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Post The All-Importance of Self-Determination in Europe
Created by John Eipper on 01/26/20 8:41 AM

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The All-Importance of Self-Determination in Europe (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 01/26/20 8:41 am)

I wish to thank Cameron Sawyer for his excellent comments of January 23rd. I concur with most of his clear arguments.

However I believe that it is necessary to clarify my earlier position.

I wrote as a defensor populorum and the basic rights to self-determination. See point 3 of the Atlantic Charter and point 13 of President Wilson's 14 points.

In 1939 the wishes of the German people in the the Third Reich and in the Freie Stadt Danzig for a reunion with Germany was right, while the opposition of the Polish Government was wrong. This is incontrovertible.

The ethnic passions in the Europe of the 20th century were extremely strong, even if for a non-European they may be difficult to understand.

For example, in 1953 at the time of the massacre of six young Italians at Trieste by the British-guided local police while Tito was threatening an invasion, I was ready to go to fight as a volunteer, even though I was only 17.

Maybe I could have earlier met our friend David Pike and exchanged some ideas, of course after the fighting died down...

Let's have a joke:

About the: Lebensraum for the German Volk at the expense of the "racially inferior" Slavs, maybe we should change this to: "Manifest Destiny" at the expenses of the "racially inferior" natives [Mexicans, too--JE].

What is the difference? Perhaps the first was a silly idea not realized and unrealistically launched in a book of 1923. The second was instead a realized idea launched by John Gast more or less one century earlier, and celebrated by a great painter Ernest Lee Treveson in 1872.

JE comments:  The painter John Gast ("American Progress," 1872) was actually born in Prussia.  Interesting.  Manifest Destiny goes back further, to another John (O'Sullivan), a journalist who coined the term in 1845.

Wilson's 14 Points are cited often, but how many of us know them by heart?  Probably no one.  Here's a refresher.  Point 13 called for a Polish state, which is probably why he (Wilson) got a major square in Warsaw named after him.  Unsurprisingly in 1918, Wilson makes no provision whatsoever for German self-determination.



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