Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

The Waffen SS threads...

Discussion in 'Counter-Battery Fire' started by Friedrich, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    954
    See, it serves a purpose...I had no interest in the ss whatsoever. I shall now watch the program Drew speaks of and may not just dismiss them in the future. I still though know who I would back when chips are down.
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Hi Urgh, nope he wasn't the Foreign Minister. Rudolph is either the Son or Nephew of the Foreign Minister-I forget which?

    Best regards--C.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855

    Im not too far off from that age-gaining another year sometime next month
    :wolf:
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Heh heh, Hi Jason, Lou--sometimes i feel that old-95 anyway :-D
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855

    Thanks MAte ;-)) Also, speaking of "cool looking" uniforms. Captain Smith-one of my Supervisors while in the employ of the State of Texas) actually had submitted to those "Powers-that-be" with the State Penay System-to see if we could have a uniform change. His proposal was based on the appearnace and uniforms of the Allgemeine SS and their black uniforms with white and or silver markings. The unifroms would have had shoulderboards instead of the Epaulettes they had. Also would have had Collartabs for our rank insignia. Sadly-there has been no change of the Staffs uniforms-which was actually supported by many people.

    Captain Smiths main reason for wanting us to look like the Allgemeine SS-was mainly to intimidate the inmates.
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Hi BW, well said and yep-I knew Remy was considered a traitor. After he was released from an Allied PoW camp after WWII, he spent time in a Belgian Prison. Partly because of that-and he and many felt stabbed in the back by their govt--he moved to Germany and became a German citizen. His home was in Hagen.

    Also, I do fully respect your views on this ;-)) I was only defending a friend who couldn't defend himself. One thing about Remy-is his "Legend" is not a myth-this man of short stature-more than made up for his slight handicap with bravery beyond any doubt on Eastern Front battlefields. ;-)) Another thing I can say about Remy is that he was a very very generous man and who also loved to talk about the war.

    One thing that has to be remembered about why Remy was considered a traitor to Belgium-is because the side he chose to fight for-lost. Had they won-he'd be considered a National hero. Conrad Schellong and Leon De Grelle would be as well. ;-))

    My whole point to posting about Remy, Rudolph, Lainer, Barkamnn et el, is because there cannot be a "blanket statetment" made about every man in the Waffen SS as being a child-killing piece of trash-like many were. Remy-right or wrong in choosing to fight with the Germans instead of against them, never committed any war crimes. In fact, he could have easily been Courtsmartialed and drummed out of service with the Waffen SS-for the humane things he did-especially at the Leningrad Front. Many of the stories he told me-are not written about in: The Last Knight of Flanders, By: Brandt.

    I hope my POV and knowledge of Remy and the unit he served with-well be seen with open eyes-as I know yours are ;-))

    Take care and best regards-Carl.
     
  7. BWilson

    BWilson Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    60
    Carl,

    Thank you for the cordial reply. I'm not convinced about what you've said here:

    Perhaps some would have seen them that way, certainly not the entire nation.

    A useful mental exercise here is to imagine Texas (where I lived once, BTW) coming under enemy occupation. Let us imagine some adventurous young Texans who decide the enemy has something going for them and join the enemy's armed forces. Whether the enemy was ultimately victorious or not, I suspect we would both look dimly upon such activity no matter how right or proper it might seem to those taking part in it at the time. . . . although if the enemy won we'd probably have to keep our opinions to ourselves. <g>

    Cheers

    BW
     
    Otto likes this.
  8. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,619
    Likes Received:
    99
    Hey Carl, go back 14 posts asked and answered;):D
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    26
    Carl, you know I respect you and the unbiased way you deal with veterans, but one observation I have to make is that Schrijnen was not considered a traitor in Belgium "because the side he chose to fight for lost" but because the side he chose to fight for behaved in a terrible way as an occupying force, committing terrible crimes against the civilian population of Belgium. Despite the fact that Schrijnen himself fought his war far away from Belgian soil both the German army and the collaborating Belgians in his homeland will always be remembered for these crimes. Fair or not, as part of the SS Schrijnen is seen as part of those who made their countrymen suffer. There's a small group of supporters but by far most Belgians won't differ between Schrijnen and for example Belgian guards in Breendonck concentration camp.
    Be very careful with such statements. "Many of the stories he told me" is a very one-sided approach. I'm not here to judge Schrijnen but it is my experience that many SS veterans I've interviewed came up with some great stories about how far away they kept themselves from the crimes of the SS and the regime. Have the stories about how he "could have easily been courtsmartialed and drummed out of service with the Waffen SS-for the humane things he did" been verified in any way with other primary sources?
     
    C.Evans likes this.
  10. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Well do you blame those interviewees for giving such stories when they are being judged regardless of what their role in the war. You are doing the very same thing which forces them to tell such 'stories'. There are many professional soldiers who transferred from the Army over to the Waffen SS because it was an opportunity to gain faster promotion. They were doing the very same thing as if they were with the army. Yet, they are called criminals merely because of the uniform they wore.

    This is not to say that the crimes committed by some of the Waffen SS did not happen. I am saying that soldiers who served with the Waffen SS should not automatically be judged just like the whole of the German people should not be judged even to this day.

    The many foreign volunteers pretty much joined the Waffen SS because of the anti-communist rhetoric. Some did join because they did believe in the anti-semetic gibberish. Others joined just to get something to eat. This just shows that there were different reasons for joining the Waffen SS and that not all of them were criminals. Is there "primary sources" that he did in fact commit any crimes? Is that something you ask every former Waffen SS soldier you interview? If so, how accurate of an interview do you thing you are getting?
     
    C.Evans likes this.
  11. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Not as quite as simple as that. In Belgium there were already opposing factions. So lets say there are opposing factions in Texas. Texas gets occupied by a group who has the same politics, social views, etc as one of the opposing factions. Would it not be normal for those Texans to embrace the new order per se? Would they not join to keep the new society going since it is what they believed in the first place? This is just what happened during the American Civil War. People had to choose sides based on what they believe in.

    Obviously the opposing sides would view them as traitors. So what is your point other than pointing out this very thing? Heck, I'm disgruntled with the American Government now. If Texas seceded now, Americans would probably view all Texans as traitors. Which side would I join. Texas of course but the point is, both sides think they are in the right. Same as Those Belgians (or Walloons if you wish) who joined.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    26
    PzJgr, you said: "You are doing the very same thing which forces them to tell such 'stories'.".

    That's complete nonsense. It's simply one of the rules of being a historian that you cross-check every available source. A veteran is a source so what he tells you has to be checked. That is not to say that I do not believe Schrijnen. For all I know he probably told the truth but we do not know that for sure if we only have his version. For example, it is odd that the stories which put him in such a good light are not in the "Last knight of Flanders" book. Hence my question if there are other primary sources which confirm his claims.

    But forget it. I already regret rejoining this forum.
     
    urqh and Otto like this.
  13. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    954
    Thats certainly true Pzjager, but then Belgium was invaded by a foreign host. With no intention of doing anything for any sides but their own. A whole different ball game to civil wars and internal political fighting...Any invading force should become the enemy of all loyal to that nation. Or else they shouldnt be part of that nation. Just a view.
     
  14. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    954
    I dont know of him or have read of him but my point is general and agrees with yours. No single point or scource can ever be taken as fact unless backed by others. Its that simple and a rule that all historians worth their salt should and do adhere to. Vetrans stories are not to be discounted, but then we are all human and can embellish, distort and have memory problems, as Rundstedt seemed to when interviewed by Liddel Hart...proof positive that the individual has a tale to tell but other scources are needed if we are to be serious.

    Again not knocking any vetran, I embellish my own stories, its human nature.
     
  15. razin

    razin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    83
    Urqh

    Agree with your last 2 posts, firstly Belgium was not in the same position as a state during a civil war, although there is the split between the two language groups. There must have been much debate by senior judges into whether the those who served in the SS commited a crime agianst the Belgian State as in effect there were two states during WW2-the Belgians who fought on from England and those that remained and concluded the rather one side "peace treaty" with Germany.

    Really any evidence has to been closely examined and weighed. As an example, I have my fathers 205 and it states under foreign service "India/Burma 1943 to 1946" unfortunately this is for the batalion -my father was evacuated in April 1945 and after reteatment served out his service commitment in Chester.

    What Urqh embellish:eek: -never never never:D

    Steve
     
  16. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Carl was not playing the role of a 'Historian' but that of an individual who built up a relationship to the point of being called a friend. I am sure along the way, Carl was able to identify whether or not Schrijnen was sincere. Would you expect Carl to question Schrijnen's responses and ask for back up sources as proof? Perhaps that is expected of you the Historian but not amongst friends. That was what my point was.

    Also, I have not read the book "Last Knight of Flanders" but are there stories in there that put Schrijnen as a criminal?
     
  17. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    I agree if the nation as a whole was united. Was there not strife between the Walloons and Flemish at this time? Did they not each want their own soverignty? So if a country invades and grants preferential treatment to one, why would that one want to fight the 'invader' if they are getting what they wanted? As it turns out, both Flemish and Walloons joined the Cause against Bolshevism. Plus wasn't a majority of the population at least complacent towards the invasion much like the Danes were? Oh, at least until they were liberated by the Allies, then the majority were against it.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    26
    PzJgr, what the hell is wrong with you that you deploy such a ridiculous hostile attitude towards me? All I asked of Carl is to be careful with a statement in which somebody - in this case an SS veteran - puts himself in a favourable light. I'm not saying the veteran is lying, I'm not saying that he's hiding something, I certainly never claimed that this veteran is a war criminal, I simply said that it needs more than Schrijnen's blue eyes to "identify whether or not Schrijnen was sincere" as it always needs cross-checking of sources. My God, this isn't a matter of wondering if he was a good boyscout and never stole any cookies as a child, the man joined the SS and all we have is his own word that he behaved as good as he said he did. I've build up several friendships with veterans of the Waffen-SS but I will never ever take their version of history for granted without checking multiple sources.

    That's my final word in this matter and for this forum.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    26
    double post
     
  20. Heidi

    Heidi Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    24
    yuo have been a memebr since 2001,don;t go.
    i understand,i too think there were good germans during ww2 and don't feeel ill for the genuine good ones.
     

Share This Page