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Waffen-SS vs. Einaatzgruppen

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Hummel, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    Actually urqh my grandparents were in wartime Germany and told me the civilian view of the SS, my Grandmother was in fact adamant, argumentative, about her assertion that they simply did not exist separately from the Heer. Her words despite my references to the contrary, "There was no such thing, it was just a new army uniform for regular army, it had a double lightning bolt, they did not say SS, it was just a pair of lightning bolts and it was just regular army with a new uniform. To replace the old Kaiser's uniform." And whilst just a pedestrian, she has been within eyeshot of people like Galland, it's not like she doesn't have some close association at least emotionally to certain intimate wartime details.

    Yeah I know, her conclusions are erroneous and misguided, I know this not to be the case but sometimes there's a point where arguing with elderly people is just beating a dead horse and being a troublemaker. She's family, all you can do is make her a nice cup of tea and get her some biscuits.

    My point is what if the general population centres around the Baltic and central European states, which were largely Nazi-friendly had the same kind of impressions. Is there an argument for common perceptions as opposed to detailed postwar research and far more informed impressions of what was indeed going on back then?

    I mean, when you really think about it, you can't really blame them until you can be sure anyone would reasonably realise what exactly is going on, and what is expected of them. At that point, it is what they then do, but most of these foreign-SS wound up guarding interns and doing probationary crap. Cossack SS-recruits were just psychopaths unleashed onto their home communities no longer governed by indigenous justice systems, it was a pretty calculated strategy.

    I think in some cases, you can't really blame them for joining, one should look at individual records for actions taken, and in other cases they were recruited specifically because they were dangerous criminals.
     
  2. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    If I recall correctly the Estonian SS units were formed by a general conscription of the population and a recall of personnel fighting elsewhere in other units, including Finland.
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Before we all get all mushy.....to me, joining the Nazis to fight the Communists is like siding with the devil to fight to enemy. Stalin held a special place in his heart for the Baltic states and rewarded them post accordingly.
     
  4. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Don't think we are getting mushy Slion....I'm with you on that one. In fact joining the Nazi's to fight aliens wouldnt cut if for me either.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Not to trow gasoline on the fire, but not every German between 1939-45 was a Nazi, and we should give some credit to Goebbels propaganda. There were some people thoughout Europe who bought into the whole 'Crusade against Communism' canard. The reasons people put on uniforms and fought were almost too great to number, especially in the east. Still almost any SS/'Police'/Security unit deployed in the east has a dark history to it.
     
  6. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Some of the worst men in the Waffen-SS uniform was Oskar Dirlewanger's Brigade. They recruited from prisons and mental insutitions. I suppose the logic is, these guys are doomed anyway, why not give them a weapon and let them help us fight our common enemy? (sort of like a "second chance" to restore their honor). The problem was that they were criminals, and regardless of what uniform they had on, they stayed criminals, The things they did to the population in Poland is horrifying. I was actually glad to learn that Herr Dirlewanger was caputured, tried, and executed by the Poles. I feel that anyone who permits the rape of a civilian population during wartime deserves that sort of justice. Is anyone else aware of the infamous Dirlewanger Brigade?
     
  7. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    Just a point, Dirlewanger was not tried. The Poles took him and beat him to death, and if anyone deserved it he did.

    The man was a convicted sex offender and still allowed to command and was awarded the Knights Cross by a grateful SS.
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    No they most certainly were not. See my post on Eidleweiss movement in another thread. Germans fought against the coming regime for many years before it took power and some after it took power. Being German does not equate to being a nazi. However, the thing I keep hearing about what would you do? It is indeed relevant...I know for a fact I would be one of the ones dead or imprisoned...Its not ego..its just the way it is.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I too, like to think I would not blindly go along with the herd on National socialism. In my humble opinion there was far too much 'selective blindness' among the best and brightest within Germany and her allies during this period.
     
  10. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Sloniksp, why do you whitewash Soviet involvement in WW2? Never forget that Stalin began the conflict as a fascist ALLY, trampling over smaller countries in the name of Soviet Empire. Where it not for a falling out with rabid anti-Communist Hitler, they would have remained on the Axis side and probably finished the war fighting the Western Allies.

    For you, as a trustee, to sit there and call Waffen SS volunteers misguided for joining the war to eliminate the Stalin regime really is the pot calling the kettle black.

    The Soviets dreadfully mismanaged their war effort. It was a conflict of their own making, and you can see it as an extension of the Great Purge. In fact, I would have called it the "Great Patriotic Purge". Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Finns, Ukrainians, Cossacks, and a host of other subject peoples all fought to rid Eastern Europe of the spectre of Stalinism. Whether the Germans were fighting for the same idea is debatable, but certainly they were willing to put ANY anti-communist in uniform when the going got rough.

    I believe that circumstances in the Soviet Union were brought on by Soviet high-handedness, brutality, and expansionist ideas. Hitler had the Western Allies over a barrel in late 1940, and the Soviets sat back and expanded their borders in the same period. The war was nearly two years old before any Soviet soldier shot at German soldiers, and then ONLY when their mutual pact had gone sour. They whined endlessly about carrying the bulk of the fighting and deaths, but really, did their foreign policy deserve any better?

    Just recall that the Berian NKVD were NO BETTER than any comparible organisation in Europe. They, too, had camps where people were worked to death, so, lets not get 'mushy' about Soviet involvement. The war from a Russian perspective was GROSSLY mismanaged. ONLY a tyrant could have run things this way and remained in power. Zukhov was still throwing soldiers forward arm in arm at the Battle of Berlin. Some tactician......a brute if you ask me.
     
  11. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Sions trusteeship has nothing to do with any of this Volga. Trustees are entitled to their own opinion and understanding of history as much as the rest of us. A moderator here had a grandfather in the Estonian or Latvian ss...No one suggests he should not or does not do his duties as a moderator any different to anyone else.
     
    belasar and LRusso216 like this.
  12. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Trustees should subscribe to IMPARTIALITY.

    Slonik is a little too quick to condemn German members of an organisation that was more alike to it's Russian counterpart than different. Just remember, gas chambers were a direct result of troops unable to bear the strain of mass executions. Many had to be liberally supplied with alchohol just to make it bearable, if thats the correct term to use. Likewise, their NKVD counterparts were habitually drunk.

    I am glad we in the West had the cynicism to play off one tyranical regime against another, resulting in the military crushing of one and economic ruin for the other. Game, set and match to the politician responsible for this.

    Good onya Winston Churchill! Elimination of two brutal regimes in one.

    While we are at it, describing historie's worst butcher as possessing any kind of heart is more than enough to make me retch uncontrollably. I.V. Stalin was universally acknowledged to have not a trace of a heart, of pity, or compassion for any other than his cronies, whom he protected long after their usefullness was at an end.

    BTW...Slonik also describes the SS criminality as judged as such by Nuremburg. Pity it is that Soviet servicemen were not taken to task by the same tribunal for the many crimes perpetrated. Maybe we should have a second Nuremburg specifically to deal with unprosecuted Soviet crimes. If the Red Army was just as criminally active as the SS themselves, what does this say about Soviet conduct, let alone their lack of internal judgement. I suppose you can't put an entire army on trial.
     
  13. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    It maybe that the Nuremburg declaration of the SS as a criminal organisation was to prevent appeal on the basis of being a national security institution and not formal military, so even as a civilian paramilitary they are still subject to military tribunal.

    Nomenclature and pidgeonholes are important in legal stuff, but it doesn't mean some weren't given prosecution immunity. The postwar NATO eastern counter Intelligence set up in west Germany was built literally by SS, SD and Abwehr wartime staff officers given prosecution immunity from war crimes. I have names. They formed the very basis of CIA operations in western Germany and across the iron curtain.
    So they didn't want to prosecute everybody, I mean if that's the political thing to do sure, but another time national security calls for something else and you drop it like an old hat.

    Any claim any of this had any morality to it is entirely pots and kettles and black.
     
  14. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Just remember, gas chambers were a direct result of troops unable to bear the strain of mass executions. Many had to be liberally supplied with alchohol just to make it bearable,

    My heart bleeds for them, poor buggers. At least the Shnappes makers were kept busy then.

    As for impartiality, what a load of old crock. Trustees are not Moderators. Your own impartiality slip is showing. Instead of keepiing to the argument you go for the messenger.
     
  15. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Ok Urqh. Shooting the messenger is not on. Sorry slonik.

    My point still stands firm. On the gas chamber thing, that was not meant to be sympathetic, merely to show that humans are not automata as some modern Geneticists have esposed. I was censoring Slonik for putting Soviet conduct in another catagory, which he did. In action, they were one and the same. They even marched in a similar fashion.
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Volga, much of your comments about the Soviet Union are quite correct. It was no workers paradise in any sense of the term and was quite willing to gobble up any small morsel laying about. But it also was not the same as Nazi Germany. Within Germany's empire what you were by birth was a death sentence. Within the Soviet empire you could survive, and even thrive, so long as you bought into the communist dogma, or at least kept your head down.

    For me the two empires were like two thieve's. Tne Nazi's would break down your door, pistol whip you, rape your teenage daughter and kill your dog before taking everything you owned. The Soviets would wait for you to leave with the door unlocked and take anything they could easily carry out and fence.
     
  17. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Oh, my mistake. When I say "tried" I mean that someone took about one second to think over killing him or not. Didn't take long to decide! I completely agree, he deserved it perhaps more than most, especially because of his personal conduct (sex offender status) and what he allowed troops to do under his command. He is also creepy - have you seen that ugly mug?
     
  18. Vanir

    Vanir Member

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    belasar in a political sense both extremes seek to feed on primal drives like jealousy, greed, sentimentality and loathing. Both Nazis and Stalinists are extremely primal and spend all their efforts rationalising it.
    In this sense they are two sides of the same coin, the same effect, a totalitarian dictatorship.

    some famous pianist who defected in the soviet era described the secret police of the soviets in a interesting fashion. She said it wasn't men in black coats like the gestapo, it was your neighbours. The system was set up in such a way that common neighbourhood pettiness formed the basis of government. And after all the communist ideal was for community level government.
    So those people who don't like it when some are more talented than them, often tend to become political informants and get their neighbours imprisoned. Those at the top of Soviet government live in entirely another world all to their own. In practise it is no different to the class imposition of capitalism.

    but sure they look different, a gestapo officer in leather, compared to a petty neighbour who wants your apartment, it's just a different delivery for the same injustice.
     
  19. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Very well said. I remember having our window shades drawn when I was a kid, and my family lived in East Berlin. Even as a child, I felt a constant uneasiness and vague fear of strangers. I heard of a man getting arrested because he had a bootleg of the American movie "Greese", and his neighbor heard the English singing through the paper-thin communist-built apartment walls, became jealous that he didn't have an American film, and denounced the neighbor.
    We were acquainted with an old man who got six months in prison for selling a beer.
    Stuff like that was happening all the time. Pettiness was the order of the day back then.
     
  20. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Except in East Germany the Germans did the necessary themselves. I don't remember having any dealings with any Soviet Stasi folk only German Stasi folk in my day of touring around Potsdam area in mil misions.
     

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