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

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  • Yes

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

  1. #151
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    So every employee who worked for Union Carbide is now guilty of being an accomplice to the deaths which occurred at Bhopal.
    That is no comparison whatsoever. German soldiers and guards were not passively merely present if how the camps worked is understood. There were no innocent guards if they had been there more than a very short time.

  2. #152
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    So every employee who worked for Union Carbide is now guilty of being an accomplice to the deaths which occurred at Bhopal.
    If you and I go to the bank and I run inside while you wait in the car, and I tell you that I just need to make a withdrawal, but, in fact, I rob the bank, in actuality you are not complicit in the bank robbery.

    This is an excellent fact pattern because I think you realize that in point of fact, the police might not believe you, when you tell them you had no idea I was going to rob the bank. From somebody who isn't privy to the facts as they actually are, what's the weight of the credible evidence, and the segue to a concentration camp is fairly obvious here. Its difficult for somebody at a concentration camp to make the equivalent plea of "I didn't know they were robbing the bank"

    Same fact pattern, but now you do know that I'm robbing the bank, and now you're the getaway driver and you're criminally liability for intentionally assisting a criminal act. Driving a car, in and of itself, isn't illegal of course.

    Intent is a very important element and by bringing up Bhopal, which, at its core was an industrial accident, where, at best, the decision makers were criminally negligent.

  3. #153
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltaire X View Post
    Here's a more realistic comparison. Remember the Abu Ghraib torture scandal? Do you think that a low ranking soldier who was following orders from his CO and stood guard while the prisoners were being tortured (but did not directly participate, just standing guard) should be charged for being complicit in torture? Because that is essentially what Germany is doing. Germany is going after former soldiers who followed their orders and stood guard.
    Yes, if an American soldier stood by and did not at some point report it I would hold that soldier accountable. The soldier could not possibly be court martialed for doing so. No German soldier could have been court martialed for refusing to participate at any level. Nor was this rare for German soldiers to do so.

    The reason they shifted from killing those in the camp by shooting is due to the number of German officers and soldiers refusing and complaining - plus rapidly increasing suicide among such German soldiers. MOST people despite are determine a soldier willing to kill enemy can not handle be part of anything even as just a passive member when that unit is shooting women, children, babies, old people in mass numbers. That is the reason they shifted to gassing people as the main reason they did so - though there were other reasons too.

    I would not charge such an American soldier with being "complicit in torture." I would charge that officer with conduct unbecoming an officer and violating rules of war for not reporting it - meaning participating in a coverup of criminal activity by other members of the service.

    What would be unusual about this? If soldiers stood guard and watched officers selling heroin on base and didn't report it, that also would be violations including criminal violations.

    So while your's definitely now a better example, I have the same response. Failing to report grave misconduct and failing to attempt to not be a participant - directly or passively - should be prosecuted.

  4. #154
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    While people keep trying to bring up lesser and other analogies, there are few comparisons to what the known and apparent realities of what the death camps were and how the functioned, and again I will point out that any German soldier could refuse without fear of retribution. The German military could not and would not take actions against such German soldiers - who refused and many did - because they never wanted it on record this was Hitler's policy, German government policy or military policy. Overall, they went well out of their way to insure that no evidence or records of any kind remained - why they resorted to burning bodies rather than growing mass graves. They believed they could maintain deniability.

  5. #155
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by newpublius View Post
    "I didn't know they were robbing the bank"
    Don't overlook the other important aspect. Retroactive culpability for crime. If robbing a bank is not an illegal act, then is made against the law, how do you justify punishing you, the driver, for being an accessory to an act which was not illegal when it happened but is illegal today?

  6. #156
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Don't overlook the other important aspect. Retroactive culpability for crime. If robbing a bank is not an illegal act, then is made against the law, how do you justify punishing you, the driver, for being an accessory to an act which was not illegal when it happened but is illegal today?
    There's an Ex Post Facto limitation in the United States of course. There were certain crimes charged that would be questionable of course in this light, but murder or accessory to murder really wouldn't be one of them. Nuremberg laws notwithstanding, which defined who was and who wasn't a Jew, believe it or not, nothing in German in law prescribed the killing of Jews. They knew it was criminal and there's a reason they didn't make the law.

    "I am referring here to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. This is one of the things that is easily said: "The Jewish people are going to be exterminated," that’s what every Party member says, "sure, it’s in our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination – it’ll be done." And then they all come along, the 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his one decent Jew. Of course, the others are swine, but this one, he is a first-rate Jew. Of all those who talk like that, not one has seen it happen, not one has had to go through with it. Most of you men know what it is like to see 100 corpses side by side, or 500 or 1,000. To have stood fast through this and – except for cases of human weakness – to have stayed decent, that has made us hard. This is an unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory in our history, for we know how difficult it would be for us if today – under bombing raids and the hardships and deprivations of war – if we were still to have the Jews in every city as secret saboteurs, agitators, and inciters. If the Jews were still lodged in the body of the German nation, we would probably by now have reached the stage of 1916-17"

  7. #157
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Dave View Post
    Where did i imply they volunteered?
    Then the whole situation wouldn't make sense. If you didn't want to commit murder then you simply didn't have to volunteer. I thought we were discussing under the hypothesis if people were forced to participate in mass murder.
    "The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all" - Joan Robinson
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  8. #158
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener View Post
    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.
    No, I am not making excuses I am telling that it is not always as black and white/simplistic as you seem to think it is.

    Of the 13.75 million voters not even 2% had bought is book (the ones that voted in 1932) so don't make out that the sale of the book was HUGE because of the 44 million registered voters not even 0.55% had bought the book.

    Even now, in the information age a lot of people do not properly know what the candidates that they vote for actually say/want. The same goes for political parties, not matter if that happens in the US or in Europe. And in the time of no TV and only Radio, do you think that the speeches of Hitler were about what he stated in the Mein Kampf? No, the election posters of that time were about hunger, unemployment and how Hitler and his party were the only people that could deliver the German people from that. Hitler flew around in a plane on a campaign not unlike US presidents did, flying to big stadiums with thousands of listeners. He visited up to three a day on his plane. Delivering a message of "freedom, food and employment". His political enemies had the measure of Hitler and told the public so but with an empty belly, you are much more willing to listen to that era's "Tea Party" (not that I am comparing the Tea Party with the Nazi Party just to show that the NSDAP was the new kid on the block), a fresh new party with little or no links to Weimar. Just like a few years back in the US it was a good thing not to be a member of the Washington elite. Well, in Germany in that time people thought of the politicians of old political parties just as some Americans see the corrupt and wasteful Washington insiders.

    Hitler did not say, vote for me and I will start a war and a genocide. No, he said we have to get rid of the corrupt politicians and enemies of the state and give the power back to the workers of Germany. Give them back their pride, give them food, give them purpose and give them jobs.

    In 1932 Hitler was not seen by many as the monster that we later knew he was. For the starving, poor, unemployed, undefended from enemies people with little or no pride left, Adolf Hitler looked and sounded like their savior. He was going to save them from starvation, from poverty, from unemployment, from their enemies (like the communists of Stalin and the German parties that worked with Stalin) and to give them their pride back. The pride that they lost in 1918, when they lost the right to defend themselves (by having an army), from building weapons to defend themselves, when they lost parts of their country to the French and Belgians and the French also occupied part of Germany until 1935.

    Hitler campaigned as a world war one veteran and promised his country back the pride and prosperity they had lost due to the peace treaty of 1918. He promised them food and jobs and that was more important to whole scores of Germans who ignored the warnings from the communists and the social democrats. Sure for the politically savvy there were signs, but for Joe the Plumber, Joe Public and Joe the Farmer, Hitler was there to save them and that is why he won elections.

    You might think it is laughable, but when you ask the regular voter on the street about what the republicans and democrats really stand for, you will get many blank stares and wrong points of view. Even in this day and age. And that lack of knowledge is there in all age groups. Even though we live in a super information universe, a lot of people don't know and/or don't care. They voted Romney because Obama is a Muslim foreigner while others voted for Obama while not knowing what he stands for.
    Former military man (and now babysitter of Donald Trump) John Kelly, is a big loud lying empty barrel!

  9. #159
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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Essentially all Germans knew how horrifically Jews were being treated should of direct knowledge of mass genocide. They saw all their businesses, homes and personal property seized. They knew they were being beaten to death in the streets. They knew they were being rounded up into cattle cars never to be seen or heard from again.

    While most didn't know of the mass murder, its not like they didn't know anything. Many if not most supported what they did know was happening, and later in the war were facing such hardships themselves certainly didn't care about what may be happening to the vanished Jews.

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    Re: Should German WWII vets be arrested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    No, I am not making excuses I am telling that it is not always as black and white/simplistic as you seem to think it is.
    This was a very thoughtful post. To add to your point, look at some of the policies advocated by the party:

    1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the right of self-determination of peoples.

    2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.

    3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.

    4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.

    5. Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.

    6. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.

    7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.

    8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since the 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.

    9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

    10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all Consequently we demand:

    11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.

    12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

    14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

    15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

    16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

    17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

    18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, Schieber and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

    19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.

    20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

    21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

    22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

    23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race: b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language: c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.

    24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

    25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

    I've bolded the parts that should be extremely appealing to "progressives." We can see some hints about Jews in that platform but there's nothing there which signals Death Camps and mass extermination.

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