If a nation willingly leads its citizens to war, does it really care about its citizens? Answer with reference to The Endless Steppe.

Whether a country that willingly leads its citizens into war can be said to really care about those citizens really depends upon that country's reasons for entering the war.

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In The Endless Steppe, the author recounts her experiences during World War Two. The author was just ten years old when she was taken from her home in Poland in 1941. She and her family were taken and exiled to Siberia where they were made to work in mines. Poland did not willingly lead its civilians into World War Two, but was invaded by Nazi Germany. Germany, however, certainly did lead its citizens willingly into the war.

Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, led its people into a second world war partly as an act of revenge, and partly in the name of a warped ideological quest. In 1919, Germany was humiliated at the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty made Germany, one of the defeated countries in World War One, pay huge reparations to the victorious countries. These reparations crippled the German economy for many years to come and left many Germans feeling angry and resentful. Hitler exploited this resentment and framed World War Two as an opportunity for Germany to exact revenge. The other reason Hitler was able to lead the German people willingly into war was that he convinced many of them that the Germans were a superior race, and that this superiority entitled them to invade, conquer and plunder other nations.

On one hand it, could be argued that these two reasons for leading its citizens into war might constitute caring for those citizens. Arguably, Hitler felt that it was important for the citizens of Germany to exorcize their resentment, and arguably he also believed that he could care for them by enriching them with the spoils from other countries. It is more likely, however, that Hitler's real intentions were more selfish. He seemed to become infatuated with power for his own sake, and the ideological beliefs he pressed upon the German citizens were more his own than theirs.

If we look at the reasons why the United Kingdom led its people into World War Two, there is a much more convincing case to be made that a country which leads its citizens into war might do so because it genuinely cares about those citizens. The United Kingdom led its people into war because otherwise the British citizens faced a future beholden to a murderous, totalitarian, fascist regime. British citizens who were, for example, Jewish or homosexual, would undoubtedly have faced persecution and perhaps even extermination if Nazi Germany had emerged victorious from World War Two.

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