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nazi symbols on gravestones

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by bronk7, May 13, 2020.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Tough call, as they are historical artifacts and may date back to WW II perhaps some documentation on site to give it context.
     
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  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I tried looking at the website, but there were no pictures of the gravestones and too many distracting clickbait to unrelated stories involving neonazi cellos in the US Army and plans to remove memorials to Confederates.

    The German graves maintained by the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. and those in the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission do not display any Nazi symbols.

    What was the story behind Nazi symbols on German wargraves in the US? Were they buried that way. If so it is an interesting piece of history. Or were the symbols added at a later date by US White supremacists? Or have i misread this and the story is that the Swastikas were added in the 1940s by local Confederate supporters with a desire to demonstrate solidarity with the Nazis?
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Agreed, far too many unknowns.
     
  5. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm still unclear as to why Germans are buried in American military cemeteries. I can understand why some visitors, especially Jews, would be offended by this display of a defeated enemy. White nationalists who display this symbol should be sentenced to read Mein Kampf.
     
  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    The graves of around 30 German sailors whose bodies were recovered after the sinking of a submarine off, can't remember exactly which, the OBX of North Carolina, or, maybe,nearer Capes Henry/Charles near the mouth of the Chesapeake, can be found in the small national cemetery in Hampton VA, just off the interstate before you get to the bridge-tunnel to Norfolk. They are marked with just names and a simple "German Sailor" as I recall.
     
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I was in a hurry, sorry ..here's the Daily Mail
    [​IMG]
    VA refuses to remove swastikas from graves of German POWs | Daily Mail Online
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....well at that time, that was the German flag/symbol/etc--so that's why they have the swastika there--yes? wouldn't it be the same as Germans burying Americans in Germany and putting the US flag/symbol on the gravestone?
    ..I'll have to say they are deceased soldiers/etc--it's been there this long--let it [ the issue ] rest in peace

    from the DM link:
    ..there were many, many soldiers/sailors/airmen who fought for Germany who were not ''evil nazis'''.....if it is proven these particular Germans were evil nazis, then maybe remove it......
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Kafka & Forst PoWs,
    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17992800/alfred-p-kafka
    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17992790/georg-forst


    Originally interred in temporary graveyards at their camp, then consolidated to current spot , which seems to have become more prominent as the cemetery evolved.
    (Seems reasonable - as referred to above it's not uncommon for 'military' cemeteries worldwide to have some enemy within if their own country never gathered them up.)
    Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery POW Burials

    'Interesting' that they're the only ones with inscriptions & swastika. There'll be a paper trail explaining that somewhere. (In CWGC methodology, relatives choose personal inscriptions. Maybe a possibility here?)
    Wonder if they might have been SS? Pure speculation, but maybe fits with modified markers. Would require more digging about.

    As to the swastika Iron crosses, I could see them being removed if the graves are maintained when worn out, but as they are - meh - not gonna jump off the grave, and nobody seems to have cared for 75-ish years.
     
  11. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    That's because in the US, if someone even so much as looks at you sideways you get to be offended and become a victim.

    Frankly, offended people offend me.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I remember, maybe-20 years ago? - the SPLC or ACLU got involved with another cemetery case..... ..now I think I remember--it was a cross .....I think it was not for a gravestone, but in the cemetery
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Thank you.

    Fair enough. If the US Army approved the design in the 1940s it says something about the attitudes of the time. Defacing memorials,like this looks like an attempt to rewrite history. What it really highlights are modern prejudices. .

    German grave stones elsewhere do not carry swastikas. Nor are German war dead buried in American military cemeteries either.
     
  14. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    My bet is that someone in the local command at the time opined "What do ours look like? Okay, come up with something of that nature for them. Take care of it." And some 2LT came up with something and, yea, verily, a purchase order was cut for the local stone mason and it was a done deal without much further thought. If there was after thought, it was already a done deal with no guidance from upper command levels. And NOW someone, with naught to do with the episode, is offended? Someone needs, very badly, a life. If the headstones were to be cut today, that's different and and most definitely a very bad idea. But in the 1940's? A different ball game. At worst bureaucratic inertia and, perhaps, questionable oversight.

    This from the son of a USN ace whose father absolutely and resolutely refused to attend, when someone managed to track him down and invited, any of the 1980's and 1990's warm & fuzzy gathering of WW2 aces (you know, all brothers knights of the air hype nonsense) when such included Axis types on the simple basis of if Germans attended he might be shaking the hand of someone who shot down and killed his brother, a P-47 squadron commander, or, if Japanese, probably killed at least one of his many friends and contemporaries . . . his response was always a polite "No thank you. I'd rather not." Can't say as I blame him.

    I recall being at an event at Pensacola, a symposium on Midway where a good many of the flyers present at the battle and still alive at the time attended. There were even a couple of Japanese torpedo plane types there . . . At one of the social hours that weekend my father was standing around, yours truly hovering in the background, with some of his VF-3 comrades and a couple of other USN aviation notables (or at least notables in my book), when this happy college type, apparently a translator, waltzes up with a Japanese VT type in tow and introduces him around as a guy who put a torpedo into Yorktown. Everyone gave a polite hello or nod, but no hand shakes, no smiles, and after a long minute of awkward silence, the confused minder and his VT type beat a slow retreat. He'd picked the wrong group to approach. As they went off to the next grouping in the room (one presumes in search of happy, back slapping welcomes) one of the former VF-3 types, not my father, but like him, one of the last six launched from the ship into the teeth on the incoming torpedo plane attack, said "If I'd taken off 30 seconds sooner I would have shot his a** down, too." A statement followed by sage nodding all around and a segue into whatever they were discussing before the interruption.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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