Forum home Road cycling forum The bottom bracket

Pro Nazi?

ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577
edited April 2012 in The bottom bracket
Seeing as Frank is away having a new leg fitted (or something), I though I'd start todays contentious political discussion...

A Dutch boy won a competition to read his poem on Rememberance Day (5th May here),. but it has been withdrawn due to complaints by several jewish groups..

The Poem -
The wrong choice
My name is Auke Siebe Dirk
I was named after my uncle Dirk Siebe
A boy who made the wrong choice
Chose the wrong army
With the wrong ideals
Escaped poverty
Hoped for a better life
No way back
If a choice is made
Only a way forward
Which he cannot avoid
Fighting against the Russians
Fearing to die
Thinking of home
Where Dirk’s future is still to begin
His mother is torn apart by the war
A mother of 11 children, with four in the resistance
And one fighting on the eastern front.
She loved all 11 of them
Dirk Siebe never came home
My name is Auke Siebe Dirk
I am named after Dirk Siebe
Because Dirk Siebe should not be forgotten either

(Unofficial translation)

Seems like a massive over reaction to me, there is nothing in the poem that supports the views of the Wehrmacht (quite the opposite in fact) and there is certainly nothing Anti-Semitic in it...

Discuss...
We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
- @ddraver

Posts

  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    Humans in horrible situations on all sides. The victims were of all nationalities, Germans of course as well.
    Thats what its about, The sad state of humanity..
    We need to look forward and try to be better.
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.
  • tim wandtim wand Posts: 2,945
    Its only in recent years and now that there are so few veterans remaining that any acknowledgement of Germanys massive losses during World War 2 are beginning to be acknowledged as an equal tragedy by any of the allied nations of Europe.

    One of the most humbling interviews I have heard recently was last month as part of the 30 years Post Falklands Radio five series, where both a British Paratrooper and Argentinian infrantry man were co interviewed recalling their memories of being on apposing sides at Goose Green, there was a massive affection and affinity between them as they recalled their losses and experiences.

    In the late 90's whilst stationed in Germany, I attended a PSV Eindhoven game with Bobby Robson in charge, when we started singing the normal football banter (In English) to take the Mickey out of Sir Bobby (God rest him great man) my group was very hastliy approached by some PSV fans who asked rather aggressively "Are you English?"

    Thinking I was being smart I answered "nein Ich bin Deutsche", luckily my accent gave it away and the main PSV henchman answered, if your English get up the back and join us, If your German you die here today.

    I have found in general that the Dutch and other occupied European countries for very obvious reasons detest Germany and resent its economic success and will do anything to make it remember World War 2.

    Your post says "Pro Nazi" I know this is just trying to be jokey a la Frank but the main point is that I doubt less than 1% of prescripted German soldiers in the Wehrmacht ever supported Hitler and his deplorable politics and were only there under a sense of fear for them and their families.

    Again I witnessed a similar thing in Op Granby 1990-91 when we advanced on to Iraqi positions to find only the mass surrender of conscripts and reached objectives in only 100 hours without resistance.


    Anyway on a lighter note . Franks op has been delayed so I m sure he'll be along shortly to sort us all out,
  • AggieboyAggieboy Posts: 3,689
    What were their actual complaints? Sounds like more PC sh1te as well as a scene from Fawlty Towers - "Don't mention the war, Don't mention the war"
    "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to damage yours."
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577
    Tim - No, it says Pro Nazi?....

    Aggie - from the link - Cidi spokeswoman Esther Voet told the NRC the piece is inappropriate for such an occasion and an insult to survivors. ‘As long as there are survivors, Remembrance Day should be about them and those they lost,’ she said.

    I don't read the site much but it tends to be pretty simplistic so I'm not too sure...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • RDWRDW Posts: 1,900
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.

    In this case, though, the subject of the poem was Dutch, not German, and joined the SS rather than the Wehrmacht, making him both a nazi and a traitor. Whatever the merits of the poem, is it appropriate for it to be part of the Remembrance Day commemorations in a country that suffered terribly under the nazis, at a time when many survivors of the war are still around? If someone suggested reading a poem about a British SS volunteer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Free_Corps) on the UK's Remembrance Day, you can imagine the tabloid headlines...
  • tim wandtim wand Posts: 2,945
    dd raver. apologies, It was a genuine typo in missing the ? . I know your post was posing the question not advocating the notion. Just not paying attention to what I was typing. :roll:
  • My reading of history is that one reason why World War II was fought was to make Europe and as much of the rest of the world as possible into a place where Dirk Siebe's descendants could get a fair hearing without prejudice, and victims of tyranny would be acknowledged with dignity.
    Equally we have to acknowledge there are some people who just don't get that, but this does not mean giving in to their views. One of the things that makes us human is surely introspection; there are some people who lack it. I don't know whether this makes me more angry or sad.
    "Consider the grebe..."
  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,914
    Some people are very touchy.
    Especially about the number of their fellow countrymen, who volunteered to join the SS & fight, sometimes against their own countrymen.
    However, we should remember all those who died, whichever side they were on.
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • CambsNewbieCambsNewbie Posts: 564
    I think I have read this a bit differently to others here.. I read as the Dutch boy saying he was named after an uncle who was Dutch and went to fight for the Germans against the Russians.

    I thought it was a very brave piece and I certainly couldn't see anything anti-Semitic in it.
  • AggieboyAggieboy Posts: 3,689
    I think I have read this a bit differently to others here.. I read as the Dutch boy saying he was named after an uncle who was Dutch and went to fight for the Germans against the Russians.

    I thought it was a very brave piece and I certainly couldn't see anything anti-Semitic in it.

    That's how I read it and assumed others had. Can't see another interpretation.
    "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to damage yours."
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577
    I think that's right CN

    It's interesting speaking to people here as they obviously saw a quite different war to that that was seen in GB. From one of my colleagues telling me how her grandparents happily had Nazi soldiers in their hose throughout the occupation, then perfectly happily accepted Allied soldiers after the liberation to another colleague reminiscing how a young German boy asked his father (who was a doctor and spoke english), "Dr van der Niet*, how do you say Heil Hitler in English?"

    It's a reality that more than a few europeans joined up with the Wehrmacht (naively/deliberately/forcibly)...

    *not his real name
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • CambsNewbieCambsNewbie Posts: 564
    Sorry , got to admit I only skimmed the other comments! That will learn me!

    I think we tend to lump nationalities together so eg Dutch goodies Germans baddies but as ddraver says loyalties were mixed and confused. There were whole battalions in the german army made up of Dutch, French, Ukrainians, Finnish etc and huge numbers of Russians fought against the Red Army and Stalin.

    Guess the reaction to this poem shows how emotions are still raw.. Better raw than forgotten though I think.
  • tim wandtim wand Posts: 2,945
    Any censored else getting a cookie link to a website selling World War 2 uniform for collectors and film makers when they click this thread. If they are then its a bit bloody inapropriate!!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577
    well no, but I have a "commercial remover" as all the illegal streaming sites I use to watch UK stuff are very ad heavy!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • CambsNewbieCambsNewbie Posts: 564
    tim wand wrote:
    Any censored else getting a cookie link to a website selling World War 2 uniform for collectors and film makers when they click this thread. If they are then its a bit bloody inapropriate!!

    Just the ads for subscription offers for the mags for me.

    Must be you!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577

    I think we tend to lump nationalities together so eg Dutch goodies Germans baddies but as ddraver says loyalties were mixed and confused. There were whole battalions in the german army made up of Dutch, French, Ukrainians, Finnish etc and huge numbers of Russians fought against the Red Army and Stalin.

    I think there is more to it that that. No one thinks that an entire nation turned racist/right wing in 1933 and voted the Nazi party in. A lot of people like to think that thy would be resistance fighters and fight off the oppressors, but for a great many people it was easier just to muddle through and get along. After all it was painfully obvious what happened to people that resisted and got caught. I think the poem captures some of that...After 3 or 4 years of oppression, no input from the US and a beaten, if not invaded GB, it must have been easy to loose hope of anything ever changing and to try and make the best of the situation, including selectively forgetting things/looking the other way at times...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    RDW wrote:
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.

    In this case, though, the subject of the poem was Dutch, not German, and joined the SS rather than the Wehrmacht, making him both a nazi and a traitor. Whatever the merits of the poem, is it appropriate for it to be part of the Remembrance Day commemorations in a country that suffered terribly under the nazis, at a time when many survivors of the war are still around? If someone suggested reading a poem about a British SS volunteer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Free_Corps) on the UK's Remembrance Day, you can imagine the tabloid headlines...

    My bad. :oops:

    Still, sentiment sort of remains. Lot's of people died, some chose to fight, others didn't, all sad and not nice. As a side note, I think the reasons people on all sides of the war joined the war have little impact on whether their losses should be mourned or not. It's all very well saying the English soldiers joined to fight for king and Country, good against evil etc - Fact is most were young lads who joined because they wanted to shoot guns and kill people. (simply put - obviously there are other factors)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    The poem sums up a bad time, certainly of circumstance and fate. Human spirit is better when applied to understanding and compassion. Primo levi's writings exemplify this.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.

    You forgot the Russians, who lost more in the war than anyone else. Uncle Joe didn't look to favourably on anyone taking a backward step.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,032
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.

    You forgot the Russians, who lost more in the war than anyone else. Uncle Joe didn't look to favourably on anyone taking a backward step.
    Fact: More Soviet soldiers were shot for desertion or cowardice than the total number of British soldiers who died in WW2
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    bompington wrote:
    If you were in the German Military you genuinely did as you were told or you got a bullet. The frontline were under orders and fighting for their Country. As were the British, French and Americans.

    You forgot the Russians, who lost more in the war than anyone else. Uncle Joe didn't look to favourably on anyone taking a backward step.
    Fact: More Soviet soldiers were shot for desertion or cowardice than the total number of British soldiers who died in WW2

    What was judged as cowardice on the eastern front was not quite the same as other theatres of the war. After the war thousands of ex Russian POW's (those fortunate enough to survive the Nazi regime) were marched straight to gulags and imprisond for many years after the war for being "cowards".
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • The point of the poem seems to be that some people made the wrong choice, and that could indeed tear families apart. My Dutch girlfriend's paternal grandfather chose to join the SS, and her own father had to join some sort of Nazi youth movement, which he hated along with most of the other Dutch lads (they sang English songs to annoy their superiors and he still refuses to go to Wagner operas). While billeted on Texel he helped local farmers protect all sorts of nationalities - for example Georgians who were fighting on both sides, I think (one barn for Russian Georgians, another for German Georgians, etc, etc.).

    On the other side of the family, my girlfriend's young mother was cycling 100KM plus out of Amsterdam on a rubbish bike to try and rustle up something edible from the farmers - sometimes meeting German checkpoints on her way home and being forced to throw away her food after struggling for hours on end (that's real cycling guts in my book, not riding a bloody sportive).

    Meanwhile over here my parents only met because my father was evacuated out of a city, so I'm a product of the war as well, I suppose.

    The SS officer wandered off, missing presumed dead at the end of the war (well, good, I want to say), but he was still my girlfriend's grandad and inextricably a part of what makes her what she is - and that does make me feel uncomfortable at times. I think you have to acknowledge these feelings on all sides, though at the end of the day the Nazis gave up their rights to any sympathy (whatever that means). And, when you see an old person remember they may have lived through all this suffering.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,170
    tim wand wrote:

    I have found in general that the Dutch and other occupied European countries for very obvious reasons detest Germany and resent its economic success and will do anything to make it remember World War 2.
    When I was in primary school learning French (1968-1973), I recall our French teacher telling us
    that prior to the second world war, German, had been the first foreign language people in
    Holland learnt. However, after the war, the population resented the German language and
    began to learn English.
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    ddraver wrote:
    No one thinks that an entire nation turned racist/right wing in 1933 and voted the Nazi party in.

    No reasonable person that is. Unfortunately there are plenty of unreasonable people out there and some of them happen to be Jewish.

    Daniel Goldhagen is a particularly vile person who wrote an entire book, based on some shaky and in places fraudulent scholarship, called 'Hitler's Willing Executioners'. That book basically paints the German Nation in the early 20th century as anti-semitic to the core, and favouring gratuitous violence against Jewish people. Amazingly, this book became a best seller.

    As it happens two proper scholars uncovered his fraud in a book called 'A Nation on Trial' - one of them is the son of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, Norman Finkelstein.

    Dr Finkelstein has written a lot of interesting and supposedly 'controversial' things about how Jewish groups conduct themselves in light of the Nazi Holocaust. His scholarship isn't controversial in the slightest. The Jewish groups he writes about are the source of the controversy, both in the books and in the aftermath of the books.

    Having read the poem, you can't help but spot the connection with what Dr Finkelstein has unearthed and what has happened here. I'd be interested to know exactly which Jewish groups made complaints...

    It's refreshing to see that most people here can see that this poem is not offensive, in spite of the stigma attached by the complaints.
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    http://www.cidi.nl/

    Looks like an Israeli lobbyist organisation that is " inextricably bound up with democratic Israel" (in their own words). What have they got to do with the Nazi Holocuast? Never let politics blur history or reality!

    The fact is, the Nazi Holocaust was not uniquely about Jewish suffering...
  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 8,191
    EKIMIKE wrote:
    http://www.cidi.nl/

    Looks like an Israeli lobbyist organisation that is " inextricably bound up with democratic Israel" (in their own words). What have they got to do with the Nazi Holocuast? Never let politics blur history or reality!

    The fact is, the Nazi Holocaust was not uniquely about Jewish suffering...

    others died in concentration camps, for sure, but the legislation for the annihilation of a race thats came to be known as the holocaust was not aimed at all classes- jews were the only class of 'unter mensch' targeted for total and absolute annihilation.



    it seems their objections are more nuanced than i'm 'israeli' so dont mention the war"The poem is about a man who has made a wrong choice. You can. But to then calculated during the Commemoration of the consequences of that choice wrong to equate the death of resistance heroes, Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime is an insult to all those who actually like the victim died. It blurs the boundaries between good and evil."
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,577
    But, during the Commemoration of the consequences of that choice wrong to equate the death of resistance heroes, Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime is an insult to all those who actually like the victim died. It blurs the boundaries between good and evil."

    Well, that's the question Cleat yes....

    but then do we ridgidly stick to unknowingly condemning everyone that ever did anything that may have helped the Wehrmacht or accept that some people did nt have much choice as to where they were or what they did..?

    As Mike puts well, only somewhat stupid/politically motivated people condem the whole of the voting german nation in 1933 - who let's not forget were living in hellish times as they elected the Nazi Party - and accept that, actually, it could happen anywhere and that those people suffered too....
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    True about the legislation and the consequences for millions of Jewish people but that's no legitimisation for the apparent monopoly on remembrance they seem to exercise. Death is death, suffering is suffering, surely no-one has the right to 'rank' these things as more or less important.

    True, their objectives are probably more nuanced than "i'm israeli", but you can't ignore the explicitly acknowledged link, the influence and the responsibility that comes with it. The Nazi Holocaust has been used as political capital for Israeli interests on numerous occasions. For me, that's wrong. They are separate concerns.
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    http://www.nlplanet.com/almanac/liberation-day

    Maybe if this was a remembrance ceremony held in the Warsaw Ghetto, you could understand how the poem would be inappropriate. The Warsaw Ghetto was of course almost entirely Jewish suffering.
Sign In or Register to comment.