login   |    register
History Club
Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
Hosted by Frank Amato
SS War Crimes (they weren't all bad?)
mmeier
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: October 22, 2008
KitMaker: 1,263 posts
AeroScale: 3 posts
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.
spongya
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODELGEEK
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Budapest, Hungary
Joined: February 01, 2005
KitMaker: 2,302 posts
AeroScale: 70 posts
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.
retiredyank
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
AeroScale: 79 posts
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.
grayghost666
#021
Joined: August 02, 2007
KitMaker: 2,458 posts
AeroScale: 197 posts
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
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
AeroScale: 79 posts
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.
wedgetail53
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Queensland, Australia
Joined: October 02, 2008
KitMaker: 646 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
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
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
AeroScale: 79 posts
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.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,633 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
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