the movie VALKYRIE, and some ethical questions

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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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02 May 2011, 11:42 am

The movie for me brought up a number of very realistic questions and gave me a lot of food for thought.

I had previously read that Hitler believed he had an “infallible military intuition.” Yeah. Really. The guy was basically a nut (well, we already knew this, but the guy wasn’t even competent). We the Allies very much do not want to kill this guy and end up with a more competent military leader in charge. And the old chestnut from freshman philosophy—If Hitler was in a hospital, would it be wrong to bomb the hospital? No, it’s not even close. You actively do not want to kill this guy (at least mid course through the war).

Now, toward the end of the war, from the perspective of German generals who are basically sane and do not want to see their country destroyed. If two of them had decided, it’s time to come home. It is time to defend the homeland. They are generals. They have troops. And the troops are likely to be more loyal to them than to the gestapo and SS. And you’re doing it publicly. Trying to get more than two, you would be taking a risk that the gestapo and SS would find out before you really got rolling. So, just two, a public announcement, then you hope other generals will join you.



Kraichgauer
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03 May 2011, 2:10 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
The movie for me brought up a number of very realistic questions and gave me a lot of food for thought.

I had previously read that Hitler believed he had an “infallible military intuition.” Yeah. Really. The guy was basically a nut (well, we already knew this, but the guy wasn’t even competent). We the Allies very much do not want to kill this guy and end up with a more competent military leader in charge. And the old chestnut from freshman philosophy—If Hitler was in a hospital, would it be wrong to bomb the hospital? No, it’s not even close. You actively do not want to kill this guy (at least mid course through the war).

Now, toward the end of the war, from the perspective of German generals who are basically sane and do not want to see their country destroyed. If two of them had decided, it’s time to come home. It is time to defend the homeland. They are generals. They have troops. And the troops are likely to be more loyal to them than to the gestapo and SS. And you’re doing it publicly. Trying to get more than two, you would be taking a risk that the gestapo and SS would find out before you really got rolling. So, just two, a public announcement, then you hope other generals will join you.


Rommel was thinking about just that. In fact, he had asked the infamous SS officer Sep Dietrich (who had been prosecuted for war crimes after the war) whose order's he'd follow, his (Rommel's), or Hitler's. To Rommel's surprise, Dietrich said he'd follow Rommel's orders first. Rommel in fact had asked his subordinate officers to try to approach the allies with peaceful overtures, until Rommel himself had been wounded in an air attack, and had been put into a comatose state. Then, the Stauffenberg bomb plot failed, and as thousands of people were rounded up and put through a kangaroo court before being hanged with piano wire, nobody wanted to appear Anti-Hitler anymore.
As a side note, Rommel did support the plot to remove Hitler, though he much preferred having him arrested and forced to stand trial for fear that he would otherwise be made a martyr.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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03 May 2011, 10:26 pm

Good for Rommel! And thank you, Kraichgauer. :D I did not know that.

I still think him and one other general. The fact that it is one other general signals to the German people that it is a good idea, and not just Rommel being off his rocker (for even a very good guy could be off his rocker and that doubt is going to be there). The two of them withdraw to a more defensive position. And then peace feelers and getting other generals on board. 'Time to defend the homeland' would be generally (no pun intended) the party line.

And the advantages of Hitler's Wolf Lair, that it's remote and well-defended would be turned around and used against it. Blockaid it in, cut off the utilities, jam the radio broadcasts.



Kraichgauer
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03 May 2011, 11:33 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Good for Rommel! And thank you, Kraichgauer. :D I did not know that.

I still think him and one other general. The fact that it is one other general signals to the German people that it is a good idea, and not just Rommel being off his rocker (for even a very good guy could be off his rocker and that doubt is going to be there). The two of them withdraw to a more defensive position. And then peace feelers and getting other generals on board. 'Time to defend the homeland' would be generally (no pun intended) the party line.

And the advantages of Hitler's Wolf Lair, that it's remote and well-defended would be turned around and used against it. Blockaid it in, cut off the utilities, jam the radio broadcasts.


You're more than welcome.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



ruveyn
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04 May 2011, 3:46 am

Kraichgauer wrote:

Rommel was thinking about just that. In fact, he had asked the infamous SS officer Sep Dietrich (who had been prosecuted for war crimes after the war) whose order's he'd follow, his (Rommel's), or Hitler's. To Rommel's surprise, Dietrich said he'd follow Rommel's orders first. Rommel in fact had asked his subordinate officers to try to approach the allies with peaceful overtures, until Rommel himself had been wounded in an air attack, and had been put into a comatose state. Then, the Stauffenberg bomb plot failed, and as thousands of people were rounded up and put through a kangaroo court before being hanged with piano wire, nobody wanted to appear Anti-Hitler anymore.
As a side note, Rommel did support the plot to remove Hitler, though he much preferred having him arrested and forced to stand trial for fear that he would otherwise be made a martyr.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


There were Good Germans! Rommel and 22 others. What do you know!

Read -Hitler's Willing Executioners- by Goldhagen to find out just how few Good Germans there were.

ruveyn



Kraichgauer
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04 May 2011, 12:54 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:

Rommel was thinking about just that. In fact, he had asked the infamous SS officer Sep Dietrich (who had been prosecuted for war crimes after the war) whose order's he'd follow, his (Rommel's), or Hitler's. To Rommel's surprise, Dietrich said he'd follow Rommel's orders first. Rommel in fact had asked his subordinate officers to try to approach the allies with peaceful overtures, until Rommel himself had been wounded in an air attack, and had been put into a comatose state. Then, the Stauffenberg bomb plot failed, and as thousands of people were rounded up and put through a kangaroo court before being hanged with piano wire, nobody wanted to appear Anti-Hitler anymore.
As a side note, Rommel did support the plot to remove Hitler, though he much preferred having him arrested and forced to stand trial for fear that he would otherwise be made a martyr.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


There were Good Germans! Rommel and 22 others. What do you know!

Read -Hitler's Willing Executioners- by Goldhagen to find out just how few Good Germans there were.

ruveyn


And God said he'd spare Sodom for how many good men?
But actually, many historians feel Goldhagen is hardly an unbiased source, and that his conclusions are not always accurate. He even faulted the Anti-Nazi underground within Germany as Antisemitic - simply because one of it's members had advocated a continuation of Hitler's race laws. In fact, there was no evidence the others were in agreement with this. On the contrary, one of the major inspirations for the plot to kill Hitler was that they had learned about the vast number of people being murdered in the concentration camps.
And no, I'm not saying that Antisemitism was a minority viewpoint in Germany - sadly, it was the norm with most people. And we know there were many Germans who agreed completely with the Final Solutions. But there were also plenty of Germans who did not, but who either had immigrated to other countries by the time of the war, or were unfortunately too cowed to do anything (save for the Anti-Nazi underground), or had ended up in concentration camps themselves.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer