Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
People act surprised when they hear about post-WWII treatment of Germany. I remember back in the mid-1970's how surprised I was to hear about the maltreatment of the German soldiers for several years following the end of the war, especially the first winter. Thousand died of exposure and practically nobody gave a damn. Why didn't they care? Well, part of it was because there was still fear that releasing the Germans would allow them to begin the planned guerrilla war led by the Waffen SS. Also, a lot of the soldiers f-ing hated Germans and wanted them to die. One of my brothers married a woman whose Mother was a young woman in Heidelberg at the end of WWII. She was a refugee fleeing to the French frontier when interred in a camp. Ended-up marrying a camp guard, my brother's father-in-law. She was reluctant to recount her childhood, but eventually told us of her life, a terrible personal history. But it got me reading.
Interestingly, my other brother was an officer in the 3rd ID stationed in the then West Germany during the late 1970's, early 1980's. He rented a room from an old guy who was a German tank officer in Russia during all of WWII. His unit fought rear-guard actions against the advancing Soviet Army. The old boy was badly wounded and somehow ended-up being treated in a British hospital after the war. He liked the description that my brother gave him of my brother's job in facing the Soviet Army; Speed Bump. My brother's job was to hold a position outside Swinefurt (I think that's the spelling) for 30 minutes and then follow a series of rear-guard actions across West Germany delaying the presumed Soviet advance across Europe, until Nato could regroup and respond. I think his unit was supposed to fight for something like 72 hours. The former German officer & my brother talked an awful lot about how to fight a rear-guard action against advancing Soviet armor & artillery.
Life is far more complicated than as described in a book, or a memory. It's probably too complex for anybody to understand, so we bite-off chunks that we do understand and sometimes confuse the chunk we understand with an understanding of the body from which it came. The sample is not the population, though a good sample will allow a restricted understanding of the whole.