View Poll Results: Should German WWII vets still be arrested?

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  • Yes

    18 23.68%
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Thread: Should German WWII vets be arrested?[W:260]

  1. #111
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    My point is that during war there may be justifiable cause for a summary execution of a prisoner. Especially where there are no other options for that mission's success, or a possible loss of life for your own men. And when that enemy combatant is an illegal combatant, all bet are always off.

    But that is not what this topic is about. Camp guards cannot execute prisoners.
    Summary executions are not justifiable, legally or morally.

    I agree they cannot kill prisoners, even if under coercion to do so.

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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    Nobody in Germany could have predicted this outcome in 1932 when they voted for Hitler.

    .
    That is absolute apologist nonsense. The Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 put Nazis on the map, and Germans had a full decade to familiarize themselves with the Nazi points of view.

    Why do you make these excuses? I really do not know you at all, so don't know if you are doing so out of sympathy for the National Socialist agenda, out of some misplaced need to divorce Germans from their own history or what?
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener View Post
    That is absolute apologist nonsense. The Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 put Nazis on the map, and Germans had a full decade to familiarize themselves with the Nazi points of view.

    Why do you make these excuses? I really do not know you at all, so don't know if you are doing so out of sympathy for the National Socialist agenda, out of some misplaced need to divorce Germans from their own history or what?
    No, that is truthful and factual information. The Beerhall putsch was a fiasco. Until his rise to power in 1933 only 240,000 books had been sold. After his power grab many people bought it and not before.

    And again, if you are starving and someone offers you a way out, you will say yes first and then ask questions later.

    And I am not making excuses, I am stating facts. My country was hit very badly by the Germans and was occupied for almost 5 years and suffered a horrendous hunger winter in which many thousands starved to death even though the allied forces were only miles away. Germany 2014 is not the Germany from 1933 and even the Germany of 1933 could not have predicted the horrors that were to follow. That has nothing to do with my feelings about the Nazi's, I hate everything the nazi's stood for and they were quite rightly removed from power by the allies but that does not mean I have to blame every single German for the crimes of their leadership.

    I do not know how it was in those times, with the hunger, poverty, massive unemployment, feelings of betrayal by the Weimar Republic, the punishing repair settlements with the allied forces in 1918, etc. etc. etc. etc. As an occupied nation, we know how little one can truly do against evil oppressors and the Germans who did not like Hitler will have felt the same. There was no-one one could trust, not even your own children who were being brainwashed by the Nazi party in the Hitler Jugend and the Bund for junge madchen. If they talked badly about Hitler they could find themselves betrayed by their children and arrested/threatened by the SA and later the SS. There is no way that we can imagine how Germans who were opposed to Hitler felt in that very oppressive society and we cannot hold an entire population responsible for decisions they did not make.

    It was Hitler and his cronies who decided to the "Endlosung" (the final solution) when they had that secret Wannsee conference. A lot of Germans might have been complicit up to a point but blindly blaming all Germans is not OK IMHO. We should forget what happened there, but it is time to forgive the German people because they were not the main perpetrators of the war crimes of the second world war.
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Zeppnile View Post
    All military orders still require a person to use their common sense and humanity....
    Uh, no, we don't. First of all there's no such thing as common sense. Second humanity has nothing to do with following a lawful order, or disobeying an unlawful order. These soldiers thought their orders were legal. It's how they were raised, it's what their people and their peers expected, so doing flowed naturally when their superior ordered it.

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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    How can they be prosecuted if they were following a direct order from their commanding officer? Honestly, I understand that this was a horrible circumstance, but if these guys are brought to justice, in my opinion, anyway, it'd make more soldiers hesitant about signing up, if they can be prosecuted for following an order they were forced to do.
    It was determined through the Nuremberg trials that the "superior orders" ("we were just following orders" [by a superior officer]) defense was insufficient.

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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    This has nothing to do with justice, it's about political ass covering. They want to make it look like they're still doing something. Unless a direct crime can be attributed to them, not just crime by association, they should be left alone.



    Yes, but we're talking about someone whose sole crime was being stationed at Auschwitz. Imagine you get drafted and sent there, and all you do is man a guard post. If you try to refuse they'll shoot you on site. How can anyone be held responsible for being put in such a situation? The officers in charge making the calls should be prosecuted, the rest not.
    Sorry my friend, but like you, I joined my country's military. And were I ordered to do something that was strongly against my moral code, there was no way I would do it...even if it meant forfeiting my own life (I am not saying you do or do not feel the same way - I do not know).
    Not because I am so brave...because I am not. But because I knew that I could never live with myself after it was over if I had just stood by while atrocities took place...let alone aided them by standing guard.


    I do not care what pressure they were under or whether their lives were at stake. I would honestly rather die then stand guard while I knew that my superiors were torturing and murdering innocent people.

    What is the point in living if the only way to live is as a coward? To me - none.

    I realize it's just a line from a movie...but I honestly try and live by it...'It's better to be dead and cool, then alive and uncool.'

    I don't care how long it has been or what pressure's they were under...if there is enough evidence to bring these people to trial...it should be done. And if they are convicted, they should be given - imo - the full punsihment that the law demands and the judge/jury ask for.


    You obviously feel differently. And I assume I will not change your mind about this. And there is NO WAY you will EVER change my mind about this.

    So why don't we just agree to disagree on this and move on?
    Last edited by DA60; 02-21-14 at 12:19 PM.

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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    No, that is truthful and factual information. The Beerhall putsch was a fiasco. Until his rise to power in 1933 only 240,000 books had been sold. After his power grab many people bought it and not before.

    And again, if you are starving and someone offers you a way out, you will say yes first and then ask questions later.

    And I am not making excuses, I am stating facts.
    No, you are making excuses and displaying a lack of knowledge and understanding. The sale of 240,0000 books is HUGE. You think his having a book that is a BEST SELLER means nobody knew about his politics? Do you think there were no Newspapers reporting upon him? Did people not talk to each other?

    Good grief, this notion you are trying to sell here that the German people elected somebody who they knew nothing about is downright laughable.
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Who should go to jail for the atrocities in North Korea. After what Adolph did in Germany and the lessons we learned there how can we stand by and do nothing while history repeats itself in North Korea? Aren't we now just as guilty as the Average pre 1939 German Citizen for sitting back and doing nothing about North Korea?
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Sorry my friend, but like you, I joined my country's military. And were I ordered to do something that was strongly against my moral code, there was no way I would do it...even if it meant forfeiting my own life (I am not saying you do or do not feel the same way - I do not know).
    Not because I am so brave...because I am not. But because I knew that I could never live with myself after it was over if I had just stood by while atrocities took place...let alone aided them by standing guard.


    I do not care what pressure they were under or whether their lives were at stake. I would honestly rather die then stand guard while I knew that my superiors were torturing and murdering innocent people.

    What is the point in living if the only way to live is as a coward? To me - none.

    I realize it's just a line from a movie...but I honestly try and live by it...'It's better to be dead and cool, then alive and uncool.'

    I don't care how long it has been or what pressure's they were under...if there is enough evidence to bring these people to trial...it should be done. And if they are convicted, they should be given - imo - the full punsihment that the law demands and the judge/jury ask for.


    You obviously feel differently. And I assume I will not change your mind about this. And there is NO WAY you will EVER change my mind about this.

    So why don't we just agree to disagree on this and move on?
    No, what you don't seem to understand is that they don't have any evidence that these people did anything wrong at all. They're trying them solely because they were stationed in Ausschwitz. That'd be like you getting stationed at Ft. Bragg, then some group of soldiers at Ft. Bragg murder a bunch of people. Then 60 years later, poof, the government calls you up and tries you for being an accomplice to murder simply because you were also stationed in the same place. That's insanely ridiculous.

    From the article:
    A court decided that by being a worker at a concentration camp he was guilty of being an accessory to murder. This meant that courts did not have to prove active participation in killing to find a suspect guilty of murder, BBC Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans reports.
    And by the way, insubordination in the German military was met with a bullet to the head. So that means if you get stationed at Auschwitz you either die or get charged with murder, there is no 3rd option. That's irrational.

    I have this crazy notion that people should be tried for their actions, not their inactions.

    Also from this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwi...nd_and_control

    - There were 7,000 German soldiers stationed in Auschwitz.
    - Only about 120 of which operated the gas chambers.

    So all 7,000 of those soldiers stationed there, the cooks, medics, paperwork clerks, etc. etc., all deserve to be brought up on murder charges?
    Last edited by RabidAlpaca; 02-21-14 at 12:36 PM.
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    Hitler and his party might have been voted in by democratic means. That does not mean that the German people voted him into office. The politicians of the time thought they could hold Hitler down and make him a non-issue by giving him some power.

    Also, in a situation of crisis, and Germany was in a crisis like almost no crisis ever before, people follow the leader that promises to deliver them from that crisis. The reasons for the rise of Hitler were both domestic (German situation) as foreign (the way the first world war ended, the crash of 1929). In the only truly democratic elections the Nazi's participated in, they never got more than 33% of the vote.
    33 percent for the man that wrote that book, those articles, that had the SA beat people in the streets, that said, what he did in his speeches? I mean, have you read that stuff? He said he was going to exterminate lebensunwertes Leben and get rid of Untermenschen. He was going to take the Lebensraum in the East. And the others let him become chancellor!

    Of course there are different levels of criminality involved. There is a difference between paying for the extermination of people with Down syndrome and other handicaps from your taxes and actually pulling the trigger (and yes I know they were not usually shot but got a shot of air in a vein). But either way it seems criminal to me.

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