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  #271  
Old 03 Mar 14, 12:25
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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Huh, first thing, there was not necessarily such a radical choice to make. You could not go along with the mob and not end up as the sacrificial lamb either.

Second, of course this kind of reasoning does not necessarily apply just to war crimes. Suppose we're talking about a man who participated in your home county to the lynching of your grandfather. He can very well claim that he just went along with the mob, and that many did so, and that most people in the jury would probably do the same. Do you want the jury to find him not guilty for that reason?

Nor is this limited to violent crimes taking place a long time ago. Studies often find that a fair number of test subjects steal small items if they are sure they can do that with impunity, for instance from their corporate employer's storeroom. If you were the owner of the company would you prefer such thieves not be prosecuted because lots of people, in the same situation as they, would do the same?
Apples and Oranges, you're correlating senarios have some lapses in them. It was a radical choice, because the radicals were large and in charge. this wasn't a few thugs out their lynching people who knew they had to keep their actions secret from the top. The people at the top expected you to be the thug and if you weren't thuggy enough you were in serious crap!

It's the same with your Grandfather Lynching analogy, and I;m sure more than a few people actually would have liked to Lynch my Grandfather Now we are not talking about a small secret group, we are talking the the powers at the top say you will do this!, If you don't want to do this, You are a coward, you will be blacklisted citizen in your career, and you country, and likely be sent off to some front line suicide unit on the eastern front. When fanatics are in charge it is now a race to appear more fanatical to not be singled out and putting yourself in jeopardy. It;s like prison rules you either take part, your you get shanked.

And again with the stealing from your employer an analogy. Your equating stealing with war crimes, but the Boss with Nazi Rule? In this case the boss wants you to do the immoral act of stealing. In Nazi Rule, your boss wanted you to commit genocide, to not do it would have been an undesirable employee. Only except of employment termination, they just moved you somewhere where you would be terminated.
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  #272  
Old 04 Mar 14, 03:36
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Originally Posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
Apples and Oranges, you're correlating senarios have some lapses in them. It was a radical choice, because the radicals were large and in charge. this wasn't a few thugs out their lynching people who knew they had to keep their actions secret from the top. The people at the top expected you to be the thug and if you weren't thuggy enough you were in serious crap!
No. You have not read even the most basic books on the topic, such as Ordinary Men by Browning. If you had read that, then you would know that you could very well ask to be excused from being a thug, and nothing would happen to you.

I imagine you have never heard about Leutnant Josef Sibille, either - the lieutenant who refused to carry out the order to kill all the Jews in the village his company occupied. Try to look him up and discover whether he was sent to a "suicide unit" or anything like that.

In general, one would do well to read, first, and then write.
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  #273  
Old 04 Mar 14, 09:10
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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
No. You have not read even the most basic books on the topic, such as Ordinary Men by Browning. If you had read that, then you would know that you could very well ask to be excused from being a thug, and nothing would happen to you.

I imagine you have never heard about Leutnant Josef Sibille, either - the lieutenant who refused to carry out the order to kill all the Jews in the village his company occupied. Try to look him up and discover whether he was sent to a "suicide unit" or anything like that.
Heck even look at General Blaskowitz. The only thing that happened to him for complaining about the SS was he was never promoted again. Presumably that meant the Heer, Wehrmacht and OKW (Hitler, et. al.) still trusted him enough to do his duty.
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  #274  
Old 04 Mar 14, 11:13
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No. You have not read even the most basic books on the topic, such as Ordinary Men by Browning. If you had read that, then you would know that you could very well ask to be excused from being a thug, and nothing would happen to you.

I imagine you have never heard about Leutnant Josef Sibille, either - the lieutenant who refused to carry out the order to kill all the Jews in the village his company occupied. Try to look him up and discover whether he was sent to a "suicide unit" or anything like that.

In general, one would do well to read, first, and then write.
Do you you ever think it had more to do with these peoples personal connections might have saved him? As in any bureaucratic hierarchy different connections buys a lot of leway. I mean Sulla was going to have Julius Caesar executed if not for his certain connections. If you don't know you have a saftey net, as most of us don't, the fear of hanging is more over powering than hanging the other person. Also not none of those guys prevented anything, in fact just as hypocritical knowing the the Genocide was taking place went right on serving the cause! So how virtuous were they?

" Bu interesting enough In the same situation down the road The third company chief, Hauptmann Friedrich Nöll, born 1897 and also a teacher in civilian life, hesitated. He talked about the matter with his Hauptfeldwebel Emil Zimber. Both were unsure of themselves, since they were clearly aware of the fact that the order involved shooting women and children, even though there was no indication that the Jewish inhabitants of Krutsha, a village with about 1000 residents, had anything to do with partisans. They requested a written confirmation of the order. Shortly thereafter, they received the order of their battalion commander: All Jews in Krutsha were to be shot. Nöll and Zimber were consternated, this could not be a misunderstanding. At first, Nöll rejected the idea, but finally fear of the possible consequences of refusing an order won the upper hand. Nöll charged Zimber with shooting all the Jewish residents of the village. According to his own testimony, Zimber reacted to the resulting disquiet among the soldiers of his company by asserting that the whole matter had been decided by higher-ups, and it was not just an order to kill, it was an order to kill or be killed".
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  #275  
Old 04 Mar 14, 12:05
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According to his own testimony, Zimber reacted to the resulting disquiet among the soldiers of his company by asserting that the whole matter had been decided by higher-ups, and it was not just an order to kill, it was an order to kill or be killed".
Just following orders is not a valid excuse. Also Zimber was referring to being killed by Partisans and not by the Germans.
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  #276  
Old 04 Mar 14, 12:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
Do you you ever think it had more to do with these peoples personal connections might have saved him?
No. Do read Ordinary Men. We're not talking about General Blaskowitz there, we're talking about privates who just said they would not kill unarmed harmless civilians. They did not need "saving" because nobody wanted them dead.

Quote:
Also not none of those guys prevented anything, in fact just as hypocritical knowing the the Genocide was taking place went right on serving the cause! So how virtuous were they?
The point is not being virtuous. We are not talking about passing moral judgements here. We are talking about penal law judgements. I don't know how the local laws are in your nick of the woods, but over here, if a honest citizen is a witness to an armed robbery and he chhoses not to jump onto the robbers to stop them, he's not committing a crime.

Besides, it is perfectly conceivable that a German soldier could see his service in the army as serving the cause - the cause of serving his own country in war, understood as necessary, as well as his duty, and separate from the issue of what his country was doing to the Jews. When a US sergeant murdered in cold blood a bunch of prisoners in Sicily in 1943, there were US servicemen as witnesses. The fact that they did not stop their sergeant is unfortunate but no crime; the fact that they chose to continue serving their country, because there still was a war to be fought, is not morally reprehensible - IMHO.

Quote:
" Bu interesting enough In the same situation down the road The third company chief, Hauptmann Friedrich Nöll, born 1897 and also a teacher in civilian life, hesitated.
Glad to see I convinced you to look Sibille up.

Quote:
He talked about the matter with his Hauptfeldwebel Emil Zimber. Both were unsure of themselves, since they were clearly aware of the fact that the order involved shooting women and children, even though there was no indication that the Jewish inhabitants of Krutsha, a village with about 1000 residents, had anything to do with partisans. They requested a written confirmation of the order. Shortly thereafter, they received the order of their battalion commander: All Jews in Krutsha were to be shot. Nöll and Zimber were consternated, this could not be a misunderstanding. At first, Nöll rejected the idea, but finally fear of the possible consequences of refusing an order won the upper hand. Nöll charged Zimber with shooting all the Jewish residents of the village. According to his own testimony, Zimber reacted to the resulting disquiet among the soldiers of his company by asserting that the whole matter had been decided by higher-ups, and it was not just an order to kill, it was an order to kill or be killed".
Yes. Note that
a) if this is to be taken as sincerely stated, then it really sounds as bluster, which was needed to coerce the soldiers to do what they did not want to do. It does not mean that it was the truth, when, allegedly, told to the soldiers; but more importantly
b) you are listening to a war criminal trying to defend himself during his own trial. You choose to take his words, which provide extenuating circumstances to his crime, as statements of fact.

I think you can see the potential pitfall in b), above. If you read up war crime trials, which I have done, you will find that remarkably enough, the men on trial almost always had some justification for what they had done.
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