Social Question

Charles's avatar

Do people in Germany and Japan feel that their countries "started" WWII?

Asked by Charles (4815points) May 24th, 2012

Do people in these countries feel that had their countries not “started” the wars, they wouldn’t have suffered the consequences (atom bombs, Dresden bombings for example) that they did? Do the people of these counties (not “Do you feel these countries…”) feel their countries made a mistake.

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11 Answers

Linda_Owl's avatar

The actual people of these countries were not in control, it was the governments of these countries who started WWII. In Germany an egocentric took center stage & swept the people along who were still trying to recover from WWI. In Japan I think the government was looking for a way to surmount trade restrictions & a sense of superiority.

mazingerz88's avatar

I worked with a Japanese agency producing a documentary on AIDS and sex education in the Philippines in the mid-90’s. Japan funded this project amongst many as part of their goodwill mission in helping countries they have invaded in WW2. We did not discuss the war. Knowing the reason why they are spending money on those projects was enough.

Every year, however…I guess the Chinese and Filipinos are irked and feel violated whenever some Japanese people visit and honor the graves of their WW2 military commanders. I haven’t had the chance to speak directly with one of those Japanese who do these honorings. They must think they have every right to wage that war.

As for Germany, I have a friend who visited once and spoke to some present day Germans who watched Hitler’s old videos and were baffled as to how their older generation ever followed such a lunatic.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @Linda_Owl
There have always been dissenters that have not agreed with their countries politics and political leaders, but, when dissenting means death, well…most citizens were victims in their own right. Don’t forget how many HEROS came from these wars, all the way from those that chose to risk their own lives in piloting american slaves via the underground railroad to other citizens that hid and helped the “enemy.” You cannot toss entire populations into the rotten stew pot.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can’t speak for Japan, but I can tell you that in Germany, people I talked to of my generation (between 40–60 years old) are ashamed of what their parents’ generation did. They absolutely acknowledge that the wars were begun by Germany and they feel some sort of responsibility for what happened.

In my experience, this generation does not feel guilt – after all, they didn’t do it. But they feel remorse and (at least some of them) felt that they had to do some sort of ‘penance’ – giving back, making the world better, as a result.

Everyone I talked to did – to one degree or another – rationalize things by saying that economic conditions were bad in germany and that was fertile ground for extremists.

To a person, they all feel that what happened in WWII is history and should be learned from, but not dwelled on.

ragingloli's avatar

We definitely started WW2.
WW1, we did not start. That “honour” belongs to the Austro-Hungarian empire when it invaded Serbia.

King_Pariah's avatar

And a continuation on @ragingloli‘s point is that if the US didn’t get involved in WWI, there is a strong possibility WWII would have never occurred, at the least, Hitler wouldn’t have risen to power.

ragingloli's avatar

There are a lot of things whose nonexistance could have prevented WW2. The main ones are the Treaty of Versailles and its astronomic reparations, giving Germany the sole blame for WW1, Hitler surviving WW1, and of course the Great Depression which started in a certain place.

ucme's avatar

My money’s on China ushering in the final installment of the trilogy.

ragingloli's avatar

I disagree. China’s economy depends too much on its export.

ucme's avatar

I never said I was a profitable gambler, now did I?
It’s hoped that “3” will never see the light of day anyway, way too much risk for all concerned.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. Nazi Germany started the second world war. The first world war was also caused by Russia, Britain, and France.

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