On the True Right, as indeed everywhere else, there is probably no topic more controversial than the question of revising the establishment view of the Second World War. However, the critical importance of the Second World War makes it inevitable that any movement of European revival will have to take up a position on it sooner or later. For what it’s worth, mine is as follows:
- The establishment view of the Second World War, which upholds the present evil and unjust order in Europe and legitimises the ethnic replacement of Europeans, must be revised;
- This revision must not proceed in the direction of whitewashing or ‘rehabilitating’ the justifiedly black reputation of Nazi Germany.
As these positions may appear contradictory to some, I should explain them as best I can.
The War as Pillar of an Anti-European Order
First of all, why should the controversial history of the Second World War be waded into at all? Given that the establishment is all too adept at smearing the discourse of the True Right as a morally reprehensible defence of Nazism, there are certainly many who wish to “step over” this toxic subject and concentrate exclusively on present-day problems.
I sympathise with this, but believe that we do not have the luxury of doing so. The Second World War – or rather the Establishment Myth of the Second World War – has become the central propaganda pillar of the progressivist world order that has taken shape since the war’s end, and is presently gutting Europe of its traditional heritage, its social vitality, and even its indigenous population. If we are to face down this illegitimate order in the present day, we must also face down its matrix of myths and half-truths about the events which allowed it to come to power.
Second, why should a revised account of the war reject attempts to ‘rehabilitate’ the Third Reich? I have no doubt that those for whom “revisionist history” on this subject means revising down the death tolls from German war atrocities (particularly the Jewish Holocaust) would object that no pro-European revision of the Establishment Myth can take place without removing the moral stain from the name of Nazism.
While I believe these individuals should be allowed to pursue their historical research under conditions of freedom of speech, I reject their perspective on both counts; that is to say, I do not think that the reputation of Nazism can or should be salvaged, and nor do I think that such a rehabilitation is necessary (assuming it could somehow be achieved) to a new understanding of the war that refutes the anti-European Establishment Myth. Without tarrying too long on a subject that is extensively discussed all over the internet, it is sufficient to say that even if the Third Reich’s crimes against Jews were to be left aside, its brutal treatment of the Eastern half of Europe (particularly the Poles) would be enough to render the reputation of Nazism a decidedly controversial, divisive, and morally tainted one in the eyes of most Europeans.
However, we can and should challenge the court historians’ unrealistic portrayal of Germany in the Second World War as uniquely immoral and evil, exclusively responsible for the outbreak of war, and compelled by its very ideology to aggress against its neighbours and slaughter non-Germans. These charges must be revised not because the Third Reich is worthy of moral rehabilitation, but because they legitimise the anti-European view of the war as a moral victory. If Nazi Germany was a uniquely evil entity that would have started a war or committed genocide no matter what, then the tragic implosion of Europe between 1939 and 1945 can be morally sanctified simply because it led to the destruction of this entity, and the millions of European victims can be written off as an inevitable and necessary blood sacrifice.
The Establishment Myth of the War
The major pillars of the Establishment Myth of the Second World War, some of them subtler than others but all of them unstable in the extreme, are as follows:
1. Conceptual separation of the First World War from the Second. This interpretative sleight of hand allows the court historians to admit the needless slaughter of the First World War, but take a far more positive and moralistic view of the Second.
In reality, the Second World War should be seen as a continuation of the First, if only because the aggressive irredentism of Hitler’s movement stemmed directly from the humiliation and territorial dismemberment forced upon Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty dictated a new European order in which the principle of “national self-determination” was applied to create new French allies in the East at the expense of Germany and Austria, but ignored wherever its application would strengthen Germany (e.g. by legitimising her union with Austria and other ethnically German areas of Europe). The desire, on both sides, to right the wrongs of Versailles motivated both Germany’s Heim ins Reich annexations in the 1930s (though not, of course, its colonial occupations of non-German areas) and the “appeasement” policy of the Western Powers, which is so often derided in the present day as an example of inexplicable cowardice.
The issue of war responsibility thus goes back to the decision of the victors of 1918 to impose a harsh peace on an unconquered Germany, and ultimately to the fatal decision of the European Powers to fall upon each other in the summer of 1914. While this wider perspective does not exonerate Germany from responsibility, it allows a more realistic distribution of ‘war guilt’, and also draws our attention to the collapse of the traditional European order rather than the moralistic myth of a battle between “democracy” and “totalitarianism”.
2. Unequal view of war atrocities. In the Establishment Myth, German war atrocities (such as the mass murder of Jews or the brutalisation of Poles) are implicitly seen as a cause of the war, while Allied war atrocities (such as the mass incineration of civilian populations by firebombing and nuclear weapons) are seen as a necessary result of the war.
Of course, this is not always literally believed in today, as it is fairly well understood (at least in Europe) that the Western Allies did not go to war for moral reasons. Nevertheless, the near-mythical belief in Hitler’s Germany as somehow “predestined” to commit mass murder allows the court historians to use German war atrocities as a post hoc justification for the war, and write off Allied war atrocities (along with, as we have mentioned above, the sacrifice of millions of European lives) as necessary or inevitable means to the noble end of destroying Germany. Thus the events of the war are inappropriately moralised, even as crocodile tears are shed over some of its “collateral damage”.
In reality, both sides’ atrocities should be seen as products of the war; that is to say, the conditions and pressures of wartime were the necessary prerequisite for these evil acts (a perspective that by no means exonerates the perpetrators). It is ridiculous to imply that Nazi Germany (whose victims on the eve of war still numbered in the hundreds, and which had jurisdiction over relatively few Poles and Jews prior to its wartime conquests) would have “shown its true colours” and started slaughtering non-Germans during peacetime had the outbreak of world war been averted. Moreover, it is equally mistaken to consider German and Allied atrocities as fundamentally different in form and intent. Allied atrocities included not only the incineration of entire cities, but also the expulsion of some 20 million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe at the end of the war, an act which followed the same logic as Nazi crimes against non-Germans. To avoid confusion it is worth noting that this ethnic cleansing was carried out in the East with the knowledge and approval of the Western Allies; that it targeted not only Nazi colonists but ethnic German populations who had lived in the East since the Middle Ages; and that it was conceived by the governments of Poland and Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the war, before any justification for such drastic “vengeance” had been furnished by the Germans.
3. Misrepresentation of the causes of the war’s outbreak. In Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, Patrick Buchanan goes a good job of demolishing several established misconceptions about the events leading up to the outbreak of war in September 1939.
Although the narrative of events in 1938 and 1939 is too long and complex to reproduce here, it will suffice to say that Hitler in 1939 was not bent on conquering Poland; he wanted a settlement on the ethnically German city of Danzig, and the preservation of Poland as an allied buffer state against the perceived Soviet menace in the East. It was the foolish, dishonest, and unprecedented British grant of a war guarantee to Poland which encouraged the Polish semi-dictatorship to maintain a rigid stance of defiance over Danzig, a stance which probably stemmed from Polish perceptions of the unexpected collapse of Czechoslovakia after she was forced to yield territory to Germany, Poland and Hungary.
Acknowledging this does not, of course, compel us to justify the Nazi obsession with gathering all ethnic Germans into the German Reich. But it detracts considerably from the myth of the war as a necessary last resort against implacable German aggression, which merely started too late to nip Hitler’s imperialist juggernaut in the bud. On the contrary, the impression given in Buchanan’s book is one of a continent that blundered into war in 1939 much as in 1914, and the state of the various combatants’ armed forces and strategic efforts at the beginning of the war would seem to support this.
4. Misrepresentation of the Soviet Union’s role in the war. This is perhaps the most important misrepresentation, given that the German-Soviet Eastern Front (1941-45) was the largest and bloodiest theatre of the Second World War, in which the course of the war was decided (at Moscow, Stalingrand, and Kursk) and the vast majority of Nazi atrocities took place.
Some of the implications of the Soviet role in the war for the Establishment Myth are very obvious. Its role as the major Allied combatant makes nonsense of the idea of a “war for democracy”; its imposition of the Iron Curtain upon half of Europe at the end of the war likewise makes nonsense of the idea of “a war to liberate Eastern Europe”; and its co-belligerence with Nazi Germany against Poland in September 1939 even makes nonsense of the idea of “a war started by Germany”. Rising awareness of these facts in the West seems to have forced the court historians to fall back on increasingly unconvincing intellectual contortions (such as hair-splitting over the differences between Nazi and Communist mass murder) to preserve the myth of a moral justification for the war.
A more difficult question is whether the Soviet Union was planning to attack Germany first, after allowing it to become sufficiently embroiled in war with the Western powers; this would lend some credence to Hitler’s 1941 declaration that Operation Barbarossa was a “preventative war” (although it does not, of course, preclude Hitler’s own independent desire to invade the Soviet Union in search of colonial territories, an idea that made its appearance in the pages of Mein Kampf). The “offensist theory” has long been associated with the highly opinionated work of Viktor Suvorov; but recent openings of Russian archives analysed by Mikhail Meltyukhov indicate a far stronger case than was once supposed.
The evidence marshalled by Meltyukhov (cited in Weeks, Stalin’s Other War – Meltyukhov’s original work has not been translated from Russian) includes a memorandum from top Soviet generals calling for a pre-emptive strike on Germany, speeches by Stalin calling for offensive war, and a review of the expansionist nature of Soviet ideology, as well as the telltale Red Army deployments to the West that were the focus of Suvorov’s work. Certain obvious facts – such as the folly of the Germans’ decision to embroil themselves in a two-front war for a second time, as well as the fact that so many Soviet divisions were caught close to the border in undefended positions in 1941 – also become very difficult to understand without reference to the possibility of a Soviet invasion plan. A revision along these lines would present a more balanced picture of responsibility for the outbreak of hostilities on the war’s most tragic front.
5. Moralised account of Europe’s reduced status since the war. No establishment discourse on the Second World War is complete without a “happy ending” of moralistic self-congratulation over Europe’s profound transformations since the end of the war. It is certainly true that since the defeat of Nazism in 1945 and the enshrining of progressivist and democratic principles, Europe has ceased its imperialist domination of large swathes of the world, and no longer suffers from internecine territorial warfare between its different states.
However, these facts hold no more moral significance than is held by the fact that an aged and physically exhausted individual, afflicted with terminal cancer, and delivered into the control of others “for his own good”, is no longer at risk of getting into bar fights or impregnating the girl next door. Postwar Europe (I am thinking particularly of Britain here) did not abandon its colonial presence on the basis of high-minded principles, but because it no longer had the means to maintain such a presence; and it has ceased internecine warfare not because it has risen above the concept of national differences, but because it has effectively been a protectorate of other powers since 1945 (which is probably also the true cause of widespread pacifist sentiment in modern Europe). Of course, we on the True Right would not wish a revived Europe to resume either foreign colonisation or internecine warfare; but for the anti-European establishment to rebrand as “moral triumphs” what were in fact physical defeats is a ridiculous distortion of reality.
The Second World War as Europe’s Defeat
I have so far alluded several times to the Establishment Myth of the Second World War, but have not yet got around to describing it in detail. The basic content of the myth might be laid out as follows:
The Second World War was a moral contest between Good and Evil, brought about as an inevitable consequence of Nazi Germany’s uniquely evil ideology of racial imperialism, which found its natural and inevitable expression in the German atrocities committed during the war. Although the Western Powers should have acted sooner to crush the Nazi regime by force, their failure to do so condemned Europe to conquest, enslavement and genocide unless Germany was defeated in war, and thus the sacrifice of millions of European lives – as well as the Western Powers’ war atrocities, collaboration with the Soviet tyranny, and exhaustion of national blood and treasure – was necessary (read: “inevitable”, “unavoidable”) to the moral victory of destroying the Nazi regime. The war saw the triumph of the West’s most beautiful ideals (progressivism, democracy, “anti-racism”) over its “dark underbelly” (reaction, fascism, imperialism), and the pacifist, culturally progressivist, and increasingly ethnically-replaced Europe established since the war represents the expression of these high ideals. However, the good work is not yet finished: the spirit of fascism/reaction lives on as a dark “original sin” present in all people of European race (read: defence of European tradition, positive consciousness of European racial descent, resistance to ethnic replacement), and this original sin must be continually extirpated, both in European individuals and in the European polity as a whole.
I hope that we have read enough by now to recognise in this account not only a justification of the criminally anti-European policies taking place in the present day, but also a mendacious stitching together of myths, half-truths, and dubious interpretations regarding the historical events of the Second World War. Let us put forward a more truthful interpretation of the war:
The Second World War was a continuation of the tragic and unnecessary slaughter of the First World War which destroyed the traditional European order, and these two internecine wars represent an epic defeat from which European civilisation has yet to recover. Although the outbreak of the Second World War was directly related to the conclusion of the First, it might conceivably have been averted, and all participants bear various degrees of responsibility for allowing such a disaster to take place. In hindsight the ideological motives of all combatants are seen to have been fundamentally mistaken; moral ideals played no part in the initiation of the conflict, and during its course were debased and betrayed rather than redeemed or fulfilled; most of the major combatants committed appalling and reprehensible atrocities; the national objectives of the European combatants were not achieved, the result of the war was incomparably worse for all concerned than any conceivable scenario in which it had not occurred, and the flower of the European peoples essentially died for no worthy purpose. The pacifist, culturally progressivist, and increasingly ethnically-replaced Europe established since the war is an legacy of physical defeat and occupation, spiritual and psychic decay, and the failure of Europeans to recover from the damage inflicted to their civilisation by the wars. Within this defeated husk of Europe, the ideology of progressivism acts as a cancerous impulse towards further destruction: slandering, effacing and extirpating all impulses that might restore Europe to its former health and glory, and thus continuing the unfinished work of the Second World War.
It is in the light of this reinterpretation that we see just how poisonous and repugnant is the Establishment Myth of the War. Not only does this myth morally sanctify the violent deaths of more than 35 million Europeans; it also acts as a spiritually incapacitating check on their descendants, preventing any true recovery from the defeat and devastation of their civilisation. It is impossible to recover from a defeat when one is prevented even from thinking of it as such; and one cannot avenge a humiliation having been taught to take pride in it as a moral victory. More shamelessly still, the Establishment Myth dares to leverage Europe’s greatest historical disaster as justification for its submission to the will of other powers and further destruction by ethnic replacement, to the profit of parasitic ruling elites. Modern Europeans, like the wretched Chinese protagonist of Lu Xun’s True Story of Ah Q, exist in a state of delusion in which the refusal to endure the pain of one’s debasement (a debasement that is made no sweeter for us by the illusory trappings of a decadent and enslaving consumerism) also ensures that no rectification is possible.
However, this diagnosis also suggests a form of treatment. If the mythology obscuring Europe’s defeat in the Second World War is mercilessly hammered into dust – and if the stain of moral infamy is allowed to rest upon all of the savage atrocities committed during the war, with no cheap moral justifications or rationalisations brooked for any part of the tragic and regrettable slaughter – then out of that negative reality might come the positive idea of European rebirth, a full century after the mortal wound was suffered.
After all, it is already a hundred years since the fateful beginning of Europe’s implosion in 1914; and during the next 30 years, the brute fact of Europe’s decline and its attendant existential crisis will surely become impossible for any amount of “bread and circuses” to obscure. It is a good time to declare war upon a ruling establishment whose high-flown talk of moral victories cannot conceal the death-stench clearly marking it as an abortion from a defeated Europe.
William Solniger maintains a blog at www.solniger.net