W-SS war crimes in Slovenia

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Octavianus
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Post by Octavianus » 24 Apr 2003 16:22

Ave POW and Krasnaya Zwezda,
The adjudgement could not prove the fact, if the emblem could be seen from a far distance. The weapons were not shown, exept they had an advantage when doing so. There is an evidence that different groups of the resistance were under a central command like the partisans of Marshal Tito, the Cetnici of Draza Mihailovic and the EDES of General Zervas
This doesn't make much sense to me though. When in combat you don't have time to check whether your opponent is dressed properly or not. To be honest, even in the German army this rule was somehow blur at least for the areas of Northern Yugoslavia where Germans often used camouflage uniforms which had sufficently hidden official emblems on the uniform or a helmet.
Since a judgment of the military tribunal was made in 1947/48, I see no basic necessity to judge this topic again in 2003 by some members of an internet forum.
I believe that there are still a lot of things which would require some serious discussions in the present time and which had been blured by the Allies after the war.

All in all, I'm getting more a feeling that we are here more looking excuses why both sides were massacring each other and subseqnntly not giving out any facts about these massacres. There is no secret that Germans started in some parts of Europe (Poland in September 1939 comes to my mind first) with their repression measures even before the first resistance movements and guerilla armies were formed and put in action.

Gratiam,

Octavianus

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 24 Apr 2003 16:52

Kocjo -- Don't worry, there's plenty of time to discuss Waffen-SS crimes in Slovenia. The provisions of those international conventions go to the argument over whether the war crimes were justified as being directed against bandits rather than soldiers.

POW
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Post by POW » 24 Apr 2003 17:30

POW -- Who are the defendants in that US military tribunal proceeding you spoke of?
Us military court nr. V, case 7, lawsuit against the Generals of the sotheast.

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Post by POW » 24 Apr 2003 17:40

When in combat you don't have time to check whether your opponent is dressed properly or not
Are we joking around?

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K.Kocjancic
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Post by K.Kocjancic » 24 Apr 2003 18:06

Here's an example.
You are soldier/policeman, armed and walking around, when somebody starts to firing at you. What will you do?
a) fired back,
b) ask him or check his clothing,
c) run away?

I agree with Octavianus - there's no time (Kill or be killed).

Kocjo

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Post by David Thompson » 24 Apr 2003 18:09

Thanks, POW. It sounds like the "Hostage Case." I haven't been able to find it on-line yet, but after I get back from vacation I'll see if I can't locate it. Just to confirm, are these the defendants?

Boehme (Böhme), Franz Friedrich (1885-29.5.1947) [General der Gebirgstruppe]
Dehner, Ernst (1889-13.9.1970) [General der Infanterie]
Felmy, Hellmuth (1885-14.12.1965) [General der Flieger]
Foertsch (Förtsch), Hermann (1885-27.12.1961) [General der Infanterie]
von Geitner, Kurt (1884-6.9.1968) [Generalmajor]
Kuntze, Walter (1883-?) [General der Pioniere]
Lanz, Hubert (1896-12.5.1982) [General der Gebirgstruppe]
von Leyser, Ernst (1889-?) [General der Infanterie]
List, Sigmund Wilhelm Walther (1880-1971) [Generalfeldmarschall]
Rendulic, Dr. jur. Lothar (1887-18.1.1971) [Generaloberst]
Speidel, Wilhelm (1895-1970) [General der Fleiger]
von Weichs, Maximilian Freiherr (1881-27.9.1954) [Generalfeldmarschall]

jeff
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Post by jeff » 24 Apr 2003 18:37

i don't believe that the SS commited as many crimes as is claimed

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Post by David Thompson » 24 Apr 2003 18:55

Jeff -- Why not?

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K.Kocjancic
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Post by K.Kocjancic » 24 Apr 2003 19:05

Organization SS (all of SS) commited 95% of all German war crimes during WWII. 90% of SS crimes were commited by SS-Totenkopfs-vernbande, 10% by W-SS.

jeff
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Post by jeff » 24 Apr 2003 19:11

my great grandfather was in the waffen ss and he said he and his comrades never commited any crime whatso ever

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K.Kocjancic
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Post by K.Kocjancic » 24 Apr 2003 19:18

I didn't say, that all of W-SS units commited war crimes, but a lot of them did.

In which one your great grandfather served in? Post here or by PM?

Kocjo

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Post by jeff » 24 Apr 2003 19:25

in 1941 - 1942 16th army group north and fought in Demyansk holding the rank of SS-Scharffuhrer

POW
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Post by POW » 24 Apr 2003 21:25

David Thompson wrote:Thanks, POW. It sounds like the "Hostage Case." I haven't been able to find it on-line yet, but after I get back from vacation I'll see if I can't locate it. Just to confirm, are these the defendants?

Boehme (Böhme), Franz Friedrich (1885-29.5.1947) [General der Gebirgstruppe]
Dehner, Ernst (1889-13.9.1970) [General der Infanterie]
Felmy, Hellmuth (1885-14.12.1965) [General der Flieger]
Foertsch (Förtsch), Hermann (1885-27.12.1961) [General der Infanterie]
von Geitner, Kurt (1884-6.9.1968) [Generalmajor]
Kuntze, Walter (1883-?) [General der Pioniere]
Lanz, Hubert (1896-12.5.1982) [General der Gebirgstruppe]
von Leyser, Ernst (1889-?) [General der Infanterie]
List, Sigmund Wilhelm Walther (1880-1971) [Generalfeldmarschall]
Rendulic, Dr. jur. Lothar (1887-18.1.1971) [Generaloberst]
Speidel, Wilhelm (1895-1970) [General der Fleiger]
von Weichs, Maximilian Freiherr (1881-27.9.1954) [Generalfeldmarschall]
Yes David. To speed up your search in the internet try this link: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/WCC/List1.htm
Here's an example.
You are soldier/policeman, armed and walking around, when somebody starts to firing at you. What will you do?
a) fired back,
b) ask him or check his clothing,
c) run away?

I agree with Octavianus - there's no time (Kill or be killed).

Kocjo
Huh? Although I usually don't discuss with children this will be my final attempt to prove that usually the Yugoslavian fighters were not considered as a regular army. Of List the Tribunal said : “ The evidence shows that after the capitulation of the armies of Yugoslavia and Greece, both countries were occupied within the meaning of International Law. It shows further that they remained occupied during the period that List was Armed Forces Commander Southeast. It is clear from the record also that the guerrillas participating in the incidents shown by the evidence during this period were not entitled to be classed as lawful belligerents within the rules herein before announced. We agree, therefore, with the contention of the defendant List that the guerrilla fighters with which he contended were not lawful belligerents entitling them to prisoner of war status upon capture. We are obliged to hold that such guerrillas were francs tireurs who, upon capture, could be subjected to the death penalty. Consequently, no criminal responsibility attaches to the defendant List because of the execution of captured partisans in Yugoslavia and Greece during the time he was Armed Forces Commander Southeast.” List was also found not guilty of “ any crime in connection with the Commissar Order.“

THE LAW RELATING TO HOSTAGES AND REPRISALS
"Turning to the question of hostages and reprisals, the Tribunal pointed out that it restricted its enquiry to “ the right to take hostages from the innocent civilian population of occupied territory as a guarantee against attacks by unlawful resistance forces, acts of sabotage and the unlawful acts of unknown persons and the further right to execute them if the unilateral guarantee is violated”; the taking of hostages to compel armed forces to respect the laws of war would not be discussed. (Footnote 3: In the next paragraph, the Tribunal said that it was concerned only with hostages taken “ to ensure against unlawful acts by enemy forces or people.” This second reference to “ enemy forces ” must, however, be taken to mean guerrilla units not falling within the category of the legal belligerents.)

In the opinion of the Tribunal the taking and shooting of hostages in order to guarantee the peaceful conduct in the future of the populations of occupied territories, may in certain circumstances be legal under International Law. The Tribunal based its opinion upon the “ available evidence,” which was said earlier to consist of “ certain rules of customary law and certain inferences legitimately to be drawn from existing conventional law.“(Footnote 4: See pp.60 and 61.) At a later point (Footnote 5: See p.63.) the Tribunal drew attention to the fact that the British Manual of Military Law permitted the taking of reprisals against a civilian population (putting to death is not mentioned), and the United States Basic Field Manual (Rules of Land Warfare) even the putting to death of hostages; and claimed that the killing of hostages was not prohibited under international agreement."

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Post by David Thompson » 24 Apr 2003 22:07

POW -- Thanks! I was too busy with last-minute packing to dig out my files, so I appreciate the helping hand.

Octavianus
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Post by Octavianus » 24 Apr 2003 23:00

Ave,
Are we joking around?
I don't know. You tell me since you have started this! :?
Huh? Although I usually don't discuss with children this will be my final attempt to prove that usually the Yugoslavian fighters were not considered as a regular army.
I believe it was during Caserta Meeting between Tito and Churchill when Yugoslav Partisan Army was fully recognized as a part of the Allied coalition, thus giving them a legal coverage. Yet, at least in the hinterland, the soldiers of both sides were still daily breaking the paragraphs from the conduct of war.
It is clear from the record also that the guerrillas participating in the incidents shown by the evidence during this period were not entitled to be classed as lawful belligerents within the rules herein before announced. We agree, therefore, with the contention of the defendant List that the guerrilla fighters with which he contended were not lawful belligerents entitling them to prisoner of war status upon capture. We are obliged to hold that such guerrillas were francs tireurs who, upon capture, could be subjected to the death penalty.
This leaves me somewhow skeptical, because if we took this for granted, than what legal protection did have those unfortunate German soldiers who found themselves in the hands of the partisans? How can you expect from one side to obey the Law(s) of War if the other side is completely rejecting them. This doesn't make sense, because if we accept this statement of the Tribunal we not only give an excuse to the Germans for their massive executions, by which you need to know that those 7,000 poor fellows that were shot at Kragujevac in a single day were not captured guerillas, but also giving the partisan side an excuse for the crimes their members have undoubtedly committed during and especially after the war! Sorry but such stand I cannot accept and I apparently even had relatives who fought in the Balkan in WWII.

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Feldmarshal List commanded the German armed forces in the Balkan only for a brief time before being transferred to Russland?

Gratiam,

Octavianus

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