Hi J.Duncan - I agree with you - Rudolf von Ribbentrop has very much been "under the radar" in the postwar years, especially given the prominence of his father.
Why should anyone be surprised that a Waffen-SS veteran is still alive?
I don't think J.Duncan meant any disrespect. It's just an cogent observation - hundreds of WWII veterans of all sides are passing away each day now because of advanced age.
Guido Knopp is a German TV producer and journalist who has won several awards and created various documentaries on the Third Reich. There is a bit of information on him here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_Knopphttp://history.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/26/0 ... .html?dr=1
More information about Ribbentrop's book, Mein Vater: Erlebnisse und Erinnerungen
can be found at http://www.amazon.de/Joachim-von-Ribben ... 052&sr=1-1
Considering the mistakes, general slant, and use of the same "experts" for every topic, the History Channel has little to offer anyone. The last few times I watched something it was for the motion picture film. Since the commentary had no clue as to who or what was in the film, I played music instead. I would think a lot of veterans have seen comrades interviewed, then the whole process placed out of context. Objective, accurate, or neutral are not goals of the History Channel.
The history channel has gotten a bit of flak for inaccuracy for some of its shows. There's an interesting article about it on the History News Network website at http://hnn.us/articles/24059.html
The History Channel website is at http://www.history.com/home.do
- it' a pretty robust site, but like the TV channel itself, it's clearly a mass-market "infortainment" medium. IMO it's great - if broadcasting historical accounts, even account that can be claimed "inaccurate," get's more people to study history, so much the better. A TV viewer gets exposed to Stephen Ambrose, and then may move on to Richard Hofstadter, William Manchester, Barbara Tuchman, Andrew_Bacevich or Victor Davis Hanson.
On the other hand...RvR must care a little bit about that chapter of his life...he wrote a biography book recently on his famous father.
While agreeing with the fact that RvR may have moved on with his life postwar, given his famous father and his own wartime service in the W-SS his experiences in the III Reich and unquestionably of interest from a historical perspective.
Do a Google search under "Adalbert Lallier" and you will find no shortage of distorted information, the most extreme of which was that he was a concentration camp guard. There is a big difference between guarding prisoners on a work detail at a military school and being an actual member of the guard force at an extermination camp.
And what exactly is the difference?
For those who were not aware, Jewish inmates from concentration camps were found on most or all Waffen-SS military bases throughout Europe where they performed a variety of tasks to include ground maintenance, cooking, tailoring and boot repair, etc. as veterans have related to me.
Yes - I first heard about this reading Jay Hatheway's In Perfect Formation: SS Ideology and the Junkerschule Bad Tölz
when he mentioned Dachau KZ prisoners were regularly sent to the SS Officer Candidate School as slave labor.
It's an extremely little known fact, one that exposes the lie that many SS veterans and SS apologists kept stating in the postwar years that there was "no connection" between the Waffen-SS and the KZ system. Whoops - except for the groundskeepers and janitors at my OCS.
Of course, Dr. Lallier's truthfulness not only earned him the scorn of his wartime comrades, but also his fellow professors at Concordia University in Montreal where he had been a professor for over 25 years and headed the international MBA program.
His fellow veterans and his b-school peers probably scorned him for different reasons. But good for Dr. Lallier for being truthful - sometimes it's a lonely path for a veteran to take. Very similar to Johann Voss or Gunter Grass. Or Senator Bob Kerrey.
Why does his being truthful (and subsequent distortion by the untrustworthy) earn his disrespect with his former comrades? Is there a code of silence that the man failed to heed or is it a matter of what one should know not to ever do? (speak to the media). Does "mein ehre heisst treue" have anything to do with this attitude? I'm curious. Thanks.
That is an excellent question.