ABSTRACT

We have seen how the United States created itself as a political-economic superpower and how Lenin's and Stalin's Soviet Union recreated Russia, rising upon its Communist ideology, to become a countervailing threat and more, a promise to become a unique global power. If this last presumption was more mad than real, the Soviet Union, with a population a third greater than that of the United States, thus 196 million as against 133 million in 1940, its vast geography, and its effort at industrial modernization, was a sufficiently real great power to be taken seriously But how did Germany compare with these huge countries? Her population then was at 70 million, barely more than half of the American and only somewhat more than a third of the Russian. Now factor in their respective gross domestic products in 1940: the backward Soviet Russia at $420 million (1990 international dollars); Germany, with triple the Soviet per capita income, at $377 million, and the United States with its huge GDP of $930 million. 1 Have we been viewing Germany through the magnifying glass of her fantasy?