Rob - wssob2 wrote:
Isnt that the reason why we still discuss what REALLY happened?? We cant be sure what is true or what is a myth.
Wrong. We are completely able to separate fact from myth, depending on how willing we are to research the subject impartially, provide documentary evidence and consult a variety of historical sources.
Thats because the winning side can cover the truth and create myths.
Wrong again. The whole "it's a conspiracy theory/cover up" is just an method to proclaim one's position correct when one is unwilling or unable to rely on scholarship instead of speculation.
This is an old thread, which I am finding fascinating. I'm a writer, working on an article about the execution of downed airmen in Austria in early 1945. (My previous articles have appeared in Jul-Aug 2012 World at War magazine, and in Jan-Feb 2013 issue of the same magazine.)
In this case, I do believe that the best scholarship may not be able to find the truth. The victors can, and do, suppress or destroy sensitive documents as they wish. The losers cannot. Their files are generally available for plunder and review. Case in point: Raoul Wallenberg. We may never know the truth. Heck, it took decades to get to the truth of the Katyn massacre.
We do know that there were public utterances by German officials declaring that downed airmen could be executed with impunity by Austrian and German locals. We do know that no such utterances were made by British officials. Were downed German pilots summarily executed by civilians? Occasionally? Frequently? As a pattern? I don't think that we will ever know, despite the best study of available resources. IMHO. I wouldn't call it a conspiracy, but a pattern and practice of controlling information during WWII. We did it, the Brits did it. Everyone did it.
But would love to include references to execution of fallen German aviators in my article, if they exist.
I have a Freedom of information request pending regarding the Austrian incident that I am writing about.
Fascinating thread. Thanks to all who participated in this. I'll keep reading. I'm not done with this thread yet.