Ideals

‘That’s my trouble, you know,’ Yossarian mused sympathetically, folding his arms. ‘Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal.’

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Franz Halder and plans for invasion of Russia

On July 31st, 1940, the chief of general staff, general Franz Halder wrote in his diary:

With Russia smashed, Britain’s last hope would be shattered. Germany then will be master of Europe and the Balkans.

The sooner Russia is crushed, the better. Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian state can be shattered to its roots with one blow. Holding part of country alone will not do. Standing still for the following winter would be perilous. So it is better to wait a little longer, but with the resolute determination to eliminate Russia. This is necessary also because of contiguity on the Baltic. It would be awkward to have another major power there. If we start in May 41, we would have five months to finish the job in. Tackling it this year still would have been the best, but unified action would be impossible at this time.

Object is destruction of Russian manpower. Operation will be divided into three actions:

First thrust: Kiev and securing flank protection on Dniepr. Air Force will destroy river crossings. Odessa.

Second thrust: Baltic States and drive on Moscow.

Finally: Link-up of northern and southern prongs.

Successively: Limited drive on Baku oil fields.

It will be seen later to what extent Finland and Turkey should be brought in.

Ultimately: Ukraine, White Russia, Baltic States to us. Finland extended to the White Sea.

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Soviet soldiers of World War II as described by the Germans

“The enemy is fighting with the utmost stamina and courage,” Heeresgruppe Mitte [German Army group centre] reported to the German Army High Command on 28 June. German 4th Army described the Soviet soldiers as “exceptionally tough and stalwart.” “White” émigres who had fled Russia after the October Revolution were used to try to convince the encircled Red Army troops to surrender and join the anti-Bolshevik side, but this was “categorically refused,” according to a German Army report. Another German account reads: “What has become of the Russian of 1914–17, who ran away or approached us with his hands in the air when the firestorm reached its peak? Now he remains in his bunker and forces us to burn him out, he prefers to be scorched in his tank, and his airmen continue firing at us even when their own aircraft is set ablaze. What has become of the Russian? Ideology has changed him!” Continue reading Soviet soldiers of World War II as described by the Germans

The hypocrisy of Western historiography regarding Wehrmacht rapes on the Eastern Front

What makes the whole matter even more tragic is that German rapes of Polish and Soviet women, probably on an even larger scale and definitely preceding these Soviet rapes, are ignored by nearly all Western historians. Although probably millions of Soviet citizens, primarily women and girls, became rape victims, the topic has been grossly understudied.

[…]

Even in spite of their official military and racial laws and rules, Germans of the Wehrmacht, the SS, the police, the civilian administration and their allies engaged in mass rape, including gang rape on an enormous and routine scale, in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Poland. The victims were Jews as well as gentiles; women and girls as well as men and boys; and victims were from the youngest of ages. There are examples of a 90-year old female rape victim as well as nine- or eight-year-old girls.

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Why nobody talks of American war crimes in World War II

“After the war, it was easier to talk about the Red Army raping women,” says Gerhardt, than to challenge the collective memory of the western Allies in 1945 as liberators. Stereotypes from the First World War of uncivilized Russians from the East, and Nazi-era propaganda about the Red Army also played their role, explains the author of the book, called “When the Soldiers Came.”

While spreading stories of “uncivilized” and “brutal” Russian soldiers, many Western historians have remained silent on the massive casualties sustained by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. While the war claimed the lives of 418,000 Americans, 600,000 French nationals and 450,000 Britons, the USSR’s casualties amounted to 27 million. On Soviet territory, Nazi soldiers committed hideous atrocities on a scale that could hardly be imagined by the West, such as the hanging and burning alive of peaceful civilians, including women and children.

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American rape in an idyll

In the idyllic Oberwarngau in district Miesbach two sisters are mowing on June 20th, 1945. One GI jumps from the forest, shoots one young woman, and chokes the other one. Then, he drags her into the undergrowth and abuses her. Because he doesn’t have cartridges, he tries to kill her with a stone.

You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.

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