IniciGrupsConversesExploraTendències
Cerca al lloc
Aquest lloc utilitza galetes per a oferir els nostres serveis, millorar el desenvolupament, per a anàlisis i (si no has iniciat la sessió) per a publicitat. Utilitzant LibraryThing acceptes que has llegit i entès els nostres Termes de servei i política de privacitat. L'ús que facis del lloc i dels seus serveis està subjecte a aquestes polítiques i termes.
Hide this

Resultats de Google Books

Clica una miniatura per anar a Google Books.

Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the…
S'està carregant…

Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich (edició 2017)

de Ben H. Shepherd (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses
631350,031 (3.5)Cap
"For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation. This was a true people's army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army's early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler's mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings--moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational--of the army's own leadership"--… (més)
Membre:Hess97
Títol:Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich
Autors:Ben H. Shepherd (Autor)
Informació:Yale University Press (2017), Edition: Reprint, 664 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich de Ben H. Shepherd

Cap
S'està carregant…

Apunta't a LibraryThing per saber si aquest llibre et pot agradar.

No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.

A few years back my son asked me why I was obsessed with reading about the war. I explained to him that the war shaped the world I was born into and the world I grew up in.

I couldn't get over the idea that a race of normal people could turn into a race of murderers. I had no doubts that the German people were as normal as the English, that they were not inherently evil people but something happened to make them so. I wanted to know what that was.

I have never been anything but a Holocaust believer. My parents had kept the newspaper cuttings showing images from when the Allies liberated the camps. Piles of dead bodies, literally piles of bodies, each so thin as to add to the disbelief when trying to take in what our eyes were seeing. People standing like living skeletons with hollow eyes. As a child those images frightened me.

So, I was not looking to excuse what they did. I just wanted to understand how it all came about.

It's been a long journey getting to where I think I finally have some understanding. I lost a lot of preconceptions and learned a lot of bad things.

Judgement and condemnation is easy, especially when based on ignorance. Understanding means keeping your eye on the crime and working out the steps that the person took to get to stand in that place where they committed the crime. Understanding how they got there but never forgetting what they did.

After a lot of reading I feel I now have a coherent understanding of what influenced the Nazi ideology, the circumstances that lead to their rise to power and what they did with that power to bring about both the deaths of millions of innocent people and eventually their own downfall.

This is my journey to that understanding, I am not saying that I am right or anyone else is wrong, I am not denying anyone else's truth, this is only where I stand now.

My Conclusions:
It was the confluence of three things:
Eugenics
The Treaty of Versailles
Anti-Semitism

EUGENICS
A gift for white people everywhere. Eugenics came out of Darwin's idea that life is the survival of the fittest and that species improve by selective breeding.

If white people ruled the world it was obviously because they were "fitter" than other races. If rich people enjoyed more privilege it was obvious they were "fitter" than the poor.

Eugenics was the application of survival of the fittest and selective breeding to the human race.

Eugenics advocated higher rates of sexual reproduction among people with desired traits and reduced rates of sexual reproduction or sterilisation of people with undesired traits.

This led to the establishment of institutions where the mentally and physically defectives could be kept to minimise their harmful effects on the breeding population. The introduction of free contraception for lower class women was not led by pioneering feminists pursuing the interests of women but by eugenicists whose sole purpose was to stop the uncontrolled breeding of the lower orders.

It was a belief in Eugenics that led to forced sterilisations in many countries, especially the US. You could be sterilised against your will for something as simple as not having a fixed address.

Hitler was strongly in favour of the sterilisation programs pioneered in the US and promised to introduce them in Germany.

The whole white world was convinced that the pursuit of eugenics could only lead to a better world. The idea of a Master Race was not a Nazi invention. All the Nazis did was to take to the extreme and thereby (thankfully) fuck it up for everyone forever.

After the war, eugenics was quietly forgotten, all of a sudden, no-one wanted to talk about it. In fact, it went further than that, if you hadn't heard about eugenics until now then that is proof of just how far all countries went to to "forget" about eugenics. Try finding out about your country's history of eugenics, you may be in for a surprise.

Google "Eugenics Sweden" and it will cure you of any humanitarian ideas you may have had about Sweden. Up until the 1970s in Sweden you could apply to have "unruly families" in your neighbourhood sterilised!

(Imagine that as a Trump policy, he could get re-elected on that one policy alone. He wouldn't need a wall, he'd need bigger gates to allow for the numbers leaving to fit through. If ever there was a man born too late it is Trump.)

But, do not for an instant believe that Sweden was alone in these ideas that now read as nothing short of madness.

Whilst eugenics may have been "forgotten" its basic ideas are still alive and well, white privilege still has currency, the veneration of the rich still abounds, rich people are asked to comment on current affairs simply because they are rich. In fact, eugenic ideas have never gone away its just that for the time being no-one is offering a solution.

ANTI-SEMITISM
Everyone hated the Jews. Remember this was before the nation state of Israel existed. The western Allies had full knowledge of Hitler's extermination programs throughout the whole war and before. They never assisted him, but they never stopped him either, they had the means and opportunity but did nothing because, as unpalatable as it is to accept, pretty much the whole world thought Mr Hitler was doing a fine job.

Read: Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949 by the Jewish historian David Cesarani. The entire book is taken from official records from both sides, there is no conjecture or fiction, just1056 pages that will make you weep as you read who killed the Jews, how many, when, and where. At the end of that book you will have no illusions about who was guilty. Yes, the Nazis really did that, and the Holocaust absolutely happened, but they were not alone in its execution.

One other thing that needs to be said is that Anti-Semitism was the de facto official theology of the Nazi state.

The Treaty of Versailles.
This was the punishment imposed on Germany after the First World War. It was extremely draconian. All of Germany's wealth and resources were taken to pay back for losing. The reparations were so heavy that Germany was reduced to starvation and hardship. The French stationed Senegalese troops in the Ruhr Valley which lead to widespread rape and abuse of German women and girls. The German troops who fought in the First World War felt that they were defeated not by their enemies' soldiers but by their own politicians and generals. They came home to shame and starvation. The whole country was not only beaten but made to feel beaten.

At the time, it was pointed out that such enduring punishment could eventually work against the Allies by invoking some kind of backlash by the German people but such remarks were ignored.

Then one day, in Germany, a man stood up and said, "ENOUGH", let's Make Germany Great Again. (yes, that is where those words came from) and the entire German population cheered and got in behind him.

People came from all over the world to witness "The German Miracle" as it was called.

HOW IT ALL WORKED
Once the Nazis had taken complete control of Germany, the syllabus at all schools and universities was changed to match the Nazi world view. Any subject that could be altered to support their world view was. Ideas that had long been discredited became current again, like the idea that by looking at the shape of a person's head you could tell if they were of good stock or not.

Control of all media meant having control of the minds of the people. Dr Goebbels came up with the Principles of Propaganda and the world as it was known changed forever more.

The establishment of the Hitler Youth Movement meant that all young people were subjected to the unadulterated Nazi philosophy without anything to temper its extremes. Parents influences over their children was severely curtailed. The influence of the church was minimised. In short, generations that grew up believing it was an absolute fact that Jews were inferior, Slavs were inferior, Blacks were inferior and so on. Just as our kids believe what they are taught day after day, week after week, year after year. The real effect of that indoctrination came when these kids were old enough to be conscripted into the army. There was a noticeable difference between the older soldiers who had fought in WW1 and the new recruits. The older guys treated both POWs and civilians with respect but the new recruits showed nothing but a brutality. Their ability to unquestioningly follow orders and to kill people who were regarded as less than animals gave rise to the Germany army's fearsome reputation.

The first exterminations the Nazis carried out were on their own children as they systematically murdered any child that was defective in any way, kids with palsy, polio, autism, kids that just weren't too bright, they were quietly murdered. Parents were just sent a note saying that their child had died from flu, pneumonia or other common ailment. This mass murder was carried out with the full knowledge and cooperation of doctors, nurses, caretakers, gardeners, drivers, delivery men, cleaners, etc. Just like the killing of the Jews, after the war many claimed to be ignorant of these things too, but really you cannot escape the fact that to murder a whole race of people you need the active assistance of the whole population.

Read Hitler's Furies by Wendy Lower to see how women were actively complicit in this,. One of the key things the Nazis did was to give women a chance to break out of the Kinder, Kerk, Keuken mould that had shaped their lives for generations, all of a sudden it was allowed for women to pursue a career. One such career was concentration camp guard. 3500 women were trained at Ravensbruck alone, their average age was 26. The women that volunteered saw the camps not as mass murder sites, but as places of employment and opportunity, the pay was good and the uniform impressive. Another success for mass indoctrination of the youth! These new opportunities for women applied to all spheres, as all the men were required to fight, so their places were taken by women. They knew that it was people in those trains going east, except that to them Jews were not human. If a train had to be parked up for a few days to let essential war supplies through, then so be it. On that train were only "useless mouths" why waste food on them?

Membership of the Nazi party was obligatory and being a member meant being subject to endless sessions of "education". You could not progress in your job unless you showed enthusiasm and knowledge of Nazi philosophy.

THE WAR
There is quote that came from Hitler just after his rise to power. An army general asked him, "Herr Hitler, do you intend to turn every German soldier into a Nazi?" To which Hitler replied, "No Herr General, my intention is to turn every Nazi into a German soldier". And he did.

The German Army's early successes were breathtaking. Their superiority came from having the latest weaponry and modern ideas of battle drilled into their troops through years of training. As early as 1936 outsiders witnessed German Panzer divisions on training manoeuvres in Southern Germany. They trained their armed forces divisions to work in conjunction with each other. What evolved from that was the idea of Blitzkrieg (although they never used that word themselves). Another difference was that their troops were given an objective and it was left up their initiative as to how they accomplished that objective. Other armies gave their troops explicit instructions by officers who were, quite often, miles away from where the action would take place. This degree of autonomy meant that the German forces were more able to respond to changing battle conditions, were more flexible and could think on their feet whilst their enemies had to await new orders that often came too late to save a situation.

You could say that all of Hitler's early successes came as much from his enemies' sheer incompetence as from German smarts. Incompetence that comes from arrogance and from outdated ideas. Read about the Maginot line which epitomises the arrogance and sheer stupidity of both the French and English military leading to their utter humiliation.

Like all armies, the officer classes mostly came from the landed aristocracy. It may be too strong to say that Hitler never trusted them but the failed assassination attempt on his life made sure that he minimised both them and their influence. One of his most fundamental changes was to allow "ordinary soldiers" to be promoted upwards based on their performance on the battlefield and not on their family line.

It is hard to get a grasp of just how popular Hitler was, especially in this age of spineless, ethically challenged, leaders. To the German people he represented not only a way out of their past shame and unjust treatment but also a way to a new shiny future that was based on real and outstanding achievements. It an't just words, he delivered. As a person he represented everything that the German people aspired to. His ongoing successes only proved their belief in him.

Many other races fought alongside the Germans. They had regiments composed of English, French, American, Italian, Spanish volunteers from those and many other countries. They had a regiment of black soldiers.

The Scandinavians were terrified of the Russians. The Finns have lost 70 odd wars with the Russians. For them, a Russian invasion was a very real threat. The only country talking about standing up to the Russians was Germany. That was why thousands and thousands of Finns, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes etc voluntarily joined for the German Army. They were told by the Germans that they would be defending their homelands. In reality they all went to the Eastern Front.

Because they were not German nationals and could not be conscripted, they had to sign up for fixed periods as mercenaries. This lead to the bizarre situation where, in the middle of major battles, they would get a tap on the shoulder and be told that they served their allotted time and had to go home. They would literally put their guns down and leave the battle to catch the next train home.

There is a book called Hitler's Vikings by Jonathan Trigg

This is a quote from a Norwegian veteran:

"We, the Norwegian and other foreign volunteers, did not fight for Hitler or his regime, but alongside his country. Just as Britons didn’t fight for Stalin but alongside the Soviet Union, it’s a sad truth but in war you can’t pick your allies. If people are really interested in what actually happened then they should find out for themselves. They will see that it was not so easy at the time to choose a course of action, but it was then that a choice had to be made."

After the war when returning home, some were made national heroes as in Finland and some were shot as traitors as in Denmark. Sweden imprisoned them. Other countries just wanted to quietly forget all about this.

If you read Hitler's Soldiers by Ben H. Shepherd, (this book) a long, but far from boring book, you will get a full account of how they won, then lost the war. In spite of what Hollywood would have us believe, the war was not won by the George Clooney or Brad Pitt.

Growing up in England in the 1950s I look back and see that we were bombarded by an endless re-telling of the war where the British were shown as the heroes of the day instead of the moribund, inefficient, poorly equipped lot that they were. We suffered this from TV, comics, movies, newspapers etc.

On reading actual accounts of battles and campaigns that took place, you can easily see that it is absolutely true when the Americans say they saved the English's ass.

But the Americans did not defeat the Nazis! No! The German army was defeated by the Russians. 80% of all German losses of men, machinery, and equipment was inflicted by the Russians. It really is as simple as that. Without their sacrifice of around 20 million people we would not be here.

If the Russians had lost the Eastern Front then the Allies would have been facing a battle hardened, well trained, highly disciplined, well equipped, army that was far superior than all their forces combined. Hitler would have had complete control of Europe and most of Asia and life as we know it now would not exist. My family, and many others, would have been exterminated in one of the camps.

WHAT ELSE DID I LEARN ALONG THE WAY?

Many unfortunate things:

I lived in Holland for 5 years and never knew they had camps for the Jews there, there were two camps and people were murdered there. How did I learn about that? I saw a list of all the camps where Jews died on a monument in Frankfurt and was surprised to see the name of a Dutch town in the list. After seeing that, I asked a few Dutch people and they never knew about them either.

And on the subject of Holland, we all know about Anne Frank but please do not be fooled by that bullshit. I do not mean that Anne Frank was bullshit, what I mean is the Dutch Jews were rounded up with the full cooperation and active assistance of the Dutch population. They didn't need any encouragement from the Germans.

Since the war the Dutch have been very successful in telling their stories of The Dutch Resistance. Yes, there really was a Dutch Resistance and they really did do brave things. But Dutch Volunteers were also the largest regiment in the Waffen SS. In other words more Dutch were on the side of the Nazis than against them.

I have picked on the Dutch but they are not alone in sanitising their history. Read about the Swiss and Jewish bank accounts.

As hard as it is to believe, the Nazis originally had no plans to kill the Jews, they simply wanted rid of them. They had not counted on every other country's downright refusal to take them.Eventually, the only option the Nazis had left was the Final Solution and that wasn't a problem for them apart from the logistics.

And don't mention the European Royal families, all of whom were devout believers in the Nazi cause. To put that in context, all those royals had all seen the Tsar and his family murdered by the great unwashed after the October Revolution. Bolshevism was a palpably real fear to all who had wealth and power. The Cold War did not come out of nowhere.

Never forget that the Nazis had massive support throughout all of Europe and America. I also have a suspicion that if the extermination of the Jews had been collateral damage for defeating the Russians then I don't think that anyone with the Allies would have lost a lot of sleep over it and many would have considered it an acceptable trade off as it killed two birds with one stone.

Let’s be absolutely clear, the Nazis were defeated, not hatred of the Jews because in that regard, everyone was on the same side.

Finally
We look back on these events and actions and wonder how anyone, let alone an entire race could be so cold and heartless as to inflict that level of suffering on helpless old people, women, and children. We cannot imagine ourselves ever doing that.

And yet we eat in the full knowledge that millions starve when there is nothing but idleness on our part from stopping those million of deaths.

We live in nice houses when our very own countrymen and women are homeless.

You see how easy it is?

After the war, lots of Germans said that if they had objected at the time they too would have been on those trains going to the camps or simply shot. That is absolutely true, the Nazis had zero tolerance for dissenting voices and murdered thousand of their own brave souls who did speak out.

Yet no-one is holding a gun to our heads now.

Peace and Love

(see my Third Reich shelf to see how I got here) ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
Sense ressenyes | afegeix-hi una ressenya
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
Llocs importants
Esdeveniments importants
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
Epígraf
Dedicatòria
Primeres paraules
Citacions
Darreres paraules
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics
LCC canònic

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès

Cap

"For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation. This was a true people's army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army's early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler's mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings--moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational--of the army's own leadership"--

No s'han trobat descripcions de biblioteca.

Descripció del llibre
Sumari haiku

Cobertes populars

Dreceres

Valoració

Mitjana: (3.5)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 2
3.5
4 1
4.5
5 1

Ets tu?

Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.

 

Quant a | Contacte | LibraryThing.com | Privadesa/Condicions | Ajuda/PMF | Blog | Botiga | APIs | TinyCat | Biblioteques llegades | Crítics Matiners | Coneixement comú | 170,037,976 llibres! | Barra superior: Sempre visible