Monday, March 24, 2014

Moral Combat

MORAL COMBAT by Michael Burleigh


The book was quite a surprise as the focus was mainly on NAZI Germany's crimes.  Discussion is had on the USSR, Japan and on Allied Bombing of Germany, but the mass slaughter by the Germans is the main course.  The book rightly points out that while Stalin was responsible for as many deaths as Hitler, the USSR never launched a war of annihilation and extermination  as Germany did against Poland and the Soviet Union.  If you were not immediately killed, the German plan was starvation as a helot for the master race. 

Interesting Facts From Moral Combat

This is already well known, but given current events, it is useful to remember: At least 6 million Ukrainians died of starvation due to forced farm collectivization by Stalin starting in 1932.

One of the initial mass murderers introduced is Otto Rasch, an SS brigade leader and commander of Einsatzgruppe C.  Rasch was responsible for the massacre of Babi Yar.  He received his first doctorate in Marburg in 1912 for the work “dialect geography of the circle Eschwege” and his second PhD in 1922 at the University of Leipzig.   Having advance degrees was evidently common among leaders of the Einsatzgruppen.  Rasch died during his trial after the war.

The Soviets deported 1.25 million Poles from their Polish occupied zone before the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Das Generalgouvernement, by Karl Baedeker (1943)
From Salon, "The iconic Baedekers of Leipzig, pressured by the Nazi government into producing a vacation guide to occupied Poland, published the most inadvertently creepy guidebook ever, complete with Reichminister General Governor Hans Frank promising visitors the charms of home—"ein stark heimatlich anmutendes Gebilde." Those charms include an Adolf-Hitler-Platz in the foldout Warsaw map and a brief entry for Auschwitz listing it only as a "train station.""

During the invasion of France in 1940, German Wehrmacht troops, not SS, murdered 180 French Senegalese who had fought well against them.  They were black and that was reason enough.

Some 300 million bottles per year of French wine were diverted to Germany during the occupation of France..

In Odessa, the Romanians carried out the single largest slaughter of Jews.  The Romanian soldiers used live Jewish babies for "trap shooting" by tossing them in the air and shooting them.

A quote from German General Manstein demonstrating that the entire German Army knew their role in the USSR -- "This is about wiping out Red sub-humanity..."

Female Red Army soldiers that were captured were immediately shot.

During Barbarossa, sixty to eighty thousand Jewish Red Army prisoners were taken.  By April, 1942 only 68 were alive in German captivity.

Even Hermann "Papa" Hoth was implicated -- "pity and gentleness towards the population is totally out of order... every manifestation of active or passive resistance or any machinations by Bolshevik-Jewish agitators is to be pitilessly exterminated."

In 1940, the Soviet Commander Konstantin Rokossovsky went straight from an NKVD torture center to command of a Soviet Army.  Rokossovsky endured 3 mock executions, the pulling of his finger nails, three broken ribs and nine teeth knocked out.  In 1956 as Poland's defense minister, he sent tanks against demonstrating workers.

From July 1944 to the German capitulation on May 8, 1945, more Germans died than the previous combined 5 years of war.  Much of this is a result of increased civilian casualties due to bombing of German cities along with fighting taking place in Germany itself.

“8th Co., SS-IR 8 platoon leader Alois Knabel enters Russian village in 1941, informed by the village headman that there’s a Jewish cobbler, wife and child in the town.

Knabel has the Jewish man and wife brought to the company’s quarters, where they are forced to wash and scrub the area while Knabel shouts insults and beats them with a club.

Then Knabel and 2-3 of his fellow SS troopers escort the couple to the edge of the village, where they shoot them in the back of the neck, while Knabel hold the hand of their three-year old child.

Witnessing the sudden, bloody execution of the parents, the child starts screaming. Knabel cradles the child, shushing and stroking the child’s hair with his left hand.

And with his right hand brings a service pistol to the child’s neck and fires a bullet to the base of her skull.

One of the fellow SS troopers later commented, “Look and see how finely Knabel did that, how he first calmed the child down and then shot it.””

Gustav Lombard admittedly murdered at least 6500 Jews in the Soviet Union and served 8 years as a war criminal.

In December 1941, in Simferopol the capital of Crimea, Manstein’s troops worked with Einsatzgruppe D to kill thirteen thousand Jews.  Manstein’s staff officers received watches from the victims that Manstein had requested.

Out of the 403,272 Red Army tank soldiers deployed, 310,000 were killed. 


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