Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Do you have sympathies for the German soldiers during WW2?

This music makes me fool sorry for the German soldiers during WW2.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7rGftrA0JP0

Youtube thumbnail

4million of em died in WW2

8 Mill Russian died in WW2

6Mill jews died

8Mill non-combat died

500+ Americans died

1-3mill british died

Source: History Channel

17 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    i think a death is a death, so yes we should feel sorry. everyone lost a family member or a friend.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have sympathy for any conscripted soldier of any war, because most of these people do not either want to be there, or agree to fight thanks to "propaganda" that has convinced the people they are doing the right thing and fighting the right side.

    Germany has accepted as a nation the guilt for the many crimes commited by the Nazis in WW2, so in a sense they are not hiding behing the line "I was following orders", which at Nuremberg was found to be a non-suficient excuse.

    But at the same time, it is difficult to not feel sorry for the boys that believed all the BS spewed by Goebbels, joined the fight and ended doing horrible things to defend their lives and what they thought it was the right side (yeah, Germany broke the Geneva convention, but they respected it too in many ways and EVERYBODY else broke it, including the Americans).

    If you add the many that were forced to fight, and could not disobey orders because that meant their death and big dishonor or death to their families, it probably felt like a gigantic trap.

    In the end, only when you understand that war is amoral in its nature, you see that once the one or many idiot politicians have issued the movilization orders, everybody else is into a hell of doing and receiving horrible sins that normal society would never condone.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have absolutely no sympathy for the leadership of the German army in WWII, but many of the soldiers had no choice in the matter. Hitler and his generals ran a dictatorship, where you did as you were told, or died. Just as some of the soldiers in the middle east today do not necessarily hate the western world, many German soldiers did not agree with Hitler's plan. In the 30s and 40s, the reality of life was that you followed orders, or you bacame a casualty. People can justify a lot of things when their life (or their family) is on the line. My parents had friends who were in the German army and emigrated at the end of the war - they weren't racist or hateful people, and had to live with the trauma of the war just as everyone else did.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually 10 million Soviet soldiers died in that war, and the total death toll for the Soviet Union is somewhere between 24 and 26 million... (just to correct your numbers)

    To answer your question, I would have to say that I feel sorry for those soldiers that were forced to join the Wehrmacht, but I feel absolutely no pity for those that did these horrible things voluntarily. During the last days of the war old people and children were forced to defend Berlin, because Hitler refused to capitulate, which is very sad too.

    Generally though, I don't feel sorry for them - THEY were the aggressors and they got what they deserved.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I feel sympathy for all soldiers in any war.

    All feel they are fighting for the greater good of their country and mankind.

    Most pray to the same God for guidance and victory before a battle. This was particularly true in Europe in WWII.

    All have loved ones left behind at home.

    All want to live to see another day at the expense of killing someone else.

    Many are led into battle by incompetent generals leading the forces away from the battlefield and relying on reports to direct the next move.

    To read "The Letters from Stalingrad", a book about the last letters found on the dead Germans in Stalingrad to loved ones back home is gut wrenching. No less than the letters left by Americans, Canadians, Russians when they were facing defeat or about to die in a land battle, air battle or battle at sea.

    It is the human condition of loving someone and leaving those behind that unite all in battle, it is the one thing they have in common aside from needing to kill the enemy on the orders of others.

    It is important to distinguish the ordinary soldier in the units from the Gestapo, Einsatzgruppen, and special forces who committed crimes against humanity and terrorized Europe and their own people.

  • 1 decade ago

    First of all where the h*** is Breedonk? I have never heard of it in my life. As a German I feel certain sympathies for my people who were only doing what every other soldier does: fighting for their country. Isn't that what Americans are doing in Iraq right not. MOst German soldiers in the field were STRICTLY fighting. They were not running the concentration camps. They were just fighting. People must learn to distinguish between organizations such as the Gestapo/SS and the regular Army.

  • Milmom
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    When I went to Germany, I spent alot of time talking to the old War Veterans. Most of them were very upset about what had taken place, Most of them didn't know what was going on with the Jews etc... Now the Nazi's did and how much the average foot soldier was told is unknown.

    Several German generals were executed for not wishing to follow the Fuhrer's orders. To what extent they knew of the holocaust is hard to know. There are theories that support both sides.

    It's just one of those things that we may never know. But hopefully we have learned our lesson and will not repeat it.

  • yoak
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You always raise such thought-provoking questions Ramona.

    It may be easy from this vantage point - years of hind sight.

    Unfortunately, until Al Quaida, the Nazi Party was the most loathe-some and disgusting example of hatred in history.

    In order for a person to be capable of such cruelty toward women, children, and the elderly, their heart must be void of any redeeming quality.

    I feel sorry for the victims, the soldiers who have never been properly recognized, the generations who mourn their fallen ancestors. But I will never feel sorry for a member of the Nazi party.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, I´m sorry for any soldier killed,but let me tell you that I think that there are many things we ignore about WWII.For example , Why didn´t USA, England and France , help the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War,Hitler and Mussolini did help the Fascists.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To some extent I do. You must distinquish between soldiers and Nazis/Gestapo. Soldiers follow orders, Nazis and Gestapo follow orders but with a political agenda, a lot of the German soldiers never agreed with Hitlers' ideology, they just followed orders, saying that that does not excuse them from breaking the laws of war set out in the Geneva Convention. The Gestapo where the real bastards in the second world war- that is fact as a lot of those men where ex- jail, ex murderers, rapists, sadists and just outright losers.

  • Elly
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Actually I can't... although I know they were drafted, and who refused to fight was killed by his own fellow countrymen, and not all of them were convinced Nazis, but the truth is that I can't feel sorry for them because of what they did. I'm German and one of my granduncles died in the war in February 1945 and there is a memorial stone for him next to the grave of my grandparents. When I was small I often was on that cementary with my mother. She explained to me that he had died in war and was not really buried there on the cementary. I think I was sad for him that he had died young, but as soon as I came to know at least a bit about what that war was about I could no more feel any sympathy for anyone who fought for Hitler. Maybe I am too harsh with the men who were drafted and hardly had a choice. But you know people always have a choice and some took a different choice and were killed for that by their fellow countrymen. About 15 000 German deserters were executed in World War II and for them I do feel sympathy.

    I don't want to say all were evil. In a way they were victims, they suffered too, millions of them died. I know that. Certainly many of them were appalled by what they had to see and participate in in the war. There were those who acted humanely like Wilm Hosenfeld (the German who helps Szpilman in the movie The Pianist which is a true story). So I don't want to generalize completely and it is always sad when people die.

    However I hate these excuses that they had to follow orders, knew nothing of atrocities or only fought out of fear or "for their country" (the last one is particularly ridiculous, as the war brought nothing but damage to Germany too, nothing that German soldiers did was in any way for the benefit of Germany, it wasn't for the benefit of anyone). The German army was mighty, if they had wanted they could have mutinied. I know that for the individual little soldier this would have been suicide, but if it had been a mass movement, the Nazi leadership would have never been able to control the army. The fact that it was possible to order almost the entire male adult population of a country to attack other countries without provocation, to senselessly start a world war in a time of peace, just scares me. How can you force 18 million armed men to do something they absolutely don't want to do, if they are absolutely convinced that it is wrong? That they really obeyed and fought scares me more than anything else. It also really scares me when people now justify it because this makes me feel like they would do the same again under similar circumstances and that they haven't learned anything.

    When people claim that the German army was "clean", that it wasn't a Nazi organization and all that, it upsets me because that is a lie, it is a denial of responsibility. The German army did commit many atrocities, took part in them and witnessed them, it is not true that they fought a "clean" war and had nothing to do with the mass murder. Even those who did not take part in atrocities themselves and "only fought" paved the way for the murderers. In the West they mostly "only fought", but in the East that was not so. Millions of civilians were killed there and in the Soviet Union the Holocaust did not take place in death camps but happened openly at the spot and often with participation of the regular army (although the army was not the main executioner of it, that were the SS and the order police). It upsets me even more when they claim now they had not known anything. There even was an order that was issued to German soldiers of the 6th army at the Eastern front that they had to have "understanding for the necessity of hard but justifiable atonement on the part of Jewish sub-humans". Hitler so much liked this order that it was later issued also to other parts of the German army in the East. And I'm not speaking about the Jews only. At least 25 million citizens of the Soviet Union (Russians, Ukrainians and others) died in the war (not "only" 8 millions), more than half of them civilians. In fact the more I read about this matter, the more I am appalled.

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