Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

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Totenkomf
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by Totenkomf » 22 Apr 2022 14:19

gebhk wrote:
22 Apr 2022 14:04
Surely the point is that it is unlikely that he was shot by, at the behest of or with the approval of gen Linden?
Why would one American Pvt. give his rifle to an inmate shoot Wicker as he could do so by himself?.
I see nothing unusual about a man empathising with a victim giving that victim the means to exact revenge.
And why shoot Wicker? If he committed war crimes it would have been easier to put him on trial and jail or hang him?, as he was after all an career-SS-Totenkopfverbände Soldier.
Sorry, but I somehow doubt that people driven to violence by extreme emotion would be dispassionately contemplating whether the object of their hatred or fear belongs to one or another class of SS and therefore whether he will or will not be put on trial and his chances of being executed if he is!.
1. Most likely he Wasn't killed on Gen. Linden's approval.

2. How exactly did Wicker victimise this Dachau inmate?, I would't so eagerly give my gun to anyone wanting revenge. Plus didn't Wicker lawfully surrender to the American, thus making himself an prisoner of war.

3. You never know he could have been succesfully sentenced. Why do people while emotional during war have to kill someone?
"Befehl ist Befehl"

gebhk
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by gebhk » 22 Apr 2022 16:42

I am a tad perplexed about what we are arguing about
Most likely he Wasn't killed on Gen. Linden's approval.
I agree

2. How exactly did Wicker victimise this Dachau inmate?, I would't so eagerly give my gun to anyone wanting revenge. Plus didn't Wicker lawfully surrender to the American, thus making himself an prisoner of war.a
We don't know and we don't even know that this event in fact took place as suggested because the court martial was quoshed before it even got started properly AFAIK. Thus the evidence, such as it was, was never put to proper scrutiny. I would avoid making claims about what you would or would not do in situations that you have never, hopefully, experienced. And whether you would or not, the fact remains that a number of men did just that according to eyewitness accounts. Of course Wicker should have been treated as a POW which, no doubt, was the reason why the soldier accused of facilitating his killing was court martialled.

3. You never know he could have been succesfully sentenced. Why do people while emotional during war have to kill someone?
I don't, but it hardly seems likely that that would have been a subject of contemplation by someone in a blind rage. While we perhaps will never know why people in a heightened emotional state commit murder and other horrible crimes in wartime, the fact is they often do and that they are most likely to do so just after actual combat has ended.

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Totenkomf
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by Totenkomf » 22 Apr 2022 16:48

gebhk wrote:
22 Apr 2022 16:42
I am a tad perplexed about what we are arguing about
Most likely he Wasn't killed on Gen. Linden's approval.
I agree

2. How exactly did Wicker victimise this Dachau inmate?, I would't so eagerly give my gun to anyone wanting revenge. Plus didn't Wicker lawfully surrender to the American, thus making himself an prisoner of war.a
We don't know and we don't even know that this event in fact took place as suggested because the court martial was quoshed before it even got started properly AFAIK. Thus the evidence, such as it was, was never put to proper scrutiny. I would avoid making claims about what you would or would not do in situations that you have never, hopefully, experienced. And whether you would or not, the fact remains that a number of men did just that according to eyewitness accounts. Of course Wicker should have been treated as a POW which, no doubt, was the reason why the soldier accused of facilitating his killing was court martialled.

3. You never know he could have been succesfully sentenced. Why do people while emotional during war have to kill someone?
I don't, but it hardly seems likely that that would have been a subject of contemplation by someone in a blind rage. While we perhaps will never know why people in a heightened emotional state commit murder and other horrible crimes in wartime, the fact is they often do and that they are most likely to do so just after actual combat has ended.
I agree with your points gebhk. It is hard to judge someone who has been through a war.

Regards.
"Befehl ist Befehl"

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Obi44
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by Obi44 » 22 Mar 2023 14:40

Totenkomf wrote:
20 Apr 2022 09:04
Looking at the Liberation of three different Concentration Camps I find it strange that the American soldiers started to kill some of the surrendered SS Guards but the British and the Soviets seemingly didn't (in exeption three SS Männer) were shot after they tried to escape from Belsen), but they just arrested them and later prosecuted some of them.

Like why did this happen different ways? The British captured: 77 KZ Staff Members and shot three that tried to escape, and the Soviets seemingly killed none but executed SS Guards after a trial. And the Americans or Inmates killed 30/50 Guards/Kapos + SS-Untersturmführer Wicker or some other German Officer.

Also the Brits/Soviet didn't seemingly give the inmates weapons or SS men to kill.

Some of you will say that the American G.I's killed the Guards at Dachau because they saw the conditions of the camp/ the 'Death Train' and the dead prisoners.

Bit didn't the British and the Soviets witness the same horrors and piles of corpses/ starving prisoners but still didn't outright kill the SS Guards/kapos?. Or was it the American way of shooting first and asking questions later?.
(Not a generalisation)

Belsen-Guards after Liberation:



Dachau Guards after Liberation:


Majdanek Guards after Liberation:
It can be surmised that the British did not generally execute SS-TV personnel because the British Armed Forces heavily shied away from such excesses - it was not seen as proper British etiquette. There are few specific cases of widespread British atrocities during the Second World War (though they did happen), and wild shootings of POWs was not something seen as acceptable by the vast majority of aristocratic British officers. In the US Armed Forces, the American attitude was that excesses could be justified given some circumstances (i.e, they shot your prisoners, so you shoot theirs), and with the Soviets, revenge was a topic on their minds when they finally reached Germany in 1945. Most British officers viewed excesses as widely unjustified, but the Americans and Soviets differed.

So it isn't hard to see why the British and Americans would act the way they did - the 45th Infantry Division, after all, was already involved in the killing of 71 Italian and 2 German POWs at Biscari airfield in Sicily in 1943 (another execution of Italian POWs followed, ordered by Captain John Compton). When things like this happen, it often creates an air of softness when it comes to atrocities; in other words, it sets a bad example. What I'm more surprised with is the demonstration of incredible restraint when Soviet troops dealt with SS-TV troops, despite killings of German POWs by Soviet forces being fairly common in the east. That's definitely something I'd like to investigate.
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by steve248 » 23 Mar 2023 13:41

In 1944 the British army in the field was more technical and competence driven and not "a vast majority of aristocratic British officers". Those WW1 days were long gone. My uncle, the son of a coal miner, was a Captain in the army in 1944.

On the other hand, SIS/MI 6, seems to have been a "upper class" and "aristocratic" establishment at the time - recruitment based on who you know. Read the memoirs on Hugh Trevor-Roper. Today it is far more cosmopolitan.

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Obi44
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by Obi44 » 23 Mar 2023 14:04

steve248 wrote:
23 Mar 2023 13:41
In 1944 the British army in the field was more technical and competence driven and not "a vast majority of aristocratic British officers". Those WW1 days were long gone. My uncle, the son of a coal miner, was a Captain in the army in 1944.

On the other hand, SIS/MI 6, seems to have been a "upper class" and "aristocratic" establishment at the time - recruitment based on who you know. Read the memoirs on Hugh Trevor-Roper. Today it is far more cosmopolitan.
So instead of the officers being aristocrats themselves, the case would instead be that they carried with them the same vestiges of that aristocratic culture despite a lack of...well, aristocrats! This naturally would have made them more averse to wild shootings of POWs and such - which still happened, despite the military's attempts to prevent it!

I'd love to learn more about the British experience of WWII, specifically the ways they changed from 1918-1945. Alas, seeing as the thread isn't about such things, I'll try and keep my questions to myself.
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by LAstryAGAIN » 14 Apr 2023 16:35


John Miller USA
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Re: Dachau/Bergen-Belsen/Majdanek Guards after Liberation

Post by John Miller USA » 17 Apr 2023 21:40

I didn't think there were any nazi murderers at Majdanek when the Soviet's got there. (doing a quick minute google search this website implied there were not like I thought)
https://www.hmd.org.uk/resource/22-july ... tion-camp/

Regarding Belsen it could be because the lower ranked American officers (Lts. Bill Walsh, and Jack Bushyhead) who liberated Dachau were citizen soldiers and saw murder as super evil, while the British military class didn't. Bill Walsh stated saw that Nazi soldiers in American custody were given great treatment and the contrast, history shows that Bill Walsh was morally correct because these nazi murderers would have likely gotten away (or been out by 1955 at the latest) with murder. Jack Bushyhead as part of a persecuted nation saw things that were worse than he ever heard about and he morally shot the nazi murderers.

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