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The eastern front in western culture

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Not One Step Back, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Wikzardo

    Wikzardo Member

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    This is a very interesting topic...
    I think first of all its the Cold War that made the Russkis look bad. American Anti-Communistic stance in that time left a mark in the heads of Americans. Even Americans who dont know much about ww2 would rather sympathize with the Germans than the Russians, I know that from personal experience.

    I now that there were POW mass murders on every side and that Stalin was as crazy as Hitler, but you ahve to see it that way:
    Stalin killed people becuse he was an extremely paranoid person. He fequently changed his military staff, becuase he mistrusted them. He did not focus his hatred n one "race".
    I think i dont have to explain the Nazi ideology here, so I'll say it straight. The Germans felt like they were treating the Russians right because they were Aryans and superior to the Slavic Untermensch.

    I recently read a Hastings Book in which a former Red Army Soldier was talking about the mass rapes of womes and killings in German Cities.
    They just felt like this was the appropriate revenge for what Germany did to thei country and their people during the Invasion. When they came to Geramny and saw in which living standard, comfort and "luxury" the Germans were living they started asking questions. "If the Germans live that good, why did theyy attack us, why did they kill us, why do they treat us that bad" and they got angry.
     
  2. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Hello lwd,

    When speaking solely of the above, the Soviet Union was no different than the Western Democracies. As pointed out, however; it was not state policy. While racism existed and perhaps always will, during the Soviet Union, one could potentially get in trouble showing it publicly while in the west applauded or even rewarded.


    It most certainly did not do better.
     
  3. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Is that good or bad Jaegar, your statement claiming that this thread should be renamed to eastern front in American culture?
     
  4. edhunter76

    edhunter76 Member

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    Hello everyone and thanks for the interesting discussion. I just wanted to add my personal opinion on this. I don't see this subject the way you described. I have quite mixed feeling about this as my country was in the war against the Soviets at the time. Still, despite the Soviets being my country's enemy, I have always respected and admired all the sacrificies the Soviets had to make to win the war against the Germany.

    I don't want to compare who was worse, Hitler or Stalin, I just want to respect the huge sacrifices that the whole nation of SU had to make. Others suffered a lot too, but what comes to the suffering of ordinary soldiers and civilians, Russian people did really pay the price and their sacrificies are beyond imagination.

    So, to answer you question - it is not always this way. Even if my grandfathers fought against the Soviets, I want to still see the two sides of the coin.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Our perception of WWII begins for most of us from what we are taught in what we call High School in the US. I can sum up what I was taught in the late 70's about the war in the east as such: Germany attacked Russia in 1941, There were many battles, the most important one was Stalingrad, Many people died, Germany lost.

    Unless you went to college and majored in History or pursued the subject on your own (as I did) that is pretty much all you know. Your country's part in the war was given more time, which I am sure is true whatever the country you hail from.

    Things like the History/Military channel and the Internet (such as this forum) have made it better, but it still has far to go.
     
  6. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Does it have to be good or bad?

    I'm only saying that it should be American culture not western culture. We have a different outlook that is all.

    It is a tad harder for us to think that the Jerries were doing their bit for the fatherland when my grandparents generation were starved, terrorised and killed. After the war was over, europe was on ration, even the victors. The British would spend 50 years paying for the victory.

    Not many US towns and cities got bombed to bits, nor was there much of a blackout.

    It is bound to be different.
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    No you are right, it doesn't have to be either. It is hard to tell what someone types here as opposed to understanding clearer when issues with the spoken word. I was just seeking clarification. We here in the US see things differently as you said (in European's eyes), and our view of Ivan is mostly a post-WW2/Cold War mindset. Europe was dealing with the perils of communism in the period between the world wars, and we were dealing with the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, The New Deal and Isolationsm et al. A very big difference as you say. It does shape opinions, especially in the hindsight mode as things are today. Thanks for your input, it is always greatly appreciated on matters that are unclear.
     
  8. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Glad that we sorted that one out. Isolated the initial text might be ambigious, but in context to the rest of the posts I thought that it was clear. Let's crack on.
     
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  9. fuser

    fuser Member

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    Its clear from these kind of statements (I could have picked any other, there was no lack of choice. Its just arbitrary) that how cold war is still playing in the minds of people...

    Can you care to tell me which country in the west was not racist, in europe if any country had best racial record it was indeed USSR. Well, I really don't have to go in deep with USA racial policies or any othern western countries racial policy... I "ll just give an example, "When France lost in europe and continued her fight from her colonies, bulk of its forces were constituted of black afrikans but not a single black afrikan soilder marched in victory parade in paris after france won and it was not a co incidence.."

    Typical cold war mentality when its your/westerner country, you can't see a **** but if its about USSR you just have to search for its black side and black side only.....

    As per the original question, I don't really have to add anything, everything has already been said...

    Then I "ll make a last point about the relative brutality of soviets in comparison to west.And certainly it was not like if you they were like nazis until of course you are one of those brain washed kid who loves to make a comment about others being brainwashed.

    Before going to that topic first one should really compare the nazis in west and east, after all subhumans were in east.....

    As per as the master race theory, it was very prevalent allover in western Europe and it was not like that nazis created this theory out of vaccum. It was more developed in britain, only their method was more subtle, nazis went to hastly and got their arse kicked by the same whom they called subhumans.........
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Actually what's clear is that someone either didn't read or perhaps understand the context of the quote or delliberatly took it out of context.
    It's not at all clear that the USSR had the best "racial record" indeed I'm not even sure how one would evaluate it. In any case it is irrelevant because the quote was in the context of answering apost which suggested racism was not a factor in the USSR. Which is clearly not the case.
     
  11. Urban Fox

    Urban Fox Member

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    Because most the accounts published in English were self-serving memoirs by German officers who to put it mildly lied their asses off. Added to this about 200+ years of Anglo-American stereotypes about Russia, the Cold War and lack of access to source materials in the U.S.S.R meant a distorted view of the Eastern Front dominated popular Western imagination.
     
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  12. Pelekys

    Pelekys Member

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    There is another reason. Not realistic, not real. I mean you cannot explain it and justify it using the common mind, using the rational method, the Cartesian way of thinking.
    It is a psycological explanation.
    Imagine you see a football (soccer) game. A game where the two teams are not equal. One is more strong than the other, the other is more weak than the first. Like the final match of Euro championship 2004. Portugal against Greece. The series of the matches took place in Portugal, another advantage for them.
    Generally the neutral fans take the side of the weaker. When the strong side is doing something impressive you think, OK i expected that, it is normal. When the weak side is doing something less impressive you think, wouaaou!!what an extraodinaire try!!!
    In the Eastern front you know the winner so psycologically you feel sorry for the looser.
    You get more closer to the defeated because you know that no matter the training, no matter the quality, no matter the sacrifices which were in vain...at the end.... the Soviet excavator will dominate.
    I think this is deep inside and all the other reasons you mentioned in the above threads come and support this under-conscious feeling.
     
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  13. Kurgan

    Kurgan Member

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    Pelekys,

    I just read this thread and all the time those were my thoughts as well.

    Pelekys: "It is a psychological explanation."

    People want to support the underdog; it appeals to their sense of justice and fairness; it's an inherently psychological disposition people have.
    Who would you like to win: David or Goliath? Rocky Balboa or Ivan Drago? The Rebels versus the Empire (Star Wars)?
    In this case: the Germans who were fighting the enormous warmachine of the "cruel" Soviets, in a hostile environment, against all odds, etc....
    At least, that is the impression most people have, who haven't delved into the matter more deeply; the Cold War and memoires of German soldiers only increased this feeling, which is still difficult to erase.
     
  14. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    K;
    Well there was also the post war German accounts that portrayed the Soviet Frontoviks as a faceless mass of Communist zealots-an image Soviet propaganda did nothing to correct. It has only been since the end of the Cold War that the actual Frontoviks have finally had their say.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. Now me I ALWAYS sympathized with the Russkis-to the point where I always played the Soviet side in the old Avalon Hill "Panzerblitz" games-that me and my former US Army intell buddy Jim used to play in Marathon sessions back in the '70s. I always sensed that the Frontoviks could not have been much different from patriot soldiers of Tolstoy.
     

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  15. Alix

    Alix Member

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    Examples of German officers whitewashing their wartime records can be found in the following book: The Myth of the Eastern Front:-

    The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in American Popular Culture | Foreign Affairs

    Anyone interested in exploring US perspectives on the Eastern Front in WW2 should consider the following series of articles by David M. Glantz. They date from the mid-1980s but the thrust of Glantz's arguments hold up well, in my view.

    Russia At War 1941-1945 Glantz

    http:///www.great-victory1945.ru/glantz_2.htm

    http:///www.great-victory1945.ru/glantz_3.htm
     
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  16. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    C.Evans and A-58 like this.
  17. Crazybastid83

    Crazybastid83 Member

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    I wish Germany had destroyed the Soviet Union. They were the real enemy. They got a pass when they had a non aggression treaty with Germany. They got a pass when they invaded Poland. We even sent tanks munitions etc under that FDR. The Soviets held Americans who bombed Japan as POW's because the SU didn't declare war on Japan until after the nukes were dropped. We lost so many men because we had to capture Pacific Islands in order to bomb Japan, when we could have launched from the SU. They were aligned with the Germans until they were attacked by the Germans. The SU fought us in Korea, they flew MIG's and were taught to speak Chinese on the radio, when the **** hit the fan, they fell back into Russian.
     
  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Let's be a bit careful with the tone of your posts. Our membership stretches around the world, and includes Russians. We try not to make generalizing statements with corroborating evidence (not personal anecdotes). Also be careful of accusations ("communist FDR") unless you have direct, supporting evidence to prove it. Any expressed opinion needs to be backed up in order to be considered seriously. I'm sure others will be around to address your suppositions about the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Germany.
     
  19. Crazybastid83

    Crazybastid83 Member

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    I removed what I thought was offensive to you. The person who started the post did it with this statement:


    why, in the west, is there a tendancy for people to sympathise more with the germans when it comes to the eastern front, rather than the soviets?
    is it a cold war mentality? is it because there are more german accounts of the war available in the west?
    just an idea for discussion.

    This sounded to me like he was looking for opinions so I gave mine. Other than my offensive remarks, everything I said is factual. I just removed my opinions.
     
  20. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    The beauty about being a trustee is having the ability to edit these kinds of "intellectual" and "contructive" posts. Not only is this insulting (myself being Russian), and completely off topic, but its not even historically accurate.

    "As agreed with the Allies at the Tehran Conference (November 1943) and the Yalta Conference (February 1945), the Soviet Union entered World War II's Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe. The invasion began on August 9, 1945, precisely three months after the German surrender on May 8 (May 9, 0:43 Moscow time).

    Although the commencement of the invasion (August Storm) fell between the atomic bombings of Hiroshima, on August 6, and Nagasaki, on August 9, the timing of the invasion had been planned well in advance and was determined by the timing of the agreements at Tehran and Yalta, the long term buildup of Soviet forces in the Far East since Tehran, and the date of the German surrender; on August 3, Marshal Vasilevsky reported to Stalin that, if necessary, he could attack on the morning of August 5"


    There are other threads in this forum discussing the Cold War in which you may feel free to add your opinions BUT be respectful.

    Officer crazybastid, the next time you decide to post such inappropriate remarks on this forum (at least in my section) , I will edit your post.

    I hope your future posts will be more constructive. You have been warned.
     

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