Another cause of death of Soviet POWs

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 08 Oct 2002 20:00

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott wrote:only through reciprocation and agreements does this treatment improve
The Hague Rules of Land Warfare and the 1929 Geneva Convention had become customary international law by the end of the 1930’s, entitling prisoners of war to treatment according to the principles of these conventions even if their governments had not ratified them.
Well, Mr. International Lawyer, I really don't think that soldiers can count on any "entitlements" that go beyond what their warring governments mutually agree to. For example, the North Vietnamese signed the Geneva convention but when it came to American POWs at the Hanoi Hilton they said that this didn't apply because the Americans were War Criminals.
:wink:
If anyone on this forum still expects poor Smith to ever understand the difference between the compulsory nature of certain rules and principles on the one hand and actual compliance therewith (rather than breach thereof) on the other, please let me know.

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 20:13

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott wrote:only through reciprocation and agreements does this treatment improve
The Hague Rules of Land Warfare and the 1929 Geneva Convention had become customary international law by the end of the 1930’s, entitling prisoners of war to treatment according to the principles of these conventions even if their governments had not ratified them.
Well, Mr. International Lawyer, I really don't think that soldiers can count on any "entitlements" that go beyond what their warring governments mutually agree to. For example, the North Vietnamese signed the Geneva convention but when it came to American POWs at the Hanoi Hilton they said that this didn't apply because the Americans were War Criminals.
:wink:
If anyone on this forum still expects poor Smith to ever understand the difference between the compulsory nature of certain rules and principles on the one hand and actual compliance therewith (rather than breach thereof) on the other, please let me know.
Well, Comrade, my original point was that reciprocity is the best bet for deterrence. You want your boys treated well so you treat theirs well. That's what the Americans practiced until the war was over, and then American POWs were no longer hostages to those awful Nazis. The conditions of treatment for the continuing German POWs then went down, to say the least--and this was after the war was won--when nothing was left but blue-skies and moon-pies and all those defeated Nazis lined-up in a row.
:mrgreen:

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Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2002 20:18

Dan -- I think it had something to do with the last sentence in Mr. Mills' post.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 08 Oct 2002 20:20

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott wrote:only through reciprocation and agreements does this treatment improve
The Hague Rules of Land Warfare and the 1929 Geneva Convention had become customary international law by the end of the 1930’s, entitling prisoners of war to treatment according to the principles of these conventions even if their governments had not ratified them.
Well, Mr. International Lawyer, I really don't think that soldiers can count on any "entitlements" that go beyond what their warring governments mutually agree to. For example, the North Vietnamese signed the Geneva convention but when it came to American POWs at the Hanoi Hilton they said that this didn't apply because the Americans were War Criminals.
:wink:
If anyone on this forum still expects poor Smith to ever understand the difference between the compulsory nature of certain rules and principles on the one hand and actual compliance therewith (rather than breach thereof) on the other, please let me know.
Well, Comrade, my original point was that reciprocity is the best bet for deterrence. You want your boys treated well so you treat theirs well. That's what the Americans practiced until the war was over, and then American POWs were no longer hostages to those awful Nazis. The conditions of treatment for the continuing German POWs then went down, to say the least--and this was after the war was won--when nothing was left but blue-skies and moon-pies and all those defeated Nazis lined-up in a row.
:mrgreen:
When the head of state has said this to his generals almost three months before the outbreak of war:
Colonial tasks!
Two world-views fighting each other. Demolishing verdict about Bolshevism, which is equal to asocial criminality. Communism is an enormous danger for the future. We must depart from the standpoint of soldierly comradeship. The Communist is no comrade before and no comrade afterwards. This is a fight to annihilation. If we don’t see it as this, we will defeat the enemy, but in 30 years we will again be faced with the communist enemy. We don’t make war to conserve the enemy.
(from Hitler's already quoted briefing on 30 March 1941, Halder's notes, emphasis mine)

considerations about "reciprocity" and "deterrence" are just so much empty whispering.

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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 20:42

Roberto wrote:When the head of state has said this to his generals almost three months before the outbreak of war:
Colonial tasks!
Two world-views fighting each other. Demolishing verdict about Bolshevism, which is equal to asocial criminality. Communism is an enormous danger for the future. We must depart from the standpoint of soldierly comradeship. The Communist is no comrade before and no comrade afterwards. This is a fight to annihilation. If we don’t see it as this, we will defeat the enemy, but in 30 years we will again be faced with the communist enemy. We don’t make war to conserve the enemy.

(from Hitler's already quoted briefing on 30 March 1941, Halder's notes, emphasis mine)
considerations about "reciprocity" and "deterrence" are just so much empty whispering.
Perhaps so, but you will recall that I have consistently condemned Crusades, and that was what Barbarossa was in a nutshell. Furthermore, Halder had a big axe to grind after the war. He is motivated to emphasize his "soldierly qualities" and try to negate Hitler's. And why should the German General Staff consider the Soviet POWs to be more comrades than their own government held them?
:)

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Post by Caldric » 08 Oct 2002 20:44

And why should the German General Staff consider the Soviet POWs to be more comrades than their own government held them?
Because that is the civil thing to do. Germany was all out of that though.

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Post by Caldric » 08 Oct 2002 20:47

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Last edited by Caldric on 08 Oct 2002 20:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Caldric » 08 Oct 2002 20:56

And on another point at what point did Nazi Germany treat its citizens any better then Stalinist USSR?

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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 21:09

Caldric wrote:And on another point at what point did Nazi Germany treat its citizens any better then Stalinist USSR?
Perhaps you should explain what you mean. The entire Soviet Union was like one Gulag.
:?

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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 21:12

Caldric wrote:
And why should the German General Staff consider the Soviet POWs to be more comrades than their own government held them?
Because that is the civil thing to do. Germany was all out of that though.
I guess that explains why the Americans stopped treating them-Nazi POWs as comrades as soon as the American POWs were returned home relatively fat and happy.
:)

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 08 Oct 2002 21:16

Roberto wrote:When the head of state has said this to his generals almost three months before the outbreak of war:
Colonial tasks!
Two world-views fighting each other. Demolishing verdict about Bolshevism, which is equal to asocial criminality. Communism is an enormous danger for the future. We must depart from the standpoint of soldierly comradeship. The Communist is no comrade before and no comrade afterwards. This is a fight to annihilation. If we don’t see it as this, we will defeat the enemy, but in 30 years we will again be faced with the communist enemy. We don’t make war to conserve the enemy.

(from Hitler's already quoted briefing on 30 March 1941, Halder's notes, emphasis mine)
considerations about "reciprocity" and "deterrence" are just so much empty whispering.
Scott Smith wrote:Perhaps so, but you will recall that I have consistently condemned Crusades, and that was what Barbarossa was in a nutshell.
Blah, blah, blah.
Scott Smith wrote:Furthermore, Halder had a big axe to grind after the war. He is motivated to emphasize his "soldierly qualities" and try to negate Hitler's.
When Smith starts feeling uncomfortable with his "legitimacy" contentions, he starts squealing "forgery" or at least "misrepresentation".

Any evidence that Halder misrepresented the Führer's statements, Mr. Smith?

Contentions that he had a "big axe to grind", which you would also have to substantiate, are hardly sufficient in this respect.

What advantage would Halder have drawn for himself from admitting that he was present at a meeting where a criminal policy of warfare was outlined without uttering a protest?

And if Halder misrepresented Hitler’s statements, why did the Führer’s Lakeitel reject the memorandum by the Amt Ausland Abwehr that I mentioned, noting that their reservations corresponded to the soldierly views of chivalrous warfare, whereas this war was about the annihilation of a Weltanschauung. ?

And why did the Wehrmacht High Command so diligently proceed to convert the Führer’s wishes into concrete orders?
In the war crimes trials after the war some of those present, including the Commander in Chief of the Army, von Brauchitsch, stated that in the sequence of Hitler’s speech there had been heated protests to the Commander in Chief of the Army due to the kind of warfare required of the army as soon as Hitler had left the room. Brauchitsch maintained that he promised not to issue any orders corresponding to Hitler’s requirements, and that he instead had ordered the issue of the so called “Disciplinary Directive” to counteract the kind of warfare required by Hitler. The analysis of the coming into being of the Barbarossa Directive and the Commissar Order, however, shows that this account does not correspond to the sequence of events.
Immediately after Hitler’s speech the staffs of the OKW (Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht) and the OKH (Supreme Command of the Army) proceeded to translate Hitler’s requirements into orders, insofar as they had not already reached decisions at least closely approaching Hitler’s requirements by themselves. The preparation of these orders after the protest that was not constituted another decisive step in the direction of involving the Wehrmacht in the extermination policy.
About a week after Hitler’s speech, on 8 April, Ulrich von Hassel and the Chief of Staff of Admiral Canaris, Colonel Oster, were with Colonel General Ludwig Beck. Hassel noted the following:
“[…] my hair stood on end in the face of what was made evident in documents about the orders issued to the troops and signed by Halder regarding the procedures in Russia and the systematic transformation of military justice towards the population into a caricature that mocked any law [….]. With this submission to Hitler’s orders Brauchitsch is sacrificing the honor of the German army.”
I translated the above from Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945.
Scott Smith wrote:And why should the German General Staff consider the Soviet POWs to be more comrades than their own government held them?
Because international law so demanded, my dear boy. See my last posts.

By Smith’s reasoning, we might also ask:

Why should the Einsatzgruppen have refrained from shooting hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens into mass graves?

Stalin's NKVD had done the same during the purges in the late 1930s, after all. :aliengray

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Post by Caldric » 08 Oct 2002 21:17

Scott Smith wrote:
Caldric wrote:And on another point at what point did Nazi Germany treat its citizens any better then Stalinist USSR?
Perhaps you should explain what you mean. The entire Soviet Union was like one Gulag.
:?
It was bad in the Soviet Union, but lets name them off.

In Germany just about all civil liberties were removed from the citizens. Homosexuals were arrested, the sick were murdered for being sick, the Jews (which had been in Germany for Generations) were stripped of all rights and later on would be murdered by the millions. Any political party other than NSDAP was practically outlawed, courts lost almost all power.

In the USSR they did not even come close to some of these things. Sure they sent millions to the Gulag, and sent Millions to their death, but so did the Nazi's, of their own people to. Unless one, you do not consider Jews German citizens or two they are not people.

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Post by Caldric » 08 Oct 2002 21:38

Stalin had done the same during the purges in the late 1930s, after all.
Yes I guess that gave the Germans a free hand to do as they will, no moral or civil restraint, I mean hell Stalin did it...


That was a pretty bad argument Scott... 8O

Did the German pay sheet not have the 10 commandments for soldiers stamped on it? Such as all civilians shall be treated with respect and removed from harm when ever possible. All POW's are to be treated fairly. etc. etc. I have never read these orders (not sure that they truly were on the first pay sheet) that were given to the German troops but I think it is fair to say that Pre-Nazi Germany had laws that governed the actions of its troops in warfare, not only international but national laws of decency towards your fellow man, and legal rights of humans no matter their race.

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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 23:50

Caldric wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
Caldric wrote:And on another point at what point did Nazi Germany treat its citizens any better then Stalinist USSR?
Perhaps you should explain what you mean. The entire Soviet Union was like one Gulag.
:?
It was bad in the Soviet Union, but lets name them off.
You imply that living conditions in Nazi Germany were no better than Soviet Russia; that is nonsense unless one is a Jew, and even then only if we are talking about wartime.
In Germany just about all civil liberties were removed from the citizens.
It wasn't a liberal-democracy, of course, but a Democracy-Capitalist system in wartime is hardly different.
Homosexuals were arrested,
Male homosexuals were arrested because sodomy was against the criminal code dating from before the Weimar government. Sodomy was also illegal in Great Britain and still is in many U.S. states. The Nazis merely enforced the law. If we don't like the implications of that then we should repeal bad laws. This was finally done in Arizona a couple of years ago.

The Jehovah's Witnesses were arrested because they refused to work or be drafted. Some were martyred because pacifism runs against the Prussian mentality, but Stalin would have simply had them all shot or liquidated as a class, not just the Refuseniks.
the sick were murdered for being sick,
That is the case in the USA today because the poor (and the working poor) don't have health insurance. Yeah, it is not mercy killing, though; it is just Capitalism. But "Crimes of Capitalism" don't exist because there is nobody to assign blame.
U.S. News & World Report wrote: "The uninsured used to exist on the margins of society. Now they're most likely next door."

(October 14, 2002)
Here is the breakdown:

Uninsured TOTAL: 14.6%
Less than $25,000 income: 23.3%
Age 18-34: 25.8%
the Jews (which had been in Germany for Generations) were stripped of all rights
Any sovereign state can determine who qualifies to be a citizen or not. The USA did not allow negroes born in this country to have automatic citizenship until the 15th Amendment was ratified after the Civil War. Even today you might be a national or "Subject of the State" and not be a citizen if you weren't born or naturalized here. You are not eligible for civil service jobs as a result and neither were the Jews as non-citizens. That was popular with overeducated German gentiles looking for work, and the Nazi Party itself was basically a lower-middle class movement. The Japanese-Americans incarcerated during the war by Roosevelt were CITIZENS, btw, not enemy-aliens.
and later on would be murdered by the millions.
Yeah, during the war. Germans were murdered by the millions during and after the war as well. War sucks. And brutality is reprehensible. Our country is not free of brutal treatment either, but you probably won't read about it in High School History texts--not that I am saying a "religion" should be made out of it as some Germans and Jews have done.
Any political party other than NSDAP was practically outlawed, courts lost almost all power.
So, we have justice if you can afford high legal bills, and besides, we have only two political parties--and I don't think either one represents my interests. Our government is bought-and-paid-for by financial interests and they don't represent me. It seems we either have gridlock or mischief but not proactive leadership--not that this was always the case with Germany either, but Hitler got things done before the war.

And I have never advocated putting critics in the slammer for political reasons, as Hitler did with the Reds and a few other prominents like Niemöller, who got passed over for Reichsbishop. That was popular but wasn't the right thing to do in the long haul, and neither is putting people in prison for Hate Speech or Thoughtcrime, as Germans are known for today, particularly against the Left.
In the USSR they did not even come close to some of these things. Sure they sent millions to the Gulag, and sent Millions to their death, but so did the Nazi's, of their own people to.
I think you are dreaming. You should do some more reading about the Soviet Union during its Stalinist salad-days because you don't know what you are talking about. The post-Stalin period was not considered totalitarian, btw. Stalin is still popular, however. At best, if it can be argued that a "fascist war" was inevitable before Hitler even came to power, then Stalin's career as a totalitarian strongman can be justified to insure Soviet victory, including the eggs broken to make the "omelets."
:roll:
Unless one, you do not consider Jews German citizens or two they are not people.
What I think doesn't matter because the Germans did not consider the Jews to be German citizens; the Nürnberg Laws of 1935 were perfectly legal, majority rules, and to hell with the minority. I have condemned that as going too far, however. No reason to go to war over it, though. Perhaps worse was that the USA refused to let the Jews immigrate into our own country when they needed a place to go, an uncharitable attitude not lost on the Germans, who already regarded them as pariahs.
:)

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Post by Caldric » 09 Oct 2002 00:45

I think you are dreaming. You should do some more reading about the Soviet Union during its Stalinist salad-days because you don't know what you are talking about. The post-Stalin period was not considered totalitarian, btw. Stalin is still popular, however. At best, if it can be argued that a "fascist war" was inevitable before Hitler even came to power, then Stalin's career as a totalitarian strongman can be justified to insure Soviet victory, including the eggs broken to make the "omelets."

I am very well read on the USSR under Stalin, and the rise of Marxist such as Lenin and Stalin, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinovev etc etc etc. What's your point?

I did not defend the Soviets, but nor do I say they are worse then the Germans, in truth I never can decide which were worse. Is not important, what is important is your statement that the Germans were doing nothing that the Soviets were not already doing to these poor people.

If Germany would have shown compassion and mercy for these crushed souls who knows what the world would look like today...

Any sovereign state can determine who qualifies to be a citizen or not. The USA did not allow negroes born in this country to have automatic citizenship until the 15th Amendment was ratified after the Civil War. Even today you might be a national or "Subject of the State" and not be a citizen if you weren't born or naturalized here. You are not eligible for civil service jobs as a result and neither were the Jews as non-citizens. That was popular with overeducated German gentiles looking for work, and the Nazi Party itself was basically a lower-middle class movement. The Japanese-Americans incarcerated during the war by Roosevelt were CITIZENS, btw, not enemy-aliens.
True the US can decide who is going to become Citizen, but without a major legal battle they can not strip the ones already citizens of that right.

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