations.34 Czernin. thatwouldembarrass Germans. 46. 238. 231. II. 554-55. imports grainfromtheUkraine of wouldenable DualMonarchy holdout.Furthermore. . 802-809. a treaty withthe Ukraine actuallywas signedon February the day beforeTrotskybrokeoff 9. not only wouldthe Ukrainians provide usefulweaponfor von a Kiuhlmann against Bolshevik maneuvering Czernin ableto seehope but was for the survivalof Austria-Hungary throughthe trade with the new Ukrainian state. and Austriaentered into private discussions the delegates with from the Ukrainian People's Republic regarding political and economic questions. to from food Austrian supplies wereextremely andonlyimmediate low. German the high command anxious was to furtherUkrainian aspirations the expense Poland.inland as far as Lake Peipus-thus denyingLivoniaand Esthonia the Bolsheviks-but to wouldalsosupport wavering the governmentof the Ukraine military by action against troops.225.still fearingthe at of appearance Germany's boundary a formidable on east of Polishstate. the supplies the to after of resumption the negotiations the Russians January Germany with on 9. 468. Kiihlmann Red Von 84Czernin. Czernin. 237-44. 123-28. Memories. Lutz. pp.Evenat its mostidealistic the stage. Ludendorff. Ursachen. Von Kiihlmann devoted had that greatenergy persuading to Turkey sheshould demand not on immediate evacuation theCaucasus of region the partof the Russians.VIII.
Rumaniashouldcede her oil wells. against varying resistance. promised and claimto Congress withdrawalof all Red forcesfrom Esthonia.Naturally. was drawing maize and other grains from Similarly. harborfacilities.and Finland. Friedrich von Payer. 1919). Von Bethmann-Hollweg bis Ebert (Frankfurt am Main. if not with fear of the effecton worldopinionand of the effecton the Germanmilitarymachine. Rumaniashouldbecomea perwith Germany manenteconomicvassalof Germanyand Austria-Hungary. The Germans were not anxious to see the whole condominiumwas Dobrudjaarea go to Bulgaria. and perhaps couldnot sustainthe Republic the cottonof Turkestan. Besideshe did not care to see even his allies get controlof the Caucasian oil. . When the Ukrainian the CentralPowers. to a treaty which recognizedthe governmentof the Ukraine. 37 Ludendorff. Memories. 6I-924. There should be an agricultural quota to be delivered annuallyfor a certainnumberof years. see also CambridgeHistory of Poland. 6x-65. by concluded thatgovernment December 1917. Germandivisionswere pushing their way into the Donets Basin toward Rostov. but Ludendoriffeared the British in Persia and doubtedTurkish powers of resistance. even before on the armistice 9.the presence of German troops was not regardedfavorablyby the Turkish allies. II."they had the following plan in mind. coal. Austria-Hungary Wallachia that year.36 the As a result of the Germanmilitaryoperations. signatureof a Russian delegationwas obtainedon March3. Ein Jahr in der Reichskanzlei: Erinnerungen an der Kanzlerschaft meines Vaters (Freiburg im Breisgau. 470.Ludendorff governmentwhich had made peace with and set up a puppet regime under Hetman Skoropadsky. 72-76. I9I8.German troops were sent into Finland to prevent the collapse of the anti-Bolshevik governmentrecognized by Germanyon March 9. holding the whip hand.so a German-Austrian 86 Count Karl Herding. pp.abandoned independence the anti-Bolshevik of immediate and Poland.and Rumaniashould be occupied for at least five or six years. Courland. 475. and railroads Germancompaniesand place the controlof state finances to in German hands. The objectswere food.37 The Germanswere getting some oil from Rumaniain I9I7. carriedon with his penetration into the Crimeaand into Georgia. II. p. When the Germans presented an ultimatum to Ferdinand's governmenton February6.Livonia.probably in mind. As the great western offensivegot under way in Marchand April. I923).Lithuania. to "makepeace within four days.6o Robert Lewis Koehl with Germanpublicopinion opposedany militaryactionto the last. at Focsani. Urkunden. pp. Ludendorff. 659.and oil (from the Caspian region).
"Now he hadonly66 'fit'divisions in reserve.Ludendorff openedhis campaign had with a credit balance 207 divisions.but it indicateswell enough what the Germanswere seeking here. exceptas the Germansencountered some especially determined band of Red guards.The eastern frontwas not a war front.(Annexationsby Austria-Hungary such as Czernin had contemplatedwere not welcome. Ludendorff. '0Hart.it looked to many Germanswho had been hesitantearlierthat the high command was making all of its propositions pay. I.VIII. pp. 253-59.40 Nor did the vast operationpay in materiel. Germany Austria-Hungary a badposition and put in inside that country. 535. 267. 327. I9I8. But a glance at what Liddell Hart callsthe "military balance-sheet the pastsix months'transactions" of showsus what few Germans knew. WheelerII.in spite of their armed forces.38 6I proclaimedfor the area at the mouth of the Danube.The disappearance the of Ukrainiangovernment. BolshevistRussia was not good trainingground for reserve troops. 832-35.Militaryrequisitioning could not solve the problemsimply becausethere were no great food supplies in the Ukraine after four yearsof war.GeneralHoffmannadmittedlaterthat some units actuallywere not dispatchedwestwardbecauseof the fear of spreadingthe Bolshevik infection. The grain harvestof I9I8 had to go to feed the troopsin occupation well as 88 Czernin. was not so harshas this program. 241-51."The German break-through Reims required at more reserves than Ludendorff could supply. . VIII. Bennett. of owing to lack of Austriansupport. 238. including northern The treatyof Bucharest May 7. 352. Furthermore. But the great area to be patrolledabsorbedmen. and a sabotagepolicy of the Red troops and Bolshevizedpeasantrymerely added the finishing touch.)At Bucharest Germans the receiveda ninetyyear leaseof the Rumanian wells. Ursachen.which had made the February9 treatiesoffering grainfor independence.Germanyand Austria-Hungary assumedcontrol overthe mouthof the Danube. 1. p. Lutz. 355-60. 89 Czernin. of with 82 in reserve. Rumaniaboundherselfto makegrain oil deliveriesfor some time.Yet on the easternfront there werethreecavalry divisionsin idlenessat this time. Memorties. Ursachen. History of the World War.most of them reallyso watereddown that they could hardlybe counted as sound assets. 207-208. 572-73.A Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany Dobrudja. where there could be no questionof German annexations. Ludendorff.39 As the Germantroopspushedacrossthe Marneagain in July. Memories. the occupation was to be continuedat least until a generalEuropeanpeace. pp. pp.
12-13.developed Germany. 66i. the Bulgarian shipments were orderedstopped. that Bulgariawas negotiating d'Esperet for peace.62 Robert Lewis Koehl as the localpopulace. Harry R. later and Finland. Hart. pp.Germany the that in was of not master the innercontradictions her new system it tookshape in as during the year I9I8. The greatoverland empireseemedcloseto realization. P."which included had in Angliederungen. and were thoseof EsthoniaLithuania. II. Courland added Livonia.Whenthe German at connexationist victory people said cludedthattheycouldnot win sucha victory. 241-45. The offer of the Finnish crown to a German prince. pp. Wirtschaftskriegund Kriegswirtschaft (Berlin.Czerninwrote laterthat the food that was importedsaved livesin Austria-Hungary.42 Butevenwithout defeat wasbrewing thewest. 75. a strong opposition to "annexations. of the possibility merely holding The separate peacein the eastwasa 41 Czernin.and rightlytoo. Arthur Dix. p. long as German As victory seemed assured. journalist the school Weltof of peace. Armistice I9I8 (New Haven. they out. Memories. see Parmelee. . 42 The Esthonian-Livonian crown. and Payer. pp. pp. the the Leaguefor havingcorrupted will to politik. it was and had too. see Ludendorff. Above all. Blockade and Sea Power. she couldhave madepeacewith the Allies war if on better and couldhavecontained Allied the terms. and in an economic afterwards. Germany gota foothold theBlack and had on Sea had comenearthe Caspian. 1944). therewerenot enough and reserves its But to give Ludendorff confidence holding out. what foodstuffs that available a hardtime leavingOdessa. if the highcommand counteroffensive mastered fears. Shipping was so tied up withtroopmovements during frantic the months the of summer were westernoffensive and Allied counteroffensive. for with Franchet feared. rejected. of thrones Poland.attacked Pan-German insistence only an anthat of victory the German peopleby a misleading wouldbe a victory all.41 in The fate of German expansion restedin I9I8 with the powerof the German army. rawmaterials The whichGermany (coaland got oil) might have enabledher to hold out industriallyin i9i8. 1920). before couldbe shipped any westward. Rudin. 48I. had Some of the grainfrom the Ukraine fromRumania to go to Bulgaria as a bribe. 251-54. visionof a the Greater Germany notlessbright I9I8 butbrighter To thevacant grew in still. Rohrbach. seeds disagreeThe of ment aboutthe war aims whichhad manifested themselves the first in of Social Democratic into Reichstag speech the warhaddeveloped a pacifist strikes worked and movement whichcalled withtheBolshevist general Joffe a for an immediate PaulRohrbach. i87-88. When it was too late.
Berlin. because was annexationist. and Ludendorff. with Max Hobohm. regardless religion-frowned thechoice.and the Baltic region. see Land Ober Ost. Other nationalisms besides the German grownstrong thenineteenth had in century. instance. in Poland. 19T6.) Neither Lithuanians the the nor Poles showed any great interest in this Angliederung process. ." The factthatthere wereold German traditions empire. 340. and Gustav Stresemann'sReichstag speech of Apr. They had awarded to the Ukrainian it People's Republic the in recognition of treaty February as a result werebesieged thePolish they by 9. was as with someviewto his securing Polish the throne well.the Saxon monarch putforward a candidate. II. The Germans of brought the administrationthe areas in to question astounding an ignorance the peoples of and involved a veryhigh opinionof the favorthey wereconferring backward on Slavsand Balts. Memories.ibid. whenGerman especially victory beganto slipfarther farther in the and off 43Paul Rohrbach.now partof the Soviet of Ukraine. of of of cultural leadership areassuchas the Dual Monarchy. 44For German ignorance. actually of was chosen thetaryba: Gerby the man government.323-25. failure the Der The of Germans comprehend forceswith whichthey had to deal is well to the illustrated the quarrel the Lithuanian by over crown. Chauvinismus und Weltkrieg. II (2d ed.VIII.A Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany divided Germanpublic opinion. pp. council change minds-aswasCzernin theAustrian regency to their by Poles. I. theGermans but acted as if all nationalism theirown was trivial. '5 Czernin. I9I9). Ursachen..48 63 greatblow to morale. i88. 8I. Die A4ldeutichen. of upon At the sametime. p. colonization. preface. the Catholic William Urach.quoted in Lutz. How long couldthe Polesand the Ukrainians putoffandstillbeuseful Germany ? 45 be to The ridiculous picture theGerman of princes running Baltic after crowns while Germany fightingits last losingbattleof the war is sharply was drawnin PhilippScheidemann's Zusammenbruch.however.pp. whichstill hopedfor a Hohenzollern settlement the for wholeof the Baltic littoral. for German condescension. A new agreement to be madewiththe laterpuppet had government the of Ukraine thelinewouldbe setlater. 6. 66i.. Erzberger's candidate. 208-209. slapping Ukrainian that thus at national pridewithoutsatisfying Polishclaims. iv-v. not it this although fact abouthow the German Nobodyeverreallycameto decisions Empire shouldprofitby the greatexpanses territory of whichlay moreor less in German power.(TheGermans as could not get awayfromthosehistorical precedents. notinsure thepopulations thoseareas did that of wouldaccept German domination thetwentieth in century. Germans but For the neversolvedthe problem the Cholmregion. I.but becauseit did not end the war.
Thereweredemocratically of the PolesandLithuanians. pp.troopswho had mutiniedin in revolution theirgarrisons as of almost soonas theyheard theNovember were of governBerlin. 374. now the BalticGermans By an activepart to get their views represented. 1921)."You can do anythingwith a bayonetexceptsit on it. who." The earlierstagesof Germanexpansion duringthe war seemedto makeheadway of becauseto some extent they fitted into a larger. II.III. the military but powerto backup thatpolicywason the decline.later shifting their interest to fur he with AdolfFriedrich Mecklenburg. Caucasus.VIII.A morewidespread of failure the tsarist feelingamongthe Germans aboutthe justiceand the moderation theirclaimsgavepurof themselves 46 Claus Grimm. 47 Dyboski in CambtidgeHistory of Poland. Philipp Scheidemann.46 This annexwas signedon August28. .the apparent state.troops countries weredisarming German the troops on the whole not unwilling to be disarmed. the which any occupationat first assumes. Jahre deutscher Entscheidung im Baltikum: (Essen. fragile There anoldmilitary is from constructed veryrealmilitary expresoperations. g918-1g9g pp. sion that says. by favoringthe kaiseras first uniteddiet of the Baltic rulerin the April. 72-7g. decision the so-called of (Vereinigter Landrat das Baltikum).64 Robert Lewis Koehl mindedLetts. 1939).In Augustthe Russian was government forced sign an annexto the Brest all and Litovsk agreement yielding claimto Esthonia Livonia. the Poland. like summer I9I8. Ursachen.fortunateconstellation the hatredfor the tsarist universal circumstance: oppressors. "Litauen. on conhad kaiser concluded he had that sultation with his commanders." Handwdrterbuch. Grimm."47 eastern a of The Greater thingalbeit Germany I918 was a merebubble. German the power whichhad mustmakepeace.too. it wasonlya matter months Yet of quartered among them. of perhaps because waslessinvolved to the fateof the war. 479. pp. Der Zusammenbruch (Berlin. The German government Europeto German adwas still pursuing policyof developing a eastern vantage. was the Republic whichsoughtby theirhelpto retain someof Germany's "settlement lands. II7-2I. firstglow of to the German character temporary promises theoccupied regions. 154-56. learned I9I8 how to playoff onegroup had by of Germans werealsotaking against another. on The "Black of the German Day Army" occurred August8. 344-45.and the Balticareacouldnot be held by before populations these the of Germany. seemingly Germanefficiency. The famous Freikorps not a creation the imperial it if of mentof Germany.i9I8. I9I8. theycanbe calledthe creation anygovernment. Few Germans realized themilitary that made their easterndreamspossible so was evaporating rapidlythat the Ukraine.
therewasnothing the German in structure whichcouldsustain youngsystem the whichsupposedly beenfashioned had for justsuchan eventuality. anti-Bolshevist military units couldbe formedfrom German troops. German expansionists to participate the had in of liquidation the Bismarckian and the cessionof ancientPrussian state was frontiers.They refused let non-Germans anything to do their important."Land Ober Ost.Furthermore hadoutworn and they theirwelcome in everyareawheretheyhadbeenfor sometime. thewillto use to once and sucha system in simplydid not reappear Germany untilit was too late. 199-2I8 f. 375. Massachusetts Institute Technology of 48 Grimm. theyhadnotbeen But canceled. A Prelude to Hitler's Greater Germany . See also the story of OberkommandoGrenzschutzNord at Kovno Lithuania. Germans not haveenough did The troops to do everything the occupied in territories whichhad to be done.48 Instead creating powerful of a Mitteleuropa. German troops the homefronttoo had begunto doubtif war for a and Greater German worthwhatit cost. Finally. distrusting competence theirgoodfaith.WhenGermany's each western frontbroke. but therewasnothing unitethemintoa system more. andthere. multitude plansandplanners The of neverdiminished. Their rivalsin the east wereno longer tsarist officials nationalist Bolshevik but and agitators.65 poseand direction German to policyat lowerlevels. The forceswhichhad combined firstto stimulate into beat her and whichlaterhad impelled cominga greattrading power to Germany of attempt creation an impregnable the continental position herself for had beendeflected. evenwhileit suffered froma plethora high-level of planning anelaborate of character. withit and the will of the German leaders. By I9I8 all thishadchanged.even an enlarged or and protected German the Reich. Here especially theBaltic in regions.so thatwordwentahead to newly occupied territories abouttheirfoibles. if theyhadgot in eachother's before way I9I8.particularly was underthe effectof Alliedpropaganda. a Germany leftneither world-power position a continental nor empire.in "Litauen. in thatyeartheyvirtually canceled otherout. pp.
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