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Germans people about WW2


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Bagetti #1 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

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Hi!

So I just watched the Company of Heroes 2 trailer (which is fantastic) and I started thinking about the people in the wars. Many people say that the aftermath of WW1 with the ridiculous fine Germany got lead to WW2 but that doesn't change the fact that even more people (I think) blame Germany for WW2 and all the horrors it lead to.

So I was wondering since I don't know any germans... How does the average 2012 german feel about WW2?
Is it something that doesn't feel relevant?
Do you feel shame for the german past?

What do you feel and think?

I have absolutely no idea what average germans feel and think about this so... please do tell!

BravelyRanAway #2 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

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I think most people blame Hitler and his band of murderous followers that twisted the press and fostered fear and mislead the German people.

TheSEmperor #3 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

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Controversial topic. I'm not German though, so I can't say anything.

inb4 possible lock

Mezzou #4 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

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Is it something that doesn't feel relevant?
relevant in what way? please precise the question
As far as i understand now, its relevant for history books but doestn affect my life so far


Do you feel shame for the german past?
No, but i feel ashamed of politicians telling me it is my fault when even my father wasnt born that time, and even my grandfather who was born in 1944 is guilty?! hell get lost mr. politician. I also feel ashamed for paying taxes for holocaust monuments to remember the past, not saying the holocaust never happened but seriously, humanity isnt stupid to forget such things, i just dont wanna be reminded what shit some goofy people in brown uniforms did. i dont stoop down to such stupidity of pseudo-political correctness, yes hitler was a fool and a mass murderer but he isnt the most evil person of his age, stalin in numbers, killed the double amount of  people in his time and chinas mao, killed more than hitler and stalin combined... no one talks about mao like people talk about hitler which in my opinion is a no-brainer

WebtheWorldwide #5 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

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Huh, I'm German and I can say that it is quite difficult...

...we do not have a direct link to the War anymore, I've never met my grandpa who fought at the Eastern Front (or didnt fight, he was more into communications or something). But we always get reminded of our past. in every city, museum, etc., there is a story from WW2. If we leave Germany, they ask us.

I've been to Chile, Brazil, and India up to now and there were always questions. My host-brother in india even had a book about hitler which i was supposed to read and comment.

typhaon #6 Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

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Well the average German does not think often about WW2 anymore, except at memorial days... today's Germans have nothing to do with the cruel things that happened back then... the last remaining Germans that lived back at WW2 are dying, so most people here have no real connection to history.
We are certainly not proud of what happened back then, but we don't feel like we are responsible for it either.
Germany has a very intense way of dealing with it's past... the naked thruth about the cruel war is a major topic in schools, so that every sane citizen gets to know about what happened and how it happened so that it does never happen again.
But even thinking about the Germans of those days I think you do many of them wrong, if you call them all Nazis, murderers or something like that... there were many people who were just forced or frightened... some people were even brave enough to cheat the system to help others, even risking their own life... there is a very interesting book about the way propaganda and group dynamics influence people called "Die Welle"... it discribes a fictual school experiment of a teacher, who wants to show how easy it is, to manipulate people, even for bad things... in the end the whole experiment goes terribly wrong... don't know if it's available in other countries as well and what the title is there...

Bagetti #7 Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

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I think I understand now. :) Thank you everyone for your thoughts. To summarize I guess I could say:

You don't feel shame because you don't feel responsible, simply because it was such a long time ago. However you're very aware of what has happened.

Technocrat_Prime #8 Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

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Wrong. I cannot be held responsible for anything that happened before my birth, because I had no control over it. It's as simple as that.

Nekomancer #9 Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

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I am German and i can tell you, Hitler was as much to blame as the Germans. We Germans followed his promises of a better future like a donkey following a carrot on a stick.

But racial tension wasn't new back then. Even during the colonization era a lot of countries (including the British Empire and France) commited genocide to conquer new land and thought of the inhabitants of their colonies as tools and pawns, not as equal humans. And does no one remember what German colonists did to the Hereros in Africa? That was almost as bad as what Hitler did. But no one cared since it were only Africans, not civilized, industrial and educated Europeans.
What Germany did during World War II was only the epitome of that.

World War II wasn't caused by a single cause (big events like that are never monocausal) like the insane fines and limitations caused by loosing the first World War, or the fact that Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats to gain in popularity, or the worldwide financial crisis which caused a massive inflation and high unemployment rates.

It was a lot of stuff that got together and ended in this massive tragedy which affected the whole world.


But, do i feel responsible? No, that was decades before i was born. I would only feel responsible if that happens again while i live.
Do i feel shame? Hard to say, looking down on other races was kinda normal back then (which doesn't excuse what happened). I'd say a bit, since it totally went out of control. It is part of our history and that won't change. We can only learn from it and try to don't let it happen again.

But how do other countries feel? The concentration camps were not invented by Germans, they were already used by the USA to detain native americans, or by the British Empire for the Boer. And let's not forget the USA concentration camps they used during World War II to detain US citizens of Asian origins after Pearl Harbor.

Well, post WW2 i think we developed pretty fine. Merged with GDR without causing another war and now have a female chancellor, a gay foreign minister and an economy minister of vietnamese origin (immigrant).

tigerstreak #10 Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

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View PostBagetti, on 05 November 2012 - 07:34 PM, said:

Many people say that the aftermath of WW1 with the ridiculous fine Germany got lead to WW2 but that doesn't change the fact that even more people (I think) blame Germany for WW2 and all the horrors it lead to.
just imagine how the german people will feel when they realise......
they have been made to pay the french, rediculous amounts of money each year (alot more than to greece)
all in a bid to maintain french lifestyles +prevent future war...

its the EU im describing, incase you didnt recognise it

tigerstreak #11 Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

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View PostNekomancer, on 07 November 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

But how do other countries feel? The concentration camps were not invented by Germans, they were already used by the USA to detain native americans, or by the British Empire for the Boer. And let's not forget the USA concentration camps they used during World War II to detain US citizens of Asian origins after Pearl Harbor.
+the black americans still didnt have equal rights in the 60s...

WebtheWorldwide #12 Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

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View Posttigerstreak, on 08 November 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:

just imagine how the german people will feel when they realise......
they have been made to pay the french, rediculous amounts of money each year (alot more than to greece)
all in a bid to maintain french lifestyles +prevent future war...

its the EU im describing, incase you didnt recognise it

nah, the EU isnt that bad. There is a lot of space for improvement, but discussing that will lead far away.

However, take a closer look at the payments, taxes etc. and you'll see, that the EU & Euro brought many advantages for the Germans, so we shouldnt complain about it....btw, it's a great idea to have no frontiers anymore, to have just one currency...

but back to the topic:

It's difficult to say if the Germans feel responsible or not, our generation hasnt seen the war and its consequence but we're still part of the same nation as our grandfathers and their families were...

...always a big question. How can we treat Israel and the conflict with palestine? Are we able to say our opinion or are we supposed to cover them? An infinite circle might develop from here :P

OIias_of_Sunhillow #13 Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:24 PM

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It's a question i've always wondered about, but was perhaps too afraid(?) to ask.
I'd like to thank the Germans, that have taken part in this, very much for their contribution.
It's opened my eyes a little further on how you feel, regarding the second world war.

OldIronsides #14 Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

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View PostMezmaryse, on 05 November 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:

Do you feel shame for the german past?
No, but i feel ashamed of politicians telling me it is my fault when even my father wasnt born that time, and even my grandfather who was born in 1944 is guilty?! hell get lost mr. politician.

Please tell me, who exactly tells you that YOU are guilty of all these things? I for one wasn't ever accused for World War 2 or Holocaust/Shoa, and I also don't feel guilty by myself. Neither do I consider the German people or the current German state as guilty. Though the Federal Republic of Germany as legal successor of the Reich of course has some legal/moral liabilities.

View PostMezmaryse, on 05 November 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:

I also feel ashamed for paying taxes for holocaust monuments to remember the past, not saying the holocaust never happened but seriously, humanity isnt stupid to forget such things, i just dont wanna be reminded what shit some goofy people in brown uniforms did.

First, there are much more useless things to pay for (do you already pay taxes when your grandfather was born in '44?). Soccer World Championships, for example.
Second, those wearing brown or black uniforms while committing crimes or supporting the regime were only a fraction. Most did not wear brown or black uniforms, at least when it came to the everyday cruelties of that years. But that's the typical whitewashing here in Germany. "Yeah, some evil guys did some bad things. Awful time. Now let's go on, the evil guys are gone and since it was absolutely and only their fault - no reason to keep thinking about the past!"

View PostMezmaryse, on 05 November 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:

i dont stoop down to such stupidity of pseudo-political correctness, yes hitler was a fool and a mass murderer but he isnt the most evil person of his age, stalin in numbers, killed the double amount of  people in his time and chinas mao, killed more than hitler and stalin combined... no one talks about mao like people talk about hitler which in my opinion is a no-brainer

What got the "stupidity of pseudo-political correctness" (which I destest myself, but I guess we have different understandings of it) to do with things that from every point of view are different and incomparable? They simply are. Only in the eyes of those that want to compensate the one crime by the other this can make sense. And I haven't seen many people frolicing about what happened under Stalin or Mao, they are widely accepted as criminals and dicators as well. But they haven't ravaged in Germany but in other countries, so there is no need to account for their past here as well (apart from the usual history lessons). Plus there were certain and significant differences in all of their deeds.

Just a little hint:
How did the NS-Regime kill it's victims? Which doctrine was it based on? Now compare that to what was going on in the Soviet Union or in China.



But to answer Bagetti's question... Mezmaryse's post describes pretty well the attitude of the masses in Germany towards history and WW2.

Edited by OldIronsides, 09 November 2012 - 09:58 AM.


WebtheWorldwide #15 Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:39 PM

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View PostOldIronsides, on 09 November 2012 - 09:55 AM, said:

But to answer Bagetti's question... Mezmaryse's post describes pretty well the attitude of the masses in Germany towards history and WW2.


However, there are also some people who do think different... and that's good ;)

tigerstreak #16 Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

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View PostWebtheWorldwide, on 10 November 2012 - 05:39 PM, said:

However, there are also some people who do think different... and that's good ;)
a bit odd, going on holiday +seeing a painting of hitler being made that someone has commisioned :o

XxXSpottedYouXxX #17 Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:42 AM

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Everyone thinks he is evil but he brought germany from its depths and created something amazing it was not until his later years that he lost it due to mass of power.

Nekomancer #18 Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:34 AM

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I sincerely hope you're joking by defending this madman who caused horrible deaths for millions and unlimited grief for everyone who survived his atrocities.

He was an evil bastard before he went totally bonkers, which didn't make him any friendlier.

OldIronsides #19 Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:47 AM

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View PostDerRizerPin, on 20 November 2012 - 01:42 AM, said:

Everyone thinks he is evil but he brought germany from its depths and created something amazing it was not until his later years that he lost it due to mass of power.

Everything that was created under Hitler's reign was part of the ideology of "national socialism" and preparation for all the goals Hitler had right from the start (which you can read about in his book "Mein Kampf" from 1925). He created jobs in the (arms) industry and construction business yes - with wages as low as never before. At the end of the 1930's Germany was broke. Luckily enough Germany had been preparing for a war of aggression and developing sophisticated methods of plundering and exploiting conquered countries for years, when it came to that point. Pure coincidence?

Edited by OldIronsides, 20 November 2012 - 09:48 AM.


BravelyRanAway #20 Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

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View PostDerRizerPin, on 20 November 2012 - 01:42 AM, said:

Everyone thinks he is evil but he brought germany from its depths and created something amazing it was not until his later years that he lost it due to mass of power.
Honestly DerRizerPin!  
Just read history regarding the effect of his polices before the war on certain sections of the German population and Political opposition and the introduction of slave labour. The remodeling of the education system to produce just the kind of people he needed and the terrorising of the average German using yob's with no brain of their own. His callous re-organisation of the Health system.
So much happened before war broke out.
What he created was not 'amazing' it was a horror covered by a few Foreign policy stunts and construction projects while patriotically sticking his two fingers at the rest of Europe(who themselves were complicit in breaking 'The Treaty of Versailles' many times)
Make no mistake, he was evil and he surrounded himself with sociopath's and evil.




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