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Old 03-31-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
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Long after the war was over, did the Germans simply not talk about the things they did during the war (like raping women and mass executions)? Did any German children or grandchildren ever ask if grandpa did those things? Did the Austrians feel shame after the war that so many of their people actively supported the Nazis and the reunification with Germany and openly cheered the Nazis when they arrived?
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: American Expat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Long after the war was over, did the Germans
simply not talk about the things they did during the war (like raping women and mass executions)? Did any German children or grandchildren ever ask if grandpa did those things? Did the Austrians feel shame after the war that so many of their people actively supported the Nazis and the reunification with Germany and openly cheered the Nazis when they arrived?
Nobody can answer your question until you clarify this. 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? 40 years? 50 years? Who is "they" ? Only those who were alive during WW2? Germans in general?
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Raping women/mass executions was the specialty of the bolshevik red army.


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Old 04-02-2012, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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Absolutely correct.

As an example, when the Red Army was advancing towards Berlin God help you if you were a German woman.

Rape and murder of women and the slaughter of men ( not soldiers ) by the Red Army was rampant.


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Originally Posted by king's highway View Post
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Raping women/mass executions was the specialty of the bolshevik red army.


.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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I think you need to quantify the amount of time we are talking about. In general Germany as a nation has always been rather upfront about the atrocities that were committed and dealing with what happened. On a personal level, who knows, there are plenty of American soldiers who returned from the war and never talked about what happened. I also doubt you were going to get many of the people who committed atrocities coming home and telling their families about them. I imagine most of the war stories were of the same type as what American veterans tell.

For the families that had people involved in the atrocities, I think it is something not generally spoken about, but acknowledged. My good friend in Germany had a great-grandfather who was in the Waffen SS. He doesn't know if he was involved in any of the atrocities, but it is something the family is rather ashamed of and doesn't speak about. They only have one family photo from that era and the great-grandfather is wearing his uniform. They keep the picture, but it isn't displayed in their home.

As for the Austrians, the old joke would go; the greatest achievement of Austria is making everyone think Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:50 AM
 
21,778 posts, read 12,677,902 times
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Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Long after the war was over, did the Germans simply not talk about the things they did during the war (like raping women and mass executions)? Did any German children or grandchildren ever ask if grandpa did those things? Did the Austrians feel shame after the war that so many of their people actively supported the Nazis and the reunification with Germany and openly cheered the Nazis when they arrived?
When you figure out the human race maybe you will find your own answers. This type of thing is not unique to the Germans, every country has it's skeletons.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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I read the meniour of an Austrian Jew who was the only one of his family to survive. Much of the beginning is about his family and how they coexisted with the rest, but he vividly descrbes the arrival of the German troops, and how their Austrian neighbors frequently stood and cheered with great enthusiam. Not all, but a considerable amount of them. At some point, Austrians who didn't support the Germans didn't dare let it show, but that wasn't the day the troops came marching. Those who didn't welcome the Germans didn't stand in the street and cheer either. But it was hardly in the numbers claimed.

One of the reasons, he explains, that he describes it so clearly is that after the war Austrians who had cheered their arrival and turned deaf and blind to neighbors dissapearing claimed they were victums too. Poor Austria had been invaded and taken. Not a shot was fired since they didn't need to. No doubt if someone had ask Grandpa about it, no doubt the story would be the cover one.

The book is Leap Into Darkness --Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker

Its fascinating to read, like a dark tour where all the places which would have ended in death ended instead in a lucky escape. When France was liberated, he was with the French Resistance.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:35 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,937,541 times
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
I read the meniour of an Austrian Jew who was the only one of his family to survive. Much of the beginning is about his family and how they coexisted with the rest, but he vividly descrbes the arrival of the German troops, and how their Austrian neighbors frequently stood and cheered with great enthusiam. Not all, but a considerable amount of them. At some point, Austrians who didn't support the Germans didn't dare let it show, but that wasn't the day the troops came marching. Those who didn't welcome the Germans didn't stand in the street and cheer either. But it was hardly in the numbers claimed.

One of the reasons, he explains, that he describes it so clearly is that after the war Austrians who had cheered their arrival and turned deaf and blind to neighbors dissapearing claimed they were victums too. Poor Austria had been invaded and taken. Not a shot was fired since they didn't need to. No doubt if someone had ask Grandpa about it, no doubt the story would be the cover one.

The book is Leap Into Darkness --Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker

Its fascinating to read, like a dark tour where all the places which would have ended in death ended instead in a lucky escape. When France was liberated, he was with the French Resistance.
Excellent book suggestion.

Austria is indeed an interesting example. For many years after the war, the Austrians were very careful to frame their position as "Hitler's first victims". Only recently has that begun to change and they now admit that they were pretty much "Hitlers greatest allies". What's more troubling is that Austria still has very large and popular right wing/fascist political blocks, indeed they are the second most powerful force in Austrian politics.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Long after the war was over, did the Germans simply not talk about the things they did during the war (like raping women and mass executions)? Did any German children or grandchildren ever ask if grandpa did those things? Did the Austrians feel shame after the war that so many of their people actively supported the Nazis and the reunification with Germany and openly cheered the Nazis when they arrived?
I think it's quite clear that the German nation as a whole has done a national sole searching and condemnation of it's war time activities, particularly of nazism and everything it represents.

However, from what I gather, the average German after the war would claim to never have been part the nazi and Hitler movement, and claimed to not have known about the holocaust or the persecution of Jews and other minorities. And I would suppose they would give the same answer 60 years later to there grandchildren, whatever there involvement. Our answer to that of course should be a skeptical "yeah, right". The same answer was given to allied troops that liberated concentration camps, visiting nearby German towns, and the same answer would be given "we knew nothing of what they were doing there", while the stench of death, continous rail cars packed full of jews, and fallout of ashen human remains fell about there town.

Austria? I do not know. But several of these neighboring nations were practically satelite states of Germany, embraced into the fold of Aryan fellow nations. Netherlands for instance, also has a lot to answer for. Offically considered an Allied country, they also formed their own German SS divisions. And Netherlands was practically selfmanaged as a German state during the war - i.e. - it wasn't SS and Gestapo forces that were collecting Jews in The Netherlands, it was Dutch police. The were very effective - of all the European states, the death rate for Dutch jews was the largest.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: The D-M-V area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Long after the war was over, did the Germans simply not talk about the things they did during the war (like raping women and mass executions)? Did any German children or grandchildren ever ask if grandpa did those things? Did the Austrians feel shame after the war that so many of their people actively supported the Nazis and the reunification with Germany and openly cheered the Nazis when they arrived?
There are many concentration camps I have toured which are located steps away from family homes. They are in areas where people who say even today they had no idea what was going on in the camps. Back in the '40's if they had wanted to protest, they would have been killed. So that denial of what went on still exists today. Dachau camp for instance has modern home developments right next to the old camp fences and people can see watch towers outside of their kitchen windows.

Russians did a lot more damage in Austria than is spoken about, mass executions and raping young women for instance. Are Russians ashamed of what they did during the war?

My Austrian husband has family who were in the German army and fought with the Nazis. That's life. Do their grandkids know what they did, they know they were in the military. The military men that we as Americans look at with disdain, they still regard them as their heroes although they lost the war. They're not shamed, they believed that they had to support the war effort or risk being killed. Austrians hated German reunification, but they had to put on "the face" of being compliant and have allegiance to Hitler. Austrians and Germans are similar in some regard and different in others. Austrians speak a dialect of German, they know High German for the most part, but among their friends and family they're going to speak their regional dialect. Austrians would rather be seen as autonomous in their culture and customs rather than "just like Germans".
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