Belsen - sixty years on.

#2
It will be sixty years since my father shot the burgomeister of Bergen then...but it was alright he was only obeying orders.
 
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benjaminw1

Guest
#3
Cuddles said:
It will be sixty years since my father shot the burgomeister of Bergen then...but it was alright he was only obeying orders.
A glass raised to yr pater then.

When my pa was employed as a teacher BFES in 1962 on the ending of National service we were temp accomodated in a Gasthaus in Bergen.
One day my ma, to help the kindly white haired old couple who ran the place, decided to put some linen away for the alte frau in one of those big shiney ancient wooden wardrobes at the end of the communal corridor. Opens the doors and is confronted by a well pressed uniform and highly polished boots both being coloured black...

Hohne garrison decided not to use this gasthaus in future
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
Whilst visiting My Grandfathers grave we stayed near belsen and my mum was rather keen on visiting. I put her off not to offend the germans we were staying with. It may have helped explain what her father fought against if we had gone. We will next time!
 
#5
Visited the place 10 years ago. Very creepy.


Opens the doors and is confronted by a well pressed uniform and highly polished boots both being coloured black...
That would be either Allgemeine SS (general SS) or the uniform of their armoured troops. Neither of which had anything to do with the camps. Camp guards came from the Totenkopfverbande SS, another branch although their were cross postings.
Don't know what happend around Bergen when it was liberated but in and around Dachau a lot of troops were captured and shot or beaten to death on the spot (over 500). Not because they were guards but because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and both inmates and liberating US troops simply lost the plot.

Wonder if that uniform is still kicking around. Would be worth a fair bit now.
 
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benjaminw1

Guest
#6
cdo_gunner said:
Visited the place 10 years ago. Very creepy.


Opens the doors and is confronted by a well pressed uniform and highly polished boots both being coloured black...
That would be either Allgemeine SS (general SS) or the uniform of their armoured troops. Neither of which had anything to do with the camps. Camp guards came from the Totenkopfverbande SS, another branch although their were cross postings.
Don't know what happend around Bergen when it was liberated but in and around Dachau a lot of troops were captured and shot or beaten to death on the spot (over 500). Not because they were guards but because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and both inmates and liberating US troops simply lost the plot.

Wonder if that uniform is still kicking around. Would be worth a fair bit now.
Probably Allgemeine, what with the "we knew nothing" camp up the road and it being 1962 it still gave me ma the willies.
 
#7
Very moving piece on the Today prog on the way into the office this morning. Splendid 'old boy' who'd been one of the first to pitch up and liberate the unfortunates behind the wire, only to watch as thousands more croaked due to the shock of being fed again as well as dysentry and a typhoid epidemic. The reporter called the guards Nazis, the old boy called them 'The Germans'

It really fcuks me off when the pc BBC refer to it as a 'Nazi' atrocity and the perpetrators as 'Nazis' as opposed to Germans. Let's not forget who and what were at the bottom of all this. We are steered away from the truth by our leaders in case anyone is clever enough to notice that the modern 'European' project is being stage managed by the Germans and their collaborating lickspittles the French.
 
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Biscuits_AB

Guest
#8
I'm no Holocaust denier, but we weren't much better in the atrocity ratings. The Americans treat the Germans badly and the Frogs even more so.

We didn't kill people on such a grand scale but we did shoot them out of hand. Brit squaddies shot civvi prisoners in what we no call Normandt Bks in Sennelager (I believe it was on the site which we call Woodlands Camp) The SPAMs really went to town. There was apparantly an order straight from Ike that small groups of German soldiers surrendering could be disposed of. The SS 7th Gerbirgsjaeger, who had conducted themselves honourably throughout the war by all accounts, which included the capture of an American Field Hospital where they assisted the wounded, were taken out in batchs of 9 & 10 and slotted in a field, all 700 or so of them.

We allowed 1000s who had been captured this side of the Elbe to be handed over to the Sovs in the full knowledge that they would be topped.

The French starved Prisoners of war and acted like the spiteful b*stards that they were after the 1st war when they shot German civvies out of hand.

There's lots of differing opinions on the various branches of the SS, but the Wermacht weren't unfamiliar with doing the whole village.

When the SPAMs took on PAderborn, they certainly took the gloves off and very few prisoners weren't shot after they surrendered or whilst doing so.

History and the victor?
 
#9
History and the victor, indeed.
You see, history says that the German state authorised the murder of millions of people.
History also recounts certain individual atrocities on the Allied side perpetrated by individuals without state sanction. How many Allied atrocities can we list here? I'd say we'd be hard-pressed to fill a page.
With the Germans, on the other hand, entire countries became atrocities when they swept through Russia and Poland. The amount of people they killed and atrocities they caused is something dedicated professionals have to catalogue and still haven't finished doing 60 years later.
 
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benjaminw1

Guest
#10
Biscuits_AB said:
I'm no Holocaust denier, but we weren't much better in the atrocity ratings. The Americans treat the Germans badly and the Frogs even more so.

We didn't kill people on such a grand scale but we did shoot them out of hand. Brit squaddies shot civvi prisoners in what we no call Normandt Bks in Sennelager (I believe it was on the site which we call Woodlands Camp) The SPAMs really went to town. There was apparantly an order straight from Ike that small groups of German soldiers surrendering could be disposed of. The SS 7th Gerbirgsjaeger, who had conducted themselves honourably throughout the war by all accounts, which included the capture of an American Field Hospital where they assisted the wounded, were taken out in batchs of 9 & 10 and slotted in a field, all 700 or so of them.

We allowed 1000s who had been captured this side of the Elbe to be handed over to the Sovs in the full knowledge that they would be topped.

The French starved Prisoners of war and acted like the spiteful b*stards that they were after the 1st war when they shot German civvies out of hand.

There's lots of differing opinions on the various branches of the SS, but the Wermacht weren't unfamiliar with doing the whole village.

When the SPAMs took on PAderborn, they certainly took the gloves off and very few prisoners weren't shot after they surrendered or whilst doing so.

History and the victor?
As long as you weren't a slav of course. Ah! the master race, those were the days, how we laughed.
 
#11
Cor Blimey, or should I say 'Crumbs', Biscuits old chap!

No one's denying the odd hasty destruction of the other sides soldiers in a manner that would dismay the television pundits in this day and age done by both sides. That is war, I'm afraid, and the pressures and contingencies of the situation often overcome what is regarded as 'decency'. As you point out, the winner largely gets away with his 'oversights' - one more reason to try and win.

BUT, to liken the planned and deliberate wholesale destruction of an entire race/religion to a few run of the mill 'war-crimes' is a bit beyond the Pale.

I hold no candle for Jews/Zion/Israel - in fact I'm pro-Arab, pro-Palestine and abhor the foundation of the state of Israel, and the Israelis, who should, in my books, have learnt humility and tolerance as a result of what happened in the '30s & '40s and now behave in the most disgraceful manner; but the German's Final Solution is simply beyond comparison.
 
#13
Cuddles

Your father wasn't a famous British actor of Belgian origin was he? 8O

....and there were rather a lot of troops queuing up to slot local dignataries, weren't there Dad? :D
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#14
FwIW, from the earlier thread at http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn/Forums/viewtopic/t=12276/highlight=Fenelon.html


Zofo wrote:
As Goatman mentioned, the Slavs lost millions. At Belsen they are buried behind and seperate to the Jews. They died in the same place but in worse conditions (see R. Conquest for further details). It is a tremendously sad place.

Seconded - I knew it would do my head in which is why I was a bit reluctant to go in there. Hard to say
' I can recommend it as a visit ' but it is literally a 2 hour journey from London and if there are any revisionists out there who don't believe any of this sh!t actually happened, go and look for yourself.

try this link:http://auschwitz.dk/Bergenbelsen.htm
( enable the pop-up killer)

Read the piece by a French survivor called Fania Fenelon.

<< The stench had become intolerable; wrapped in my cloak, a priceless possession, I went out in search of air, to stretch out, to sleep in the open. The ground was muddy and cold, so I kept walking. In front of me, a pile of corpses balanced carefully on one another, rose geometrically like a haystack. There was no more room in the crematoria so they piled up the corpses out here.

I climbed up them as one would a slope; at the top I stretched out and fell asleep. Sometimes an arm or leg slackened to take its final position. I slept on; in the morning, when I woke up, I thought I that I too must be losing my reason ...>>


A lot of the commemorative plaques have a pile of pebbles.

If you visit, take a poppy and put it on Anne Franck's marker.

Take a hankie.
 
#15
cdo_gunner said:
That would be either Allgemeine SS (general SS) or the uniform of their armoured troops. Neither of which had anything to do with the camps. Camp guards came from the Totenkopfverbande SS, another branch
Far be it for me to haul you up cdo_gunner (damnit I wanted that handle) but it wasn't quite as clear cut as that. Allgemeine and Waffen SS were the two main branches, sub-units of these then could include organisations like the various Totenkopfverbande, the SS Divisions and the Gestapo and SD. Often individuals could have an Allgemeine SS rank, a police rank and possibly even a Waffen SS rank...and we thought their grammar was difficult!
 
#16
Biscuits_AB said:
I'm no Holocaust denier, but we weren't much better in the atrocity ratings.... When the SPAMs took on PAderborn, they certainly took the gloves off and very few prisoners weren't shot after they surrendered or whilst doing so.

History and the victor?
Oh history is always written by the victors, so no grounds for a ruck there. However Biscuits remember who were in Paderborn before the allies? You could still see where SS morale boosting posters had "faded" into the masonry when we were there in 1982.

I visited Dachau a few years ago and did some research. All the good burghers of Dachau swore they knew nothing of the KZ. However unlike Belsen, in the arse end of the NW German Plain, Dachau is on a hill above the village. There is only one road from the railhead to the camp...so gloves off? Here, I'll hold them for you...
 
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Biscuits_AB

Guest
#17
If you read my posts again, you'll see that I'm not a supporter, but I tend to remain as objective as I can during any history lesson as there are always two sides to every story.

I believe that the German final solution to be one of the most abhorent actions committed by man against his fellow man, but we're supposed to be British Old Boy.......Queensbury rules and all that. It doesn't matter how many you shoot, it's still a war crime. Would it be tolerated today? We weren't the soldiers portraid by Elstree and Pinewood.

Why did the British Government prevent a book being published which highlighted the tricks our lads got up to? I can't remember the name of the author, but I believe that this occured in the 70s or 80s, I'll research it again and find out who he was.

More recently, look at what some of our blokes got up to in Irag. Quite a few on this site made comments about them being 'scapegoats'. They're not 'scapegoats', they are criminals. Convicted by a recognised British court of law.

You are jumping to conclusions a bit Queensman, I'm not likening anything to anything else, but murder is murder, no matter how grand the scale. In those days the punishment was the same for one as it was for 1001..........they hung you. One of the points that I did make was that it wasn't just the SS who got nasty, the Wermacht (Heer) got a bit tasty too. So did the Kriegsmarine. Allied sailors machine gunned in lifeboats etc.

Objectivity, I've alway found that it's a good thing, no matter weighty the evidence is against one side.

As for supporting the Arabs, I'm neither here nor there on that one, I can see the Palastinian point but I don't believe that middle aged men sending teenage suicide bombers onto shool busses is a viable solution.

I agree that the occasional 'heat of the moment' killing does occur. Doesn't make it right but it does occur. But the example I gave of an entire German unit being murdered fits into your groove about premeditated killing. Deciding that a Battalions worth of prisoners should be killed, is as premeditated as much as any mass murder committed by the Germans.

Arguing this point is much like the 'I'm not a racist but.....' scenario. You're not allowed to point out the action of others , only those of the collective enemy.

Shooting civvies for fun is murder. It doesn't matter who they are or who pulls the trigger. It's as much murder as dropping a can of Zyclon B into a gas chamber full of people. British soldiers shot quite a few civvies after the war. There were Germans dying in French fields right up to the early 50s as the Frogs wouldn't let them go.

Those Germans who committed the atrocities were in the main, dealt with. What happened to the Allied Servicemen who committed murder after the war was over? We're back to history and the victor aren't we. Certain incidents have been airbrushed out of history.

I've sat down and spoken to my grandfathers generation about thier experiences and emotions and I have also sat down with Germans of the same generation, two of whom were former SS men. Both sides say much the same thing. But it's the little personal accounts which I found the most interesting.

I'm glad that I wasn't a Jew in a wartime Polish Ghetto, but I'm equally glad that I wasn't a German in the mid to late 1940s.
 
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Biscuits_AB

Guest
#18
I know exactly who was in Paderborn at that time Cuddles, but try not to jump on any bandwagons you may see roaming this thread now, will you?
 
#19
Shooting civvies for fun is indeed one thing but shooting them in hot or even icy anger is perhaps a different kettle of soupe de poisson?

This 7th Gebirgsjager massacree...what's the skinny on that then. I'm not a military sh1t, more a sh1t with military tendencies, but I confess I hadn't heard this one..
 
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Biscuits_AB

Guest
#20
I'll get back to you on that over the weekend. I haven't got the references to hand. It's brief but does make for interesting reading, whether you agree with it or not.
 

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