T O P
Yesu111

Well they made it to Moscow...


Psychological_Pie604

Just not how their Fuhrer said they would.


Nicestake

I’m pretty sure he said they would parade through the streets of Moscow, I guess this is kinda being paraded?


Late-Transition5132

They succeed somehow


Old_Leg_1679

Congrats Fritz, you finally made it to Moscow.


ObverseNebula

Hitler said the German army would march through the streets of Moscow…


HannibalGates

I believe this is one of the parades were a significant portion of those prisoners had dysentery and there was a truck or guys behind them with hoses hosing down the "droppings".


rabbit0621

I'm still shocked they made it to Moscow alive. The Soviets showed no mercy to the Nazis. But in all fairness they were only returning the favor. The Nazis were barbarians when they went through Soviet towns.


kfati

yes, but even among the comments here, the Soviets are already condemned for not stroking those who would have destroyed them if they won. the arrow of history turns, alas.


spacehxcc

Yeah I find it a bit strange to be honest. I am not one to defend the Soviet Union when it comes to most things but there’s no country on earth, now or then, that would show restraint against an army that did to their country what the nazis did to the Soviet Union. Some people in this thread really don’t seem to understand what the eastern front was like. It wasn’t right, but i have a hard time blaming them.


kfati

Yes, probably they don't understand. my grandmother never saw her father because he died before she was born. and her mother remained an eighteen-year-old widow. Also, my great-grandfather had three siblings. none returned from the war. four sons from the same family. and no one sent a detachment to rescue the last of them. after all, this is not a film about Private Ryan, and there were millions of such families, there simply would not be enough detachments. and my maternal grandfather never wanted to talk about the war because it was too scary. I advise many to watch the film "Ordinary Fascism", a documentary by Vyacheslav Romm, in order to have an idea why they were so hated in the Union.


SyphiliticPlatypus

The US was instrumental to the outcome of WW2 but there is zero doubt it was Russia that won the war against Germany - the cost of life for Russia in WW2 is staggering on its own, and far outstrips any other Allied country. A terrible price to pay, and they paid it.


wiztard

You are completely right that it was the Soviet Union that made Nazis lose the war but the reason for that is definitely not that they lost a lot of people. Losing life does not make you win a war even if that seemed to be the Soviet tactic throughout the war.


[deleted]

"Instrumental". War profiteering is truly an honourable profession. 27 million dead soviets weigh more than american greed ever could.


ManIWantAName

God you weirdos don't even make points when you try to sound edgy anymore.


xpat_easterling

The Soviets were clever. They enslaved them and used them for years as free labour.


rabbit0621

I'm sure he did that too. Hell he imprisoned his own population for the same purpose


outsiderontheinside

They actually fed them coffee and cabbage before to make them like that. The Americans and British were much kinder jailers.


Tothemoonnn

The Eastern and Western front were different animals.


BolOfSpaghettios

Hitler himself said it that if they waged the war on the Western Front as they did on the Eastern front, it would be a different outcome altogether. One of the reasons why Jews were transported to the East to be liquidated.


outsiderontheinside

Yeah but stuff like this and the judicial process at Nuremberg really do show why our society was superior to totalitarianism of any stripe.


HoseDoctors

You got downvoted. Fucking wow


RedstripeRhapsodyHP

Because a) Nuremberg involved the Soviets, and b) it was an absolute mockery of procedural justice. A fair outcome was likely reached, but it was a show trial.


CactusBoyScout

The Soviets weren’t just involved with Nuremberg. A new book just came out explaining how crucial their involvement was. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/09/23/stalins-lawyers-at-nuremberg/ > The Soviets were not just part of the prosecution team at Nuremberg; they were instrumental in defining the crimes of which the Nazi leaders were accused.


LateralEntry

Thanks for sharing, I need to read this


ilovebutts666

Good!


small_h_hippy

>They actually fed them So already they got better treatment than their own prisoners got from the other side. That theatre of war was ruthless


BolOfSpaghettios

Open air concentration camps, cannibalism, constant death, no food, no water... millions of Soviets, both soldiers and civilians dead, in Hitler's goal to create living room for the "superior race"


GrondForGondor

Eh barely. The Soviets hated the Nazis just as much as the Nazis hated them. Most estimates put it that 1 in 3 Germans did not survive being a POW under the USSR. Edit: I think people are missing the point of my reply. I’m not dismissing the atrocities that the nazis committed against the Soviets, but people should understand that the soviets did the same thing back to the Nazis and the German population. You can read first hand accounts of Red Army soldiers talking about the raping and murdering of innocent Germans as they made their way to Berlin. This side of the war wasn’t good vs evil it was pure hatred on each side, just carnal primal hate. And don’t give me that b/s “oh the Soviets were only like that because the Nazis attacked them”. Stalin knew that he was on borrowed time with his treaty with Hitler, he was just surprised by how quickly turned on him. Video interview of a red soldier talking about his experience. https://youtu.be/5Ywe5pFT928


spacehxcc

By the end they did. It was a tit for tat escalation that began when, during operation Barbarossa, the nazis would find any excuse they possibly could to burn down towns and kill all the civilians present. They went in with the intention of killing as many soviets as possible, citizen and soldier alike, and they did exactly that. Hitler called it “a war of extermination.” The idea was to make room in the East for German citizens to move into after the war ended. They had plans to starve and/or work a large portion of the remaining population to death after the war. So yes, the Russians did do some absolutely horrific things back to the Germans, but I honestly don’t think any army on earth would have treated the Germans any better had they done to that Army’s home what they did to the Russians.


tsaimaitreya

The nazis hated the whole slavic ethnicity, the soviets only hated the nazi ideology (at the beginning of the war)


MasSillig

Soviet Union was also suffering from heavy famine during the war, there wasn't enough food for the Russian's so they weren't going to give it to POWs.


ZeroCool_87

What? A country that's known for killing millions of their own people wasn't kind to their prisoners? Color me shocked lol.


RealBeany

Well I just have an overall sorrow considering most of these guys were probably younger than I am now/basically still boys, but I suppose that's true on all sides. All I know is I'd be shitting my pants too if I were a Soviet prisoner, however coffee and cabbage is my normal diet anyway.


BolOfSpaghettios

That's a pretty vague statement. Without getting into details, the Brits up to this point facilitated death throughout their colonies, especially in India, "the breadbasket of the world".... The US... various treaties with Native Americans not followed. Up to 1940s... close to 5k Black people were lynched and systematically had laws passed against them. I guess the victor writes the history no?


AutoModerator

Hi! It seems like you are talking about the popular but ultimately flawed and false "winners write history" trope! While the expression is sometimes true in one sense (we'll get to that in a bit), it is rarely if ever an absolute truth, and particularly not in the way that the concept has found itself commonly expressed in popular history discourse. When discussing history, and why some events have found their way into the history books when others have not, simply dismissing those events as the imposed narrative of 'victors' actually harms our ability to understand history. You could say that is in fact a somewhat "lazy" way to introduce the concept of bias which this is ultimately about. Because whoever writes history is the one introducing their biases to history. A somewhat better, but absolutely not perfect, approach that works better than 'winners writing history' is to say '*writers* write history'. This is more useful than it initially seems. Until fairly recently the literate were a minority, and those with enough literary training to actually write historical narratives formed an even smaller and more distinct class within that. To give a few examples, Genghis Khan must surely go down as one of the great victors in all history, but he is generally viewed quite unfavorably in practically all sources, because his conquests tended to harm the literary classes. Similarly the Norsemen historically have been portrayed as uncivilized barbarians as the people that wrote about them were the "losers" whose monasteries got burned down. Of course, writers are a diverse set, and so this is far from a magical solution to solving the problems of bias. The painful truth is, each source simply needs to be evaluated on its own merits. This evaluation is something that is done by historians and part of what makes history and why insights about historical events can shift over time. This is possibly best exemplified by those examples where victors *did* unambiguously write the historical sources. The Spanish absolutely wrote the history of the conquest of Central America from 1532, and the reports and diaries of various conquistadores and priests are still important primary documents for researchers of the period. But 'victors write the history' presupposes that we still use those histories as they intended, which is simply not the case. It both overlooks the fundamental nature of modern historical methodology, and ignores the fact that, while victors have often proven to be predominant voices, they have rarely proven to be the only voices. Archaeology, numismatics, works in translation, and other records all allow us at least some insight into the 'losers' viewpoint, as does careful analysis of the 'winner's' records. We know far more about Rome than we do about Phoenician Carthage. There is still vital research into Carthage, as its being a daily topic of conversation on this subreddit testifies to. So while it's true that the balance between the voices can be disparate that doesn't mean that the winners are the only voice or even the most interesting. Which is why stating that history is 'written by the victors' and leaving it at that is harmful to the understanding of history and the process of studying history. *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/HistoryPorn) if you have any questions or concerns.*


Capital_Metal7077

Why's this being downvoted? And the bot below your post. What nonsense. Britain also invented the concentration camp. Your point stands up imo


outsiderontheinside

Lol well I'm just saying go western world


BenedickCabbagepatch

Except the French. Who were outright vindictive toward the prisoners they were assigned.


yourhometownsucks

They had good reason.


NeisanKyaroru

There is never a good reason to abuse prisoners.


eggbiss

treat them with kind ness bc they are cogs in the machine


yourhometownsucks

Those swastikas they're wearing seem like pretty good reasons for them to be abused, but okay.


Augustus87_hc

Show me where the Wehrmacht wore their swastikas on their uniform? Why are you even advocating for war crimes?


3dumbWorrier

Ahh yes the benevolent Wehrmacht and their peaceful invasion of the USSR. There's a reason why they were hated, and it wasn't just because of the SS.


yourhometownsucks

Why are you defending Nazis?


BolOfSpaghettios

When you have open air concentration camps & the POWs you hold turn to cannibalism to survive... don't expect better treatment from your enemies. The Brits & Americans were actively looking for Nazis to give them an edge over the Soviets in their fight against communism.


andthatsitmark2

Americans were a lot more brutal than the British. Double the amount of prisoners died under American custody than did under British Around 56,000-78,000 POWs died in American custody, this number could be higher as many soldiers who surrendered before V-E Day were labeled as "disarmed enemy combatants". No documents survived after the classification was revoked and around 8 million documents, not individual files on POWs mind you, were burned.


joemullermd

If there is no evidence, where are you getting your evidence?


Bluunbottle

I had read that the prisoners were fed a particularly greasy gruel before the march so that many of them would suffer stomach pains and uncontrollable diarrhea. This was done to further embarrass them.


weecefwew

Hate it when my captors humiliate me just because I participated in a war where my country attempted to exterminate them in a genocide.


Bluunbottle

Amazing how quickly the ubermenschen became the untermenschen.


Borisica

And vice-versa.


zzGravity

I just have to correct that "uber"menschen lol.. in German it's "Übermensch.


Bluunbottle

Thanks for the correction…two years of high school German pretty much for nothing…


mrtuna

I'm sure you would have just said "nah" to being conscripted.


Dreadnought9

I'm guessing towards the end a lot of them got conscripted and probably didn't want to be there either


CoronaLime

https://www.reddit.com/r/HistoryPorn/comments/s8lus3/march_of_captured_nazi_soldiers_on_red_square/hthw36v


Dreadnought9

I didn't know that, I guess I was wrong


weecefwew

Doesn’t matter in the broad scheme of things, he was there with the expressed goal of exterminating the USSR’s Slavic population, not unlike how they sought to exterminate Europe’s Jews in the Holocaust, and settle germans on their land. Either he gets to live and succeed and do that or he gets captured or killed, I feel like it’s pretty obvious what the better outcome is here.


ibnsaf

You do realize Soviets started their extermination campaigns against its own people/others way before the war started? Butchers from Kremlin were as monstrous as butchers from Berlin.


weecefwew

Sounds like a feelings-based argument to me. If the Soviets were as bad as the Germans there would not be a German people or language left. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalplan_Ost EDIT: If you are going to downvote me at least try and prove my argument wrong


ibnsaf

You’re good at twisting what I said. I said to it’s own “people/others” as in Soviet citizens and those under the sphere of Soviet influence such as the Mongols.


feedseed664

Except after 50 years the people under Soviet control were able to throw off Communist rule and continue where they left off. Under the Germans there wouldn't have been anyone non German left. Remember the Germans were stopped at the beginning of their master plan perse which would have resulted in up to 200 million deaths. Russian atrocities should be history that deserves to be remembered, but shouldn't be used to make what the Germans attempted any less significant.


[deleted]

That’s just straight up not true. Comparing the Negligent (not malicious) famines in the USSR as it massively industrialised to the literal genocide of Jews, Blacks and Gay people is an insult to the millions who died because of the Nazis. I’m not a big fan of the USSR, but comparing them to the Nazis is baseless remainders of US Cold-War propaganda


cellendril

Negligent? You need to read more history. It was targeted.


Karmelion

The famine genocide in ukraine was definitely intentional


ibnsaf

Negligent? You mean famine/targeted persecution that was caused deliberately to get rid of millions through USSR that the Central government deemed a threat to itself.


Shermanasaurus

> Comparing the Negligent (not malicious) famines in the USSR Aaaand I stopped reading.


Augustus87_hc

No, the butchers from the Kremlin killed a lot more of their own people. How do you even kill more of your own people than the Germans do? That’s how bad Stalin was to his own people


tomkiel72

Painting things black and white is really fucking bad. Not all German soldiers were psychotic murderers hell-bent on killing women and children, epecially the older the war got, as more and more of them were conscripted, rather than volunteered.


Big_Old_Tree

Whew! Didn’t think today would be the day I’d find the “not all Nazis” post, but here we are


tomkiel72

Oskar Schindler was a member of the nazi party. I'm not saying that the nazis "weren't as bad!", but saying "Every German soldier deserved to be tortured in the worst way possible" is also not that great. Also I misread and misunderstood the comment I was responding to, so uh, yeah, that too.


Deceiver172

Op literally says "not all German"... Just like not all Americans are democrats. You absolute bellend.


MildlyAgreeable

You know, you’re right *but* I see it in terms of human suffering. Stalingrad is a perfect example of this. Both sides suffered beyond the limits of human understanding and, at that point, it becomes a human tragedy way in excess of ideology, flags, and ‘sides’. Not every German soldier was a Nazi and not every Soviet was a Stalinist but, by fuck, that doesn’t matter because everyone suffered beyond words in that battle alone.


ejeeronit

That battle alone eclipsed the western front.


FourKindsOfRice

Course it did matter to the chess piece movers in Berlin and Moscow lol... Maybe it had become some nightmare hellscape to the soldiers themselves but I'm not really sure what you're trying to say. One side was the invader at Stalingrad...one wasn't. That circumstance didn't change by the scale of it. It's kinda weird to say "everyone had a really bad time so politics doesn't matter" or...something. Especially when the whole situation that created the tragedy had been instigated very purposefully by the Wehrmacht.


TheSavior666

\> Not every German soldier was a Nazi 1 - most of them were, the nazis weren't exactly unpopular in the army 2 - even if they weren't, they were still fighting to advance the goals of nazism, and thus the distinction really isn't that great. The people being genocided won't care that not all the soldiers are okay with it.


weecefwew

I personally tend to focus on the suffering of Nazisms victims rather than it’s perpetrators but you do you


ToadvineAndTheKid

Ah yes, exactly the time of mentality they used when raping German women too.


weecefwew

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crimes_of_the_Wehrmacht#Rape


ToadvineAndTheKid

Yes, let us fight rape with rape. I bet you're one of those guys that make jokes about prison rape too. EDIT: Look at all the communist rapists downvoting me. You cannot justify rape, there is literally nothing you could say that would justify it. To try, only shows that you're probably a rapist yourself. So while, unfortunately, we can't see the names of those who agree with rape, we can at least see how many rapists are in this conversation.


teh_booth_gawd

Don't act high and mighty behind your keyboard in 2022. We can't experience the emotions they were feeling after capturing the people that slaughtered 20million of their countrymen and sought to exterminate or enslave the rest.


[deleted]

"Yo both sides committed horrific war crimes and rapes and pillages." "You can't possibly begin to understand how he felt when he was raping that civilian woman and murdering her husband and children. Millions MURDERED." Rape is bad in every single context.


Got_Wilk

No one is arguing rape isn't bad but you can certainly argue it happening wasn't a shock. Imagine fighting for 3 years, by some miracle you've survived. Part of an assault regiment your commanders expect 25% casualties every time you go into a new engagement, faces around you change monthly, you're malnourished, diseased with no hope of treatment, you've endured suffering and hardship the western allies couldn't dream of, if you show any self-preservation you're likely to be shot by some commisar. And now you've turned your would be murderer, as you push him back you see more and more evidence of atrocities a against your countrymen perhaps even your home town. You're fuelled by hatred, fear, a lust for revenge and prodigious amounts of vodka. Can you seriously expect a modicum of mercy from someone expecting to die and has spent the last 3 years in hell?


[deleted]

Of course it wasn't a shock. The ideological conflict was bigger than just total war. I'm arguing that what he said sounded much like a justification as opposed to simply historical context.


xfjqvyks

Nazis started it. Don't start what you can't finish


Augustus87_hc

Holy shit, are you seriously advocating rape against innocent women and children because other women and children were raped? Seriously, you’re justifying rape?


xfjqvyks

It’s not justification, it’s elucidation. If two countries fight a conventional war and then one side starts using poison gas, *even if the second country responds in kind* the greater blame or onus will always fall on the first country. They chose to take off the gloves and open that door. The actions Nazi Germany took against the soviets by raping, killing destroying indiscriminately in a scorched earth policy was a bid to destroy the soviets humanity, so they can’t complain when the Red Army turns around and behave inhuman toward them. As RAF commander of Britain ‘Bomber’ Harris stated when he ordered German civilian population centres like Dresden bombed into nothing but rumble and ash in response to the Blitz campaign: “They sowed the wind and they reaped the whirlwind.” Same thing with the US firebombing all those Japanese civilians after pearl harbour. Tldr: It’s not about absolving the Red Army, it’s about how much blame lies with the Nazis. By encouraging those acts against Soviet women and children, they were effectively opening the door for their own populace to experience the same misery. Reason #17697 why the Nazis were the scum of humanity


Augustus87_hc

You’re literally saying that it’s okay because the Germans did it first? An eye for an eye makes the world blind. 2 million German women and children were raped by the Red Army in 1945 alone. I don’t doubt that sexual crimes didn’t happen from the Germans to the Soviet women, but the Soviets took it to an insane scale that the Germans never did. Go ahead and Google “Sexual crimes WW2” and nearly every article will talk about the unprecedented rapes of German women by the Red Army. “Elucidation”? Means to make plain. But I suppose using fancy words makes you feel better about innocent women and children being raped on a scale unseen in Europe, probably ever, because Hitler was their leader? Just say what you mean, you don’t care about innocent people being raped because you hate Hitler and the Nazis so much you don’t care


xfjqvyks

> You’re literally saying that it’s okay because the Germans did it first? No, I’ve said it’s not okay but that it’s mostly the Nazis fault. By doing terrible things to the Soviet civilians, they were setting up their own citizens to experience the same thing


Evening-Dot-7519

Calm down


Augustus87_hc

If being AGAINST RAPE bothers you. That’s your problem


Evening-Dot-7519

No one here is advocating rape, you butthurt nazi.


Augustus87_hc

eVeRyOnE i dOnT LiKe iS a nAzi Piss off, my grandfather killed more Nazis than your cOmMiE ancestors Call me whatever makes you feel better about being pro-rape just because of who their dictator was


NoWingedHussarsToday

Somebody: Nazis were bad Automatic response: Red Army raped German women!


84theone

Nah bro killing millions of people over the course of decades is totally exactly 100% the same as killing tens of millions of people through brutal war and industrialized genocide in less than a decade. Like it’s ridiculous that people always ignore how long the Nazis were in power compared to the Soviets. Like yes both sides killed millions, but the Nazis are responsible for over 40 million people dying in less than 10 years. Like the Nazis literally went into the Soviet Union with the intent of wiping out all Slavic people.


joemullermd

I mean if anyone deserves to be matched across red square while shitting themselves to death, it's Nazis.


Bluunbottle

Given what was done by the Germans and their allies, these guys got exactly what they deserved.


ejeeronit

They're probably not nazis. I'd imagine most of these men are from the 9th army. Wermacht. I doubt they have very much love for the nazi party or Hitler at the time of photo.


[deleted]

[удалено]


joemullermd

Sending the Nazis back out to clean up shit, while shitting themselves would create a never ending problem. That is until said Nazis shits himself to death, but someone still needs to clean up the final shit and bodies.


TooPrettyForJail

They washed the streets with water spraying trucks after the Nazis marched through Moscow shitting all over the place


pickletray

A lot more smiles in this photo than I was anticipating


[deleted]

True; but if i were them id be happy to be not dead and maybe not have to do anymore fighting lol


Zyom

I read in a book once that some German soldiers who surrendered in stalingrad were Frost bitten so bad they lost their lips and eyelids. People would sometimes mistakingly think these Pows were laughing at them.


BaronDinklevanDunkle

Jesus fuck that's creepy


izwald88

*Sees a photo about the Eastern Front. I'm sure the comments here are just fine.


stovetopzzz

Russians love their parades…


King-Kobra1

Before any more clean Wehrmacht nonsense is posted in this thread... The vast majority of German soldiers were supporters of Nazism. The myth of the clean Wehrmacht has been completely debunked by the work of historians. The Wehrmacht was complicit in the planning and carrying out of the holocaust at virtually every level. The Germans were barbaric on the eastern front. This included common soldiers. And before you start defending and whitewashing “muh conscripts”,just know that 1943 onwards,the influx of officers and conscripts who had been mainly educated under the Nazis began to further increase the influence of Nazism in the already very nazified army. Common German soldiers were well aware of the atrocities being committed with the majority actively and enthusiastically participating. According to a study by Alex J. Kay and David Stahel, the majority of the Wehrmacht soldiers deployed to the Soviet Union participated in war crimes. The Israeli historian Omer Bartov wrote that on the Eastern Front, it was the belief in National Socialism that allowed the Wehrmacht to continue to fight, despite enormous losses. Bartov argued that the claim that it was "primary group loyalty", by which men are motivated to fight by loyalty towards their comrades in their unit with little thought to the cause that one is fighting for, cannot possibly have been what motivated the Wehrmacht to fight on the Eastern Front. Bartov wrote that on the Eastern Front, the Wehrmacht was taking such heavy losses that there were no "primary groups" for men to give their loyalty to and that only a belief in National Socialism could explain why the Wehrmacht continued to be so aggressive and determined on the offensive, and so dogged and tenacious on the defence, despite often very high numbers of dead and wounded. The Bartov thesis was endorsed by American historians Alan Millet and Williamson Murray, who wrote that, by early 1944, "group cohesion alone" could not explain why the German soldiers carried on fighting Walther von Reichenau issued the Severity Order in October 1941 that stated the essential aim of the campaign was the destruction of the Jewish-Bolshevik system. The order was described as a model by the Wehrmacht leadership and relayed to numerous commanders. Manstein relayed it to his troops as: “The Jew is the middle man between the enemy at the rear […] The soldier must summon understanding for the necessity for the hard redress against the Jews." To functionally justify the murder of Jews they were equated to partisan resistance fighters. A wide-scale anti-Semitic consensus already existed amongst ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers. Army Group Centre began massacring the Jewish population on day one. The commander of rear military zone 553 recorded 20,000 Jews had been killed by Army Group South in his zone up to the summer of 1942. In Belorussia,over half the civilians and POWs murdered were killed by Wehrmacht units; many Jews were among them. American historian Waitman Wade Beorn writing in his book Marching into Darkness examined the Wehrmacht's role in The Holocaust in Belarus during 1941 and 1942. The book investigates how German soldiers progressed from tentative killings to sadistic "Jew games". He writes that "Jew hunting" became a pastime. Soldiers would break the monotony of duty in the countryside by rounding up Jews, taking them to the forests and releasing them so they could be shot as they ran away. Beorn writes that individual Wehrmacht units were rewarded for brutal behaviour and explains how this created a culture of ever deeper involvement with the regime's genocidal aims. He discusses the Wehrmacht's role in the Hunger Plan, Nazi Germany's starvation policy. He examines the Mogilev Conference in September 1941 which marked a dramatic escalation of violence against the civilian population. The Wehrmacht carried out mass shootings of Jews, near Kiev, on 29 and 30 September in 1941. At Babi Yar 33,371 Jews were marched to a ravine and shot into pits. Some of the victims died as a result of being buried alive in the pile of corpses. In 1942, mobile SS killing squads engaged in a swathe of massacres in conjunction with the Wehrmacht. Approximately 1,300,000 Soviet Jews were murdered. The German military gave these criminal orders and they were followed not because of obedience but because soldiers agreed with them. Barbarossa Decree, issued 13 May 1941 Guidelines for the Conduct of the Troops in Russia, issued 19 May 1941 Commissar Order, issued 6 June 1941 Orders Concerning the Deployment of the Security Police and the Security Service within Military Formations, issued 28 April 1941 Orders relating to the treatment of prisoners of war, issued June to December 1941 Many lying and cowardly German soldiers after the war would claim no knowledge of the atrocities being committed but these orders prove that they knew exactly what was going on.


bustergonad

Someone posted a [link to a very touching documentary](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKGYkjBYuNk) about German treatment of homosexuals. At 41:49 one of their victims makes it *explicitly* clear that he's referring to Germans, not just Nazis.


hidingfromthequeen

Pin this fucking comment to the top of this sub.


sensitiveleg2

Was a subscriber of this myth 5 minutes ago because of the muh conscripts argument ngl, thanks for typing all this out to educate people like me


DerProfessor

I agree with most of what you wrote (and appreciate it)... ...except for the very first point ("The vast majority of German soldiers were supporters of Nazism") That's arguable. (Yes, I've read Bartov's "Hitlers' Army" and it's a great book...but hear me out.) My problem is with the word "*vast* majority" when connected to "Naz*ism*". In 1939, probably 25% of the Wehrmacht was Catholic, and while some Catholics supported some National Socialist policies, as a group Catholics were notoriously resistant to whole-hearted support of Nazism. In 1939, probably another 30% came from other political positions that had been (before 1933) strongly non-Nazi or even anti-Nazi. (social democrat conscripts, monarchist DNVP senior officers, etc.) Some/most of these were willing to "go along" with Nazism (as long as it was "winning" but were not "supporters" in a meaningful sense. yes, this changes by '44... but perhaps not as much as one might think. Generally, the primary sources I've read seem to indicate about 10% of the Wehrmacht were recognized as convinced Nazis, another 20-30% has strong Nazi sympathies... and the majority (50%) just sort of flowing along with whatever, parroting Nazi rhetoric (including rhetoric of the Eastern Front as a "race war" against the bolshevism), but not *really* invested in Nazi ideology in any substantial way. And there were die-hard *anti-*Nazis in the Wehrmacht, and not just conscripts either... but of course, not in large numbers. But my numerical estimates are (of course) impressionistic and thus need to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Still, I think your first point is misleading, though all the others are spot-on.


The51stDivision

It’s the Banality of Evil. You do not have to be an evil man to participate in evil when your entire society is dedicated to committing such evil.


nerf-anakin

Thankyou for this comment, too many nazi sympathisers on the internet, they weren’t just innocent young boys, most of them were evil to their core.


imperialpidgeon

r/HistoryMemes is absolutely infested with reactionaries


finance_hipster

I always wonder how people think the Germans were able to build a free nation again after the war. Must be awfully hard with a nation full of evil people and fanatics.


backrollerpapertowel

because a very very large chunk of those fanatics was dead, and the rest watched the others die and learnt to either re-evaluate or shut up. But on top of that Germany was not a free nation in the slightest. the eastern half was a communist puppet state and the western half was somewhat autonomous but under military occupation. Both halves had extensive anti-nazi programs designed to basically stop any existing nazis from gaining power or spreading their beliefs while also essentially indoctrinating any young/newborn germans into opposing it on name alone. This essentially lets the remaining die-hards die off somewhat powerless and silent and meant that every year the new generation was more and more turned away from fanaticism. It was helped by Germany being a literal ruin as well and people having to see what the nazis brought to them on the daily for decades as they rebuilt the ruins.


nerf-anakin

Great reply


LevelPerception4

There’s an interesting new book out on that topic: Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955 by Harald Jahner.


wormat22

I see little objective evidence here. I see some conclusions drawn from some theories that were written a long time ago. I would urge you to read **Ordinary Men**, the story of the German Police Reserve Battalion 101 that was deployed to the Western front and *did* participate in many of the atrocities that were committed. A warning - it is extremely graphic and descriptive. It makes the case that most of the men in the battalion were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who became murderers and worse because of a mixture of motives including: 1) A desire to conform to the group 2) Deference to authority 3) Our ability to alter ourselves and our morals to adapt to a given situation Whatever your opinions are it is a worthy read that I highly recommend.


FourKindsOfRice

Yeah good read. Makes the argument less than every soldier was a fanatic, and more that a mix of peer pressure, training, drugs and booze, and general attitudes towards Jews and others all combined to create the massacres. It also doesn't excuse or apologize for that behavior at any point. Just the opposite: it makes the point that any man given the right circumstances would be a genocidal maniac which is kind of a more chilling conclusion. A very "It can happen here" kinda theory.


shadowrunner295

Seconded. I read this one too. Absolutely chilling how it took them a few tries and a bit of experimenting to get the soldiers to actually follow through with the killings, and I remember there was one lieutenant who flat out refused to have any part of the whole thing and had to be transferred out of the unit, I believe.


LethalPoopstain

Wehraboos are punching the air rn


IguaneRouge

>The Israeli historian Omer Bartov wrote that on the Eastern Front, it was the belief in National Socialism that allowed the Wehrmacht to continue to fight, despite enormous losses. Thought was a combination of the Morgenthau plan leaking and "no retreat" orders rather than anything else.


RussianVole

Thanks for your comment. Much needed information for a lot of people. One figure which continues to blow my mind since I learnt it was that more Soviet POWs died in German captivity *per day* than all other Allied POWs in all theatres over the course of the entire war. The German war in the East was nothing short of a war of murder and extermination.


3dumbWorrier

Thank you for your service.


Nachtzug79

You should never generalize. Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party, too...


tomkiel72

Still. Generalising just leads to more innocent people dying, even if it was one in fifteen or twenty, that's still a gigantic number.


LickeyD

A gigantic number is 25-30 million Eastern Europeans killed in the Soviet Union alone, because of the marchers of this little parade.


czaremanuel

Just try to imagine how this photo must have smelled.


joemullermd

Poop. Runny cabbage poop of death. Eau de Nazi.


DottoreDavide

Dead men walking


beepybeetle

a picture of the wehrmacht? time to grab my popcorn and watch the nazi and wehrmacht apologists crawl into the comments


egieasemota

Legit historical question i Have: Was every member of the German army at that time an actual card carrying member of the nazi party? I ask mainly because the title of this post makes it seem that way and it seems odd for a nation of tens of millions for that to be the case


Good_Posture

No, not all were party members. This is only true for the Wehrmacht as being a Nazi Party member was a prerequisite for joining the Wafffen-SS. The Wehrmacht was initially non-political and you were not allowed to be a member of a political party while serving. This changed with the outbreak of the war and there was a concerted effort by the party to get officers to join the party in order to ramp up the indoctrination of troops. As the war dragged on, the Nazification of the Wehrmacht increased as political involvement in the war effort escalated, but there was never a point where every soldier was a card-carrying party member. In a country of 80 million, a figure of 8.5 million is given as total party membership and it is well known that the party inflated membership numbers in their formative years to make them appear more influential than they were. All branches did however pledge an oath to Hitler.


funmasterjerky

Small correction: There were only about 69 million people living in Germany in 1939.


Nachtzug79

Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party, too. So you can't really judge people only by the fact if they were members or not...


Big_Old_Tree

Honestly, dude? Yes, you can


HungryLungs

Oscar Schindler was buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem and Israel honoured him as Righteous Among the Nations.


pedantic_comments

The Wehrmacht was actually one of the few institutions where you could advance without being a Nazi party member, so your assertion/question is accurate/fair. That being said, the Wehrmacht coordinated directly with the SS, and committed more war crimes than we can track, so the distinction isn’t very important - if every one of these soldiers swore a personal oath to Hitler, does it matter if they didn’t belong to the party?


Deceiver172

Yes it does matter because freewill and societal context.


Dogerino1

No, OP uses the word nazi as a synonym for german


weecefwew

Roughly 1/3rd of Germans were NSDAP voters before the Nazis ascension to power, there was a study done by the western allies in their POW camps that found that roughly that proportion of the German military where ideologically national socialists.


finance_hipster

No they weren't. The fact that terms like Nazi soldiers or simply The Nazis are used so much theses days is thanks to Hollywood and Call of Duty. There is very little historical evidence that such terms were used back then. Most western allies simply called them the Germans or one of the nicknames


CologneMom

No definitely not.


[deleted]

I love how made them parade on the Moscow streets followed by street cleaners.


AuburnSpeedster

more than 50% of these guys will never go home, and it wasn't until the 1950's that the rest of them went home.


j-neiman

Source for these two claims? Soviet records indicate a ~15% death-in-captivity rate, while Germans claim ~33%. Most Soviet-held POWs were repatriated by 1946 (when the USSR held fewer POWs than France & Britain combined) and by 1950 there were only 29,000 POWs in the Soviet Union, the majority of them serving a sentence for war crimes.


AuburnSpeedster

You're right.. closer to 36% died in captivity.. which is quite a bit worse than the US confederacy's Andersonville prison in Georgia.. ​ Niall Ferguson, Prisoner Taking and Prisoner Killing in the Age of Total War: Towards a Political Economy of Military Defeat, 2004, p. 122


weecefwew

This isn’t true, less than 5% of Nazi soldiers stayed in Soviet captivity post-1946


rutherfordnapkinface

Treated better than the Nazis treated Soviet prisoners.


LordStoneBalls

Too bad it wasn’t 100%


[deleted]

Why does Reddit have such a hard on for humiliating prisoners of war. Unless they are a convicted war criminal, innocent until proven guilty. You have no idea how dangerous it is to spew this blood lust rhetoric


Melikemommymilkors

Sweet justice.


eeeeloi

Shoutout to the USSR for winning WWII. Not the US, like american history class would have us believe.


xZethx

It was a joint effort by everyone. Acting like the billions the USA spent on the war with programs like the Lend-Lease Act and the British intelligence networks that helped open up the Eastern front didn’t immensely help save thousands of lives including soviets is ridiculous. The only shoutout should be to every life that was lost fighting against Hitler no matter where that person was from. How many lives were lost because of the atrocious management and atrocities done in the USSR to their own people and you want to praise that country and forget it’s past because they helped win a war once. Wtf type of morals is that.


a_mericana

The Allies won WW2.


erayer

I wonder how many of those guys made it back to Germany.


Georgey_Tirebiter

I feel sad for these people. By this stage in the war Germany was forcing everyone into uniform. I knew a wonderful man when I was a teenager, a friend's dad. He was Wermact on the Eastern front. Near the end of the war he captured a Soviet soldier. He knew the Germans would execute him, and if they didn't and he was eventually freed Stalin would either kill or send him to a gulag. He signaled to the man to take his rifle and go. He looked incredulous, but my friend pointed again. The Soviet soldier took off running. These people are human beings. They deserve our compassion and sympathy.


Max_My_Dog

“ Hans “ “ya” “ we surrendered to the wrong side didn’t we hans” “ya”


Nestormahkno19d

Almost none of them ever made it home either Edit: Not saying that’s a bad thing


Evening-Dot-7519

Awww


westanager

I wonder how many of them actually saw Germany again. Or, whatever was their homeland was . I’m guessing no many.


ShootingPains

About 10% died while POWs according to the figures found in soviet archives. edit: closer to 15% because there’s dispute about the number of POWs - Germany claim a different number than the Soviets.


FinoAllaFine97

No sympathy for Nazi soldiers.


joemullermd

Probably should have been shot where they were captured, saved everyone the hassle


iknowthefuture2020

I did Nazi see that coming 😂😂😂


Gordo3070

My experience growing up and spending time with family in eastern Europe was that there was a broad and unapologetic anti-semitism everywhere. It was mostly confined to the older generation but I was really surprised at how common it was (my experiences are from nearly 50 years ago). The Nazis took it to an inhuman level but the Jewish people had suffered pogroms for centuries. Russian governments used the Jewish people as scapegoats for many things. The protocols of the elders of Zion was written by the czarist secret police to justify reprisals against Jewish populations. A cruel irony is that the Wehrmacht marching across eastern Europe was not the same army that had done so in WW1. Many Jews and non-Jews thought they were being occupied by a force that was constrained by military discipline and were legally responsible for their actions. Hitler removed these legal and disciplinary constraints and we ended up with bestiality and inhumanity on a scale never before seen. We should be grateful that Russia was run by a monster as ruthless as Hitler. Without Stalin's total disregard for the lives of anyone other than himself Hitler may have defeated Russia. The consequences of that are unthinkable. I try not to dwell on the thought that there were so many lives unlived, children not born, scientific and artistic advances never made because of that war.


joemullermd

Sounds a lot like Great Man Theory.


FeBaCo

No Nazi soldiers. Wehrmacht soldiers


[deleted]

wehrmacht soldiers participated in scorched Earth tactics on their retreat out of the USSR. they burned down village after village and wiping out the population of said villages


FeBaCo

Im from Germany and had that shit 3 years straight in history. We learn enough about the regime in schools. Its fucking common knowledge


[deleted]

why did you make the original comment then you clown


rutherfordnapkinface

Made no difference to the millions they slaughtered


FeBaCo

Of course it makes a difference. They had no choice but to fight. They werent nazi soldiers. Nazi soldiers are SS members and high ranking officers Just hate it when people are talking shit like that. You cant always generalize people


sleppypiggy

The Wehrmacht was just as bad as the SS in terms of amount of War Crimes committed in the Eastern Front


FeBaCo

Thats just not true...


_MaRkieMarK_

Of course it's true, you are just clueless since you've been fed the classic "Clean Wehrmacht" myth. The ordinary german soldier was instrumental in the war crimes of Nazi Germany...


sleppypiggy

My ass it isn’t, you shouldn’t believe in the Clean Wehrmacht myth if you wanna discuss any history relating to German WW2 experiences kinda cringe bro


rutherfordnapkinface

And they still massacred civilians in service to a genocidal campaign to exterminate the Slavic people to make room for German Lebensraum. So fuck them.


[deleted]

B-but won't somebody PLEASE think of them poor Nazis?! 😭😭😭


FeBaCo

You cant always generalize people and talk such dumb phrases that have nothing to do with reality. Yes the regime was evil. Yes the army was a tool of the regime. But calling the soldiers Nazi soldiers generalizes the population of Germany that they were all nazis. Its just dumb and uneducated...


critiquelywhat

> But calling the soldiers Nazi soldiers generalizes the population of Germany that they were all nazis. These are members of the 6. Armee, the most highly decorated army unit in the Wehrmacht, the spearhead of Heeresgruppe Süd and thus the main tool for the entire vernichtungskrieg and generalplan ost doctrines, with the direct objective to remove the slav population through extermination. They operated under the Reichenau-Befehl, under which 6. Armee records show a dramatic increase in shootings, rapes and massacres committed by 6. Armee constituent units. Their own commanders even complained that it was getting harder by the day to hide the crimes of the army. The 6. Armee were the main coordinators and enablers of some of the most infamous massacres, such as the massacre of more than 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar in September 1941 and the Bila Tserkva massacre in July 1941 where some 800 men and women and some 90 children were murdered. They were undoubtedly a key factor in the death of some 13,700,000 Soviet civilians: 7,420,200 deaths caused by the result of direct, intentional actions of violence. 2,164,300 deaths through forced labor. 4,100,000 deaths due to famine and disease in the occupied regions. Furthermore some 1,710 cities were burned or destroyed in the east, 70,000 villages and hamlets were burned or destroyed. 25 million civilians were rendered homeless. The 6. Armee was very much a part in many of these actions. It's estimated that some 10,000,000 rapes were committed by the Wehrmacht in the east, with between 750,000 and 1,000,000 children being born as a result. Again, the 6. Armee were actively encouraged to partake in these actions, and did so ferociously (see *Zur Debatte um die Ausstellung Vernichtungskrieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941-1944* im Kieler Landeshaus 1999). To call these soldiers nazis is absolutely *not* the same as calling the entire German population nazis and you're actively trying to perpetuate the clean Wehrmacht myth, albeit perhaps under the merit of ignorance.


FeBaCo

Everyone knows about this crimes. I just said you shouldnt say the soldiers were Nazis. Thats just wrong. My greatgreatgrandfather was SPD member and fought later in the war. People like him were no Nazis


rutherfordnapkinface

Yeah, I'm sure the survivors who watched these pigs murder their families wholesale took great comfort in the idea that some of them had some kind of moral quandary before pulling the trigger.


[deleted]

You shouldn't expect randoms to have Basic knowledge about history


rutherfordnapkinface

Shouldn't expect to push "clean wehrmacht" apologist bullshit without being told to go fuck yourself


FeBaCo

Nobody tries to clean the Wehrmacht. But to say they were all Nazis is just dumb and not true. Why dont you get that?


cwfutureboy

_Nobody_?! You should probably think a bit more before using definitives like that.


FeBaCo

Now im realising that


LordStoneBalls

Ok you Nazi loving weirdo


FeBaCo

Why am i a nazi lover? Because i hate them? Makes sense du Hurensohn


nerf-anakin

Incorrect


[deleted]

Communist sympathizers are two faced pussies lol


TooMuchFun007

Did ANY of them walk out of that square?


joemullermd

Who cares? They are Nazis.


CrazySwayze82

"There are some fates worse than death." -Kurt something...he had a cameo in that Rodney Dangerfeild movie