I have been kidnapped by wife and forced to tour Central Europe's cultural offerings. I had to stare at barbaric statues of people knifing each other (pic. a statue at the palace's gate) or being tortured and crucified. A whole day was spent in East Germany staring at the paintings on the walls of the Dresden Staatliche Kunstammlungen Museum. Most of it is renaissance porn featuring nude ladies with fat white asses, some of them in the act of being raped by humans and/or beasts.
It was most amazing to the ethnic changes that took place in Central Europe. Prague's past was erased or beautified: no one could imagine today that for centuries it was mostly a German and Jewish city. Everything German has been erased and the large Josepov Jewish quarter is an archeological tourist attraction. Heydrich planned to turn it into a museum of Europe's disappeared Jewish people, and that is what it is.
We toured the Sudeten. It is a ghost land with large, decaying houses built by Germans who are not living there anymore. It is a Deutsch- and Juden-frei country. It is amazing to tour these depopulated lands and see that history have not stopped, and how the Slav peoples have continued their historic westward expansion, having made large gains even in our generation. It is "fantasti" (a word much heard during the last days) how much damage Hitler managed to cause to the Germanic peoples.
Crossing the Elbe river it came to me how much WWII was an ethnic war between the German and the Slav peoples. The Germans's explicit goal was to increase their "living space" by conquering the lands to the East and to enslave/exterminate the Slavs living there. Slav lands had already many German pioneer settlements such a the Sudeten which had already achieved German majority, and isolated German areas such as Siebenburg (in Romania) and the Volga German settlements in Siberia. The Nazis believed that the time had came to consolidate these advance settlements and to ethnically clean the area through open race warfare. But in the German vs Slav war, the Slavs won and as a consequence, all the German advance settlements were dismounted and the Germans were pushed back to their core area. There is something to say for Rathenau's proposition that European Jews were a German speaking pro-German tribe living mostly among the Slavs, and therefore part of the German eastward push. Yet they were the first to be exterminated. Surviving European Jews stopped speaking German (Yiddisch) and assimilated to the Slav cultures or emigrated to English-speaking countries. Jews like Kafka - now a Slav idol - were in fact advance "soldiers" of German culture (and cause) in Slav lands. He wrote in German, not in Czech.
European Jews did not particularly like the Slav peoples among them most were living, and certainly had little love for Ucrainians and Russians - peasants and nobles alike. Their feeling was pro-Austrian and pro-German. Yet as the Holocaust evolved, all of a sudden Jews lost all their admiration for German culture and became rabid Russians, fighting like lions in the Red Army. I dont think that the weight of the Jews in the German - Slav conflict was determinant or even significant, but it is a fact that after the war, Soviet Jewry universally adopted the Russian language and dissolved itself in the Slav masses. From 3,000,000 Jews surviving the war, today there are less than 200,000 ethnic Jews in the area. The rest has left or assimilated.
The West still conceive WWII as an ideological or an American war. But ideology was most flexible (what is Nazi ideology but German nationalism?) and the military conflicts with France, Britain and and the USA were marginal to the main struggle. The issue was lebensraum, that is, another chapter of the historic seesaw between Germans and Slavs. In spite of temporary low natality and high immigration, these large ethnic groups will not disappear. Another round can be expected in fifty years or so.