Sie hätten kaum die Paraden abgenommen, wären nicht...

englishman

Senior Member
English England
I'm having difficulty understanding the connection between the final two clauses of this sentence:

"Zwischen 1945 and 1964 hatten es weder Stalin noch Chruschtschow fuer noetig gehalten, den Toten des Krieges in Moskau ein Denkmal zu errichten. Ihr eigener Personenkult war ihnen wichtiger gewesen, obwohl sie beide am Tag des Ersten Mai kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden und die Paraden abgenommen haetten, waeren zwischen 1941 und 1945 nicht Millionen Menschen fuer ihr Land gestorben."

"Between 1945 and 1964 neither Stalin nor Kruschev had thought it necessary to erect a memorial to the war dead in Moscow. Their cult of personality had been more important to them, although had they both merely stood at Lenins mausoleum and received the parade, millions of people would not have died for their country between 1941 and 1945."

Am I misunderstanding this ? What logical connection is their between their standing at a memorial and the deaths that occurred between 1941 and 1945 ?
 
  • Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    If millions of people hadn´t died for the SU in WWII then Stalin and Chruschtshow wouldn´t have been able to stand at Lenin´s memorial.

    Or simply: If the SU had lost the war Stalin and Chruschtschow wouldn´t have been able to stand there.

    I hope my subjunctives in English are ok. :D
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    If millions of people hadn´t died for the SU in WWII then Stalin and Chruschtshow wouldn´t have been able to stand at Lenin´s memorial.

    Or simply: If the SU had lost the war Stalin and Chruschtschow wouldn´t have been able to stand there.

    I hope my subjunctives in English are ok. :D
    Ok, I guess I misunderstood. But if your interpretation is correct, then isn't there a "koennen" missing:

    "obwohl sie beide am Tag des Ersten Mai kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden und die Paraden abgenommen haetten koennen, .."

    ?

    "although they both could hardly have stood at Lenins mausoleum and received the parade, had not millions died .."
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Ok, I guess I misunderstood. But if your interpretation is correct, then isn't there a "koennen" missing:

    "obwohl sie beide am Tag des Ersten Mai kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden und die Paraden abgenommen haetten koennen, .."
    Almost. It is "haben könnten" and not "hätten können".

    You could say both with a slight difference in meaning:
    "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... haben könnten" = "although they both could hardly have stood on Lenin's mausoleum".
    "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... hätten" ...........= "although they both would hardly have stood on Lenin's mausoleum".
     

    drewfromutah

    Member
    English - USA
    This is interesting to me. I wouldn't have understood this either. I guess I would have understood this better:

    "...wenn zwischen 1941 und 1945 nicht Millionen Menschen fuer ihr Land gestorben waeren."
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    This is interesting to me. I wouldn't have understood this either. I guess I would have understood this better:

    "...wenn zwischen 1941 und 1945 nicht Millionen Menschen fuer ihr Land gestorben waeren."
    Right. I understand that better too. But it also makes me think, since something like:

    "Wenn Sie gestern nicht angekommen waeren, haetten ich Sie nicht gesehen."

    which makes sense to me, is presumably equivalent to:

    "Haetten ich Sie nicht gesehen, waeren Sie gestern nicht angekommen."

    which is the structure used in my original quote. So it doesn't seem quite so confusing from that point of view.
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    Almost. It is "haben könnten" and not "hätten können".

    You could say both with a slight difference in meaning:
    "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... haben könnten" = "although they both could hardly have stood on Lenin's mausoleum".
    "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... hätten" ...........= "although they both would hardly have stood on Lenin's mausoleum".
    I'm not sure I see the distinction in meaning here. Could you explain this ? The first sentence expresses a logical impossibility in English, but the second is not clear to me. It seems to be equivalent to:

    "although they both would hardly have been able to stand .."

    which also expresses a logical impossibility.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The first sentence is stronger than the second. The first means that it would have been impossible for them to have stood there. The second means that they wouldn't have been there, for whatever reason. Let's take another example:
    1. If the weather hadn't been fine he couldn't have come.
    2. If the weather hadn't been fine he wouldn't have come.
    Sentence 1. implies that bad weather had make it impossible for him to come. Sentence 2. leaved it open what bad weather had to do with him coming or not. Maybe he just didn't want to leave his house in bad weather although he could have done it.

    Since 1. is stronger than 2., if 1. is true than 2. is also true. The same applies to our case: "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... haben könnten" is obviously what is meant and therefore "Obwohl sie beide ... kaum auf Lenins Mausoleum gestanden ... hätten" is also true.
     
    Last edited:

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    1. If the weather hadn't been fine he couldn't have come.
    2. If the weather hadn't been fine he wouldn't have come.
    Sentence 1. implies that bad weather had make it impossible for him to come. Sentence 2. leaved it open what bad weather had to do with him coming or not.
    I guess that both sentences imply the idea that he didn't come because of the bad weather. No?

    Maybe he just didn't want to leave his house in bad weather although he could have done it.
    Yes, but if the weather had not been bad he would have come :) The reason is bad weather.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I guess that both sentences imply the idea that he didn't come because of the bad weather. No?

    Yes, but if the weather had not been bad he would have come :) The reason is bad weather.
    You don't see that there is a difference between not being able to do something and not wanting to do something?:confused:
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    You don't see that there is a difference between not being able to do something and not wanting to do something?:confused:
    What expresses "wanting" in the sentece about the weather and in the original one? It's not a joke.

    Looks like Stalin wouldn't have wanted to stay on the mausuleum if millions of people had not died. Absurd.

    He couldn't come because of the bad weather.
    He didn't come because of the bad weaher.

    Does one sentece really express the idea that he wanted to come but the bad weather prevented him from doing it and the other that he didn't want to come at all?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    What expresses "wanting" in the sentece about the weather and in the original one? It's not a joke.

    Looks like Stalin wouldn't have wanted to stay on the mausuleum if millions of people had not died. Absurd.
    We are talking about semantics. Whether it is factually absurd or not doesn't matter. I.e. the sentence "New York City is on the moon" has a very definite meaning though it is factually wrong.

    He couldn't come because of the bad weather.
    He didn't come because of the bad weaher.

    Does one sentece really express the idea that he wanted to come but the bad weather prevented him from doing it and the other that he didn't want to come at all?
    Again, one sentence expressly states that it was impossible for him to come because of the bad weather, the other leaves it open whether the bad weather made it impossible for him to come or not. I said "Maybe he just didn't want to leave his house" to give you an example of possible state of affairs which is compatible with 2. but not with 1.

    If you have two statements A and B and whenever A is true B is also true but there is at least one possible state of the world where B is true but not A then A is stronger than B. That is elementary logic and that is the difference I referred to.
     
    Last edited:

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    We are talking about semantics. Whether it is factually absurd or not doesn't matter. I.e. the sentence "New York City is on the moon" has a very definite meaning though it is factually wrong.
    It's not the answer to my qustion:
    What expresses "wanting" in the sentece about the weather and in the original one?

    Again, one sentence expressly states that it was impossible for him to come because of the bad weather, the other leaves it open whether the bad weather made it impossible for him to come or not. I said "Maybe he just didn't want to leave his house" to give you an example of possible state of affairs which is compatible with 2. but not with 1.

    If you have two statements A and B and whenever A is true B is also true but there is at least one possible state of the world where B is true but not A then A is stronger than B. That is elementary logic and that is the difference I referred to.
    I propose that we wage this war on the English forum :)
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It's not the answer to my qustion:
    What expresses "wanting" in the sentece about the weather and in the original one?
    I did answer that question:
    Again, one sentence expressly states that it was impossible for him to come because of the bad weather, the other leaves it open whether the bad weather made it impossible for him to come or not. I said "Maybe he just didn't want to leave his house" to give you an example of possible state of affairs which is compatible with 2. but not with 1.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I think the main idea is:
    Wenn es keine Toten gegeben hätte, wäre die Geschichte anders verlaufen, und sie hätten sehr wahrscheinlich keine Rolle gespielt. Sie hätten also eigentlich dankbar sein müssen.
    This interpretation removes the absurdity mentioned earlier.

    "Between 1945 and 1964 neither Stalin nor Kruschev had thought it necessary to erect a memorial to the war dead in Moscow. Their cult of personality had been more important to them, although if millions of people would not have died for their country between 1941 and 1945 it is improbable that they both had the opportunity to stay at Lenins mausoleum and receive the parade (after this).

    "Kaum" means "improbable".
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top