Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reworking history - the Versailles Treaty

A good example of the constant reworking of history. For this year's Armistice Day the BBC carries an article by Professor Gerard De Groot revisiting the reasons for the rise of Nazism in Germany, and suggesting that the settlement at the end of World War One is not as much to blame as is usually suggested. The principal reason, he says, for Germany's abilityto act on its resentment was the decision of the USA to absent itself from European affairs - isolationism.

Perhaps this interpretation is influenced by the fact of America's current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ultimate interventionist wars. Perhaps the issue of whether or not to intervene has been made so salient by these wars that it influences our historical thinking, and makes us re-evaluate the reasons behind the rise of Nazi Germany.

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