Post by tuigirl on May 17, 2020 11:35:29 GMT
See, murdering one fella is bad, and as much a crime as murdering dozens. It’s only the punishment that varies, not the criminality of the action itself. Just because my neighbour burned down an orphanage doesn’t immunise me from prosecution for stealing one car.
This is an example of "equivalence" which I find deeply offensive. Please learn some history before you repeat accusations like that.
I know that some on the far-left in the UK and the far-right in Germany like to describe Dresden (for example) as a 'war crime' but they do that for their own current political ends.
Please don't fall into that trap and never do anything to compare such actions (or for that matter the Blitz inflicted on us in the UK) with Nanking, Belsen, Dachau, the Death Railway and all the other horrors committed by the Axis powers, or Mao's Cultural Revolution and Stalin's gulags where untold millions were murdered for being politically the 'wrong' people. There's a massive, massive difference between the horrors of war on one hand and war crimes on the other.
Churchill was a racist prick (Sorry “product of his time”) who hated unions to the point of sending squaddies to break up strikes by workers.
But yes, Hitler was worse. Using ‘Hitler was worse” excuses everything short of genocide.
So yes, Dresden was a war crime. Belsen was a war crime. The machine gunning of POWs was a war crime. Hiroshima was a war crime. Unit 13 was a war crime. The Kakoda Death March was a war crime.
One side committee terrible crimes. Crimes that history cannot be allowed to forget.
But history must not forget that the other side also committed crimes.
If the Nazis performed the Dambuster raid, Barnes Wallace would be called a War Criminal.
If the allies dropped V-weapons on Berlin, it would be ignored because Hitler did worse things.
So you can take your offence at equivalence and boil it.
I remember my time in New Zealand.
They have a cool army museum, and there are all the medals displayed of the heroes of war.
The uncle of my landlord was even a very famous Kiwi war hero in WWII.
What makes a war hero?
How are they different from mass murderers? What justifies the killing? How can it be that the same acts of heroism are either celebrated or vilified depending on who won?
One of my granddads was rewarded several medals because he was such a ferocious close combat fighter. He never gave up. He was honourable and brave and risked his life to help prisoners of war and even shared (under threat to be shot in sight when caught) his rations with the prisoners. He even (forbiddenly) took pictures of some of the atrocities committed (which he used to teach us kids about the horrors of war).
If he had fought for New Zealand, his medals and his picture would be on the wall in that Kiwi army museum.
He was not. He was German and he fought the Sovjets.
So was he a war criminal then?
All I can see is that village farm boys were forcefully ripped from their homes and families. Someone forced weapons into their hands and pointed them at a supposed enemy and threatening to shoot them if they did not follow orders. They either killed or would be killed.
Some of them were better at killing than others.
The ones that were, survived.
In a different setting, the same farm boys, if they spoke the same language and were meeting for a soccer match, would maybe have become best of friends.
Who is at fault here?
Is it the fault of these farm boys that the dead pile up?
My granddad returned home broken, missing a leg and suffering from severe PTSD (even before that was even a term that existed) and all his life was telling us kids that war was the biggest crime against humanity. No matter who started it and who fought it. He had a whole photo album to prove his point.
There were pictures of great tank battles, with grenades exploding all over the place, pictures of the great general mustering his army, pictures of dead bodies in trenches and pictures of the prisoners of war marched to the camps. And he did spare nothing to us as kids. Some of these pictures were horrific and traumatised us kids. But even my parents agreed that is was necessary that this was burned into our minds as a lesson.
Never again on our watch.