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Thread: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

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    Default Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    What are the Biggest (or most annoying) World War II Myths in your country?

    Finland:

    Myth: Secret court-martial ordered hundreds of Finnish soldiers to be shot for desertion in June/July 1944 at Huhtiniemi.

    Background: June 1944, the Soviet Union started massive attack on Karelian Isthmus. After two years of peaceful laziness (very little frontline action) Finnish troops just weren't ready for the attack (It didn't help that the Red Army had "practised" with Wehrmacht for years). Finnish troops fell back, thousands got lost, thousands momentarily panicked, and some deserted - It was a chaos. Most of the deserters were caught (sooner or later), and offered a chance to go back to the frontline - couple of handfuls were executed.

    During the attack organizations were under a lot of pressure, for example soldiers could not be immediately properly buried - so some of them were reburied/relocated later. Things like that promoted the myth that something strange was going on.

    Things really got out of hands after two persons started to actively promote the myth: "Deep Throat" (claiming to be veteran A, veteran B, veteran C, etc) made claims about the secret court, while a "journalist" saw the opportunity to create buzz with newspaper articles and earn a buck (they probably weren't really working together, but you can see how they "fed each other").

    Huhtiniemi area (in city of Lappeenranta) has seen a lot of history, epidemics, battles (although not in WWII) - so it was just a matter of time before someone would stumble upon some bones, and the hell broke loose: 2006 Government was kind of pressured to start official digs in the area to clear this "dirty spot in Finnish history". The "journalist" quickly wrote a book to cash in (it's well written, easy to read, exciting).

    Of course, examination revealed the bones had absolutely nothing to do with WWII. And recent books have totally discredited the first book (point by point).

    Result: Lot of fuss, lot of wasted resources - and since many people only read the "exciting" book, they continue to spread the myth.
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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    What are the Biggest (or most annoying) World War II Myths in your country?

    Finland:

    Myth: Secret court-martial ordered hundreds of Finnish soldiers to be shot for desertion in June/July 1944 at Huhtiniemi.

    Background: June 1944, the Soviet Union started massive attack on Karelian Isthmus. After two years of peaceful laziness (very little frontline action) Finnish troops just weren't ready for the attack (It didn't help that the Red Army had "practised" with Wehrmacht for years). Finnish troops fell back, thousands got lost, thousands momentarily panicked, and some deserted - It was a chaos. Most of the deserters were caught (sooner or later), and offered a chance to go back to the frontline - couple of handfuls were executed.

    During the attack organizations were under a lot of pressure, for example soldiers could not be immediately properly buried - so some of them were reburied/relocated later. Things like that promoted the myth that something strange was going on.

    Things really got out of hands after two persons started to actively promote the myth: "Deep Throat" (claiming to be veteran A, veteran B, veteran C, etc) made claims about the secret court, while a "journalist" saw the opportunity to create buzz with newspaper articles and earn a buck (they probably weren't really working together, but you can see how they "fed each other").

    Huhtiniemi area (in city of Lappeenranta) has seen a lot of history, epidemics, battles (although not in WWII) - so it was just a matter of time before someone would stumble upon some bones, and the hell broke loose: 2006 Government was kind of pressured to start official digs in the area to clear this "dirty spot in Finnish history". The "journalist" quickly wrote a book to cash in (it's well written, easy to read, exciting).

    Of course, examination revealed the bones had absolutely nothing to do with WWII. And recent books have totally discredited the first book (point by point).

    Result: Lot of fuss, lot of wasted resources - and since many people only read the "exciting" book, they continue to spread the myth.
    I think Heikki Ylikangas is making a god point in questioning history writing in Finnland, who has sometimes had mythological dimensions.
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    My country (Turkey) did not join the war. But it was always prepared for a german attack. I was watching a documentary about how we succeded to stay neutral. A person was saying that bombs are planted to the strategic bridges in İstanbul and his grandfather is the one who was responsible from them. When germans attacked, he was ordered to destroy those bridges so during the war he was staying alone at the bottom of the bridge and as a result of living there for almost 5 years he gone insane.
    Hard to believe actually, but it is possible.

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyber198 View Post
    My country (Turkey) did not join the war. But it was always prepared for a german attack. I was watching a documentary about how we succeded to stay neutral. A person was saying that bombs are planted to the strategic bridges in İstanbul and his grandfather is the one who was responsible from them. When germans attacked, he was ordered to destroy those bridges so during the war he was staying alone at the bottom of the bridge and as a result of living there for almost 5 years he gone insane.
    Hard to believe actually, but it is possible.
    Quite a diplomatic masterpeice to keep Turkey out of WW2, I found an article on the subject here

    http://www.ucc.ie/chronicon/3/hakkfra.html
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    And by the way, the biggest myth in my country after the war was, that the sabotage of the Resistance actually did prevent the Germans from getting the atom Bomb, and that The Danish Waffen SS volunteers*, was just a few rootless confused working class bratz, in fact they was some of the most fanatical members of the SS, who fought to the bitter end in the area of the Spree bridges and finally defending the Reichtag.

    A total of 20.000 Danes joined the Freikorps Danemark and later the Waffen WW2, compared to some hundreds Communist and royalist resistance fighters.
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by freyir_33 View Post
    And by the way, the biggest myth in my country after the war was, that the sabotage of the Resistance actually did prevent the Germans from getting the atom Bomb, and that The Danish Waffen SS volunteers*, was just a few rootless confused working class bratz, in fact they was some of the most fanatical members of the SS, who fought to the bitter end in the area of the Spree bridges and finally defending the Reichtag.

    A total of 20.000 Danes joined the Freikorps Danemark and later the Waffen WW2, compared to some hundreds Communist and royalist resistance fighters.
    Hmmmn. I heard it was Danish resistence who has sinked the German transport with heavy water.
    British tv even shoted the documantray about that bold fact( has been shown on Discavery).
    Yet i heard the almost all of Danish resistence were a communist. Is it true?

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Hmmmn. I heard it was Danish resistence who has sinked the German transport with heavy water.
    British tv even shoted the documantray about that bold fact( has been shown on Discavery).
    Yet i heard the almost all of Danish resistence were a communist. Is it true?
    IIRC the ship with the remains of heavy water (afther the actual factory was sabotaged by the Norvegian born British trained group) was sabotaged by Norwegians as well.

    The Communinst fraction of the Danish resistance was not the major part if you take the whole war. But they were the first one who organised the active sabotage and therefore played very important role in activating the whole resistance.

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    The first sabotage actions in Denmark was organizes and executed by gruops of young Communist Workers, and students. The hardcore resistance in Copenhagen was Called BOPA and did recruit mainly from left wings, or communists, most of them very young.

    Later the resistance was strengthened by groups of people with military background, and connections to British intelligence, who organized precision Bombings bombings like the one of the Gastapo headquater in Copenhagen(done by RAF's Mosquitos.)

    But personally I think the Greatest deed of the resistance was assisting the escape of the Danish Jews to Sweden, who saved almost the hole Jewish population in Denmark, and to convince the Allied commanders that we have fought on their side. The Royalist resistance togheher with the Danish Communists virtually saved the country's honer, after a social democratic lead government attempt to make Denmark co exist with the German occupiers.

    The same social democratic lead government helped the Germans to fight "terrorism" by handling out list of all Communist members in Denmark to the Germans who send them to Neungamme near Hamburg. They even allowed Danes to serve their military duty in the Frikorps Danmark, as a part of their "Danish" military duty. This way some Danes was fooled into Joining Frikorps Danmark, the rest of them was hard core Nazies.

    The most well know of them was Von Shallburg, who actually was half Russian, but hated the Bolchiviks for the confiscation of his familys properties in St Peterburg after 1917. Later the Shallburg corp was named after him. The Shallburg corp was the second and last Corp of Danish volunteers before they where enrolled in SS regiment Nordland.

    Our dirty past has reminiscences who can be felt even today, where social democrats are still trying to cover up and revisionize historical fact about their treason of Denmark.
    Last edited by freyir_33; 03-23-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Thanks for the nice info about Denmark :-)

    Did anything worth mentioning happen in Denmark after the war (and how were Danish SS members treated)?

    Sometimes I feel that those non-Germans who joined Waffen SS were much more united after the WWII (because the whole world was accusing them and they could only rely on each other) than during the war, when people had so many different reasons for joining (fighting communisn, supporting nazi politics, adventures, escaping own crimes to armed forces, thinking that they do good for their own country by joining SS, good career opportunities offered by rapidly expanding organisation, lured by elite status of SS, etc).
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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    Did anything worth mentioning happen in Denmark after the war (and how were Danish SS members treated)?
    They got couple of years in jail.
    The irony of that was that they were even though in 1941 they recruitment was largerly approved by the Danish state.

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Freyir, I have been to Denmark on exercise quite a few times, where in the country do you live ?
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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by freyir_33 View Post

    Our dirty past has reminiscences who can be felt even today, where social democrats are still trying to cover up and revisionize historical fact about their treason of Denmark.
    Well this is serious claim.
    Actualy the social democrats didn't not obviously resist to Nazis ocupation , coz the Nazism wasn't such terrible in their eyes.
    One of the most importaint propogandic points of Nazism was - "defense from communism" , that was very suitable and profitable for many social-democrats , who in fact were the tupical capitalists.( and thence - the class enemy for communists).
    This is well known sad fact in occuped Western Europe. The local democrats indeed were more or less tolerant to occupants, unlike the left wings and communists who fought from most beginning.Even the ethnic cleansings didn't bother the local colloborators too much.
    So i/m not wondering, say that the tiny French/Italian resistense has been managed by the french communists for a long time.

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Back to topic, gentlemens
    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    Result: Lot of fuss, lot of wasted resources - and since many people only read the "exciting" book, they continue to spread the myth.
    I think the "stories" of mass execution of own soldiers were very widespread after/during ww2.
    Basically becouse of the former enemy propogand, lack of reliable information and the rumours that people tend to believe.
    One of such rumour ( or propogandic matter) about my country was that - MOST of former Soviet POWs , liberated in 1944-45 have been executed or send to Gulag.
    The contemporary archives datas(ГАРФ. Ф.9526. Оп.4а. Д.1. Л.62, 223-226.), ONLY about 15% of former pows ( including the German colloborators like SS-Cossakesn , Vlasovs and ets, except the members of Waffen-SS) have been passed to NKVD.
    And ONLY 10% of them ( the 15 %) have been imprisoned( GULAG),and ONLY about hundred - publically executed as traitors.
    The Rest 90% of colloborators have been send as special-settlers( not to mix up with GULAG) to Siberia for ...SIX years
    This was a time when the man might easy to get about 10 years of GULAG for theft.
    As for former Waffen-SS volunteres, contrary to a myths, most of them have not been executed, they got 10-15 years in GULAG, most of them survived and now feel good ,say in Baltic states, marching on parades and proudly demonstrating the Nazis awards for youngs

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts View Post
    Freyir, I have been to Denmark on exercise quite a few times, where in the country do you live ?
    Copenhagen, where did your exercises take place?
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners

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    Default Re: Biggest WWII Myths in your country?

    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    Thanks for the nice info about Denmark :-)

    Did anything worth mentioning happen in Denmark after the war (and how were Danish SS members treated)?

    Sometimes I feel that those non-Germans who joined Waffen SS were much more united after the WWII (because the whole world was accusing them and they could only rely on each other) than during the war, when people had so many different reasons for joining (fighting communisn, supporting nazi politics, adventures, escaping own crimes to armed forces, thinking that they do good for their own country by joining SS, good career opportunities offered by rapidly expanding organisation, lured by elite status of SS, etc).
    Right, they where also the first to authors of a variation of epic books, and articles about the volunteers who was written in the late 70's-80'.

    The volunteers was a subject that the Danish society did not want to touch, or even give a place in history. This had a major drawback, that the ex volunteers began themselves to write epic books describing their experiences on the eastern front.

    Tree young historians, did the historic research on the volunteers in the late 90's, resulting in the book "Hagekors og Dannebrog". This book resulted in a major debate, and is one of the most serious books on the subject, including Russian, German, Rumanian surces.

    The book "Hagekors og Dannebrog" clearly demented the previous cold war kamaradenshaft, and nonsense claimed by the Volunteers, and classifies the volontiers in two major groups who both should be held responsible for their
    actions as helpers in Hitler extermination war. But the book also includes a lot
    of politic aspects of the Corporation policy, who humanized some of the volunteers a bit without redrawing their responsibility.

    I find the many letters from SS men in book especially interesting, as they describes the world picture held by some SS men, men who grew up in a Democracy, but still after the German occupation had a choice of not joining the SS, but still they chose to do so.
    In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners

    Albert Camus

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