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Posted: 12/28/2005 5:41:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 5:41:58 AM EDT by Zaphod]
No matter how you slice it, Germany was and continues to be one of the most civilized nations in Europe. The Germans I met in my travels were almost universally some of the nicest people I've met.

Which is why I always wonder how it is that such a nation could have fallen so completely for the Nazi line. How could such a nation have embraced the death camps and all the other horrors so easily?

Oh, and I don't buy that no one knew about them.

Serious discussion, please. Yes, the Nazis were murderous assholes who (for the most part) got what they deserved. There are fanatics in any movement. I'm wondering how so many "normal" people ALSO fell for it?

Boggles the mind, especially the complete abandonment of any kind of humanity.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:44:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 5:47:39 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]
they came out on the shitty end of a war and their economy was in the toilet. old adolf gave them pride and respect so everyone followed his drivel hook, line, and sinker. plus, germans are an authoritarian people in the first place, kinda like the japanese.

also, one thing to remember is that mass communication and information weren't nearly as readily available as it is now. i have no problem believing that the masses had no frigging idea what was going on...shit, look at our own sheeple and iraq! and we don't have an excuse for not knowing what's going on!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:44:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:48:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:50:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
They are the ultimate sheep.
Whatever the shepard wants, they give him.
Kill jews? Hey, no sweat mein fuhrer.
Lived in Germany for three years. Go along to get along. They will do whatever the other guy is doing.

If tomorrow everybody was killing turks, they would do it and not miss a beat.
Freaky.




No kiddin'?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:51:29 AM EDT
Well if it makes a difference, I’m half German, half French, lived in Germany for over 13 years, 5 of those working as a civilian on the German system, and I married a German from my fathers home town. So I might know a little about Germans, this was my response in the “ German Pistol” thread:

My father-in-law was in the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking”. He fit the profile of soldier that the SS was looking for. He was 17 and given an ultimatum, join or we kill you and your family.

My mother-in-law and my own grandmother who happen to be from the same village in Germany were given basically the same choice, work in a munitions factory or be imprisoned along with your family.

My wife has an uncle who lives in Dachau still to this day, and you can dispute this as much as you want, but there were people who lived near those camps who had no idea exactly what went on inside.

I am by NO MEANS a sympathizer to the Nazis, but you must understand that the German government treated quite a few of their own citizens just as bad as they did others and many Germans were forced into service or face the consequences.

My father-in-law is gone now, he passed away in 1986, but he told me quite a few stories about his service. One story that stands out in my mind is about the time he saved a Hungarian mans life. He found this man laying on the side of the road suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach. He stopped to render first aid to this man and noted the mans name. Years after the war my wife and her family were vacationing in Hungary and my father-in-law wanted to visit some of the places he was at during the war, one place he wanted to visit was the village where he treated the wounded man. After some asking around, he found out that man had survived the war and was still living there. My father-in-law went to visit the man and was told because of his actions that day the man survived the war.

My wifes family spent the rest of that summer vacation at that mans home, and were invited back each summer, year after year. My father-in-law, that young SS soldier, saved that wounded mans life and in return the two became friends for life.


Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:52:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 5:54:48 AM EDT by BRONZ]
If you have No Food, No Clothes, No Home, and No Job, when somebody comes along and offers to provide everything you might listen.

1934, everybody went back to work and everybody had food on the table.


ETA: QUIB-Thats a great story.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:52:08 AM EDT
Classic use of propoganda, mass hysteria and real politik to confuse, baffle and mold public opinion. Hitler gave the people what they wanted to hear, that they were a great people treacherously led down the primrose path after WWI by the Allied Powers who blamed them for the war, took usurious damage payments and bankrupted their economy. He gave them a sense of will, jobs and power on the world stage again. He also lied, manipulated and stole from them for his evil ends. In the end the people paid for it with years of misery and ultimate ruin.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:52:17 AM EDT
Sylvan, it's amazing that you learned so much about the German culture in your time spent there.

They are a respectable culture, and will continue to be as long as they are around. I would sooner call myself a German that an ignorant fool the likes of yourself.

In short: FICK DICH and the rest of the German bashers.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:53:07 AM EDT
Desperation, no matter how civilized one may be, is still an enormous force.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:53:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 11:31:19 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:53:41 AM EDT
You are correct I think about the Germans; great people - it is very difficult to get to the heart of evil. It is both complex and complicated. It certainly was not a "hey let's kill the Jews thing." It think it snuck up on a lot of people, and by the time they knew what was going on they were also living in fear. I don't think it was easy and I think the cauttionary tail is that it could happen anywhere.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:59:44 AM EDT
It all reminds me of George Orwell's 1984........

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:59:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
They are the ultimate sheep.
Whatever the shepard wants, they give him.
Kill jews? Hey, no sweat mein fuhrer.
Lived in Germany for three years. Go along to get along. They will do whatever the other guy is doing.

If tomorrow everybody was killing turks, they would do it and not miss a beat.
Freaky.
[cartman]moooooommmmmmmm, if you were in a German Sheitze video, you'd tell me, right?[/cartman]



What an Idiot.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 5:59:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:00:34 AM EDT by hardcorps1775]

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
You are correct I think about the Germans; great people - it is very difficult to get to the heart of evil. It is both complex and complicated. It certainly was not a "hey let's kill the Jews thing." It think it snuck up on a lot of people, and by the time they knew what was going on they were also living in fear. I don't think it was easy and I think the cauttionary tail is that it could happen anywhere.


yep. if hitler had come right out in the beginning and said, "hey, i got an idea! let's all kill us some jews and burn 'em in great big ovens!" i think the german people woulda said, "fuck this whack job." but not many paid attention, folks just went around feeling good about being german, and the next thing you know, ivan's kicking in the front door asking for payback.

it IS a cautionary tale of what happens when you don't pay close attention to your elected critters and don't axe questions...
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:04:45 AM EDT
My grandfather served in the Nazi army. My parents always wanted me to know he was not a Nazi. He was a german who was forced to serve because refusing to serve meant going to a concentration camp.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:07:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tannim:
My grandfather served in the Nazi army. My parents always wanted me to know he was not a Nazi. He was a german who was forced to serve because refusing to serve meant going to a concentration camp.


"german" army. the nazi's didn't have an army (unless you count the sa).

didn't co's go to pioneer or medical units?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:08:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:10:36 AM EDT by QUIB]

Originally Posted By Tannim:
My grandfather served in the Nazi army. My parents always wanted me to know he was not a Nazi. He was a german who was forced to serve because refusing to serve meant going to a concentration camp.




I'm with ya buddy! I hear ya!

Edited to add that hardcorps1775 is right about the "army" comment.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:08:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tannim:
My grandfather served in the Nazi army. My parents always wanted me to know he was not a Nazi. He was a german who was forced to serve because refusing to serve meant going to a concentration camp.



During WWII, here in the US, if you were capable of serving, could you politely decline? What would happen if you tore up your draft card?

Remember, Concentration Camps were prisions.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:09:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:10:58 AM EDT by Zaphod]

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
They are the ultimate sheep.
Whatever the shepard wants, they give him.
Kill jews? Hey, no sweat mein fuhrer.
Lived in Germany for three years. Go along to get along. They will do whatever the other guy is doing.

If tomorrow everybody was killing turks, they would do it and not miss a beat.
Freaky.
[cartman]moooooommmmmmmm, if you were in a German Sheitze video, you'd tell me, right?[/cartman]



What an Idiot.




OK. Now that we got that cleared up...

Got any reasons to explain how the Germans went down the road they did en masse?

ETA: Is the threat of force the ONLY reason?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:10:11 AM EDT
i think there is alot of correct information on this thread..by many people.
their economy was devastated by WWI...total collapse.
they were a beaten people...and aloof..someone came along with some spirit..

but...
after talking with many germans who imigrated or stayed after being interned in POW camps in oklahoma..i dont think the forced populace is going to wash.

i have never heard anyone of germanic decent claim to have been forced into anything.
they seem to have been proud to have served a great nation.

it was AN HONOR to be in the SS..in was an honor to serve the fatherland..
they just turned the other cheek whenever someone talked about the jewish issue.

like the good man SYLVAN posted..
if germans were told to kill turks starting thursday at 0800..by someone they respectd..

you can bet..at 0800 on thursday the carhage would start.

on the other hand..
they have been led so long by neutered leaders...that it would take a real man of charisma to elevate them to those possibilities..


Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:10:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:11:56 AM EDT by Tannim]

Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:

Originally Posted By Tannim:
My grandfather served in the Nazi army. My parents always wanted me to know he was not a Nazi. He was a german who was forced to serve because refusing to serve meant going to a concentration camp.


"german" army. the nazi's didn't have an army (unless you count the sa).

didn't co's go to pioneer or medical units?



My Grandfather ended up on a firefighting ship stationed on the Rhein. I don't know if they were a pioneer unit.


Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:14:52 AM EDT
I think one needs to remember to that the Jewish community felt that if they cooperated with the regime things would be easier for them. The ghettoization, the stars, the local governements a la the Warsaw Ghetto. Why? Beucase what was going was so monstorous as to be almost unimaginable. You had pleanty of "reasonable" people the Jewish communities and non-Nazi Germans and others from the occupied lands that were just ryitn to survive.

Germans do "follow the rules" and they have very orderly society, which by and large I think is a good thing. It makes life more pleasant for everybody. They are not automons.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:15:19 AM EDT
This book puts forward a pretty convincing argument on this subject. Ultimately his answer is that the German people had imbibed some seriously bad philosophy for a number of years and that made them "ripe for the picking" -- eg: susceptible to exactly the kind of message that Hitler was sending.

The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff.

- CD
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:18:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:20:01 AM EDT by AbominableNo-Man]

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
You are correct I think about the Germans; great people - it is very difficult to get to the heart of evil. It is both complex and complicated. It certainly was not a "hey let's kill the Jews thing." It think it snuck up on a lot of people, and by the time they knew what was going on they were also living in fear. I don't think it was easy and I think the cauttionary tail is that it could happen anywhere.



Yes and no.

I wouldn't say that it snuck up on them per se, but I think that most of the German populace didn't know about the concentration camps. What most people don't understand, is that anti-semitism had a long history in Germany (and the rest of Europe) by that time. You're right that it wasn't a "hey lets kill the Jews thing", but at the same time, Jews getting evicted and pushed around to make room for other people probably wouldn't have raised many eyebrows, either.

Not many people remember this, but there were German resistance movements, too, in Germany during WWII. Check out these links below.

Widerstand

White Rose

There was also at least one early attempt on Hitler's life by Army officers:

Operation Spark

Some of the resisters were kids, too:

Edelweiss Pirates



Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:20:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By muddydog:
i have never heard anyone of germanic decent claim to have been forced into anything.
they seem to have been proud to have served a great nation.



Well I have. Not just of Germanic decent but direct family!

What gets me is all the experts we have here who like to quote from history books or documentaries, or think they are experts on German history because they were stationed there for a year or two.

I by no means call myself a history expert but I think being related to, and having spoken with people who LIVED through it all, the statements of those relatives has some validity.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:23:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:24:58 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:28:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:30:28 AM EDT by Zarathustra1]
I don't find it hard to believe at all that the majority of Germans had no idea of what was being done in the Death Camps. Most people are just like that. Look at the US today.

Who knows, maybe someday drastic actions will need to be taken against Turks in Germany...


With all this talk of the Germans being Evil though, whatever the hell that means...aside from any nonsense about the Wages of Sin or any other such gibberish, what exactly did we save the German people from, had they won the war? Why should they thank us?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:29:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Its pretty black and white, the German people were either sheep and misled by a madman or co-conspirators. Take your pick? Its a no brainer.

Serve or go to prison is the bases of all Draft Armies, however during Vietnam 250,000 American's fled to Canada rather than serve and a like number joined the National Guard to keep from serving in Vietnam. Genocide wasn't even a topic agenda. How many Germans fled Germany that weren't Jews?

Tj




That's a gross oversimplfication of the situation. Look into how the Nazis suppressed and killed any open opposition. Even youth groups were attacked and beaten by the Hitler youth to force them to quit and join the "correct" organization.

A concentration camp is not a prison. It's a place where you're sent to work until you die.

And fleeing the country meant nothing if your entire family was going to be arrested. We didn't imprision a draft dodger's family.

Yes, there were evil germans, but there were also others caught between a choice of serving or dying.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:29:18 AM EDT


No the US was not wrong for fighting that war and I make no apologies for bombing the holy hell out of the country.



That seems to me to be a different discussion. The orginial question was how did it happen.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:32:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:33:16 AM EDT by AbominableNo-Man]
So what's the thread intent guys, now its defend the Germans and what they did? Defend Nazis?

Its pretty black and white, the German people were either sheep and misled by a madman or co-conspirators. Take your pick? Its a no brainer.


I don't think anyone was defending the nazis.

I think the topic was more along the line of "What would have caused the German people to go along with them?" and maybe to a lesser extent, "Did they know about the fucked up shit the nazis were doing?"
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:33:55 AM EDT
there was no holocaust and we never went to the moon...

at least thats what I learned on TV.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:35:22 AM EDT
Zaphod,
This is deja vu all over again.
Check out my previous post on the "Can anyone ID this pistol" thread.
Here it is again for your benefit.
Read:
Hitler's Willing Executioners by Goldhagen
Hitler's Shadow War,...... I've forgoten the author.
Google is your friend, find Amazon.com.

In spite of the best ARFCOM efforts, you won't find a better documented nor scholarly treatment of the subject than the two books listed above. Ya gotta put in the work. The subject is too big and too complicated for ARFCOM spoonfeeding; sorry.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:36:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
Well if it makes a difference, I’m half German, half French...



What a bitch always surrendering to yourself
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:37:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
So what's the thread intent guys, now its defend the Germans and what they did? Defend Nazis?



See that’s one problem right there. Associating anyone who was German at the time as being a Nazi. The intent of my input into this thread is the fact that many Germans who were decent people were forced into service and treated no better than anyone else the Nazis persecuted. If you look at those who did leave Nazi Germany for other countries most were wealthy people.

Not defending the Nazis……no way in hell! Just defending the decent Germans who simply were trying to survive those times just like the rest.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:38:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:41:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Originally Posted By OrionSix:


No the US was not wrong for fighting that war and I make no apologies for bombing the holy hell out of the country.



That seems to me to be a different discussion. The orginial question was how did it happen.



........and that's what everyone took offense to was saying the German people were sheep.

There is an alternative to tyrnany and our founding fathers knew it, its called revolution.

Tj



That and the fact our founding father were 3000 miles from the central goverment. Forcing England to react an ocean away to changes they started.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:41:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
So what's the thread intent guys, now its defend the Germans and what they did? Defend Nazis?

Its pretty black and white, the German people were either sheep and misled by a madman or co-conspirators. Take your pick? Its a no brainer.

Serve or go to prison is the bases of all Draft Armies, however during Vietnam 250,000 American's fled to Canada rather than serve and a like number joined the National Guard to keep from serving in Vietnam. Genocide wasn't even a topic agenda. How many Germans fled Germany that weren't Jews?

No matter how you shake that tree it Germany that was invading their neighboring countries not the other way around. Millions died for a 1,000 year Reich dream based racial superiority.

Get real, we should be ashamed what the Americans did during black slavery, we should be ashamed of the genocide of Native Americans, but the German people were innocents for the six million dead so no associated shame or blame. Dang, if you guys believe that I have bridge in AZ, I can sell you.

No the US was not wrong for fighting that war and I make no apologies for bombing the holy hell out of the country.

Tj




I'm afarid you've pretty much hit the nail on the head, Thomas.
Co-conspirators. All the way.
Sorry, all you Germanophiles out there. Any other conclusion is nothing more than apologetics of the most ignorant kind.
Given the right starting conditions, anything can happen. People are capable of anything.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:43:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tannim:
That's a gross oversimplfication of the situation. Look into how the Nazis suppressed and killed any open opposition. Even youth groups were attacked and beaten by the Hitler youth to force them to quit and join the "correct" organization.

A concentration camp is not a prison. It's a place where you're sent to work until you die.

And fleeing the country meant nothing if your entire family was going to be arrested. We didn't imprision a draft dodger's family.

Yes, there were evil germans, but there were also others caught between a choice of serving or dying.



Thank you Sir, very well put!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:47:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By speedball:

Originally Posted By QUIB:
Well if it makes a difference, I’m half German, half French...



What a bitch always surrendering to yourself



Yep, I get teased about it all the time!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:47:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 6:56:46 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:55:44 AM EDT
Ever notice there are more grandsons of former SS in the US than there were SS.

I love the stories about how their grandfather was forced to become elite at the barrel of a gun.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:58:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:01:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2005 7:02:27 AM EDT by Tannim]

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Wait, I'm sorry I'm actually interjecting history.



Someone seems to be forgetting his own history here.


Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Talk about over simplification, so we're to believe every German who fought in WWII did so cause his famiy was going to be killed? Now that's funny.



Let me remind you of YOUR postion.


Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Its pretty black and white, the German people were either sheep and misled by a madman or co-conspirators. Take your pick? Its a no brainer.



I said that's not true. Some germans had no choice. I have not stated anywhere that every german didn't. You're the absolutist


Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
They feared the concentration camps cause you died there but didn't know the Jews were dieing there?


Find anywhere i've stated this. I believe they knew, much like the Soviet citizen knew o the Gulag.



Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Were the families killed after the Hitler assination attempt?


Rommel's family was used as a threat for him to commit suicide.




Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
After Hitler died hundreds killed themselves.


Hundreds of thousands didn't. You have a point?

The world isn't black and white. It's Black, White and all shades in between.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:04:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By Tannim:
That's a gross oversimplfication of the situation. Look into how the Nazis suppressed and killed any open opposition. Even youth groups were attacked and beaten by the Hitler youth to force them to quit and join the "correct" organization.

A concentration camp is not a prison. It's a place where you're sent to work until you die.

And fleeing the country meant nothing if your entire family was going to be arrested. We didn't imprision a draft dodger's family.

Yes, there were evil germans, but there were also others caught between a choice of serving or dying.



Thank you Sir, very well put!



Talk about over simplification, so we're to believe every German who fought in WWII did so cause his famiy was going to be killed? Now that's funny.

Were the families killed after the Hitler assination attempt? After Hitler died hundreds killed themselves. Wait, I'm sorry I'm actually interjecting history.



Get real, did I ever mention EVERY German, no. I'm simply saying a lot did get forced into service. And some that did were members of my family and my wifes family.

As far as the Hitler assination attempt is concerned:

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3908431.stm

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/julyplot.html

Can't comment on family members of those involved in the Hitler assination plot, but this is from the above posted web site, a Jewish one I might add:


It is etimated that 4,980 Germans were executed after the July Plot. Hitler decided that the leaders should have a slow death. They were hung with piano wire from meat-hooks. Their executions were filmed and later shown to senior members of both the NSDAP and the armed forces.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:11:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:13:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Sooooooo, they were sheep and Sylvan and Vitto are right...................

Next topic.

Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:15:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:21:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
If its so great there, you are welcome to go back at anytime.



I have gone back and lived there, and because of it and the fact my family lived through this part of history and the stories were passed on to us kids I think I can speak with a bit of authority on the subject….how about you? Any firsthand knowledge?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:21:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cjk1:
Sylvan, it's amazing that you learned so much about the German culture in your time spent there.

They are a respectable culture, and will continue to be as long as they are around. I would sooner call myself a German that an ignorant fool the likes of yourself.

In short: FICK DICH and the rest of the German bashers.




___



Anti-Semitism has always appeared as an essential part of the European cultural tradition, and in Germany, more or less conscious Jew-hatred exists by "tradition" as well.



Ed
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 7:21:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Sooooooo, they were sheep and Sylvan and Vitto are right...................

Next topic.



Sorry TJ, but if you are going to be black or white, does that mean we all were for burning Waco, or any of the other shennanigans that went on during the previous administration? Hitler and the Nazi's made it in by popular vote, but there were those that voted against him...

Nick
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