Why the Waffen-SS

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
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Qvist
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Qvist » 05 Jul 2012 11:34

Harro wrote:
Qvist wrote:Yeah, and in a few billion years the universe is going to end anyway, so what does it all really matter? :roll:
Yup, and I guess "sidelock123" will blame that on the Jews too :roll:
Yeah, it would fit right into that cyclical pattern, wouldn't it? :)

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 05 Jul 2012 11:43

It is strange to have known a Waffen-SS officer who was a 1937/38 Junkerschule graduate, a member of the Das Reich division, DKiG winner and university professor, who struggled with his past because he was totally aware of the part the Waffen-SS played in the nazi regime and its crimes, yet in this forum people keep trying to deny all those things he was strugling with. Also a bit disturbing. I wonder what these forum members would have told him, had he not passed away last February: stop blaming yourself because the Waffen-SS was great? :roll:

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sidelock123
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 05 Jul 2012 11:47

Qvist wrote:
Harro wrote:
Qvist wrote:Yeah, and in a few billion years the universe is going to end anyway, so what does it all really matter? :roll:
Yup, and I guess "sidelock123" will blame that on the Jews too :roll:
Yeah, it would fit right into that cyclical pattern, wouldn't it? :)

EXCEPT THATS NOT WHAT SIDELOCK123 SAID..................TRY READING BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO QUOTE ME IN FUTURE........... 8O

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Qvist
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Qvist » 05 Jul 2012 13:17

sidelock123 wrote:
Qvist wrote:
Harro wrote:
Qvist wrote:Yeah, and in a few billion years the universe is going to end anyway, so what does it all really matter? :roll:
Yup, and I guess "sidelock123" will blame that on the Jews too :roll:
Yeah, it would fit right into that cyclical pattern, wouldn't it? :)
EXCEPT THATS NOT WHAT SIDELOCK123 SAID..................TRY READING BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO QUOTE ME IN FUTURE........... 8O
Well, if you think you're being misinterpreted, stop yelling and clarify your meaning.

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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 05 Jul 2012 16:17

Keep it civil, there has been some great debate and opinons and content shared.

Let's not give the moderators a reason to shut it down.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 05 Jul 2012 16:27

BillHermann wrote:Keep it civil, there has been some great debate and opinons and content shared.

Let's not give the moderators a reason to shut it down.
Well said !
:idea: and if one takes the time to read what I actually wrote anyone of a moderate command of English can see what I am saying is not an attack or a defence of any group but a wider comment on how events are perceived.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Qvist » 05 Jul 2012 16:36

Fine. Albeit a very misguided and simplistic one.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Ironmachine » 05 Jul 2012 17:36

Harro wrote:It is strange to have known a Waffen-SS officer who was a 1937/38 Junkerschule graduate, a member of the Das Reich division, DKiG winner and university professor, who struggled with his past because he was totally aware of the part the Waffen-SS played in the nazi regime and its crimes,
Was he totally aware of that part when he was a member of the Waffen-SS, or did he only become aware of it after Germany's surrender? I think this is a very important point.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 05 Jul 2012 17:57

Why would that make such a huge difference? The main point is that he was convinced that Waffen-SS veterans, including the younger ones who joined near the end of the war and who believed in fighting the Bolsheviks, should have realized after the war that - as soldiers under the Sigrunen - "they were part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich." He felt that this was an awareness that was missing in to many veterans groups, that his former comrads ignored the fact that they were not just "Soldaten wie anderen auch" and that they had been "on the wrong political track". Given that point of view it still amazes me that so many forum members are convinced that the Waffen-SS was an honorable armed force that had not much to do with nazism and has not much to feel ashamed of. It boggles the mind.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Ironmachine » 05 Jul 2012 18:13

Harro wrote:Why would that make such a huge difference? The main point is that he was convinced that Waffen-SS veterans, including the younger ones who joined near the end of the war and who believed in fighting the Bolsheviks, should have realized after the war that - as soldiers under the Sigrunen - "they were
Well, I used to think that it was evident already at the time that the Waffen-SS was "part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich." So if he didn't realize that at the time perhaps it was not so evident, or may be he just didn't care or he just fully approved that. The first option may be seen by some as allowing the use of a "if we didn't know that we were, we weren't" argument to defend the Waffen-SS reputation; the other two options just reflect badly on him (and on anyone who was in the same case) and make his "struggle with his past" more like a comedy...
IMHO, of course.
Harro wrote:so many forum members are convinced that the Waffen-SS was an honorable armed force that had not much to do with nazism and has not much to feel ashamed of.
What I'm trying to understand is: were the Waffen-SS soldiers during the war really convinced that they were "an honorable armed force that had not much to do with nazism"? Weren't they aware during the war that they were "part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich?

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 05 Jul 2012 18:23

I think it reflects on how he looks back at those days, like many people look back on their sins from their youth when they grow older. Youthful enthusiasm opposed to adult reflections. Possibly he did not have the full picture at the time, hence his struggle and insistance that veterans should admit to themselves and to others that they had been "on the wrong political track" and should stop picturing the Waffen-SS as a non-political army.

As for your second question: from my contact with veterans I get the impression that most believed at that time that they were part of the honorable armed forces of nazi Germany (with "nazi" being an elementary part of "Germany").

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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 05 Jul 2012 18:27

What I find interesting is the constant push to disassociate the Waffen-SS As an organization from nationalism and the politics of the time. Most Germans were influenced at some level by the Nazis and in many cases were full blown supporters. During that time due to the type of organization most Germans would not have had any problem supporting the movement. They were looking at the positives. From 1935 to 1944 the vast majority would not be looking at their leaders and parties with the same thoughts, opinons and hindsight that we do today. Most young volunteers would not be joining the Waffen-SS in 1941 thinking I only want to join to fight Bolsheviks in an "Elite" force but not uphold the values of the organization, party and unit traditions. To be clear you dont have to be a party member to uphold party values. The young voulenteer would not be looking as we do knowing the full picture and say wait a second I want to join the regular army because the SS are bad. They would be looking at the posters, the uniforms, the energy and the pride and want to be part of something unique, different and linked to their country's current state . Propaganda and all of the positives had been used to sell the SS organizations to recruits.

We have all seen the posters, and with that in mind all recruiting posters show the good not the bad.

Look at the top 3 Waffen-SS divisions they all had direct histories, titles and role in the begining. The recruits would have been taught that and been proud. This is the core and building block of the organization. Certainly as the war went on some members would have had doubts. The conscripts would not have been as strong in the beliefs as the most of volunteers. After the war some former members would obviously defend their honor while others would have doubts. In both cases though the personal experiences only paint a small picture. The documents from the SS and Nazi party complete the picture.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 05 Jul 2012 19:55

There is also the argument which says they passionateley beleived in their cause? Its like the USA today trying to encourage the spread of its brand of "Democracy" to the Arab world. They simply dont think like "us" this is what the Allies and many commentors on here dont seem to realise. That is that Nazis and particularly committed National Socialists who were members of the Waffen SS didnt feel guilt before or after simply because they beleived totally in their system and its own rules on race and blood as a religion as crazy as it sounds to us and as alien a culture as we observe it from afar today?

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 05 Jul 2012 20:42

I dont approve or support Nazism or any form of it but I do understand and so did the allies after WW2 that the SS could not simply be reeducated and many veterand went to their graves after the war without any other regret than the loss of the final victory and the system-thats dispassionate and it is a fact. Are you denying this?

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Qvist
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Qvist » 05 Jul 2012 20:56

sidelock123 wrote:Lets just say I am being dispassionate and are you for real-..... do you actually beleive that committed National Socialists were somehow psychologically drugged by the regime? I think you need to go back to school sorry!
No, of course I don't believe they were psychologically drugged. Why would I? I believe that as generally psychologically normal and on the whole comparatively cultured people, they chose to support an ideology which in point of fact amounted to a complete negation of what I would consider to be the most basic values of Western civilisation, and which ultimately entailed the violation of the most basic tenets of humanity on a massive and systematic scale. Something which intelligent and cultured people were, and sadly remain, fully capable of doing. Which is why it is so completely contemptible to treat such distinctions as if they were irrelevant.
Last edited by Qvist on 05 Jul 2012 21:04, edited 1 time in total.

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