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SS War Crimes (they weren't all bad?)
barkingdigger
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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 11:06 AM UTC
Hi Matt,

Rumours of revisionist history here in the UK are unfounded - the Holocaust is still very real.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6563429.stm


By the way, I have to caution you about offering your personal email address in any forum thread - it absolutely begs for web-crawling spambots and other nasties to harvest it, either in an attempt to hijack it for spamming others or to deluge you with spam. Always better to get folks to PM you here - at least that way your email address and account remains safely hidden from the pondscum that profit off the misery of others online!

Tom
retiredyank
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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 10:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Matt

Very interesting thread, particularly as I have just finished reading Antony Beevor's "Second World War".

As I recall, there's an old saying which says something along the lines of "history is written by the victors".

Regards

Rob


I've heard that the Holocaust is being removed from text books in the UK, because certain ethnic groups may find it offensive.
wedgetail53
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Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 05:30 PM UTC
Matt

Very interesting thread, particularly as I have just finished reading Antony Beevor's "Second World War".

As I recall, there's an old saying which says something along the lines of "history is written by the victors".

Regards

Rob
retiredyank
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Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 01:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello Matt,
There is a good book out that you might want to read. It shows how alot of the war crimes come to start.
Hitler's Empire
How the Nazis ruled Europe
By Mark Mazower
Cheers,
Bruce


I'll check my local, used book store next time I go. They have a full acre of used books and a quite extensive library of books dealing specifically with WWII.
grayghost666
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Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:49 PM UTC
Hello Matt,
There is a good book out that you might want to read. It shows how alot of the war crimes come to start.
Hitler's Empire
How the Nazis ruled Europe
By Mark Mazower
Cheers,
Bruce
retiredyank
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Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 01:08 AM UTC
Be that as it may, let's try to stick to the topic. If you want to list war crimes of other nations, start a thread on it.
spongya
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 11:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I'm not going to get in a political debate, here. If you want to dispute this, my email is familymatars@yahoo.com .



It's not a political debate. It's pretty clear-cut (and historical, not to mention not political. It's a legal matter.)

Geneva Conventions
USAF's own regulations

Edit:

Articles in International Criminal Statutes Prohibiting Attacking Civilians:
ICC 8 (2)(b)(i), 8 (2)(e)(i)

ICTY 3

ICTR 4

SCSL 4 (a)




MBR
You are right about the initial post. However My Lai and Congo I mentioned explicitly because they were sanctioned high-high above. The perpetrators of My Lai were protected by the US Armed Forces (Collin Powell worked on the case for example), and the atrocities in Congo were planned and sanctioned from the top.

There are two things here, which are separate. The industrial murder of millions (Nazi Holocaust), and the atrocities committed by soldiers with the tacit or not so tacit encouragement of their superiors. I'm talking only about the soldiers here, not the final solution. The Waffen SS and Heer had enough atrocities without the death camps to merit their negative labels.

"Relativization" is bad, but so is blaming "a few rotten apples" for atrocities committed by others. In the Pacific Theater, Vietnam, Congo, India, China and up to recent events you can clearly see that the dehumanization of not only the enemy but the civilian population from the very top (propaganda, racist name-calling, etc) leads to soldiers commit these atrocities. This does not mean that industrial murder and massacres perpetrated by soldiers are the same. But one does not excuse the other.

Germans murdered Slavs because they were told that Slavs are not human (I'm not talking about the Final Solution). Japanese did it to Chinese because they were told they were not human. British did it to Tasmanians, Africans, etc; Americans to native Americans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, etc for the same reason. The scale is not the same, but if you read about particularly the Congo, the methods there were even worse. The British behaved bestially there with the knowledge and consent of all and yet no reprisals came; ever. Only German soldiers were ever pursued for crimes like these.
And the common element: the civilians are "others". They are "not us" and "are the enemy", "they are animals". There were books and books written about this effect.
As for the German form of racism: the Nazis simply took 19th century British ideas and took them to their extreme. They already talked about superior and inferior races; in fact the tone is surprisingly similar. Only the skin color was different. That's the common element in the systemic colonial atrocities and the Nazi war crimes.
mmeier
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:21 PM UTC
This is IMHO heading in the same (and same wrong) direction as the (In)Famous exhibition "Verbrechen der Wehrmacht" a decade ago by lumping everything together.

Fact: War crimes do happen. EVERY army did them (and still does).

Fact: A lot of those go unpunished

Fact: In a "normal" war those crimes are done by the individiual soldier a small unit and without (much) prior planing

The difference between these war crimes (and I would even add My Lai in there) and some of the stuff german uniformed personal (Soldiers, [Waffen]SS, Police units) did it that the latter where organised from high up (General Staff or Political layer) and planned in advance. By lumping them all together one opens up for the "ah but the did this and that" argument and helps (involuntierly) right wing elements to "lessen" the horror/brutality of the NS regime.

The initial post is a good example. Some shootings where definitly organsied from higher levels but others are most likely "on the spot" decisions by the local unit.
retiredyank
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 06:11 AM UTC

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Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes



Yes, they were. So the firebombings of Japanese and German cities. Indiscriminate killing of civilians is (and was) a war crime. Geneva Conventions and whatnot. It's just one crime both sides did, so they kind of forgot about this one at Nuremberg. (Not to mention they sometimes made it more effective by repeating the bombing to target the first-responders -they still do it with drones-, which, according to the US itself is a "terrorist tactic".)


I'm not going to get in a political debate, here. If you want to dispute this, my email is familymatars@yahoo.com .
spongya
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 05:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes



Yes, they were. So the firebombings of Japanese and German cities. Indiscriminate killing of civilians is (and was) a war crime. Geneva Conventions and whatnot. It's just one crime both sides did, so they kind of forgot about this one at Nuremberg. (Not to mention they sometimes made it more effective by repeating the bombing to target the first-responders -they still do it with drones-, which, according to the US itself is a "terrorist tactic".)
Tojo72
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing



Yea,but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes
arpikaszabo
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:37 AM UTC
Matt, I see You took a great effort to put this list together. However, it would be fair and balanced to approach this from the other side by making a list of Allied war crimes. Let me help You with the first item:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_bombing
spongya
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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 11:28 PM UTC

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The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.



The Heer was just as happy to commit mass murder. The whole legend of the blameless Army against the bestial SS is a whole new level of historical revision. (Ie.: lies.) They not only assisted the SS, they actively took part in the atrocities. (Some Army leaders actually refused to execute these orders from above; but most - Mainstein included- threw themselves on the task with gusto.)

The sad fact is that these people behaved the way they did because they were encouraged, and because they believed themselves to be superior, their enemies to be non-human. This is what neither of the western powers (and Japan) dared to face really to this day: this was the very same attitude that the colonial forces had towards non-whites (or, in the case of Japan, non-Japanese). The Germans essentially copied the behavior -and improved on it using industrial scale murder. Not only the death camps... they managed to murder 17 million civilians on the Eastern Front alone. Read the "Kindly Ones" if you have the stomach. I didn't. (As a side-note, I'd be interested how much we would care if their victims were not white Europeans. The victims from the Eastern Front don't get much publicity to begin with, but if we look at the Japanese body-count -12 million Chinese-, one has to conclude that they got off easy after the war.)

This very same attitude towards others lead to the atrocities committed by British and US forces on separate parts of the world (some of them already mentioned) -only here the victims were "Indians", "N@ggers", "Japs", "Goons" and others. What the British did not ten years after the Holocaust in the Congo has literally made me sick when I read about it the first time.

As for judging... I find it very "interesting" that they are still hunting for 90 year old men who might have shot a couple of Belgian civilians, but I never, ever heard any British or US soldier persecuted and jailed for war crimes. The perpetrators who were at the Congo or at My Lai are still alive. I'm not saying the old Germans are not guilty; in fact nothing can eclipse their accomplishments in mass murder but Stalin and Mao. But it is still a double standard that makes the whole morality question a bit of a farce.

Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 10:10 AM UTC
Interesting that the focus of this thread is on the West... I believe that Sepp Dietrich ordered no prisoners to be taken for a few days after 6 German poliemen were discovered butchered in Taganrog by the retreating Soviets, an order that cost the lives of 4000 russian soldiers. Likewise, after the SS Panzer Corps recovered Kharkov in early 1943, the Russians, estimated that 10000 civilians were killed during the SS occupation.
After the Oradour massacre, the regimental commander of "Der Fuhrer" regiment, Sylvester Stadler, sought to take action against Diekmann, the officer responsible,but was overruled by Lammerding, the division commander. Perversely enough, many of the young SS men who partook in the massacre originalted from Alsace - they were fellow Frenchmen!
Stadler went on to become CO of Hohenstaufen, a division which does not appear to have committed any documented atrocities...At Arnhem, 9 & 10 SS behave honourably to British wounded.
Kurt "Panzer" Meyer's execution was commuted because one of the Canadian general officers concerned had reservations about punishing Meyer, knowing that his own men were not taking SS prisoners. Who started it? No one knows... One of the senior officers involved with HJ in Normandy was Wilhelm Monhke, a less than savoury character the British were anxious to interview after the war about the Wormhoudt incident. Un fortunately, as the last commander of Hitlers Bodyguard in Berlin, he had been captured by the Russians, who held on to him because of his knowledge of Hitler's movements. By the time he was released, many years after the war, the LAH murders in Holland had been forgotten. Monhke died free in Germany.
All of which is very interesting, but as Pat says, pretty irrelevant on a modelling site...
retiredyank
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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:50 AM UTC
On June 10, 1944, just four days after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German troops killed 642 people, mainly women and children, in the central French village. That afternoon, the 3rd Company of the 1st Battalion of the "Der Führer" Regiment of the SS "Das Reich" Division rounded up some 450 women and children, forced them into a church and then burnt it to the ground. The remaining men in the village were shot to death in barns and garages.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,802019,00.html
Too many to list on this site:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/crimestoc.html
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 08:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.


I have heard similar descriptions, but not this particular one. I do know that at the Nuremberg Trials there was a long list of accusations against the SS. I believe the officers known to be in command bore the brunt of the judgement.
pseudorealityx
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 03:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS.



Many members of the Heer would disagree with you. Otto Carius in his book Tigers in the Mud basically says the SS were a bunch of thugs, and were full of political friends of the Nazi party, not always 'good' leaders in terms of officers and whatnot. Not the 'elite fighting force' that was portrayed via propaganda.
youngc
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 03:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.


Defence and prosecution of SS war criminals is best left to the pros, and was indeed justly carried out during the Nuremberg trials.

Feel free to share historical accounts of SS brutality, as you have. However I can't allow any sort of opinionated justification or further (unnecessary) prosecution here on this forum. It wouldn't stay a discussion for long!
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.



Why do you want people to do that here on Armorama?
Why did you start the thread?

This can only descend into comparisons with other war crimes commited by other armies


Only if people can't master their own emotions and stick to the topic of the thread.
exer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 01:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.



Why do you want people to do that here on Armorama?
Why did you start the thread?

This can only descend into comparisons with other war crimes commited by other armies
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:54 AM UTC

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This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack.



Why the provocative title then -"They weren't all bad?"

What is the point of your post- what is it that you want to discuss?


The details of war crimes of the SS. "They weren't all bad?" is meant to convey that each member is entitled to defend or prosecute the SS according to his/her own belief.
exer
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack.



Why the provocative title then -"They weren't all bad?"

What is the point of your post- what is it that you want to discuss?
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:15 AM UTC
This was simply meant to be a informative sampling of war crimes committed by the ss divisions, not an attack. If you take offense, perhaps you should do some soul searching. I admit, there were some SS members who did not partake in some of the attrocities committed by their fellow SS. The SS was considered a elite fighting force and, therefore, attracted men who had distinguished themselves on the battlefield. Late in the war, some men were conscripted into the SS. Yet, the Nuremberg Trials could not desiminate on such a large scale. It was as equally dificult to find the exact perpetrators. The amount of war crimes committed by soldiers was much greater, when comparing the SS to the other divisions.
Magpie
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 06:06 PM UTC
I agree Jesse, which is why I responded to one list of war crimes with another. That is no more "Trolling" than the OP itself.
melonhead
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Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 05:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So are you suggesting that war crimes are ok just not too many of them? or that there are degrees of guilt with war crimes?

Of course not. War Crimes are War Crimes, as I said let he who is without sin cast the first stone, or maybe you might prefer Judge not others lest thine be judged as well.

Is there any actual modelling point to this thread or is it just another bit of jingoistic crap?



i would assume that because this is in the "off topic" section of the website, that it does not have a modeling point to it.
i give everyone the benefit of the doubt and i dont know what you have against matt directly, his opinions, or whatever. but, you do seem to troll quite a bit on topics that he replies to/starts.

let the thread be what it is instead of trying to blow it out of proportion.

if you aren't able to, perhaps you should take a break from the internet.

with that said, war crimes have been around and will always be around. not all countries play by the same rules and the ones that do play by a set of rules can be affected by emotion. all countries that have been involved in war, have committed at least one war crime. some countries, more than others. anyone that says that theirs has not is living a pipedream or doesn't want to face the facts because it means that they aren't as innocent as they want to believe.

the SS just happens to be notorious and are more well known for what they have done. it usually overshadows everyone else. but, by no means does it necessarily mean that any of the allies were any better.