Loc: New York City
Loc: Enjoying the humid continental climate zone.
|Posted: 12/7/2012 4:19:19 PM|
The US was certainly not involved in WWII to liberate Germany. [Once we were brought into the war (remembering Pearl Harbor today)- we had hoped to stay out of it- right or wrong as that decision was] the US goal was to liberate all the nations that Germany had invaded and for German Reich to fall. Germany was the aggressor. Hitler had to be stopped. And while not every German supported Hitler, he was the leader of their country. His actions caused war. His actions turned Germany (and all of Europe) into a war zone. His actions led to the spread of Communism in Eastern Europe when Russia gained the lands east of Germany. Hitler's actions created the Holocaust and ultimately led to the creation of the nation of Israel from the Palestine region when Jews left Europe as refugees during he war and survivors of the Holocaust literally had no homes to return to in their home country. Hitler ruined the lives of far more than just the Jews. His own people certainly suffered greatly as well.
But that was war and in war, each nation is responsible for their part. And during all wars there have been bad people committing bad acts even while fighting on the side of "good". Like Moveablefeast was saying was that all people are capable of bad things. Knowing that the US was very strict about soldier conduct and punished US soldiers severely if they were found to have disobeyed the rules, I don't worry much about bringing allied soldiers to justice though I absolutely understand the horrors many German civilians lived in fear of and experienced due to living in a war zone. Punishing soldiers for criminal behavior was the job of our individual governments. This specific case is not about the US bringing a former SS officer to justice for the Holocaust. The US' role in this is to determine if he illegally entered our country using false infirmation regarding his involvement in the war, and decide if he should be deported for that crime. That is the only crime the US has authority to punish.
|Posted: 12/7/2012 4:49:13 PM|2 things:
If someone had brought it to the attention of appropriate people in the chain of command you bet soldiers are charged and tried. The US will not condone or accept that kind of behavior. If it was overlooked by people in command and crimes were perpetrated by soldiers, those in command are held accountable too.
all those soldiers went free... none of them were brought to justice...
And second, fighting in a war a soldier has a fundamental disagreement with is way different then a governmental policy of ethnic cleansing metered out by soldiers against their own citizens. No US soldier has to follow an unlawful order, of which, acting against civilians is.
Top Tier Pea
|Posted: 12/7/2012 6:55:05 PM|
I am astounded it is 2012 and this is the first time that you heard that the Allied forces in no way thought they were liberating the Germans. I have spoken with many veterans and have read a great deal on the topic... and at no time has the concept of 'liberation' of Germans been expressed. Liberation of the many nations who were victims of German aggression, sure - but not of Germany or Germans.
yes, to most germans it was a LIBERATION
I would also question if it was 'most' Germans who though of it as a liberation. Some surely did but not all. I would think that most were just happy the war ended and by that point didn't particularly care how. They would have been just as happy with a brokered peace. There were still many Germans who had much to fear from a German loss. People like the man in the OP who had chosen to be a member of the SS... in that position he had much to lose when the Third Reich fell.
I pretty much think *everyone's* family stories are filled with BS. Even my own family only tells the 'good side' of every story. It's human nature to want to present history in a way that makes your people as good as possible.
You don't have to justify your family history to me at all. It doesn't matter if I believe it or not. I was just saying that it makes sense considering the region etc. and it is very admirable that your grandfather did stand up and saved those who he could. Very admirable.
Here is where we have a real problem. It was not just one evil man who created the holocaust. Many Germans want to push it off on Hitler as the designated bad guy. Sure, he was bad but he could not have possibly done that without the direct assistance of many in Germany and the indirect assistance (in the form of averted eyes) of most in Germany.
I am not saying it "doesnt" matter because it does matter,not just for all those jewish people but also look at how many millions of germans were ALSO killed in the concentration camps it wasnt a fate solely reserved for those who were jewish... there were others (a lot of them germans) who were also put to death by this evil evil man.
It would be very, very difficult to come up with a number of "many millions of germans were ALSO killed in the concentration camps". The Germans who were killed in the holocaust were overwhelmingly German Jews. Because of your grandfather's experience you may think there were millions of non Jewish Germans killed in the camps, but that is just not true. For you to present it as fact is a misrepresentation of history which makes Germans look like the victims far more than they were.
With the understanding that the numbers available are not perfect (because the Nazis liked to keep records, but realized that they should destroy them when they were being invaded). Roughly 12 million people were killed in the Holocaust. 6 million of them were Jews. The next largest groups killed were 3 million Poles killed. After that there is a long list of nationalities. Even if we assume that all the disabled, homosexuals, freemasons and Jahovah's Witnesses that were killed were German you are not going to get to one million, let alone 'many millions' of Germans who were killed in concentration camps.
I wonder why you think there were many millions of German non-Jewish victims of the holocaust. Is that what is taught in German schools?
I agree. The thing is... you have to teach history as truthfully as possible. Not a version that diminishes the responsibility of some participants by presenting bad things as solely the responsibility of one man. Not a version where those who committed the crimes of history are represented as the victims rather than the victimizers. That kind of mis representation of history *will* lead to animosity between those who know the truth and those who are trying to hide from the truth.
there comes a time when history needs to be remembered and taught as such... history, not a way to fuel hatred and animosity.
That kind of 'blame only Hitler' thinking also leads to cases like the one in the OP. Where an SS member claims that he isn't responsible for his actions during WWII. It is mid boggling to think that an SS member thinks that he can get away with proclaiming some sort of absolute innocence. This thread shows exactly how that can happen, memories fade, peoples understanding is colored by national pride and personal family stories.
"When someone asks you 'think about what Jesus would do', remember that a valid option is to freak out and turn over tables" -- Unknown
“I am a Roman Catholic - the one true faith, (the Microsoft of Christianity) and I know Roman Catholicism is the one true faith because Roman Catholicism tells me it’s the one true faith... And if you remember from earlier in this sentence Roman Catholicism is the one true faith – so how could it be wrong?” ~ Stephen Colbert ‘The Word’ 11-28-06
Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
|Posted: 12/7/2012 7:24:53 PM|
Hijack alert: I think it's naive to think that soldier-rapists are always investigated and prosecuted - or that victims who report rape are treated with fairness or respect.
Rape has always been a part of conquest - or occupation or liberation. In the last decades, the American armed services (and academies) have often acted dishonorably when responding (or not) to sexual crimes AMONG the ranks.
Loc: gone to chemo with BethAnne
|Posted: 12/7/2012 7:32:11 PM|
Not all germans were or are NAZIS, not all NAZIS were or are german (in fact, hitler himself was AUSTRIAN not german).. it is a political affiliation, not a nationality or race, you still get the extreme right wing loons and i believe there are a LOT of right wing loons still in america to this day (the KKK loons come to mind immediately, if killing black people by the millions is not as much genocide as what happened in germany, i fail to see the difference).
The others have pretty much covered all the bases, but I wanted to clarify another of your misrepresentations ... the KKK is ugly and vicious and not a part of our history that the vast majority of Americans are proud of ... but they have not killed "millions" of black people. Over the past 150 years, they have murdered several thousand people, mostly but not all black.
It's not pretty, but it's also not in the millions.
And it's also against the law, not a legal function of our government, unlike the Holocaust. We punish the people who do it.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
Sugar Snap Pea
|Posted: 12/7/2012 7:50:52 PM|
atter,not just for all those jewish people but also look at how many millions of germans were ALSO killed in the concentration camps it wasnt a fate solely reserved for those who were jewish...
TOTALLY FALSE!!!!! There were millions of non-Jews killed in the Holocaust, most of them not in the camps (taken out in fields and shot, etc.) though there were non-Jews in the camps. Most of the non Jewish civilians killed were Polish or Russian or Romani. There were some non Jewish Germans killed in the camps (Priests, homosexuals, the disabled) but NOT MILLIONS OF GERMANS. Sheesh, way to turn things around and make it out like the Germans were the true targets or a significant part of the victims. I am horrified.
|"Some people should exercise their compassion a little more and their mouth a little less."-- Burning Feather|
|Posted: 12/7/2012 8:09:51 PM|
Adolf Hitler = well-known vegetarian! I usually open with that...
Anyway, I'm sure it's been brought up before, but it wasn't all that weird that MANY people joined the Nazi party between 1927-1939. The country was in a horrible depression, and here comes this charismatic guy who has what on paper sounds like a good idea to get out of it (this before all the 'war stuff' so to speak). Party officials literally had open-house meetings all over, where free beer was served, so you can imagine how poorly attended those were! People signed up because they wanted free beer, and...change. (And before anyone jumps on me as a Obama-hater, I assure you I am a lifelong moderate Democrat.)
As for Hitler's eugenics ideas, etc, it may surprise people to know that he modeled his plan after the eugenics studies being done in the GOOD OL' USA. We are HARDLY innocent in that light particular light of day!
Has anyone seen the episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian are on the open-air German tour bus flipping through the guide book, and Brian complains that "Why is there nothing in here between 1939 and 1945?" and the guide insists "We were all on vacation!" That's not a joke. We have a German friend who was very reticent on communications with us for a long time, even though we encouraged her and email her often. Finally she asked us what she deemed a personal question, and this was it: "Do Americans today still blame us all the time for everything that happened in the war?" She meant, like, in everyday conversation. We were absolutely floored. She had been ashamed to talk to us, because she was afraid we disliked her for that! Holy cats! After we reassured her that there were PLENTY of other topics that Americans have on the front-burner, she explained it thusly:
Germany and German people in general today are so crushingly ashamed of what happened, they don't even like to acknowledge it.
According to her, the guide book joke from FG is pretty much based on reality. She and her immediate family recently found out the truth her own grandfather was a camp tower guard and a member of the SS, and the family is in a state over it. They don't talk about it, not over wanting to hide the truth, but out of SHAME. We just reassure her that we are her friends and can't wait to meet her someday.
So, I don't immediately damn someone because they were a Nazi. It was NOT UNCOMMON AT ALL that many Germans joined the Nazi party, because, in a very general nutshell...
They were sick of the way that their government was handling the current woes of the country, and some charismatic guy and his cronies came along with what sounded like a good and viable idea, so he was put into power.
Any of that seem familiar? THROUGHOUT HISTORY?!!
There is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.
What happened was beyond horrible. I completely acknowledge the victims and their families. I do not want anyone to forget it, lest history repeat itself. But...what will this deportation do? Does it bring anyone back? Does throwing a shamed elderly man out of the USA really satisfy someone's primal need for revenge?
Anyway, it's a difficult topic for everyone concerned. But knowing ALL of history, not just the shiny parts, helps put it in perspective.
|Posted: 12/7/2012 8:22:04 PM|
Amelia Bloomer, no one suggested it is a perfect world or that all cases are handled as we'd want them too or as quickly. But it's not the norm, most soldiers do act honorably, and the behavior is NOT condoned or is part of the US policy. And that makes it all VERY VERY different than what the topic is here.
|Posted: 12/7/2012 9:12:57 PM|
^I never said rape had ANY similarity to the thread topic. That's why I labeled my comment a hijack.
(You and I probably disagree about the military's responsiveness to rape, but neither one of us is saying that it's officially condoned.)
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
|Posted: 12/10/2012 10:31:33 AM|
Does throwing a shamed elderly man out of the USA really satisfy someone's primal need for revenge?
Again, we are not 'throwing' an elderly man out of the U.S. to 'satisfy someone's primal need for revenge;' he will be deported because he BROKE THE LAW - he LIED on his application for citizenship. That is the U.S's only concern. Once he returns to Germany or . . . it is up to a International (military?) tribunal as to what, if any, consequence he will face, endure or suffer due to his affiliation with and VOLUNTARY participation in the NAZI regime and SS.
Just stick to the facts:
A German emigrated to this country
The same German applied for U.S. citizenship and LIED on his application
The same German, based on his FALSE application was given citizenship
It was discovered that this German BROKE THE LAW for submitting a FALSE application
This German (U.S. citizen) is facing the consequences (deportation) for his ILLEGAL actions - entering the U.S. and LYING on his request for citizenship
That's it. Do NOT, assign any other reason behind the U.S. concern with, or an action it takes, in this this man's case.