Gun Hub Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,758 Posts
I read this yesterday. "Whoever rules the skies rules the War."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
As a native of a small town in the the heavily German part of Nebraska, my Dad grew up speaking German. He got to Germany just after the war ended, and when an intelligence officer heard him conversing with a farmer, was summarily transferred to CIC, where he helped track down the SS criminals who ran the Final Solution.

He was always careful to distinguish between the Elite SS, Himler's black-uniformed strutting thugs, and the Waffen SS, who were front-line combat troops. He had much more respect for the Waffen SS, who at least fought folks who could fight back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts
As a native of a small town in the the heavily German part of Nebraska, my Dad grew up speaking German. He got to Germany just after the war ended, and when an intelligence officer heard him conversing with a farmer, was summarily transferred to CIC, where he helped track down the SS criminals who ran the Final Solution.

He was always careful to distinguish between the Elite SS, Himler's black-uniformed strutting thugs, and the Waffen SS, who were front-line combat troops. He had much more respect for the Waffen SS, who at least fought folks who could fight back.
And then there were the real fanatics, the SD.

But while there is a difference between the black and the gray's, the fact is; the vast majority of atrocities committed were committed by SS units. It was generally the guys in black who did the concentration camp stuff, but it was the guys in gray who were rounding people up to be put on trains, or just rounding them up and shooting them.

After reading William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", what compassion I had for the German people was quickly dispelled. That nation was whipped up into a race hating frenzy and fully supported the atrocities that were committed on the Eastern front. And while they were generally kept in the dark about the worst, anyone with any imagination ought to have had it figured out. And we know damn well they knew about the death camps. That's not a secret you can keep.

After reading that book, I began to see the German populace as legitimate military targets because they were the support system of the evil empire.

True, not all were supporters; and I have the utmost respect for those who were not supporters. But Nazi Germany, leadership, military, and populace, were the worst. So glad they have turned around and become the shining example they are today.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Kevin Gibson; All,

Actually, a LOT of ordinary Germans were "in the dark" about the millions of atrocities committed by the Nazi regime IF the following "1st person account" is truthful.
(As some members here know, I've been collecting "1st person memories" of WWII participants for about 4 decades.)

Shortly before her death from cancer in 2005, Mrs. Giesla M. Kliest of Dachau BRD told her son & I that she, as a young bride (later widow - Her husband died in North Africa in 1942, while a private in the German army.), was living about 10KM from the notorious concentration camp there from 1930-1954. - Her family owned a small shoe factory and her elder brother was a self-employed stone mason at that time.

Frau Kliest said that in 1931 her brother had worked at the WWI- era gunpowder factory at the concentration camp site before Hitler came to power and in 1933 or 1934 he went out to his previous jobsite, looking for additional work as his job in the city had ended. She further said that her brother was offered work building foundations out of stone for some new "dormitories and warehouses" but several days later was contacted and told that "convicts and communists" were going to be used for that work and NOT to return to the "jobsite".
She further said that "near Christmas of 1935" that her family's business had failed, that none of the men were working and that her brother went back out to the camp to ask if there was any work for him, as "there was no food in the house". - Her brother never returned from his "request for work".
(When her father asked where her brother was, he was told that he had accepted "important work in Berlin".)

He ended her comments by simply saying to us that, "I believe that nobody, who was not assigned to Dachau Concentration Camp, actually knew what went on there between 1935 and its liberation in 1945, as it was dangerous to ask questions even if you were a Party member".

yours, sw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts
There were a lot of Germans who were in the dark about specific atrocities. But atrocities in general were well known. German soldiers weren't sent to the Eastern front to "defend the Fatherland", they were sent with signs everywhere that said they were off to "Thrash the Jews".

And with such a high number of attrocities committed by infantry soldiers, there is NO WAY that didn't filter back to the general populous. Again, not specifics, but incidents and generalities. The German people knew their soldiers were A-fighting a war of aggression, and B- up to no good. Yet tens of thousands went out to see their soldiers off, often times carrying anti Semitic signs themselves.

With such hatred being widespread, you'd have to be pretty ignorant to not know there were atrocities being committed. Let's face it, war brings out the worst in people. Sometimes it brings out the best. Sometimes it will be the worst and best in the same minute But bringing out the best is not nearly as common as bringing out the worst. And if there is widespread hatred in the air, what do you think is going to happen?

Example going on right now. Would you consider the supporters of ISIS in Iraq right now to be completely innocent? Nazi's were political rather than religious, but their beliefs were bordering on the religious, and their demands on a person's alignment and loyalty were as strong or stronger. ISIS supporters are the support system for the terrorists, just like the citizenry were the support system for the Nazi's.

Also consider there were a number of atrocities committed in Germany by both German government personnel, or committed by civilians while officials stood by and watched. Nearly a decade of persecution and stripping of rights, property, and dignity of Jews. So when they went off to war with banners proclaiming they were going to "thrash the jews", you'd have to have some serious denial issues to think it's not going to get out of hand. If the German people were in rehab, they'd be called "Enablers". While I believe there were some who were innocent, as a nation I consider them guilty at all levels.

As for the "Final Solution" I don't think many in the general population knew. I think people in the towns with the the death camps had to highly suspect, and probably did't want to know. Trains coming in with people, no trains going out, yet the worker population stays a general constant...simple math. But honestly I think they were just in denial; which is a bit understandable. That is something hard to wrap your head around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Couple of items. The Waffen SS was indeed a different animal from the SS. There were also distinctions in the SS itself. There seemed/seems to have been variations between Waffen SS divisions (probably related to the commanders) as to their conduct in the war. One particular division, Nord, was even chosen as a example of excellence for the reconstituted Bundeswehr.

As for the populace......given what happened in Germany between the end of the war and whatever relative stability they eventually achieved pre-war, I don't think we can judge the general poplulace too harshly. "Unrest" in post WWI Germany included infantry battles between former military units (Freikorps) for control of cities or parts of cities. [And we think we've seen full contact partisan politics!]

I spent a considerable amount of time in my teens studying inter-war German politics. I couldn't understand how an obvious mainiac could be freely elected. I came to understand just how bad things were in Germany and that Hitler's full mania had been well hidden/ slow to mainifest.

I can't recall the name of the head of the German Lutheren Church at that time, but I was privileged to hear him preach while in college. There are slightly varying versions of his message, but the message I heard went like: "First they came for the Communists. We understood this and approved. Then they came for the (?). We did not understand this, but felt there must have been good reason. Then they came for the Jews. We did not understand this and began to question why they would do so. ..........(several other groups taken away)........Then they came for me and there was no one left to question or protest."

There was a film version of "Rise and Fall" assembled from newreels (for those who remember them). The complete version ran several hours, we saw it in high school. It-or relevent parts- ought to be required watching as an example of how people can be intellectually captured and led.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,499 Posts
For a fascinating first person examination of just how Germany devolved into the depths of such profound EVIL that was Nazism, there's a great book called "Defeating the Totalitarinan Lie; A Former Hitler Youth Warns America." The author, Hilmar Von Campe, was born in Germany in 1925 and was a Hitler Youth and a WW2 veteran.
Here's an alarming blurb from the back cover:

DEFEATING THE TOTALITARIAN LIE chronicles the lives of a German family before, during, and after the 12 years of Nazi rule. Linking the details of their lives to historical developments, Von Campe's facts and figures, especially in regard to the war, are largely unknown to the American People. His assessment that America is moving in the direction of Nazi Germany is terrifying.
In order to demonstrate his theory Von Campe gives a detailed background of his own life, what he learned, how German Society was progressing and what popular memes were rising to ascendance that allowed Nazism to take over.
His comparison to America is alarming, but his beliefs concerning what happened in Germany and how things came to pass ought to be examined as a warning as well as a learning experience.

I will tell you one thing about his theory; "moral relativism" (the unwillingness to pass judgement on various different behaviours) is one of the root causes that led the Nazis to power.
The rest .... what, you want me to read the book FOR YOU?:eek:mg:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts
Sounds like a good read.

As much problem as your public education system has and even though it tends to be teaching that is to the left, education of the evils of the Nazi's still seems to be taught well. My kids who are in school now may not have a clear understanding, but they get the high points, the evils, and what it lead to. Left or Right both agree that Nazi's took things about as wrong as you can take them.

Same thing for Soviet Russia and both Lennin and Stalin. They may not know the issue like us history/politics buffs, but they get that Stalinism lead to mass slaughter and oppression.

Still, I think they could do better. As a part of the history of those two regimes, it would be wise to cover WHY so much power was vested into oppressive leaders, and the warning signs citizens ought to be aware of.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top