The Fatherland or the Bullet
There have been so many accusations brought to the german veterans of the 2nd world war as many do not believe that they didn’t want to fight that crude war or be part of the holocaust. First of all, we should set some boundaries,I am talking about the minority, those who were against the whole idea of a world war or the idea of the germans trying to become a supreme race by conquering the rest of the world. We are here to discuss those young men that have been pushed by the Fuhrer to fight for the fatherland. For the time period that was set in the 1940s, there was a very different mentality. The sense of respect that a man had towards another was a lot stronger and the reason I am mentioning this is to offer you an understanding of what it would mean if you as a german man over the age of 18 would not want to fight for your country. You would not be able to see your family in their eyes as they would be ashamed of you. Many say that this way of thinking is mostly indoctrinated by the Dictatorship that was being served in the German land at the time however, I would beg to differ.
Even so sadly, with or without consent you did not have much of a choice. Every man that was capable had to fight this war even if they liked it or not. At the end of the day, it does not matter if they are German, Polish or Russian citizens because as a citizen of your country you will want to support your country, therefore, protect it no matter who you are going against.
On the other hand, maybe you do not want war, just want peace and to live a simple life. Just because they hate a race that is different from them does not mean you have to follow the heard of sheep.
I would say that this does definitely apply to the end of the war (1945) when the german army was so desperate they would enrol 12-year-olds that were brainwashed by the Fuhrer and his denial of ‘Victory around the corner’ as well as pensioners over 60 years of age. Neither of the two groups had any training and most of them did egarly want to fight in this war until… the guns start firing and they see what a man cand do to another.
Let’s discuss a different perspective on this topic, one that has been and is still very debated. How about the German troops in the concentration camps? No, I am not talking about the SS soldiers but those who were forced to force others to kill. It was either them or the target they have been ordered to kill. Many say that if they did not want to be part of the holocaust than they should have sabotaged it in some way or at least try to put an end to it. The truth is that it is not that easy and at the end of the day every person has one thing that is more precious than anything and that is their own life. Do not think that these few men that fought a forced war upon them went to sleep at night knowing the atrocities they are part of. Please do take your time to think about the veterans of the German army knowing what they have been part of and how they are seen as well as judged every day. I am not the one to judge them by saying they deserve this, they deserve worst or even if they deserve death. To me, they are veterans of the Second World War and most importantly of a War, therefore, I respect them for their military services and nothing else. Do try to put yourself in the same shoes or better yet boots of a german soldier to see the type of decisions you would have made, I am pretty sure that you would have not done anything differently.
Soldiers are and have been commanded with their lives, they do not have much of a saying when the commander screams to war you go knowing bullets are racing towards your head and heart just to prove something that is not even about the defence of the country, neither something you would care or believe in.
There are a Romanian World war 2 movies called ‘Those in the first line’ and there was a scene that just touched me so much as it was so powerful and full of emotion. There were two soldiers under the age of 18 that have just jumped one another from around the corner, they both have their machineguns aimed at one another and do not know what to do next, they both look so innocent and with a desire to live in their eyes. Next thing you know, a bomb goes of in the distance shaking both of their nerves, making them panic and they both shot one another. Both of them just following orders, but have they ever desired those orders or better yet I should ask would anyone enjoy being ordered to kill someone?
It has been brought to my attention the wrong mentality that people have when discussing such an issue, so if for example, we have 100 people from which 99 are happy to kill their enemy and one isn’t this means we should kill all 100 of them because they are German or axis in general? Every soul matters and at the end of the day who are we to judge the actions to which they might have played a role towards in this cunning war we are talking about. There were so many young teenagers accusing some old german veterans of things they did not even do. Just because he is a german soldier this does not necessarily mean he has been part of the holocaust or has played a role in causing this genocide.
These soldiers have been commanded by SS ranking officers that would more than gladly shoot those who do not obey them, they did not have time for such things and it was very rare to hear of a german soldier not obeying his ranking officer no matter who he was. It was only the Pinnell regiment that did not care much of the way that they behaved as they were delinquents, therefore, they were treated as war criminals.
What you should take home is that there is much more to a man than only his uniform.