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Thread: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

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    Default Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Does anyone know how the defeated German armed forces were treated by the Allied occupying authorities immediately after the war? I read somewhere that German soldiers were incarcerated for two years! This seems hardly fair, imprisoning an 18- or 19-year-old draftee, although I can understand why the Allies wanted to weed out dangerous SS men.

    Then, what was going to happen to all these young men--wander around, unemployed, homeless, across a defeated Reich? Again, they were needed to get Germany back on its feet again--who can imagine Europe without Germany?

    I was doing some research on the German actor Hardy Kruger, who was one of the 'golden Aryans' that Goebbels boasted so much about. Young Kruger made a few movies under the Third Reich, then went into the service. His biography states, 'After he was released . . .'

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Well, I have read that many scientists and experts in rocketry and bomb making were welcomed by many countries all over the world to enrich their country’s own self interests. Strange how a scientists who made significant advances in bombs that killed innocent women and children, were considered a prize catch by the various allied countries. I know your question was directly about the armed forces though. The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war. My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954. He was a measley corporal-nothing fancy. Those Russian bastards were ruthless. No one wanted to surrender to them because they knew they would torture them. Everyone wanted to surrender to the Americans and British. My father immigrated to Canada in 1953 because unemployment in Germany was bad and housing was impossible. My dad never regrets leaving Germany at the time because even after he got married in Germany there was no housing in Hamburg that he could find
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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by herman2 View Post
    * * * The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war. My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954. * * *
    The only reason the Soviets released any German prisoners they hadn't worked to death was because the Bonn government bought them out--financial inducements and technology. I believe the Federal Government began to prosper around 1955.

    Even if the Soviets had been signatories to the Geneva Conventions, they probably would have still kept German POW's for decades.

    Somewhat off the subject, but we punished many Germans for obeying unlawful orders. I remember reading somewhere that the Wehrmacht didn't bring court martials against those who didn't obey unlawful orders--although it would be foolish to think illegal orders weren't carried out.

    In Ken Burns' excellent study of World War II, that came out two years ago, American troops were given orders to shoot unarmed German soldiers who had just surrendered. The American soldiers refused to carry the order out, even in the bluff of being court martialed. I have to watch my tape(s) again to remember the outcome. I don't think I could shoot an armed 18-year-old, unless he tried to kill me first. However, this was probably about the time of the Malmedy Massacre.

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by herman2 View Post
    My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954.
    Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
    It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
    There must be a reason, no?
    Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Gary, you do realize we have a German Military forum?

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by herman2 View Post
    Well, I have read that many scientists and experts in rocketry and bomb making were welcomed by many countries all over the world to enrich their country’s own self interests. Strange how a scientists who made significant advances in bombs that killed innocent women and children, were considered a prize catch by the various allied countries. I know your question was directly about the armed forces though. The Russians were the worst because they harshly imprisoned German soldiers for several years after the war.
    Yeah. Well, I don't totally blame Ivan for that. You do realize that the German Ostheer and SS merely just penned up Soviet POWs like cattle, and the ones they didn't shoot outright or work to death, they let starve or die of exposure to the Soviet winters?

    Many, even most, German POWs did not deserve perpetual imprisonment. But they were treated much better than their enemies often were. The Red Army POWs suffered the second highest captivity death rate behind the Jews in WWII...

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Gary, you do realize we have a German Military forum?
    Is this not an appropriate discussion under this thread?

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The Red Army POWs suffered the second highest captivity death rate behind the Jews in WWII...
    Possibly not. The Gypsies might rival or even exceed the Jews in captivity, but not as losses as a proportion of their pre-war population. The problem is that figures are very rubbery about Gypsies.

    I've been reading a bit about this lately and it's clear that the Jews hijacked the role of being the only victims of Nazi genocide and now for reasons very much related to justifying their hijacking of Israel the Zionists are determined to deny the Gypsies recognition as victims of Nazi genocide. A short introduction is here http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/9/3/346.pdf
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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary D. View Post
    Is this not an appropriate discussion under this thread?
    It's not a big deal, but we tend to like to keep the discussion specific to the nationalities of the belligerents. This forum is for more nebulous topics...

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Possibly not. The Gypsies might rival or even exceed the Jews in captivity, but not as losses as a proportion of their pre-war population. The problem is that figures are very rubbery about Gypsies.

    I've been reading a bit about this lately and it's clear that the Jews hijacked the role of being the only victims of Nazi genocide and now for reasons very much related to justifying their hijacking of Israel the Zionists are determined to deny the Gypsies recognition as victims of Nazi genocide. A short introduction is here http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/9/3/346.pdf

    How many Gypsies? I can't imagine that there were so many in Europe at the time. But what do I know?

    I think the estimates of captured Soviet men and women killed were anywhere from 3.3 million into the low fours...

    And I can't use the link as I don't have a subscription, mate...

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    How many Gypsies? I can't imagine that there were so many in Europe at the time. But what do I know?

    I think the estimates of captured Soviet men and women killed were anywhere from 3.3 million into the low fours...
    I was talking about death rates, i.e. the percentage of captives who died, rather than numbers.

    Gypsy numbers were vastly smaller.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    And I can't use the link as I don't have a subscription, mate...
    Sorry, mate. I forgot it was a subscription service.

    I can't post a detailed table from the link because it won't hold its formatting and it will take forever to re-format it, and I'm too bloody lazy to process it as an image at the moment. The table is interesting partly because nowhere was 100% of a local Jewish population exterminated but it happened to the Gypsies in Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia the Netherlands and Belguim, albeit all with small pre-war populations of 200 to 1,000. The highest percentage for Jews was 90.9 percent in Poland, being 3 million out of a pre-war population of 3.3 million. With more substantial populations of Gypsies, 98.2 per cent were killed in Croatia, being 28,000 out of a pre-war population of 28,500. Figures for both groups vary by location, but without doing the arithmetic the average for Jews looks a lot higher than the average for Gypsies, which is consistent with, from memory, an estimate that about two thirds of Europen Jews were wiped out and about one quarter to one third (figures vary) of European Gypsies.

    Here is a European total for Gypsies from another reliable source.

    It is not known precisely how many Roma were killed in the Holocaust. While exact figures or percentages cannot be ascertained, historians estimate that the Germans and their allies killed around 25 percent of all European Roma. Of slightly less than one million Roma believed to have been living in Europe before the war, the Germans and their Axis partners killed up to 220,000.
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?ModuleId=10005219
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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    Originally Posted by herman2
    My Mom’s uncle was in prison in Russia until 1954.
    Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
    It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
    There must be a reason, no?
    Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.
    To elaborate a bit on this topic.
    By the end of 1949 the general repatriation of POWs from USSR was over, i.e. about 3,35 million POWs were repatriated.
    In the December 1950 there were app. 16.500 POWs were still in Soviet captivity (including app. 6300 officers and 260 generals) due to criminal accusations.

    These 16,5 thousands accused men constitute 0,492% of the number of repatriated POWs.

    It is still statistically possible that your uncle was just a good chap but extremly unlucky in his fate... but is it likely?

    P.S: On the other side appart from those 16,5 thousand accused men there were still some nontransportable ill POWs whose repatriation was delayed by their condition.
    Last edited by Egorka; 10-09-2009 at 07:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    To elaborate a bit on this topic.
    By the end of 1949 the general repatriation of POWs from USSR was over, i.e. about 3,35 million POWs were repatriated.
    In the December 1950 there were app. 16.500 POWs were still in Soviet captivity (including app. 6300 officers and 260 generals) due to criminal accusations.

    These 16,5 thousands accused men constitute 0,492% of the number of repatriated POWs.
    That's the Soviet version at a time of international tension and dispute about exactly how many German POWs it still held.

    The Germans estimated it could be as high as a million unaccounted for Germans, and up to 100,000 German POWs.

    The situation was compounded by East / West tensions and politics at the time.

    See pp. 37 - 40 of Robert Moeller's The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...age&q=&f=false


    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    It is still statistically possible that your uncle was just a good chap but extremly unlucky in his fate... but is it likely?
    It is also statistically highly probable on the German figures that the Soviet figures were bullshit and that it is likely that Herman's mother's uncle was extremely unlucky in his fate and was a good chap.

    The figures are all obscured by the usual political bullshit which attends all such accusations and denials, so nobody will ever know the truth.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-09-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    Did he ever mentioned why he was kept in Soviet prison until 1954?
    It is peculiar that he was there until 1954 whereas 99% of all survived German POWs were repatriated to Germany by December 1949.
    There must be a reason, no?
    Either he was a very-very-very unlucky chap or he was a criminal of some sort.
    Ya, well maybe he was a criminal. I really don't know him that well, but he wasnt in the SS or anything and he merely fought on a horse on the Russian Front. I know for sure it was 1954 because everybody in my family spoke about it. I wish I knew more. I don't deny he may have been a criminal but he never said anything that was of much interest to brag about. He was a simple man but doesn't hate Russians per se as he acknowledges it was war and has nothing to do with Russians today, so I don't mean to be critical of Russians. I only feel bad when I think of how cruel Russia (and perhaps others) were to POWS after the war....
    Last edited by herman2; 10-09-2009 at 08:48 AM. Reason: add
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    Default Re: Post-War Treatment of German Forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by herman2 View Post
    i really don't know him that well, but he wasnt in the SS or anything and he merely fought on a horse on the Russian Front.
    Ah!

    That explains it.

    The Soviets might have released your mum's uncle, but I bet they kept the horse.

    More seriously, and given the German reliance upon horse transport during the war, it's likely that your mum's uncle was in transport rather than fighting on a horse, in the sense of being cavalry.

    What's often not understood is that when there was a mass surrender, as with the British forces in Singapore, a large number of prisoners were not fighting men but support and rear echelon troops, who often were least equipped for the rigors of captivity.
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