Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Hummel, Jan 30, 2011.
Guilty....But I wont be discussing Soviet misdeanours here again or for that matter Japanese...The title of the thread mentions neither.
I agree with Slonik. Let's keep this on the Waffen-SS and the Einsatzgruppen. There are other places to discuss the Soviets.
This is probably the best thread I have read. Thanks guys for great posts and exceptionally good comments. Now, I have much broader view on this subject.
That's an undeniable fact!
The central question of this thread is: were they willingly killing or they have just followed the orders?
Let me answer this by an example:
In mid-July 1942 Reserve Battalion 101 consisting of ordinary Germans was utilized for the mass shooting of Jewish civilians in the town of Jozefow near Bilgoraj. Before the killings began, Bataillonskommandeur Major Wilhelm Trapp made an unusual proposal to his battalion: if anyone did not feel up to the task that lay before them, he could step forward and be assigned to other duties. Only twelve men did so. Only twelve out of the whole battalion have accepted the offer to behave like a human being just for a single day.
Now, the answer is straightforward and clear:
They were they killing willingly. There is no doubt about that, whatsoever.
Like in Sodom and Gommorah, Abraham would have had a difficult task to find enough righteous men among Nazis to please the Lord. (Genesis)
Again, there are some grey shades here. It's undeniable that the large majority of the SS were volunteers, but there are however examples of SS members who had been incorporated by force.
in 1944 the so called recruting requirements were no longer applied so harschly and men who were smaller than 1.75 and aged up to 40 were recruited. Two instances come to mind . 1) After 1943 Volksdeutsche were incorporated in the SS. 2) the Baltic Legions were often conscripts.
Waffen-SS foreign volunteers and conscripts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Skip, I appreciate your philanthropic attitude but,
to talk about the shades of grey we must define what is black and what is white. Einsatzguppe represent here, by all means, the darkest shade of black. I cannot see anything beyond them. Jaeger was right: they were ordinary turd.
Let me explain that with reference to my previous post.
To make a point, I have deliberately chosen an example involving Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 101 because they weren’t SS, at all. Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 101 consisted of ordinary German soldiers, predominantly married fathers of families, a half of them aged between thirty-seven and forty-two. If the vast majority of them were willingly killing civilians, can you conceive what would have done SS troops in Einsatztruppe. I guess I was clear enough?
There were proper honorable soldiers in Wehrmacht, but they weren’t participating organized murders of helpless civilians. To further stress the difference between Einsatzruppe and other soldiers I also intend to talk about Wehrmacht soldiers to be considered as better guys. To do so we must make a reference point by comparing them to genuinely evil members of Einsatzgruppe.
This has been done before and I'd be the last to defend the bastards. Courts after the war have done a great deal in finding out under what circumstances members were incorporated.
Oradour-sur-Glane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There's an excellent book on Das Reich and Oradour-sur-Glane; Feldgrau.net • View topic - Das Reich by Max Hastings
While Max Hastings does not condone the Nazi policy of mass reprisals on civilians for the acts of Partisans he certainly puts it in it's context. There is a part of the book early on where the senior SS sargeant gives a rousing speech to the less than enthusiastic youngsters and by the end of the speech they are all "on board with the program." Not the first to be caught up in the social madness that was NAZIism-which can seem quite bizarre to us at this remove but for which millions marched to their deaths. The French courts were quite lenient on the rank and file as they seemed to understand the demonic hold Hitler and his henchmen had on their slaves. Things were much, much worse in Eastern Europe.
Indeed Skip, by isolating bad guys we may easier advocate others who haven't been involved in wrongdoings.
During the trials their was also a distinction made between those who realized they had behaved like beasts and repented (whether honestly or not was another distinction) and those who denied and hid behind the usual "we followed orders".
Sad to say but the NAZI reprisal policies actually WORKED with the French Resistance in that there were no guerrilla attacks on Das Reich after the Massacre. Indeed, the atrocity policy had a dampening effect on many nationalist groups (IE. The Cetniks, Polish Home Army, THe Italian Partizani etc.) Only when NAZI was up against an enemy as ruthless as they did the "kill 'em all and let Odin sort 'em out" plan become counter productive.
I agree . I highly admire the Waffen SS’s Waffengruppe Azerbaijan .
There was no "versus" situation between Waffen-SS and Eisatzgruppen (other than the normal infighting between nazi leaders). They were simply different parts of same larger SS-apparatus that Himmler led. Einsatzgruppes were formed under the RSHA umbrella as SD units (I don't remember the Amt, but I think it was III.) There were some differences in the Einsatzgruppen organisations in 39 Poland and 41 Barbarossa, but they were basically led by SD officers (having a university decree was one of the requirements) and the lower ranks were mostly recruited from different police forces and such.
But the question is somewhat moot in a sense that it hints that there would have been different and competing end goals between the Waffen-SS and RSHA, when there was no such thing (again apart the fierce opportunistic personal infighting).
More interesting question could be Abhwer VS. RSHA...