Home Main Forums General Discussion "Nazis are good only for killing."

  • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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    "Nazis are good only for killing."

    I had an uncle who died about 30 years ago. He grew up in a small town in Texas in the 1920’s and 30’s. Like many of his generation, he enlisted in the Army in World War II.

    When I knew him, he was a kind of eccentric, pipe-smoking old dude who had a very pessimistic outlook on life. But I liked him. He lived in Austin, and when I went to college there, I spent some time with him for totally selfish college-boy reasons.

    My uncle, you see, was an engineer. His proudest accomplishment was helping to design I-70 through Colorado during the Eisenhower Administration, and he did help design a very beautiful highway, as those things go. He was also a good auto mechanic, and loved working on cars. He helped me keep my old Pontiac tuned to a tee. Changed the oil and stuff for free, too, just because he enjoyed the work. I got to know him some, but he always refused to tell me about his experiences during the war.

    Except for one day. I brought over a bottle of his favorite whiskey in exchange for him giving my mechanical beastie a tune up. We drank it together. And he told me some stories. They blew my ass away, and I understood why he didn’t like to talk about them.

    He was an infantryman in Patton’s Third Army. He went through Operation Cobra, which was the breakout from Normandy. He marched through Paris in July, 1944 and was kissed by Frenchwomen. He helped liberate I don’t know how many French towns and villages from the Nazis. He saw what they had left behind. He was in the Winter March to relieve Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. He was in the breaching of the Siegfried Line.

    He was in the first platoon to reach Dachau.

    I had known that before taking the whiskey over to his house on that pleasant Texas autumn day. He’d never talked about it; to anybody, except for my aunt, as far as I knew. Even his older kids, my cousins, said he’d never talked about it. He did to me. That day.

    I had asked him maybe a year earlier why there were no SS guards from Dachau to make it to the Nuremberg trials. He hadn’t answered. He’d just puffed on his pipe. That day, he told me. There were SS guards there that day when his platoon arrived. Some of them fought the Americans, and died. Others surrendered.

    It didn’t take long for my uncle or anyone else in his platoon to figure out what had been going on there. He had never imagined anything like that was even possible. He said the horror, and the anger, was overwhelming.

    And his lieutenant’s last name was Goldstein.

    They executed the officers by firing squad. The enlisted men they, well, rounded them up, gave the surviving prisoners the spades or entrenching tools they carried in their kits, and threw the SS men to the mercy of their former captives and victims.

    None survived.

    My uncle looked me straight in my slack-jawed face and said, “Remember this, nephew. Nazis are good only for killing. Never forget.” He said it passionately. Fervently. He never spoke of it again.

    20 years later, a recently declassified Army film showed a firing squad. I’m not sure, because their backs were turned, but one of the soldiers doing the shooting looked an awful lot like my uncle.

    When I saw what happened in Charlottesville today, I remembered that conversation. And the video. And how proud I still am of my uncle.

    Diclotican, N2Doc, madfloridian and 27 othersdisillusioned73, ZimInSeattle, Rocky, hifiguy, Scott Crowder, Flying Squirrel, Pacco Fransisco, Katashi, LiberalElite, Two way street, PADemD, Ferd Berfel, Mom Cat, Haikugal, Fasttense, joentokyo, 12-Bar Blues, incognito, Rozinante, jeff47, Half Century Man, Enthusiast, jwirr, Silver Witch, kliljedahl, GloriaMundi, Marym625 like this
    "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  

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  • 1 week ago #18
    • Marym625 (23443 posts)
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      1. I wonder if ouruncles knew each other

      I have to find an old post and send it to you

      On The Daily Radical

      Thank you for this

      Oi245KQ-1 "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        4. Thanks for that PM. It is very possible.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • Marym625 (23443 posts)
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          7. That thread was great

          So many wonderful/heartbreaking and heartwarming stories

          A place I no longer recognize

          Oi245KQ-1 "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
          • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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            8. You held out at least six years longer than I there.

            I no longer recognized it in 2009. At least, that was when my presence was no longer tolerated.

            "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
            • Marym625 (23443 posts)
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              11. I stayed too long

              Oi245KQ-1 "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
              • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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                13. You are a nicer and more tolerant person than I.

                Living below the poverty line for a few years with a wife and child does that to some of us. It certainly did to me. I freely confess to bitterness and anger. I had come out of those circumstances by intelligence, hard work, and luck by 1999. When Obama made that comment about investment bankers like Jamie Dimon, I remember it:

                I know these guys. They’re friends of mine. They’re successful. Americans don’t begrudge them their wealth. They’re like baseball players. Americans celebrate wealth, and they should.

                I lost it and went on a rant on an OP. They gave me a Tombstone. Shitty pizza to boot.  :lol:  The least they could have done was to give me a Red Baron.

                I think that was the first time. There were two more before I hung it up there.

                "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
                • Marym625 (23443 posts)
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                  17. As far as I know, I'm still a member

                  But I don’t give two shits about that place.

                  I posted the day we went live on JPR1. It was also the day they banned @mannygoldstein for bullshit reasons. It was not long after they banned @paccofransisco and @nyc_skp.

                  My post called DWS a cunt and said some other ranting things. I called out the sick fucks who were being allowed to say horrible things about Omaha Steve, our @WizardofOS.

                  They didn’t ban me. I’m sure because they were already taking a hit for banning Manny.

                  Skinner, the #1 troll on the internet, then posted his excuses for banning the aforementioned members. But he also said that they don’t ban for the word “cunt.”

                  Wish I had saved the thread. He didn’t mention me but it was obvious he was trying to excuse not banning me for something which he banned NYC_SKP. It was funny watching him twist that.

                  I’m probably banned. As I said, don’t really care.

                  I’m sorry for your troubles. I don’t have a spouse or children to worry about. If I did, I would be selling myself at this point. It’s only by the grace of my best friend, and a couple other dear, wonderful people, that I’m not on the street.

                  Oi245KQ-1 "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
                  • hifiguy (1645 posts)
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                    24. Banning Manny was the last straw for me.

                    Saw your post on Discussionist and headed here immediately.

                    • Marym625 (23443 posts)
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                      31. So glad you did

                      I didn’t remember I posted anything there

                      Oi245KQ-1 "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
                • CalGoldenBear (532 posts)
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                  27. Frick-frack-fruck, our "greatest president" is talking about the meritocracy,

                  of which he’s (and Michelle) now a member in good standing.

    • GloriaMundi (575 posts)
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      2. It's rare to get a truthful account of war…

      …but truth is always a good thing.  War should never be glorified.  And of course, the Holocaust was a whole nother level of evil.  Not surprising that the soldiers reacted in the way they did, nor the survivors in the prison camp either.  But how traumatic.  Even if one believes it was just, it had to be horrific to witness.

      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        5. My uncle had a nervous breakdown several months after he came home.

        He was hospitalized for a time, a few weeks, months, I don’t know. I can’t imagine what it was like to live through the horrors he did. What kept him together and brought him through was his fundamental goodness. I am convinced of that. Ordinary human beings can do incredible things when there is no other choice.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • CalGoldenBear (532 posts)
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        28. Those concentration camps like Dachau were death camps, not

        “prison camps” for captured military PoWs.  The latter were covered by the Geneva Convention and supposedly inspected periodically by the International Red Cross.

    • GZeusH (1853 posts)
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      3. The Nazis are always with us

      That’s why we have teachers, and museums, and war crimes tribunals.  Constant vigilance is required to stamp out tribe superiority, whoever raises it.  Wherever and whenever “ethnic cleansing” pops up, Nazis are not far behind.

      Policy:  The mistaken notion that bossy people have that they can influence other people's behavior through majority rule.
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        6. Too true. Tribalism is a luxury our species can no longer afford.

        It’s way past time to get rid of it.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • CalGoldenBear (532 posts)
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        29. There's also the Holocaust Museum in DC.

    • Silver Witch (4856 posts)
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      9. I had a father in law….

      He fought in WWII. I believe he was a bomber. He cried one night over whiskey and a big fat cigar and told me why war is never the answer. I understood him and I cried with him. He said he was never the same after the war and the guilt and shame he carried did not outweigh the good he believed he had done for his country.

      It is a complex issue and today I don’t have the answers I thought I had yesterday.

      I agree with one point. Never suffer a nazi to live. They are vile and represent the worst of human beings.

      #Let'sTalkRevolution
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        12. Another one of my uncles was a lead navigator for bombing runs over

        Germany. He served with George McGovern, who flew at least 20 missions Over There. That uncle said McGovern was one of the bravest and most decent men he ever met, and got really pissed when anyone else called ol’ George a whiny wimpy liberal.

        As I said elsewhere, I had some interesting Thanksgivings growing up.

        He also said war was never the best answer, but sometimes it was the only answer. He didn’t thing much of Nazis either, but he was a lead navigator for the bombing of Dresden, a totally civilian target. He went there after the war and also had a nervous breakdown.

        When Slaughterhouse Five came out, he insisted that everybody read it. I did, of course.

         

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
    • Enthusiast (8865 posts)
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      10. It's a slogan I will remember.

      Nazis are only good for killing!

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide."  Frank Church "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, 1848
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        14. Worked for my relatives, anyway.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
    • incognito (1502 posts)
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      15. My dad refused to ever talk about that war. Never would. Never did.

      We knew how much he hated anything German though…you didn’t DARE buy a Volkswagen and park it in his driveway. And his disdain for the country and Nazis never faded. He died never having talked about all the atrocities he witnessed. He would start weeping anytime someone asked him about his time in the army.

      He was a WWII and Korean War vet. I can only imagine the horrors they all witnessed.

      And here we have that shit knocking on our door.

      DEMEXITED BECAUSE THEY'RE CORRUPT TO THE CORE!

      • BuySellTrade (335 posts)
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        22. My Dad never talked about WWII with several exceptions.

        He got baptized in January 1942 and volunteered.

        He was not religious but had no birth certificate nor other record of birth. He made himself younger because he wanted to be in the Army Air Corp as he was a private pilot but he only went through 8th grade and did not qualify so became a GI.

        He went to Basic in Cheyenne and there was an American Indian fellow from our tiny and remote small town who volunteered at the same time and attended the same basic. My Mom and Zona went to Cheyenne from far northern California for a last visit. They partied in Jack Dempsey’s Bar in NYC and I have the pictures of the club given to me over 50 years ago by a grandmother. My Mom and Zona sat at a US Forest Service / once CCC forest lookout during part of the War for Japanese incursions of the Pacific coast. Wilfred died in the 60s, my Mom in 1983, and Dad in 1996 but Zona is still alive and must be close to 100 years old.  I grew up with Zona’s 6 children and now 5 or the 6 are also gone.  The youngest passed on last year and her only son is a Afghanistan vet with severe PSTS.  He lived with her on disability and I am not sure what his situation is now.

        Before D Day he was stationed near Salisbury and toured around that area of England during leaves. In the 1990s I spent a week going to the places he visited (Bath, Stratford-on-Avon, Stonehenge, Cornwell, Salisbury, etc).

        He never mentioned anything on the continent even though he was there until 1946.  He had one Army buddy from North Carolina who he kept in contact with by letter and later by phone but never saw again.  He was going to visit  in NC Summer 1996 but instead he passed away, age 86. He did mention that he left to the USA from Le Harve (where I later visited).  He would not talk about the actual soldiering part of the War ever. He seemed neutral about the military as an institution in general but was a firm believer in the idea of the USA and its rile to predominate by moral force.

        I greatly upset my Dad because of my strong stand against the Vietnam War (and attending that hippy school Berkeley and quitting a required Summer job on his gravel crusher age 16 to go to work for the distrusted Feds) . But he greatly admired FDR (and the CCC which had a strong presence in our rural home town in the 1930s) and was a Democrat for years but turned to admire Nixon and Reagan, giving money to them and Dole and Bush and turning into a Fox watcher (fortunately he did not listen to radio except Giants baseball games). Dad also did not like Volkswagens. We never stopped arguing about politics. He questioned my patriotism. He attitude toward other races softened. He became somewhat of a guru and patron to a small local organic farming community who had truck farms on where he had for many years grown alfalfa.

        Our home and my parent’s business were destroyed by a major flood Christmas 1964. Very little was salvaged. Cleaning out his belongings during the Estate, I found a plastic bag with a bunch of papers long cemented together by river silt. Most of it is still in that bag in a clump in a desk drawer in my bedroom. The papers were his military records and correspondence with my Mother during the long separation.

        The clump was mostly too fragile and cemented to try and separate (always thought would take to a specialist but never did).  The most interesting things were that he had spent most of the time in Germany after passing through France.  He had a cardboard pass for going into a “green” like closed zone in Nurenburg.  He came home when he did because of repeated petitions by my maternal grandmother. My Mother was an only child and my Dad was needed to maintain the family business. Because of the War my parents had their first child in 1947 after 11 years of marriage and I was and a younger sister were born when our father was in his 40s.

        Thanks for the thread.

         

         

         

         

    • LiberalElite (5016 posts)
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      16. My uncle was a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge

      He came home, married, joined the FDNY and then dropped out of sight.  We’d get his W-2s for dishwashing/short order cook jobs in various diners every year.  He probably drank himself to death.  I blame WWII a/k/a  “The Good War.”

      My mother kept some miscellaneous stuff belonging to my uncle in a closet.  Among the riflery medal etc. was a book of concentration camp photos and some sort of memento with a picture of Eisenhower and a lot of signatures (autographs)?   Did your uncle have them too?  I remember looking through the book as a child.  Horrific doesn’t begin to describe those images.

      I feel much better since I've given up hope
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        20. I never saw any pictures, mementos, or medals from my uncle. I heard he got

        decorated a couple of times, but he would never talk about it.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
    • Fawke Em (3742 posts)
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      18. Yep…

          
    • MistaP (5668 posts)
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      19. problem is America's been chasing that high ever since, in the Cold War and then

      the War on Terror: the CIA did everything it did because they were righteous and justified OSS-men keeping the new totalitarian darkness from drowning the Earth

      when the Contras captured FSLN judges, coop workers, clinic workers, schoolteachers, literacy workers–forcing the village to participate when they were gunned down or their toddler children were forced to pull the pin on the grenade tied to papá‘s neck–Bill Casey pictured their victims in Hugo Boss (after all, they were certain Nicaragua was a genocidal regime that was processing its Miskito through the camps)

      when we crushed Arbenz and Hudson Austin, we really thought great crimes had been punished: Zinn warned that we had one “good war” in history, and that motivated everything that came after

      http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/ (Third Way = Bell Curve)
      • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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        21. World War II was unique in that no matter what Allied propaganda said about the

        Nazi Germans or Imperial Japanese, the truth turned out to be actually worse. The German death camps and massacres, the Japanese biological warfare experiments that killed up to a million Chinese, the “comfort women,” the POW work camps.

        It’s certainly the only war in American history where nearly everything our government said actually had some truth to it. Since then…not so much.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • Scott Crowder (443 posts)
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          23. And of course, the American Nazi's immediately snuck most of the evil bastards

          into the U.S.

          • Ohio Barbarian (3781 posts)
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            25. That is a gross overstatement. They did not sneak MOST Nazis into the US. They

            did certainly let a bunch of Nazi scientists in because they wanted their knowledge, which was bad enough, but let’s keep it real here.

            "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
            • Scott Crowder (443 posts)
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              26. You're the one not keeping it real here.

              I said most of the evil bastards, not most of the Nazi’s.  The average run of the mill nazi was just a deluded pawn.  Even guys like Skorzeny were just good soldiers, not evil bastards.   The true evil bastards were the ones we snuck out.

              http://sheldonkirshner.com/u-s-recruited-nazi-scientists-after-war/

              Annie Jacobsen, in Operation Paperclip (Little, Brown and Company), focuses on 21 of these scientists, now all dead.

              By her reckoning, 15 of the 21 had been dedicated Nazis, 10 had joined Nazi Party paramilitary squads, including the SS, and six had stood trial at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal. One had been a convicted mass murderer.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/us/14nazis.html

              A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

              The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

              ….Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

    • ZimInSeattle (1152 posts)
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      32. Good post OB. I went to Dachau when I lived in Germany. Spooky place.

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK | Bernie would have WON! |“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness" - J.K. Galbraith |“Fascism is a result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative” - Leon Trotsky | Sanders/Gabbard 2020 (PPP)