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    RIP Otto Carius

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    woofiedog
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by woofiedog on Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:33 am

    Yes indeed we strayed off topic !!! But that's what a forum is for: debating ideas and sometimes we wander off the beaten track as we get carried away by personal views and opinions

    Yes, indeed... is this not being a human. Maybe a good hot cup of grog is in order and will help sort out this matter.

    That does not lessen his accomplishments as a panzer commander and warrior.

    Have a copy of his "Tiger's In The Mud" book and to survive those battles and actions he was involved in, took a very intelligent, courageous and dedicated man no matter what side of the war he was fighting on.

    And it did take strong leadership and cool heads for Sweden's government and it's people to survive the war as they did. But one item, is that the United States was also neutral in the beginning of the war, until our own country was attacked.

    As Southern General Robert E. Lee stated at the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 1862.

    It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.




    Tanker
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Tanker on Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:30 am

    Well, not actually fighting in the war could explain part of Sweden's and Switzerland's post war wealth. Only 4 countries in Europe that I can think of without research did not experience fighting in the 2nd WW. Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. As frinik said there is ample documentation about their efforts to stay neutral and what it took to do that.

    Switzerland's banks also took German Jews' deposits and monies and were less than enthusiastic about returning the money after the war.
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    frinik
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:25 am

    There are people more heartless than Wall Street traders and they are called Swiss bankers...

    To be honest Switzerland used to be a poor country. So much that the Swiss had to rent their young men to the kings of Europe as mercenaries for 3 centuries. The Swiss peasants are fearsome soldiers who defeated the Habsburg heavy armoured knights in a series of battles armed only with pitchforks, scythes and bows. But the Swiss are also a nation of very good engineers and patient skilled workers which explains the country rise to wealth .Some of the largest companies in the World: Nestlé ( largest food company), Novartis ( number 2 Pharma cy in the World)  Asea Brown Boveri, Schindler, Oerlikon, Hoffmann-Laroche ( better known as Roche and number 3 in the World), Crédit Suisse, UBS etc... The protestant work ethic so highly praised by the WASPs was largely born in Calvinist Switzerland(incidentally Calvin was Swiss).

    That the Swiss banks profited from Nazi plundering is undeniable however to attribute Swiss national wealth to that alone would be like saying the US became a superpower by putting their indigenous Indians into reservations... In 1933 Switzerland was already one of the richest countries in Europe. By 1948 it became of the beneficiaries of the Marshall plan because with Sweden it was one of the few countries in Europe that could quickly provide machinery and tools to the European countries that were rebuilding their cities and economies. That's how their post-war prosperity came about.

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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Tanker on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:41 pm

    I watched an interesting documentary called "Euromania" by a Dutch film maker last night. It's available on youtube. He interviews a Swiss journalist and asks him who has more autonomy and authority over his own life, he as a Ducth citizen or the Swiss. The Swiss posited that he, as a Swiss, had more freedom and autonomy because each decision made in Switzerland was by direct, public referendum, while the Dutch, and most of the rest of Europe's nations had ceded much if not most of their sovereignty to an unelected European Commission. The Commission, who are appointed bureaucrats, passes laws and gives them to the national parliaments to be implemented, just the reverse of what happens in a democracy wherein the parliament passes laws and the bureaucracy implements them. What an upside down system.
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    frinik
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:40 pm

    Yes the EU Parliament and the eurocracy are very sore points amongst the average European...National governments are trying - too late - to tame the monster they created themselves...

    On the other the US is governed by all the lobbies who buy politicians to pass laws that favour them so is the average American better governed ???? Over 150 billions dollars are spent by various lobbies in political contributions which end up as laws passed by politicians to their advantage. Organised and legal corruption on a grand scale.

    The Swiss referendum system in my opinion is the most democratic system on this planet. The people speaks even when politicians don't like the results( ban on building mosques or minaret, ban on veils , restrictions on immigration etc). That how the people express themselves like it or not!

    Tanker
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Tanker on Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:10 pm

    The lobbyists are not just an American feature.  Thousands of them have abandoned Berlin, Paris, The Hague,etc and moved to Brussels.  Same process, just more efficient.  And fewer bureaucrats to bribe.

    There are no lobbyists in Canada frinik?  I would be surprised if you had escaped that.

    So I can answer your question with yes, I think we are better governed, given the fact that at the very least we can turn the rascals out every so often.  A Dutch or French resident can't even threaten that.

    The Swiss model sounds attractive in theory and most of the time it probably works well.  But there are some cases where the "people" may make a very bad choice.  For example, if there had been a popular referendum on ending the US Civil war in 1864 in the North, a peace would have been concluded that would have left two weak countries on the North American continent. North America would have been subject to the depredations and interference of European powers and there would not have been such a powerful counterweight to Axis militarism in the 20th century.  In this case the Executive was correct and the people were not.

    Another example is the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s.  JFK and his brother Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General and later LBJ, were out ahead of the general population in encoding and enforcing civil rights to all in the US in the 1960s.  I don't believe a popular referendum would have approved that as early as it was done.

    Pure democracy can lead to what is known as "the tyranny of the majority". Many writers, ancient and modern, feel that the people can be too easily swayed by demagogues and emotions, pointing to two famous incidents in Athenian democracy during the Peloponnesian War. This lead to a correction from pure democracy to a different form.
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    frinik
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:07 am

    The Swiss model sounds attractive in theory and most of the time it probably works well.  But there are some cases where the "people" may make a very bad choice.

    I agree but democracy means rule of the people in Greek . I didn't say the Swiss system was perfect I only said it's the most democratic in the World (based on the definition of the word democracy.). Also I am more inclined to trust the common sense of the people than the lofty ideals of an elitist or pseudo intellectual who arrogantly assumes that he knows better than the rest of us what's good for the country.

    Sure there are lobbies in Europe and in Canada but nowhere near as rich and as well organized as in the US. I am not criticizing just pointing out facts. To me it doesn't matter because I don't vote as a rule. I would only bother to vote on Swiss-style referenda that really interest me...

    So I can answer your question with yes, I think we are better governed, given the fact that at the very least we can turn the rascals out every so often.  A Dutch or French resident can't even threaten that.

    You can kick the rascals out but the lobbyists remain and simply zoom in on a new target. Politicians of all stripes can easily be bought or influenced. As for the Europeans their national governments still rule. Brussels has powers but limited ones which national governments can and do ignore when it suits their interests. Brussels does not govern the individual countries only the Parliament and has limited powers. Still I agree with you it's as useful as the Pope's t..........cles and should be either muzzled or its members should be elected directly by the people rather than appointed by countries. Bureaucracy stifles freedoms and creativity.

    Ancient Greece also produced mediocre democrats and outstanding tyrants...
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    lockie
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by lockie on Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:08 pm

    Otto Carius - German Tank Legend | Warthunder Movie


    I see that footage and understand that SF has reached its bottom.
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    33lima
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by 33lima on Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:33 pm

    frinik wrote:
    The Western Allies themselves with policies of eugenics, racial discrimination or apartheid( in their own countries or in their empires), the subjugation of entire countries and races to their empire ( British, French and even the Americans had their quasi colonial dominion in the Americas and Asia), latent anti immigrant and semitism were hardly role models... The British were responsible for millions of deaths  in their empire though ruthless economic and social policies and the American occupation of the Philippines resulted in a million Filipinos killed between 1900 and 1911 mostly in retalations for resisting the American occupation.


    Well, that's one view, Frinik. There are others, like this one, from historian Niall Ferguson:

    "The moral simplification urge is an extraordinarily powerful one, especially in this country, where imperial guilt can lead to self-flagellation," he told a reporter. "And it leads to very simplistic judgments. The rulers of western Africa prior to the European empires were not running some kind of scout camp. They were engaged in the slave trade. They showed zero sign of developing the country's economic resources. Did Senegal ultimately benefit from French rule? Yes, it's clear. And the counterfactual idea that somehow the indigenous rulers would have been more successful in economic development doesn't have any credibility at all.'


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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Technopiper on Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:46 pm

    Otto Carius wrote:"We are especially grateful when we think of our fallen comrades who,
    together with volunteers from all countries of Western Europe, fought to
    be saved from communism and whose memory has been stained by
    defamation."
    I respect anyone who is willing to pay the ultimate price for his/her belief, even if I do not agree with that belief. But to say that his comrades fell saving the world from communism was a blatant lie. I'm a huge fan of Tiger tanks, but Otto can never be a hero to me, because he only believed in the convenient truth.

    Lying about one's belief only proves that he knew it was wrong. To me that is the greatest condemnation against Germans who claimed to not know anything about the holocaust. As Hannah Arendt said: not one of them stood out (during the Nuremburg trials) and said "We were doing the right thing. We did it for the greater good!" Allied archives declassified in 2007 shows that most if not all German generals knew about the holocaust, even those who plotted against Hitler in July 1944. Rommel knew it all along, Thoma was his aide-de-camp. An Einsatzkommando was attached to Afrika Korps, ready to round up the Jews once they reach Cairo.

    I agree criminals could be found in every governments in every country. But that does not make these ones innocent or excusable. Victorious countries got away with it, damn them. Defeated countries got caught red handed, we shouldn't let them get away. People of all the nations should realize that we have more common interests between us than with our respective governments. Our governments belong to one big, priviledged club. Oh yes they quarrel and squabble, but only to sort out their own interests. They make it our business by resorting to religion, ideology, or nationalism. The more we can see through that, the less power they have over us.
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    frinik
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:00 am

    33lima, just to be clear I have no problems with European colonialism compared to the what the Mongols or Turks did with their empires their version was much more benign and enlightened. Interestingly enough having lived in former European( Brazil, Argentina,Tunisia, India, the UAE) or American ( The Philippines, Haiti) colonies/protectorates I have surprised to see that the locals including the young generation have in general a very positive view of their former colonial masters. Looking at how their modern rulers are corrupt , despotic and plundering I am not overly surprised.

    As for Otto Carius and the German generals forgetting convenient truths there's nothing unique to ideological blindness; just look at the Russians who have rehabilitated Stalin despite his well documented mass murders and crimes and turned him into a hero and a much admired leader who supposedly saved Russia. Ditto with Mao in China not to mention Genghis Khan being revered not to say worshipped in Mongolia and Timur Lenk( Tamerlane )in Uzkbekistan. All mass murderers turned into national heroes or role models.

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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Technopiper on Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:03 am

    frinik wrote:As for Otto Carius and the German generals forgetting convenient truths there's nothing unique to ideological blindness; just look at the Russians who have rehabilitated Stalin despite his well documented mass murders and crimes and turned him into a hero and a much admired leader who supposedly saved Russia.  Ditto with Mao in China not to mention Genghis Khan being revered not to say worshipped in Mongolia  and Timur Lenk( Tamerlane )in Uzkbekistan. All mass murderers turned into national heroes or role models.
    And all of them would be equally inexcusable. Defending one tyranny gives strength and justification to other tyrannies. It is pointless to argue "one tyranny is better than another". I alienate myself from the interests of governments and I don't feel obliged to defend them. I am on the people's side, any people's side.
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    lockie
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by lockie on Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:11 pm

    Technopiper wrote:
    Otto Carius wrote:"We are especially grateful when we think of our fallen comrades who,
    together with volunteers from all countries of Western Europe, fought to
    be saved from communism and whose memory has been stained by
    defamation."
    Otto Carius was the soldier and he was under order.
    Of course, it's impossible to change the history and there is no need to do this, but imagine what could happen, if Hitler delayed once again in June 1941 with his strike on USSR and Stalin made attack to "liberate" the whole Europe from Nazist (operation "Thunder").
    There was 5th Panzer Division "Wiking", which had many volunteers from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Holland, Norway. They were sure they fought for the world ideals and against commuinst hordes to protect the European cultural wealth. I've a very interesting book by Theodor Hoffmann: Panzer Division "Wiking". There are many interesting facts and thoughts.
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    frinik
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:39 pm

    I am not defending anybody nor any tyranny, I am merely pointing out that historical amnesia is common to most countries or cultures . There's no such thing as a scale of atrocities or cruelty to rate one particular murderous regime compared to another one. There just the number of victims to be counted.

    AS for Stalin making a sneak attack against Germany I don't think he would have contemplated it before 1945 or later. He knew that after decapitating his army he need time to rebuild the officer crops of the Red Army to make it once more effective. His problem was that he could only trust those who were his close allies or the sycophants not necessarily the best military minds.

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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by Tanker on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:19 pm

    The subject is one man, Otto Carius, his actions and his post war rationale for those actions. The history of other countries and people is not really germane unless they bear directly on Otto Carius. To suggest that comments about his behavior are somehow less valid because the commenter's country once occupied India or sent Marines into Haiti makes no sense.

    In that light, Otto Carius may have believed he and his comrades were saving the world from communism during the war (I have my doubts about how fully that was believed) but by the time he penned the foreword to his book, he should have known how erroneous that was.
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by frinik on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:49 am

    I agree with you Tanker .. We have to look at history through the eyes of the people at the time in which they lived. When we look at the colonial attitudes or comments made by European colonizers or politicians just 75 years ago about the countries or races they were occupying through the prism of the 21st century then we won't understand what happened and what motivated them. Of course we have changed , evolved and for us now many of their actions or opinions are reprehensible but if we put aside our own prejudices and remember how society was then  then we can understand where they were coming from. Like when we look at the religious quarrels of medieval Europe which resulted in millions of deaths or the burning of witches , the inquisition etc we can only shake our heads and wonder how could people be so fanatical and so crassly ignorant? In the 1930s eugenics were fashionable everywhere in the Western world, culling the unfit from society, sterilizing mentally handicapped people( especially coloured ones) was popular in the US and in fact inspired Hitler to do the same with and then turn to mass murder them. Today these policies are discredited and despised in the same Western world. Because we have changed and issues that made or unmade whole empires and resulted in countless loss of lives are now just folklore or ancient history we read before going to sleep.But below the surface have we really changed???

    So I believe Otto Carius was honest with himself. He was very much a product of his time. If you read
    the thoughts or memoirs of men like Patton, Churchill etc on the other side you'll see that their views on communism and other issues are not that far apart.

    I have respect for the man because he pout his life on the line for his ideas unlike weasels like Himmler or Beria who cowardly ordered millions of people murdered without assuming any personal risk or getting their hands dirty. Likewise I respect Hans Ulrich Rudel , an outstanding pilot and war hero, despite the fact that he remained an unrepentant Nazi until his death.
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    lockie
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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

    Post by lockie on Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:57 pm

    I've found interview with Otto Carius.


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    Re: RIP Otto Carius

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