If someone was in the German Army during World War II does that make them a Nazi?
My grand uncle was in the German Army, 17th Panzer division and fought on the Eastern front during World War II. Anyway, as the family story goes, immigrated to a neutral country shortly after the war and went on from there. I was very young at the time, although I remember him telling me about several battles he was in but he never once spoke of Hitler or the Jews.
- EastLv 42 months ago
Well, if you're part of an organization that is now viewed as one of the most awful groups in human history, of course you wouldn't talk about it.
My grandfather fought in WWII (for the US) and he didn't talk about Hitler or Jewish people either, even though he was one of the first to liberate Buchenwald. He was apparently too upset about it to speak about it.
- Mark JLv 72 months ago
No. Despite the media and modern day historians branding 1939 to 1945 as the war against Nazi's it was Germany not the Nazi's. As Hitler swept to power his party seized control of most elements the state, including the military.
As to how many people serving in the German military were Nazi's or not I guess depends on when you ask. A bit like asking civilians who stayed in France, these days they will assert they were all in the resistance/Maquis. At the time dramatically few were and many were supportive of Germany.
No one in their right mind is going to admit AFTER the end of the war that they were a Nazi if they could get away with it.
Does it make your Grandfather Nazi? who knows. Remember him for the person you know. Humans should be allowed to learn as they get older. No one can honestly say they have ALWAYS been on the right side of history ALL their life. Treasure the memories you have of your Grandfather... if for no other reason he is one of the two people who brought your father or mother into the world, and in turn your parents brought you into the world.
- ?Lv 42 months ago
No a lot of the regulars where conscripted and were not part of the Nazi party
- 2 months ago
No. As a matter of fact--the majority of Germans were not Nazis. That is a fact. Just being German did not make people Nazis.
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- CousinLv 62 months ago
Well well, it doesn't make him a little Princesse. Whether it makes him a Nazi depends on the context. There's a general context in which we speak of two sides of the Second World War and, in that context, we could be saying "the Americans" and "the Nazis" so, we would say everyone on the German side was a "Nazi". But then there are specific, academic contexts. A scholarly work on specific details within the Third Reich may go into comparing Germans contemporary to the period who were of varying degrees of alegiannce to the Third Reich, sometimes not becoming actual members of the Nazi Party. Examining the Third Reich from within we might say that a specific individual German was "never a Nazi' because he'd never joined the Party; howbeit that, looking at the same individual from outside the Reich, we will include him, along with millions of other Germans, as "Nazis". It's almost nit- picking to discuss whether someone who served in the military of Nazi Germany, was a Nazi. It would arguably be a "moot point" to speculate on whether the person held private views, secret and unspoken, of dissent against the Nazi Reich, when that person is actively supporting it through violence. That's tacit assent.
- Ron AkiaLv 72 months ago
Absolutely not! Germans were drafted into the army in a manner similar to us.
- Anonymous2 months ago
No, most Germans were not even Nazis. Remember that during the last free elections in November 1932 "only" 33% of Germans voted for the Nazi Party. And between 10-15 % of Germans were in the Nazi party (many were Nazis, but many others only became members because it was better for their businesses or they wanted to improve their careers).
If you were in the German army in WW2, you were fighting for the Nazis and their goals (or rather Hitler's goals since not all Nazis did have the same goals), but there was no choice whether you could join the war or not.
- FLv 72 months ago
Not necessarily, the majority of German service men had little choice if conscripted.
I doubt if conscientious objector was a concept Hitler would tolerate.
- Gray BoldLv 72 months ago
Depends. Did he enlist or was he drafted ? On 16 March 1935 Germany introduced conscription – in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
- garryLv 52 months ago
no makes them a german soldier , not all soldiers were nazis , the nazis only gave the orders , the german soldier obeyed or end up in concentration camps . all germans arent nazis ..