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For the Germans, the War's Ambiguities Persist (WHY the Germans are insisting they're WW II victims)
The International Herald Tribune ^ | June 7, 2004 | John Vinocur

Posted on 06/06/2004 8:34:26 PM PDT by quidnunc

In joining with leaders of World War II's victorious Allies in their commemoration of D-Day, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has referred to Germany's presence on the Normandy invasion beaches as marking "the final end" to the postwar period and the completion of "Germany's long journey to the West."

Alongside the chancellor's argument that the Allies liberated the Germans from Nazi tyranny, what this comes down to is a kind of political assurance that Germany has forever abandoned its contemptuous notion of a mercantile, soulless West and its equally contemptuous but territorially hungry view of the lands beyond its eastern borders.

Coming in the context of Schröder's current drive to win Germany a seat on the United Nations Security Council, a statement sounding like a guarantee of its comfortable anchorage in the acquisitive, nonromantic world of capitalism finds few doubters.

But concerning Eastern Europe, Schröder's willful reading of his invitation to the D-Day anniversary as "the final end" to the postwar period is a different matter. It does not correspond entirely to current events and, for the time being, may be a bit of an imposition on history.

Germany's relationship in 2004 with the country's two major neighbors to the east — or, perhaps most precisely, that of a significant number of Germans — involves harsh, palpable difficulties.

With backing from mainstream conservative and Social Democrat personalities, politically powerful groups of expellees from former German territories in the Czech Republic and Poland are mounting newly aggressive campaigns to regain their old properties and memorialize themselves as World War II victims.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: dday
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1 posted on 06/06/2004 8:34:27 PM PDT by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
With backing from mainstream conservative and Social Democrat personalities, politically powerful groups of expellees from former German territories in the Czech Republic and Poland are mounting newly aggressive campaigns to regain their old properties and memorialize themselves as World War II victims.

Well there is no question that the Soviets and Poles committed serious atrocities on the Germans after WWII - and no we aren't using the modern media panties-on-the-head version of the word here - there is no way you can present Germany as a victim.

As for freeing Germny from the NAZIs, outside of the German equivalent of the American right (Stauffenberg, Bonhoeffer, etc) they didn't *want* to be freed.
2 posted on 06/06/2004 8:50:02 PM PDT by swilhelm73
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To: swilhelm73

My father was married to a German woman for a few months. Whenever her family got together they still spoke highly of Hitler.


3 posted on 06/06/2004 8:52:55 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy (Rest in Peace, President Reagan.)
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To: quidnunc

Everyone's a victim nowadays. Being a perp never was in style.


4 posted on 06/06/2004 8:55:58 PM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: quidnunc

Let's see:

1. The Germans are now trying to play victim of the Nazi because they see Islamic radical not Islam, the Taliban not the Afgahnis and Saddam not the Iraqis blamed today and they naturally wonder, if nobody else is to blame for what is what happens in their name, why should Germans in WWII been different.

2. The idea that Germany will get a permanent place on the UN Security Council is silly. With both Russia and France already on the Council with the UK, Europe is over represented on the Council today. What needs to happen is for France to be removed and either Brazil from South America or South Africa or someone from Africa need to be added. The Europeans just do not get it. By moving toward a single European state, they will count as merely one vote in world affairs in the Future.


5 posted on 06/06/2004 9:00:26 PM PDT by JLS
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To: JLS

I would argue the UNSC, recognizing states based on their power and regional location, should be as follows;

USA
Brazil
UK
Russia
China
Japan
India

France does not belong on the list when you have both Russia and the UK from Europe. And Brazil's current leader is a nutter.

Of course I would prefer scrapping the UN and replacing it with a league of democracies if anything.


6 posted on 06/06/2004 9:08:44 PM PDT by swilhelm73
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To: quidnunc

The United Nations is what doesn't make sense. Get US out of the UN.


7 posted on 06/06/2004 9:20:53 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: HungarianGypsy
My father was married to a German woman for a few months. Whenever her family got together they still spoke highly of Hitler.

I found it interesting that, in Italy, the gift shops in their roadside restaurants/service stations carried large busts of Mussolini. This was maybe 5 years ago now.
8 posted on 06/06/2004 9:23:10 PM PDT by July 4th (You need to click "Abstimmen")
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To: quidnunc
Coming in the context of Schröder's current drive to win Germany a seat on the United Nations Security Council, a statement sounding like a guarantee of its comfortable anchorage in the acquisitive, nonromantic world of capitalism finds few doubters.

Why on earth does Germany think it's going to get a seat on the security council. As a matter of fact, if anything happens france and Britain will lose their seats and a single seat will be allowed for the EU. There will only be ONE ambassador to the UN as well and only ONE vote.

9 posted on 06/06/2004 9:27:23 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: McGavin999

And if that doesn't happen & instead, Germany is given a seat, I think it would be time for California to demand a place at the table too.


10 posted on 06/06/2004 9:35:26 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: longjack

German Ping


11 posted on 06/06/2004 9:40:45 PM PDT by STFrancis
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To: swilhelm73

Benes the Czech was far worse than the Poles with respect to dispossessing German "settlers". However, the Germans were not liberated they were F'ed in the mud as were the Japanese. The PC elites don't want the common folk to remember how wars are really won. For some reason the preservation of the Islamic Home World has been the Prime Directive of Foggy Headed Bottomhole for decades.


12 posted on 06/06/2004 9:55:27 PM PDT by Righty1
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To: swilhelm73

By such standard, Germany has more right then Britian.


13 posted on 06/06/2004 10:09:44 PM PDT by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: swilhelm73

Yeah, I could see a UNSC of:

1. US for North, Central American and the Caribean and one rotating seat.

2. China for Asia and one rotating seat.

3. UK for Europe and one rotating seat.

4. India for South Central Asia and one rotating seat. [I guess their region might stretch from India to the Med including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq Israel etc. ]

5. Brazil for South America and one rotating seat.

6. Australia for Oceana and one rotating seat.

7. Nigeria for Africa and one rotating seat.

8. Russia/Japan on a rotating basis for the 15th seat.

And there could be a rule that no country can be a rotating member of the security council IF they do not have an elected government in an election with competition within the last 8 or 6 or 5 years. Also there could be a rule that any permanent member would have their voting suspended if they do not have an elected government within the last 8 or 6 or 5 years.

But be very careful with these rules. They would be used by the left, to argue that the Electoral College must go and that the US currently does not have an elected government. We know this is bunk, but the left in the US will use anything for political advantage.


14 posted on 06/06/2004 10:11:58 PM PDT by JLS
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To: RussianConservative

The German Army has *no* ability to project itself. All it is capable of is self defense without help from the US/UK.


15 posted on 06/06/2004 10:17:45 PM PDT by swilhelm73
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To: JLS
Consider: Twice the Germans tried to take over Europe militarily and failed. Now they are on their way to trying it politically. They'll get closer this way than the other.

You don't suppose it's something in the water?

16 posted on 06/06/2004 10:39:39 PM PDT by Adrastus (If you don't like my attitude, talk to someone else.)
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To: Adrastus

Having lived there for 6 months, it is something. Remember of course 60 years ago they culled out all their dissenters, free thinkers, etc. And you are right, they will get closer this way than the past attempts they have made at taking over Europe.


17 posted on 06/06/2004 10:46:17 PM PDT by JLS
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To: JLS
Jaque the crack made an interesting observation in his speech at Normandy. He said that history doesn't repeat itself (Liberating Europe vs liberating Iraq).Any reasonabley literate person knows better. The french are the going to get to test the theory a third time. This time I say "To h*ll with them, they need to become someone elses burden"

Question: Who has not even paid the interest on their WWI debt to the US?

18 posted on 06/06/2004 10:56:11 PM PDT by Adrastus (If you don't like my attitude, talk to someone else.)
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To: quidnunc

This brings to mind Lincoln's old anecdote about the boy who killed his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the courts because he was an orphan.


19 posted on 06/06/2004 11:23:53 PM PDT by ellery (RIP, Sir.)
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To: Adrastus

Never forget the French helped us in our War of Independence against the British. I am not so worried about keeping score. You can only liberate those who want to be free.

The French did in 1944. If they are taken over today, maybe they do or maybe they don't want to be free. This is the issue in Iraq. You can depose any government like Saddam's that conspires against you. But we can only liberate Iraqi if the people there want freedom.


20 posted on 06/07/2004 12:27:02 AM PDT by JLS
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To: swilhelm73
Of course I would prefer scrapping the UN and replacing it with a league of democracies if anything.

That would make more sense, but then Russia would be out.
21 posted on 06/07/2004 12:43:50 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: July 4th

Mussolini was no anti-semite though he was a lot of other things!


22 posted on 06/07/2004 12:45:07 AM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: americanbychoice2; An.American.Expatriate; a_Turk; austinTparty; BMCDA; CasearianDaoist; ...

German Ping


23 posted on 06/07/2004 2:06:57 AM PDT by longjack
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To: Mrs Zip; BOBWADE

ping


24 posted on 06/07/2004 2:56:22 AM PDT by zip (Remember: DimocRat lies told often enough became truth to 42% of americans)
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To: quidnunc

The Germans insist they are victims for the exact same reasons as the Islamofascists insist they are victims of the Palestine mess. (Truman's Palestine mess). Both need to look in the mirror and move on.


25 posted on 06/07/2004 3:38:55 AM PDT by tkathy (nihilism: absolute destructiveness toward the world at large and oneself)
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To: JLS
Why do you think that the international state system as presently constituted should be preserved?

When the delegate from Nigeria at the UN speaks or votes, who or what do you suppose he "represents"?

Do you think that an "elected government" where the average voter has an IQ of 70 and is illiterate, where each ethnic or religious group votes 100% for its own candidate, or where all candidates swear fealty to murderous barbarian cults has the same status as the Federal government of the United States, and therefore should be voting with the US on the basis of equality?

The whole postwar facade of "international law", "world opinion", and especially the UN, is a ridiculous farce which should be ended, not improved.

The only opinion that the "world" has that is relevant to us is that all the people with brains and guts want to escape their hellholes and come here.

The only international issue of significance to us (one that we can't seem to agree on) is whether we should allow this to continue, leading to a Fortress America, or whether we should help the talented tenth everywhere to overthrow their kleptocracies and make a world safe for a globalized America.

The farce at Turtle Bay has nothing to do with helping us answer this question.

26 posted on 06/07/2004 3:55:49 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Now you go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia!)
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To: tkathy

Of course the average German troops were not responsible for their leaders crimes. Nobody would call Rommel a war criminal, because he wasn´t. But he too was so controlled by the Nazis, that he had nothing to decide. Soldiers in Germany were not even allowed to vote in the Weimar Republic, they were merely receiving orders. It was not the duty to refuse orders if they mean a crime, unlike today. And what would you say about the men who drafted men with the age of 17,18,19, 20 who died then - and have never had the chance to express their opposition against the regime? I say these boys were victims of Hitler, mislead in a war "to defend the fatherland", but actually it was vice versa. I´m sure noone had picked up the gun against the Brits, Americans, French, Canadians if 1. they had known what Hitler did in the East, 2. not a Nazi official had threatened to shoot them if they did not and 3. had known that after Hitlers defeat both sides realized that the enemy is in the East.


27 posted on 06/07/2004 4:08:55 AM PDT by Michael81Dus ( WE NEED MORE FREEDOM, NOT LESS!)
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To: swilhelm73
Hey, how about instead of Brazil, presently run by a madman little removed from the "real Vargas", let's put Haiti on the Security Council as a permanent member.

You talk about a place that needs all the help it can get!

28 posted on 06/07/2004 4:31:19 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: JLS
Then, way back in the 1840s the Germans purged all their Jeffersonian Democrats!

Most moved to the United States just in time for the American Civil War.

29 posted on 06/07/2004 4:33:52 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Michael81Dus

The death of young people in war is always tragic. But Michael -- these boys did have a chance to express their opposition. If they were going to die anyway, why didn't they do so in a revolt against Hitler, rather than fighting for him? Hitler made no secret of his intentions in Mein Kampf -- why didn't the average German revolt?


30 posted on 06/07/2004 7:32:22 AM PDT by ellery (RIP, Sir.)
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To: swilhelm73

UK can barely self project...they barely reach Falklands at height of spending for Cold War.


31 posted on 06/07/2004 7:38:11 AM PDT by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
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To: ellery

Well, it's not that easy. Families are involved as well. And in Nazi Germany knew that if YOU screwed up your entire family went into concentration camps. Yup, millions of non-jews were gassed as well.


32 posted on 06/07/2004 8:16:57 AM PDT by STFrancis
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To: STFrancis

Oh, I know it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy for our revolutionaries, either. But it's false to say that young German men had no choice at all. Was it Franklin who said, "resistance to tyranny is obedience to God"?


33 posted on 06/07/2004 8:52:29 AM PDT by ellery (RIP, Sir.)
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To: ellery

I understand but that was not the mindset taught in that time period. And there is a reason people were indoctrinated from a very young age in the Hitler Youth. Keep in mind a soldier 19 years old in 1944 was 7 years old when Hitler came into power and the Hitler Youths were organized. Doesn't leave much freedom of will does it?


34 posted on 06/07/2004 9:03:45 AM PDT by STFrancis
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To: July 4th

There is a serious difference between Mussolini and Hitler. Mussolini never targeted any member of Italian for elimination. Mussolini attempted to put every Italian to work, either for commerical ventures or government ventures. Hitler simply put every man into uniform.


35 posted on 06/07/2004 9:13:19 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: STFrancis; ellery

I agree with Francis, these boys were just on the wrong side, and probably most didn´t even know. Like a fellow French FReeper said on another thread: the German propaganda made it looking as if Germany was the victim (and especially the bombs on civilians made the soldiers feel as if their nation was at stake). Today, we hear from many German veterans that all this killing was so unnecessary, that they didn´t know that the western allies weren´t in reality how Goebbels said they were... It´s a huge tragedy, and I see no reason why we shouldn´t remember all the deads (Germans included). I don´t mourn the death of People who supported mass murder on Jews or other minorities, who treated humans like cattle, but I know that many men in the Waffen-SS weren´t there voluntary, either.


36 posted on 06/07/2004 12:14:02 PM PDT by Michael81Dus
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To: JLS

Had it not been for their anxiety over the English, they would have stood in bed.The French became envolved in the Revolution for the sole purpose of squeezing the English financially.


37 posted on 06/07/2004 1:06:50 PM PDT by Adrastus (If you don't like my attitude, talk to someone else.)
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To: Michael81Dus

Hmmm.
I like and respect Rommel, but don't forget that he was responsible for the Atlantic Wall and much of the Wall was built by slave labor. I don't know if he is far enough removed from the details of its construction to escape the taint. Maybe it stops with Organization Todt, though.


38 posted on 06/07/2004 1:15:08 PM PDT by Little Ray (John Ffing sKerry: Just a gigolo!)
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To: STFrancis
Keep in mind a soldier 19 years old in 1944 was 7 years old when Hitler came into power and the Hitler Youths were organized. Doesn't leave much freedom of will does it?

That's a very interesting question, and one that can't be definitively answered. My own take is that humanity can win out, even over attempted brainwashing. Otherwise, how do you explain countries where there have been revolutions/popular uprisings against tyranny after long periods of totalitarian control? I think you can't let people completely off the personal responsibility hook, regardless of their upbringing.

39 posted on 06/07/2004 6:31:20 PM PDT by ellery (RIP, Sir.)
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To: Michael81Dus

Remember when President Reagan laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown German soldier and spoke words of kindness and forgiveness? The media had a fit. But Reagan was right, of course.


40 posted on 06/07/2004 6:48:18 PM PDT by hershey
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To: ellery
I am not trying to let anyone of the hook here. The statements were that Germans of that time period were victims of the Nazi's as well. Which in my opinion is correct.

If memory serves me right there were the same numbers of Germans executed in concentration camps as jews (Keep in mind memory is spotty here. I know the figure was in the multi-millions).

Now, remember that is NOT to say Germany did not bring a LOT of this onto themselves....
41 posted on 06/07/2004 8:51:45 PM PDT by STFrancis
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To: longjack

bttt


42 posted on 06/08/2004 2:45:16 AM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: muawiyah
Then, way back in the 1840s the Germans purged all their Jeffersonian Democrats! Most moved to the United States just in time for the American Civil War.

Yup, we lynched a whole passel of "liberal" germans during the Civil War down here in Texas.

43 posted on 06/08/2004 3:04:05 AM PDT by Eternal_Bear
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To: Eternal_Bear
Hmmmm. Are you saying Texans lynched POWs during the Civil War? Or, are you saying that gangs of armed thugs went around to Texas Hill Country farms and ranches murdering women and children?

Neither one would surprise me, but who would want to admit to it!

44 posted on 06/08/2004 3:50:29 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: STFrancis
There were several different kinds of murders for which the Nazis were responsible. First there are the deaths of innocent people brought about by acts of war. Then there are the deaths of prisoners, whether military or civilian.

Within each broad category there are "details" and "subdivisions".

Rather than organizing the dead according to style of murder, it's probably best to tally the dead up by national and religious groups. Russians died in the millions. Then there were Jews of many nationalities. They, too, died in the millions. There were Polish people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and they died in the millions. Even Germans died in the millions toward the end of the war.

Americans died in the hundreds of thousands, as did folks from the United Kingdom and it's dependencies, etc. Specialists can get into what went on in the Far East.

There are people who wish to believe this did not happen. Unfortunately, WWII did happen and it still has consequences.

45 posted on 06/08/2004 3:57:25 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Adrastus
You have to detail out the picture of the French regarding who and why they became involved in the American Revolution.

Not quite sure "squeezing" is applicable.

For instance, there was the Noilles family who LOST the French North American fur trade when the UK took over Canada at the conclusion of the French & Indian War.

One of the son in laws, Lafayette, came back and took away a good part of that fur trade from the UK. He also recovered, in full, the deer hide trade!

The King of France had obtained a substantial chunk of his income from French North America before that war. He'd also made money from the furniture business, but his primary source of aged and pre-cut hardwood had also been lost to the UK.

A free and independent America was definitely in the commercial interest of the French.

46 posted on 06/08/2004 4:02:14 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

IMHO the Germany of today is edging its way back to facism but instead of a "hitler" it will be the all powerful "state" of socialism...seems the German mindset loves cvontrol over everything


47 posted on 06/08/2004 4:07:40 AM PDT by rrrod
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To: muawiyah
They lynched German Union loyalists. It is well documented. As far as I know, only men. Germans were also singled out in Missouri and even Kansas as Quantrell wiped out the German colony in his raid on Lawrence Kansas. However, some Germans did serve in the CSA.

As a side note, there was an ulterior motive in German immigration during the eraly 1840's to Texas. The Duke of Saxe-Weimar recently admitted that it was hoped that German immigration would turn Texas into a Germanic state. He brought documents outlining this plan. That was all foiled when Texas joined the Union in 1845.

48 posted on 06/08/2004 7:15:05 AM PDT by Eternal_Bear
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To: muawiyah

I don't really get what that had to do with anything I was talking about but there is nothing wrong with your statement. What's your point?


49 posted on 06/08/2004 8:51:34 AM PDT by STFrancis
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To: STFrancis

Absolutely, I agree that any Germans who were on the run from the Nazis or thrown into concentration camps were victims. I'm talking about the Germans who fought for/supported Hitler, though -- were they victims? There's a good argument either way, of course -- as you pointed out, they were brainwashed. But on the other hand, many other people who have lived under regimes that tried to brainwash them have taken up arms against their regime. Most Germans didn't do that. I have to wonder, why not?


50 posted on 06/08/2004 9:38:40 AM PDT by ellery (RIP, Sir.)
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