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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:58 pm 
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chainfeed wrote:
...Cripes some of the revisionist out there today make it sound like Hitler and maybe 8 of his friends were Nazi's and the rest of the Germans were just along for the ride......... pfffff


That was kind of the story line when NATO allowed West Germany to re-arm following the war as part of the coalition against the USSR. "Oh, these guys? They were the good Germans, simply fighting for their country. Those other guys - Hitler, Goering, etc. Those were the bad Germans, the NAZI's, if you will, and we'd never re-arm them."

It was a politically expedient story and it worked.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:28 pm 
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I still can't get past the fact that there is a young Richard Nixon in the back row standing next to a young Prince Charles.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:39 am 
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There have been a lot of good responses to this thread, none better than August's well-considered reply, but there's an element I think needs to be addressed here.

There were NO "good Nazis". And there were damned few "good Germans". The atrocities of the Nazis did not simply spring forth fully formed with the declaration of war... they made no secret of who they were, and what their aims were, from 1923 onwards. In fact, that was the entire reason they eventually gained political power, and I must underscore this, THROUGH LEGAL MEANS. Hitler and his lieutenants forged a winning electoral strategy by leveraging deep resentment and anger at the horrific economic mess that followed WWI, and coupling it with an anti-Semitic animus which had existed for centuries. They made promises to rebuild the nation and punish those they deemed responsible for Germany's plight- and the average German who was shelling out thousands of marks for a loaf of bread bought in wholesale. Shortly after Hitler assumed the Chancellorship in January 1933, people started disappearing into "protective custody" with increasing frequency, but nobody said a word- didn't want to upset the apple cart, after all, and denunciations were an omnipresent threat. Those not directly impacted by the violence against "undesirables" remained silent as they benefited from the Nazi government's vast investments in work programs, factories, infrastructure... and of course the armaments industry. They chose comfort over conscience, hence Martin Niemöller's famous "First they came for the Socialists..." poem.

I also want to point out the truth of greatgonzo's comments about the horror suffered by Poland starting on 1 Sept 1939. Not the military horror, which we're all reasonably familiar with, but the squads of ordinary German soldiers ("Einsatzgruppen") which would sweep into towns and undertake barbaric acts against the residents and particularly against the Jews in those towns. In one of these, I forget which (Czestochowa, maybe?), these troops summarily executed a group of Jews, then arranged their bodies into the form of a swastika in the town square to encourage "compliance" with the new regime. And the Germans literally stole an entire generation of Polish children from their parents under the Lebensborn program, sending them to Germany to be raised by "good Germans" as their own... no one has accurate figures because the practice was so widespread, but it is believed to exceed 100,000 children. Only 10% were returned to their homes after the war- many of the other surviving children had been so thoroughly "Aryanized" in their youth that they refused to believe that they were born in Poland. And many of those kids still survive today- this was in living memory.

I'll close with this. This is a page from an "Ausländer Arbeitsbuch", a foreign worker's document if you will, for an 8 year old boy taken from his home in Poland in May 1942 and forced to work on a German farm near Regensburg during the war. His name was Jakob Buldys.

Eight years old. And he's one of the lucky ones... he survived.

So no, I don't have any patience or sympathy for dickheads who want to throw up the Deutsche Grüss, even in a joking manner.

Lynn

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:06 am 
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K5DH...
I read something similar about military officers could not join the party.
I mentioned it here recently and like you, asked to be corrected it it wasn't true and received no comments.

I get a bit nervous when well (over?) publicised things like this happen and there is a reflex wave of concern over German/Nazi history.

Awhile back after the racist did a mass shooting at an African American church, there was a wave of states and cities removing Confederate monuments and statues.
I'm afraid that a similar reaction to any thing seen as pro-Nazi would lead to the scrapping or removal of WWII German artifacts.
It's not hard to imagine museums or groups getting pressure to scrap/store or repaint German aircraft. I would be surprised if the FHCAM doesn't get some comments about its newly unveiled Stuka project.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:23 am 
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Quote:
I read something similar about military officers could not join the party


Not quite:

Wehrmaht rules

$26
(1) says the membership in NSDAP is to be suspended while in duty,
(4) says Ministry of War may make an exception if necessary.

Sep.1944 amendment says it is a duty for all members of Wehrmacht to follow and actively support nazi ideas and cancels former point 1 of the $26. The duties coming from the position in the party should not disturb the army activities. Party membership can not be licensed by any organisation which Wehrmacht soldier is allowed to belong.

Imritger, thank You for Your post.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:57 pm 
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I would take issue that "Einsatzgruppen" were 'ordinary' German soldiers. They were mostly recruited from prisons and penal battalions and given a 'last chance' to serve the Reich. A criminal past of rape, murder, thuggery and having zero morality were prerequisites to becoming a member of these squads, which operated behind the front lines.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:31 am 
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Kyleb wrote:
chainfeed wrote:
...Cripes some of the revisionist out there today make it sound like Hitler and maybe 8 of his friends were Nazi's and the rest of the Germans were just along for the ride......... pfffff


That was kind of the story line when NATO allowed West Germany to re-arm following the war as part of the coalition against the USSR. "Oh, these guys? They were the good Germans, simply fighting for their country. Those other guys - Hitler, Goering, etc. Those were the bad Germans, the NAZI's, if you will, and we'd never re-arm them."

It was a politically expedient story and it worked.


Certainly the post war Luftwaffe was made up of non-Nazis...guys like Galland; whereas people with more questionable politics like Rudel, we re not part of the service.

Your statement seems to imply that expediency ruled the day, but in reality, there were strenuous "de-Nazification" efforts by the allies and Germany itself.We're the efforts petfect, of course not. A lot to f bad guys slipped through the cracks, but many did not. In any event, Germany emerged as a financial and commercial power, it did not becone a Nazi state.

Remember too that a lot of guys accepted help, financing or training from the Nazi government just to fund their ambitions or businesses.
That would include Von Braun and even guys who simply just wanted to build aircraft or simply fly.
You might call it "selling your soul to the Devil".

Just today I was reading an article on BMW history that dealt with this issue. During a 1947 board meeting, someone reminded them they HAD to make a profit since they were no longer being subsidized by the Reich Ministry of Aviation.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:10 am 
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When it comes to painting the swastika on the fin or omitting it, no matter what, the viewers see it while different thoughts cross their minds!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:25 am 
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Einsatzgrupen is another story. The point is there was and, I dare say, still exists the legend of horrible special nazi troops and honest, innocent Wehrmacht. It is no more than a legend. The army took active part in terror in Poland and Russia. With ordinary people volunteering to do it, as said before. The historians (also German) presenting results of their research according to groups like the one standing behind the Valkyrie plan will probably soon produce quite a consternation in Germany, as these men are still heroes there. Many may feel uncomfortable here and there knowing that major NATO related institutions are placed near the streets named after war criminals.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Quite a few fascinating posts. Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:29 am 
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I think wars allow for a lot of opportunity that would not normally be available to an average person. Those with a strong moral compass might not be as influenced to commit atrocities as others. This goes for "evil Nazis" as much as it does for "the good guys." There are bad apples and people easily influenced in all areas of society. If your leadership condones it however you would be more likely to commit atrocities in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Holocaust survivor remembers: 'All ­Nazis weren't bad'

PHOENIX -- George Kalman was only 9 years old when his family got the order to leave their Hungarian village on a rail car in 1944.

On that hot summer day more than 70 years ago, ­Kalman was among 81 Jews squeezed into a cattle car with nowhere to sit, no bathroom, no water and no food. The worst part, he said, was the lack of air.

"We were suffocating, because there were only tiny windows in there," Kalman said.

Kalman, 80, his mother and grandfather were later transported to a farming and slave labor camp in Austria, which the Soviet army liberated 10 months later.

Lost Friedmann portrait tells Holocaust survival tale

Kalman, a Phoenix resident, speaks regularly to groups about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor.

On Friday, he will be the guest speaker at Beth Ami Temple's Yom Ha'Shoah service in Paradise Valley.

Yom Ha'Shoah, also called the Holocaust Remembrance Day, pays homage to the more than 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust in Europe at the hands of Nazi Germany. The remembrance started Wednesday evening and commemorated the lives and heroism of the Jewish people who died in the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945.

Kalman was among the lucky ones, and for many reasons.

"We had been living in a primitive country, in the boonies," Kalman said. "We didn't have running water ... the houses were built from mud bricks, one street was paved. It was very primitive, which made it much easier to get used to the concentration camp compared to those living in the city."

Kalman's mother, Berta, grew up about 30 miles from the Austrian labor camp, so her dialect and customs were similar to the Nazis', and she was treated well, he said.

"My mother got a job working as a maid for a high-ranking Nazi official. The Nazi official was very, very nice to my mother," Kalman said. "My mother was an excellent cook, and they appreciated that. ... She also was a dressmaker, a seamstress."

At the camp of 35 prisoners, Kalman took care of farm animals, harvested vegetables and "essentially did farm work."

"It didn't have guards, they didn't have dogs, they didn't have barbed wire," he said, describing the camp. "We were not allowed to talk to the local people, and they were also not allowed to talk to us."

On the morning of April 2, 1945, Kalman ­noticed the first Soviet soldier enter the camp.

That moment he felt "we were free," he said.

Kalman and his family returned to the Hungarian village and met one of his uncles, who had survived a forced labor camp. His father and ­another uncle did not ­survive, he said.

Hungary was first a democracy but later came under communist rule. In 1956, the borders opened up during a revolution, which is "when a huge number of people left the country."

Kalman landed in Vienna, Austria, and joined with students recruited by Canada. He said the country wanted "young students, young healthy people."

In his early 20s, he moved to Montreal. He later became a gardener in Ontario, working alongside Japanese people who had been forced into relocation camps in the United States during World War II.

"They were very sympathetic to me and very helpful," he said.

Kalman attended McGill University in Montreal but didn't speak any English. He struggled but managed to earn a degree in science, working for companies in Baltimore, Minneapolis and Colorado Springs, he said. In 1996, he moved to ­Arizona and worked for Motorola before retiring.

Kalman speaks to ­students often and is open to all questions, even those about denying the Holocaust.

"I want to talk about it," he said. "Where did you hear it? Why do you say that?"

When asked the question about whether the Holocaust really occurred, Kalman said he points to the extensive collection of Holocaust archives in the German town of Bad Arolsen. The 30 million documents take up about 16 miles of shelves with information about victims, he said.

"For those people who deny the Holocaust, that is not enough though," he added.

A speaker for the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association, Kalman likes to tell people that "all ­Nazis weren't bad."

"There were very good Nazis, but also there were a lot of nasty, rude torturer Nazis," he said.

He also likes to encourage his listeners to not be afraid to speak up during bad times, even if they are in the minority.

He quotes the Rev. Martin Niemoller, a German pastor, on the rise of Nazism:

"In Germany, the Nazis came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak for me.''

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Nice story, Mark. Inspirational.

To me it comes down to this. We all belong to the same race, humanity. Whether you believe a god put us in charge of this planet or we just evolved here, doesn't matter. We are clearly in charge of this pebble on the edge of this obscure galaxy. Whether it is a worthwhile pebble or not is up to us.

The redneck in Arkansas, the Honduran in a caravan, the refugee in Bosnia, the stock trader in Manhattan, are all the same critters, different only by small accidents of birth and fortune. In the end, one hairless ape is pretty much like another. Far more unites us than separates us. Any time we see anyone suggesting that any group of humans is better than any other group of humans, it is our responsibility to our species and our world to stamp that out.

We all make mistakes, we all get swayed by stupid ideas and belief systems. The silly kids going out to their high school dance have plenty of time still to learn this. We older folks who play with planes should get it by now. If we keep our common humanity in mind, we may wander off the track now and then, but we can't go too far wrong.

August

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:19 pm 
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k5083 wrote:
To me it comes down to this. We all belong to the same race, humanity. Whether you believe a god put us in charge of this planet or we just evolved here, doesn't matter. We are clearly in charge of this pebble on the edge of this obscure galaxy. Whether it is a worthwhile pebble or not is up to us.

The redneck in Arkansas, the Honduran in a caravan, the refugee in Bosnia, the stock trader in Manhattan, are all the same critters, different only by small accidents of birth and fortune. In the end, one hairless ape is pretty much like another. Far more unites us than separates us. Any time we see anyone suggesting that any group of humans is better than any other group of humans, it is our responsibility to our species and our world to stamp that out.

We all make mistakes, we all get swayed by stupid ideas and belief systems. The silly kids going out to their high school dance have plenty of time still to learn this. We older folks who play with planes should get it by now. If we keep our common humanity in mind, we may wander off the track now and then, but we can't go too far wrong.

August

I agree August, though I come down on the side believing that the Bible clearly states that we are ALL created in the image of God and of equal value as humans and of ONE blood. Truth is truth, words matter, gravity works and people who hate other people for the way they look are choosing to do evil.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:01 am 
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Egads! Sorry for ruffling a few feathers with my take on the few books I have read. I did not mean to infer there were good Nazis and bad Nazis, even though the majority of stories I have read about Luftwaffe personnel was that they were not required to join the party. There are good and bad people today who don't belong to any party other than the nut party. My maternal grandfather came here to America to get away from the regime that was taking over Germany in the late 1930s. He was not of Jewish descent. He saw what was happening and did not want any part of it. I can't get into a discussion about the semantics of the Nazi party because I am no expert, as many of you are.

And to the member here who was asking about my name...6trn4brn is short for six turning and four burning...the B-36 is my all-time favorite bomber. My name is Darrell Landrum and I live in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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