The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sorairo, Feb 20, 2019.

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  1. thanix01 Well-Known Member

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    Though I still don’t think full democratization might not happen. With Italian helping them quite a lot Chinese Italian ties might be very strong which may result in China moving in similar direction.

    I mean Communist cause so much destruction that I think red scare and fear of anything left related will be really strong which mean any Democracy that born out of it will not entirely be a fair one.
     
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  2. DrakonFin Operator

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    I'd say at least the western part of Soviet Karelia would get joined with Finland. It is possible that the OTL Karelian ASSR will get split between the Finnish SSR and the Russian SFSR, maybe roughly along the Murmansk railway.
     
  3. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Might add India in this, albeit TTL is still in a stronger position than OTL without Pakistan around. At the same time would have likely to search a costant balance between Muslim minority and Hindi majority. There would be still blood spilled, but at least not further wars. Afghanistan however would be a thorn, as usual.
     
  4. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    So I was re reading the TL and I realised that in the first chapter it was mentioned that Mussolini gave a speech to the Knesset in Jerusalem in 1949, but after that nothing is mentioned.
    I was expecting for Mussolini to visit Israel at this point. Maybe that part could be rewritten including that?
     
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  5. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    It's implied during the meeting with Einstein.

    It's just a visit. Nothing crazy happened. Streets were full of cheering people, no diplomatic incidents. I only included it in the first chapter to set the tone.
     
  6. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    Oh got it, thanks for the clarification.
    I do can imagine Tel Aviv and Jerusalem filled with crowds cheering and for Mussolini, maybe him remembering Carpi while enjoying.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Intermission - The Fourth German Empire

    RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Hello to all, today we will see what fate will have post-war Germany, with the usual seal of approval of Sorairo and his own revision and addition work, enjoy!


    A Reforged Iron Cross: the Fourth German Empire, by Klaus Mann​

    By the end of 1945, Germany was a broken nation - broken by the will of the same Allied powers that defeated her in 1918. In truth, there was great indecision over her fate, starting by the division in areas of occupation. The British and the Italians wanted to keep the USSR east of the Oder, which was the line the Soviets effectively reached at the time of German capitulation. The Soviets wanted jurisdiction over an extended area as compensation for the range of destruction the Germans inflicted to the Union, receiving sympathy from the Wallace administration. The French were in between but closer to Soviet positions than the British-Italian ones, if else to mark a wider division of Germany. Because Stalin in the end was bought by Wallace’s promises in the Far East, in the end the Soviets agreed to accept the line of the Elbe till Mecklenburg included as limit of their occupation, with the German Eastern border moved to the Oder.

    At the same time, Berlin was divided into four zones – planned to be five for each great power, but reduced due to the American cession of its zone to the Soviets. But, at the same time Wallace decided to keep a light presence in Germany, essentially turning the honour and the fatigue of the occupation to the French and the British. This American disengagement however would offer Churchill the possibility to reorganize the territories west of the Elbe in a more congenial way to British interests. In this effort, he received support from Mussolini, who would soon agree on the necessity to rebuild a strong Germany allied of the West as bulwark against Soviet expansionism.

    At Potsdam was decided that Germany would have passed through a process of De-Nazification, democratization, and demilitarization controlled by the occupying forces – but there wasn’t a clear timetable of such a process nor how the defeated nation should implement it. Because it was decided the Nazi republican structure wasn’t viable at all, nor the failed Weimar one to be restored, it was agreed that the best solution would be create a new constitutional structure for Germany overseen by the Allied powers – albeit the ways and the methods would be discussed in successive meetings.

    But, at Potsdam it was soon clear two different visions of Germany would emerge, a British and a Soviet one, or more accurately of Churchill and Stalin. In short, the Soviet leader wanted a Germany as humbled and weak as possible while the British first minister believed – with the right guidance, and not exclusively from London but with some from the German nation – some form of lenience and path of recovery should have been allowed. Left unsaid, it was to let Germany become a shield against the USSR. Churchill started to draft his own plans, his cabinet convening the best way to rebuild a strong as possible Germany within the boundaries of the treaty of Potsdam. It had to be a strong democracy, barring the chance to falling again into Nazi temptations, while friendly to the Western powers and hostile to the USSR, imposing a strong, moral leadership on the top of the country soon as possible.

    At the end of 1945 and the start of 1946, the major political forces of the Weimar Republic started to reconstruct themselves: the Social Democrats, the Christian Conservatives, the Liberals and the Communists would soon emerge as the four major political forces able to gather consensus among a people desirous to restart. But Churchill had some reservations in supporting the German Conservatives, even if Catholics and Protestants managed to create an unified party, the CDU, under the leadership of Conrad Adenauer, with the exception of the Bavarians which pretended their own party, the CSU, albeit forming a federation. Those reservations were originated by a certain distrust of the Weimar conservatives in allowing the rise of Nazism; and Churchill wondered if they would be able to lead the new Germany. At the same time, the British government couldn’t support the Social Democrats as they doubted they had the stomach to stand up the Soviets; and the Liberals appeared politically weak as well.

    Churchill considered the rise of a person ruling above the parties, a strong and reliable head of state convinced of democratic ideals and not able to be easily tossed aside in case of crisis nor put in a role so easily abolished. Rommel, as commander of the Free German army, couldn’t be useful, at least for a certain period of time, because he would have to face a trial as member of the Wehrmacht (despite not being tied with the Nuremberg trials and even with a sure absolution, it wouldn’t bode well for him leading Germany being such a divisive figure). He considered restoring a Presidency over Germany though Hindenburg’s example proved that route’s inefficiency. Therefore, Churchill would go for a more radical option and for a revisionist one: the reconstruction of the Imperial authority.

    One of the major historical and philosophical debates during the war within the Great Alliance was “if the terms of Versailles would have been more lenient, that would have led to a new conflict?” One of those terms was the Allied enforcement to not let Hungary or Austria restore the Haspburg monarchy, though Italy was more permissive on the matter. With the new war, the Italian take on the matter seemed to be vindicated; if Otto of Haspburg was ruler of Austria or Hungary, those countries may have resisted Hitler’s siren call. At the same time, if Hindenburg started a path to Imperial restoration, Hitler may not have risen into power. When Hungary resisted to the Communist political assault and Otto was elected King of Hungary, Churchill saw Democratic Monarchism as a successful way to resist Communism.

    There was also the fact Churchill started to take a like for the current leader of House Hohenzollern, Louis Ferdinand, who was the host of the Allied delegations in Potsdam, opening the family palace to them. Despite Hitler being without intention to restore the Imperial power, at the start of the war he allowed the two oldest grand nephews of Wilhelm II, Wilhelm and Louis Ferdinand, to be part of the German armed force, the former in the army and the second in the air. Wilhelm was injured during the war in France and died shortly after, gaining consensus among the German public opinion; forcing Hitler to remove Louis Ferdinand from any active duty and at the same time, being even more wary of the Hohenzollern.

    When Wilhelm II died in 1941, his son Wilhelm and Louis Ferdinand resisted Hitler’s intention to let the former Emperor be buried in German soil, but failed to bar the presence of swastikas at the funerals. Tensions between the Fuhrer and the Hohenzollern continued to progressively boil up, until in 1943 it would reach a point of no return. The German fortunes in the war were declining at the point, and in his growing lunacy Hitler started to believe the Imperial family was plotting to remove him with the support of the other German nobles and generals of the Wehrmacht, eventually with Italian assistance through Philip of Hesse. The SS invasion of Italy and its consequent failure provoked in Berlin a series of purges across the German nobility – through Philip, the Nazi would arrive to accuse openly and arrest Wilhelm “the third”, as Goebbels’s propaganda called him. Wilhelm would defend himself vigorously denying any account of plot against Hitler, but his fate was already decided with a condemnation and an execution. If Louis Ferdinand didn’t face similar accusations or being arrested, it was due of the fact he was in occupied France under the supervision of Rommel and also the Nazi government decided Wilhelm’s execution was enough to keep the remnant German nobles in line.

    Naturally, Louis Ferdinand was fed of Hitler and above all of Goebbels – while he would always denied it, there were murmurs he helped consistently the Nuremberg judges with information to use against him, one of them being the revelation of his affair with a Czech actress Lída Baarová, which ruined his reputation. Louis Ferdinand willingly agreed to help Rommel in his coup against Hitler when he was contacted by him, and while not being a major participant, his second fiddle role helped convince certain officers and generals to side with them. When the coup failed and Germany fell into chaos, the Hohenzollern prince became an important contact and diplomatic aid for Rommel and the Free German armies towards the Allies.

    Churchill would start to move his pawns at the start of 1946, discussing of the option with Mussolini and De Gaulle. Now, the Duce saw Germany moving into the Anglo-French sphere so he was somewhat favourable to whatever decision London and Paris would take. Despite his inner anti-monarchism he saw the virtue of strong, restored monarchies against Communist interference – in Hungary it would work well, while feeling Serbia fell to the Communists and Greece was near to fall due to the dethronement of their respective dynasties. He felt however an Imperial German restoration could have lead to the rise of a “Prussian militarism/revanchism” no less dangerous than the Nazi regime if left unchecked. The Duce would soon go fully along with Churchill after the Togliatti trial, because he realized the Soviets started to build a propaganda campaign that was not only anti-Fascist, but even anti-Italian. Fearful of a Soviet invasion despite the bravado, Mussolini would totally align with Churchill on German matters, obtaining reinsurances on keeping Austria in the Italian sphere even beyond the period of occupation.

    Convincing De Gaulle was harder, and the French President’s obstruction was the major obstacle to Churchill’s plans. In fact, to even consider an Imperial restoration, the British government needed a revision of the treaty of Versailles on the matter from its major proponents – hence Great Britain, Italy, France and the United States. But De Gaulle wasn’t in a strong position at the time to budge on the matter, especially after the French elections of 1946 while promoting his own political supporters, saw also a strong leftist surge, especially of Communist nature. In truth the General was more for a further division of Germany into several entities. This decision would paradoxically help Churchill in the long term, because it prolonged any potential decision to enact political elections in Germany sooner as possible, buying him time.


    The United States’s approval would came out easily than expected when the Republicans got their majority in the Senate in the midterm elections of 1946, contacts between Downing Street and the GOP to promote a bill “for revisions of clauses of the treaty of Versailles against Germany” allowing a referendum of the constitutional asset of such country on the grounds of the one in Hungary (monarchy or republic) were made. The Republicans, seeing how it worked well for the Hungarians, and believing by supporting this move, they would start mending the division with the British, would start to discuss the bill in the early spring of 1947. The Wallace administration threatened to put a veto, but several Democrats would let him know they would back such bill, which passed with over the two third necessary to overcome the presidential veto. Wallace was livid especially over the fact his own party became so divided against him, creating an ulterior estrangement between the Presidency and the Democratic Party that would only hasten his fall.

    The British would launch a Parliamentary Commission at the start of 1946, conveniently ending after the Wehrmacht trials, declaring “an Imperial restoration may adequately prevent risks of internal degeneration, destabilization and Nazi resurgence (and implied communist insurrection)”. The Italians simply reneged the Versailles clauses with a single Great Council summon during 1946 as well. While France would remain on intransigent positions, Churchill would commence negotiations and send diplomats with Louis Ferdinand. The Hohenzollern heir was conflicted – could he be the one to restore the honour of his family and of Germany? He wouldn’t appear like a puppet in the hands of the British and the French? Above all, would the German people accept him as Kaiser? Would going through a democratic election to restore his rights be reductive of his role? Taking some time to decide, he arrived to consult with Otto of Hungary and, in the end, with Erwin Rommel. The general’s reported words would be “You can do it, your Imperial Highness”. Rommel felt himself rather neutral towards an Imperial restoration, but he also knew it might have been a new change for Germany, to return to be a real Empire. So, after a last telephonic conversation with Churchill, Louis Ferdinand decided to throw the hat on the challenge: He would run the campaign to become Emperor of Germany as legitimate heir to the throne.

    When word of that decision ran across the country, the public opinion was obviously divided and confused about the restoration. In the major parties, the Social Democrats would immediately demand a Republican Germany, the Liberals were rather open on the possibility, and the CDU was divided – Adenauer would have been for the Republic, but the CSU declared itself willing to restore the Monarchy, so in the end the two federal parties would agree on staying neutral on the matter. At the same time, a consultation on the constitutional asset of Germany would have unlocked the possibility of finally established government and a Parliament, so regardless of their positions, the political forces of the country would be in the end favourable to a constitutional referendum.

    The French would still attempt to stall any form of free elections in Germany for all of 1947 as well, but the nuclear bombing of Warsaw forced De Gaulle to revise his own plans. In an emergency meeting between Churchill, Mussolini and De Gaulle in Orleans the 21th February of 1948, the French General would give his consensus for constitutional elections and successive ones in Germany, on certain reassurance – such as, Germany won’t being allowed, eventually by constitutional enforcement, to possess WMDs. The French National Assembly would agree to revise the debated Versailles clause in the summer of 1948.

    However, at this point the relations between the USSR and the West went so abysmal, not only Stalin won’t agree to allow elections in the Soviet occupied part of Germany, but also gave the mandate to make East Germany a proper Communist state satellite to Moscow. France and Britain then would declare constitutional elections in West Germany for the August of 1949, accepting the division of the country in two parts. Churchill was unhappy – De Gaulle wasn’t displeased.

    West Germany found itself embroiled in two electoral campaigns – one among parties, and another between Monarchists and Republicans, the latter being essentially Social Democrats. The SPD however would soon find itself disadvantaged in covering two campaigns, focusing too much on the defence of republican ideals to neglect the needs of the German people. Many remembered the failure of the last Republican government before the Nazis, looking to the humiliation of their country now divided and thought of older times when Germany was young, respected, united and Imperial. Louis Ferdinand would be convinced by his advisors to a constant travel across the country, promising to avoid the mistakes of his grandfather while respecting the new democratic Germany in formation, agreeing to work with everyone – Social Democrats included. The official support of Rommel behind Louis Ferdinand, however, was perceived by many as the trump card of the Hohenzollern heir.

    The 14th of August 1949, the Monarchists won with almost the 53% of the votes; whereas the CDU-CSU gained 36% of the votes against the 31% of the SPD. Interestingly enough, Saxony was the German region that voted more for the monarchy, even more than Bayern. Signing an agreement with the Liberals, Konrad Adenauer will become the first “Reichkanzler” of the restored German Empire, recognized immediately by Britain and Italy (France will follow its recognition few weeks later) and the rest of free Europe, then the USA in the fall of the same year.

    To mend ties with the SPD, Louis Ferdinand would agree to be officially recognized by the constitutional assembly gathered in Frankfurt on Main – where over a century ago the German revolutionaries offered the German crown to the King of Prussia. Friedrich Wilhelm IV rejected the proposal; Louis Ferdinand gladly accepted. The ceremony happened the 1st September in a cheerful enough Frankfurt, which would be proclaimed capital of the Empire also due to the obvious inability to move to Berlin.

    In the successive months, the crown, the government and the constitutional assembly would agree on a certain number of reforms – such as Germany becoming a federate nation (on the basis of certain preliminary decisions at Potsdam, which included the abolition of the state of Prussia – hence Louis Ferdinand with certain reluctance renouncing to the title of King of Prussia) with two chambers, the adoption of the 1848 flag with the iron cross on its middle, the definition of the roles of the Kaiser and the Reichkanzler, and the status of the nobility, one of the most debated and controversial issues.

    Because of the claimed equality between federal regions, the ones that until 1918 had royal status (Bayern, Saxony, and Wurttemberg) would not be acknowledged as Kingdoms. But the heirs of such royal houses would see their title restored, and so for the lesser ranks, albeit of course not being anymore the rulers of their own regions. At the same time the Kaiser could have the right through parliamentary approval to appoint new nobles or demote others or even strip their titles. The nation would compensate the noble families victim of acknowledged Nazi purges (one of the most renown cases being Maurice of Hesse, son of Philip, restored in all his dignity despite being at the time more a Prince of Italy than of Germany). But the discussion between returned private properties and ones retained by the German state would cause certain legal contentions – one of the most famous being the property of the castles built by Ludwig II of Bayern, with the Wittelsbach determined to get their palaces back versus the federal state of Bayern. The legal cause lasted for decades and ended in a compromise where the Wittlesbach would obtain a limited property and use and a percentage of the profits coming from touristic visits.

    While the “Bundesreich Deutschland“ would start to move its first steps, the new Kaiser would start to adapt himself to his newfound duties, accompanied by his wife, Kira Kirillova of Russia. While the Emperor would constantly have positive favour during all his reign, the Kaiserin would have to face for years the diffidence of her subjects, because she was merely Russian. Calm and pragmatic, Kira would contribute greatly to rebuild a court around the Imperial family, while venomous attacks from the Soviet Union (seeing the Hohenzollern restoration, along with the Haspburg one in Hungary, as a mere attempt of the West to plant the seed of a new White, Tsarist counter-revolution) and Democratic Republic of Germany (DDR) would contribute gradually to her gaining popularity among the Germans. For any good measure, Louis and Kira would officially renounce to whatever claim on the Russian throne for their children.

    The rise of Louis Ferdinand would also mark as the rise of Konrad Adenauer as German leader of the Reich. Adjusting to this new reality, the Reichkanzler would proceed over the reconstruction of his nation, waiting for 1955 – the expected date for the end of foreign occupation – to make his first concrete steps in internal and foreign policy. It came at a time when German people all across the Kingdom were in an uproar. This was due to the ‘Miracle of Bern’, where the West German team miraculously (or some would say ‘cheatingly’) defeated the seemingly invincible Italian and Hungarian teams at the 1954 World Cup in the semi-final and final respectively. This would start a long-standing rivalry between Germany and Hungary, especially when the Hungarians triumphed in their semi-final rematch in 1958, which Hungary would win before going on to beat Brazil in the final (leading to Brazilian fears their team was ‘cursed’ until they won the 1962 event). The triumph in the World Cup brought a belief in rejuvenation back to the German psyche. It would bring pride back to a people, but it would bring mistrust back to the continent.
     
  8. Seandineen Member

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    I know it's no longer an official flag, but would the New imperial government allow the Red White and Black to be used by youth movements or the post office, to pacify second reich stalwarts?
     
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  9. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Well that's quite the interesting question! I don't think it would be necessary, because, if the Kaiser returned, why the nostalgic of the Second Reich would cry further? Doesn't mean the older flag or colours won't be used - the white shirt of the German soccer team being surely one of the most noticeable example.

    About the Iron Cross on the flag: I think is wise to say it would be adopted also and above all to remember the rebellion of the Wehrmacht of 1944 and the fight of the German Free Army. For how it went, it would be the signal of German recovery against nazi madness.
     
  10. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick note.

    The reason Hungary won the 1958 World Cup is that there was no 1956 squashing of the Hungarian rebellion (since Hungary isn't dominated by Communism) that broke the team up. The 'Mighty Magyars' are thus able to stick together and grow, not to mention having better equipment and training due to the open economy and society. The USSR was banned from the 1954 World Cup (as well as pretty much every major sporting commission) for its actions against its Jewish population, who responded by forbidding any Stalingrad Pact nation from joining the contest either.
     
  11. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Does Ludwig Erhard still unilaterally abolish price and production controls in occupied West Germany?
     
  12. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    Germany.png

    Looks like we have a new German flag.
     
  13. Galahad Well-Known Member

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    That's a nice-looking flag. A mix of both Imperial and Republican ideals.
     
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  14. FreiesAfrika Active Member

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    This is certainly one hell of a timeline I've stumbled upon. Good show!
     
  15. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    I know right? If this became a book I'd totally buy it.
     
  16. FreiesAfrika Active Member

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    Same here.
     
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  17. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    53%, just squeaked by. Now its up to Kaiser Louis(Kaiser Lou to Americans?) to win over the people.

    So are the Wittselbachs and the others official subnational royals or basically just private citizens allowed to use the old titles without any role in government?

    Well its a new era for Germany. The Abolition of Prussia makes it clear to any but the most paranoid Anti-monarchist the Fourth Reich will be its own distinct entry of the German saga not an attempt to restore the Second Reich with some concessions.

    And aside from the monarchy West Germany has more land, resources, and population ITTL correct? I wonder how that will affect their development.

    The FGA and Beck's failed military government already have changed the culture going forward, and now this restoration. Who will the Germans be as the occupation ends and they start to fully return as power players in Europe?

    I am guessing Churchill is a respected figure in many German circles as an advocate for both a strong Germany and democracy.
     
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  18. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Re-unification of Germany is going to be intresting. Eastern Germans might be bit divided should them join to monarchist Germany. And considering that Frankfurt being major city it might be challenging transport capital back to Berlin. And probably France is that which would strongly oppose re-unfication instead United Kingdom. Even if De Gaulle will be already ot of picture his successor might take strong opposition.

    And West Germany has still most of Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen so the country has bit more resources and bigger population.
     
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  19. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    East Germany may not have much choice. It is on re bottom of the pecking order in SP, and while it retains more Eastern land than OTL the USSR has probably been exploiting it even more ITTL to make up for the smaller East Bloc. So East Germany I think with the Fall or at leasrt criss in the USSR by the 70s will quickly start to become a failed state. Namely the Communist state basically and clearly existing to benefit the Soviet domination akin to colonialism; a poster child for the "Slave State" term.

    So going it alone might not be a realistic option for East Germany with the entire state discredited to too may people inside and out. Probably a good bit of Pan Germanism too with a chance nearly twenty years early with even more people recalling a united Germany and preNazi one at that.

    I think Berlin could be pushed both for nationalist reasons and a concession to East Germans showing that they are forming a united Germany and not just being bloodlessly conquered by West Germany.

    East Germany may end up a bastion of republicanism, but if the situation is bad I could see many 'holding their noses' in the name of relief for a crisis that may not have a clear alternative.
     
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  20. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    Alternatively, if the situation in Communist Block stays bad, and coming of Der Kaiser's West Germany also come with food and improved economic situations, they might end up converted into most staunch loyalists to the Monarchism.
     
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