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View Full Version : Are public institutions allowed to bear Wehrmacht soldiers' names?



flamethrowerguy
05-06-2009, 09:45 AM
- Since autumn of 1998 the German Federal Ministry of Defence negates that the name of Colonel General Kurt Student is "traditionally dignified".
The "Generaloberst-Student-Straße" (-street) withing the Bundeswehr barracks at Altenstadt/Bavaria was renamed, also the "Generaloberst-Student-Saal“ (-hall) was renamed as "Turmsaal" (tower hall). Reason: retaliation actions due to partisan attacks in Greece.

- In January 2005 Defence Minister Peter Struck decided that Jagd-Geschwader 74 "Mölders" has to drop its name of honour. Reason: no Bundeswehr unit is supposed to bear the name of a former Legion Condor member.

- In my hometown the "Graf-Schwerin-Straße" (-street), named after Aachen's last town commander before the city's capture by US forces in October 1944, was renamed in August 2007. General Gerhard Graf von Schwerin was honoured because he prevented Aachen's total annihilation and ordered the population's evacuation against Hitler's strict order.
A couple of years ago it was publicised that Schwerin had two juveniles court-martialed and executed for plundering.

- In Vienna/Austria the grave of fighter ace Walter Nowotny was deprived the status of an honorary grave (which means that e.g. public authorities take care of the grave's maintenance) in May 2003 because "shooting down 250 allied pilots" would not justify a grave of honour. Furthermore Nowotny (KIA in November 1944) died as an NSDAP member.

Certainly there are more examples like these. Until now however the "Rommelstraße" in the NATO barracks in our area, remains untouched.

Comprehensible measures or political over-correctness?

Rising Sun*
05-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Comprehensible measures or political over-correctness?

Comprehensible for politically correct ****wits. Who usually are the noisy and largely unrepresentative nobodies who make or get others to make the rules.

I've said it elsewhere on the forum but I think Germany has gone too far on the national guilt trip for too long.

Honouring Nazis as Nazis is obviously unacceptable, but honouring German soldiers is a different issue.

If purity of motive and cause are to be the determinants of whether a soldier is acknowledged then, for example, why should any attention be paid to British Commonwealth forces in Malaya and Burma which were merely protecting colonial interests which today are not much less offensive to the modern mind than Nazism?

Rising Sun*
05-06-2009, 10:17 AM
In Vienna/Austria the grave of fighter ace Walter Nowotny was deprived the status of an honorary grave (which means that e.g. public authorities take care of the grave's maintenance) in May 2003 because "shooting down 250 allied pilots" would not justify a grave of honour.

Bullshit!

A total like that makes him an absolute ****ing legend.


Furthermore Nowotny (KIA in November 1944) died as an NSDAP member.

He died too early.

If he'd survived the surrender he could have joined the millions of alleged Party members who actually had never been Party members in the new Germany which was full of people who had never been Party members.

Rising Sun*
05-06-2009, 10:47 AM
There is nothing wrong with recognising and tending an enemy's grave, or otherwise recognising and respecting fallen enemies if they have not been guilty of dishonourable acts. I think that doing so is a commendable human act.

There is nothing in the post-war German / British relationship even vaguely equivalent to the bitterness many Australians felt, and some still feel, towards the Japanese. Yet many of us have managed to transcend these feelings and to learn some tolerance and respect for each other, despite generally having complete contempt for each other during the war as sub-humans according to our respective opinions at a level far beyond anything in the Western European and Mediterranean theatres.

There is no better example of this than the tending, during a period when the wounds of war were still acute, by returned Australian servicemen of the graves of Japanese POWs who died in a mass breakout and in which they killed several Australian soldiers. Here are some brief outlines http://www.cowratourism.com.au/The_Cowra_Breakout_p114.aspx
http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/ajrp2.nsf/Web-Pages/Cowra-Essay?OpenDocument

If we can do this for the dead of an enemy many of us still harbour reservations about in the current world, then surely the Germans and Austrians can find it in their hearts to honour their own war dead.

Ivaylo
05-06-2009, 11:56 AM
Absolutely right i agree and i am sick to hear how far Germany had gone in it's guilt , what's next maybe we should not call it Deutschland/ Germany but a "country in the middle " ?? I think too germans should drop away this stupid thoughts and live in the future , not be afraid to honor their falled soldiers with exclude of these who clearly committed crimes in any war not only WW2 and that would be right for the other countries to do so too .

Uyraell
05-06-2009, 01:21 PM
As I said in the "War dead no-one wants to remember" Thread: The dead deserve compassion at the bare minimum, which means graves, and care for those graves.

In certain cases it also means Honouring the achievements of certain exceptional personalities. Molders, for example, Rommel for another, equally as would USA Honour the achievements of (for example) Eisenhower or Hap Arnold, or UK, Douglas Bader or Sir Keith Park.

What is MORE disturbing is the removal of an Honour already granted.

In some ways, that speaks of the very totalitarian-style actions that war was fought to prevent occurring.

As I have also said elsewhere (in the "Farewell to the American Century" Thread) , Germany needs to get past the "Mea Culpa" of at least the last 40 years, and remind herself that her famed personalities and superb military achievements by them are a legitimate product of the conflict they occurred in, and not always to be viewed as supportive of the ideology that was part of the casus-belli within that conflict.

I could add more, but my tolerance for politically correct wallies is minimal at the best of times, and reading this thread as I have has greatly reduced that tolerance, so I'm going to stop here, before my anger at political correctness gets shifted to the :"Things that Piss Me Off" Thread.

Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

flamethrowerguy
05-06-2009, 01:31 PM
As I said in the "War dead no-one wants to remember" Thread: The dead deserve compassion at the bare minimum, which means graves, and care for those graves.

In certain cases it also means Honouring the achievements of certain exceptional personalities. Molders, for example, Rommel for another, equally as would USA Honour the achievements of (for example) Eisenhower or Hap Arnold, or UK, Douglas Bader or Sir Keith Park.

What is MORE disturbing is the removal of an Honour already granted.

In some ways, that speaks of the very totalitarian-style actions that war was fought to prevent occurring.

As I have also said elsewhere (in the "Farewell to the American Century" Thread) , Germany needs to get past the "Mea Culpa" of at least the last 40 years, and remind herself that her famed personalities and superb military achievements by them are a legitimate product of the conflict they occurred in, and not always to be viewed as supportive of the ideology that was part of the casus-belli within that conflict.

I could add more, but my tolerance for politically correct wallies is minimal at the best of times, and reading this thread as I have has greatly reduced that tolerance, so I'm going to stop here, before my anger at political correctness gets shifted to the :"Things that Piss Me Off" Thread.

Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

Let's not forget it's Austria as well (which, btw, contained even more people that had never been Nazis than Germany).

Amrit
05-06-2009, 01:37 PM
There is nothing in the post-war German / British relationship even vaguely equivalent to the bitterness many Australians felt, and some still feel, towards the Japanese. Yet many of us have managed to transcend these feelings and to learn some tolerance and respect for each other, despite generally having complete contempt for each other during the war as sub-humans according to our respective opinions at a level far beyond anything in the Western European and Mediterranean theatres.

Interesting you should say that because I am currently reading The Forgotten Few about 77 RAAF Squadron's involvement in the Korean War. At the start of the war, the squadron was part of the Commonwealth occupation forces, and the first two chapeters makes many mentions of Japanese working on the base, and on the Mustangs. And only 5 years after the end of WW2, the Australians and Japanese got on brilliantly - and a lot of the squadron crews were ex-WW2, so they must have had memeories of the war.

It would seem that a very large percentage of the Japanese just accepted the Emporer's word about surrender, and readily conformed to the attitude of friendship and co-operation

navyson
05-06-2009, 05:40 PM
Hi FTG, what about Wehrmacht soldiers from WWI era? Has Germany gone so far as to not honor them either?

Panzerknacker
05-06-2009, 09:29 PM
I know there is a JG ( fighter squadron) bearing Richthofen name.

Hopefully nobody will say this was Wolfram instead Manfred.

flamethrowerguy
05-07-2009, 09:52 AM
Hi FTG, what about Wehrmacht soldiers from WWI era? Has Germany gone so far as to not honor them either?

WW1 fighter pilots (M. v. Richthofen, Boelcke) are acceptable I guess.
So is WW2 pilot Johannes Steinhoff by the way, since he was a Bundeswehr General and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee after the war.

Schuultz
05-07-2009, 04:55 PM
WW1 fighter pilots are acceptable I guess
Except for when that WW1 fighter pilot's name is Goering ;)


A couple of things you have to remember regarding German Imperial Army members:

1. They're pre-Third Reich

2. They're therefore not Wehrmacht

3. There were in no way involved in any kind of Holocaust and weren't marked by the 'typical'* rampant racism of the Wehrmacht Soldier.

4. After WW1 they were not considered the enablers of the regime but victims of it.

5. After WW1, Germany was not occupied by the foreign forces

6. The Weimar Republic had large powers 'protecting' the interests of the WW1 soldiers, then, following it, they were honored by the militaristic Third Reich, and following the Third Reich's collapse, the Germans had more than enough people to bedevil, and didn't need to look at WW1 soldiers.

*I'm saying typical because that's how they've been perceived ever since WW2.

flamethrowerguy
05-07-2009, 06:02 PM
5. After WW1, Germany was not occupied by the foreign forces

Not immediately after the war but by the end of 1923 large parts of Western Germany were occupied by the French, the Belgian and the British.

peopleselbow
05-14-2009, 05:47 PM
walter nowotny should be given an honorary grave site anyway

Major Walter Schmidt
05-16-2009, 12:48 AM
Such a Difference to Japan; we honor(?) our war dead with Yasukuni. Though I heard there are a lot of disturbing things written there.

Rising Sun*
05-16-2009, 08:40 AM
Such a Difference to Japan; we honor(?) our war dead with Yasukuni. Though I heard there are a lot of disturbing things written there.

I doubt that any reasonable person has any problem with Japan honouring its war dead as war dead, at Yasukuni or anywhere else. Every nation is entitled to do that, as distinct from honouring a bad cause, or possibly a reasonable cause pursued badly which to some extent applies to Japan, in which they died.

Australia is probably the Western nation some of whose people retain the greatest bitterness over Japan’s southward advance, but even here we honour Japan’s war dead http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/ajrp2.nsf/Web-Pages/Cowra-Essay?OpenDocument and even did so during the war, albeit not from entirely pure motives.


The bodies of the four Japanese crewmen from the midget submarines launched by I-22 and I-27 were recovered when these two midget submarines were raised. They were cremated at Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Crematorium with full naval honours. Rear Admiral Muirhead-Gould, in charge of Sydney Harbour defences, along with the Swiss Consul-General and members of the press, attended the service. The admiral’s decision to accord the enemy a military funeral was criticised by many Australians but he defended his decision to honour the submariners’ bravery. He also hoped that showing respect for the dead men might help to improve the conditions of the many Australians in Japanese prisoner of war camps. ……….

In 1968, Lieutenant Matsuo’s mother travelled to Australia to visit the spot where her son had died. During her visit she scattered cherry blossoms in the water where her son’s midget submarine had been located and later she presented a number of gifts to the Australian War Memorial. http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/underattack/sydharbour.html

The problem with Yasukuni is that it has become a symbol for the retrograde fascist/ militarist/ nationalist elements in Japan, and notably at the most senior levels of Japan's national government right up to today, which not only refuse to acknowledge Japan's war crimes and crimes against humanity but persistently try to deny them.

The problem in Germany, at least from my viewpoint outside it, is that it has gone too far in the other direction for too long. Several generations have reached maturity in Germany since WWII. It is time to stop rubbing their noses in the evil some of their ancestors, and many of the ancestors of people in other European nations, did and let them get on with life as a renewed nation and people, aware of their nation's bad past but free of continuing guilt for a historical aberration in which they did not participate. Which aberration, after all, was no worse in nature than, say, what happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but which has not resulted in the various ethnic groups involved in that appalling conflict being saddled with the same moral guilt which some people still want to burden Germany with long after all signs of national sympathy for Nazi evils have disappeared.

I attribute much of the unreasonable maintenance of German guilt to the Zionists in Israel and their prominent and vocal supporters in the West who persist in the nonsensical argument that they are entitled to a Jewish homeland because of the Holocaust, for which the Germans are wrongly blamed as the only actors when much of occupied Europe happily engaged in that evil. German guilt is kept alive by the Zionists to try to avoid their own guilt for engaging in morally equivalent, if not as homicidally genocidal, assaults on the Palestinians as untermensch not worthy of consideration as human beings when they stand between the Zionists and what they want.

It is a pity that the Western world doesn’t have the same zeal for getting the Zionists to acknowledge and atone for their guilt in their evils in Palestine instead of giving the Israelis a free run while the West and the hypocritical Israelis condemn Germany for what are becoming ancient crimes while Israel has been continually engaged in crimes against humanity from the end of WWII until now, and will do so for the foreseeable future because the Holocaust apparently entitles them to treat Palestinians as subhuman the same way way Jews were treated as subhuman by others.

Japan might be behind Germany in dealing with its war guilt, but it is a long way ahead of Israel as at least Japan hasn’t been continually engaged in crimes against humanity, and various war crimes, since 1945 as Israel has while Israel continually beats its empty guilt drum against Germany.

As for the Western nations, we've never been forced to account for our conduct leading to and during the war, let alone our crimes. Thanks to victors' justice, we get to sit in judgment on everyone else. :evil: