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German POWs after WW2 - did the allies commit mass murder?


masks98 27 | 289  
8 Nov 2008 /  #1
What do you guys know about the treatment of German POWs after the war and of german populations. At the very least it seems that the allies agreed to massive forced expulsion, the resulting casualties are debatable...I didnt know that many german pows were also shared among the allies for forced labor (slave camps?) and worst of all many were fed to Stalin who treated them the worst, as was to be expected. It seems that even by conservative estimates, the allies suffered a complete moral collapse following their triumph over evil. What do you guys know about it.
gtd 3 | 639  
8 Nov 2008 /  #2
There are always atrocities in war and there were several incidents documented where Allied Forces executed prisoners etc (don't have any references saved I just have seen many documentaries etc.)

I do think it can be safely said however that overall the Allied Forces treated people better than the Axis powers.

So I would say your comment about 'complete moral collapse' would be untrue. There were elements and individuals that experienced that or never had morals to begin and did some horrible things. But I believe the majority of Allied Forces from all nations behaved acceptably.
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #3
They had to make a deal with Stalin to win this war....what do yo expect?

But I believe the majority of Allied Forces from all nations behaved acceptably.

Well...so did the majority of the german forces but you wouldn't know it...
I once read about the Wiesenthal center (can't find the reference right now) which stated that the war criminals made less than 1 percent overall of the whole of the german forces.

After TV and Cinema you would think they were all baby killers and rapists....
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
8 Nov 2008 /  #4
so did the majority of the german forces

lol.. Yeah, behaved very well indeed.
What do you exactly mean by 'forces' to begin with? Which forces behaved "acceptably?" SS? Gestapo? Wermacht?
gtd 3 | 639  
8 Nov 2008 /  #6
Well...so did the majority of the german forces but you wouldn't know it...

Well I would agree with you if you mean how the Wermacht treated prisoners and most civilians. But I would say rolling through Europe taking over nation by nation reduces the ability of them to claim any sort of moral high ground. But as a fighting force the regular army was known to be chivalrous and honorable. The Luftwaffe in particular had a very good reputation for honorable combat (ie sometimes not firing on someone who had jammed guns etc in the spirit of a fair fight) and treatment of prisoners.

Anyone with any idea of history knows that special units did most of the really nasty stuff on the Nazi side.
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
8 Nov 2008 /  #7
Bratwurst, even if the majority behaved 'acceptably' whatever that means, then a minority in as large of an army as Germany's still constitutes a huge number.
Wahldo  
8 Nov 2008 /  #8
and worst of all many were fed to Stalin who treated them the worst, as was to be expected.

Worst of all? Of course Stalin treated them badly, look what the Nazis did to Russia. Only mistake the Allies made was Dresden, that's about it.

Frankly, the Nazis were lucky they weren't pushed into the ovens they so skillfully designed.
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
8 Nov 2008 /  #9
the Nazis

Allies you mean?
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #10
But I would say rolling through Europe taking over nation by nation reduces the ability of them to claim any sort of moral high ground.

If it's the Germans that is...you mean!

I surely don't want to apologize for Hitler but to start a war with Germany about the invasion of Poland and then ally themselves to Stalin who just happened to had marched into Poland from the other side...welll...so much for the "moral high ground"...

Bratwurst, even if the majority behaved 'acceptably' whatever that means, then a minority in as large of an army as Germany's still constitutes a huge number.

Yes...but it still means that 99 percent of the german forces "just did their job", that's all. Something alot of people don't care to accept.
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
8 Nov 2008 /  #11
and then ally themselves to Stalin who just happened to had marched into Poland from the other side...

A little more pre-meditated than that...
gtd 3 | 639  
8 Nov 2008 /  #12
If it's the Germans that is...you mean!

No I think the Russians were scum too during the war. I believe the Allies were the only one with any intention of returning the liberated land to the rightful owners and generally doing the right thing.
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #13
The french were spiteful bastards after the war, behaving not much better than the Russians in the East.

Best opinion (from the Germans) got the Brits (!) and the Americans....
gtd 3 | 639  
8 Nov 2008 /  #14
The french were spiteful bastards after the war

Well everyone who was invaded by the Nazis had plenty of reason to be spiteful The difference between the Russians and everyone else is the Russians took the opportunity to spread communism and enslave several nations and the rest of the participants just wanted to get back to free life.
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #15
I think the Wehrmacht behaved better in France than the French in their occupation zone.

The latest books and movies about german occupation in France picture an interesting image (after all that war time propaganda left behind)...
Wahldo  
8 Nov 2008 /  #16
Wehrmacht behaved better in France than the French in their occupation zone.

Why what did the French do to you?
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
8 Nov 2008 /  #17
I think one of the biggest tragedies caused by the Allies was the handing over of Russian , Ukrainian , Belrussians etc that had been freed from German prison camps at the insistance of Stalin...Stalin did not accept that these people were prisoners of war , as far as he was concerned there were only those that fought and lived , and those that fought and died , he didn,t accept the idea that anyone should surrender , so these people were traitors...

Along with these people were the many who had fought in German uniform in the hope of gaining independance for their country from the Russians , large numbers of Ukrainians , and Belarussians were captured by the Allies...

Stalin demanded that all these people were handed over to Russian forces , and not suprisingly they did not want to go..

Eventually these people were forced at gunpoint by British and Americn soldiers to walk over into Russian held area,s , most of them wound up in camps in Siberia , thats if they were not killed..

The Allies knew what was going to happen to these people , but were reluctant to anger Stalin , nobody was ready for another war with the Russians....
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #18
Why what did the French do to you?

Not to me personally....

Raping, murdering, slave labor, using POWs at living mine seekers, starvation, taking the coal away in the deepest winter....the whole program.
The death toll between the civilians after the war was in the french zone the highest of all western zones...

I think one of the biggest tragedies caused by the Allies was the handing over of Russian , Ukrainian , Belrussians etc that had been freed from German prison camps at the insistance of Stalin...

It's got a name (which shows that the western allies knew exactly what would happen with these poor sods):

Operation Keelhaul

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Keelhaul

The name of the operation comes from the practice of torture, keelhauling. In his book Operation Keelhaul, Julius Epstein states: "That our Armed Forces should have adopted this term as its code name for deporting by brutal force to concentration camp, firing squad, or hangman's noose millions who were already in the lands of freedom, shows how little the high brass thought of their longing to be free."

Around 2 Million people...I doubt anyone of them made it out alive...
Wahldo  
8 Nov 2008 /  #19
Not to me personally....

Yeah, I didn't think you personally had been assaulted.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Nov 2008 /  #20
Yeah, when Jim Morrison said "Death makes angels of us all", I don't think he gave a thought to war. Good on him.
Wahldo  
8 Nov 2008 /  #21
Jim Morrison

Hmm.. yeah he also said "Once you submit to an authority, you become an authority". (Paraphrasing).

I've often wondered if that is true.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Nov 2008 /  #22
Hmm...that's a mind boggler for sure. Not quite sure what he was hitting at there. My, it's after 2am, maybe that's why I can't make head nor tail of it
Wahldo  
8 Nov 2008 /  #23
Maybe LSD would unravel it. As Jim was well acquainted with it. Not sure myself.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Nov 2008 /  #24
Yeah, The Doors of Perception would need to be opened for me as he was quite cryptic at times
Hueg - | 320  
8 Nov 2008 /  #25
Think of it in terms of tax not having to be taxing once you agree you have to pay it.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
8 Nov 2008 /  #26
The Luftwaffe in particular had a very good reputation for honorable combat (ie sometimes not firing on someone who had jammed guns etc in the spirit of a fair fight) and treatment of prisoners.

Actually, Luftwaffe had a terrible reputation even before WW2. Ever heard about Guernica? And that was just practice for them.

Sept 1 1939 - The Luftwaffe begun the invasion by bombing the undefended civilian town of WieluĊ„.

From the start, the Luftwaffe attacked civilian targets and columns of refugees along the roads to wreak havoc, disrupt communications and target Polish morale.

If that's honorable then Saddam was a man of honor too.

Wehrmacht was not much better. German soldiers were expected to murder Poles - men, women and children, and they did. For every German soldier killed Wehrmacht would round up randomly 100 Polish civilians (men women and children) and execute as soon as the victims were packed onto a truck and transported to a nearby forest or extermination camp. Finding and fighting the partisans instead would have been honorable. Murder of defenseless civilians is not what I'd call honorable. It's murder. Plain and simple.

I don't think it is possible to find out what percentage of Germans during WW2 were war criminals, but I find it hard to believe that it was just 1% or less.

Having said that, gramma told me a story of a German formation that stayed briefly on her farm. One of the krauts was really nasty so gramma went to a German officer and complained. The officer came over to the farm. Beat the living sshit out of the culprit (broken nose and such) and that was the end of the story.

And finally, to address the subject of this thread:

Did the allies commit mass murder?

This is a funny question when you consider who started the war and what their goal was. As someone has suggested here before, if you attack someone and you end up with a broken nose, don't complain. You shouldn't have attacked in the first place.
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #27
Actually, Luftwaffe had a terrible reputation even before WW2. Ever heard about Guernica? And that was just practice for them.

Some links for that?
Sorry, that is just plain wrong.

Many of them even became friends during and after the war...for example german Flieger General Adolf Galland and Douglas Bader.
(And yes, Galland even took part in Guernica!)
There are lot's of examples like these....you should at least read some biographies before you state such things!

What you imply actually is that because someone fighted for the Germans he couldn't have been chivalrous and honorable and an all around nice chap!

Think again!

Still full of war time propaganda....

This is a funny question when you consider who started the war and what their goal was. As someone has suggested here before, if you attack someone and you end up with a broken nose, don't complain. You shouldn't have attacked in the first place.

That is funny from someone who probably thinks allied aircraft never attacked german refugee columns just for the sake of it...

And the "you did it first"-argument is even funnier if it comes from the "we were the good guys"-crowd. Where is the difference then...

I don't think it is possible to find out what percentage of Germans during WW2 were war criminals, but I find it hard to believe that it was just 1% or less.

Well...count them!

Having said that, gramma told me a story of a German formation that stayed briefly on her farm. One of the krauts was really nasty so gramma went to a German officer and complained. The officer came over to the farm. Beat the living sshit out of the culprit (broken nose and such) and that was the end of the story.

Soldiers were executed by their superiors for stealing eggs from a farm...I know it from a witness.
So...doesn't make you think?
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
8 Nov 2008 /  #28
Some links for that?

A grim foretaste of the systematic bombing of cities during World War II came in April 1937 when a combined force of German and Italian bombers under Spanish-Nationalist command destroyed most of the Basque city of Guernica in north-east Spain. This bombing received worldwide condemnation, and the collective memory of the horror of the bombing of civilians has ever since become most acute via the famous painting, named after the town, by the Cubist artist Pablo Picasso.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luftwaffe#Interwar_period

What you imply actually is that because someone fighted for the Germans he couldn't have been chivalrous and honorable and an all around nice chap!

I am not implying anything. I am simply showing I have a hard time with agreeing that Luftwaffe had a good reputation. Individual pilots? I'm sure there were honorable ones. The whole Luuftwaffe? Well, their job was to destroy, not to be honorable. And destroy they did. Indiscriminately.

Well...count them!

I already said it would be hard to count them, didn't I?

And the "you did it first"-argument is even funnier if it comes from the "we were the good guys"-crowd.

I lost me.
Care to elaborate?

Soldiers were executed by their superiors for stealing eggs from a farm...I know it from a witness.
So...doesn't make you think?

Yes, it does. That's why I agree that not all Wehrmacht soldiers were criminals.

Another story though, again from my gramma. She was taking care of a German soldier, young kid, 19 years old, mortally wounded by Polish partisans in the local forest. Her husband was killed, possibly by the German kids detachment just two days before. When she told me the story she almost looked for a justification as if I were to judge her. She said something to the effect: if I take care of this kid then perhaps God will make my three children come back home one day. Two of her sons were slave laborers in German, one daughter, aged 12, a prisoner in Auschwitz.
Bratwurst Boy 11 | 10,702  
8 Nov 2008 /  #29
Well...the Brits had the Bomber command...what a nasty people they all were!
Right?

And yes, you imply that a german soldier can only be a cruel brute...
You know, that is quite out dated war propaganda!

Care to elaborate?

Your answer to the thread topic was kind of: "Who cares if the Allies did it, the Germans did it first..."
Some people do care not to be seen in the same league you know?

I already said it would be hard to count them, didn't I

Well, the Wiesenthal center DID count them...
They had 60 years time for that, they should know!

I am not implying anything. I am simply showing I have a hard time with agreeing that Luftwaffe had a good reputation.

They HAD a very good reputation! Read biographies...it might open your eyes.
Toland for example wrote even the biography for his friend Bubi Hartmann!

Yes, it does. That's why I agree that not all Wehrmacht soldiers were criminals.

A tiny minority were/became criminals, the far majority were just damn good soldiers!
Period!
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
8 Nov 2008 /  #30
Well...the Brits had the Bomber command...what a nasty people they all were!
Right?

The Brits responded to attacks by Germans. German bombing of civilian targets in UK. In WW2 British soldiers were not given the directive to kill without mercy every man, woman and child of Polish extraction.

Well...your answer to the thread topic was kind of: "Who cares if the Allies did it, the Germans did it first..."
Some people do care not to be seen in the same league you know?

Sorry for unclear post. What I meant was, if you attack someone and get beat up then you have only yourself to blame for your wounds.

Well, the Wiesenthal center DID count them...
They had 60 years time for that!

The people are known for some glaring issues with arithmetic :)

They HAD a very good reputation! Read biographies...it might open your eyes.
Toland for example wrote even the biography for his friend Bubi Hartmann!

So Wehrmacht consisted of Toland? Who else?
Of course there were biographies about individual soldiers. There were Polish soldiers who kicked ass during WW2 and beat Germans, and biographies were written about them. Poland still lost.

There were decent Luftwaffe pilots. Loftwaffe still sucked.

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