war crimes commited by wehrmacht

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by JugBR, Sep 13, 2008.

?

what do you think ?

  1. german soldiers just commited war crimes under superior orders.

    8 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. german soldiers commited war crimes because they was out of control and superiors didnt care about.

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
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  1. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    does german soldiers just commited war crimes when they had an order to do it(like in russian front wheres hitler ordered a violent and genocide war against ussr) or they was out of control in the heat of war doing what they want ?

    does the ethics and disciplin of prussian military tradition is a mith or a reality ?
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I think it may have been a little of both....
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Overall, the wehrmacht were only taking orders. Sure, there were some that were more Nazi than German soldier. Now with the SS, I think it's reverse of that.
     
  4. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    SS were no soldiers, they were political terrorists. The Wehrmacht in general were decent people, just soldiers fighting for their fatherland. The SS were swine.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The SS were originally a military arm of the Nazi leaders, and as such, reflected thier twisted ideology everywhere they went.

    The Wehrmacht was a soldier's organization, and had a better track record in humanities than the SS. The exception would be the Russian front, where both sides did horriffic acts against each other, and the poor civilians got caught in their midst and paid heavily.

    There were many times though, where the Wehrmacht needed to fall back and consolidate thier lines during the course of battle, and the SS (who's manpower would have helped the Wehrmacht's considerably) would open fire on the Wehrmacht from the safety of the rear.

    Also plenty of cases on the Western front where Wehrmacht medics went to the aid of wounded Allied soldiers when they didn't need to.
     
  6. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    The two options given are pretty extreme.
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I couldn't decide either.

    The Wehrmacht were regulars - just soldiers and sometimes in the heat of battle tempers can flare. No different than in any other army.

    The SS - and not necessarily the frontline soldier - were under orders to be ruthless and ordered to act in certain ways. At the beginning of the war these units had strict requirements, i.e., Aryan bloodline, Nazi doctrine - so it was no problem following orders no matter how bloody or vicious. This changed as the war went on and "other" people joined the SS. Rules were relaxed.

    But there is a difference between Wehrmacht and SS.
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I think that SS has a lot more to answer for than the Wehrmacht... But. you also had some Divisions of the SS that earned a good reputation form the allies like Wiking and Nordland....
    On the other hand you have Das Reich, Totenkopf, Adolf Hitler and that later "division" that they put together that was nothing but murderers and rapists in uniform....can't remember the name of it....was it Dirlewanger? Maybe not....
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I do not think the poll answers are very well thought out. Sorry Jug, no offense to you...

    I think others here have already covered it pretty well.
     
  10. Ramirezzz

    Ramirezzz Member

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    well it's a VERY tough issue. For a Russian especially..
    just some personal thoughts:
    a village near the place where my father was born , some 20 miles southeast of Tula ,was completely destroyed in the winter of 1941. All male inhabitants were shot , women were later been used as slave workers in Germany. Some died of hunger during the same winter.
    No SS troops were there at that time.
    There're were thousands and thousands of such villages in Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia.
    Although I'm not saying all or even most of Wehrmacht troops were cold blood killers, not at all.
    But it was not the sauber Wehrmacht as someone could probably imagine either.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    sorry but this topic needs to be closed, it will in short time go nowhere with a visciousness that we really do not need here
     
  12. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The Eastern Front was certainly brutal by all means. Both sides comitted great atrocities against one another. It was probably the scene of the worst of the worst both sides had to offer.
     
  14. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I agree with Erich that there is really no value to be taken away from this thread.

    Marcel - many of the SS troops were EXCELLENT soldiers, all else aside.
     
  15. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Total war is hell. Once the politics are forgotten it is what it is, total war. Soldiers are not politicians. The crimes against humanity are vast and both sides are guilty. Every "war crime" was answered by the opposing force with equal viciousness. If one could be totally analytical he could see this for themselves.

    The Eastern front was reduced to a savagry that is truly animalistic in nature and I hope the western world has learned some lessons from the conflict.
     
  16. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    In terms of committing war crimes the Wehrmacht were no more frequent at it than any other western army, and less frequent than the Soviets.

    Then there's the Waffen SS however, there's no doubt that they commited war crimes, but mostly in the east and ofcourse under strict orders. BUT despite what many think the average Waffen SS soldier was just like any other in the world but part of the Nazi parti and a strong follower of its ideology, not evil or twisted, just convinced into a different ideology. 90% if not more knew little to nothing about the concentration camps, and they often dismissed it as rumors, afterall they were fighting for a good cause (They believed).

    No the real bad guys were the specially formed shooting squads within the SS which were called upon for liquidation of prisoners or innocent civilians, these were slime and many of them were convicted criminals. These shooting squads were formed out of necessity as it was found that the regular Waffen SS soldier would break down and/or commit suicide if given the same task, which is no surprise.

    That having been said the Waffen SS itself definitely did commit a number of war crimes, involving burning down towns and shooting civilians, but mostly these were provoked by Partizan attrocities. A number of villages were burned down and the inhabitants shot after the Germans had found the mutilated bodies of their fellow soldiers with their eyes cut out, ears ripped off castrated by Partizans. This often drived them straight into bloodrush and rampage against nearby villages where they suspected the Partizans were situated. And these things still happen today, namely in Iraq Afghanistan where US soldiers have gone beserk against civilians a number of times already after having been provoked by the taliban.

    As already mentioned war is hell!
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Soren, the "SS" troops had a well deserved (and proven) reputation for atrocities and war crimes being commited far from the battlefield.

    How would you justify in saying some Jewish infants from Holland managed to provoke the SS troopers into commiting genocide?
     
  18. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I believe he was refering to the Waffen SS Panzergrenadiers. The SS were hardcore soldiers and police.
     
  19. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    I'm talking about the Waffen SS syscom3, not the SS TotenkopfverbÀnde, Germanic SS or Allgemeine SS, there's a BIG difference!

    The last three, and esp. the SS TotenkopfverbÀnde, were responsible for the attrocities you mention (NOT the Waffen SS which were combat troops) and also formed the shooting squads I talked about. Like I said these guys were slime!

    Don't mix the attrocities of the other SS branches (concentration camps, mass executions etc etc) with the Waffen SS, the Waffen SS were combat troops.

    That having been said the Waffen SS did commit war crimes, like I said earlier, but mostly when provoked into it and they weren't alone in doing it either, the Allies made their fair share as-well.

    Finally I'm not trying to justify anything, like I said war is hell, always has been always will be.
     
  20. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Then there's the Waffen SS however, there's no doubt that they commited war crimes, but mostly in the east and ofcourse under strict orders. BUT despite what many think the average Waffen SS soldier was just like any other in the world but part of the Nazi parti and a strong follower of its ideology, not evil or twisted, just convinced into a different ideology. 90% if not more knew little to nothing about the concentration camps, and they often dismissed it as rumors, afterall they were fighting for a good cause (They believed).
    No the real bad guys were the specially formed shooting squads within the SS which were called upon for liquidation of prisoners or innocent civilians, these were slime and many of them were convicted criminals. These shooting squads were formed out of necessity as it was found that the regular Waffen SS soldier would break down and/or commit suicide if given the same task, which is no surprise.



    So, it's just few bad guys managed to kill 17 millions civilians on the territiry of the USSR? Is that what you're saying? Well, they must've been very fast shooters.


    A number of villages were burned down and the inhabitants shot after the Germans had found the mutilated bodies of their fellow soldiers with their eyes cut out, ears ripped off castrated by Partizans.


    Old Goebbels propaganda becomes more and more popular these days.

    Have you heard of Hitler's doctrine of "living space"? He came up with this idea long before the war.

    Lebensraum (German for "habitat" or literally "living space") served as a major motivation for Nazi Germany's territorial aggression. In his book Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum (for a Grossdeutschland, land, and raw materials), and that it should be taken in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Russian and other Slavic populations, whom they regarded as Untermenschen, and to repopulate the land with reinrassig Germanic peoples. The entire urban population was to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus to feed Germany and allowing their replacement by a German upper class.

    Lebensraum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And his other doctrine the "Final Solution" had contributed to the total death toll too. In my hometown there is a massgrave of estimated 100.000 people (mostly Jews) executed during the occupation between 1941-43.
     
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