Ghosts of WWII

When I was barely a teenager, I bought a WWII German helmet at a flea market.  I paid $10 for it and it was in very good condition.  It still had the leather liner and the soldier’s name inscribed on it.  The man who sold it to me told me he had gotten it from the American veteran who had personally killed its original owner.  Unfortunately, the helmet got lost over time.  In Israel, we used it as a charity box.  The tragedy of WWII was so immense, and on so many levels, that it has always held a fascination for me.
I just finished reading “Adolf Hitler” by John Toland.  I found it riveting and I could hardly put it down, though I had to skip over some parts that dealt with the slaughter of Jews.  The book is about 900 pages long so there will be no comprehensive review here.  But there are a few points I wanted to make regarding it.
Firstly I strongly recommend that Irish Savant read it, for he expressed some confusion recently in one of his posts.  I’ll admit to being confused myself.  As a matter of fact, many Germans – and even Nazis – were confused during WWII.  It should be no surprise, to anybody familiar with human nature, that not all Nazis were in favor of “The Final Solution”, that many within the National Socialist Party simply wanted to relocate the Jews, that even many of those who did want to physically eliminate the Jews were determined to do so as painlessly as possible.  There were explicit orders to avoid unnecessary suffering.  As can be imagined, there were many legal grey areas.  Old laws against murder were still in place and Hitler’s ascent to absolute dictator was a gradual one.  By the time he had achieved complete power, more and more people within his own party (and especially generals) recognized that he was growing increasingly mad.
What kind of individual would seek out a position in which he presides over the snuffing out of human life?  Certainly not the most sensitive, moral or upstanding of citizens.  It should therefore come as no surprise that gangs of sadistic sociopaths flocked to concentration camps.  Even if their job was not to murder as many people as possible, they ruled over masses of powerless subjects and there was very little to stop them from doing as they pleased.
One person who stood in their way was S.S. judge Georg Morgen.  Using the German judicial system, he was able to prosecute several war criminals during the war.  If we bear in mind that, even during the height of Nazi power, not all of Germany was a black hole of evil, that not all Germans were complicit in murder – that not even all Nazis were blood-thirsty demons – then we should not be so surprised by phenomena such as Morgen.
The War is, in some respects, not over yet.  Bodies, from the last few months of that horrific conflict, are still being dug up and identified.  Funerals for the dead are still being held.  One of the many tragedies of that era is the lot of the tens of thousands of soldiers, on all sides, who were fully aware that the outcome of the war was already determined.  Those thousands of German soldiers, who died in the outskirts of Berlin in 1945, knew they were dying for a lost cause.  The Americans, and British, who died during the Battle of the Bulge, knew that they were dying for a war that was already won.  Many of the Soviet soldiers must have realized they were dying to protect a regime that was no better than that of the Nazis – and that they, too, were dying in a war whose outcome was already determined.
The soldiers who lost their lives, whether German, Russian, American, English or French, all ended up on the same side in the end.  Most of those soldiers had no choice but to fight.  Refusal was not much of an option.  To quote Germany’s corpse hunter, Erwin Kowalke:

When it comes to reburial, he believes even the smallest details are of paramount importance. “If I overlook something,” he stresses, “no one else can make up for that. It’s gone forever.” And it doesn’t matter to him if the person who he recovers is German or Russian, a member of the SS or the Red Army. “After death, we are all the same,” Kowalke says. “I might not know the poor guy. But God knows and loves them all.”

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23 Responses to Ghosts of WWII

  1. WWII was such a mad, deranged time it’s simply hard for the human mind to encompass it all. It’s as if God, or Destiny, or whatever higher forces write our narratives had briefly decided to dip into the PCP or something. And the insanity wasn’t even just concentrated in Germany–the Japanese, for whatever reason, turned into out-of-control savages as well. In earlier 20th century conflicts the Japanese fought very much like Westerners, and by Westerner’s rules, but by WWII they were following a particularly nasty version of bushido.
    I haven’t read the particular book “Adolf Hitler,” but I’ve read many other works on the Nazis. During the early parts of their reign, particularly around the time they “rubbed out” Ernst Rohm, they rather reminded me of a bunch of gangsters (so did the early Commies under Lenin, for that matter). Hitler started out as an already-evil man who seemed to deteriorate into something much worse. I’ve wondered sometime: if the common, garden-variety sociopaths who fill the leading roles in organized crime (the Capones, the Dillingers, the Siegals, a thousand others) held the sort of power Hitler had, how far would they go? Would they, too, be tempted to “leap into the abyss”? Are there ANY internal breaks on what such a person is capable of? I rather wonder. A sociopath with strongly-held beliefs may be the most terrifying predator on the planet. Consider Pol Pot.

    • jewamongyou says:

      “A sociopath with strongly-held beliefs may be the most terrifying predator on the planet. Consider Pol Pot.”
      Funny, I had just told a friend the exact same thing. Very true.

    • icr says:

      I’m no expert on Japanese history, but it’s good to recall that China (just across the Sea of Japan from Japan)in the 1930s was an extraordinarily chaotic/brutal place. It was also a time of Soviet-Communist expansion
      and agitation in China-the kind of stuff that the FDR regime looked upon with indifference at best.
      Reading the relevant chapters of Tansill’s “Back Door to War” helps in placing the Japanese actions of that period in context:

  2. countenance says:

    What befuddles me is that after Hitler’s conviction for the Beer Hall Putsch, why (A) He wasn’t deported to Austria, and (B) Why he was allowed to apply for and eventually receive German citizenship, and (C) Why he was allowed to participate in electoral politics with his criminal past.

    • jewamongyou says:

      My understanding, from the book, was that he was already so popular that public opinion, and a large segment of the establishment, was on his side. So they gave him only a slap on the wrist for the putsch. By the time he applied for German citizenship, it was merely a technicality for him.
      For me, a more serious question is: Why were none of the numerous assassination attempts against him successful? The Devil must have been looking out for him.

    • The Other Eugenicist says:

      I seem to recall that there were questions about the eligibility of some US president or other as well. I guess there are ways to rig these things.

  3. The Other Eugenicist says:

    When things get tough those who have a reputation for financial manipulation are often made scapegoats.
    Perhaps those in Wall Street will be so lucky.

  4. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Manny Goldstein’s query,
    Goring was technically in line to succeed Hitler, but when he tried to claim that role, it was looked upon as scandalous and traitorous. In all likelyhood, Bormann would have done so, in my opinion. Some say it would have been Goebbels.

  5. I had never heard of Georg Morgen. There is an almost infinite amount of material on WWII out there. Thanks for the post. I will check that book out at some point. I plan to read Mein Kampf and/or Table Talk to hear about them in their own words at some point as well. I am interested in seeing for myself about allegations that the idea of a murderous final solution actually came from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. I.e., that the reason Hitler’s writing doesn’t mention killing anyone is that he had intended just to chase all the Jews out of central Europe.
    I do not believe or disbelieve these allegations at this point. (Although I do believe that Hitler declared war on the US 100% out of free will, since I don’t believe a dictator can be “forced into” anything.) The Germans did, after all, attempt to keep the extermination camps secret from their own people. Watching recent demonstrations in the Islamic world of support for the violent destruction of Israel and New York City, I kind of doubt any Muftis or mullahs or whatnot would feel the need to conceal those murders from anyone.

  6. Anon says:

    Eventually it had to turn murderous. Hitler does not have kind words to say about a jewish state, the nazis basically built the MB in the ME and taught them how to hate jews, and likely would have tried the same in America had he been able to find solidarity with the German-American community here.

  7. veritas says:

    No one disputes that Yuri Gagarin was the first man to be launched into space, but today we will discuss the veracity of the American pioneer on the Moon
    In the story is simple: No one disputes that it is true.
    Now with respect to the Holocaust””…
    There is a science research only to discuss their accuracy.
    It’s smart to start as a Jew, not progressive (allegedly)”for”the rights of whites, but the biggest question ”que is good for the Jews is good for me” prevails?
    How can you get rid of this?

  8. irishsavant says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the book, but at 900 pages it’ll be a bit of a struggle. Fact is, as I mentioned in that post and in others, I just don’t know what to believe. I get a great sense that we, virtually all of us, have been sold a version of history that seriously and fundamentally misrepresents key areas. Is it all due to the proverbial ‘Jewish Plot’? I don’t know that either. I oscillate between that ‘hochjuden elements really are out to do us in’ and ‘apart from the really bad guys we’re in the same boat with Jews’.
    As of now I just don’t know. The unnerving thing is that the more I research the less comfortable I feel.

  9. Snow Walker says:

    A good way to start into the history of the West, Germany and the Soviet Union is the thorough study of Pat Buchanan’s book “The Unnecessary War”. It is a real eye opener concerning the causes of the two big wars and Buchanan works mainly with original documents instead of repeating mainstream sob stories and the propaganda of the “winners”.
    These wars were the beginning of the demise of White Culture and White Exceptionalism. Bolsheviks and cultural marxists have pitted White Nations against each other for their own gain.
    @ Irish Savant. I totally understand your struggle. The Jewish participation and leadership in EVERY movement detrimental to White Culture is astounding. Nevertheless I am not making the leap to exclude them from my definition of White Culture.

  10. ski says:

    You have to think of the modern Holocaust story as a legend– not a lie. That is, a story that is very important for a society, based on factual events but with many particulars and some core details wrong. For example, in my own research into the Holocaust I’ve concluded that the Nazis did kill several million Jews– possibly six million but more likely between the 3 and 5.5 million range. (I really am not an expert on exact numbers though) And I also find it extremely unlikely that gas chambers were ever used. This particular issue puzzles me– that both the Holocaust deniers and affirmers seem to think the method of execution is so important. I.e that machine gunning vs gassing innocent people has some profound significance.
    Compare this to another legend that is much further removed from time and certainly much less factual that the modern Holocaust narrative– the Iliad. It’s obvious that the Iliad is very far from an accurate historical account, and not only because we don’t believe in Greek gods today– but OTOH plenty of historians believe that there is at least some factual basis for the Iliad. There probably was a city-state with a name similar to Ilion or Troy that did fight and lose a war against a Greek coalition led by some Agamemnon.
    We don’t find it at all offensive to pry into the historicity of the Iliad since we believe it’s mostly or almost entirely fiction, but the Ancient Greeks believed it to be almost entirely true and treated it with religious reverence (just as much so as the Bible is with Christians). Questioning the historicity of the Iliad was very taboo.
    “As of now I just don’t know. The unnerving thing is that the more I research the less comfortable I feel.”
    Try to put yourself in the place of a future man whose generation does not “live and breathe” the Holocaust narrative in much the same way (but to a lesser extent) the Greeks lived and breathed the Iliad and the Odyssey. Your discomfort would seem as silly to him as the discomfort of a 7th century BC Greek who became skeptical of exact historicity of the Trojan War. (such a skepticism almost certainly a tougher burden to bear for him than Holocaust skepticism is for us).

  11. ski says:

    Also another I wanted to add. At this point in time what’s more important than the factual details are the lessons we draw from the Holocaust. Okay so the basic story of Hitler killed a lot of Jews is true, but what does that mean for us?
    The lesson that both Jews and non-Jewish Whites seem to have drawn from it is that every non-Jewish White has a Hitler inside screaming to come out and that any assertion whatsoever of racial consciousness leads us one step closer to Auschwitz part II.
    The other strange thing is that so many Americans forget how much of a tragedy WWII was for non-Jewish Whites– especially Germans, Russians and Poles but also Anglos, French, etc. and ultimately all of Europe. Somehow this issue continues to divide Whites with some reacting the “every White is a potential Nazi” trope with “yeah, but the Nazis were good!” and embracing Hitler with quasi-religious devotion. A balanced view often seems hard to come by.
    So we still do need to find out what exactly the facts were and what exactly the lesson should be. We should use the impartial mind of a 20th Century historian examining the Iliad to determine the facts, but explain them to others with the sensitivity of 7th century Greek skeptic of the Iliad.

  12. I think the lesson should be:
    Anyone who thinks of humans as things will discard the ones he thinks are useless or dangerous, and he will feel no remorse when he does so.
    Socialists feel that humans are things.
    The democratic socialist feels that humans are essentially baby-dolls to be coddled and played with. He expects no creativity from his dolls. He may be saddened or even feel a protective urge when one of his dolls is roughly handled, but he will eventually move on to other stimuli and leave his dolls in the dirt, forgotten.
    The national socialist and the communist feel that humans are machine tools. Their aim is to produce things. The national socialist concentrates on quality and thus only accepts name-brand tools, constantly hurling off-brand tools into the dumpster regardless of their individual qualities. The communist cares only for quantity, and uses any and all tools until they break.

  13. Gilles says:

    You were doing Tsedaka in a german helmet?… Seriously, this comment made my day. Best regards.

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