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Gustav Knittel...

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Timo, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. Timo

    Timo Member

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    A Belgian servant in the Antoine Farm, Knittels CP near Stavelot, overheard a conversation of some SS-soldiers that they wanted to kill the civilians once the officers were gone. Knittel then assured the family that he would leave the farm as the last man. He kept this promise and Madame Antoine, well over ninety years old, still says that Knittel was correct in his behaviour towards them.

    Perhaps as their commanding officer he was responsible for the misdeeds of his men, but he never gave orders for any warcrime and here Belgian civilians support his defense.

    He earned my respect by doing things like this. Being a soldier is not just about fighting. A shame that he was framed for murder at the Malm├ędy trial. He was human in every aspect, not just in the above example.

    Timo

    [ 18. January 2003, 04:23 PM: Message edited by: Timo ]
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Timo and thank you for posting this. Also--the allies were just looking to punish anyone they could--JUST because they were Waffen SS men. :(
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Member

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  4. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

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    The Wiki doesn't seem to make mention of the incident, do you have alternate sources?
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Member

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    Which "incident"?
     
  6. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

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    The one you described in your original post, about the officer promising to stay behind?
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Member

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    Well, that original post is seven years old and by now I realize that it wasn't the simple act of chivalry I believed it to be. With his battlegroup surrounded and the Americans closing in on him every hour he could use some goodwill because he knew the Americans had found out about the civilians his men murdered in Stavelot and the nearby hamlets. Just like Peiper could use the goodwill of McCown in La Gleize. Still, it still seems that Knittel never actively ordered his men to murder.
     
    Martin Bull likes this.
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I missed this from a few weeks ago - many thanks for the update, Timo....
     

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