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How would you feel if you met a German WWII vet?

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by bobsmith76, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    That attitude of German soldiers doing their duty has taken hold among young re-enactors of German soldiers. Yes, in a reenactment, someone has to do that part and do it well, but some of these guys are way to good and they also believe the rabble. It really upsets a ww2 vet friend of mine.
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Okay. Let me remind everyone that, unless you are a WWII veteran, this thread is not about what YOU think. If you want to carry on a debate, start a topic in a section that is not reserved for WWII veterans'.

    I hope that it will not require closing this thread in order for that to happen.
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    Tommy is right. Watch what you say. You have been warned.

    This thread is about how you would react if you met a German vet, not your personal feelings about the past.
     
  4. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    Well,there isn't much else that can be said about the subject short of having an argument :eek: What I have heard in my many interviews with US vets who have met German vets is the distaste in what they perceive arrogance that didn't end with the defeat. In addition, I was a bit taken back by their (101st) dislike of the Austrians for the same reason. Jack and Don together threw a young woman into the lake at Gold Egg and on more than one occasion asked locals if they wanted the Russian's to come back when being treated condescendingly by locals.

    Myself, I would love the opportunity to interview German and East European vets who fought against the 327.

    In one of my interviews, Lloyd Gross of Lastrup, MN told me about being in Holland near Opheusden (I know the exact spot). He led a mg squad. Lloyd was frustrated at how close the Germans were getting to the front. They were using ditches. About 400 yards in front of the 327 he jumped into a foxhole and was face to face with a German in the dark, but was lighted somewhat by a barn burning (The barn is still there). Lloyd's parents were immigrants and he could speak the language. He grabbed his knife from his pants and was going to kill the guy, but the enemy said several times..."don't shoot, don't shoot" in German. Lloyd hesitated. The guy said, "I am dying". In the somewhat lighted foxhole he could see a several wound in the neck area. He was bleeding profusely. After a few minutes of looking at each other, the guy shared his wallet and showed pics of his wife and children. For about 1/2 an hour they talked. The
    German asked Lloyd to say the Lord's prayer with him. Afterwards, Lloyd held him while he died. He waited for the fire to die some and then went back. Lloyd was crying while he told me this, but was still sort of matter of fact about it.Then Lloyd put it this way. "For about a half an hour, we weren't enemies anymore." What is interesting is Lloyd knew he likely ordered the fatal wound shot and maybe shot it himself.
     
  5. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    My mother took me to visit Germany in 1986 to see my German relatives. I met two of my uncles who served in the German army during WW2. They told me what division and regiment they served in. I was told by my mom to not delve into things as they didn't like talking about the war. But my one uncle brought out a photo album of his service during the war. He had gone to Spain pre war and he had pics of him at a bullfighting event. He had pictures of him sitting on his motorcycle with a helmet and overcoat on while at the Russian Front. Other pics of him with his friends during the war. He served in Army Group Center in Russia.

    My other uncle had got shot crossing an open field with tall grass in the Ukraine in 1941. He laid in the tall grass for two days until he heard German voices before showing himself. He lost his leg because of that. He was very old and in bad health when I met him.

    I had just got out of the Air Force when I went to visit and they asked me how long I served and if I liked it etc.

    My one uncle that died in Russia in 1943 knew he was going to die. He came home on leave Christmas 1942. He served on the Rzhev sector. He was close to my grandmother and my then 13 year old mom remembers him pacing back and forth saying he didn't want to go back. He had a premonition of his death. In the end he made peace with the fact that he would die and made out his will and returned to his unit. In March 1943 he was killed at age 22.

    The two surviving uncles were just regular guys who didn't want to go to war, but their country called on them to go. My mother said she remembers them as being jokesters when they were younger. Always cracking jokes.

    My dad served in the 5th Infantry Division and never held a grudge against the defeated German soldiers in the post war.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    Good stories. It was nice that you could talk to them and see pictures of where they served. It's a shame you can't share them.
     
  7. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    Here is a picture of my grand uncle Simon Proll (wish I could figure out how to put the two dots above the o in his last name) he is the one that showed me his photo album. He had served in the peacetime army of the 1930s and then from 1940 thru 1945.

    Something I just noticed is that he has a number 10 on his shoulder strap? He had told me he was in the 88th Infantry Division, 246th Regiment.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Using Windows.
    While holding down the ALT key, type 0246, release the ALT key...Upon releasing the ALT key ö will appear.
    Here are the codes for German letters

    ALT 0223 = ß
    ALT 0228 = ä
    ALT 0246 = ö
    ALT 0252 = ü
    ALT 0196 = Ä
    ALT 0214 = Ö
    ALT 0220 = Ü
     
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  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    Not sure about the shoulder tab, but it looks like an infantry assault badge (on the right) and a wound badge (on the left) on his pocket.

    EDIT. Everything I've seen shows the "10" on his shoulder tab is the regiment. Color me confused. I hope one of our more knowledgeable rogues will fill this in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  10. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    I was thinking that also that it was a regiment number but it doesn't match what he said...so I'm confused also.

    I went ahead and looked up the German Army's 10th Regiment but it said it was destroyed with the 4th Division at Stalingrad. If he had served at Stalingrad I'm sure that would have been mentioned sometime in the past 7 decades. It then said the division was reformed, and eventually surrendered to the Russians in the Baltics in 1945. He was captured by the Americans while recovering at a German military hospital on May 4, 1945.
     
  11. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

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    For any vet who fought well for their country, stood by their comrades and watched some of them fall in the heat of battle there can be nothing but the highest respect. Each and every soldier has the right in these circumstances to be proud. In the end the allies overcame not perhaps because our troops were superior but because we had better leadership. We should recognize German vets were doing for Germany what our vets were doing for us and I for one would feel honored to be in the company of such a person.
     
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  12. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    I worked in Alaska with a fellow of German decent with a strong German accent. He was about the same age as my brothers who were WWII veterans so had to ask him if he served in the military. He said he did, and that he served in the Air Force (with his heavy accent). With a big grin I asked him which one--he answered with an equally big grin, " the wrong one".

    Apologies to Tommy for bending the rules of his post # 142 but it was fun working with this guy.
     
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