Dr. Fred Eichelman: Similarities Between Pre-World War One and Today

Dr. Fred Eichelman

One of my favorite subjects in college was “Europe Since 1914”. That was in the fifties and it is amazing how much of that rings true today.

For years, World War One had two descriptions, The Great War and The War To End All Wars. Neither was entirely true as it paved the way for global problems we have today. 

At the so-called end of that war, The Treaty of Versailles and the newly formed League of Nations established new boundary lines for new nations that were without the full agreement of most of the inhabitants of those regions. Most notable was the “War Crimes Act” which assigned a major part of the guilt for the war on the German Empire though the war was actually started by the Austrian-Hungarian and Russian Empires. This led to great poverty in Germany which paved the way for an Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. 

In the 1930’s Germany was considered the most cultural and educated nation in the world. Doctors in American universities and hospitals made good use of German accents, many times fake, as it established them as “knowledgable”.

Then how did Hitler rise to power? In the thirties, The Great Depression hit Germany harder than most nations and newsreels showed scenes of Germans taking wheel barrels of worthless German money just to buy a little food. Germany’s leader was former army commander Paul von Hindenburg. Hindenburg was of the caliber of our current president, Joe Biden, and had little support holding the German people together. Like Biden, he was a very weak leader. Hitler was made his Vice Chancellor as he seemed to excite the German people who felt they needed someone stronger.

At that time in America, there was a tendency to make light of Hitler, consider him a joke even after he became chancellor. There were movie shorts run about him in our theaters in which he was, with his Italian ally, Benito Mussolini, portrayed as part mad and part idiot. And yet he could gather a crowd of hundreds of thousands of German citizens just to hear him rant and rave in speeches. We laughed at that in newsreels, and that was a major mistake.

In Asia the newly formed Japanese Empire conquered a part of China and much of the Pacific area. The Japanese military leader Tojo took control of the Emperor and was a natural ally for Hitler.

Hitler himself was surprised at times about his success. When he moved into the Alsace-Lorraine region of France he expected resistance that never came. This was an area France and Germany had contested for as early as 1870-71. It has been surmised that had the French put up a real resistance to this that Hitler would have hesitated in his goal to take over all of Europe, which he eventually did.

If this sounds familiar, it should. This writer feels like he is reliving her earliest years in the 1930s and 40’s, only we now  have a greater Axis power collection of enemies, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. FOX News anchor Tucker Carlson believes that with two of these being atomic powers, we could be in danger of Nuclear War–a war that could wipe out the world.

No matter how you feel about our involvement in the Ukraine, this could be the powder keg. It does not take much. It was just the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo (the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina) on 28 June 1914 that eventually led to the outbreak of the First World War. It would seem that a lot worse is going on right now.

Dr. Fred Eichelman

Dr. Fred Eichelman is a retired teacher and a director for Point North Outreach, a Christian media organization. He recently had a book published, Faith, Family, Film-A Teacher's Trek. Fred is a former local Republican Committee chairman and has attended hundreds of conventions from political to science fiction. He sees the two as compatible. Fred also tells us he values very much a title we gave him since he could not be a PolitiChick. PolitiDude.

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