Cult Icon wrote: ↑
03 Sep 2020 12:53
How about try your hand at "social psychology of Anti-Waffen SS bias on internet forums?".
I would say that this bias that you speak of manifests in different ways. There are those who criticize the combat performance of the Waffen-SS, or rather their "elite" status, which was certainly wrongly bestowed upon most of these units. I personally find this criticism fair, as long as it is accompanied by civil discussion, and if it is backed by logic and proper research. However, as you've pointed out, there are also people with little knowledge of the Waffen-SS, who are oftentimes more vocal than the aforementioned group, and who speak with great conviction about facets of history with which they are merely superficially acquainted. I personally find this especially irritating.
I would go even further, and say that this is present in academia as well. However, there I would not call it bias, nor would I say that it resembles in any way the endless arguments that surround this topic on internet forums. I've had my own, somewhat disappointing, experience with two well known professors from my country, very intelligent men, specialized in 20th century politics and ideologies, who apparently were completely unaware of the true extent of the Waffen-SS's recruitment efforts in Ukraine and the Baltic Countries, and who had some pretty amateurish opinions regarding this organisation. Same goes for the Schutzmannschaften or the auxiliary Wehrmacht units.
It is obvious that, regardless of where it is encountered, or in what shape it manifests itself, this phenomenon mostly stems from the Waffen-SS's association with the SS itself. The stigma that it bears has, for rightful reasons, permeated into the Waffen-SS as well. I understand why some people would hesitate to delve deeper into the SS's various endeavors and branches, or why they would be content with a superficial understanding of this subject, but I find it completely dishonest when it comes to studying history.