1. Education
Jennifer Rosenberg

Reburial of a Million German WWII Soldiers

By January 9, 2008

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When German soldiers died during World War II battles in Eastern Europe, such as at Stalingrad and Kursk, they were often buried in mass graves. Now, approximately one million German WWII soldiers are being dug up and reburied in official German war cemeteries. Although 520,000 skeletons have already been exhumed, the project continues to be plagued by controversy. Many worry that these new German war cemeteries will glorify the Nazi past while others worry that Nazi war criminals will be honored. The project is expected to take at least another eight years.

Comments

January 11, 2008 at 2:43 am
(1) Marios Soussis says:

Τhis did not become for the Jews that burial in common graves

January 11, 2008 at 5:52 am
(2) maj gen aps chauhan says:

This is good news and overdue respect to the dead.T

January 11, 2008 at 5:55 am
(3) maj gen aps chauhan says:

The German soldier was a German first why link him with Nazism selectively?You dont link an American soldier with Republicans or Democrats Why not then?

January 11, 2008 at 6:26 am
(4) Robert Beck says:

Let us honor the dead, heal the wounded and take steps to stop all war forever which usually starts with understanding and forgiveness.

January 11, 2008 at 7:15 am
(5) LONELY PLANET says:

….as a vet, I have no respect for enemy dead…let them rot

January 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm
(6) Hal says:

….as in most wars,these soldiers were SENT there by their leaders……not too many had a choice then as they do now….

January 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm
(7) Bill says:

These soldiers deserve to be buried together in their fatherland! RIP.

January 13, 2008 at 3:24 pm
(8) Sartresue says:

I find it repulsive that Germany wishes to honour these dead as visitable memorials. For most of the Six Million Jews murdered by the end of WWII, there is no proper burial. They were dumped in common pits, as were thousands of murdered Roma and huge numbers of Slavic peoples, all victims of nazi genocidal ideology.
(Perhaps the Russians wanted to be rid of the dead nazi pollution!)

January 14, 2008 at 1:54 am
(9) Roy says:

War is all about killing! People make money on killing others. Sad but true.

January 15, 2008 at 9:36 am
(10) Kathleen says:

Most of the soldiers who fought for Germany during WW2 were like any other soldier fighting for their country. They were not the elite SS who were just plain murderers. There is a difference. Our “friends” the Soviets were also very cruel for the most part. The average German soldier would rather have been a POW under the control of the American forces than to be a prisoner of the Soviets. I can only guess that many of those Germans buried in Russia were tortured before they died. Evil deeds are all the same no matter who commits them. Give the German soldiers a proper burial. The SS troopers should never be honored in any way, shape, or form.

January 15, 2008 at 7:46 pm
(11) Alex says:

The Germans were enthusiastic fighting for their motherland, just like the British or Americans or whatever nationality that was involved that time, and they deserve to be respected for that, and I agree with Kathleen that SS troopers should never be honored.

January 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(12) a provine says:

anyone who cannot distunguish between a nazi and a conscripted german soldier is in dire need of reviewing 20th century history. the author should have either clarified this or not mentioned that “some” object to respecting the dead.

January 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm
(13) Tim says:

They were all for the most part just kids really – caught up in the war/death machine of the era. They had no choice at all but to go fight, kill or be killed. Give them ALL a decent burial and some honor.

February 6, 2008 at 11:39 am
(14) Jenn says:

I think it is a good idea to leave the dead at rest, although it would probably give the families of the lost or missing a chance a closure…

February 7, 2008 at 4:49 pm
(15) JJ says:

My Father was six years old when his own Father died on the eastern front. It’s time my Dad had some closure…

March 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm
(16) Reichmann says:

These German kids were conscriped like so many others and just followed orders. Having been in the army myself I realise just how brutal things get … the least we can do is to permit a dignified burial. Politics aside, these were young scared men from little villages for the most part … not ranting Nazis who were mostly safe behind the lines. We lost in Vietnam and they see us as the bad guys but we still seek to retun our dead and feel it is fair ! So why the difference between wars. Maybe we should move on and remember all war dead …

March 2, 2008 at 3:18 pm
(17) Hans Oberholtshausen says:

Ja, I support Herr Reichmann’s sentiments. Futhermore, only elements of the SS were part of the execution squads. Most SS troops were elite field and panzer units and engaged enemy combat units … perhaps their believe in the idiology made them fight harder but not each division slaughtered innocents.

What then of Bommber Harris and his order to wipe Dresden from the map knowing the lack of militaty targets and the influx of refugees … add as well the order to focus on using incinary bombs and I can only believe he wanted to kill the civilians by fire ! So here we won’t honour SS dead but a man the orders the murder of tens of thousands of woman , children and the elderly gets a statue in England. If you kill a killer, are you now not the same ! In the news today there were complaints about the attacks from Israel being too strong in the face of the few rockets fired from the Palastinians … why not the same concern when USA and England bombed German cities vastly out of propotion to the short Blitz England endured in 1941 !

Ultimately, its sad that the victor gets to justify the same actions he dcries his enemy for doing. Will the WW11 German dead ever be granted peace … perhaps its time as a society to open our hearts and minds to forgiveness. Someone started the war, someone ended it and inbetween millions suffered … let’s stop this happening again !

May 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm
(18) John says:

As someone who lost male relatives fighting the German army during the Second World War, all I can say is that I am glad that as far as possible German war dead will be given a respectful burial in German war cemeteries. This will be good for the German fallen’s families. Those of my family that survived the fighting in the Second World War always maintained that the Germans were a tough but honourable enemy. They were young men, too, and they fought bravely.

June 1, 2008 at 1:44 am
(19) maj gen aps chauhan says:

People should read the Ancient Aryan philosophy war and duty spelt out in the Gita and we would be clear how this shapes civilisations. Brutality must not be forgiven but who is to judge from hind sight as to who was brutal amongst the defeated! Their dead need full honours even the SS other than those specifically identified by name for transgressing the rule of war. I am prepared to put a memorial for the honourable soldiers such as Otto Skorzeny and others .Those who laid down their lives fighting the Germans in similar way have in any case got their recognition.

June 4, 2008 at 9:42 am
(20) Gordon says:

I think that it is about time! The german soldier fought for each other in the end not Hitler

June 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm
(21) Jim P - Chicago says:

Meine Ehre Heisst Treue Kamaraden

June 24, 2008 at 3:23 am
(22) Rosen E says:

To Maj Gen aps and those who think like him.
Germany started WW2 and is responsible for over 30 million deaths of mainly civilians..This was mainly done also with the full-hearted cooporation of the German Army.To claim that the ordinary German soldier was innocent is simply not true and hypocritical.
The bottom line is that Germany and its army are responsible for two world wars during 20th Century and millions of deaths.Trying to glorify this is historically wrong and false.The Million German soldiers killed should be left where there are at least for the sake of all the millions of civilians these soldiers murdered.

June 24, 2008 at 11:31 am
(23) Dan Shefy says:

I am relating to (19)maj. gen.aps chauhan.
Otto Skoreszeni, though “liberating” Mussolini from the hands of the partisans, was personally involved in burning down Jewish Synagogues in Vienna in the famous “Kristallnacht” and fulfilled his duty “perfectly well”. He is burried in Vienna

July 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm
(24) robert walker says:

I am glad they will finally be at rest in the fatherland.May god bless all german soliders and their families.

July 26, 2008 at 10:19 am
(25) Mechelle says:

I agree with Kathleen. I am sure there are millitary records that proove who was the highest ranking commanders of the Nazi movement. These guys that made these terriable decisions to terminate a life do not deserve a honorable grave sight. Soilders are not able to make decissions they do what is ordered. I believe all the SS should be held accountable for these terrible war crimes. It is dispicable that people are capable of wiping out a race or tribe of people simply because they don’t like them or feel they are inferior to them. Hitler decided that the blond hair blue eyed people were the superior people. Who is he to make the decision of who is superior. We are all superior in the eyes of God. I would like to be a fly on the wall when Hitler has to go before God and account for all of his wrong doings. It shall be a great day for the Jews and the German people and all who were in someway touched by WWII. When this happens there will be closure for everyone who was affected by this terrible little man and war.

August 6, 2008 at 5:39 pm
(26) robert schwiening says:

its long overdue,as with all soldiers ,few really know why ,they fight and die.all are Gods souls .my dad was army air corps[USA] my mom RAF [UK]and i expect more schwienings were german soldiers than anything ,I wish them all no ill will. AND maybe after all are taken care of properly maybe we will not chose war as our next answer to our next problem.marksmanship is gold

August 9, 2008 at 10:02 am
(27) ElbeRiver says:

I am actually not into this war stuff (i am not blond either and i dont like cars and i dont like beers and i am never on time, so sorry for destroying all your “German” stereotypes LOL),

but my opinion on this is very simple:

Everybody who died, deserves a grave, honour and commemoration. Period.

Those guys had not been asked to whether they want to be maimed, killed, tortured or shot. Some of them might have been only 17 or 19 – children. Hitler would not even shriek back from dragging children into war (Volks Sturm), these are adults but an 18-year old adult is still somehow a child, and remember:

A mother weeps for her killed child just the same all over the world, and may i please quote Mrs. Sally Fields on TV at a nomination in the USA last year: “If we mothers ruled the world, there’d be no war in the first place”.

August 15, 2008 at 6:02 am
(28) Colette says:

As both my grandfathers died due to their resistancework against the Germans, My grandmothers were incarcerated during the was too, I think I have a say in this. Not every soldier was very willing, some were situated near my grandparents house in a anti flak thing and knowing that my grandfather was in Dachau, my fathers was on a regular bases fed by the “regular soldiers” who knew of his situation. I think he actually survived the Hungerwinter of 1944/45 due to these soldiers. My father also thinks that it was due to the fact that they did not agree with the Nazi Policy and missed their own family desperatly. It might not be a monumental gesture, but I am glad that due to that small gesture my father survived the war!! Precious few regular soldiers were Nazi, because if they were, they were send to the Camps. If on the other hands, they could not handle the rules in the Camps, as a punishment they were send to Russia. Also if they {regular soldiers} aided and abetted the local population they were sent to the Russian Front. So you might well say that part of these dead soldiers were in their own way anti-Nazi’s instead of Nazi’s.

August 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm
(29) Dan says:

Most of them were just boys with much optimism who were sent to die a miserable death in a frozen steppe. They had mothers and sisters and were just as brave than any allied soldier.

August 31, 2008 at 12:26 pm
(30) Andy says:

We are all humans. Although the Germans killed innocent people we have to be the bigger person and the only way to find inner peace is understanding and Peace. If anyone enemy or not is willing to give up their own lie for their country I think they deserve respect and Honor. I know the last man alive from Hitle’s bunker and as bad as that sounds he is so loving and nice striving for peace. If he was older he would have been executed but his age saved him and he was so young when Hitler came into power that is ALL he knew as well as many young Germans.

August 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm
(31) Andy says:

We are all human beings and if conditions were differnt we could all have maybe been personal friends with Germans. The ONLY way to find inner peace is understanding and peace. I also know the last person alive from Hitler’s bunker. He is really nice and triving for peace. The only reason he served his fuhrer was because he came to power when he was little and that is ALL he knwew was how brilliant he was so he became a victim also. If he was older when the russians came he would have been executed and NOBODY deserves execution. If someone is willing to die for their country I believe they deserve to be honored and reconized for that and not that they were the enemy…Yes I am 13 years old.

September 1, 2008 at 6:58 pm
(32) Bobby Arnold says:

The Nazi party only had approx 500000 registered paty memebers. not all Germans were nazi rather they were soldiers fighting for thier country and families

September 22, 2008 at 11:29 am
(33) german/ american grandson says:

this lady doesnt know what she is talking about. you should really think before you speak and not offend anyone. those german soldiers were fighting for their country just as any other soldier throughout history. they
thought that what they were doing was right,
just as any other country. in those times it was obey orders or be shot yourself. also, not all germans were nazis , just as my grandfather was a regular whermacht officer doing his duty for his country. he survived the war by the way. they deserve to be buried with honors like any other soldier. how dare you.

October 18, 2008 at 5:50 pm
(34) david szostak says:

Be it that they was German Italian Romanian spanish or whoever they are war dead and paid the price for the will of there political masters and did the uptmost of their duty that any combatant of the time could have done they paid the price of death for what they believed in and it is us that are free today should be thankful for so remember the glorious Dead and honour them for they gave what was their day for our tomorrow what ever that may have brought and to all who hoped was peace so peace is what sleeping dogs of war should do sleep and lay the past to rest and if that means to cleanse the earth of once enemies remains does just that then that is down to the victors as they bore the wrath of the invaders in the 1st place it is their land and they do with it as they please but I am sure it will be done with honour and dignity as we have moved on over the last 50 to 60 yrs and I expect they would want the same honour and respect for their fallen countrymen etc so it may sound crude but it is a humane way to hopefully heal old memories of long ago past enemies who lost many comrades who will never come home but by example the peace will allways remain otherwise so many died in vain.

October 26, 2008 at 1:54 pm
(35) CK says:

My great grandfather and great uncle were killed fighting on the Eastern front. By all acounts they were not fighting at all but froze to death.

I have photos of my grandfather with his younger brother and older brother proudly wearing their uniforms – The older one who later died was in his army kit and the younger brothers in their Hitler Youth uniforms. My 12-year-old son hit the nail on the head when he said that Adolf Hitler had everything so well organised. Those boys had no choice but to fight for their country and they were made to believe it was the right thing to do. My grandfather went on to join the Waffen SS and was moved to a Panzer division. It turned him into a sadistic, evil horrendous monster.

The war did terrible things to normal people, even those who lived in this country! The war ended a long time ago, and I wonder how many of us posting here were even alive at that time? Move on……

November 26, 2008 at 4:26 pm
(36) hirooky says:

They should be respected, nothing is ever said about the millions of German P.O.W.’sthat vanished in Russia. All you here about is the poor Jews. BOO HOO

February 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm
(37) Mister McGoo says:

The Paratroopers have always had the ‘Brothers under silk’ moto I know of several ex german WW2 paratroopers welcome in our reunion meetings , what happens in battle stays on the battlefield when peace is declared let that be so ‘Peace’ all fallen should be honored except the named war criminals.

February 24, 2009 at 10:52 am
(38) freedomforever says:

Having lost 2 uncles in the 2nd WW, they died on the Russian front, I am grateful for the effort taken to bring them home to be buried and memorialized. They were both very young men who had no choice but to go to war. My grandfather died of a broken heart I believe due to losing both his boys.

March 26, 2009 at 7:27 am
(39) Bonny says:

all those who condemn the german soldiers for fighting for an evil regime and hence be declined a decent burial have a a deranged and myopic outlook.There was no regime more vicious than Stalin’s and it is an abysmal irony of politics it’s fervent supporters were the british and the american governments during ww2.Goering was right before being hanged he said to the americans “thanks to you we could not sort out the soviets but i wish to see the day you have to do it”. The german soldiers did a great service to the brits and the yanks.After 30 m1llion dead, a devastated country soviet russia was in position for another war

March 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(40) Lillianne says:

Germany is welcome to do what it likes with its dead of course.
Apart from that I have little sympathy for the soldiers “doing their duty”. How can a german soldier under Hitler be compared to any other soldier? There is a difference between being the invaders or defenders, not too difficult to grasp eh?

Sorry “Grandson,” your granddaddy fought on the wrong side , hardly anyone else’s fault he did not grasp that ! Stop your “how dare you” kid, sounds pathetic and hollow.
My family were in the resistance. They knew they were on the right side and were true courageous heroes risking their lives which would have been over had someone like your granddaddy uncovered them.He was the coward boy, fighting for evil without question.ok? Accept it and keep your peace.

Hitler could never have achieved what he did without all the soldiers “not daring to oppose orders”.BS, if they didn’t like it why be so rough and cruel when they needed not be.??Some were not but eye- witnesses agree they were in the minority.
But in fairness,Germans also had their heroes and these are to be exalted above the cowards always.

Dresden was awful no doubt about it but blame Hitler for it not the allies ! Germany started bombing European cities ,and the war costing millions of lives, for what??!!! but you don’t like a taste of your own medicine do you Germans?
Get over it as we all had to, you lost thank God !
All is forgiven, mercifully you have been accepted again into the human race long ago,(and I live next door to your country without malice never blaming the younger generation for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers) but please please stop whining!!

March 30, 2009 at 6:11 am
(41) Lillianne says:

Just saw your comments Bonny.
I will admit by the way the poor German kids trapped in the Hitler youth movement were not to blame as they were brainwashed to be evil early on and knew no better, but the rest?

Forgive us,Bonny we were wrong and should have been grateful to Hitler and his killing machine??!

Oh silly billy allies they were fighting the wrong baddy ! Fancy that, it was the Nazi’s who were feared and hated!!
You don’t think it could have been due to the fact that Hitler not Stalin had bombed to smitherines and/or invaded peaceful neighbouring countries, dragged away the Jewish citizens,and other “undesirables” looted, beat, tortured and starved , do you? Oh yes it was all dirty politics but , one baddy at a time, mon cherie.!

God give us strength- speaking of deranged !

April 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm
(42) Brendan says:

These remains need to be moved and organized. All soldiers, regardless of nationality, deserve a proper burial and proper respects.

Some of the comments on this subject foiling my and many others’ opinions are blasphemy and seem outrageous.

BTW, it is incorrect to state Germany was responsible for the Great War. In my own humble opinion, I also believe the Second World War began before the German-Russian-Slovakian invasion of Poland in September 1939.

May 25, 2009 at 8:12 am
(43) hans klink says:

I am very proud of our troops and at that time what tey stood for ..Germany. They are like any other troops ordered into combat and died for their country ,just like yours did.Their is no difference dying is dying no matter the uniform. May they all rest in peace and GOD bless them all.I pray for my commrades each day!

June 11, 2009 at 8:29 am
(44) Ivan says:

Say what you will about them. There is no doubt. They where the best soldiers the world has ever seen.

July 22, 2009 at 12:19 am
(45) Liz says:

who is paying for the reburial of a million
german soldiers from WWII???
is there not a better way to spend money on
living suffering people?? I think so!

August 6, 2009 at 12:54 am
(46) matt says:

Some of you ladies are absolutely clueless when it comes to history, the human experience and war. Also, the “SS” was a much more complex organization than some of you nitwits can come to terms with. There is a big difference between the allegemeine SS and the Waffen SS. A large number of Waffen SS recruits and soldiers were just kids who wanted to join the “elite” much like the US Marine Corp or US Army Rangers. Yes, there were some hard core Nazis, but the majority were not like that. The same goes for the Wehrmacht as well. A lot of posts in this thread are made from pure ignorance and lack of understanding when it comes to war. As for the “vet” who says, “let them rot” it is very obvious you’re not a combat veteran. I agree, many of the comments in here are blasphemous and ridiculous. Liz? Who is paying for the reburial? Why not do a little research on this subject before typing nonsense. The majority of the $$$ comes from the German government and private donations from German and Austrian citizens. As for allegations of guilt and innocence, no one is innocent in war. Also the Germans did not start WWI, that seems to be the commonly held perception by the uneducated masses of Europe and North America. Some of you should be embarrassed by your comments. All soldiers deserve a proper and dignified burial.

October 31, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(47) Suzanne Loftus says:

To Lillianne, Both my grandfathers died in The war – My English one at Dunkirk – My German one never returned from the Eastern Front they were both decent good men & both deserve to be buried & remembered with dignity & love – stop being so narrowminded & grow up

November 4, 2009 at 8:10 pm
(48) mark says:

all dead deserve repect,they are all our ancestors,mine died on both sides,we have hindsight,whos more guilty death,murder,killing.ss totenkopf,anti partisan,police units,regular heer,the resistance,lats,estoni,lithu,poles,white ruskies all brutalised read testimonies,all armies guilty,history written by the victors.the ndead cannot speak,respect all dead wear your white and red poppy

November 11, 2009 at 1:47 am
(49) Norm watson says:

Leave the army lay as they fell. This army committed many atrocities. There may have been some innocent, but the armies reputation has been documented. Let the time energy & money that would go into opening up this issue go to the living & against the deeds that this army is noted for. They were cruel bastards. Their deeds were done with pleasure.

November 11, 2009 at 2:07 am
(50) Norm watson says:

Hans Ober , I hear that when a person visits the Dresden area today they hear the same argument that you are giving about how wrong it was to bomb Dresden. ” You sowed the wind, and therefore you reaped the whirlwind” That was a response from a British officer in WW-2 when someone brought that up. You are lucky we didn’t nuke you instead of Japan. If you had a means to nuke us I’m sure that the Nazi bastards would have used the bomb on anybody. History is and always will be a witness to what your people do to helpless men women & children. Brave German people Ha!

December 1, 2009 at 4:13 am
(51) Dan Sopher says:

When the citizens of a country choose hatred as the theme, they become responsible for all the “18 year olds” who die by the force of a powerful and good country. If you choose that path, and lose, then you deserve nothing. The indecency should live with that stinking generation forever. Any german who thinks they should re-bury a stinking nazi is a nazi themself, and should be shot just as a residual of WW2. You lost. Too bad.

December 2, 2009 at 9:43 am
(52) brian harper 1st and 75th ranger div. says:

The typical german soldier was dedicated to his unit and
very brave and honourable. Several cases were documented where they buried american dead. Few waffen ss men even knew of death camps or would condone them, but they were some of the haedest fighting, best trained troops in history. I mean we had 61000000 dead to their 16000000. They killed our men wholesale. Respect people. Look it up.

December 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm
(53) Willi says:

Lillianne obviously has problems mentally. 99.99% of the German soldiers were just men, nothing more nothing less. You think there weren’t war crimes pepetrated against the Germans? Better think again. It was a standing practice of the Russians to rape German women from 8 to 80 (including nuns). It was written in the 8th USAF to wilfully bomb population centers to try to break down the population’s will to fight (which was unsuccessful), and to kill German jet pilots who bailed out of downed jets during the war. When the Germans were expelled out of territories handed over to Poland, Czech Republic and others over 1 million Germans were murdered outright or died on the way back to Germany.

So let’s not lie about it. I will respect these German men who died, in part, because my uncle is among them, and in part because they deserve at least that.

December 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm
(54) Willi Hegemann says:

To those who would scoff at and insult our German dead,I say this- had you faced our boys you would have [bleeped] yourself in fear;they were the best troops that the world has ever seen and in equal situations their victory was never in doubt.As for the Waffen SS it was best not to meet them on the field but if you did make sure that you greatly outnumbered them.But they are no more so rant and rave and insult them you despicable little people.

[edited by Jen, the History Guide]

December 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm
(55) Harrison says:

Very few of you will aggree with me…mainly because it is a normal human reaction to hate or hurt someone who has hurt you..or your family….let me begin …

psychologically hitler was an abused child…hitler like abused traumatised children..either become victims or use violence against others…hitler manifested many other abused peo;le into his ss for example…

….obviously hitler was programmed to be violent…human beings unless we can understand what motivates or drives people to commit these atrocities…we will fall into the trap of becoming violent …against them and keep the cycle of violence continuing

…..how many violent abused people in jails come out and have changed significantly..not many because they are treated as criminals…and they are..yet there is more.

.. they are generally psychologically unbalanced…punishment to these criminals … changes there brain structure..for example they cant experience empathy…or understand other peoples pain..because they are so dissociated form themselves..due to being abused..themselves…

…if we want people to change..we as the smart ones need to ustilise advanced interventions..not just jails…if hitler …for example had dealt with his abuse through a psychotherapist..he may well have turned out to be an another normal person..or even another mahatma ghandi..we will never know…

..my point is this…if you keep treating violent people with violence ..you will keep them violent ..

..do german soldiers deserve a burial…well if you want to mend bridges show compassion..create dialogue with the germans who were fathered by these men..and take away there resentmenat and anger.. we might reduce there need to create a war in the future

..you would think after 2 world wars….we the western god fearing..know it all ..god is on our side…community…would have learnt our lessons

…we need to look at ourselves and what we are doing if we want a different outcome in the future…

is it normal to bury a dead person..the answer is yes….but i understand why someone who experienced the horrors of ww2..would want to strike out at those who..were violent aginst them

..by the way my mother and uncle were murdered by a nazis..which i witnessed…and i would not want this to happen to any one..so lets build briges with our ememies and make them our friends..so we can reduce the likely hood of repeating opur past

..thanks for reading my story

December 26, 2009 at 12:14 pm
(56) Rich says:

Goldhagen wrote a book “Hitler’s Willing Executioneers” It may be of interest to some where it shows the antisemitism of the average German citizen and Soldier. Even if they didnt pull the trigger they were all involved in some way or another. Most Germans alive at the time say “I didnt know anything about it” which if you read Goldhagens book you will see this discredited time and time again, what a wonderful thing to be able to believe the average german didnt boycott jewish stores,support nazism and watched idly by while all this happened yet they didnt know anything. Read his book and decide for yourself. the german people should still hang their heads in shame.

January 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm
(57) Alan says:

Whats with all this nazi phobia, this Nazi thing ended over 60 years ago, give the damn soliders a break. May I add, how do you know that all Nazi party members were evil,must every nazi member be lumped in with the notoriously evil. Easy for us to be self rightous, we won, or did we? It is 2010 and America imports most manufactured goods from communist china, our government is broke, our dollar is tanking and we elected loser liberals because we are to dumb to remember what Liberal is. Least the Germans fought like hell to delay occupation, looting and misery. We Americans gave our culture, freedom and prosperity away. Call it Karma.

March 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm
(58) P MART says:

I have no problem with the Germans reciving proper burial but lets not compare German soldiers to any other. There was reason the world rose up against Germany. Allied soldiers werent herding innocent Jews into cattle cars for extinction. They were proud of what they were doing just as Americans were proud of what they stood for.

March 31, 2010 at 7:09 am
(59) George says:

When I found this web site, I was searching for any good deed by any of the German Soldiers in WWII. You could post any site that has anything good here. I know there is was a guy with a name like Schindler who owned a steel making company that was good. But have not heard anything more yet. I also heard of Romel who was a good solder and never killed the POWs. I know Germans were bad but they could not all have been cruel. I the dead soldiers, leave them where they are otherwise Germany needs to honour all its deads including the Jews, wan’t some of them German citizens?

May 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm
(60) Timara says:

I wish that hitler was alive coz i can give him my belief but i won’t give him my honour and trust.coz he made people kill people that had noo need to kill.but i will give him that he did rule for a few years ill give him that

July 4, 2010 at 8:45 am
(61) Lillianne says:

Well there are 2 posts ( hmmm both with German family who died in WW2 so I excuse you, understanding the personal issues
you are dealing with) slamming me. One tells me to “grow up”
and the other suggests I am mental!!
There are others on here with similar views and far more forceful than mine but they are untouched for their comments.. so,oh dear I must have ruffled some feathers!
Proof is in the pudding, now we have to hear 60 odd years later both sides were wrong..well if that thought at least makes you sleep easier, so be it!

I know, so as not be mental how about I pretend it did not happen and gloss over it as you do , it was the fault of the Russians because they were far worse , (they were terrible, the reason most German soldiers surrendered to the allies knowing they would be treated better) and finally we can understand the dear German mindset following Hitler because he was such a wonderful darling man.wanting to invade all of Europe for his Third Reich, kill all the Jews , and other “undesirables”– so well with goals like that- he must have been a er great man? Depends how mental you are of course..

July 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm
(62) Lillianne says:

Reading through these comments I am amazed to see such unwillingness to admit you Germans were wrong!
I can understand those mourning lost loved ones, on both sides, but at least have the decency to admit you Germans were on the wrong side, fighting for an evil man with evil goals? ( rest of the world knows!!)
I have commented that you should be able to bury your dead.Just don’t make such a song and dance about it.

You were not by the way “defending” your country, like any other soldier,you were invading other countries. Big difference .

And Willy, nobody needed to have died on either side if Germany never invaded other countries.War always has casualties, the reason we try to avoid it, agreed?

July 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm
(63) suzanne Loftus says:

Yes Lillianne – I lost both english & german family so I am not one sided & narrow minded.

July 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(64) Lillianne says:

Suzanne
Oh now I am narrow – minded? er huh??

ONCE again, what is “narrow minded” about saying Germans can bury their dead as far as I am concerned, just do it discreetly? Well?? (theme of the blog)

Instead of just calling me names which is easy and anyone can do that,why not discuss the points I have made?
Otherwise hold your peace.

(Oh and by the way, I also lost family, yes had a British Father (he survived but lost all his friends, some family,
and I have British uncles who were tortured by Germans and Japanese . I mourn too those now dead you know, and defend their courage and always will.

July 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm
(65) wolfgang sobel says:

My father was killed in russia, it would be nice to have my father buried at home in Schweinfurta/m

July 29, 2010 at 4:39 am
(66) Stefen says:

Take your bones please. Nobody else wants them.

The Germans on this blog must face truth with honesty into their own barbaric crimes during WW2 towards the Russians people.
Those of us with knowledge do not accept your excuses.
Beginning and END of story: German soldiers invaded Russia. The Russians eventually took revenge for the extreme and vicious cruelty inflicted upon them, and women and children by Germans soldiers.

September 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm
(67) PJ1252 says:

the german soldiers should stay just as they are – this is how they buried those from the concentration camps and they should receive the same treatment – why should they be respected when they had no respect for others

September 23, 2010 at 3:22 am
(68) Red Army says:

If you do your history correctly , you will find that alot WW2 German soldiers infact had no idea about these system matic killings that were taking place. It wasn’t until WW2 ended that they finally found out and all this was done through personal account interviews with these soldiers , some of which were in denial saying that ” No way could this be done by us , I’m not going to believe it” ect… ! So why should they be given an ill proper burial then ?

November 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm
(69) Mark Sholl says:

Go to ebay and look up german war relic. You’ll be able to bid on a bunch of stuff from these graves. I bought a helmet, complete with a small chunk of head in it. It’s always about money.

December 27, 2010 at 9:39 am
(70) jurgen says:

I am a vet also for the u.s.a. and fought in the vietnam war. My father was german navy in ww2 and is still, as far as I know, missing. I need to know what happened to him and where he is buried.

January 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(71) TIMOTHY VON CLAUS says:

IT’S A BLESSED DAY FOR ALL THE FAMILIES WHO LOST THERE LOVED ONES DURING THIS TRAGIC PERIOD IN HUMAN HISTORY.IT’S THE HONORABLE THING TO DO FOR ALL MEN WHO PAID THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE TO FINALLY COME HOME TO THEIR FATHERLAND.

March 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm
(72) Alice says:

It’s so sad that this would be met with controversy. Two members of my family were erman soldiers who died in East Europe, and I think they deserve a real burrial. They were just conscripted men, they didn’t support Hitler. Most of the German soldiers were mostly just conscripted men like them, and deserve to be remembered as much as anyone else. And I hate to say it…but there were probably a lot of Allied soldiers who did some pretty bad things during the war – it wasn’t all black and white. It was war. The point is to mourn the dead and move on.

March 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm
(73) Alice (again) says:

Wow…i just read people’s comments and saw some people who lost relatives in Russia too. I wish we could talk and find out if they’d known each other!

April 16, 2011 at 1:12 am
(74) Joe says:

Just throw them in a car compactor.

April 28, 2011 at 8:05 am
(75) Jim says:

The Germans were doing their duty,just like the Americans were.They deserve to rest in peace.

May 1, 2011 at 9:08 am
(76) Amazed says:

Putting burial aside, as all should bury their dead decently. How can allied forces defending their countries from Nazi invasion ever be compared to Germans who en- masse allowed themselves to be brainwashed and follow a madman invading others territories and then whitewash their crimes with “both sides were doing their duty”?
There are seemingly only a few here who can detect a warped sense of moral equivalence all these years on.Blame goes to the Germans following Hitler and whether a German was innocent or not of this heinous crime, at least admit to whom the blame should be afforded to . This would be the moral and courageous manner
and would be admirable.

May 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(77) TOBY says:

All German soldiers should be honoured, as should the SS frontline soldiers. These were tough,battle hardened troops that the Americans, British, and Soviets feared. They were well led, and not all were responsible for war crimes. Stalin murdered millions, but of course he was one of the good guys, and untouchable, even though his troops murdered thousands upon thousands of German POW’s and civilians. Also let us not forget the countless war crimes committed by the Allies – the murder of unarmed German soldiers who had surrendered.There is plenty of evidence to substantiate this.Bring these people to justice.So yes, ALL German soldiers should be honoured.To all of you who say otherwise – REMOVE YOUR BLINKERS!!!

June 3, 2011 at 12:57 am
(78) Paul says:

A soldier is a soldier and deserves a grave, remember many of these men did not ask to go to war just like our own brave men and were doing there best in a bad situation.

June 3, 2011 at 1:13 am
(79) Paul says:

I am a serving soldier and cant believe the attitude of some people towards the war dead, have respect!, the average German soldier was very professional, my grandfather who fought in WW2 had a lot of respect for them.
You seem to forget that there are bad leaders in all walks of life and equally bad people, you do not hear about the War Crimes that were committed against the Germans by the British but let me assure you that they took place.
War is War and bad things are done, do not tar all with the same brush.

RIP

July 13, 2011 at 12:54 am
(80) jump says:

They’re dead. Couldn’t time &resources be better spent on the living?

July 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm
(81) Lee says:

Do you realize that inly 2 1/2 % of the higher ups in the Nazi Party were killed during WW11? Mostly suicides to avoid being caught by the allies. What percentage of the German Army Lost their lives fighting for thier country. Right or wrong, they were solders too.

I lost 2 uncles fighting against and the other uncles that I have left hated but respected the german solders..

October 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm
(82) monicka says:

I find it interesting that there are so many appalled by what the Nazis did in WW11. And yes there is a big diffence between Nazi and a German solider.
Here in America we are responsible for a holocust that actually did wipe out certain bloodlines of people. If you do any research you will find some horrible actions on the part of the American goverment as well as American people and Military. 15 miles from where I live Mankato Minnesota there were 38 innocent Native Americans hanged. This was the largest hanging that has ever taken place in the U.S.A. Lincoln presided over it.
As far as the German soliders are concerned those of you that condem. Better look to your own military look up civil war concentration camps. What we did to ourselves is disgusting. The German pows that were taken by the Americans were not always treated so good. There is alot of evidence that President Eisenhauer issued a order that pows were not to have shelter,food,water,medical treatment. So prisoners were kept out in fenced areas with no bathrooms were they were left to starve to death. Also the Americans gave 2 thousand pows to France for use as slave labor.
IG Fabor was a company at Aushwitz 111 Buna were prisoners from the camp did slave labor. Including German political prisoners. The IG Fabor company had investers from the U.S.
No one is innocent in times of war
I have a Uncle that was in the SS and a uncle that was in the concentration camps as a political prisoner. My father was an American GI

December 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(83) BT says:

My father was an American Infantry Soldier, and he always told me, that he respected the German Soldiers, that they were good Soldiers, and most were caught up in the war. They had no choice, but to fight for their Country. They were all fooled in the beginning by Hitler and his cronies. Much like what Obama is trying to do to America.

April 18, 2012 at 10:25 am
(84) K says:

To everyone saying that no one in the German Army ever resisted Hitler and his cabal:
Ever heard of the July 20th Plot?

As for those complaining about war crimes on the Eastern Front, yes, I am well aware that the average Wehrmacht soldier took part in them.

My main problem here lies with the fact that several commenters are insisting that all German soldiers were basically rabid, Hitler-worshipping maniacs.
Newsflash: There is a difference between the Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS (even then, in the last phase of the war, some Germans were forcefully conscripted into the organization), and Hitler’s lapdogs, who commanded the Wehrmacht.
Most German soldiers did not blindly follow their Fuhrer; in fact, they disliked him, mostly due to his incompetence in military matters. Not all high-ranking officers agreed with Hitler’s policies either.

So, in conclusion, while much of the Wehrmacht was involved in war crimes on the Eastern Front, not all German soldiers were war criminals like them. (There were, after all, many other fronts, like the Western and African fronts.)

@Lillianne
You should read about the Treaty of Versailles. The Germans didn’t invade all of those nations with no rhyme or reason;they honestly thought that following Hitler was the best way to escape the confines of the Treaty, which brought Germany into economic depression. Hitler brought them out of it, revitalizing the economy and improving living conditions; it seemed (at that time) that he could be trusted.

July 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm
(85) caleb duerr says:

The Germans were good soldiers and need to be honored for that. They had a job to do and they did it with courage, honor, and loyalty. They fought for their brothers next to them, not for hitler. Any combat soldier knows this. Iraq combat vets did not fight for G.W Bush, they fought for each other.

September 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm
(86) donald says:

haveing lost on both sides of my familey in world war 2 my granda in russia for the germans and my uncle on my dads side in the royal air force let every soilder b layed to rest and lfuture generations know how pityfull war is lest we forget

November 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(87) Kuhle says:

So many innocent young german men died.
They deserve not only respect but remembrance as well, since they fought for a cause society at the time believed in.
Regardless of right or wrong, they are our lost brothers
And should’ve be given honourable burial.
God bless the fallen German soldiers.

November 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm
(88) Hans says:

Regardless of what division they fought for, they were men fighting for their country and all not just deserve, but have a right to be honoured as deceased war heroes.
The German people have been brain washed to forget the past because of the atrocities committed.
But it is in itself a sadness to forget our own grandfathers, uncles…. That gave their life with honor and valor.

January 18, 2013 at 1:54 am
(89) Philip R Edwards says:

When it comes to hindsight all of us have 20-20 vision. It seams so easy to make the correct decision after the fact. Does it not ? The German men and woman who fought, Died ,were crippled ,maimed, and mutilated fighting for there country thought they were doing what was expected of them. As young adults in there teens and twenties by the hundreds of thousands I am sure they wanted to live a normal life exactly like we do. OK they were our enemy so what ! So were tens of thousands of American Citizens during our cival war . I dont ever hear of any one refusing to honer there souls ! They also did what there country asked of them . Personally I beleave respect for the German Warriors of World War 2 Is way over due .

January 18, 2013 at 7:19 am
(90) Philip R Edwards says:

As a American Citizens we are just as guilty as any German for crimes against humanity. Does time make us innocent of commiting genicide ? I dont think so. Look what we have done in the United States to the people who really own this land . We have commited mass murder , destroyed the lives tens of thousands of inocent native Americans out of plain old greed .We dont own this land , do you really think the deed to your property gives you the right to live on stolen property ? The bottom line is we are here on this planet for a tiny drop in the bucket of time. Respect your fellow man no matter who he is . We are all created equal.

January 25, 2013 at 8:44 pm
(91) Joseph says:

If i died in an foreign land fighting in combat,i would want my remains buried in my homeland.

February 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm
(92) Zain Ali says:

These soldiers arent Nazis. Did you know the the Afrika Korp, All the German troops in Africa, not one was accused of war crimes. Thier leader was Erwin Rommel. He denied Hitlers orders to round up the Jews. He was fighting for Germany not Hitler. The British sent commandos to KILL HIM!!! He wasn’t there when they came and were killed in a fire fight. Rommel arrives at the scene and orders that the commandos be buried with full military honors. Also, a German soldier recalled that he worked in a factory. Someone was caught listening to English broadcast and the Gestapo shot him. Later the Gestapo demanded that he give testimony as an eyewitness. He refused and then the Gestapo tole him to sign up for the Russian front or he will be sent to a concentration camp and his family killed.

February 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm
(93) Dave says:

I find it amazing how the term “war crimes” is brought into the subject. Its always the ‘winner’ of wars who gets to write the history books and educate the people. War crimes are commited by both sides, but the crimes the ‘winners’ commit are always forgotten and brushed under the carpet. Britain AND Russia both have commited far worse war crimes in various wars in the past, but nothing is ever said or mentioned, because they ‘won’. Mention was made of being sent to the Eastern Front for not following orders, is that not so brutal when British soldiers were shot on the spot (during WW1) for the same thing? Or Russian troops sent to Siberian Gulags for even hesitating when the ‘Charge’ order was given? Remember, Britain invented the concentration camp and put it to use in South Africa, The US killed tens of thousands of native Indians (ethnic cleansing) remember those words ???????????? Certain Serbian officials were tried for this not long back…………..
Yes Germany , like many others did commit the most horrendous crimes to innocent people during the war but we do need to have a balanced viewpoint here. These soldiers fought for their lives and country. Any frontline soldier would do the same. We need to acknowedge the sacrifice they and all soldiers gave . Politics is not the issue here, its recognition of human lives given in combat.

May 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm
(94) William says:

This subject brings up another note in my head that may be getting momentum. That if we ask others not to be buried here or there. It may start a trend such as nations wanting to reclaim their land and ask countries to bring their family members back to their own homestead country. Land is quickly becoming a precious commodity. Island nations such as Japan and Taiwan know this already. Until farming can be made vertical, the issue of suburb sprawl should be properly addressed and that societies will need to understand that there is a need for a proper balance for man, resources and nature.
Thank You

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