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tv   Reel America Here is Germany - 1945  CSPAN  August 23, 2020 4:19pm-5:10pm EDT

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worth investigating. during their free time, gi's are visiting century-old religious shrines, and finding out about the religions of the east. in spite of many differences, we have much in common. ♪ american entertainment, for example, is very much favored in japan. the average japanese shares this interest with us enthusiastically. he wants to get away from it all just as much as the average american. ♪ in previous years he was allowed to purchase seats only in certain sections of the theater. now, no seats are reserved. ♪ the japanese have been interested in baseball. this is in the big-league stuff -- this is not
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the big-league stuff yet, but someday it may be. ♪ for many years the american pastime has been the japanese pastime. based ballparks are jammed, and the fans root for their favorites with plenty of spirit. it could be brooklyn. but this american influence may be one of the most remarkable in the history books of tomorrow. japan's first steps on the road to democracy. a short time ago japan was declaring aggressive war on democracies of the world. today, the japanese people are sincerely anxious to learn the idea they fought against. they look forward to the day when they will become a peaceful member of the united nations. ♪
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪
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>> this was germany, a beautiful country. ♪ a historic country. ♪ a prosperous country. ♪ a modern country. ♪
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the german people, a clean and tidy people. ♪ an educated people. ♪ a musical people. ♪ ♪
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♪ an industrious people. ♪ these people look all right. the mailman, the farmer, the cop, they all pretty much look like the folks back home. holding jobs. raising families. enjoying life. they certainly look like the kind of people we can understand. or can we? a quiet, decent people who prepared 20 years to bring war into the world. a religious people who burned
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churches, imprisoned ministers persecute the faithful. ,a kindly people who accept blood purchase on grounds concentration camps. , the gentle people who tortured, starved, exterminate. were men. they died in german concentration camps. ♪
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these too were men. they did not quite die. ♪ these bones were men, women and children sent to be exterminated in the german death factory. ♪ this is the scientifically designed gas chamber. ♪ this the furnace for burning the corpses. this, the clothing of the
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victims which the germans methodically salvaged. these, the children's toys, carefully collected for the use of german children. these are objects of art made by german guards. objects of art made of human skin. these were poles murdered by the germans before they left the town. these were italians murdered by the germans before they left rome. ♪ these were belgians murdered by the germans before they left town. these were americans, defenseless prisoners of war murdered by the germans. these are some of the reasons
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why the german farmer, and the german mailman, and the german cop can't be quite like the people back home. that's why we got to look a little deeper into the german character. the character of the people who plunged the world into two wars in a generation and each time claimed they were victims of an attack. that is the puzzle we've got to solve if we are to save our children from the third ward. the puzzle of that clean, industrious people. fond of kids, fond of music. fond of tyranny, fond of aggressive, fond of gas chambers. what gave the germans that character? what makes them think, act, feel this way? hitler would have answered, german blood. we don't think so hopeless of you. too many of our friends and neighbors have had german blood. that same blood we have seen in great americans. ♪
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for what makes them american is not any special precious sort of blood, but the tradition we have inherited. it is tradition, not blood, that patterns the way we think, and act and feel. our ancestors came here to escape tyranny. that's part of the american tradition. that's why no american can believe in any government that is not of the people, by the people, and for the people. they came to be able to pray in any way they wanted or in any church they wanted. that's why freedom of religion is part of our tradition. in school we learned that none of us are any better than any other american, or any of us in the world for that matter. there is no privileged few but all men have equal rights. that's the tradition we were brought up in.
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at home, at school, among our friends, at our jobs. that is the tradition that made us what we are. now, what is the tradition that has made this man? how does it differ from ours? that's a we have to find out. these germans were selected by nazis cameras as ideal german types. let's call one of them karl schmidt, a self termed member of the master race who goose stepped his way across an entire continent. his father did the same goose-step and followed the same road of conquest. and the grandfather of schmidt did the same goose-step entered the same path of aggression. the same goose-step, the same will of aggression, the same lust for conquest. you knew their leader as hitler. your father knew the leader as the kaiser. your grandfather remembers bismarck. your father's generation was threatened. and your grandfather -- the
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nazis and the prussians. three different names for three different generations of germans attempting to inflict their will on others by force. three generations following a tradition so different from ours. let's go back even further and see how this tradition began. ♪ 150 years ago there was no single country called germany. instead, a loose conglomeration of 300 little states without a common history, religion or literature. even -- in america even at that time we were living under the , democratic constitution we enjoy today. the british could look back on hundreds of years of parliamentary government. the french had made their revolution in the name of liberty, equality, fraternity. but the 300 little german states were still the property of autocratic princes and ruled without the consent of their people. not one had a constitution, not
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one had a parliament, not one had freedom of speech or of the press or of assembly. instead, a rigidly organized medieval society, with all power centralized in the hands of a feudal lord. a prime example was prussia, the most aggressive of the german state, where the younger -- junckers, the military caste of land owners, ruled their peasants with iron discipline. to perpetuate this futile militaristic society, the prussians established a rigid code of law, administered by a host of state officials, answerable only to him. this was the perfect system to prevent any rise of liberty among its subjects. it was also the perfect system to make possible ruthless aggression against the world. i begin by taking. i shall find scholars afterward
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to demonstrate my perfect right. and he took. first he invaded prussia's brother country austria without a declaration of war. [gunshots] the result, victory. ♪ for seven years he fought single-handed against austria, russia, sweden and france. thus creating throughout the other german states the myth that prussian arms were invincible. ♪
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in 1786, frederick died, but frederick's dream and frederick's conquest lived on. nurtured and developed by the prussian militarist, was a guard at each war is only one campaign in an unending war for prussian supremacy in europe. to this end, the organizer and the strategist established the prussian general staff. the theorist set down their gospel in his famous book, "on war." just as prussia has been slated to be the core of germany so germany can be the core of the future german empire of the west. the book became the bible of the prussian military.
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concord people should be left with nothing but their eyes to weep with. but even as the militarists were plotting, a wave of liberalism swept over europe. and ordinary men began to think for themselves to fight for themselves and demand what had long been accepted in england , america and france, a constitution. the king of prussia asks, never must a scrap of paper come between me and my country. -- my subjects. a constitution, a scrap of paper. some citizens determined on liberty went to the barricades. the machinery of the prussian state went into action. the revolt died. the will to liberty was not strong enough within the people to defy the voice of authority. one result of which, men with a love of liberty began to leave prussia and the other german states. in the next 30 years, 2 million of them came to find freedom in
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the united states alone. while their cousins remaining behind, were molded into ruthless automatons ready to , follow blindly the will of the leader. and that leader arose. otto von bismarck, appointed prime minister of prussia in 1862. a clever man, a shrewd man, but devoted to the prussian dream of conquest and a master of the prussian method of achieving it. the great questions of the day will not be decided by revolutions of majorities, but by blood and iron. and to go with it, ruthless discipline at home. as soon as anybody can show me that it is sound policy, i shall be equally satisfied to see our troops fire at the french, the russians, or the english. or the austrians. two years after bismarck became prime minister, he provoked a war against denmark. ♪
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the result, victory. ♪ two years later, against austria. ♪ the result, another victory. ♪ four years later the great test against france. an amazed world stood by as prussia, until then a minor power, dared to challenge the strongest nation in europe. the result, another victory. ♪
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this was the moment of triumph that changed the history of the world. the prussian dream of conquest was no longer a dream. the german princes saw the prussian eagle soaring triumphant in the european sky. now they clamored on the bandwagon and united under prussian leadership to join the german empire. and in the hall of mirrors and -- in versailles the heart of , defeat, bismarck saw its prussian king crowned german emperor. absolute monarch of a new emperor founded on blood, iron , and conquest. its symbol victorious. emblem of victory. not the liberty bell, not the
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magna carta, not any symbol of freedom, but victoria, the symbol of conquest. thus, prussia had created germany. and the myth of russian -- prussian superiority had become the myth of the master race. and if the karl schmidt of that generation had any worry about the liberties that had been denied, they were now forgotten. in this moment of triumph, just to be a german was enough. in the newly created reich, industry flourished as never before. the merchant fleet grew larger every day. german harbors were jammed with commerce. and german stomachs filled with beer and sausage. germany had achieved unity, become rich, no other country threatened her. the world hoped for a peaceful, good neighbor. but the world had forgotten the
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prussian tradition that germany had inherited. a tradition not of peace, but of war and conquest. [gunshots] [singing] [german national anthem] and by now, karl schmidt of the second generation. generation wethe had to fight was arrogantly singing "germany, germany overall." as he probably watched his fatherland becoming the most aggressively nationalistic country in the world. industry was carefully controlled for the policies of the great general. for in the new reich, bismarck added a fourth to the structure of a warlike state. frederick's militarist, landowners, and state officials had been joined by the big industrials. a gigantic railroad system was laid out, more according to
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strategic war plans than the necessities of peacetime trade. one of the largest navies was constructed. the army was built up to staggering proportions. ♪ and the german officer was the idol of the nation, the personification of german ambition. in colleges the sport of german youth was not football, but the deadly jewel. the scar was the badge of honor. the more scars the handsomer. man'shey not proof the arms. and competitively watching all stood the great general staff. still directed by the prussians. secure in the knowledge that their power and knowledge was
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indisputable. germany was geared for war. all it needed was a new leader to give the word. and again, that leader was at hand. william ii, the kaiser that your father knew. not a shrewd, clever cynic like andarck, but a vain arrogant braggart, yet a leader in the german tradition. we germans like to bear arms and we like the game of war. i shall enlarge your borders. and what did karl schmidt's father say to all that? [chanting] a german spark is always ignited the fire. soon everything will be aflame. [chanting] through one international crisis after the other, the kaiser rattled his sword, loudly demanding germany's place in the sun. proposing international agreement for disarmament but
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, disarmament did not suit the plans of the german militarists, landowners, state officials, or industrialists. they wanted their own way, and and their own way meant war. war was inevitable. it only needed an incident. ♪ [explosion] and how did this second-generation karl schmidt react to the prospect of a world war? berlin took on the air of a carnival. ♪
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blindly, joyfully, the people cheered the kaiser eager to , follow the leader under a new march to conquest. so in august of 1914, carl schmidt of the second generation, indoctrinated with 150 years of prussian tradition, marched off to set the world aflame. ♪ had he not been taught? did he not believe that whatever germany demands is right? [explosion] even when he marched through belgium, dismissing a solemn neutrality pact as a scrap of paper. even when german scientists developed poison gas in violation of international agreements, which germany had solemnly signed. even when, in violation of all
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the great codes of war, german u-boats deliberately sent to the bottom unarmed merchant ships without warning. thus what his father had done to france, to denmark, to austria, this second-generation karl schmidt attempted to do to the world. our own president wilson said, "i was for a little while, unable to believe that things would in fact be done by any government, that had subscribed to the human practices of civilized nations." ♪ "but only when we realized we were directly threatened, when every protest had been ignored, and germany carried the war into our own waters, did we feel compelled to fight." ♪ [singing]
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♪ [shouting] ♪ [gunshots] ♪ [gunshots]
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>> finally, under the combined attack of the allied, the german army started to crumble, to fall back, to run from battle. germany was at the mercy of the allied. general von ludendorff, the german chief of staff and virtual dictator, was forced to send a secret message to the berlin government. the offer of peace must be transmitted immediately. the army cannot wait another 48 hours. the allies could grant the armistice or fight on to unconditional surrender. the wartime french leader urged that the allies should march triumphant into berlin. our own general pershing said complete victory can only be obtained like continuing the war until we are forced under conditional surrendering. but the world would not listen. so golden was the thought of
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peace that the armistice was granted. we celebrated. not only because the war was over, but because it seemed we put an end to german militarism forever. hadn't the german army been beaten? hadn't the german plan for conquest failed? [cheering] hadn't the kaiser run away to holland, and his war leader seeking refuge in sweden? and wasn't germany now in the -- a republic apparently like , our own, based on liberty and equality? didn't that prove karl schmidt rid himself of the old german tradition? that's what your father thought when he celebrated in 1918. let's see what really happened. when defeat was imminent, the men who caused the war stepped conveniently into the background, leaving the weak opposition parties to take over. that was how overnight germany became a republic. it had elected representatives
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, all the appearances of democracy. but beneath the surface the old , german system when on as before. the state officials of the kaiser's empire were the state officials of the new republic. the industrialists of the empire ran the industries of the republic. even the same teachers presided over the same classrooms, preaching the same gospel of nationalism and german racial superiority. and above all, the general staff of the empire continued to function, even though secretly. the function, even though secretly. old germany still lived, and karl schmidt too never really changed. in the first place he never believed that his army had been defeated. during the four years of the war he was told only of an unending ring of victory. news of defeat had been kept from him. when the fighting ceased, wasn't his glorious army still on soil. germany itself still on invaded? and because germany was granted
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an armistice instead of being forced to unconditional karl schmidt never saw allied soldiers marching through his capital. instead, the german army home again after the armistice. bands playing, colors flying. like the army of frederick the great, like bismarck's army. certainly not like a concord army. why then did germany sign an armistice? himself? dt asked why then a year later what he called the shame treaty of versailles? why was germany, in his judgment and undefeated germany, excepting the penalties of defeat? karl schmidt was looking for a scapegoat. he found one. the one the german war leaders had always planned that he should find.
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karl schmidt never blamed the men who had caused the war. instead, he blamed the men who would sign the peace. the ill-fated german republic meant a bunch of traders that would stab the fatherland in the back. and the general staff, the great landowners, the industrialists, state officials smiled contented. not only did they escape blame themselves, but they had smeared the idea of democracy in germany. it was a blow from which it would never recover. karl schmidt would go back to the old tradition. of the tradition of frederick and bismarck and the kaiser. the tradition of militarism and war. but wasn't the versailles treaty designed to prevent carl schmitt starting another war even if he wanted to? by this treaty the germans began to disband their staff to limit , their army to 100,000 men, to
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hand over their fleet, to de-militarize the rhineland and coastal fortification. they bound themselves never again to build an airport, or submarine, and to force a treaty. the cologne sector for five years, another for 10, another for 15. further there was the league of nations designed to prevent germany or any other country from starting a war of aggression. yet only 20 years later, the the karl schmidts of our generation were on their way for smashing the world into submission. ♪ how was karl schmidt unable to
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rearm -- able to rearm so quickly? like every country after the war germany faced hard times. , but in germany, careful manipulation made its results much worse for the millions of karl schmidts. inflation made clever people rich and canceled the huge debts of the landowners. it broke karl schmidt. then came the depression. that cost him his job. so hunger was added to his resentment and bitterness. this was the moment for which the unholy quartet had waited. now the militarists, the landowners, state officials, the industrialists emerged from self thought -- sought obscurity. their plans were ready. now they went to work. what is the cause of your troubles? the treaty of versailles. who signed the treaty act? the democrats.
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and why are you serving? -- starving? to pay for reparations. who started the war so the crown prince and the french? who lost the war at hindenburg? the democrats, the communists, the traitors. karl schmidt listened. he was hearing the story he wanted to hear. victim of a vast conspiracy he told himself. the world was against him and once again he was being taught to hate. once again he was looking for revenge. and revenge was possible because the world allowed him to tear up the versailles treaty clause by clause. instead of enforcing it, we americans refused to sign it and withdrew our army of occupation after only nine months. the british, even though germany was consistently violating it, pulled out after five years.
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the french made final attempt to one enforce the treaty. they marched into one region. but this made them so unpopular in a world drenched with heartbreaking german propaganda that they withdrew solidly behind the imaginary line. now, let's see what would have happened had the treaty been enforced. without a general staff, germany could not have planned world war ii. from a demilitarized rhineland, she could not have attacked france. with an army of 100,000, she could not have attacked the soviet union. without submarines, she could not threaten our own atlantic lifeline. the treaty of versailles was not important. as for the league of nations, we refused to join it. and other countries paid a little more than lip service. so once again, germans began to march. not in the open at first, but on disguised drill fields.
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masquerading as patriotic veteran organizations. or as the so-called technical auxiliary corps, formed in case of desperate situations. vigilante groups claiming to protect the citizens against communism. or in school simply under the name of -- but always under the supervision of army officers. the old german tradition was on its way back. but to the victorious allies the , german leaders sang a different tune. peace, friendship and a piteous cry for help. fate is the fate of the world. district is the district of the world. prosperity of individual nations is the prosperity of all. one day to come over to america and visit your beautiful country myself. , political and economic situation today is
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extremely difficult. [indiscernible] enemies ares former repressing here. >> when the german leaders wind they were too poor to pay they weres --whined too poor to pay, we believed them. they received additional billions granted them in loans. they used the money to build up their industry for another war. we began to sympathize with karl hmidt. why should he suffer because his father started a war? maybe the versailles treaty was not fair. maybe the french have been too tough. maybe it was the british, or maybe wilson wasn't very practical. we were seeing the pleasant sides of germany. his clean and tidy people.
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this is a cool people. this industrious people. this historic country. this beautiful country. but behind this peaceful facade, the germans prepared again for aggression. ♪ and as germany began to rearm, its leaders planned the deathblow for the german republic. they had already taken it over for their purposes, installing the agent von hindenburg as president. but it was still in structure a
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democracy. that meant liberals and unions and free speech and free opposition. in the german leaders knew that as frederick and bismarck and the kaiser had known, with ruthless aggression abroad, ruthless discipline at home. the time had come for the republic to be eliminated. they needed a tool with which to appeal to the germans' old fashion for superiority and conquest. not a futile monarch, nor an aristocratic landowner, nor someone like the kaiser, but a corporal of the german army with a fanatic gleam in his eye and the power to arouse a mob. >> speaking the same of doctrine of his predecessor, the old document that it never failed without the german people,
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himself jobless, uneducated, resentful, had learned gathered around medassets like misfits like himself, people not as common as they thought they should be, people with inferiority complexes: wanted to shout for a crowd. people who wanted power but were too lazy to work for, cheap anxious to be led, dope addicts, perverts, bullies. those germans who were liberally minded regarding hitler's is only a joke or a nuisance but the german nationalist well knew responsibility. they knew he was capable of administering the deathblow to the german republic, of forging the german people into a single mode. militarists who saw their chance to build a
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mighty war machine, backed by the monarchy, backed by big business who saw in him their chance of economic domination of the world, backed by thousands, he saw -- they saw in him their chance. of all of these groups, hitler's sword ahead -- hitler soared ahead. to the workers lower ridges, to , to thents, lower rents landlords, a higher rent. to the consumer, lower prices, but most of all, they promised revenge on the world, that germany would become its most powerful empire. 1933, the nazis received more
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votes than any other political party and von hindenburg installed kittler as its leader. this was the deathblow. from that moment, the german republic was dead. four weeks later the nazis had fired to the right stand and screamed that the republican been supplanted by the communists. hitler proclaimed -- party,as only one hitler's party. there was no debate. the deputies were stooges who applauded, got paid, went home. trade unions were abolished. to german labor front discipline the workers and teach them what you think. literature, all abroad
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destroyed unless it supported what german leaders were trying to sell. scientists, positions, there unlessns were banned they supported the nazi ideology. hitler added professional gangsters, armed thugs to support his decree. if a german officer had been the idea of the kaiser democracy, the stormtrooper became the idea of hitler's. persecution was on the march. freedom of speech now meant concentration camps, torture, death. freedom of religion, riot and church burning. freedom of opinion, the execution of his acts. freedom of the press, the gestapo took care of that.
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carl schlitt could be indoctrinated like his grandfather before him. more thoroughly, more efficiently, with all resources of science and the modern state. the german press became a nazi press. the german airwaves opened only two nazi voices. -- naziers, nazi papers books, nazi pamphlets, these were all the people could read. drama, nazis, nazi music, this is all people could hear. the art of german, the sculpture, the painting, the drama all regimented to serve one purpose, the indoctrination of carl schmidt. heard.ce must only be what a voice from the cradle to .he grave, the voice of hitler scores of microphones with cameras were used to photograph hitler and record his voice so
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that all the germany would receive the message of him. was photographed from the front, from the back, from the right, from the left, from every .ngle, hitler sobbing, hitler smiling, hitler shouting. working people into a frenzy. [indiscernible] >> [speaking german] tendernessst be note and youth. i went to see in their eyes at the gleam of the beast of prey. german]ng
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>> brutality is respected. i shall spread terror. today, germany. tomorrow, the world. g german]in >> that is how carl schmidt got kids soul. theindustrialist, landowners, and gangster chieftains put their plans into effect and prepared carl schmidt or his generations attempt to smash the world into submission. that is how carl schmidt was trained for conquest, just how is father was trained and his father before him. accepting andn adding to the german tradition, the tradition of ruthlessness
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and medieval barbarism. the tradition of a master race. of germanion superiority. these are some of your explanations. the murdered belgians of bombay. the murdered americans at normandy. these are the reasons why in our generation nearly 30 million men have had to die. the cause deep in the soul of schmidt. of carl unless that passion is uprooted, hence, ar 100 years new generation of germans will
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find a new leader will show them the way. how shall that be prevented? been made. has this time, things are being done differently. at the end of the last work, and arm assisted by negotiation. this time, unconditional surrender. today, carl schmidt knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was defeated. at the end of the last war, german armies parading through berlin. .his time ♪ the legend of german invincibility lights once and for all a shattered myth. after the last war, the german general staff continued the punishment. to date, not only the general army but the entire german court will be dissolved and they will be forever prevented from plotting another attempt at world conquest. after the last work, german
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industry was unimpaired. ,oday, much of it lies in ruin and such undamaged industrial plants as they are permitted to operate will operate under control. after the last war, the same as state officials remained in office. is forever-- deprived. in allser found refuge in. anyone else they thought we are in danger when away. war criminals must answer for their crimes. war, germanst education was untouched. today, all nazi document has been destroyed. fortextbooks prepared german use under our direction, not the germans. after the last war, this small area of germany was occupied. today, every square inch is


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