Lumberton
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Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:27 am

I saw this Associated Press report today. Very poignant and sad.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...k8r65GJEoy9LgQ8w980-x_ANQD95LO5I80

Quote:
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Construction workers in northern Poland have unearthed a World War II-era mass grave containing what are believed to be the bodies of 1,800 German men, women and children who disappeared during the Soviet Army's march to Berlin.

Poles digging at the site of a planned luxury hotel in Malbork — which was called Marienburg and was part of Germany during the war — excavated a bomb crater at the foot of the city's famous 13th century Teutonic Knights fortress, authorities said Monday.

The workers found a small group of bodies in late October and halted digging to allow prosecutors to investigate. After resuming work weeks later, the workers turned up dozens, and then hundreds, more corpses. They believe more may be found.

It was not immediately clear how the bodies ended up in the crater but initial examinations by Polish and German experts have concluded that they are likely the remains of German citizens still classified as "missing" more than 60 years after the end of the war, town official Piotr Szwedowski told The Associated Press.

Millions of civilians were killed or declared missing during World War II. Many of those who disappeared in the chaos of wartime Europe are still unaccounted for.

"Examination of the remains and the circumstances confirm that these are the missing German inhabitants of Malbork," Szwedowski said. "I have no doubt it is them."

As the Red Army was advancing in early 1945, the inhabitants of Malbork were ordered to evacuate. Some refused, while others were prevented from doing so by the general chaos of the nearing front.

The Soviets bombarded the city with heavy artillery in their assault. After the defeated German military retreated, the remaining civilians found themselves at the mercy of Red Army troops. There are no known living witnesses of what happened, Szwedowski said.

The bodies were buried naked without any possessions, he said.

"We found no trace of any clothes, shoes, belts, glasses — not even dentures or false teeth," he said.

Some 100 skulls — primarily of adults — have bullet holes in them, suggesting these people could have been executed, but it is still unclear how the others were killed, Szwedowski said.

This sounds like a systematic execution. Are there accounts of others?

Separate, but related subject, is how are the German POW's from Stalingrad remembered in Germany? From accounts I read, almost 100,000 German soldiers went into captivity after that battle; less than 5000 returned -- many years later. Accounts of their fate vary, but from what I read, they were worked or starved to death in Stalin's gulag. Are there veterans organizations in Germany that honor these soldiers? I suspect most of them were in the army because they had to be; most were just soldiers.
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LTU932
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:59 am



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
Separate, but related subject, is how are the German POW's from Stalingrad remembered in Germany?

From my experience, I haven't heard anyone talk about the Wehrmacht POWs that the Soviets took in Stalingrad. They're just mentioned as a final note when discussing the battle over that city.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:22 am



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
This sounds like a systematic execution. Are there accounts of others?

Yes. They did it every day at Auschwitz. In Treblinka in one year and four months they did 850,000 or more. All systematic executions.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
PSA727
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:52 am



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
This sounds like a systematic execution. Are there accounts of others?

This was quite typical for the Soviet Army as it advanced through (then) East Prussia. And also one of the main reasons the Germans fought to the bitter end throughout the streets of Berlin, they knew what awaited them at the hands of the Russians. German propoganda flims "highlighted" the atrocities commited by the Soviet Army on German civilians in the last months of the war.
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PanHAM
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:11 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 2):
Yes. They did it every day at Auschwitz. In Treblinka in one year and four months they did 850,000 or more. All systematic executions.

The difference between us and the Russians is that we have accepted the guilt, accepted and acknowledged our responsibility, founded a new state and democracy in 1949 with a constitution that made sure that this will never happen again, made peace with our neighbours and became founding members of the European Union in which we are deeply embedded and most important of all, did whatever we could to relieve the grief oif the jdewish people.

The first Chancellor of the new Federal Republic, Konrad Adenauer, met woith David Ben Gurion and these talks became the foundation of a new friendship with jews and Israel.



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
Separate, but related subject, is how are the German POW's from Stalingrad remembered in Germany? From accounts I read, almost 100,000 German soldiers went into captivity after that battle; less than 5000 returned -- many years later. Accounts of their fate vary, but from what I read, they were worked or starved to death in Stalin's gulag. Are there veterans organizations in Germany that honor these soldiers? I suspect most of them were in the army because they had to be; most were just soldiers.

No, there is a foundation that takes care of war cemetaries and the German Red Cross took care of the missing person search over the years, but we have, for obvious reasons, nothing like a VFW. WWII is nothing for Germans to be proud of. Chancellor Adenauer went to Moscow in 1956 and succeeded to get the last German POWs home, more than 10 years after the war ended,
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RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:47 am



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 3):
Russians



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
Russians

Soviets. The Soviet Union and Russia are not interchangable words.
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Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:58 pm



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
The difference between us and the Russians is that we have accepted the guilt, accepted and acknowledged our responsibility, founded a new state and democracy in 1949 with a constitution that made sure that this will never happen again, made peace with our neighbours and became founding members of the European Union in which we are deeply embedded and most important of all, did whatever we could to relieve the grief oif the jdewish people.

For the most part that is correct, and people of good will in your country are to be commended for their efforts, although I suspect that you could stand to read Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here". Totalitarianism and genocide can happen anywhere at any time-good government is a matter of constant effort, study, and argument and it is never a thing that's finished and put on autopilot. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty as we say here.

It is not as if a 30 day stay at the Betty Ford center is a sure cure for a lifetime of dissipation-it is but the beginning of a lifetime commitment to sobriety- and one might well assess the German project and say "at what cost?"

On the other hand you make a good point, and I am quite sure that the story of the Russian (or Soviet as you like) advance into Germany and the fighting and paybacks with compound interest that went on there on there is yet to be fully written-and I am sure that when that history is written it will be truly monstrous.

There is much to learn about the resettlements of ethnic Germans into the General Government during the war, and it might well be that that is who those poor souls were. I have just finished reading "Hitler's Beneficiaries" by Gotz Aly and "The Wages of Destruction" by Adam Tooze, and I commend them both to you if you have not read them yet.

The point I was making was a direct response to Lumberton's question.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:04 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 6):
Russian (or Soviet as you like)

Soviet is the only correct term. There was no Russian army fighting in WW2, that is a matter of fact, not opinion.
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Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:09 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
Soviet is the only correct term. There was no Russian army fighting in WW2, that is a matter of fact, not opinion.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:25 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 8):
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

In this case, a lot. We are talking about atrocities apparently carried out by the Soviet Union. It is an irritating, somewhat insulting thing that the suffering of millions of Russians, particularly under Stalin, alongside many other Soviet peoples is so often overlooked, and that people so often misrepresent the horrendous misdeeds of the Soviet Union as being those of Russians. Heck, the leader himself was not even Russian.

As usual with these matters, it was never that simple, and faliure to acknowledge such things can cause serious offence and upset. Also, whatever one thinks of this, we should strive for historical accuracy in any case and describe these things correctly.
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moo
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:30 pm



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):

The difference between us and the Russians is that we have accepted the guilt, accepted and acknowledged our responsibility,

The Soviets never needed to be humbled, as they were on the winning side.
 
Acheron
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:35 pm



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 3):
This was quite typical for the Soviet Army as it advanced through (then) East Prussia. And also one of the main reasons the Germans fought to the bitter end throughout the streets of Berlin

The germans did the same thing as they marched towards Moscow, so there isn't much of a difference.


Looking in hind sight, WWII was a disaster regarding the treatment of civilians, Dresden bombings, London Bombings, Hiroshima(save yourselves the justifications), Lidice, Kortelisy, Soviet advance into west europe, etc.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
The difference between us and the Russians is that we have accepted the guilt, accepted and acknowledged our responsibility, founded a new state and democracy in 1949 with a constitution that made sure that this will never happen again

Because you were on the losing side. Had the result been the opposite, and I'm pretty sure Churchill and a load other people would have been executed as war criminals and whatnot.

"The history is written by the victors".
 
connies4ever
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:42 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 6):
For the most part that is correct, and people of good will in your country are to be commended for their efforts, although I suspect that you could stand to read Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here". Totalitarianism and genocide can happen anywhere at any time-good government is a matter of constant effort, study, and argument and it is never a thing that's finished and put on autopilot. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty as we say here.

"It Can't Happen Here" -- one of the 10 books I'd have with me if marooned on an island. Absolutely believable, and a talisman for what could happen in America. Should be required reading in high school.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:14 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 9):
In this case, a lot. We are talking about atrocities apparently carried out by the Soviet Union. It is an irritating, somewhat insulting thing that the suffering of millions of Russians, particularly under Stalin, alongside many other Soviet peoples is so often overlooked, and that people so often misrepresent the horrendous misdeeds of the Soviet Union as being those of Russians. Heck, the leader himself was not even Russian.

Maybe you're irritated about it but the fact of the matter is, you're quibbling about terminology.
Let's split the difference and call it the armies of the USSR, wherever they came from, including a good sized contingent from Russia.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:23 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
but the fact of the matter is, you're quibbling about terminology.

Well, I'm not going to get into a whole thing about this, but it is far from quibbling. There is a huge factual difference and a very important distinction to be made.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
including a good sized contingent from Russia.

And a great many other countries too, under a leadership comprised of people from all over the Union and led by a Georgian.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
the armies of the USSR

Absolutely fine, because that is quite correct, and no different from saying 'Soviet army' or 'Red army" - all perfectly accurate.
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Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:58 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 14):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
the armies of the USSR

Absolutely fine, because that is quite correct, and no different from saying 'Soviet army' or 'Red army" - all perfectly accurate.

I think we can agree then.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Danny
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:08 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
Quoting PSA727 (Reply 3):
Russians

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
Russians

Soviets. The Soviet Union and Russia are not interchangable words.

Sorry but they didn't come from Mars. It's like claiming that nazis were not German. I know that it does not mean that all Russians were like that but you should accept responsibility for what happened. Starting with executions of Polish POWs in 1939 ending with executions of German civilians in 1944/45.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:18 pm



Quoting Danny (Reply 16):
Sorry but they didn't come from Mars. It's like claiming that nazis were not German. I know that it does not mean that all Russians were like that but you should accept responsibility for what happened. Starting with executions of Polish POWs in 1939 ending with executions of German civilians in 1944/45.

Wow, talk about missing the point 110%.

Mars? No, the Soviet Army, like Soviet government, came from all over the Soviet Union. In case you don't know what the Soviet Union was, it was a state comprised of a very large number of countries. Google it for some basic history lessons.

Why should I accept responsibility for anything here? I'm British.

Have I said that the Soviet Army didn't commit atrocities? No, in fact referred to the exact opposite. Here we are:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 9):
the horrendous misdeeds of the Soviet Union

The only point I made otherwise was that Russia is not the same thing as the Soviet Union, or vice versa. It is a good idea to read and fully understand the posts of others before jumping in with criticism that is so wide of the mark.
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:36 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 17):
No, the Soviet Army, like Soviet government, came from all over the Soviet Union.

Yes, but wasn't most of the Soviet infrastructure dominated by the Russians? Sure, Stalin came from Georgia (his name is Iossif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) but let's face it: Apart from Stalin, the true people in power in the Soviet Union were Russian. You would hardly find any other Georgian, Ukranian, or even a Lithuanian (to name some examples) who would hold the same amount of power the Russians had.

Why else do you think, were people talking about the "Russkis" or just the Russians when they referred to the people in the USSR? It is indeed a common misconception, but fact is that the Russians were the ones in power for over 70 years of Soviet Union existence, just with the notable exception of the Georgian Joseph Stalin, and later maybe Eduard Shevardnadze, who was foreign minister under Mikhail Gorbachev.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:45 pm



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):
wasn't most of the Soviet infrastructure dominated by the Russians?

Russia was the biggest territory and largest population in the Union - draw your own obvious conclusions from that. One factual conclusion from that is that more Russians suffered than any other people, but that is beside the point.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):
Apart from Stalin, the true people in power in the Soviet Union were Russian. You would hardly find any other Georgian, Ukranian, or even a Lithuanian

Incorrect. Again, sheer numbers involved have a role, but it is not true to claim this. Apart from this, the Union was so vast that people from all nationalities and backgrounds were involved in repressing their own.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):
Why else do you think, were people talking about the "Russkis" or just the Russians when they referred to the people in the USSR?

Because, like now, people entertained ill-conceived stereotypes and misconceptions, and because as already mentioned Russia was indeed the biggest state in the Union.

It really doesn't even matter what any one individual's assessment of the Russian people's involvement, blame, role or whatever in the Soviet Union was anyway - the fact is that the Soviet Union was not Russia and Russia not the Soviet Union.

If even for nothing else other than historical accuracy, that is simply the way it is.
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Acheron
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:12 pm



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):
Yes, but wasn't most of the Soviet infrastructure dominated by the Russians? Sure, Stalin came from Georgia

Leonid Brezhnev was ukranian
Yuri Andropov was a Cossack, which suffered greatly during the start of the Soviet Era and particularly under Stalin's famines and many of them fought with the SS against the Soviet Union.
And the short lived Vladimir Ivashko was Ukranian as well.
Heck, even Trotsky, the one who was supposed to take over after Lenin was Ukranian too.

So, it wasn't only Stalin.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:52 am



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
Separate, but related subject, is how are the German POW's from Stalingrad remembered in Germany? From accounts I read, almost 100,000 German soldiers went into captivity after that battle; less than 5000 returned -- many years later. Accounts of their fate vary, but from what I read, they were worked or starved to death in Stalin's gulag. Are there veterans organizations in Germany that honor these soldiers? I suspect most of them were in the army because they had to be; most were just soldiers.

Especially the battle of Stalingrad marked the beginning of the end, the turnaround to the ultimate defeat of the nazi empire. When the veterans returned back home their families were generally happy to have them back, but many had trouble adjusting to a normal life again. Much like veterans of other wars, but exacerbated by coming home to a country devastated by the consequences of the war they had waged themselves but which had been lost in shame and devastation.

An added problem was that they had been fighting for Hitler and his regime, so of course their military "accomplishments" did not really receive appreciation; To the contrary, everybody was basically happy if they integrated silently into the newly peaceful and democratic society.

Of course there were private gatherings of veterans whose families often couldn't relate to their experiences, but in various cases (especially with former SS or other "elite" units) the spirit of the old regime was invited back in to these as well, which helped discredit that kind of event in many people's eyes. Probably unfairly in other cases, but the toxicity of the nazi regime just has that kind of effect.

The federal and regional states helped the individual soldiers with their integration into civilian life, but since the new democratic states had declared a clean cut between them and their nazi predecessors for obvious reasons, there were no official celebrations of the veterans as such. Can you imagine a democratic Germany holding an official event to honour Hitler's soldiers, possibly some of them turning up with nazi medals, swastikas and all? Utterly unthinkable!

In more recent years we've learned that even the regular army had in many instances been far from the presumably regime-neutral and at least semi-honourable force as which it had been portrayed by many. It has apparently participated in ideologically motivated atrocities to a far greater extent than we had thought before. Which also makes the decision to treat the veterans as individuals but to keep their military role separate a proper one. Many people back then conducted themselves as properly as they could, others acted like criminals, but it is hard to know and even harder to judge, apart from the most extreme cases.

Some people in the Bundeswehr today can't resist the temptation to draw parallels and to see continuities between the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr on some levels, but whenever that kind of thing becomes public, it quickly gets stomped on with demonstrative vigour. But the affinity of nationalists to the military is probably an issue that will remain, as much as the official leadership tries to avoid the appearance and/or genuinely tries to get rid of it. I do trust most of the people in our military, but some of them should definitely not be holding guns.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 19):
Russia was the biggest territory and largest population in the Union - draw your own obvious conclusions from that. One factual conclusion from that is that more Russians suffered than any other people, but that is beside the point.

The grand irony is that the current russian leadership today uses its state-controlled media to paint a glowing picture of Stalin as a great and benevolent leader of the nation who basically could do no wrong. It fits perfectly into the leader cult being built up around Putin, but in light of Stalin's very real crimes and victims in the Soviet Union this is more than just a little disgusting.

The way the soviet army advanced in 1945 had a lot to do with the horrendous treatment of the soviet population by the german forces before. Im many cases there was personal revenge for killed or abused family members involved. Which didn't exactly justify the soviet atrocities, but it wasn't just the soviets being savages for no particular reason. Far away from official propaganda, war can and almost inevitably will twist people into all kinds of monsters...
 
skidmarks
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:44 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
Far away from official propaganda, war can and almost inevitably will twist people into all kinds of monsters...

That one sentence sums it up really. War does terrible things to people of all races and no one country can claim to be perfect.

Andy  old 

Damn, I agreed with Klaus!!  duck 
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Klaus
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:36 am



Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 22):
Damn, I agreed with Klaus!!

You've survived even worse things than that!  mischievous 
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:46 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
The grand irony is that the current russian leadership today uses its state-controlled media to paint a glowing picture of Stalin as a great and benevolent leader of the nation who basically could do no wrong. It fits perfectly into the leader cult being built up around Putin, but in light of Stalin's very real crimes and victims in the Soviet Union this is more than just a little disgusting.

I have to say that, despite watching Russian TV, reading Russian papers and online news on a daily basis, I do not see what you refer to here. It is true many Russians have built up a romantic misconception of how things were and what Stalin was, and I think to some extent this is a misguided, quasi-nostalgic inevitability. But, to say the media paints a glowing picture of him and his leadership? Sorry, I simply do not see that.
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Klaus
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:03 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 24):
I have to say that, despite watching Russian TV, reading Russian papers and online news on a daily basis, I do not see what you refer to here.

Russia rewriting Josef Stalin's legacy -- chicagotribune.com

TV series on Stalin divides Russian audience - Los Angeles Times
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:05 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):

Especially the battle of Stalingrad marked the beginning of the end, the turnaround to the ultimate defeat of the nazi empire.

If you look at the timeline, the encirclement of Stalingrad happened at the same time when Montgomery beat the Afrikakorps in El Alamein. Sure, both Paulus's army in Stalingrad and Rommel's Afrikakorps still fought on for a long time afterwards, but only in retreat and the German advance was stopped on all fronts.

Jan
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RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:13 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Russia rewriting Josef Stalin's legacy -- chicagotribune.com
TV series on Stalin divides Russian audience - Los Angeles Times

I do not doubt things aren't ideal, and it is fair to say things are often 'glossed-over' or represented in too nostalgic a way, but in the terms you stated above I stand by the fact that despite daily exposure to various Russian media I do not see some major effort to glorify Stalin. Looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses is nothing new in Russia, and in spite of massive atrocities and shortcomings throughout Soviet history, there are still successes that people remember and cling to - such as the war, and technological achievements. This to me has more to do with the Russian character and history than some perceived orchestrated campaign by the current government, and is, as I say, nothing new in any case.
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Klaus
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:26 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):
I do not doubt things aren't ideal, and it is fair to say things are often 'glossed-over' or represented in too nostalgic a way, but in the terms you stated above I stand by the fact that despite daily exposure to various Russian media I do not see some major effort to glorify Stalin.

Weren't you the one who recently told us that you were only watching the internationally transmitted russian media?

It's kind of obvious that the domestic propaganda is severely filtered for dissemination abroad.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):
Looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses is nothing new in Russia, and in spite of massive atrocities and shortcomings throughout Soviet history, there are still successes that people remember and cling to - such as the war, and technological achievements. This to me has more to do with the Russian character and history than some perceived orchestrated campaign by the current government, and is, as I say, nothing new in any case.

Having the authorities harrass people trying to keep the memory of Stalin's victim's alive is playing on an entirely different level than just a bit of popular nostalgia. Together with the cult-like Nashi youth organisation conducting a heavy Putin-as-leader personal cult and other developments carefully orchestrated in the same direction it is hard to dismiss it all as mere coincidence.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:33 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Weren't you the one who recently told us that you were only watching the internationally transmitted russian media?

Not sure what you are referring to there. I get a wide range of domestic and international sources.
Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Having the authorities harrass people trying to keep the memory of Stalin's victim's alive is playing on an entirely different level than just a bit of popular nostalgia.

Granted, but then raids take place for all kinds of reasons and motives (that is not to justify them in any way) and it is not always for the most obvious reasons. In any event, I responded specficially about the media issue you referred to. However, I think we are erring more than a little O/T here......

[Edited 2009-01-14 03:34:43]
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Klaus
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:36 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
If you look at the timeline, the encirclement of Stalingrad happened at the same time when Montgomery beat the Afrikakorps in El Alamein. Sure, both Paulus's army in Stalingrad and Rommel's Afrikakorps still fought on for a long time afterwards, but only in retreat and the German advance was stopped on all fronts.

I remember my mother telling us: "When we heard the fanfare and the announcement of the Stalingrad defeat on the radio, we knew we would lose this war."

I'm sure that many people felt it the same way. And given the way the other countries had been treated, the probable consequences were hard to miss.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:56 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
If you look at the timeline, the encirclement of Stalingrad happened at the same time when Montgomery beat the Afrikakorps in El Alamein. Sure, both Paulus's army in Stalingrad and Rommel's Afrikakorps still fought on for a long time afterwards, but only in retreat and the German advance was stopped on all fronts.

I remember my mother telling us: "When we heard the fanfare and the announcement of the Stalingrad defeat on the radio, we knew we would lose this war."

I'm sure that many people felt it the same way. And given the way the other countries had been treated, the probable consequences were hard to miss.

Sure, both campaigns, Northern Africa and Stalingrad had the same reason:
Stalingrad and a bridgehead across the Wolga river had to be captured if Germany wanted to get access to the oil fields of the Caspian Sea. The same in Africa: British controlled Egypt had to be conquered if Germany wanted to gain access to the oil fields of the Middle East. At the same time it would cut off Britain's supply routes via the Suez Canal.
With the modern mechanised armies (even though Germany was still relying on lots of horse carts for supply for infantry units), oil is an absolute necessity.
E.g. in 1943 the Luftwaffe units based in southern Italy ran out of fuel and the pilots and groundstaff were converted into infantry units (my step-grandfather on my mother's side one of them). Without access to oil, Hitler's plans of world domination were made impossible. The few oilfields Germany had access to (in Northern Germany and Romania) were not enough to sustain the war, even the production of artificial fuel oils out of coal (of which Germany has a lot) was too complicated and not enough.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
na
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:22 pm

I read about this excavation some days ago. There are other places like that were large numbers of Germans were slaughtered at the end of war or shortly afterwards.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
Soviets. The Soviet Union and Russia are not interchangable words.

Thats right.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 11):
The germans did the same thing as they marched towards Moscow, so there isn't much of a difference.

Sure, but in the case of the Germans it were rather small special ideologically blinded "Einsatzgruppen" / I raed about 3000 men) who committed the approx. 2.000.000 murders (mostly Jews) in the Soviet Union, helped only by very small portions of the regular Army and some anti-Partisan units. Contrary, in the case of Red Army atrocities it was a sizable part of the Soviets which raped and killed. Hey, the Soviets even killed large numbers of their own soldiers which had surrendered during the war. My grandparents, like most bigger farmers, had a Russian slave worker helping them in WWII. They treated him like any German helper, so good in fact, that Nazi neighbours threatened my granddad to report it to the Gestapo. This Russian didnt want to go back to the Sowjet Union after the war. When he finally was forced to, he promised to write. My granddad never heard anything about him anymore. Its possible he ended up in a Gulag, or worse.

Still, the Germans were the hen, the Red Army the egg. The ability of the Soviet Army to fight back after loosing the biggest battles in the history of mankind commands respect, but not what they did when coming to Germany. They were the cruelest conqueror imaginable.

Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
Separate, but related subject, is how are the German POW's from Stalingrad remembered in Germany? From accounts I read, almost 100,000 German soldiers went into captivity after that battle; less than 5000 returned -- many years later.

Its true that the Stalingrad survivors suffered the highest deathrate of any German Army, but in all honesty thats about the same deathrate as the Soviet Army in German hands in the first year of fighting. From 3 million Soviet soldiers captured in the first year 2 million didn´t survive the first winter!
That so many Stalingrad survivors died afterwards is mainly due to the fact that many of them were so weakened and frostbitten that even food didnt help them anymore. Its not just Soviet ruthlessness. Interesting that more than 90% of the common Stalingrad soldiers died in captivity, but only one or two generals out of about 25.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:48 pm



Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 22):
Damn, I agreed with Klaus!!

Hi. My name is Dougloid and I agreed with Klaus once.


 laughing   laughing   laughing 
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:50 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
If you look at the timeline, the encirclement of Stalingrad happened at the same time when Montgomery beat the Afrikakorps in El Alamein. Sure, both Paulus's army in Stalingrad and Rommel's Afrikakorps still fought on for a long time afterwards, but only in retreat and the German advance was stopped on all fronts.

I've just finished reading The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze, and I have to ask: What in hell could those people have been thinking?
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
oly720man
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:41 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 34):
What in hell could those people have been thinking?

Having not read the book, who are "those people," the Germans or those outside Germany who helped build Germany up?
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
pelican
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:58 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 9):
Heck, the leader himself was not even Russian.

Hey, and Hitler was not German!  banghead 

Quoting Acheron (Reply 11):
Because you were on the losing side. war criminals and whatnot.

Yes and no, of course without the loss of the war a so responsible handling of the Nazi legacy would have been impossible. It still needed help from the allies and many years to develop. But look to Japan and maybe you'll see you can't take it for granted.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 11):

The germans did the same thing as they marched towards Moscow, so there isn't much of a difference.

Which was - strategically - one of their biggest mistakes (but then they were blind followers of a criminal ideology ). At the beginning of "Unternehmen Barbarossa" the advancing German troops were often treated as liberators, especially in the Ukraine.

pelican
 
Dougloid
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:15 pm



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 35):
Having not read the book, who are "those people," the Germans or those outside Germany who helped build Germany up?

Easily solved, m'good fellow. Fair warning. It's a long and difficult read.

http://www.amazon.com/Wages-Destruct...UTF8&s=books&qid=1232392502&sr=1-1
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
JFKMan
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:29 pm

Wow now that is really scary!

The think that would scare me is you don't know what has happened on the land anywhere!
AA - LGA
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:51 pm



Quoting Pelican (Reply 36):
Hey, and Hitler was not German!

I know that perfectly well. Are you seriously trying to compare Germany and Austria of old to the Soviet Union?
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
OHLHD
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:54 pm

I believe that it will not be the last one that will be found. I do not want to know what can be found if you move in the direction of old Stalingrad.

Quoting Pelican (Reply 36):
Hey, and Hitler was not German!

Well, that is the biggest history mistake that even media makes. He was Austrian, born and raised in " Oberösterreich" in the city of Braunau.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:02 pm



Quoting OHLHD (Reply 40):
Well, that is the biggest history mistake that even media makes. He was Austrian, born and raised in " Oberösterreich" in the city of Braunau.

Indeed, but nobody here said he was German, did they? At least I didn't, anyway. In fact, I didn't mention Germany. However, just as 'The Third Reich' is not the same as Germany today, Russia is not the Soviet Union and never was.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
OHLHD
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:08 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 41):
Indeed, but nobody here said he was German, did they? At least I didn't, anyway. In fact, I didn't mention Germany. However, just as 'The Third Reich' is not the same as Germany today, Russia is not the Soviet Union and never was.

I just gave a little history lesson.  Smile As you said nobody mentioned that he was German but Hitler and the Third Reich come hand in hand. Thank god that those times are over.....
 
na
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:30 pm



Quoting Pelican (Reply 36):
At the beginning of "Unternehmen Barbarossa" the advancing German troops were often treated as liberators, especially in the Ukraine.

No wonder, Stalin had killed millions there. Who would have thought that parts of the "liberators" were no better!
 
jcs17
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:06 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 41):

Indeed, but nobody here said he was German, did they? At least I didn't, anyway. In fact, I didn't mention Germany. However, just as 'The Third Reich' is not the same as Germany today, Russia is not the Soviet Union and never was.

There are no busts or statues of Hilter or Goering in Germany. Whereas, you can find plenty of Lenin and Stalin wherever you go in Russia. Many Russians, due to government propaganda and education from that era, still believe that the Soviet Union was the pinnacle of Russian identity and civilization. I've read articles that even today, very little is taught about the genocides and the human rights abuses that occured en masse under Stalin and Lenin. I'm not saying that today's Russia under Put...er.. Medvedev is the same as the Soviet Union, but a lot of Russians still hold those brutal regimes in high regard. Whereas, in Germany, aside from a few nutjobs, no one thinks of the Nazi regime, and its leaders with anything resembling high regard.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
RussianJet
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:11 pm



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 44):
There are no busts or statues of Hilter or Goering in Germany. Whereas, you can find plenty of Lenin and Stalin wherever you go in Russia. Many Russians, due to government propaganda and education from that era, still believe that the Soviet Union was the pinnacle of Russian identity and civilization. I've read articles that even today, very little is taught about the genocides and the human rights abuses that occured en masse under Stalin and Lenin. I'm not saying that today's Russia under Put...er.. Medvedev is the same as the Soviet Union, but a lot of Russians still hold those brutal regimes in high regard. Whereas, in Germany, aside from a few nutjobs, no one thinks of the Nazi regime, and its leaders with anything resembling high regard.

Because the history, peoples and the length of time is so totally different.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
JoFMO
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:48 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 39):


Quoting Pelican (Reply 36):
Hey, and Hitler was not German!

I know that perfectly well. Are you seriously trying to compare Germany and Austria of old to the Soviet Union?

But he go citizenship shortly before or after his inauguration. So he became a German citizen.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:05 pm



Quoting OHLHD (Reply 40):
Well, that is the biggest history mistake that even media makes. He was Austrian, born and raised in " Oberösterreich" in the city of Braunau.

Yes, but instead of being executed in Germany for high treason or at least be deported back to Austria, the courts of the time in Germany failed to do their job and sentenced him to what ended up being a year in a luxury prison. He also lost the Austrian citizenship and the authorities in Germany were dumb enough to continue rewarding Hitler, by giving him the German citizenship and with it the eligibility to run for President (though Hitler lost the 1932 elections to Paul von Hindenburg), and even the eligibility to become a member of the Reichstag.

For the failure in dealing with the aftermath of the Hitler-Ludendorff-Putsch in 1923, the Weimar Republic (what was Germany back then) is solely to blame. It went soft on Hitler and didn't do what should have been done, which was execute him for high treason or, in the very least, deport him back to Austria and ban him from ever entering German soil again (though it would have been understandable if Austria didn't want him back).
 
OHLHD
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:15 pm



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 47):

Exactly! But didn´t postwar Germany take the citizenship away again?
 
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LTU932
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RE: Mass German W W 2 Grave Found In Poland

Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:50 pm



Quoting OHLHD (Reply 48):
But didn´t postwar Germany take the citizenship away again?

I have no idea, but what difference would have made that anyway? I mean, he was dead. As symbolic as this would have been, it would have made a bigger difference if he was stripped of the German citizenship while still alive.

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