the lingering shadow

Bundeswehr, DDR and military related discussions on the German armed forces post-1945 to today.

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the lingering shadow

Postby august » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:39 pm

i would like to see the ww2 allies, particularly the us, officially declare germany exonerated from any continuing criticism concerning the nazi era. as far as i am concerned it's a dead issue. this is not to say it should be forgotten, as it most assuredly won't, but finally laid to rest, where it has been for much more than a generation. i am proud of my german heritage and feel the german people have more than earned a "welcome home" from the community of nations.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby John W. Howard » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:47 pm

Hello August:
I doubt there will ever be an official exoneration, but many in the former Allied nations are smart enough to place the blame where it belongs, not on the German people as a whole. Go on being proud of your heritage; it is a good one and has produced writers, philosophers, musicians, and technical innovators without which the world would be a much bleaker place. Best wishes.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby PA. Dutchman » Fri May 21, 2010 8:59 am

august

I too am proud of my German Heritage, we should be. Sure Germany, like every other country, made some mistakes, but who hasn't? Yet because of Germany many things are right in the world today. In the areas of medicine, technically, advanced machinery and vehicles that benefit all mankind a huge number of these advantages came out of Germany and from Germans.

The English were very oppressive to their conquered colonies. Things were done in every country they colonized that should make every Englishman hang his head in shame. How many Indians in India were eliminated, Chinese in China, Irish in Ireland, and Scots in Scotland.

The same can be said about many other countries over the centuries.

Germany has taken responsibility for its' actions during the war, and has made amends to many people groups and nations. Many find that very honorable compared to Japan that murdered so many in Nanjing and through out China and has never taken responsibility.

America was equally oppressive to the Native American Peoples. They destroyed many American Indian Nations, took their lives, lands, stole their heritage and gave them crumbs in return. "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" illustrates that nicely. I don't think the American Government ever kept a Treaty they signed with the Native American People.

America does not like to be reminded of its' very bad and inhuman treatment of the Native Americans.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Quelimane » Fri May 21, 2010 10:45 am

Only those Germans already adults during the war bear any responsibility for what happened then, and very few of those still alive had any significant influence at the time. The only things younger Germans are obliged to do are to face honestly what happened then in their national name and not repeat it. As far as I can see, with a very few dishonourable exceptions, Germans have done this, so in practical terms they are collectively already exonerated.

August asks, "How many Indians in India were eliminated, Chinese in China, Irish in Ireland, and Scots in Scotland." Relatively few compared with the carnage of WWII, especially considering British colonial rule lasted centuries, but WWII only lasted six years. In fact, the population of every British colonial possession except Ireland grew greatly under British rule. (See the "Atlas of Population History" by Colin McCevedy). Even the Irish case is deceptive because, although about a million died in the Potato Famine (a British sin of ommission, not commission) and the population of Ireland is still no greater than it was in 1841, most of Ireland's demographic loss was to emigration to English-speaking countries, not death.

So, today's Germans are in the clear and the British, although far from perfect, weren't necessarily as bad as is being painted.

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby PA. Dutchman » Fri May 21, 2010 3:14 pm

We have an Internationally known and Professionally designed and active Velodrome in our area of Pennsylvania.

We get riders from every country that appreciates Track Bicycling Racing. We get them from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and many other former English Colonies and then we get English racers.

I have never met a competitor from any former British Colony that had anything good to say about having been colony of England.

I volunteer for anything I can at the Velodrome and a few years ago they held a WORLD CUP EVENT, it was a Union of Cyclist International Competition. Teams competed from around the Globe.

The German Team was made up of former East Germans and West German racers. They were about the most popular team to attend that year. They were all GREAT people, competitors, friendly, helpful and great with school children who were brought to attend the qualification sessions.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Hans » Fri May 21, 2010 4:37 pm

Whilst WWII was indeed a dreadful event for both sides of the equation, not a single race or people were eliminated by its end. On the other hand, find me a full blood Tasmanian aboriginal.

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby michael kenny » Sat May 22, 2010 3:55 pm

PA. Dutchman wrote:I have never met a competitor from any former British Colony that had anything good to say about having been colony of England.


I would venture you would get the same response if you were to ask the subjects of the WW1 German Colonies about their experiences. What does that prove?

Hans wrote:Whilst WWII was indeed a dreadful event for both sides of the equation, not a single race or people were eliminated by its end..


Would that be because one country was stopped from carrying out it's plan to eliminate an entire race/population by a military defeat. What if they had won instead?
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Hans » Sat May 22, 2010 5:51 pm

Michael,

Are you therefore hinting that Britain was justified in exterminating the Tasmanian inhabitants - classified as vermin - simply because Britain was not defeated in its war against these people? :x

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby PA. Dutchman » Sat May 22, 2010 7:55 pm

Hans wrote:Whilst WWII was indeed a dreadful event for both sides of the equation, not a single race or people were eliminated by its end. On the other hand, find me a full blood Tasmanian aboriginal.

- Hans


I think I know where you are coming from but in-case someone else missed this there are NO original Tasmanian Aborigines, none survive today. The British paid a bounty for the head of every Tasmania Aboriginal, some English settles had huge displays of the beheaded natives heads. It was sport and and something to be proud of the more you collected.

Aboriginals survived on the mainland of Australia but none on the island of Tasmania.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby michael kenny » Sat May 22, 2010 8:18 pm

Hans wrote:
Are you therefore hinting that Britain was justified in exterminating the Tasmanian inhabitants - classified as vermin - simply because Britain was not defeated in its war against these people?



I am not hinting anything.
I just note how a supposed thread about Germany has turned into a 'lets kick the Brits' competition.

I am Irish by the way.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Hans » Sat May 22, 2010 8:31 pm

PA Dutchman:

Not quite right, there are a number of descendants of Tasmanian aboriginal women and American sealers, who classify themselves as Tasmanian aboriginals.


Mike:

I suppose it is because a lot of us are sick & tired of German soldiers being classified as war criminals & some people like the Brits. not being able to face up to their own misdeeds, in the past, the present & no doubt the future.

To get back to the topic in hand - I don't need/want exoneration and I'm quite sure none of my relatives do either.

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Quelimane » Mon May 24, 2010 9:31 am

Hello P. A. Dutchman,

Are you seriously telling us that you stand around velodromes canvassing opinions on the British Empire?

Or that transient cyclists from the Old Commonwealth are authorities on historical matters?

Or that, even if you do loiter round velodromes, this represents an authoritative method of canvassing national opinion, let alone establishing the true historical record?

I am sure modern German cyclists are, indeed, wonderful with children, but what relevance has that here?

You say, the British paid a bounty for the head of every Tasmania Aboriginal. Where do you get that from? If so they were spectacularly unsuccessful as, according to earlier threads on Feldgrau, only 128 out of 5,000-10,000 are recorded as having been killed in clashes with British settlers.

The fate of Tasmanian Aboriginals was, indeed, tragic. But the vast majority died of European diseases to which they had no immunity, just like most Native Americans and most Pacific Islanders. Nor were they entirely wiped out. Today there are hundreds of people paid by the Australian Government because they can legitimately claim Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestry.

And where do you get the idea from that German soldiers are collectively regarded as war criminals? It certainly won't be here!

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Hans » Mon May 24, 2010 3:43 pm

Hi Q,

Might I suggest that you gather the facts re the Tasmanian tribes & certainly not from British whitewashed sources. Australian Archives Authority might be a good place to start.

Why would the Australian Govt. be paying "hundreds of people for having Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestry"? If the Govt. does it hasn't told anyone, including the descendants of American sealers and Tasmanian aboriginal women.

Anyway ..... .

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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby John W. Howard » Tue May 25, 2010 10:43 pm

Let's stay on-topic gents; there is nothing to be gained from endless comparisons of a "who was worse?" nature. Best wishes.
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Re: the lingering shadow

Postby Quelimane » Wed May 26, 2010 2:36 am

Hello Hans,

Good point.

Fortunately, all the information I have given you seems to come from Australian archival sources. See the earlier Feldgrau threads.

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