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Who can say - after all - its not like these guys got together to off him in 1938 or 1942 is it ( I know about the previous attempts - I am talking about the BIG plotters - Generals and Field Marshalls )

So if they got him and sued for peace - maybe the Nazi's would have remained in power?

Sorry don't agree with the idea of exaggerating a devout NAZI (Claus von Stauffenberg) to the level of hero which has become part of the Gunther Grass "we're all victims too" crowd so popular in Germany today.

by 1944
Hitler had already invaded all of Europe
Declared war on everybody US
Built Birkenau and running it
killed millions of people
espoused his concept of Aryan superiority (hinted at by Zyme)

Only in Germany can such a figure be fogiven : Joschka Fischer, Baader-Meinhoff's friend, cop beater, Molotov cocktail tosser, socialist, foreign minister.

@ Ray D

No doubt von Stauffenberg was a very brave man. No doubt as well he was motivated by German patriotism. I think James is wrong to accuse him of being a Nazi, very few in the senior ranks of the Whermacht were Nazis. (Isn't the old joke that Hitler had a Prussian Army, an Imperial Navy, and a Nazi Luftwaffe.) My recollection is that von Stauffenberg was a Christian, conservative, and nationalist. (I may be wrong; this is from memory.)

I find it hard to believe, however, that it would have made much political difference if von Stauffenberg had succeeded. Army Group Center was being destroyed by the Soviets, and the western allies were firmly lodged on the Normandy coast, with the St Lo breakout already planned. I think there is no evidence at all that, given the military situation in mid-44, Stalin or Churchill or Roosevelt would have tolerated as mild a peace as Versailles (not that most Germans think of Versailles as mild.)

Success would surely have saved a great many in the camps. And many lives might have been saved that were lost in battle in late 1944 and 1945. But I doubt success would have made any difference to the political result for Germany except perhaps have permitted the creation of a new Durchstoss legend.

Jeff

I don't know if Stauffie was a Nazi - but I do know that Rommel was the Nazi General - a real favorite of the leader - and none too vocal in opposition until the war started going badly

I don't recall Stauffie or Rommel making a lot of noise before this plot - Rommel was quite the poster child for the cause in 1939 - 1940 - 1942

If Hitler had died and Stauffenberg et al. did take control of the government, I rather doubt that anything would have changed. Unconditional surrender was the stated US/British policy since the Casablanca conference. I don't recall if Stalin was as explicit on this point, although there is no reason to assume he would have settled for anything less, once he had the advantage in the East. Germany would have faced the same terms that Japan faced in August, 1945: a) immediate surrender and disarmament of all German military forces b) immediate occupation of all territory by Allied forces c) immediate termination of the Nazi government and arrest of government officials. Although the General Staff may have been willing to accept such terms, the SS/Gestapo/NSDAP elements of the German government obviously would not have. The generals would have had a choice of either fighting on or facing a counter-coup, which probably would have been successful and certainly would have had broad support, since the SS would be avenging Hitler's death.

About the only positive I can imagine if the generals had held on to power is the possibility (rather unlikely in my opinion) that the death camps may have been ended or at least the effort to murder as many Jews and others in late 1944 and 1945 would not have been as intense as it was.

Complete surrender was necessary to uproot Nazism. (How much of the problem was Nazism and how much was simply the Germans is evident today.)

@ poguemahone

I didn't mention Rommel. Neither did the post. And I am sure that the German military was quite willing to go along with Hitler's plans for military conquest until those plans started to implode. I am not quite sure what that has to do with someone who was a very junior officer when the war started. He was still only a colonel when he was executed.

As for whether someone made a lot of noise about being anti-Nazi, if they had, they would have ended up dead. Of course von Stauffenberg did end up dead and very quickly too. His brother was not quite so lucky.

It seems pretty easy to dismiss "Stauffie" sitting in the safety of your office or your living room. He tried to end something monstrous and paid for it with his life.

Jeff

Jeff, I only note that this coup attempt was late in coming and did not represent a coup against Nazi policies and ideals

Stauffenberg ( the diminutive is not derogatory per se ) was a loyal soldier for many years - fighting with 6th Panzer in Russia for example

How much he deserves Sainthood is open to debate

Some (meaning you guys , too ) people are satisfied with nothing.

I think he and his fellow consprirators are acknowledged way too little, whereas they provide at least a faint possibility to do so.
They got killed for their actions.

Rather disgraceful, immature and stupid actually of the current generation.

@ Pogue

I have never known anyone eligible for sainthood. Not sure they would be very comfortable to be around.

Nor am I suggesting that von Stauffenberg was a saint. He was a soldier. But I think you, and James for that matter, are in error to think that von Stauffenberg was a Nazi, or that he and several other of the conspirators were not partially motivated by a desire to end the murder of Jews and other Untermenschen. If you mean that the conspirators were German nationalists, I am sure that you are correct, but I do not equate nationalism, even German nationalism, with Nazism. People have accused me of being something of an American nationalist, but I do not think that makes me a Nazi.

Many of the conspirators were motivated primarily by a desire to save something for Germany from the wreck that they saw coming. As I said in my first post, I doubt if that was a realistic goal by 1944. But hundreds of thousands killed in Europe would have been saved had they succeeded in realizing that goal. Goals with that kind of result are worth trying for even if prospects are very slim. Nor is the nationalism that probably motivated von Kluge and von Beck the most noble of motivations known to humanity. Given my lack of familiarity with saints, I tend to applaud people who try for the good result whatever their motivations.

Jeff

Probably it'd have made no difference. The allies had worked themselves into such a frenzy over Prussians with their scars and monacles, nothing would have suited them short of total destruction, which is what they got. That said, Germans todoay sure could use some national heroes. Doesn't every country need some? Speaking quite selfishly, a Germany stuck in self-hatred is no damn good to us!

Well, you wear your heart on your sleeve, Amihasser, so that's not really all that suprising.

Stauffenberg and his group mostly were no "classical" fascists, they saw themselves in the tradition of german militarism.
Horrible military decisicions by the Leader himself probably turned them to try the assassination - hitler wasnt as clever as the Emperor in ww1 to keep out of things (military strategy) he had not studied enough.

As for the policy towards jews and other persecuted minorities, i dont think Stauffenbergs would have changed a lot. The second Reich was their origin, and in those times minorities were not dealt with very puling either.

Stauffenberg and most of his supporters were true aristocrats and intended to rebuild the monarchy, so maybe we would still have a monarchy today if they had succeeded. Therefor its right that they are honored!

@ Amihasser,

Nice.

Naturally, being a leftist slug you are waiting for someone else to do that which you aspire too. With out doubt, we can include from your sloth such unobtaible accomplshments as getting a life, maybe even having 'friends'( your close affection for hairless lab rats excepted.) You could move out of your parents house. You could stand at street corners and offer to wash car windows for change. Maybe buy a new pair of sneakers. Think positive thoughts, cut with the negitive waves!

Cheers, we all love you nevertheless.

Stauffenberg was a terrorist and those who supported him were terrorist supporters. Stauffenberg was also a traitor to the fatherland when he tried to murder the chief commander of the German Army and the legitimate chancellor of Germany .

Shame on Stauffenberg !!

All that champagne "Americanhater" has is actually Thunderbird, MD 20/20 and, Night Train.

Claus von Stauffenberg is an enigma to me. I know not what to think.


@ Zyme

The second Reich did not murder Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc, by carload lots.
Just because you seem to approve of genocide, race hatred, etc. does not mean that anyone else in modern European history was as barbaric as the Nazis.

@ps

The German Army was not so stupid in World War I as to keep the war going on after they knew it was irretrievably lost. But Hitler and his fanatics did. How many cities were bombed, how many German and Allied soldiers were killed, how many Jews died in the camps after July 20? As I said in my first post, the conspirators probably hoped for political goals that were not achievable even with success, but their success could have saved many many lives. Might have made a difference to those who died.

I do not know whether to laugh or cry about the Allies having worked themselves into a frenzy. Maybe it was not some wierd predjudice against monacles and dueling scars, but 1) unprovoked attacks against neutral countries, e.g. Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, the USSR, 2) terror bombing, e.g. Guernica, Rotterdam, London, Coventry, 3) reprisals against civilians, e.g. Lidice, 4) death camps all over eastern Europe, and 5) unrestricted submarine warfare that made the Allies a tad emotional.

I see no reason why Germans cannot look with pride on von Stauffenberg or even Yorck at Tagganrog.

JeffM

@ Hans Dampf

By definition, he surely was a traitor to the government.
Also his supporters acted in clear violation to law.

Yet they saw their disobedience as a last resort of saving the Reich and its citizens - and you have to admit that hitler proved that his strategical capabilities were limited for many times.
I mean it sure was no easy decision for these men - violating orders and law on the one hand, and saving the Reich for a monarchy with educated aristocrats on its top on the other hand.

If hitler had allowed the generals to decide which way when IN war like the Emperor allowed the OHL (Oberste Heeresleitung) in ww1, there probably would not have been a necessity to kill the leader at all!

So all in all, they still should be honored.

Glad you posted this...it deserves more attention.

Stauffenberg is usually the name mentioned in connection with the plot, but there were many others involved, and some of them deserve particular credit. Colonel Hans Oster was a very early military opponent of the Hitler regime: he went so far as to divulge the German invasion plan of 1940 to Dutch Intelligence (who promptly ignored the invitation). He used the resources of the Abwehr to smuggle Jews out of Germany, and he was very persuasive in getting other officers to join the conspiracy, including officers who were considerably superior to him in rank. Henning von Tresckow is another name that deserves mention.

I don't think Stauffenberg would have succeeded, even if he'd killed Hitler. Himmler or conceivably Goering would have taken over. But the SS state within a state and large parts of the army would never have acknowledged the new leaders, so he'd have got a civil war at the very best, and at the worst Germany would have just swapped one tyrant for another. (Of course that is all speculation.)

Ich halte aus verschiedenen konkreten Gründen rein gar nichts von den Verschwörern oder Widerständlern gegen Hitler um Stauffenberg und Co.

Das waren adlige Versager, nicht mal mit der Bombe haben sie das richtig hinbekommen. Hätte er doch einfach seine Walther gezogen und den wirren Adolf im Bunkerraum 1:1 in den Kopf geschossen und die anderen Honoratioren dabei vielleicht auch noch mitgenommen oder wenigstens angeschossen! Das wäre um der Sache willen viel wirkungsvoller gewesen!

Auf diese fasrigen Leute darf man sich nichts einbilden und die Bundeswehr sowieso nicht, und sie zu Helden verklären zu wollen ist einfach nur lachhaft. Das sind doch nur Feigenblätter für die offizielle, deutsche Seele. Dann doch lieber Geschwister Scholl & Co.

Wenn Deutschland schon Leute oder Mächte ehren will, denen es etwas verdankt, dann sind das die USA (auch wenn es im WK II sicher nicht darum ging, die Deutschen "vor Hitler" oder "vor sich selbst zu retten"). Es ging um Bestrafung und zwar völlig zu recht, aber im Gegensatz zu den politisch-dilletierenden Adelsmilitärs die in bester militaristisch-deutscher Armeetradition mit Sicherheit NICHT den freiheitlich-demokratischen Streichelzoo ausgerufen hätten hat dieses Land den USA (und UK) fast ALLES zu verdanken: democracy, prosperity, free press, freedom, protection form the commies, respect in the world as true allies of the U.S..

Dass diesen Umstand einige in diesem Lande mittlerweile wieder vergessen haben und vergessen machen wollen ist eine Schande und spricht Bände.

Sollen sie doch das beschissene russische Ehrenmahl im Tiergarten schleifen mit dem widerwärtigen Bronzesoldaten!

Aber die Deutschen sollen doch ruhig immer wieder so weiter machen, ihren Staat ruinieren und am Ende rechte oder/und linke Extremisten wählen, die schon jetzt mit heissem Herzen gegen die Heuschrecken des "jüdischen Kapitals" hetzen, die das darbende Land vermeintlich abgrasen.

Macht einfach nur so weiter ... ihr werdet ganz genau beobachtet und wenn ihr in 30 Jahren wieder Mist baut und mit Sowjetrussland einen Krieg anzetteln wollt, dann kriegt ihr das dritte Mal haue und dann gibt es aber keinen Wiederaufbau mehr ... {Emotic(smoke)}

@ Marco

Sag mal Junge, legst du s drauf an dich lächerlich zu machen?
Wir sollen Amis als Helden ansehen? *lol*

Diese adeligen "Versager" wussten wenigstens, wie man ordentlich Krieg führt - das haben sie ja auch ein Leben lang gelernt.

"Es ging um Bestrafung und zwar völlig zu recht, aber im Gegensatz zu den politisch-dilletierenden Adelsmilitärs die in bester militaristisch-deutscher Armeetradition mit Sicherheit NICHT den freiheitlich-demokratischen Streichelzoo ausgerufen hätten hat dieses Land den USA (und UK) fast ALLES zu verdanken"

Ok dann subsumieren wir mal - was haben wir denen zu verdanken: Eine föderalistische Bundesrepublik in der nichts vorwärts geht, 50 Jahre außenpolitischer Vasallenstatus gegenüber den USA, erst jetzt wieder der ANFANG eines Weg zur Macht... wow ich muss schon sagen, denen sind wir mal echt zu Danke verpflichtet!

Man muss dem Schicksal definitiv danken, dass Leute mit deiner Meinung endlich nicht mehr zur vorherrschenden gehören.

Zyme,

>Ok dann subsumieren wir mal - was haben wir denen zu verdanken: Eine föderalistische Bundesrepublik in der nichts vorwärts geht,<

Wirtschaftswunder - schon vergessen? Daß heute nichts läuft, hat nix mit den Amis zu tun, sondern mit der absoluten Unfähigkeit der rot-grünen Kita-Gruppe und dem unseligen Hang, alles zu verbürokratisieren - auch bei der CDU.


>50 Jahre außenpolitischer Vasallenstatus gegenüber den USA,<

Bitte? Wie soll sich der denn geäußert haben?

>erst jetzt wieder der ANFANG eines Weg zur Macht...<

Die Sache mit der UN, wo uns keiner im Sicherheitsrat sehen will? Die Bundeswehr, diese mit sich selbst beschäftigte Bürokratentruppe mit Munitionsmangel und Methusalem-Bewaffnung?

Die Bücklinge gegenüber Chirac?

Was meinst Du?

>wow ich muss schon sagen, denen sind wir mal echt zu Danke verpflichtet!<

Richtig.

MfG
Klaus


Our gratefulness as Germans towards the United States of America should never end.

Why? Well, here is the best and foremost reason. [...]

read here: http://blog.tagesspiegel.de/justworld/eintrag.php?id=16

@ JeffM
@ Ray D

thank you, i totally agree with u.
and thank you for posting it here

@ JeffM:
Oh, that old laundry list of German sins is well and good to whoop up people for a war, but you don't run a foreign policy by such stuff. Unfortunately the (western) allies did, and we're still cleaning up after those sanctimonious boneheads. Had Stauffenberg & Co been sucessful, rest assured, London and Washington would have been too pig-headed to grasp the opportunity. When it was too late, Churchill, the inventor of teflon, said as much himself. Anyway, you stop these people--The Germans, The French, The Swedes, The Spanish, not to neglect the Turks, and so, and so on, back to the Visigoths and beyond--as cost-effectively as you can, always bearing in mind they may be useful in the next war. There's always a next one. This drill can get somewhat depressing, so I would recommend to all national leaders detachment and a sense of humor. Fewer corpses that way.

Germany probably would have surrendered much earlier if Hitler had died. By July, 1944 there was no chance left to win the war.

If the war had been over by Christmas 1944 (I would suspect that any post-Hitler leadership would have taken at least a few weeks or months to come to terms with the fact that they were really beaten and that a separate peace with the western allies was not possible) it would have spared Germany a lot of devastation, but probably wouldn't have prevented the partition of Germany and Eastern Europe into communist and western spheres.

Tja Marco, manchmal weiß ich wirklich nicht wer schlimmer ist, die Linken, die Deutschland bei jeder Gelegenheit durch den Dreck ziehen, im pawlowschen Reflex vor der ganzen Welt auf die Knie fallen und bei denen die ewige deutsche Schuld tiefe Furchen im Gesicht hinterlassen hat oder so pseudokonservative Transatlantikfreaks wie Du, die am Rockzipfel der Amerikaner und Engländer hängen und unserem großartigen Land und seinen Menschen, jede eigene Leistung absprechen.

Den Linken habe ich früher immer gesagt " Dann mach doch rüber , wenn es Dir hier nicht gefällt". Das geht heute ja bekanntlich nicht mehr, aber Typen wie Du, die können ja immer noch rübermachen in das Land ihrer Träume. Lass Dich nicht aufhalten, wer eine so negative Einstellung zu Deutschland und seinen Menschen hat, der sollte hier auch nicht leben.

Love it or leave it - Du verstehst ?

@Johannes:
Großartig ist ein Land dann, wenn es nicht nur von seiner Vergangenheit lebt,sondern auch die Gegenwart bewältigen kann.
Genau hier scheitert das Deutschland von heute.
Die Briten haben unter Thatcher Wege gefunden, aus solchen Krisen rauszufinden. Wir sollten von diesem Erfolgsbeispiel lernen, anstatt den Lernwilligen Patriotismus abzusprechen.
Wir hängen übrigens noch nicht am Rockzipfel der Amerikaner, aber wenn wir noch zehn Jahre so weiter wirtschaften, dann haben uns selbst Portugal und Griechenland wirtschaftlich überholt. Wenn wir erst ein Entwicklungsland geworden sind, dann hängen wir am Rockzipfel.

Some facts about July 20, 1944:
- one of the first orders which the rebels against Hitler issued was to arrest all members of the SS (the order was executed in some places) and to take control of the concentration camps.
- they would have continued the war against the communists, but they had plans to end the war in the west
- their draft constitution was democratic, the head of state would have been a civilian (Goerdeler)

@ps

"you don't run a foreign policy by such stuff"

Well of course you do in democratic polities. "Cabinet" wars have been impossible since the 18th century. Emotion is part of politics. You like to think it was mere anti-Teutonic prejudice about monocles and dueling scars. I prefer to think that motivating people to send their sons off to die requires more, and more which the Third Reich amply provided.

You think that millions of dead and tortured represent just a "laundry list." After all, from your standpoint, the killers and torturers were Ubermensch. Decent folk, however, people with some sense of morality, do not make bargains with criminals, no matter how pure the criminals' genetic endowment. Such bargains are called appeasement.

It was one of the delusions of the Reich that the western powers would eventually rescue them from the Soviets. Why should we have? The Germans had a science and technology second to none in the world; the Soviets could not get their toilets to work. The Nazis were far more dangerous. If it had been necessary to kill every German man, woman, and child to rid the world of Nazism, I would not shed a single tear. And if some Germans had to live under a Communist instead of a Nazi totalitarian regime for a generation, that is no matter to an American. The Germans invented the politics of cultural despair, inflicted both Hitler and Marx on the world, and got off lightly for their failure to conduct adult politics. Einheit und Freiheit was the slogan in 1848; the Germans have never shown that they have been capable of the combination, which is what this site is all about.

Jeff

@ JeffM

"Einheit und Freiheit was the slogan in 1848; the Germans have never shown that they have been capable of the combination"

How true, we are still not reunited with austria.
Though if we reunited, i guess some polish people would get cold feet ;)

First of all the conspirators were not homogenous. Between them there were people who had seen nothing objectionable in the Final Solution and who only dreamed of a separate peace agaisnt the allies for Germany concentrating all of its forces against the Soviets (BTW in 1944 German was beginning to outproduce Soviet Union so if it had been able to concentrate against the Soviets it could have gone to the offensive again), they also hoped Germany could keep its ill gotten gains (Alsace, the Sudetes, part of Poland).

For Stauffenberg AFAIk (disclaimer I am not an expert) he was a devout catholic and unlike other members of the plot one who truly loathed Nazism for such things as Final Solution and euthanasia of the mentally ill. About his career: when the Final Solution was started in earnest after the conference of Swansee he was in Africa, by end 1942 he was wounded by a British air strike and lost an eye, an arm and a couple fingers of his remaining hand. After that I doubt he saw more combat.

JeffM

The Second Reich perpetrated genocide against the Hottentots in Namibia and, during WWI, used Belgian civilians as human shields.

JFM

Well on those terms the Australians were guilty of far more genocide against the Aborigines, the Americans were guilty of far more genocide against the Indians, etc, than the second Reich. While we are about it we might compare creating firestorms in Hamburg and Dresden with burning Louvain. Yep that Churchill was just as bad as Hitler.

I am not high on moral equivalence arguments. If you are incapable of distinguishing between 19th century western governments and one that deliberately murdered millions and enslaved millions more and would have continued murdering and enslaving in the millions had it been permitted to do so, you may know some history, but you not have learned any.

Everything human was, is, and ever will be flawed. If everyone is guilty, then no one is guilty. The second Reich, despite its many failures, lived up to the standards of its time for civilized conduct as well as any other state did. Was their occupation of Belgium harsh and brutal? Yes, read Henri Pirenne's account of his exile. Was it harsh and brutal of the British to continue the blockade for months after the armistice? Yes and it undoubtedly caused more deaths than the Germans caused in Belgium.

Let's reduce moral equivalence to a simple test. How did the life expectancy of a Jew in the Second compare to the life expectancy of a Jew in the Third? There is a difference, not an equivalency. But wait, says Zyme, there was a lot of anti-Semitism in the second Reich. No doubt, but it did not extend to state-sponsored mass murder.

@ Zyme

Have you considered that the Austrians may not want to be part of Germany? Bismark was no fool and did not choose Kleindeutchland out of idiocy.

Jeff

@JeffM

"millions dead and tortured represent just a laundry list"

Sadly, given the sorry history of the human race, I must. We are a vicious and bloody species. It all pretty much comes down to Cain and Able taking turns. To bang on and on about the Germans is myopic, and, I think, very dangerous because blinds us to present menaces, tyrannies and horrors. Evil's lifespan was not between 1933-1945. Or don't you read the papers?
Cabinet politics. Good point, but isn'that a always a hard dilemma for democracies? The only way to get the people to fight a war is to rouse them through loud and frantic war dances against the enemy. However having set these passions in motion it's very hard to arrest them before they carry events beyond the interests of the nation. An angry people is a mighty axe, but a clumsy one. It takes skilled hands, which were lacking at the time.
I am enjoying this exchange and I hope you are as well. But I must scold you about your implication that I side with the former "ubermensch" or think what they did to be just dandy. This seems a little below the belt. How can I make myself any clearer?
You do the best you can, never forgetting to keep the beast within us all well chained. That's the civilization which the western allies imperfectly embodied, and which Hitler's and Stalin's hells so perfectly didn't.
You take a very dim view of Germans.
I take a very dim view of human nature.
Sorry. I didn't make the rules.

@ ps

Perhaps we are miscommunicating.

I have been coming to this site on and off for quite a while and have gone after some of the habitual German bashers. I by no means believe that Germans are somehow uniquely evil. I was initially responding to your post in which you implied that what happened to the Third Reich was the result of some superficial anti-German prejudice, an unjustified frenzy about monocles. I disagree: even assuming that people can or ought to live without emotion or symbols, reason alone says that nations initiating total war must expect total vengeance lest total war become too tempting an option.

I do think there may be something in German history that explains why the two master theorists of totalitarianism, Marx and Hitler, both came from German speaking communities. I do not think it is German genes or German culture, and perhaps it is just a coincidence. Obviously, the shock of the First World War had much to do with Hitler's achieving power: right wing dictatorships shot up all over Europe in the 20's and 30's, including Italy, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Turkey. But Karl Luger won great political success in PRE-WAR Vienna with what became Hitler's stock in trade. And Marx wrote during the general European peace of the 19th century, in the glory years of German scholarship and political unification. So the First War cannot be the entire explanation.

Fritz Stern called the nihilism that produced Marx and Hitler the politics of cultural despair, but I am not sure that Stern or anyone has explained why those politics so thrived in German soil.

Recognizing the past prediliction of Germans for the politics of cultural despair, recognizing the unusual (but not quite unique) degree of moral failure in the Nazi period is not in my view being anti-German; it is being historically honest.

If I mischaracterized your opinions, I apologize sincerely. It seemed to me that your mention of dueling scars, etc. was a rather superficial way to gloss over monstrous evil. Characterizing the recitation of the manifold ways that the Nazi regime violated the canons of civilized behavior without real provocation as just a "laundry list" seems to view those violations as somehow routinely trivial, a shirt here, a Jew there, what's the difference. If that was not your intent, then I misunderstood what you were trying to say.

Jeff

Jeff

Jeff

The point was not about what Australians did or did not to their arborigins. The point was that the Imperial Army was not precisely a "clean" one and that it would be wrong to think that Wehrmacht officers originating from it and molded in the traditional style were ethically above any reproach with all atrocities being perpetrated by the new-style Nazi influenced ones.

BTW it was Herrero not the Hottentots and the treatment they got was shocking even by the standards of end XIXth century.

JFM

Your correction about the Herrero is right, but it does not affect the basic issue of moral relativism.

The point is precisely what is the relative degree of guilt. If the standard is that all are equally guilty unless perfect, then all will always be equally guilty.

Nothing in German colonial history is as shocking as the behavior of the Belgians in the Congo. Nor am I convinced that the US Army's treatment of Indians or the British Army's treatment of Zulus, Dervishes, Ethiopians, Maori, etc. or the French Army's treatment of Tuaregs and Berbers during the 19th century was any worse than what Goering pere did in Africa. I am quite sure that counting up dead Sioux, Commanche, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Apaches plus numerous totally unwarlike tribes in California would outnumber dead Herreros by an order of magnitude. But under your theory, there is no difference between any of them and the Nazis.

If your moral sense fails to detect any material difference between the Second and Third Reichs, I fear your view and mine are so far apart that no meaningful communication is possible.

Jeff

Jeff

So on a population reservoir who was twnty times the number of the Herrero and within a timeframe who was ten times larger the Americans managed to make only ten times more victims. That means they were less efficient/ruthless than the Germans don't you think?

And again you are skipping the subject: the subject was that just like you cannot assume that all the war crimes wee perpetrated by the SS and Wehrmacht people wre blamesless (the EinsatzTruppen were Wehrmacht) you can't assume that the traditional, monocled, heel clicking (and in the stereotype, coming from Prussain nobility) officer was automatically a good guy and that the only bad guys were between the "new officers" usually of lowest extraction and with some Nazi credentials.

I brought the subject of WWI because I needed examples of the the traditional army in action and you keep pointing fingers on every direction. But in fact the act of an unprovoked attack at a neutral country shows that the culture of ruthlessness and not letting moral get in the way was deeply rooted in the Kaiser's Army (Schlieffen was long dead by 1914).

@ JFM

The original issue was whether von Staffenberg was a Nazi and so unworthy of being honored. I never said that everything was perfect about the Second Reich. I said the Third Reich was worse.

You cannot see that the Third Reich was one of the most abysmal regimes in modern history (or else see it but will not admit it.) That is moral equivalence. I reject moral equivalence.

I shall let you have the last word. I see no value in continuing a discussion that precedes from such widely divergent moral viewpoints.

Jeff

@Jeff

Then read my very first post and you will notice that I am one of those who defended Stauffenberg. We have been battling over my second post (just below the first) where in fact I was thinking to the other people from the connspiracy.

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