SS-HJ and shootings of Canadian POWs

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Aufklarung
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SS-HJ and shootings of Canadian POWs

Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 17:11

This thread was split off from a thread dealing with treatment of underage POWs in the WWII in general section. Obviously this accounts for the seemingly dramatic opening of the first post of this thread below. :) best, Qvist.
----------------

Sad? Dramatic? Hogwash!!

Murdering little bastards. I hope they got the same treatment as their older Waffen SS comrades. Good or bad, that is. If you're old enough to do the crime, you're old enough to do the time.

Kurt Meyer and his band of thug children acted despicably at Abbaye d'Ardenne and other places in Normandy from 7 June '44 to 17 July '44. Meyer never pulled a trigger but it is proven he aknowledged the murders of at least 18 Cdn soldiers taken prisoner by the 12th SS Panzer. In a couple of cases he was yards away when it happened. Too bad Canada didn't push it at the end of the war to have him and a couple other of his Offrs and men strung up.

Good reads:

Howard Margolian, Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy, University of Toronto Press 1998

Ian J Campbell, Murder at the Abbaye, Ottawa, Golden Dog Press, 1996

Some links:
http://www.herald.ns.ca/cgi-bin/home/di ... Normandy+2
http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/CHRON/June_8b.htm
http://www.lermuseum.org/ler/mh/wwii/caen.html
http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html (scroll down about a third of the way)

regards
A

Erich Hartmann
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Post by Erich Hartmann » 27 May 2005 17:23

Aufklarung wrote:Murdering little bastards.


Murdering little bastards? Yes, maybe....but one shouldn't forget that they were indoctrinated since they were ten and therefore were as much perpetrators as also victims. In most countries offender have to be a minimum age to be held accountable....for a reason!

And for "the same treatment as their older comrades"...do you mean getting killed? Yes, that is so much more honorable....

regards

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Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 17:28

Hey Erich

Read, please read what I posted, OK?

Please don't put words in my mouth. Where did I insinuate that they should be killed. If they could have been proven guilty then sure, hang them. What's wrong with that?
I wrote:I hope they got the same treatment as their older Waffen SS comrades. Good or bad, that is. If you're old enough to do the crime, you're old enough to do the time...


or did you skim over that part in the few minutes it took you to reply to my post. You do read fast!! I'm impressed.

There is no "Maybe" about it either. Fact is fact and they murdered. Rebuttal? 156 murders of Canadians alone have been proven to be attributed to 12th SS

regards
A :)

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Post by Erich Hartmann » 27 May 2005 17:35

Aufklarung,

I know about the murdered canadian POW's and I acknowledge of course that it was a war crime and I won't deny or apologize it! There is a lot of material out there about that dark chapter, but that wasn't my question at all... :|

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Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 17:58

Hi Erich

I know I can get rather passionate about these incidents and my anger shows through from time to time. My anger is mainly directed back at us Canadians for allowing Meyer to walk free after a short incarceration only.

You wrote:...And for "the same treatment as their older comrades"...do you mean getting killed? Yes, that is so much more honorable....


So to answer your question; Yes, they should have been executed as war criminals (regardless of age) if proven to have murdered prisoners. If they were clean, then as I said, they deserved no special treatment as POW's other than what their older Comrades received. That's all.

OK?

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A :)

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Post by Erich Hartmann » 27 May 2005 18:08

OK! :cry:
But I would think it would have been better to let them sit for a time and reeducate them. In killing them one just ends what Hitler and the society has started...but that's just my opinion of course!
I can't help but feeling sadness about these wasted lives...

But since you mentioned it: WHY do you think let Canada Meyer go in the end??? 8O

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 18:30

Hi

Almost every country in the world wanted to wipe WW2 from the books immediately after the war ended. Canada was no exception and was probably more anxious to do so than others. I don't really understand why completely but a desire by our Goverment to draw down the military led to a lack of War Crimes investigators and that in turn led to poor research and finding of witnesses. Also we tried to get England to do our dirty work in charging these murderers and they in turn didn't put forth their greatest efforts (understandably).

The decision to charge Meyer with all the killings also allowed him and his defence to deny some of the broader charges and thereby weaken the prosecution's case.

Finally we bowed to German(!) and English pressures to release him in 1954.

If you wish, I can loan you my copy of Howard Margolian's Conduct Unbecoming.

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A :)

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Post by Erich Hartmann » 27 May 2005 18:41

Aufklarung wrote:Hi
Finally we bowed to German(!) and English pressures to release him in 1954.


Really! Bowing to German pressure!!! 8O
Must read up on that subject...

regards

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Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 18:44

Well, think of the date and you'll see that "West Germany" was a needed Ally so.......................................

Seriously, PM me a mailing address and a promise of return (eventually), and I'll send you that most excellent book as a source for answering your questions. :D

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A :)

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Post by Erich Hartmann » 27 May 2005 19:01

Aufklarung wrote:Seriously, PM me a mailing address and a promise of return (eventually), and I'll send you that most excellent book as a source for answering your questions. :D


Thank you for your kind offer! :D
But I found it on Amazon...(loaning me something is just to risky I fear :P )

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Post by Aufklarung » 27 May 2005 19:10

OK, your choice. :D

I highly recommend it as the most in-depth, comprehensive and (most importantly) un-biased account of the murder of Canadians in Normandy.

regards
A :)

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Post by DMaltby » 10 Jun 2005 14:41

Auffie,
Sorry to go off topic but can you recomend any books at all on the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in ww2 please?

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Wolfkin
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Post by Wolfkin » 01 Jul 2005 08:06

Hello!

This is regarding the ages of the members of the 12th SS Hitlerjugend. I seem to have noticed much myth and misinformation regarding this subject. I have the divisional history by Hubert Meyer and in it he states that the members were formed from a first wave taken from those born in the first half of 1926 and a second wave taken from those born in the second half of 1926. This would make them between 16-17 years old when they started their training in July of 1943 and 17-18 years when they entered combat in Normandy in June of 1944. Officers and NCO’s were transferred from the 1st SS Leibstandarte and were of course older and experienced. Also, one of those links shows some incorrect information. For the personnel of I./SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25 the age breakdowns are incorrect; 65% were eighteen (NOT under eighteen as stated), 17% were nineteen, and the remainder over twenty.

As Aufklarung has stated the fighting between the 12th SS Hitlerjugend and the 3rd Canadian Division in Normandy was very intense. The time was marked by several shootings of unarmed Canadian POW’s by the 12th SS Hitlerjugend. I have read accounts of at least 34 Canadian POW’s shot by the 12th SS Hitlerjugend between June 7-June 12. These events are largely unknown and perhaps overshadowed by events such as Malmedy. However, when one studies Malmedy one can see how that event could possibly have been an escape attempt. When one looks at the cases of the Canadian POW’s one will notice how these events seem different, that they seem almost deliberate and inexcusable.

A link about Malmedy:

http://historynet.com/wwii/blmassacreat ... index.html

A link about the murdered Canadian POW’s:

http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html

Cheers,

Wolfkin

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Post by Erich Hartmann » 01 Jul 2005 08:42

>>When one looks at the cases of the Canadian POW’s one will notice how these events seem different, that they seem almost deliberate and inexcusable. <<


I found that most interesting:
http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html

...
"In his view the tone of the campaign was established when the 3rd Canadian Division and the 12th SS met near Bayeux; D'Este repeated the notion that the Germans had heard rumours of the Allies shooting German POWs, so committed their own atrocities at Le Mesnil Patry and Audrieu.[28] In essence, Canadian atrocities precipitated German retaliation. Max Hastings, in Overlord (published the following year), had the following interpretation of events:

Much has been made of the shooting of prisoners - most notoriously, Canadian prisoners - by 12th SS Panzer and other German units in Normandy. Yet it must be said that propoganda has distorted the balance of guilt. Among scores of Allied witnesses interviewed for this narrative, almost every one had direct knowledge or even experience of shooting German prisoners during the campaign. In the heat of battle, in the wake of seeing comrades die, many men found it intolerable to send prisoners to the rear knowing they would thus survive the war, while they themselves seemed to have little prospect of doing so. Many British and American units shot SS prisoners routinely, which explained, as much as the fanatical resistance that the SS so often offered, why so few appeared in POW cages.[29]

The Second World War was no longer as black and white as earlier scholarship might have suggested. Since atrocities were committed by both sides, these authors suggested, guilt should not be confined to the enemy."
...

:|

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Wolfkin
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Post by Wolfkin » 01 Jul 2005 09:09

Hello!

Please read further down in the link that I provided. I believe that Max Hastings may be a tad out of date. From the link:

"Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy (1998) provided the most comprehensive account of the Normandy murders and the Meyer case to date. While Campbell deconstructed the whole to look at the parts, Howard Margolian, former investigator for the War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice, carefully laid each piece to construct the whole story of SS atrocities in Normandy. He places the reader at the scene of each crime, telling us the names of the victims and (where possible) the circumstances surrounding their deaths. Using forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts (taken mainly from interrogation reports and the Meyer trial transcript) Margolian details each Canadian murder at the hands of the 12th SS and illuminates the Hitler Youth's practice of systematic murder.

Margolian's study is a direct rebuttal to members of the 'relativist/revisionist' school that contended Allied and German practices in Normandy were equally atrocious.[45] While the author concedes that some of the murders committed after the early clash of arms in Normandy may have been due to the unchecked emotions of young and inexperienced troops, he is careful to distinguish these from the cold, calculated and systematic killings at German headquarters (like the Abbaye d'Ardenne and Chateau d'Audrieu) and those of large numbers of prisoners in transit well behind enemy lines. Arguably, even if a scholar was able to prove an example of a Canadian soldier murdering a German POW, Margolian's basic argument would still hold true. The sheer number of Canadian prisoners killed in Normandy, in a systematic manner, at or near various SS headquarters, dispells all reasonable doubt that 12th SS policies and orders directly and indirectly advocated (and at the very least did not disuade) the refusal of quarter to and the murder of POWs.

In Conduct Unbecoming, Meyer was just one of several SS officers culpable for murder in Normandy. Margolian critically assesses Macdonald's prosecution and his decision to hold Meyer accountable not only for the Abbaye killings "but for all of the POW murders that had been perpetrated in the sectors in which he had exercised command," even though he was not physically present at the crime scenes. This unexplained reversion to a "chain-of-command theory" made the Crown's case daunting, and although Jesionek's testimony was characterized as "devastating" to Meyer (as well Meyer's own defence that "all but shattered" his credibility), the author differed from Campbell in that he believed Vokes' decision to commute the death sentence was "probably fair." Even though Meyer had a "fair hearing" much of the evidence against Meyer would not have been admissable in a civilian court, and although a "reasonable inference" that Meyer had ordered the shooting of Canadians at the Abbaye could been drawn from attendant circumstances, even this evidence was circumstantial. And although Meyer, the first man tried under Canada's war crime regulations, was not sentenced to death, Margolian felt the conviction of "a clearly guilty man" meant that the system itself had worked. The author concluded that the Meyer trial seemed to augur well for the future prosecution of other perpetrators of the Normandy massacres.[46] However, the real failure of justice was not associated with the Meyer case, but the "one who got away." Milius, Mohnke and Bremer were also responsible for war crimes, but were never tried due to Canadian and British negligence, incompetence or indifference. Margolian's chief assertion is that Canada's failure to bring a single member of the 12th SS Panzer Division to "full justice" (death) represented an abrogation of justice.[47] "

http://grad.usask.ca/gateway/archive9.html


Cheers,

Wolfkin

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