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Interview of a Waffen SS Soldier

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2 hours ago, Majick said:

Personally I don't see a distinction between facism and communism, to me they are both totalitarian extremes of socialism.  I hope that doesn't offend 😉

I am not offended, but that is just plain wrong. Yes, communism is surely a totalitarian extreme of socialism. But fascism has got nothing to do with socialism.

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5 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

Has military history gotten so bad that we've moved on from Clean Wehrmacht revisionism to Clean SS?

Forget about the Eastern Front for a second, their crimes there are too numerous to count. 2 SS Panzer was late arriving to action in Normandy because they stopped to massacre entire villages. Anyone thinking of defending the SS should read Ordinary Men.

As for what soldiers knew and thought, the British secretly recorded them in POW camps. Far from "not knowing" and "believing in defending home and hearth" their recordings show them casually discussing war crimes, the extermination of the Jews, rape and murder. It caused a sensation in Germany when published because it shows all of those lies for what they are. Soldaten

useless generalizations again. There was never "a Wehrmacht", "a SS", "a german",  and so forth. I´ve read Neitzel´s "Soldaten" and it´s just a sample and not entirely unbiased selections from the author. Read user reviews, or better yet, buy it and read yourself. ;)

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

 There was never "a Wehrmacht", "a SS", "a german",  and so forth.

What the hell does that even mean?

Men fought under these institutions and murdered people. I'm honestly shocked to find such a blatant example of denial on this forum...

Edited by Raptorx7

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4 minutes ago, Raptorx7 said:

What the hell does that even mean?

Men fought under these institutions and murdered people.

what´s so hard to understand on the term "generalization" please? "a Wehrmacht" = all former german military people. So all that served in there were war criminals, bestial human slaughters, racists, Hitler fanboys and jew haters? Same for "a SS". They surely had most the negatives on their sides for obvious reasons. But did you know that from later in the war the SS got their men (or criminals) from draftees in the big majority (and not Nazi indoctrinated volunteers)? Same for "Hitlerjugend" division. After the Nazi youngsters got almost wiped out entirely in normandy there was nothing left but its name. 

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16 minutes ago, Raptorx7 said:

I'm honestly shocked to find such a blatant example of denial on this forum

I'm honestly shocked to find such a blatant example of ignorance, lack of education, as well as minimum of common sense. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

I'm honestly shocked to find such a blatant example of ignorance, lack of education, as well as minimum of common sense. 

So your argument is basically "They weren't all bad so you can't generalize by saying the Wehrmacht or SS". What kind of logic is that?

Its safe to assume these organizations who were led by Nazis were mostly indoctrinated and carried out mass genocide. Theirs literally no point in pointing out poor Hans who just wanted to defend Germany. That doesn't change anything and its just a way for apologists or Nazi fans to get away with praising Nazi Germany.

I understand that many of those institutions broke down and accepted a wide variety of men from different walks of life towards the very end, but that doesn't change the facts of the war. There is nuance there but it doesn't protect them from being "generalized".

Edited by Raptorx7

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4 minutes ago, Raptorx7 said:

So your argument is basically "They weren't all bad so you can't generalize by saying the Wehrmacht or SS". What kind of logic is that?

Its safe to assume these organizations who were led by Nazis were mostly indoctrinated and carried out mass genocide. Theirs literally no point in pointing out poor Hans who just wanted to defend Germany. That doesn't change anything and its just a way for apologists or Nazi fans to get away with praising Nazi Germany.

no idea who you refering to beeing Nazi germany fanboys. Me surely not I guess,. or better yet....hope. ;) But since you need rather "simple" arguments, what about stating the US military is a "war criminal organization" cause they did war crimes in all and every war they fought as well? Despite them beeing led by democratic, non racialist, non imperialistic governments. And off course the US never started aggressive, unjustified wars on any nations during all their history. Must have read a different history book in school me thinks.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

no idea who you refering to beeing Nazi germany fanboys. Me surely not I guess,. or better yet....hope. ;) But since you need rather "simple" arguments, what about stating the US military is a "war criminal organization" cause they did war crimes in all and every war they fought as well? Despite them beeing led by democratic, non racialist, non imperialistic governments. And off course the US never started aggressive, unjustified wars on any nations during all their history. Must have read a different history book in school me thinks.

I'm not a fan of a lot of things my country has done, especially in recent times so that means nothing to me. Nice whataboutism though, you're checking a lot of boxes!

Now where were we?

Oh right we were talking about the murderous Nazis that made up the majority of the Wehrmacht and the SS!

Edited by Raptorx7

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5 minutes ago, Raptorx7 said:

I'm not a fan of a lot of things my country has done so that means nothing to me. Nice whataboutism though, you're checking a lot of boxes!

Now where were we?

Oh right we were talking about the murderous Nazis that made up the majority of the Wehrmacht and the SS!

not to be misunderstood. I just made (a rather cynic) example of "generalization" myself. Doesn´t necessarily reflect my own thinking on history, government types or (world) politics and the like. But since this discussion remains fruitless as is, I´ll better go spending some time testing the latest CM patch finally. Better fight wars in the game, than useless ones in the forum. :rolleyes:

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Just now, RockinHarry said:

 Better fight wars in the game, than useless ones in the forum. :rolleyes:

True enough, these usually don't go anywhere for better and worse.

I didn't mean to imply you were a Nazi fanboy, just that you are using some of the arguments I see everywhere.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Majick said:

Personally I don't see a distinction between facism and communism, to me they are both totalitarian extremes of socialism.  I hope that doesn't offend 😉

I suggest you read The Nazi Seizure Of Power by Sheridan Allen.  You'd perhaps notice that the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) which believed in class struggle, was not revolutionary but pro republic and democracy was the main opponent of Hitler within Germany alongside the communists and how as soon as he got in power, Hitler shut down all the socialists newspapers, sent its members to concentration camps before finally banning the German socialist party altogether in 1933. Meanwhile the nationalists and the middle class flocked to Hitler in droves.

So besides the name NSDAP (and if you follow that logic the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is actually a democracy) and a couple of tactical populist measures designed to appeal to the working class and which mostly failed, fascism had fundamentally very little to do with socialism. The same was true in Italy and Spain with Franco.

And if totalitarianism in its various forms be it fascism or stalinism have a lot in common in practice, the  horseshoe theory  might be a good explanation, but in any case they both reach this end state by following completely different paths and with fundamentally opposed ideologies.

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10 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Well said gents, I look forward to the AAR!  ;)

 

lol :lol: ...that´s a possibility for sure, but I got to finish the other one first. :P

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OK, I'm shutting this down.  However, I am going to exercise my executive privileges to say my own piece before doing so.  I have a piece of paper that says I'm a Historian, so I like being able to justify 4 years of education and expense every once and a while ;)

The topic of how organizations (not just States) can get otherwise decent people to do blatantly immoral or illegal actions is a fascinating one.  Understanding the techniques and mechanics that can produce this sort of behavior from people who otherwise would be an average good neighbor is critically important for people who value a just society.  While no two epochs of Human history are 100% comparable, in many ways what happened in Europe (not just Nazi Germany) in the 1920s through 1950s is an excellent area to draw lessons from for what is going on right now world wide.  Especially in countries that are experiencing moves towards more autocratic and less law based governments (USA, Britain, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Italy... the list goes on and on, unfortunately).

The book "Ordinary Men" (mentioned above) is probably one of the best books on this subject.  The book documents how a normal, every day police force was transformed into a slaughter machine.  It does not sugar coat anything, but instead looks very deeply into the way the world really works.  It should be on everybody's summer reading list.  I insist ;)

Another one is "Into That Darkness".  This covers interviews with a concentration camp Kommandant and building up of a psychological profile of someone who, like the police in Ordinary Men, would likely have lived a normal life had it not been for people deliberately grooming him for something extraordinary.  It shows how an organization can, if it tries hard and deliberately enough, find someone to do its bidding no matter how "evil" it might be.

For those who don't fully understand how the Holocaust was not a "German thing", you should add "The Nazis' Last Victims : The Holocaust in Hungary" to your reading list.  It documents the events that took place in Hungary to eliminate their Jewish population on their own, though with obvious approval and coordination with the Nazi government.  Unlike the active compliance of local populations and elites in occupied territories (in particular France, Poland, and Ukraine), Hungary was a truly independent sate through most of the war and therefore can not excuse its actions by saying "the Germans made us do this".  Not that I find that much of a credible excuse for the French, Poles, Ukrainians, etc. anyway.

History is a tool for learning how to recognize and respond to events happening today.  The activities in Europe during the early part of the 20th Century are extremely well documented and examined from a variety of perspectives.  Since today's society is largely based on the society of that time period, we all have an excellent source of knowledge to help us recognize and respond to what is happening in today's world.

And with that, I'm shutting down this thread.

Steve

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