Talk:War crimes of the Wehrmacht

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'Destruction of Warsaw' part[edit]

"Up to 250,000 civilians were killed. Human shields were used by German forces during the fighting. During the Wola Massacre 50,000 civilians were murdered to intimidate the Poles into surrender. "

I really would like to see some evidence that the Wehrmacht did all ths. Remember this should be about the crimes of the Wehrmacht.

129.13.186.1 23:41, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not sure about Wola, but during the Vinkt Massacre on the Western front civilians were definitely used as human shields by the Wehrmacht. Of course, 27 dead Belgians is a bit less than 50,000 dead Poles - I agree there. User_talk: Pan_Gerwazy--pgp 19:26, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

The article should be merged with Wehrmacht. Reasons: 1.War Crimes of Wehrmacht are integral part of its history. 2.Removal of war crimes obscures the atrocious nature of Wehrmachts role in WW2. 3.The massive war crimes of Wehrmacht overshadow every other possible activity of the organisation. --Molobo 01:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Please comment at Talk:Wehrmacht#Merge so all discussion will be in the same place.JonRoma 09:03, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Wehrmacht crimes on the Western front[edit]

I am working on the may 1940 Vinkt_Massacre at this very moment. The article her seems to imply that such war crimes by the Wehrmacht on the Western Front did not exist before 1944, but I am a bit too timid to add Vinkt here - as, with the present construction of the article, that would mean adding an entire chapter. User_talk:Pan_Gerwazy--pgp 19:37, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Please don't think I'm a revisionist[edit]

I consider the information in this article to be accurate, encyclopedic, and relevant...however, an article titled "War Crimes of the Wermacht"....? I never thought I'd say this, but I think Wikipedia is repeating itself here. A few helpful suggestions which could improve this...A) merge this and other articles into a new article entitled "War crimes committed by Nazi Germany" which, although it would be rather long, would remove superfluous articles such as this one. B) dissolve this article entirely but retain the information in the respective articles about each particular atrocity. C) turn this into a disambiguation page that simply links to full articles about the atrocities, getting rid of the descriptions of the events on this page...there is some rather subjective language used in these brief descriptions and some editors may take that as an NPOV conflict (I won't go so far as to say it is, yet). Regardless, this article is borderline unacceptable in its current form. We should mull this over for a few days, of course, so please let me know if you think I'm mistaken or if you have any other comments. I will take it upon myself to make the appropriate edits if no one else wants to, but of course this is a process and I want to avoid reverts if possible. Naturally, if I hear a solid argument against mine, I will be deferential. However, please, at the very least, take this into consideration. Antimatter 23:40, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Allied War Crimes[edit]

Is there also an article dealing with allied war crimes?! If yes, where is it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.2.124.251 (talkcontribs) 14:53, 19 August 2006‎

There is. Allied war crimes during World War II W. B. Wilson (talk) 10:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Interestingly, it pre-dates this one by several months. Xyl 54 (talk) 18:43, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Luftwaffe[edit]

Greetings. When people here discuss about the Wehrmacht, they’re thinking it’s a synonym of the German Army (Heer). It is not. It means Armed Forces which also includes the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. This article only mentions das Heer and other German atrocity articles only mention SS and gestapo. However, I remember reading in a book (I forgot the title) that some Luftwaffe ground airmen helped the SS massacre or help round up some civilians in Poland or Soviet Union to be executed by the SS. Does anybody have information on this or can they confirm this? Thanks for any response I get. --James 12:56, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

BTW Some Wehrmacht officers and enlisted servicemen did help Jewish people escape from the Holocaust or help hide some of their fellow servicemen who were considered “half-jewish” from the SS and gestapo. http://www1.yadvashem.org/righteous/bycountry/germany/battel_dr_albert.html

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/righit.html

problem with this article[edit]

this article has serious POV problems. Whereas other articles give the benefit of the doubt. for instance, in this article under invasion of Poland it states 50000 civilians were killed, which is the total, then claims they were all murdered/terrorbombed/executed. that is a bald-faced lie, of course a majority was actually collateral damage, not every single one of them was murdered as claimed.

don't even get me started on the Vinkt section, it doesn't even match what that article states.

the POW camps section is horrendous, it simply states that 2 million were taken captive, not that the logistics required to intern those 2 million are complicated to say the least, and the Germans were not expecting to be keeping them in camps that long. Of course there was the Nazi ideas of Russian inferiority, but that wasn't why a lot of them died. this article wreaks of Molobo

--Jadger 03:40, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what Molobo is, but I do agree that it has serious POV problems. Every single civilian killed by the Wehrmacht during the invasion of Poland is counted as a murder and warcrime. The allies entirely get the benefit of the doubt for the bomibing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki(!). If Germany had, for example, nuked Belfast it would be remembered as a horrible warcrime and no one would question it's injustice. Indeed, if we applied this same standard to coalition forces during the invasion and occupation of Iraq then the US army is guilty of more warcrimes in Iraq then the Wehrmacht was in Poland.
Ontop of that the "Allied War Crimes" article doesn't even mention the fire-bombing of dresden. The fire-bombing was terror-bombing, but I suppose it's ok if the winners of the war do it. If the loosers do it, then it's a war crime. This double-standard isn't really surprising though, the winners write the history. 130.71.96.23 06:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

It's become something of a tired cliche to say "winners write history," as hear you are, on equal terms, debating history from what is obviously the loser's point of view. Stop trying to sell yourself as an underdog, it only makes you look pathetic. You have the power to write history. Hit EDIT and start. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.163.249.192 (talk) 06:06, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Overview on Partisan operations against Wehrmacht?[edit]

Apart from the articles I linked, is there any overview on partisan activity in general, and against Wehrmacht in special? I think that Gestapo, SD, SS, Waffen-SS were prime targets of at least the hate, if not the actions of "freedom fighters" or "terrorists". On the other hand, I try to imagine how the everyday life of e.g. a small troop of Wehrmacht soldiers in charge of guarding/maintaining a railway line or a bridge somewhere in the hinterland might have looked like.

  • Did they get bored and killed civilians to have "some action"?
  • Or were they the easy target of constant possible harassment, having to expect a sniper bullet or hand grenade any moment?
  • Or, after successful sabotage acts, were they subject to santions for failing to ensure the usability of the bridge, like getting send to the front, to a firing squad, mine field clearing etc.?
  • Where there any official warnings of reprisals in case a soldier gets harmed or a bridge gets damaged?

One would expect that the heroic acts of resistance fighters either get praised afterwards (Robin Hood, Wilhelm Tell, ...), or get covered up in order not to reveal the reasons that triggered reprisals. Or is all that well documented? -- Matthead discuß!     O       06:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Atrocities during the Invasion of Poland[edit]

Wehrmacht units killed over 16,000 Polish civilians during the 1939 September campaign through executions. After the end of hostilities, during the Wehrmacht's administration of Poland, which went on until October 25, 1939, 531 towns and villages were burned, and the Wehrmacht carried out 714 mass executions and a number of other crimes. Altogether, it is estimated that 50,000 Polish civilians had perished including 7000 Jews.[1]

sorry this is wrong these AB Measurements (AB= Außerordentliche Befriedungsmassnahme = extraordinary pacification measurements) were carried out by the SS Division ZBV under the direct command of nazi party (heinrich himmler the high commander of the police and SS forces). they were not attached or included in the wehrmacht chain of command --131.173.252.9 19:47, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

So not true that the Wehrmacht carried out 714 mass executions but true that during the Wehrmacht's administration of Poland (German Wiki: daher für deren Taten mitverantwortlich). Xx236 12:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Holocaust Denial?[edit]

This article posts a "see also" link to Holocaust denial. Why? What does this article have to do with Holocaust denial? [Strictly speaking, this article doesn't even concern the Holocaust, since it aims to document the crimes of the Wehrmacht, not the crimes of the Nazi Party and the SS...]

Anyway, the point is, I don't like the implicit suggestion that the soilders of the Wehrmacht are Holocaust deniers. There's a world of difference between simply pointing out that the crimes of the Holocaust were committed by the SS and not the army, and absurdly claiming that those crimes never occured. Unless someone can explain why this link should be here, it should be removed. --Filippo Argenti 14:32, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Holocaust "The Wehrmacht, or regular German army, participated directly far less than the SS in the Holocaust (though it did directly take part in the massacre of some Jews in Russia, Serbia, Poland, and Greece), but it supported the Einsatzgruppen, helped form the ghettos, ran prison camps, occasionally provided concentration camp guards, transported prisoners to camps, had experiments performed on prisoners, and substantially used slave labor."

I don't know why the link is there, but you seem to be misinformed about the role played by the Wehrmacht. The basic problem, not discussed above, is that the Wehrmacht conquested lands inhabited by 6 000 000 Jews making the Holocaust possible. The leaders of the Wehrmacht knew about the Holocaust and didn't oppose it.Xx236 07:26, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

All which has nothing to do with denying the Holocaust. Link removed. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 10:07, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Blacks in France[edit]

The black soldiers were actually shot by members of Waffen-SS divisions Totenkopf and Großdeutschland. See:

Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940 by Raffael Scheck. MoritzB 06:17, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Grossdeutschland was a Wehrmacht unit.--Caranorn 10:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I have used the book MoritzB cites to cite this information. I have also linked to a excerpt from this book which discusses German soldiers and their officers. There are only two mentions of the SS, and one involves an SS unit refusing to murder people, the other mention involves Poland and not France. Then there's this quote: "In the Western campaign of 1940, the time span between the first and last executions of black POWs was relatively short (less than one month), but some units were repeatedly involved in massacres and thus likely to have experienced routinization. Moreover, we have to consider that the German army had already committed crimes against civilians and POWs in Poland in September 1939. While shooting civilian hostages and POWs the previous fall, a significant number of German soldiers fighting in France had gathered experience in mass executions. This must have made it easier for them to shoot black POWs." The book is called "Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940". Alun 05:16, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Charles Trang's Totenkopf examines the executions of black POWs in some detail, check it out. 10:52, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

"Numerous" rapes[edit]

There are several reasons why this section may not be applicable in this particular article. I did not ask you to place a citation at "numerous", I aksed you to change the weasel word to a more encyclopedic word, preferably with a numerical interval.

  1. Numerous is a weasel word. Numerous says nothing, was it 3 rapes, 7, or even as many as 15 rapes?
  2. Was the number notable enough to be included in an article?
  3. Were they ordered by their officers to rape, or were the rapes on a scale meriting the definition War crimes? (see the title of this article...) instead of just "ordinary" rapes that unfortunately happen all the time.
  4. Were rapes by military forces included in the definition of War crimes during this time period?
  5. Does the source use the word "war crimes" to describe them?

--Stor stark7 Talk 00:19, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I deem the term 'weasel word' to be wiki-bullying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.233.118.25 (talk) 19:20, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Szymon Datner is a highly respected researcher about Nazi Germany's war crimes. He writes in scholary study of atrocities that they were numerous rapes, and I see no sources provided by you that claim otherwise. As to war crimes-the full title of the book is about war crimes. --Molobo (talk) 00:27, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

He can be as respected as he likes, but I think you know that it is up to you who wants to include it in the article to provide evidence that it was a war crime and not just an atrocity. No such verification, and deleted from the war crimes article it will be.--Stor stark7 Talk 00:34, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Reference already provided. Provide sources claiming otherwise and contradicting Datner's book.--Molobo (talk) 00:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
You have done nothing of the kind. You have just provided reference to a book saying there were rapes. Provide a quote where he specifies that the rapes were warcrimes is what I'm asking. without that your citation is just garbage--Stor stark7 Talk 01:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Sources contradicting Datner's book about war crimes please.--Molobo (talk) 01:03, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

So you are saying that everything listed in his book is a war crime according to his definition? Then you of course have no problem telling me which paragraph in international law the acts were in violation of? No you cant? fancy that, heh.--Stor stark7 Talk 01:08, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Please read on policy for Original Reasearch on Wikipedia.--Molobo (talk) 01:13, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

So I guess he is not such a respected historian after all, if he in a book, allegedly about war-crimes, never bothers to explain what makes them war crimes and not ordinary crimes/atrocities. As I suspected--Stor stark7 Talk 01:18, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
No OR please. Provide sources that contradict him.--Molobo (talk) 01:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
You still dont' get it do you, I don't have to, since you have presented no information to contradict. You have presented no quote where he calls the rapes war-crimes or explained what makes them warcrimes. You might as well have added a citation to the Bible and expect us to say: aaah, but he has provided a source so thats all right then.--Stor stark7 Talk 01:36, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Sources Stor Stark. Please provide them. Definition of why all events described are war crimes is provided from page 34 to 58.--Molobo (talk) 01:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Nope, It is you who wants to include text, then it is up to you to provide us with the evidence. Especially since it is in a non English language and thus not verifiable for us. Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English_sources--Stor stark7 Talk 01:52, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Non-english sources are accepted in Wiki. Present sources contradicting Szymon Datner.--Molobo (talk) 01:57, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Btw: * Where editors use their own English translation of a non-English source as a quote in an article, there should be clear citation of the foreign-language original, so that readers can check what the original source said and the accuracy of the translation.

Already done :)--Molobo (talk) 01:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, that's still rubbish. There's not single figure there, no idea of occurrence, no idea of official policy - nearly no useful information. Numerous is still, by wikipedia definition, a weasel word. If you really want to include it, then it must be included as a quote from your source, not as a statement of fact. Also, I don't see any english language sources. For all we American readers know, the website linked could be written by a polish ultra-nationalist or could be something entirely unrelated. I've made some quick modifications to at least remove the world numerous, there's no circumstance under which it should be used in the current manor. If you would like to change feel free. I'm sure there are reputable English language sources for this, assuming the information is accurate (also, please be clear if it was an official policy, because Russian soldiers committed "numerous" rapes against Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, but not as a matter of official policy. Pretty much every army in human history raped women as it made its way through, including polish armies during their war with Russia). 130.71.96.19 (talk) 03:28, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Silly image captions[edit]

"Execution of Russian civilians by a shot in the back of the head, carried out with a certain grim intensity, even relish. German officers felt a contempt for the "sub-human" Slavic people, coupled with a disposition towards anti-Semitism." - Putting thoughts into their heads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tchernobog (talkcontribs) 00:02, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Criteria for war crimes articles[edit]

Please comment here Talk:Japanese_war_crimes#Asian_Holocaust.2C_July_2008--Stor stark7 Speak 17:01, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I KNEW something was wrong here[edit]

Basically, the quoted parts of this article are: two books (english, only one quoted), one polish book (non verifiable source), a german pdf (http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/historiker/03431.pdf) (another non verifiable source), 3 links about the same photo exposition held in Germany in the years 2001 - 2004, 1 link to the main page from the nuremberg museum(http://www.museen.nuernberg.de/dokuzentrum/ausstellungen.html#polen) (no article), two polish website: one a dead link (http://www.dhi.waw.pl/de/instytut/projekty/2/) and the other the main site of politya.pl website (no articles on both). Now looking close to the sources we had access throu this article Photo exposition (http://www.verbrechen-der-wehrmacht.de/pdf/vdw_en.pdf is the pdf research over it) has: (1) war against the Soviets, which was brutall on both sides; and most important (2)on the conclusions, no full denial, but discovered "errors in content, inacurracies and careless mistakes in the use of historical source material", and "due, in particular, to the form of presentation, unduly generalized and suggestive statement" (p.36 of the pdf). http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/historiker/03431.pdf - is an commentary based on a photo exposition of the crimes in Poland, and even so we encounter a clear statement that most of this issues, if ever held, were done be Einsatzgruppen and the SS, were the writer critics the position of the army in not containing such organisations(p.17), and not that the WEHRMACHT actually DID that crimes in Poland (stating that the OKW, especially the OKH had his jurisdiction over this matter removed by hitlers will once the Generals started to protest - p.18) - not to mention it does give the reason of the German attack on Poland based on the army mobilisation made be the second on august 28-30. As it seems, most crimes listed here are from SS and Einsatztruppen (which NEVER were part of the Wehrmacht as some believe, example: SS led foreigners in their ranks, the Wehrmacht this was forbidded. SS was direct subordinated to the NSDAP and the OKH had only ad hoc command). It is disapointing to see one more antigerman article on wiki, not to mention that this entire article is based on "air sources" or, better saying, "strong imagination" with source distortion, and use of imaginary sources. ---PHWeberbauer —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.79.161.6 (talk) 03:29, 31 December 2008 (UTC) Please specific POV you claim is existing. So far your accusations are general and emotional and I can't address anything specific in them.--Molobo (talk) 14:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

In addition to the POV specifics pointed out by the OP (Molobo is being disingenuous here), the section violates WP:UNDUEWEIGHT and WP:VERIFIABLE. A section devoted to a single source simply doesn't belong in this article. Any actual verifiable info from the source should be incorporated throughout the article itself. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 10:03, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
After looking further into this, the source used in this section is a non-peer reviewed essay published on a website by two authors who have no apparent expertise in the area. Also, the authors' opinions are presented as fact in the article, and amounts to WP:OR. Furthermore, a little digging has turned up research by an expert in the field that has a more balanced account of interpretations of the photographs and specifically challenges the interps given by the two authors in question.[1] In short, the entire section reads like a fluff piece written about this one source and its two authors, and needs a serious rewrite to meet WP standards, or better yer, be removed and what facts it contains integrated into the body of the article. For now, I'm going to tag the section. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 10:50, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Anti-partisan operations[edit]

"In Yugoslavia and Greece, several villages were razed and their inhabitants murdered during anti-partisan operations." Nasty but who says these were a war crime? If they were war crimes who was tried for the crime? Who was found guilty?

The section should be based on the Hostages Trial and similar articles and not on the POV of the editor who adds such uncited sentences. --PBS (talk) 20:22, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Branding of Rape Victims[edit]

That section of the Wiki that says Wehrmacht soldiers branded females "whore of Hitler's troops" is lurid, sensational and unattributed. I was incredulous since there was no footnote but instead wrote the the name of the author and the title of her work, which is in turn available online but also without its footnote. Fortunately, I found the original reference: SUSAN BROWNMILLER, AGAINST OUR WILL: MEN, WOMEN AND RAPE. The witness to the event is a Rabbi that the author interviewed. Would the editor please insert the footnote so as to avoid controversy? Jonathan Chin

OKW awareness of rapes[edit]

The source listed for it's material is legitimate. I don't find anything dubious about the content. Lt.Specht (talk) 07:56, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

No German soldier was allowed to have any kind of sex with Jewish women, and they were certainly not encouraged to rape Slavic women either. Altough it of cource happened. But some figures are extremely exaggerated - like 10 million German rapes. That's around three per soldier in average. I don't think there were more rapes made by German soldiers in the East, that what soldiers of the Red Army did in both Poland, Germany and in the Baltic countries. In the first case women in eastern Poland was raped by Red Army soldiers both between 17. September 1939 and summer of 1941 aswell when they returned to (former) eastern Poland in the summer of 1944. Until the fall of Soviet Union all Red Army war crimes were silenced - or blamed on the Germans. After the war, the new communist (or stalinist) Polish history authors got in a sevear dilemma. Explaining the ethnical cleansing of eastern Poland (all who spoke native Polish - or were Catholics were forced to move to ex-German parts of the new communistic Poland.) and Red Army rapes were simply blamed on the nazis. Boeing720 (talk) 08:28, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Barbarossa Decree[edit]

I agree after some reading. I would just prefer a citation from a primary source if possible. I also have to raise another question. IIRC, Barbarossa Decree said that crimes committed by WEHRMACHT troops may go unpunished, not Russian criminals could be shot without trial. The later, while true, was a part of the Commissar Order: suspected partisans were to be brought to the ranking officer to decide whether they were to be executed on the spot. -Jonathan Chin : 114.42.95.179, 9 May 2010‎.

New name ?[edit]

The article does not make too much out of the fact that the Wehrmacht was Nazi Germany's armed forces, i.e. Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force), not just the Army. Apart from the caption for the 7th photograph (about how paratroopers "operated under the command of the Luftwaffe"), there's not much that is not about the army. Heydrich's quote even calls the 'Wehrmacht' the Army. So, if the article is supposed to be about the armed forces, maybe a change of title is needed. Something like "War crimes of the Nazi German armed forces (Wehrmacht)" might suffice. I know it is longer than at present, but it is not as lengthy as other articles that I have seen.

What do other editors think?

RASAM (talk) 23:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I can expand on atrocities by Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine, so title change won't be needed.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 02:51, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

4 Majors flaws[edit]

'First major flaw of this article is the definition of "war crime" used. It is obvious that the notion and concept of "war crime" on this article comes mostly from the Genevan Conference from 1949 and further development on the matter - like the protocol from 1977. When the correct analyses should be, at the Wehrmacht case, the "Kriegsvölkerrecht: Sammlung zwischenstaatlicher Abkommen von allgemeneir Bedeutun für die Truppe" (International War Law: collection of interstate Treaties in interest to the troops) issued and followed as guide by the German Army in October 1 /1939 - one month before the war outbreak - and guide to legal bounds of the German Army during 1938-1945 - there is no jus cogens international law notion at that time. Second, a rape which is punished isn't a warcrime - even if it was punished not as being rape. The entire section about "mass rapes" is based on sources that go against the basic rule of wikipedia - avoid internet sites and avoid non-english translated/hard to translate material. Making this section pure POV and with source available only for polish speakers. Third major flaw, this one making the entire article POV, is about the conclusions over the "Vernichtungskrieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941 bis 1944", which on this article is a distortion from the document cited as source. The present article uses only conclusions 3 and 5, ignoring for example conclusion 2: "2. The investigation has shown that, at least in part, the publicly voiced criticism of the exhibition was justified. The exhibition contains 1.erros in content; 2. inaccuracies and careless mistakes in the use of historical source material and 3. due, in particular, to the form of presentations, unduly generalized and suggestive statements". Also, the present article distorts the conclusion 7, the exhibition should not only be revised but, also, possibly re-designed. Having the suggestive conclusions "the argumentative forms used in the exhibition should reflect theories and methodology of historical research, rather the instance of a district attorney" - omitted on this article. Not to mention, the omission about the info at the german wikipedia states that the main problem critic about that exhibition was that only 10% of the 800+ photos were actually "Wehrmacht" warcrimes - 90% of those photos showed crimes perpetrated by "Aid Troops" from Serbia, Ukraine, etc. SS members, Secret services but also by the Soviet Secret policy, partisans and others. Problem which leads to the 4th major flaw Forth major flaw is the base source of the article, as example Mister Omar Bartov. If you read one of his book he clearly has no notion about what "citizen" means in the URSS wartime (using the western approach of citizen, which didn't existed at all at the Soviet Union under Stalin), also has a tendency to share Goldhagen belief that there is no difference between Nazi and Germans at that time - forgetting that even Hitler was a Austrian born one. Mister Bartov books may have good insights and are useful for historic research but are also flawed duo his ideology - evident during the analyses of the "US G.I in Vietnam and the Red army while in Germany" he tends to make conclusions toward the Wehrmacht brutality as different from the the US / Red Army ones, using argument that is laughable for any serious military historian (p.12-13 - Germany's War and the Holocaust: disputed histories" ) - not to mention the totally fools argument that "germany combat unit used scorched earth tactic" (same book) while it is today evident that the Soviet Army started that tactic at the very beginning of the Nazi - Soviet war. But this aren't the main problems about the use of Mister Omar Bartov books. The main problems are: 1. His books barely have any context - he analyses facts as they happened without a context and, most of the time, ignores the historical moment that fact actually happened - it's like "it happened, ok, i don't care what lead it to happen, i just want the fact itself"; 2. His ideas aren't "firm truth". They are most likely his opinion about a number of situations derived from the Second World War, or more precise, about the Holocaust, which is his main argument on SEVERAL books - mainly in an attempt to stop "revisionism" to happen on Western Scholars, when for today standards revisionism is more common on Eastern scholars duo the new documents that are retrieved on Soviet time documents. So i find hard to understand how a well know historian about the Holocaust is used as base to Warcrimes, which actually aren't his main research (which is the holocaust) - Holocaust is a topic separate from Warcrimes. Also i hope people understand that this aren't a form to deny warcrimes committed, but understand that the article is very poor, giving solidity topics which are heavily controversial in Law and History academic centers and heavy POV inflated material, as anything else on polemic topics on wikipedia. - PH 201.79.24.121 (talk) 18:43, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Is this wall of text from a one-edit contributor worth keeping, or should we delete it, per WP:RANT? Xyl 54 (talk) 18:36, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

"Rape, Murder and Genocide"[edit]

A new book is being published that shatters any remaining propaganda about "clean" Wehrmacht [2] This seems largely to be a bigger project than analysis of German soldiers letters by Polish historians. A fragment from the article:

  • Bäumer: "We had a 2-centimeter gun installed on the front (of the aircraft). Then we flew down low over the streets, and when we saw cars coming from the other direction, we put on our headlights so that they would think another car was approaching them. Then we shot them with the gun. We had a lot of successes that way. It was great, and it was a lot of fun. We attacked trains and other stuff the same way.
  • Greim: "We once flew a low-altitude attack near Eastbourne . When we got there we saw a big castle where there was apparently a ball or something like that being held. In any case, there were lots of women in nice clothes and a band. We flew past the first time, but then we attacked and really stuck it to them. Now that, my dear friend, was a lot of fun.

I am sure the book will be an extremely valuable source for this article. --MyMoloboaccount (talk) 11:54, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Just in case that link breaks, the book is: Soldaten: Protokolle vom Kämpfen, Töten und Sterben (Soldiers: Transcripts of Fighting, Killing and Dying), written by historian Sönke Neitzel and social psychologist Harald Welzer and published by S. Fischer Verlag in April 2011. [3] Wingman4l7 (talk) 06:39, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

A million war babies from rapes by Wehrmacht. Right...[edit]

this section seems to engage in non legitimate synthesis. If a million children were born from "sexual contact" with Germans, it doesn't mean that all of them were born from rape. The vast majority presumably had mothers engaging in consensual affairs with Germans, for various reasons. Incidentally, lots of those women were subsequently denounced by their neighbors and persecuted by the Soviet government for "collaboration". 76.119.30.87 (talk) 22:06, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

For starters the section is cited, you have not provided counter arguments backed up by sources. Secondly upwards of a quarter of the population of Belorussia died during the 3 year German occupation, upwards of 1/5th of the Ukranian population died under German occupation during the same time. Given the brutality of the German's occupation of the Western USSR I fail to see how it is a stretch to say that the Germans raped a lot of women. If you can provide sources that counter the sources citing large scale rape than maybe there can be a discussion. Wokelly (talk) 03:03, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

10 000 000 rapes[edit]

Hello, this is an unholdable claim.

first: from 1941 until 1945 there had been stationed an average amount of just 2.2 million [2] axis soldiers (axis, not Wehrmacht soldiers) on the eastern front. This suggest that every single axis soldier would have rapped 5 times... this is ridiculous.

second: the sources dont even support this claim, the sources state that Nazi Leadership thought about a plan which would result in 750.000 born babies, as a "settlment" strategie. The source names a theoretic number of 750.000 babies of a never executed plan. It is like a doctor who estimates that you only have 10 days left to live for an illness you dont even have.

third: The axis took brothels, which have already been there for years, over and forced local civillians into prostitution. But not on a systematic scale. When we talk about a rape on the eastern front we have to seperate the picture, of axis soldiers who rush into a town, execute every man and rape all girls and women, from reality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.78.40.148 (talk) 20:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

For starters your 2.2 million men argument is flawed. Over 3 million German soldiers died in the east and another several million were wounded. Obviously each Geramn soldier did not die twice and was wounded 3-4 times during their stay. Millions of Germans served in the East during the war, they cycled through over several years though.
Secondly the above source is cited. 10 Million is probably a high estimate (much like the 2 million rape claim for the Russians). It could be flawed but you do not provide anything that provides a counter argument or a denial. Same for your brothel comment. Unless you can cite contrary sources then what is written will stand.Wokelly (talk) 03:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

sourcing problems[edit]

Omer Bartov is stated to be an 'expert' on the Wehrmacht (which is a statement that doesn't belong here in itself) but then sources the foreword of his own book as proof of his expert status. This is not acceptable. The photo caption "German soldiers photographing the hanging of a Soviet citizen (the original caption claims he was a partisan)" has no source. There is no information on whether he was a citizen or a partisan. It is simply a photograph with a caption that may or may not be correct. To assume it isn't illustrates an extreme bias this entire article shares. Frankly this article is a fluff piece for Omer Bartov. Lintsniffer (talk) 08:01, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I think that someone who has written extensively about this topic in books produced by scholarly publishers can be reasonably be called an expert on it. The caption of the photo from the German Federal Archives says that the person being hanged was a partisan; I've the caption back to this. Nick-D (talk) 09:01, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Somebody changed sourced information about rapes[edit]

Somebody changed sourced information about rapes in 1939 Poland, I restored info that is sourced.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 01:52, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

"More recently, the judgement of Nuremberg has come under question. (clarification needed)"[edit]

Yeah, and citation needed, too.

This seems like a.... bad thing to say.

It's just a very bad, weird, vague thing to say. It's not clear what it's trying to say-- which isn't really a good thing, and especially in *this context*-- and there's no citation, or anything-- no nothing. It's just too vague.

It's way too vague.

It's not appropriate, and especially not for the introduction; I'm deleting it.

The previous sentence, "The Nuremberg Trials at the end of World War II judged that the Wehrmacht was not an inherently criminal organization, but that it had committed crimes during the course of the war.", sounds like a far more reasonable thing to say. It's just a better description of the opinion of the Nuremberg lawyers in 1945, and it just makes the whole paragraph read better. It's not good, really, to leave off a paragraph that with a vague sentence, like that, dangling in the wind.

It's just not good to say vague things like that.

Kwiataprilensis (talk) 22:02, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps this would make more sense if you read it in conjunction with the next few sentences, outlining Bartov's position that the Wehrmacht was, in fact, a criminal organization.
The offending sentence, and those following, were added, together, a couple of years ago; they were separated later. It would probably clarify matters if the sentence in question was shifted to be the first of the next paragraph, rather than the last of the one it's in now. If there are no objections I will do that. Xyl 54 (talk) 18:19, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
OK, done. Xyl 54 (talk) 15:27, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

"I liked to shoot everything" vs. ".... especially in the Soviet Union"[edit]

Okay, I read one of the citations-- #4, "I liked to shoot everything-- women, kids.... it was a kind of sport", about instance of 'regular army' German soldiers basically just murdered civilians, just because they could, and then joking about it, because they were sick. The Allies got this on tape because they were spying on them to get strategic information, instead they got this war crime information instead-- Germans murdering people, and then joking about it, because they were *sick*. And so, it was published somewhat recently-- only a few months ago-- by this British paper, and I was actually kinda disgusted by how.... cynical and weird.... some of the comments were. Like, don't worry about the Hitler Nazis, we invaded Iraq.... = liberalism? Don't worry about the Nazi fascists-- this is liberalism? I was really pretty disgusted by how all anyone could seem to say was something about the British, like, I should blame David Lloyd George.... about fascists who murder civilians all across Europe and then make sick jokes about it, because German officers can do what they like.

Okay, that's a little emotional-- but, here's the point. *That* article-- "(Two) German soldiers crouch over the bodies of two shot down civilians." Like they had gone *deer hunting*, or something. I'm going to try to keep my language 'clean' here, but that is *sick*.

And we used *this citation* to support the statement that, "....the regular armed forces.... committed war crimes of their own.... (especially) against the Soviet Union." Now, I think that we should agree that this is an example of EXTREME UNDERSTATEMENT.

I am intentionally underlining the importance of the words "extreme understatement".

Now, the Nazis, along with the other Germans, were especially *bigoted* against the Russians and the other Slavonic peoples of the East, but, this also did not *just* happen in the Soviet Union, or against Slavonic peoples. The article specifically mentions instances of violence directed against a French person, and a group of Hungarians-- it also does not specify the nationality of some of the people murdered. But, clearly, this was not exclusively about killing Soviet or Slavs, since neither French nor Hungarians are.

Also, just basically just say in this *callous* way that it was 'especially against the Soviet Union', like you're classifying it geo-politically, when you're sources are telling you that they raped a woman and then threw grenades on her, and then they told the story to a table of *eight German army officers*-- not SS, not Nazi Party, German army *officers*-- and officer are supposed to be the *responsible* people of an army, setting the tone and the *standards*-- they broke out *laughing*.

Writing one convoluted mealy-mouth sentence is just not sufficient in this situation. Maybe we can't explicit all of these things which this really-existing British newspaper has reported, but we do need to say something crisp and to the point, to make it clear what we are actually aware of because of this information.

I'm adding to the end of the introduction:

"Also, recently uncovered information has made it clear that both enlisted men and officers in the German regular armed forces often committed crimes against civilians, including murder, and that the German army did not stigmatize this type of behavior." With that same citation, number four, since, *in polite language*, that's exactly what it says.

And also, while I'm not saying never use the word 'Wehrmacht', since that term is useful as a very specific technical term, and it can certainly be used sometimes, but, also perhaps we should say, sometimes, 'the German regular armed forces', or something like that, since we are writing this in English, not German, and we should remember what the words that we're using actually mean.

And, you know, maybe Wikipedia should pay more attention to investigative journalists who report on what evil crimes the Nazis committed *because they're that bad*, and not the riotous people in the comments section of the online version of their newspaper, who are outraged that someone would talk about war crimes that did not happen in Iraq or Britain or somewhere, since they're not German and so they can't figure out how to score cheap political points off of it.

That sort of attitude towards Hitler and his army should not be the attitude which informs this sort of an article, I think.

Kwiataprilensis (talk) 22:49, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

But it's not 'recently uncovered information': this has been established for decades, and has been well known since the 1980s at least (the Wehrmacht came fairly close to being declared a criminal organisation following the war as a result). This is discussed in the article from the 'Postwar views' section onwards. Nick-D (talk) 22:52, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Excuse me, now I'm not even allowed to post my views on the talk page? What is this, I don't agree, therefore, I am dismissed-- No explanation, take my half-thought out response, which I don't think even supports your action-- I don't even see how *your own argument* supports *your own action*, and if I don't agree with this, I just go home; I'm locked out-- goodbye?

What a marvelously fair system. The openness is really here; I can see I've really been given fair consideration.

Kwiataprilensis (talk) 23:07, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but I really don't follow you here. The newspaper's claim that this is a 'new' discovery is not at all correct, and this article already discusses the way perceptions of the Wehrmacht have evolved over time. I imagine that there's material in the book Soldaten which could, and probably should, be included in this article, but the underlying facts aren't new. Nick-D (talk) 23:28, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Kwiat: Sorry, I have no idea what point you are making either.
You deleted the sentence that queried the Nuremberg opinion that the Wehrmacht was not a criminal organization, then add a sentence supporting Bartov's position that it was.
Then you launch into a diatribe about how you were "disgusted" by the Daily Mail article, but which you used as a citation for your addition.
What exactly is bothering you about this? Xyl 54 (talk) 18:25, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
PS: As for your response, about "not being allowed to post your views" on the talkpage: Well, no; the talk page of an article is for discussion on how to improve the article, not for expressing personal opinions of the subject (see WP:TALK).
But as you aren’t the only one guilty of that on this page, it’ll probably get in under the wire. Xyl 54 (talk) 18:30, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Some suggestions[edit]

I'd like to make some suggestions for this article; I've separated them out so they can be discussed individually. Xyl 54 (talk) 16:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Exhibition[edit]

I added an opening paragraph to the Wehrmachtsausstellung (Army Exhibition) section, to say what it was; but I’ve now realized that what is here is a duplicate of the article there. We don’t need both, and this article is already on the long side; are there any objections if the section here is trimmed? Drastically? Xyl 54 (talk) 16:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Other services[edit]

As has already been mentioned, (here, and here) the Wehrmacht was the German armed forces, not just the Army. The article should include incidents perpetrated by, and the criminal policies of, the German Navy and Air Force also.
For the Navy we could begin with the euphemistically-named "unrestricted submarine warfare", which (as was confirmed at Nuremburg) was against international law; and the Laconia Order, and a whole bunch of incidents, which went beyond even that.
As for the Luftwaffe, we could start with the deliberate attacks on civilian morale (terror bombing) from the bombing of Warsaw onwards, and culminating in the Baedecker raids, the shift from military targets (troops, tanks, warships, aircraft) to civilian ones (factories, ports, etc) and the casual acceptance of causing widespread civilian casualties while attacking them; as well as individual incidents (strafing civilians, attacking refugee columns etc). Xyl 54 (talk) 16:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Split?[edit]

This page is already 114 Kb long and there’s a bunch of stuff that could still be added; is it about time to consider splitting it?
The Poland and Soviet Union sections could both be summarized and split out into stand-alone articles, I’m thinking. Xyl 54 (talk) 16:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Preparation for war[edit]

I do not see any connection between a book on the "problem of Jewry", and "preparing for the attack on Poland", as suggested. These are two distinct mattersRoyalcourtier (talk) 23:47, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

PhD theses are not Reliable Sources for Wikipedia[edit]

Re: Gertjejanssen, Wendy Jo (2004). Victims, Heroes, Survivors: Sexual Violence on the Eastern Front during World War II (PhD diss.) (Thesis). University of Minnesota. (PDF file, 411 pages, published by Eric D. Weitz, May 2004, with page-long list of Acknowledgments by the author.)

Until this is peer-reviewed and published, this needs to go. Sorry. The problem with the sentence "Under the German occupation, a widespread system of sexual slavery (forced prostitution) was instituted" is that it leads into the following sentence in the Wehrmacht brothel system section so some good copyediting is needed. HammerFilmFan (talk) 19:45, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

There is no rule prohibiting use of PhD theses.MyMoloboaccount (talk) 08:30, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Completed PhD theses are excellent sources for articles given that they have to be researched and written to very high academic standards, and their authors are generally considered experts in their field by the time the PhD is accepted. Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
PhD thesis are actually peer reviewed (extensively in fact), with the peers being the candidate's committee.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:54, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, I know all about the review of PhD theses, but there was a rule that prohibited their use as references in Wikipedia - apparently, that has been changed. HammerFilmFan (talk) 09:54, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that has ever been the case. Masters theses are regarded as questionable sources best to be avoided, and anything lower is clearly not acceptable, but I can't remember there being a rule against PhDs. Professional historians often reference unpublished PhDs. Nick-D (talk) 10:09, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
There is no hard-and-fast policy. The guideline is at WP:SCHOLARSHIP. Purely on the evidence of Google searches, this particular thesis looks to me too widely cited in other scholarly works to be lightly discounted. William Avery (talk) 11:45, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Unfinished PhD thesis are frowned up. Finished ones are fine. Per WP:RS.Volunteer Marek (talk) 11:47, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
This thesis is widely cited by scholars in works on the subject, I will list some examples:
  • Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust edited by Sonja Maria Hedgepeth
  • Smolensk Under the Nazis: Everyday Life in Occupied Russia By Laurie R. Cohen
  • Gender, War, and Militarism: Feminist Perspectives edited by Laura Sjoberg
  • Wartime Rape and Sexual Violence: an examination of the perpetrators ... By Alana Fangrad
  • Plight and Fate of Women During and Following Genocide Samuel Totten
  • Rape in Wartime Raphaelle Branche, Fabrice Virgili - ‎2012

Many more could be added. I believe this confirms that scholars consider this to be reliable source on the issue. MyMoloboaccount (talk) 11:58, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

SS wasn't included in der Wehrmacht[edit]

Already in the lead is SS-organisations mentioned, the Waffen-SS is off topic, and should be given an article of its own, I think. I think this article under this name, only should deal with war crimes of der Wehrmacht. Or title could be changed to "War crimes of all German armed forces" Boeing720 (talk) 08:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Davies, Norman. Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944. Richard C. Lukas. Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-7818-0901-0. 
  2. ^ http://sti.clemson.edu/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=189&Itemid=310