Why did the German people allow WWII to start?

When I was a child, I had a question re why Germany did not rid itself of bunch that took it over for war purposes; that bunch brought on terrible grief for the German people and wreaked terrible senseless damage to lots of people in other countries. Why did the German people allow their country to be used to do that?

By the time I was in kindergarden, America was at war. My formative years were in awareness of war's spectacular effects, even at the fairly sheltered level of childhood. Suddenly no sugar for my morning's cereal; a bit of honey instead, not all that bad. Gas for the family car was rationed, stamps had to be used to be allowed to buy gas to make the car go. Some kinds of foods were also rationed, there were food stamps. There were long lines to buy certain kinds of things. My mother had to stand in line for many hours to buy a pair of stockings. In the rare times we went to the movies, the intermission consisted of a newsreel showing spectacular scenes of air warfare that had happened recently. It was the way the world was to me as a boy, not knowing anything else. Many of my toys were embodiments of warfare stuff; the toys I made for myself out of balsa and glue and paint using my treasured X-Acto knife set, often were models of warplanes and guns, symbols of exciting action of the time... although some also weer of the western Colt sixshooter and imaginary spacecraft too.

What little I knew of the work my dad did indicated much of it involved getting the war aircraft made and tested for use. Although much of life also was involved with surviving severe asthma and we moving to arid areas thinking it would help the asthma problem, I recall one place we lived where a noteworthy part of my father's work life involved being on the very first test flight of every other P-38 that took off - a super fighter plane not noted for safety - this was a small fleet of special P-38s that were fitted for two people, the second seat was for a radar operator and dad was in that seat testing the radar functionality, he being one of two people responsible for their inclusion in the airplanes, and so the two people took turns flying on the first flight of each of those new special aircraft, to be delivered for nighttime recon in Europe.

The war seemed to be the horrid creation of Germany, who had conned a couple of other countries into joining in on the takeover effort, Italy and Japan. Germany was said to be a nation characterized by bunches of super big athletes called Storm Troopers, a bunch of super snoops called the SS who spent their time watching the German people and kidnapping them at home to never be seen again, and super competent scientists and engineers devoted to making war paraphenalia like V2 rocket bombs.

I was also dimly aware that my family name was of German origin way way back, generations here in America, and generations before that in England, but somewhere way back there the Cline name was of German origin, it was said, so surely Germans were not intrinsically bad. "Cline" was derived from the word "klein" meaning "small or little" in the German language. We were nice folks. Why were others of German origin so rowdy, some even infatuated with massive destruction and urge to control others?

Then the war was over. Gradually I became aware of a different kind of world. News told of the division of Germany between our country and the Soviets, who also had taken a beating by the Germans. The whole country was in ruin and the conquerers not in a good mood, understandably.

Years went by and much was put out of mind and some forgotten. Some forgiveness happened. The Germans were not the only ones who who could mangle and destroy, such people were everywhere including in our own stomping grounds. Yet they had to be kept from taking the place over, or same thing that happened in Germany would happen elsewhere. Someone had too wisely said that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" or something like that; the availability of war potential was simply too attractive to those who ... were of mind to use them on others, who knows what creates those minds, bullies suprema.

So the question formed out of the haze: why didn't the German people put a stop to the bunches that were stirring up war? If they had done that, the suffering of the German people would not have happened, nor the tragedies that were heaped on others around the world in the craze to conquer others.

Sometimes one needs to be careful about what one wants to know, I now realize.


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