Contra the hatred, German war cemetry Ysselstein, Captain Timmermans

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Marcel, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    #1 Marcel, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Because of the discussion here: http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/wwii-videos/retribution-germans-war-graphic-everone-43797.html, I thought a counter message was necessary. I think we from the generations after the war can learn from the creation of the German cemetry Yselstein and especially from the one who maintained it for many years.

    Ysselstein is a huge cemetry. more than 31,000 german soldiers are burried there. To compare, the biggest warcemetry for Americans here in The Netherlands is Margraten, where 8,300 US soldiers rest. I found this story about Captain Timmermans on 'Traces of war' and I found it very inspiring. I think we all could learn a lesson here.

     
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  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Marcel as I posted some time ago in that thread:
    Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
     
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  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #3 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
    Thanks for sharing Marcel. Your wisdom and compassion makes you a great friend and human being.

    Both of my Grandfathers served in WW2. One was in the Wehrmacht (served in the French Campaign and then the East Front). The other was a US soldier and landed in Normandy on D-Day. Interestingly they both became friends post war after my parents met. My mother has shown me pics of them enjoying a beer and laughing and sharing stories. I only wish they had not died when I was so young.
     
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  4. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    #4 Marcel, Aug 29, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Thanks Chris, likewise, although I resent the "wisedom" part :lol:

    Ysselsteyn by the way is a special place. You know that they didn't put the units on the crosses so as not to provoke anything? They were afraid that some resentment against certain units would trigger vandalism. On this cemetry, all military, SS or Wehrmacht are treated the same. And it is quite a sobering sight:
    friedhof.jpg
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks for this, Marcel. Hopefully one day the similar story will be created on these territories :\
     
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  6. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Every country has it's own captains Timmerman. He was a unique guy, but there are many that are as unique as he was. It's most probably that stories like this happend at your place as wel,, but never became widely known. The problem is that angry people shout loudest, thus get the most attention. But if we ever want peace, we'll need examples like this
     
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  7. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Just bumping this as I think this is still a very important lesson. Democracies should be based on tolerance, respect and freedom. It is what should set us apart from the ones out to destroy us. It should never be based on anger, fear and disrespect. Please remember that when you are having discussions here or want to slash out again on Facebook.
     
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  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Again great wisdom my friend.

    Unfortunately some have fallen in the traps of the extremes...
     
  9. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... Democracies should be based on tolerance, respect and freedom. It is what should set us apart from the ones out to destroy us. "

    Western Europe was liberated from evil by basically decent, moral, everyday civilian males who were moral ... who came from societies that were moral ... they fought and died because they were outraged ... angry .... and they committed force and vast resources to stopping evil. Evil bequeaths evil but not stopping it is also evil.

    .... those who find this truth politically inconvenient, who deny the human right to be angry, to be outraged, they are the ones who are out to destroy us because they would take the weapon, the necessary weapon of anger off the table.

    IMO :)
     
  10. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    That's your opinion Michael.
    Let me tell you something else:
    When we were finally liberated in 1945, the Dutch people dragged people on the street, these were girls who had a German boyfriend or people that had helped the Germans in some way. Their heads were shaved and and all kinds of humiliating and cruel things were done to them, all out of anger about the last 5 years.
    However, my grandfather, a member of the resistance for a all of the 5 years, and his comrades never participated in those festivities and they were really digusted about it all. Their anger was clearly not so great after all. The people who did these kind of things were mostly people who had sat out the occupation without doing anything.
     
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  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    If this is too political, please feel free to delete it...but the world is replete with negative examples of the politics of "them". By this I mean the desire to blame some faceless group for all our ills. Hitler did this to horrific effect with the Jews, the Slavs, the disabled and countless others. The entire Balkans war of the early 1990s and countless wars in Africa have clear roots in highlighting the differences between different people (Rwanda anyone?). This issue extends to other, less violent but no less problematic, national policies (eg British anti-Catholic policies and the segregationist policies in America).

    Capt Timmermans story is an amazing example of what happens when we put a personal face and a name to "them". Maybe I'm naiive but I genuinely believe that most people simply want to live a good life, provide for their kids and raise their family to become functioning, contributing members of society. There are exceptions and the media will always highlight the few who go to extremes because extremes sell newspapers (or, in this day and age, clicks). However, the few do not represent the majority. The more we follow Capt Timmermans' example and put a name and a face to "them", the more we'll realize how alike we are. To quote Sgt Buster Kilrain from the movie Gettysburg "The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time."
     
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  12. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Most eloquently put Buff.
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    .. well said ... and nothing begets evil like poverty, jealousy and ignorance.
     
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  14. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.
    `Oh, Man. look here. Look, look, down here.' exclaimed the Ghost.

    They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

    Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
    `Spirit. are they yours.' Scrooge could say no more.


    `They are Man's,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. `And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it.' cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. `Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.'
    `Have they no refuge or resource.' cried Scrooge.


    Are there no prisons.' said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. `Are there no workhouses.' The bell struck twelve.
     
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  15. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Christmas Carol is my all-time favourite story. Even saw Patrick Stewart perform it live in a one-man show (yes, one man...it was amazing). The scary thing is that the more information we have available, the more ignorant we seem to become, not least because we gravitate to information sources that align with our preconceptions which reduces scope for challenging ideas and ultimately results in poorer (or at least less well-rounded and nuanced) political solutions. How I wish we could have a more grown-up political dialog and open discussion of issues rather than immediately resorting to name-calling and labelling people.
     
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  16. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... the more information we have available, the more ignorant we seem to become"

    My mother was taught and taught me: "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".

    Education is not judgement or common sense .... we have over-educated in the liberal arts and social sciences, raising expectations, sense of entitlement and promoting social dissatisfaction ... without imparting real courage, discipline, morality or good judgement.
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    for me the overriding symbol on this whole issue is the Lady justice, which is based on the roman goddess of Justice (latin Iustitia) .

    Lady Justice is most often depicted with a set of scales typically suspended from her left hand, upon which she measures the strengths of a case's support and opposition. She is also often seen carrying a double-edged sword in her right hand, symbolizing the power of Reason and Justice, which may be wielded either for or against any party. The downward direction of the sword is meant to symbolize punishment but tempered with mercy.

    Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents impartiality, the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, race, prejudice, or other status. The earliest Roman coins depicted Justitia with the sword in one hand and the scale in the other, but with her eyes uncovered.Justitia was only commonly represented as "blind" since about the end of the 15th century.

    At the end of WWII new concepts about collective guilt were introduced that had not previously been applied . It was based on the notion that war guilt could be applied on a national basis, that in effect the nation as a whole was guilty. Germany's war guilt was never tested but was embedded in the unconditional surrender. It holds the nation as a whole to account something which remains in place to this day. there is no sunset clause to this finding, Germany will be guilty in the eyes of the law for eternity for causing the war. As far as I'm aware, there is no recourse to appeal that finding.

    The Nuremberg trials required as a prerequisite that the individuals placed on trial must first be from a nation in which war guilt had been established. It was a legal tool of convenience so that the allies could not be put on trial as well. The process was flawed, but it was better than some of the other methods of summary punishment meted out at the end of the war. Stalin for example just wanted to shoot all of the SS plus 100000 Germans picked randomly. Churchill was not much better. The mobs unleashed in the unoccupied territories equated justice with vengeance when in fact nothing could be further from the truth
     
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