|This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:|
- 1 WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008
- 2 Copyrite on main pic
- 3 Great Kurt Meyer Book
- 4 No hoax
- 5 Hoax
- 6 And the mystery is solved
- 7 Copyright Images Removed
- 8 Death of Fritz Witt
- 9 Requested move
- 10 Meyer and NATO exercises?
- 11 Quote from Meyer
- 12 Question about Jason Pipes / feldgrau.com
- 13 Research notes
- 14 Images
WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008
Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencing and appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. With appropriate citations and references, this article would easily qualify as B class if not higher. --dashiellx (talk) 16:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
- I would say that there is too much insignificant detail in terms of the military engagements in which he was involved. (I cleaned up a little of the writing and many of the inconsistent usages of capitalized and noncapitalized letters, but content takes much longer obviously). Having said that, I think some time ago [a couple years?] I added some sentences about how Meyer defended himself against the war crime charges in his book Grenadiers--charges which were eventually dismissed entirely, based in large part on the testimony of the Canadians who had fought against him--but these lines have since been deleted, and the impression is given that he was simply "let go" (for what? good behavior? a supposed "Nazi war criminal" sentenced to die is just "let go"? I think a little more explanation is required, especially since the introduction described his career as having been "ruined" by his conviction (as opposed to the war ending with Germany losing)? Was it still "ruined" after his conviction was overturned?) Historian932 (talk) 03:24, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
- Not too much was ruined... only 15,000 people attended his funeral! See the Tony Foster book..--Oracleofottawa (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Copyrite on main pic
- It appears to have come from the German Federal archive --Jim Sweeney (talk) 17:29, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Great Kurt Meyer Book
- If you want images, check out Meeting Of Generals by Tony Foster. Methuen,1986, ISBN 0-458-80520-3--Oracleofottawa (talk) 03:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Kurt Meyer's war crimes are indeed cited in Anthony Beevor's book; in my (British) pocket edition he does so on page 181. The man was a Nazi murderer. Live with it. Perhaps someone in possession of the same edition of Beevor's book as I can reinsert the well-sourced information about Meyer's war crimes; I really can't be bothered to do so.Ojevindlang (talk) 14:26, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Moot, if you have the book, the citation should not be an effort, you can't be bothered to, slander without references is so so easy, the war crimes cited are outside the scope of Beevors' book, put up or shut up--Jemesouviens32 (talk) 21:00, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
- I first inserted the information and had it deleted, without any stated reason, by someone who didn't sign his name. I reinserted it, and then someone else deleted it, claiming it was a hoax. If I insert the information a third time, I'll get accused of engaging in an "editing war" and threatened with all kinds of dire consequences, so I won't do it. However, it's very easy for anyone with an edition (any edition) of Beevor's book to see that I speak the truth. The information about Meyer's war atrocities can be found in Chapter 12, about the failure before Caen, immediately after the information in that chapter about the murder of Canadian soldiers on his orders. Apparently, Beevor did not think such information was outside the scope of his book; why should he? One can go straight to the page in question by following the third page reference under the name "Kurt Meyer" in the index.The accusation of slander is as unwarranted as the accusation of a hoax. I appeal to the moderators to set this right.Ojevindlang (talk) 11:05, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
- Your edits in this article are blatantly false as you refuse to cite Beevor directly obviously because he never wrote about alleged Polish and Russian atrocities in his book, D-Day, which is not about the Polish or Russian campaigns, nor war crimes, but about the Allied landings in Normandy.
- Readers can rest assured that if Meyer had been suspected of alledged war crimes in Poland and in the Soviet Union he would have been mercilessly tried in both those respective countries as he was emprisoned in a Canadian penitenciary with nowhere to go then released back to Germany and subsequently freed. --Jemesouviens32 (talk) 13:53, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
- I repeat my appeal to someone else with a copy of Beevor's book, and a willingness to check for Kurt Meyer's name in the way I have indicated, to check my statement and reinsert the information. Let me add, for clarity's sake, that the copy I refer to is of the so-called big pocket kind - published in Britain.Ojevindlang (talk) 16:42, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
- Having thought things over, I have decided to reinsert the well-sourced statements about atrocities committed by Meyer, since they are indeed mentioned by Anthony Beevor on the page I refer to (p. 181). Anyone who claims otherwise is not being truthful.Since Meyer was never extradited for trial in Poland or the Soviet Union,I have altered the wording to "accused of" and "said to". Incidentally, in the same part of his book, Beevor goes into a lot of detail about Meyer's orders to murder Canadian soldiers in Normandy; he seems to regard those orders as historically authenticated. However, I will leave that matter to somebody else.Ojevindlang (talk) 20:48, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Kurt Meyer cannot be accused of not having any "blood on his hands", this is well documented, wether he was personally liable for this a Canadian military tribunal judged this to be the case for events in Normandy, 1944, some may dispute this but he was found guilty and emprisoned and subsequently released. User Ojevindlang has made the case that there were other accusations against Meyer citing Beevors' book page 181. Have repeatedly challenged this user to quote the passage which he has consistently refused to do, to what end is a mystery. Therefore until further evidence comes to light one should consider his edit a hoax.--Jemesouviens32 (talk) 10:48, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
- Beevor's statements can be found on the page cited. You are either a liar or too lazy to check for yourself. I warn you, this is the limit. I'll report you for sabotage. You want quotes? Here they are: "Meyer was accused of shooting fifty Jews near Modlin in Poland in 1939" and "During the invasion of the Soviet Union, he is said to have ordered a village burned to the ground. All the inhabitants were murdered."Ojevindlang (talk) 13:31, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Ojevindlang asked me (on my talk page) to have a look at this, and what is needed is to find someone who can confirm what is in Beevor's book. I am going to leave a note at the Military History WikiProject and ask someone there to have a look. Until someone other than the two of you turns up with a copy of the book, can you both please stop edit warring over the disputed content, otherwise either or both of you will end up blocked. It would help if you both calmly (without being incivil to each other) discussed this without accusing people of hoaxes or slander or being lazy or lying. Just describe what the dispute is, so that someone with a third opinion (who I will try and find now) can participate without the distraction of two people squabbling over the article. Carcharoth (talk) 00:05, 9 April 2010 (UTC) Message left here
- I don't have the book, I'm afraid - £25 seemed a bit much! However, amazon.com has the "search inside" function enabled for at least one edition of this book (standard US hardcover, ISBN 0670021199), and searching on "Poland" in that brought up the relevant section - again, p. 181. (I suspect they're actually the same edition to all intents and purposes).
- After discussing the SS executing prisoners, he talks of Meyer's division being particularly brutal, and says:
- ... The worst appears to have been the reconnaisance battalion, whose commander, Bremer, was known within the division as a 'dare-devil'. Panzer Meyer himself had shot fifty Jews near Modlin in Poland in 1939. Later, during the invasion of the Soviet Union, he had ordered a village near Kharkov to be burned to the ground. All its inhabitants were murdered. Nazi propaganda and fighting on the eastern front had brutalized them, and they saw the war in the west as no different. ...
- So, yes, Beevor does indeed claim that Meyer was involved in atrocities before 1944, and he does so without any ambiguity. The reason it appears in a book on D-Day is that it's essentially historic background material - showing the brutal reputation of the SS division and its commander - which helps to explain the context of the Normandy war crimes. Nothing unusual there.
- There is no footnoting, and I doubt Amazon will let me dig through to the back pages, so I'm afraid we can't easily tell what sources Beevor's drawing on here; it could possibly be something that's only come to light in recent years? That, at least, would explain why no-one tried to charge him for it after the war.
- Hope that helps... Shimgray | talk | 02:07, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
- Shimgray or somebody else, since it has been established that the accusations against Meyer are indeed in Beevor's book, would you mind undoing the delete of my insertion of that fact in the article? As you know, I can't very well do it. Beevor's source (given in a footnote) is Peter Lieb: Konventionelle Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegführen und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44, München 2007, p. 159 15:02, 9 April 2010 Ojevindlang (talk) 17:48, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
- I've reinstated it, though I've moved the second line to the 1943 fighting around Kharkov. Thanks for clarifying the sourcing footnote - it's allowed me to track down this via Google Books. My German is very crude, but it's simple enough to spot the sentence with "Polen 50 Juden ... 1943 bei Charkow" in it - I'll assume Beevor's translating fairly. This itself has a footnote, which actually brings us full circle to Normandy - the original source is given as "Vgl. TNA, TS 26/856. Report of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. Court of Inquiry. Shooting of Allied Prisoners of War by 12 SS Panzer-Division (Hitler-Jugend) in Normandy, France 7-21 June 1944." According to TNA, this would have been closed until ~1975, which may explain why most historians missed it.
- Googling on the file number turns up this post, which explains that a German officer captured independently in September 1944 reported having been ordered to carry out the executions in Poland as reprisals (and, to his credit, had refused, and been imprisoned for two years). The poster doesn't quote the comments for Kharkov, but it's apparently from the same file.
- So Meyer's definitely implicated, though exactly how is unclear without reading the primary source or something that's actually seen it. (This particular claim started in German, got translated into English for the archive file, described in German, and then requoted into English - a lot of time to get fuzzy...). I'll amend the comment accordingly. Shimgray | talk | 23:30, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Believe we are getting to the bottow of this discussion. Nonetheless the interpretations and the research into these two alledged incidents are still faulty.
No one, by their own admission above, including this user, has actually read Beevors' book more specifically page 181 which seems to be the ONLY source which Shimgray uses to revert allegations of war crimes against Kurt Meyer. Instead we rely on a Google "snapshot".
Upon close examination even the by Shimgrays' own admission "crude" translation of a further document, alledgedly, a reference used by Beevor; extract "Polen 50 Juden ... 1943 bei Charkow" meaning "Poland 50 Jews ... 1943 close to Charkow" does not confirm or infirm anything prima facie. In fact, that reference alledgedly contained in a document titled Konventionelle Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegführen und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44 by Peter Lieb means translated from German "Conventional War or NAZI war fighting ideology? War fighting and partisan (resistance) fighting in France 1943/44.
So we have an unread passage from Beevor in a book unrelated to fighting in Poland and Russia (USSR) and a further reference to a document by Peter Lieb also unrelated to Poland and Russian fighting in WW2.
Last but not least we have a document titled Vgl. TNA, TS 26/856. Report of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. Court of Inquiry. Shooting of Allied Prisoners of War by 12 SS Panzer-Division (Hitler-Jugend) in Normandy, France 7-21 June 1944 which again has nothing to do with Polish and Russian fighting.
The last reference is critical to my analysis IF the Canadian military tribunal had found ANY evidence AT ALL of further indictable offences against Meyer they WOULD have used this evidence in the trial against Meyer as supporting evidence and/or previous predisposition to perpetrate war crimes. They did not, because it would not bear the scrutiny of the tribunal. I submit that it does not bear scrutiny in this case as well.Jemesouviens32 (talk) 14:53, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
- Of course "Polen 50 Juden ... 1943 bei Charkow" doesn't say anything - it's just there to identify the sentence. The sentence in full is "In der Tat wurde Meyer vorgeworfen, 1939 als Kompaniechef bei Modlin in Polen 50 Juden erschossen zu haben und 1943 bei Charkow ein ganzes Dorf niedergebrannt und alle Bewohner ermordet zu haben." This, loosely translated, is "In fact, Meyer was accused of having shot and killed fifty Jews as a company commander in Modlin, Poland in 1939, and having burned down an entire village and killed all the occupants in Kharkov in 1943."
- As far as I can tell, you are claiming that both Amazon and Google have digitised copies of books that are somehow not the same as the actual printed copies of the books. Please, step back and consider this for a second - they've made up digital copies? This is somewhat implausible, and I see no reason to doubt that these copies are accurate. If I did doubt this, I would go to the library and look up the physical volumes, but there is no need to here.
- Yes, the books are primarily about the later period of the war on the Western Front, but it is perfectly normal for books to contain footnotes or incidental earlier material where this is helpful in providing context to the matter actually under discussion.
- As to why he was not charged with these crimes by the Canadian tribunal, that is an open question and one these sources do not help us to answer. I suspect, from a pragmatic point of view, they chose to focus on the material for which they had recent and relatively clear evidence, rather than material from several years earlier where witnesses would be difficult to come by; as this was a capital crime, there was less impetus to charge him with as many counts as possible. But this is speculation - just as it is speculation to claim that because he was not charged the claims were somehow deemed to be false. Shimgray | talk | 16:08, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
- ...and I tracked down a copy today whilst in town and can confirm that, yes, it says exactly the same as the passage quoted above. I see no reason at all to assume this is a hoax or that it's frivolous, or why it shouldn't be included with appropriate weighting in this article. Shimgray | talk | 10:53, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Allegations are unsubstantiated POV, there is absolutely no evidence to support Kurt Meyers' involvement in war crimes other than the Canadian Military Tribunal indightment, subsequent findings and imprisonment for the 1944 Normandy event. If you insist on the use of Beevors' passage I will provide two other references disputing him. Please re-read my above and let this rest, other Wiki content deserves much more attention than this one. Perhaps you should look at this one [] where Ojevindlang has also contributed.Jemesouviens32 (talk) 07:53, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- The allegations are not "unsubstantiated"; there is a clear line of historical documentation back to a primary source. They are not "POV"; the versions most recently removed from the article clearly referred to them as allegations or reports, and do not claim he was prosecuted for them. As for "no evidence", this is the same line you used when claiming the source material did not exist, and that turned out to be a deeply erroneous claim.
- You have repeatedly insisted that these claims are "a hoax" and "slander"; now, you are falling back on making the assumption that because he was tried and convicted for one crime he must be presumed to be guilty of all others, and that any source which mentions them is faulty. I plan to track down a copy of a more specialised work on the Canadian war crimes trials this afternoon, and see if it says anything either way about the decision to bring charges against Meyer; if they chose not to follow up earlier charges, this'll give us something to work on.
- Please provide the "other references disputing" Beevor - but note that simply a historian only referring to the 1944 crimes won't say anything either way about the alleged 1940/43 cases; to determine anything about them, we need them explicitly discussed. If you have access to such sources, I'm disappointed - you haven't bothered to use them so far, instead just announcing the passage in question couldn't possibly exist, and I see no indication that was anything but obstructive and duplicitous behaviour. Even if we challenge Beevor, we still have the problem that these claims are not originating with Beevor; they were brought into the historical literature by Lieb, who Beevor cites.
- As to what other involvement you have had with Ojevindlang, I have no desire to get involved in your past differences. I was asked to confirm a source here; I did, and it is rapidly apparent that Ojevindlang has not "consistently refused" to support his claims, or made "hoax" edits. Shimgray | talk | 08:33, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Unsubstantiated allegations have no place in Wikipedia as they are POV. Shimgray himself in his research found here  discovered information that at worst puts in doubt and at best contradicts Beevors' alleged statement but is glossed over in favor of linking Meyer, in passing, considerably watered down from Ojevindlang frivolous personal accusations of additional war crimes see above and the Users' removed edits to some allegation of illegal acts therefore further underlining my point;
Quote from :
""Taganrog (Oct. 1941), where they very quickly put in Einsatzgruppe men after the LAH passed through fighting". The "Einsatzgruppe" involved was Einsatzgruppe D and its unit in the Taganrog area was Sonderkommando 10a. Its job was to "pacify and liberate" newly conquered areas and SK 10a was independent of the LAH.""
Underline "...put in Einsatzgruppe men AFTER the LAH passed through FIGHTING" and "Its job (the Einsatzgruppe) was to "pacify and liberate" and was INDEPENDENT of the LAH"
A little history, Waffen SS where fighting troops, Einsatzgruppen were used as ' armed political expedients, read 'cleaners' (in the sense of the expression to cleanse and clearly bent on and in fact committing countless atrocities) see the wiki entry for more. One fought through and moved on the other unit did whatever, the Einsatzgruppe was NOT under command ergo the link to Meyer broken.
The Meyer article is fine as is and this forum should not attempt to retry him but give abbreviated relevant facts about him from an encyclopedic perspective not more not less.Jemesouviens32 (talk) 09:57, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- The claim noted by "Panzerass" relate to October 1941 events, appear dubious, and I agree we should not be invoking them as a link to Meyer. However... there's no contradiction, as they aren't the same events as those we're debating here. The material Ojevindlang added and sourced, which you removed from the article, is referring to events in October 1939 (Poland) and an unclear date in 1943 (the Third Battle of Kharkov), which is clearly discussed by both Lieb and Beevor. I don't see any basis for dismissing those claims because a third claim, made by someone else and not by those historians, is dubious.
- This article is not attempting to retry him; it is attempting to provide a balanced historical perspective. When two recently-published histories have noted the alleged involvement of this person in war crimes, it is deeply unbalanced to keep agitating to ignore that material because you feel the claims are "hoaxes" or "frivolous personal accusations"; it is self-evident to me that they're not. Shimgray | talk | 10:10, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- To quickly clarify one point - we can best provide a balanced historical perspective by putting these in context as accusations which were never confirmed by trial, not by removing them entirely. It's the sensible middle ground between evading the point entirely or assuming guilt, neither of which are desirable. Shimgray | talk | 10:13, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Obviously Shimgray likes to read his own references selectively, if and when it suits his purpose(s), his link, please read the whole thing through, if Shimgray wishes to make allegations again, he may, perhaps he should start a Kurt Meyer blog because it is of no encyclopedic value here. Lieb has NOT been sourced for this purpose and has been discussed as not relevant outside the events which took place in 1944, Normandy, ditto for Beevor. Two publications, cited already in the main article, Meeting of Generals as well as Panzermeyer, make no mention of either 'Kharkov' or 'Poland' in context of any alledged or real war crimes, both are publications specifically written about/by Kurt Meyer as well as his trial by the Canadians. Perhaps Shimgray should read them through, this user, as far as vague 'events' by the same users' own standards, quote "events in October 1939 (Poland) and an unclear date in 1943 (the Third Battle of Kharkov), should be dismissed entirely as a POV contributor.--Jemesouviens32 (talk) 12:34, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- It has not been "discussed as not relevant"; you have simply insisted it should be dismissed. I repeat the solidly sourced quotes:
- [regarding 12 SS Panzer] The worst appears to have been the reconnaisance battalion, whose commander, Bremer, was known within the division as a 'dare-devil'. Panzer Meyer himself had shot fifty Jews near Modlin in Poland in 1939. Later, during the invasion of the Soviet Union, he had ordered a village near Kharkov to be burned to the ground. All its inhabitants were murdered. Nazi propaganda and fighting on the eastern front had brutalized them, and they saw the war in the west as no different. ... - Anthony Beevor, 2010. Beevor gives a footnote, which sources his statement to -
- "In der Tat wurde Meyer vorgeworfen, 1939 als Kompaniechef bei Modlin in Polen 50 Juden erschossen zu haben und 1943 bei Charkow ein ganzes Dorf niedergebrannt und alle Bewohner ermordet zu haben. ("In fact, Meyer was accused of having shot and killed fifty Jews as a company commander in Modlin, Poland in 1939, and having burned down an entire village and killed all the occupants in Kharkov in 1943") - Peter Lieb, 2007.
- I am sorry, but you have not provided any remotely plausible explanation as to why we should ignore these statements. It is an interesting question as to why he was not charged with these crimes, but there are a number of possible explanations for this, and we cannot just leap to the conclusion that the allegations should be dismissed outright. As I have stated before, an earlier historian having not mentioned them is not evidence they felt the claims were trivial - it is equally consistent with them being unaware of the accusations, or simply of having chosen not to cover this material for other reasons. We absolutely cannot assume that secondary sources have dismissed these claims until they say so, and we cannot interpret the decision to charge him for some crimes as being evidence that prosecutors felt he was innocent of others.
- I was originally asked to come and have a look at this page as an impartial third-party observer, by Carcharoth. I have done my bit; I have confirmed the disputed source as valid, and I can see absolutely no reason why it should not be included in the article if appropriately treated as an allegation not confirmed by a court. Nothing you have said seems to be more than an attempt to mislead or obstruct this conclusion, which is apparent simply by sitting and reading the sources. Shimgray | talk | 14:17, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Have undid Shimgray edit regarding allegations of war crimes against Kurt Meyer other than those made by the Canadian military tribunal for events as described in the article as these allegations are entirely unfounded based on the reference which states:
"In der Tat wurde Meyer vorgeworfen, 1939 als Kompaniechef bei Modlin in Polen 50 Juden erschossen zu haben und 1943 bei Charkow ein ganzes Dorf niedergebrannt und alle Bewohner ermordet zu haben. ("In fact, Meyer was accused of having shot and killed fifty Jews as a company commander in Modlin, Poland in 1939, and having burned down an entire village and killed all the occupants in Kharkov in 1943")
In accordance with this passage Kurt Meyer was allegedly accused for an event which took place in 1939 in Modlin, Poland. Highly unlikely as the author cannot even pin down the month date or any details of said allegation and no formal or informal accusation/inquiry was ever made against Meyer regarding such event.
The same argument applies to the allegations in Kharkov in 1943.
- I am sorry, but this argument simply does not stand up. Leib, who is a professional historian dealing with the topic of German war crimes, was working from the original archive material in which these allegations were made - see his footnote. He clearly views them as relevant enough to mention in his book; if it was patently obvious they were spurious, he'd have omitted them. He didn't. So we have clear evidence that these allegations were made, and that a historian who has worked with the relevant source material views these allegations as of some significance.
- Yes, he was not charged with them. But as I have said before, there are many possible reasons that Meyer was not charged with these crimes. We can't just pluck one a speculative reason out of thin air and insist it's gospel truth without any actual source to justify that interpretation, especially when it directly contradicts the work of secondary historical sources. Shimgray | talk | 16:15, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Allegations of any kind are usually thoroughly documented especially relating to war crimes, examples abound, these are not, at all, encyclopedic relevance, none in this edit. There are war criminals still alive today who get a fair trial, habeas corpus anyone? This whole question started from the following statement by User:Ojevindlang "The man was a Nazi murderer. Live with it" well Kurt Meyer was convicted of war crimes but not those alledged in your edit, lets stick to the facts not conjecture. This last undo will trigger an edit war notice, we should leave this to others for comment. --Jemesouviens32 (talk) 17:19, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- It is documented - it is mentioned, and sourced, in a respectable historical work, where someone who understands these topics has examined the primary source material and found it significant enough to write about. I am not saying this is proof he did these things, and nor should it be treated that way - but it is clearly good enough to say the allegations were made, which is what this article should do. There is nothing to be gained by whitewashing it. Shimgray | talk | 17:29, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- Jemes, consider this a warning. You have multiple users sitting here and saying you are wrong. You will cease edit-warring against consensus now, or you will be blocked. Ironholds (talk) 17:34, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
- Consider this the discussion, Jemes. You have three users arguing that the information should be included; your assertion is false. A good faith editor says the book contains X, and you dispute X based on.. what, exactly? Can you show that the information isn't included there? Ironholds (talk) 18:12, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you please read the argumentation above as well as the article, Meyer WAS convicted for those crimes, they are not in dispute, although General Vokes commuted his sentence and Konrad Adenauer one of the Chancellors' of postwar Germany asked for his pardon citing poor evidence. --Jemesouviens32 (talk) 19:18, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
And the mystery is solved
I have spent this morning in the library reading Casual slaughters and accidental judgements : Canadian war crimes prosecutions, 1944-1948. (Patrick Brode, 1997. ISBN 080204204X). It proved quite helpful in explaining some issues, but not others:
- The Canadian War Crimes organization, from its formation in 1943, was only set up to prosecute war crimes committed against Canadian soldiers. It explicitly decided not to extend its remit to cover atrocities against civilians: "At a December 1943 meeting, CWCAC [Canadian War Crimes Advisory Committee] established its intention to limit its investigations to acts against Canadian servicemen and nationals. Only Justice Department representative Charles Stein 'raised for consideration the question of execution of Jews in Germany'. The committee was not interested in the question for it 'felt that atrocities against Jews in Germany could not be considered war crimes'." (p. 31) A report in March 1946 mentioned 106 cases which had been uncovered by the Canadian group but could not be prosecuted for various reasons, among which was those where the victims were not Canadian. (p. 39, my emphasis)
- The prosecution was aware of allegations of earlier war crimes: "If the judge advocate would let him, he [Macdonald] wished to examine Meyer's career in the Nazi party and allegations that he committed atrocities against the Russians." (p. 58) The discussion of the trial proper is unclear as to whether Macdonald - the prosecutor - introduced this material or not; I've not been able to find any indication either way in the chapter on the trial.
- Whilst there were a large number of incidents linked to 12 SS Panzer, Meyer's was the only major case brought. (p. 45-46) Three more cases were potentially prosecutable, Mouen, Le Mesny-Patril and Chateau d'Audries, but none of these were brought to trial by Canada. The latter is described as "inexplicable" that it was never put to trial - the primary suspect was actually held in a French prison at the time, which does not say much for inter-Allied communication! Le Mesny was eventually tried by a British court in 1948 after the Canadians had turned over their files to the UK prosecutors; two men were hanged. (p. 202-206)
- After his sentence was commuted in 1946: "After being flown to England, Meyer bided his time in English jails. There was some doubt as to whether he was headed west or east. The Communist Berlin newspaper, Deutsche Volkszeitung, editorialised that if the Canadians would not shoot Meyer, then the Soviet Union wished to put him on trial for murder at Kharkov. But nothing came of this, and and the end of April Meyer took ship for Canada." (p. 107)
So, what are we left with?
Point 1 seems the most critical here - it is absolutely clear that the Canadian court was constituted only to try war crimes against Canadian soldiers, rather than broader civilian atrocities such as those tried at Nuremberg. As such, their failing to prosecute a charge relating to events in Poland or Russia against civilians is to be expected - it can't reasonably be interpreted as omitting it because they didn't think it would stick.
Point 2 confirms that other allegations had been made, and were known - at least to the prosecution - in late 1945, even if they were not used as the basis for a trial. Point 4 clarifies that they were known to the Soviets, who contemplated bringing him to trial; no explanation is given for why they did not.
As before, the statement he was accused of these crimes is reliably sourced to Lieb. The explanation for why the Canadians did not prosecute is explained above. I do not think that further speculation as to why he was never tried for these is really helpful; we are not saying he committed them, just that he was accused of them, and the historical record clearly indicates this without providing any significant evidence that the claims are frivolous. Shimgray | talk | 10:17, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
- I think the information about the decision of the Canadians to limit their brief to crimes against Canadians should be included in the part of the article about the legal proceedings against Meyer, once the present disagreement has been resolved. Ojevindlang (talk) 10:54, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
- ...and that's the material now reinstated. I've included the Canadian-scope note in a rewritten section on the trial. The trial itself was quite interesting to read about, to be honest - a lot of courtroom drama in there - and I suspect it might make a good article in its own right at some future point. I've avoided including too many details here so as not to overweight the article, but I'd like to go back and flesh out the Normandy section with some of it; the book also had some good material on his later life and the domestic reaction in Canada. Shimgray | talk | 22:31, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Copyright Images Removed
The copyright images were removed on August 16 2010 or thereabouts. I have made do with the copyright free images from the commons. I did not remove them! No text has been altered save to add inline reference citations. And yes I am as miffed as you are. But the rules are the rules. But if you do have some pictures of Kurt from Greece from a Grenadier Grand Dad... Please share them to the commons for posterity... if not they will only be removed by the bot.. Cheers.--Oracleofottawa (talk) 04:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Death of Fritz Witt
The date of death of Fritz Witt is taken from Meyers book Grenadiers.. A Division Commander remembers those important days. I provided a Cited reference from the book. I would think his date would be the most accurate as he was actually there.....--Oracleofottawa (talk) 01:35, 27 September 2010 (UTC) I checked the book again and the p. 238 text indicates that the change of command took place 30 minutes after the death of Witt on June 16 1944. The Fritz Witt article contains no citations whatever! I have provided a Cited reference... The date on that caption should be reverted....--Oracleofottawa (talk) 01:44, 27 September 2010 (UTC) One should always read the text before making changes...--Oracleofottawa (talk) 01:49, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Meyer and NATO exercises?
I have been told by people with Canadian military contacts that the imprisoned Meyer was often consulted on tank tactics for NATO exercises and on at least one occasion made suggestions that helped Canadian forces defeat their US counterparts in war games.
Quote from Meyer
Meyer wrote of this battle:
But what is this? Am I seeing clearly? An enemy tank is pushing through the orchards of Contest! My God! What an opportunity! The tanks are driving right across II Battalion's front! The unit is showing us its unprotected flank. I give orders to all battalions, the artillery and the available tanks. Do not shoot! Open fire on my order only!
The commander of our tank regiment has positioned his command vehicle in the garden of the monastery. A wireless link is quickly established with the tank.... Wünsche, commander of the tank regiment, quietly transmits the enemy tank movements. Nobody dares raise his voice.
... An unbearable pressure now rests on me. It will happen soon now. The enemy spearhead pushes past Franqueville and starts across the road. I give the signal for the attack to Wünsche, and can just hear his order, "Achtung! Panzer marsch!" The tension now fades away. There are cracks and flashes near Franqueville. The enemy tank at the head of the spearhead smokes and I watch the crew bailing out. More tanks are torn to pieces with loud explosions.
- I went ahead and removed, along with other content sourced to Meyer, who is not a reliable source in this context. K.e.coffman (talk) 20:21, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Question about Jason Pipes / feldgrau.com
I had cut this site from the external links, but would like to double check to see what the opinions are on whether or not it belongs in the External links section. I'm not sure if this is a legit research effort or more of a community project. Please let me know! --K.e.coffman (talk) 03:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
- The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939-1953 - "Meyer wiped out a village because someone took a potshot at his dog"; no date given. The lesser terror is probably referring to this: "...admitted in November 1944 to having massacred a village population near Kharkov in reprisal for the killing of one of his dogs..." from Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust
- This may or may not be a separate incident: Soldaten, by Sonke Neitzel, Harald Welzer: ...destroyed the entire village, including "women, children and old people."
- Meyer at Trent Park: Soldaten by Sonke Neitzel, Harald Welzer
- Normandy battles - The Defeat of the 12th SS by Oliver Haller
- By images, if you mean the branch flag and rank tab; the branch flag of service is commonly used and the rank collar tab is also commonly used for all Waffen-SS and SS personnel. There is nothing pov or political about them; they are for id. and reader information; per consensus. Kierzek (talk) 01:06, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
- Where could this consensus be located? As an aside, Gottlob Berger, which is a GA article, does not contain these. K.e.coffman (talk) 01:07, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
- @K.e.coffman: I changed my mind as to Meyer as to this point. I still believe that rank tabs help the general reader for understanding what can be a confusing rank system that was unique to the Germans, but since I see you are removing the rank tabs from other articles I don't normally have on my watch list and no one seems it that important to keep, I will let it go.
- Thank you for reconsidering. I've also reconsidered the SS-flag, as I think it helps the reader.