Germans Knew of the Holocaust?

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Elven6, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Za

    With ref to:
    Who knows, perhaps any one of the Veterans who grace this forum happens to be a hidden murderer. Goldstein? Canning?



    I'm not responding to complain about any hidden slur but merely to wonder whether or not Sapper and others might be vexed about their names not being included !

    On a more serious note the phrase "all armies" pxxxxxxxd me off as well.

    Ron
     
  2. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Za

    With ref to:


    I'm not responding to complain about any hidden slur but merely to wonder whether or not Sapper and others might be vexed about their names not being included !

    On a more serious note the phrase "all armies" pxxxxxxxd me off as well.

    Ron

    And I apologize for that Ron, I wasn't implying murder by any means, military justice if anything has stated in my previous post.
     
  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    To bring us back on track.
    The German people knew of the concentration camp system , the existance of the camps was never a secret , they had a function " re education" , "security" and "protection" all of which was made known.

    Concentration camps differred completely from what went on in terms of the "Final Solution" - the thin end of this wedge was "T4".
    The shootings , the move to extermination was largely unknown to the general public in Germany, local populations in the east knew of them and the SS actively exploited religious and ethnic differences to secure the co operation and participation of one group against another - the target groups being well known.
    Did this come back to Germany - some news did but it was very limted and individual in nature - certainly nothing widespread came back - the Senior Army Commanders knew but turned a blind eye and often saw it as being " an SS affair or an SS action" , security orientated.
    The State controlled the news and rumour was at best what any insight or understanding of what went on "in the east" or "in Poland" amounted to.

    As far as "the folks at home" went - if the situation was contained in Poland and a suitable diet of newspaper reports and cinema newsreels was produced to divert attention , "to inform" and to head of questions before they could be asked problems were averted.
    Keeping things on a "need to know basis" solved many problems and as the war bit harder at home public attention beacme more focused on the everyday problems to hand , worries about family members serving at the front and dealing with being a nation at war.
    In short knowledge was not easy to obatin and some in the know feared to mention as it brought them into the limelight.

    The antisemetic and racially orientated propaganda hardened and became more focused as the war intensified - this was a regieme which had killed over 70,000 of its most vunerable and had managed to get away with it.
    The lessons of that process were employed as shootings gave way to the need for a "higher form of killing" - the same ethos and value system was employed but in a more secure and more covert manner.

    The majority of German citizens I think did not know or perhaps at worst closed their eyes to the possibility of what might have been - remote and isolated killing centres in Eastern Poland didn't feed back information to Germany.
     
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  4. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    The majority of German citizens I think did not know or perhaps at worst closed their eyes to the possibility of what might have been - remote and isolated killing centres in Eastern Poland didn't feed back information to Germany.

    Although it's just a difference of opinion and not based on any facts, I would disagree with your first statement but agree with the second in that I believe that the majority of Germans closed their eyes to what was going on around them if they felt queezie about it. But I also believe that there were quite a number (perhaps not a majority but I bet it was close) who although ignorant of the finer details were in agreement with the principle of the "final solution". I believe this because if you look around yourself today, in our world where we as so much more enlightened, comassionate, and tollerant, there are still educated persons who believe and promote the same crap. Imagine what it would be like in a country where hate is sanctioned and promoted by the authorities, imagine Iran or Rawanda.
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Chaps,
    This thread was pulled by one of the mod team for getting out of hand, and a thousand miles from the topic.
    Hate to do it but I've stripped it rather brutally and tried to retain at least the stuff that relates to the core query. Which is certainly a valid one in Holocaust history.

    Did the German people know of the Holocaust?

    Apologies if anyone's words were stripped, don't take offence as none is offered. Some stuff on executions became too dominant/distracting/diverting (feel free to start or join another thread about military reprisals/executions) and some was just completely unrelated. So, as I said, I found I had to be brutal in the cut, and have tried to retain some logical order in the remaining thread. (Not something I could achieve 100%, and I've spent enough time on this one today.)

    Any more distracting discussion off the essential question will mean this resurrected thread will be closed. Hate doing it but that's the way it is. If it ain't related directly to what the German population knew, it ain't going in this particular thread.

    So there you go.
    The question is now:
    "How much the 'German in the street' knew of the holocaust?".
    And it'd be lovely if it stayed on those lines

    ~A
     
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  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Von Poop…

    I do appreciate that this is your web site and thus you are fully entitled to do as you will and I find no fault in that..however

    It has always been my understanding after some twelve years of elementary and Grammar school education plus a further six years at University – that a Forum is a place where all points of view can be discussed freely with other points of view allowed to offer a divergent arguement in order to attain an Objective view of the Truth. A soap box at Hyde Park Corner if you will….

    I appear to be in the wrong as it is obvious that this is no longer a valid viewpoint inasmuch as a thread from this WW2talk – as a forum – has been withdrawn and edited owing to some objections by a young German lady and an unemployed chap from England – both on religious grounds as apparently my views on Religious History are at odds with their lack of viewpoint but nevertheless made them uncomfortable and leaving them without an arguement . And a moderator who is uncomfortable with a discussion on what he terms a Theological turn !

    That particular thread was compromised in the opening posting !

    It is my conviction that I have probably mis judged the times we live in as it would appear that the newer and more fashionable religions are those of the Holocaust and Islam. Christianity and it’s history being no longer valid….

    I cannot therefore accept membership in this heresy and so I shall bid you farewell.

    Cheers
    Tom Canning
     
  7. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Tom,

    I must have missed a few posts before this thread was edited, at least that is the vibe I am getting from your description of events.

    Not sure what I can say to change your mind, I've always respected and valued your opinion on a variety of subjects, even when they differed from mine. It's unfortunate to see you go if that is indeed what you are implying with your last statement.

    If this is indeed goodbye, I and I'm sure many on this forum will miss you, good luck and take care!
     
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Stig O'Tracey
    Although it's just a difference of opinion and not based on any facts, I would disagree with your first statement but agree with the second in that I believe that the majority of Germans closed their eyes to what was going on around them if they felt queezie about it. But I also believe that there were quite a number (perhaps not a majority but I bet it was close) who although ignorant of the finer details were in agreement with the principle of the "final solution". I believe this because if you look around yourself today, in our world where we as so much more enlightened, comassionate, and tollerant, there are still educated persons who believe and promote the same crap. Imagine what it would be like in a country where hate is sanctioned and promoted by the authorities, imagine Iran or Rawanda

    I do see where you are coming from - there is something in ourselves which makes us able to be prejudice against those we percieve to be different - what knowledge there actually was at grass roots level is difficlut to assess as the State did control all aspects of the media , press , radio , newsreels.
    Murder and slave labour - the slave labour they may have been more aware off - murder difficult to be sure - what news came back came back in a limited form to the public.
    The senior Army Commanders did know but they did turn a blind eye - "an SS action" , " security actions" was how they preferred to see them.

    As the war progressed public opinion was more easy to divert and understandably became more interested in the war in how if effected themselves .

    I do hope Tom will reconsider his course of action - this discussion should be based on history , not religion of theology.
     
  9. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

  10. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

  11. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Yeah, I've got it.
    (Posted about it here).

    Thanks for the link, reading through it now.
     
  12. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    After reading through a bunch of different reviews I'm finding people will either love it and praise it, throwing other theories to the curb. Others will look at it analytically and either hate it or remain neutral.

    If this newspaper thing is true, could it have been possible in places of high anti-semtism (or even racism) to a certain extent this information would have been more readily available then places of low anti-semitism?
     
  13. Hoover

    Hoover Junior Member

    Sorry for using this old thread, but I have something to add.

    My grandmother was born in 1930 (still alive) and I asked her, what did they know about the Holocaust?
    She lived in a small village near Verden, located 60 km west of Bergen-Belsen, 20 km south of Bremen.

    There were no Jews in her village, but in Verden a lot (all were deported to different Concentration Camps and Ghettos, only a very few survived). My grandmother said, nobody knew exact what happened to the Jews, it was said they were deported to working camps in the east. But there were a saying among the villagers: "Be quiet or you will be taken into >a camp<!" (in German "Sei ruhig oder du kommst ins Lager!")

    Did the average German in the small towns and farms knew about the mass murder against the Jews? No, but a lot of Germans had foreboding that there were "bad things happening". My grandmother said, they didn´t know, but to be honest they didn´t want to know.

    after the war, wenn the photos and newsreel from Bergen-Belsen were shown, they first were very sceptical, because they couldn´t believe that cultured Germany could do this kind of murder.

    In the 80´s, during my days in school, we had a lot of meetings with former camp inmates but I also met a few former guards and what we, as 14 to 16 year old schoolchildren, have heard from both sides we will not forget.

    I hope I can add a point of view to the discussion.

    Bye
    Frank
     
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