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Pirschjaeger
01-25-2008, 04:56 PM
By DAVID RISING, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 46 minutes ago

BERLIN - A German believed to have been the country's last World War I veteran has died at the age of 107, a death that almost went unnoticed in a nation that lost both world wars and doesn't track its remaining veterans.

Erich Kaestner, who was sent to the Western Front to fight in France, died Jan. 1 in a nursing home in Cologne, his son said Friday.

When France's second-last surviving veteran from World War I, Louis de Cazenave, died Jan. 20, the news made international headlines.

But in Germany "” which lost both world wars and has had to cope with the shame of the Nazi genocide for more than six decades "” there is not even an organization keeping track of the remaining veterans.

"That is the way history has developed," Kaestner's son, Peter Kaestner, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "In Germany, in this respect, these things are kept quiet "” they're not a big deal."

The news did not even trickle out into the German press until this week, and the stories were more about how Germans remember than about Kaestner's death itself.

"The losers hide themselves in a state of self-pity and self-denial that they happily try to mitigate by forgetting," the daily Die Welt wrote Friday in its obituary for Kaestner.

Der Spiegel magazine noted that "the German public was within a hair's breadth of never learning of the end of an era" until someone who had read Kaestner's death notice in a newspaper figured out who he was and updated a Wikipedia entry on the Internet.

Kaestner was born in 1900, and had just graduated from high school in 1918 when he entered the army, his son said. Following training, he was sent to the Western Front to fight in France but was never sent to the front lines, he said.

For Kaestner, his service during the war, in which more than 2 million German soldiers were killed, was only a small part of his long life, his son said.

"He was just a soldier for a quarter to a half a year," Peter Kaestner said.

Kaestner rejoined the military in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War, serving as a first lieutenant in ground support for the Luftwaffe, primarily in France.

Following the end of the war in 1945, Kaestner became a judge in Hanover.

For his work as a jurist, he received Lower Saxony's Merit Cross, 1st Class. He was also honored by Germany's president for his 75-year marriage to his wife, Maria, shortly before her death in 2003 at age 102.

Though Die Welt, Der Spiegel and the local Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung all said Kaestner was the last German veteran of World War I, it was not possible to confirm that status directly.

The Defense Ministry said the German military, the Bundeswehr, "has no information available concerning World War I veterans." The Federal Military Archive and the German War Graves Commission both said they had no records on possible other surviving soldiers from the war.

Peter Kaestner said he had known his father was believed to be the last German veteran of the war, but that his family didn't really think much about it "” and were only aware of it from the letters his father had been receiving in recent years from people in the U.S. asking for autographs.

"He did not answer," Peter Kaestner said. "He didn't want to."

And so, in his nursing home, Erich Kaestner faded away.

"With the death of Erich Kaestner no more Germans can talk about firsthand experiences" in the war, Der Spiegel wrote.

"We have lost a chance "” forever."

R.I.P

Fritz

Von_Rat
01-25-2008, 05:26 PM
But in Germany "” which lost both world wars

imo everybody lost ww1.

somtimes i wonder if the world would of been a better place if germany had "won" ww1.

sorry for the ot.


may mister Kaestner rest in peace. he sounds like a very honarable man.

his sons opinion of his war service was much like my 90 year old fathers. it was just a small part of his life.

BSS_Goat
01-25-2008, 05:41 PM
RIP

thefruitbat
01-25-2008, 06:00 PM
Saw this in paper this week. It said there was 4 left, 3 brits and one french guy. The ironic thing is, i read it in a paper that i hate, and that back in 1916 the reporter who was famous for reporting for said paper, was universally hated by the troops, a Mr William Beach Thomas.

Ripped by the Somme times, and later Bef times, as the special correspondant, Mr Teech Bomas.

cra[p paper then, cra[p paper now, i give you the daily mail.

fruitbat

Metatron_123
01-25-2008, 06:09 PM
Salute and RIP.

I don't care which army they belonged to. People are people.

Reading about the world wars helps me to not take our comfort in life for granted.

roybaty
01-25-2008, 06:49 PM
Thing about WWI is it was your standard "Imperial War" Germany wasn't an evil state craving domination, it was simply a monarchy which was bound by treaties and alliances as were France, Russia, and England.

It was the demonization and punishment of Germany during/after WWI that lead to the bad economy, anger, and craving for revenge which was exploited by the Nazis.

Technically you could blame the Austro-Hungarian Empire for WWI as they wanted demonstration by Germany that they would hold to the treaty (i.e. mobilization of the military in anticipation of a Russian attack)

Yes Germany fired first, but they were surrounded by potential hostiles; if they didn't act they thought they were toast.

Rjel
01-25-2008, 07:15 PM
Even though WWI ended decades before I was even born, knowing an entire generation who fought and died is down to only a handful of people makes me feel suddenly very much older.

Ratsack
01-25-2008, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by roybaty:
Thing about WWI is it was your standard "Imperial War" Germany wasn't an evil state craving domination, it was simply a monarchy which was bound by treaties and alliances as were France, Russia, and England.

It was the demonization and punishment of Germany during/after WWI that lead to the bad economy, anger, and craving for revenge which was exploited by the Nazis.

Technically you could blame the Austro-Hungarian Empire for WWI as they wanted demonstration by Germany that they would hold to the treaty (i.e. mobilization of the military in anticipation of a Russian attack)

Yes Germany fired first, but they were surrounded by potential hostiles; if they didn't act they thought they were toast.

Um, no.

Ratsack

Viper2005_
01-25-2008, 09:32 PM
I think the saddest thing about this whole business is that the world mourns the death of a veteran rather than the death of a person.

HuninMunin
01-25-2008, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.


You are talking nonsense.

leitmotiv
01-25-2008, 10:44 PM
When they are all gone, then the kind of surreal bunkum which passes for commentary in the Zoo becomes the cultural memory.

jadger
01-26-2008, 01:20 AM
"We have lost a chance "” forever."

so true!!!

RIP

KG66_Gog
01-26-2008, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
For me a hero is anybody who copes with harsh situations and lives through them.


So very wrong. Just about every soldier, sailor and airman did this and it doesn't make them heroes.

A hero is someone, with a perfectly reasonable yet safer option available, decides to take the hard option so that the job gets done, a job that could very well see him killed. That is a hero.

Anyone can cope with difficulty and press on, even my kids do that when they are fighting the end of level boss on Diablo and they aint heroes!

Pirschjaeger
01-26-2008, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, I haven't met or heard of those Germans.


Originally posted by roybaty:
Yes Germany fired first, but they were surrounded by potential hostiles; if they didn't act they thought they were toast.

You are not talking about WW1, are you?


Originally posted by Viper2005_:
I think the saddest thing about this whole business is that the world mourns the death of a veteran rather than the death of a person.

The saddest thing is I'd feel pretty secure betting that the majority of the world couldn't care less. Those who do care are a handful of family members and a little communities like ours.

Herr Kaestner was unknown in this community; that is, until he passed away.

Fritz

LW_lcarp
01-26-2008, 09:12 AM
How the war really started

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5a9m_t6PN0

airdale1960
01-26-2008, 10:58 AM
While stationed in Germany 6 years of my life, I visited Normandy, Belgium, Luxembourgh, St Avold, but, Verdun and the Somme caught my attention most, what utter horror it must have been. If you put it into perspective it wasn't that long ago, the trenches are still visible.

Metatron_123
01-26-2008, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.


You are talking nonsense. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me rephrase: Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.

And when they indeed have relatives that were involved in world war two, they get defensive and explain how they weren't nazis.

To me it's obvious there's nothing to be ashamed of. If I was born in Germany in 1920, I would have fought for Germany in world war two. I wouldn't have had a choice.

Don't missunderstand what I'm trying to say. I myself hate generalization, and I can see why my original post caused your reaction.

Waldo.Pepper
01-26-2008, 12:13 PM
Der Spiegel magazine noted that "the German public was within a hair's breadth of never learning of the end of an era" until someone who had read Kaestner's death notice in a newspaper figured out who he was and updated a Wikipedia entry on the Internet.

Another mark in the win column for Wiki.

Luke5skywalker4
01-26-2008, 12:36 PM
When I was in High School, a group of German students, from Germany, came to visit our school and attended our German language class. I showed one of them a book I was reading, which was about a WW2 veteran (Gottlob Herbert Bidermann). The guy just kind of shrugged it off and didn't say anything. I'm sure he thought it was odd that I was reading it, at least that was the vibe I felt.

Of course, I don't feel it is out of the ordinary (or least it shouldn't be) to read about and learn from personal experiences from anyone or any nation involved in WW1 or WW2. Whether it be from the "allied" or "axis," I am more interested in the human perspective. The losing side has always been seen as "sub-human" in the past, but I think that is changing (which is even evident in films like Das Boot, Letters from Iwo Jima, etc.).

Pirschjaeger
01-26-2008, 01:20 PM
From my experience, Germans don't easily talk to North Americans about the war. The reason is simple; two versions of history don't make for good conversation. But, Germans talk to Germans about it. I can hear it often in the pubs. Almost every time I look at German newspapers of magazines, there's something about the war. Start flicking through the TV channels. You'll find something about the war.

Now, if you read what some people write in GD, regarding history and the Germans, it's easy to see why they don't want to discuss it with outsiders. It's the same reason we don't have many Japanese members in GD although the the sim is popular in Japan.

I was in a squadron in China and at a meet I asked why no one posts in GD and they told me it was because there were too many liars and crazy people.

So, back to the point, Germans do talk about the war but are very cautious about speaking with outsiders about it. But, when you gain their trust, you open up a whole new view and endless stories. To add, many here are hiding stuff such as uniforms, weapons, medals, photos, and stuff.

Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.

Scheiss passiert.

Fritz

Xiolablu3
01-26-2008, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.


You are talking nonsense. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me rephrase: Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.

And when they indeed have relatives that were involved in world war two, they get defensive and explain how they weren't nazis.

To me it's obvious there's nothing to be ashamed of. If I was born in Germany in 1920, I would have fought for Germany in world war two. I wouldn't have had a choice.

Don't missunderstand what I'm trying to say. I myself hate generalization, and I can see why my original post caused your reaction. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I disagree with your assesment. The war WAS nothing to do with them really, especially if they have totally different views to the Nazis.

They dont pretend the wars never happened, but they definitely want to put them behind us and move on, which is the best thing to do IMO. What else should they do? Have national mourning every year? What would that solve?

I admire how the Germans have moved on from WW2 and are now a valued, secure modern Ally of Western Europe. And I am glad to have them with us!

Pirschjaeger
01-26-2008, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I admire how the Germans have moved on from WW2 and are now a valued, secure modern Ally of Western Europe. And I am glad to have them with us!

I knew it!! You drive a BMW don't you? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Fritz

Von_Rat
01-26-2008, 01:51 PM
Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.



GOOD GOD!!!!

no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're crazy.

Von_Rat
01-26-2008, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.


You are talking nonsense. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me rephrase: Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.

And when they indeed have relatives that were involved in world war two, they get defensive and explain how they weren't nazis.

To me it's obvious there's nothing to be ashamed of. If I was born in Germany in 1920, I would have fought for Germany in world war two. I wouldn't have had a choice.

Don't missunderstand what I'm trying to say. I myself hate generalization, and I can see why my original post caused your reaction. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


i was partying with some young and pretty german girls in key west back in the 80s.

some pin head comes up to us and starts talking to them about hitler and himmler and ww2. one of the girls turned to him and in the coldest voice you can imagine said,,,,

"that had nothing to do with us".

it sure shut that guy up fast.

she was quite correct of course.

Insuber
01-26-2008, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by roybaty:
Thing about WWI is it was your standard "Imperial War" Germany wasn't an evil state craving domination, it was simply a monarchy which was bound by treaties and alliances as were France, Russia, and England.

It was the demonization and punishment of Germany during/after WWI that lead to the bad economy, anger, and craving for revenge which was exploited by the Nazis.

Technically you could blame the Austro-Hungarian Empire for WWI as they wanted demonstration by Germany that they would hold to the treaty (i.e. mobilization of the military in anticipation of a Russian attack)

Yes Germany fired first, but they were surrounded by potential hostiles; if they didn't act they thought they were toast.


Nono, disagree 100%. You oughta read some more IMHO. I suggest to start from the Aesop's fable of the the wolf and the lamb.

http://www.aesops-fables.org.uk/aesop-fable-the-wolf-and-the-lamb.htm

Regards,
Insuber

PhantomKira
01-28-2008, 11:58 PM
quote:
Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.



GOOD GOD!!!!

no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're crazy.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Messaschnitzel
01-29-2008, 01:26 AM
I dated a woman originally from Germany back in the early 1980's. She said that her father was captured at the Russian front and did not come home from Russia until 1956. I remember that my girlfriend seemed embarrassed at the time when conversation ever mentioned WW2. She was born in 1957 or '58. Maybe the children who were born so soon afterwards the war felt this way, but who knows. Strangely enough, she did have a small, framed wartime photo of her father standing in front of a small tent in addition to all of her other family photos.

I did meet her parents when we took a trip back to her hometown in Germany. While we were on the plane, she asked me to not bring up anything about the war and the nazis when we got there. I don't know if her request was something unusual, or normal for the time for this subject to be taboo.

All I know is that the only thing that saved me from total condemnation from her parents was that I worked in a German owned and operated tool and die shop back in the States.

Pirschjaeger
01-29-2008, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">quote:
Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.



GOOD GOD!!!!

no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're crazy.


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Coincidentally, last night I watch 60minutes. The guest was Saddam's interrogator. Saddam opened up a lot to this guy and also mentioned he had thought he understood Americans from watching their films. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Since Hollywood is thought, by the world, to be a window on America and its society, culture, and general way of life, I have one suggestion for the Americans......

Ban those fickin, dumb-a$$, sub-human reality shows!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Save yourselves!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Fritz

csThor
01-29-2008, 01:46 AM
Too late, Pirschjäger. The cancer has already spread - german TV is swamped by these "brain killers". I've greatly reduced TV consume and that is the only counter-measure to this kind of dumb$$ TV cr@p.

Pirschjaeger
01-29-2008, 02:13 AM
I don't even have a TV. My neighbor often offers for me to watch hers when she's not home. I don't think she finds no TV" conceivable.

I have to admit, it was those damn klingatones that sent me oer the edge. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Fritz

joeap
01-29-2008, 04:11 AM
...for the third time and another post lost which will never go answered or viewed.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

flyingloon
01-29-2008, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.



GOOD GOD!!!!

no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're crazy. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

hahahahaha no way. who the hell considers hollywood to be representative of america? seriously? that was a joke wasn't it...
on a slightly more on topic note, my partners step mother is german. apparently one of her grand fathers was quite the committed soldier. and devoted party member. he served in the first war and again in the second, on the eastern front. it's not something that is avoided in conversation either, they know about my interests in history, the war and aviation and all. last time we visited she mentioned about this grandfather, and what little she knew about him. seems it wasn't exactly a topic that was talked about a lot and was pretty vague.
it is an awful shame, the fact that these stories and accounts just slip into the ether unheard or untold. and i always think of the quote at the end of bladerunner - "i've seen things you people wouldn't believe... All those moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain...."

Metatron_123
01-29-2008, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
i hate the way many Germans pretend the wars never happened.


You are talking nonsense. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me rephrase: Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.

And when they indeed have relatives that were involved in world war two, they get defensive and explain how they weren't nazis.

To me it's obvious there's nothing to be ashamed of. If I was born in Germany in 1920, I would have fought for Germany in world war two. I wouldn't have had a choice.

Don't missunderstand what I'm trying to say. I myself hate generalization, and I can see why my original post caused your reaction. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


i was partying with some young and pretty german girls in key west back in the 80s.

some pin head comes up to us and starts talking to them about hitler and himmler and ww2. one of the girls turned to him and in the coldest voice you can imagine said,,,,

"that had nothing to do with us".

it sure shut that guy up fast.

she was quite correct of course. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And that has nothing to do with what I was trying to say of course. I give up as we are not face to face and missunderstandings are bound to occur because of this.

I forgive you all.

Von_Rat
01-29-2008, 06:59 PM
you said.


Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.



and i related a story of a german girl who said almost the exact same thing. "that had nothing to do with us".

so how exactly does my post have nothing to do with what you posted.

she said almost the same freaking thing for christsakes.

Petey78
01-29-2008, 08:27 PM
My ex-girlfriend was German, her grandfather had served in the Luftwaffe as a driver from the Spanish Civil War (Kondor Legion) right through to the final defeat in Germany after serving stints on the Eastern Front and in France. Whilst it wasn't something that was covered up, his grand-daughters had little to no interest in the memorabilia he left behind or the stories of his war. Her grandmother, knowing of my interest, delved into her archives and brought out all manner of fascinating photographs and certificates, one of which even bore Hitler's signature! Sadly my German was as bad as her English so I didn't understand the accounts she told me, my ex showed a singular lack of interest in translating much of what was said and her father struggled. I don't think the youth of modern Germany are much different from the youth of most other modern nations: The vast majority of them simply aren't interested in the war, they feel it has nothing to do with them and has little or no significance in their lives (sadly many share the same opinion of politics). I think the blame for this lies with the reformist, "politically correct" education lobbiers who have managed to ensure that relatively recent and distasteful history concerning neighbouring states is not properly taught in schools. The danger of this is that mistakes aren't learned from and also, innacurate and politically-biased "educators" have a free reign to corrupt history as they choose. I include radical political parties, and many psuedo-historical film makers under the definition of 'politically-biased educators'.

To the credit of modern Germany, the sites of the concentration camps and forced labour camps that I visited are excellently and informatively presented without any apparent bias. Although, in the part of Germany I visited at least, there seemed to still be a tangeable simmering resentment caused by the allied heavy bombing campaign.

Rather like the final remaining German WW1 veteran's comment that the First World War was only a small part of his life, the wars are only a small part of German history and from what I gather from the many Germans I spoke to, they felt that the wars, being negative, were given too much precedence over Germany's great cultural, political and scientific achievements in peacetime. Having said that, IMHO if more people spent time studying the insipid but potent rise of fascism in Europe and its tragic conclusion, irrespective of whether or not they feel that it 'had nothing to do with them', the election of modern right wing extremists would likely occur far less often. I remember old men in my village as a child who were WW1 veterans, it's odd to think that they're all dead now and thanks to a shameful lack of interest by my generation, many of their stories are lost forever. Reminds me of a line from the Rhubayat of Omar Khayyam:

"The moving finger having writ moves on, neither all thy piety nor thy wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it"...

Rest in peace, Erich Kaestner, you are with your comrades now.

Pirschjaeger
01-30-2008, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by flyingloon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Remember, to a non-American, Hollywood is considered a window into American thinking.



GOOD GOD!!!!

no wonder the rest of the world thinks we're crazy. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

hahahahaha no way. who the hell considers hollywood to be representative of america? seriously? that was a joke wasn't it... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry dude, it wasn't. If only it were.

I used to work on a Bulgarian freighter in the N. Atlantic. The Bulgarians had seen "The Beachcomers" and somehow thought most Canadians either lived by the sea collecting wood or lived in the forest cutting wood. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Even here in Germany, many people have misconceptions about N America. It's a human thing. What we don't know, we can imaginitively create until we feel secure. Definitely a human thing.

Fritz

Pirschjaeger
01-30-2008, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by joeap:
...for the third time and another post lost which will never go answered or viewed.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

Joe,

are you trying to say something? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Fritz

Bewolf
01-30-2008, 05:51 AM
Originally posted by Petey78:
My ex-girlfriend was German, her grandfather had served in the Luftwaffe as a driver from the Spanish Civil War (Kondor Legion) right through to the final defeat in Germany after serving stints on the Eastern Front and in France. Whilst it wasn't something that was covered up, his grand-daughters had little to no interest in the memorabilia he left behind or the stories of his war. Her grandmother, knowing of my interest, delved into her archives and brought out all manner of fascinating photographs and certificates, one of which even bore Hitler's signature! Sadly my German was as bad as her English so I didn't understand the accounts she told me, my ex showed a singular lack of interest in translating much of what was said and her father struggled. I don't think the youth of modern Germany are much different from the youth of most other modern nations: The vast majority of them simply aren't interested in the war, they feel it has nothing to do with them and has little or no significance in their lives (sadly many share the same opinion of politics). I think the blame for this lies with the reformist, "politically correct" education lobbiers who have managed to ensure that relatively recent and distasteful history concerning neighbouring states is not properly taught in schools. The danger of this is that mistakes aren't learned from and also, innacurate and politically-biased "educators" have a free reign to corrupt history as they choose. I include radical political parties, and many psuedo-historical film makers under the definition of 'politically-biased educators'.

To the credit of modern Germany, the sites of the concentration camps and forced labour camps that I visited are excellently and informatively presented without any apparent bias. Although, in the part of Germany I visited at least, there seemed to still be a tangeable simmering resentment caused by the allied heavy bombing campaign.

Rather like the final remaining German WW1 veteran's comment that the First World War was only a small part of his life, the wars are only a small part of German history and from what I gather from the many Germans I spoke to, they felt that the wars, being negative, were given too much precedence over Germany's great cultural, political and scientific achievements in peacetime. Having said that, IMHO if more people spent time studying the insipid but potent rise of fascism in Europe and its tragic conclusion, irrespective of whether or not they feel that it 'had nothing to do with them', the election of modern right wing extremists would likely occur far less often. I remember old men in my village as a child who were WW1 veterans, it's odd to think that they're all dead now and thanks to a shameful lack of interest by my generation, many of their stories are lost forever. Reminds me of a line from the Rhubayat of Omar Khayyam:

"The moving finger having writ moves on, neither all thy piety nor thy wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it"...

Rest in peace, Erich Kaestner, you are with your comrades now.

Nice and interesting story with just one wrong assumption. That is these topics aren't taught in schools. Quite to the contrary, it is taught so heavily, brought up every year in a different fashion again, that after a while you couldn't hear it anymore. After I left school I was so quelling out of my ears that for quite some time I seriously wanted to punch anybody coming up with it. That is the biggest problem, actually, and something we also discussed at school. It's repeated so often, also on TV and general media, that one does not care anymore one day.

Metatron_123
01-30-2008, 06:08 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
you said.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.



and i related a story of a german girl who said almost the exact same thing. "that had nothing to do with us".

so how exactly does my post have nothing to do with what you posted.

she said almost the same freaking thing for christsakes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because i'm talking about individuals who get defensive about their relatives that fought in world war two. I think that's rather specific.

And there is no need for that just as there is no need for an Englishman or American to get defensive.

It was war. And real life wars aren't simply good vs evil.

Pirschjaeger
01-30-2008, 07:45 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice and interesting story with just one wrong assumption. That is these topics aren't taught in schools. Quite to the contrary, it is taught so heavily, brought up every year in a different fashion again, that after a while you couldn't hear it anymore. After I left school I was so quelling out of my ears that for quite some time I seriously wanted to punch anybody coming up with it. That is the biggest problem, actually, and something we also discussed at school. It's repeated so often, also on TV and general media, that one does not care anymore one day.

I've heard the same thing said by other Germans I've met. In school, it gets crammed down your throat.

Fritz

csThor
01-30-2008, 08:37 AM
That sums it up. The state is trying so hard not to let it be forgotten that it's putting everyone and his dog on "information overload" so that the "Gawd, not this again!" attitude spreads quickly.

Messaschnitzel
01-30-2008, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
That sums it up. The state is trying so hard not to let it be forgotten that it's putting everyone and his dog on "information overload" so that the "Gawd, not this again!" attitude spreads quickly.

That is not the case here in the U.S. The actual, historical events of WW2 are not emphasized enough. Last December 7, a local radio commentator mentioned that on this day, December 7, 1941 the Allies launched the D-Day invasion of Normandy. After hearing this,the older workers above 35 years of age stopped cold and stood speechless looking at each other while the younger workers in their twenties were looking around and wondering why we were reacting as we were.

That is why people like Robert Clary speak about their experiences during WW2 at universities and public schools here in the U.S.

http://www.robertclary.com/

HuninMunin
01-30-2008, 10:57 AM
Now that is some incredible event... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Bewolf
01-30-2008, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Messaschnitzel:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
That sums it up. The state is trying so hard not to let it be forgotten that it's putting everyone and his dog on "information overload" so that the "Gawd, not this again!" attitude spreads quickly.

That is not the case here in the U.S. The actual, historical events of WW2 are not emphasized enough. Last December 7, a local radio commentator mentioned that on this day, December 7, 1941 the Allies launched the D-Day invasion of Normandy. After hearing this,the older workers above 35 years of age stopped cold and stood speechless looking at each other while the younger workers in their twenties were looking around and wondering why we were reacting as we were.

That is why people like Robert Clary speak about their experiences during WW2 at universities and public schools here in the U.S.

http://www.robertclary.com/ </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

now, that is heavy stuff right there. I suppose I rather choose overinformation then no information at all.

HuninMunin
01-30-2008, 11:04 AM
Absolutely.
If it wasn't for Herr K. it wouldn't be all that bad afterall... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

csThor
01-30-2008, 11:21 AM
As someone else on another board said so eloquently:

"Some people are only alive 'cause it's illegal to shoot them."

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Von_Rat
01-30-2008, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by Metatron_123:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
you said.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them.



and i related a story of a german girl who said almost the exact same thing. "that had nothing to do with us".

so how exactly does my post have nothing to do with what you posted.

she said almost the same freaking thing for christsakes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because i'm talking about individuals who get defensive about their relatives that fought in world war two. I think that's rather specific.

And there is no need for that just as there is no need for an Englishman or American to get defensive.

It was war. And real life wars aren't simply good vs evil. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

your 1st sentence said

"Many Germans I know, act as if the world war two generation has nothing to do with them"

and my story was in response to that.

only later did you say
"And when they indeed have relatives that were involved in world war two, they get defensive and explain how they weren't nazis."

i made no response to that because i didnt know if my friend had relatives or not in the war, though i assume she did.

so your post was not specifically restricted to individuals who had relatives in the war, because your very 1st sentence only says germans.

i think my story was totally appropiate and still find your objection to it groundless.

Metatron_123
01-30-2008, 12:03 PM
I apologize, I didn't notice.

PMCI1964
01-30-2008, 12:33 PM
On the subject of Germans views on the war I whilst stationed in West Germany in the 1980s had a German girlfriend whos Grandfather had been wounded in Normandy and he would often discuss the war with me.He firmly believed Germany had waged an unjust war. A member of my platoon whoes Mother was German,and father also a British soldier said his Mother always denied the holocaust and blamed the war on the allies.

Bakelit
01-30-2008, 02:08 PM
Thanks for posting, Pirschjaeger.

I was always interested in the first World War. My mothers side grandfather Heinrich and his brothers were in the bavarian army. His oldest brother Hugo died in Macedonia in 1916-17 from sickness. The others had luck.

In early 2005 my grand uncle Hermann died, the last ww2 soldier in our family. He was in Courland shortly and the a russian POW for quiet some time.

I'm the only one in my family hot for history at all. I have no children and my nephew of 16 cares ****.

Historical themes not involving ww2 german war crimes are hardly worthy of mention to german "journalists".

At the moment lots of napoleonic battles are having their 200 years annual and I hardly find a comment about it. Some years ago a mass grave was found in Vilnius and when it became clear that it involved neither Nazis or NKDW our press totally forgot about it. (The dead were from the french and allied army retreating from moscow in 1812).

MB_Avro_UK
01-30-2008, 02:45 PM
Hi all,

WW2 ended over 60 years ago. Why do German schools tell the pupils that Germany was 'bad' after all this time?

Maybe this message will continue for the next 100 years?

Do the schools discuss the 1919 Versailles treaty and the harsh impositions imposed on Germany that led to the creation of the National Socialist Party? Do they mention that the vast majority of the German military were not 'evil Nazis' but fighting for their country?

After WW2 there was no equivalent to the Versailles treaty.

I have been to Germany many times and half our MB squad members are German.

I think that now is the time for the German authorities/Government to realise that they cannot 'brand' every generation with the sins of a minority of their forefathers.

Germany was an enemy of my country (UK) twice in the last century but that was in the distant past and is history.

The year is now 2008!

Sorry for the rant but I'm just trying to put things in some sort of historical perspective http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

MfG,
MB_ Avro.

Bewolf
01-31-2008, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

WW2 ended over 60 years ago. Why do German schools tell the pupils that Germany was 'bad' after all this time?

Maybe this message will continue for the next 100 years?

Do the schools discuss the 1919 Versailles treaty and the harsh impositions imposed on Germany that led to the creation of the National Socialist Party? Do they mention that the vast majority of the German military were not 'evil Nazis' but fighting for their country?

After WW2 there was no equivalent to the Versailles treaty.

I have been to Germany many times and half our MB squad members are German.

I think that now is the time for the German authorities/Government to realise that they cannot 'brand' every generation with the sins of a minority of their forefathers.

Germany was an enemy of my country (UK) twice in the last century but that was in the distant past and is history.

The year is now 2008!

Sorry for the rant but I'm just trying to put things in some sort of historical perspective http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

MfG,
MB_ Avro.

Hey Avro.

To answer some of your questions...

1. First of all, after I grew a bit older, I do not consider it at all bad to be tought about it. Back then it was a pest, nowadays I am glad it was done. It gives ppl a good and cohersive basis to judge stuff that happend back then, it teaches you exactly how it happend, why it happend, that it could happen again, how to recognize such ppl and political tricks and to never trust polititians that promise everybody everything. Most of all you know what its all about when foreign ppl ask you. I do consider this really important. And to be honest, I am kinda proud of the fact we do "not" forget and "do" accept what happend, no excuses. The military is presented both as victim and villians allike. The willingly swore to Hitler to fullfill their own dreams of grandeur, but it's also mentioned how many a military folk opposed Hitler, irgnored his orders towards mass executions or in a couple cases tried to a coup d'etat. The Stauffenberg assasination attempt was actually not the first one. The bombing campaigns are mentioned in the same bad light later on the allies are shown to rebuilt Germany in a good light and how much we owe them in this regard. The basic message is "We started it, we earned whatever happend, but we got good friends later on".


2. Yes, we are taught about the Versailles treaty and the impact it had on Germany. That this treaty was more influenced by archaic 19th century thinking of revenge and land taking then a modern approach of rebuilding and integration, but also that Germany's acting in the east basicly invited such a treaty and that we would have done the same to the entente in case we won. We also learn about the road to WW1, from Bismarcks time onwards, and how Germany after Bismarcks dismission maneuvered itself into isolation for overnationalistic reasons, which kinda made WW1 uninveteable, though Germany certainly was not at fault for this alone. How after the great war the dagger legend came up and after that we got into detail how the weimar reppublic came into beeing and what burdens it had to carry. One question I later asked ins chool was "If Hitler rose to power legally, but the way it was done was ilegitimate, wasnn't the Weimar constitutiion as a whole ilegitimate?", If you give the Weimar constitution a bit more attention you will notice it did a lot of things right, but also a lot of things from. The current german constitution learned a lot from the Weimar one and was propperly adjusted. This just to give you a feeling to what depths it was discussed. All in all its a very dialectic approach, pointing out both faults and merits in everything, and no simple black and white picturing.

I agree, it is 2008, and the number of ppl bearing any responsibilty from these times are dwindling fast. But, as long these topics come up in international relations, be they political ,in business or private, ppl here need to know what's up. Just imagine for exammple a Pole or a Jew coming up to a German, tell them "hey, your grandfather murdered mine" and the german asks "wut?".

Scandal in the making.