8 Answers

  1. You asked a very good question. I will say the banality already repeated in the topic more than once – the answer to it depends on the coordinate system. There are, of course, common things – Hitler's Germany was the aggressor, Poland, then France, England, and the USSR defended themselves. But is it really that simple? Of course not. Each of the countries that were attacked by the Axis powers committed certain vile acts, in which very specific people participated. Who today could be participants in aggression (Polish soldiers smashing Czechoslovak barriers in Teszyn; Soviet soldiers and commanders fighting in Finland or subjugating the Baltic States; members of the teams of British ships sinking French ships that were recently allied in the harbor of Mers-el-Kebir, etc.), and tomorrow-defenders. This did not prevent them from taking part in aggressive or dishonest actions again the day after tomorrow, either on the orders of their government or on their own initiative.

    Another example is that fans of military history like to compare military personnel who have achieved record results in their field. Pilots who shot down the largest number of planes; tankers and gunners who shot down the most enemy tanks; submariners who sank enemy ships with a displacement of hundreds of thousands of tons. Of course, all these are outstanding results that required both talent for their craft, and super-effort, and endurance, and titanic work, and deadly risk. But in different coordinate systems, such champions will look different – for some they are heroes, for others-something akin to the killer Lyosha the Soldier in the service of the Medvedkovsky organized crime group: a productive, trouble-free, cold-blooded killer. But people like Gunther Prin or Hans Rudel, Alexander Marinesko or Ivan Kozhedub are not victims of circumstances, because they chose their own fate. Someone got glory, someone got death in the depths of the water.

    Here's another example. For all of us, Nazism is an absolute evil, any involvement in the Hitler regime is a stain for life, and it devalues all human actions. It would seem that this is an indisputable scale for evaluation, but what if you apply it to a 12-year-old boy from the Jungfolk (a Nazi organization for schoolchildren aged 10-14), who was ordered to help in the fire brigade or in the service of an anti-aircraft gun? This child is a small wolf cub; he has been indoctrinated since childhood, infected with Nazism; he can easily inform on his parents if they express doubts about the Fuhrer's policy or – God forbid! – help Jews; he sings songs about how they will punch all the Jews in the head in school lessons. It would seem that what could be worse? Let's look at his life from the other side – after another raid of hundreds of heavy bomb trucks that drop concrete bombs mixed with phosphorous lighters on German cities, these boys, whose whole fault is too trusting, run and sort through the rubble of burning houses, get fragments of burned bodies, among which may be their own mother or father, their brother or sister, their classmate in the squad or the girl Or, let's also imagine for a second – night, sirens wail, searchlights pick out the silhouettes of planes in the night sky, the ground is shaking, houses are collapsing in front of our eyes, and on the anti – aircraft tower near a lone gun-several guys who fall from their feet from fatigue, they turn heavy 105-millimeter shells weighing two or three dozen kilograms, all in order to protect their city, In one of the stories of the “German Weekly Review” showed a group of children who were awarded the Military Merit Cross of the 2nd class for their service as firefighters or anti-aircraft gunners. Yes, these medals were awarded to them on behalf of Adolf Hitler, they were decorated with a swastika-but does all this detract from the strength of their action? Are we ready to call these children victims of circumstances in the service of a criminal regime and thereby devalue their own victim, which was their psyche, their childhood?

    The Second World War was especially rich in such subjects, known and unknown, those that are in everyone's memory or invisible even to contemporaries, about which you can talk for hours. And almost all of them can not be applied to universal assessments – on the other side only criminals or victims of circumstances, on the other – all heroes. For me personally, there is only one level of unconditional heroism – if a person, regardless of what insignia he wore or did not wear them at all, deliberately sacrificed himself to save another person, friend or enemy, at the moment he is definitely a hero. Other actions of the same person can devalue this heroism, so not every hero of a particular moment remains a hero forever. But death is like a seal on a document, it certifies heroism.

  2. Maybe this is a fact for you, and the total destruction of entire peoples does not mean anything to you at all, but it is absolutely certain that “people who fought in the Second World War” treated it completely differently. For them, the difference between life and death was very much there.

  3. This (the equivalence of evil) is not a fact. A subjective value judgment. Your judgment – you and guess who was where and what.

    The fashion to compare Stalin with Hitler and put an equal sign between them-from ignorance and misunderstanding of either Stalinism or Nazism.

    Evil in general is rarely equivalent, and here-two diametrically opposite evils. Yes, this also happens.

  4. It depends on which side to look at what is happening. If not with the internal Russian one, without using all this complex national ideology, but with the universal one, then it turns out that, of course, victims of circumstances. Because there is all this pretentious state nonsense, and there are specific men and women who are forced by some force to take up arms and kill other men and women because of the wrong shape of the skull or because “we will take revenge”, while exposing ourselves to bullets (for me personally, killing is more terrible than being killed). And this power also says: anyone who does not do this is a traitor and is subject to immediate execution. And here we can endlessly spray each other with saliva, proving some “truths” invented by some “historians” or “political scientists” (I myself in my previous life was a political scientist and I have a diploma from the Moscow State University Faculty of History – I know the value of this “knowledge”), but these truths are not worth a penny in the face of the nightmare and horror of war for an ordinary person.

    And here people should be grateful to the ideology: the very idea that you are running under bullets, shouting hysterically “for the motherland” because some hamadryads in human form decided to play soldiers with real people should be completely unbearable. The only way to survive in this situation is to hate and sincerely wish the enemy dead.

    But a person in general is almost always a victim of circumstances – they form our character, habits, worldview, the one we choose as a partner, etc.A person in general is basically a biorobot, and the vaunted freedom is a luxury available to very few of us.

  5. This is not a fact at all, but a distortion and manipulation in a meaningful question.

    Accordingly, your question does not make sense, as it is based on initially false premises.

  6. The question originally had a false premise. And if so, then an adequate answer to this question is impossible.

    Gentlemen, you should at least look at history textbooks and the global political context. Maybe you've discovered something new for yourself. Perhaps they even recognized the unprecedented nature of Hitler

  7. Remember Mykola Desyatnichenko, that schoolboy who said that not all German soldiers wanted to fight? Do you remember what kind of harassment they gave him?

    Our present society is generally not ready to compare Hitler and Stalin, and even more so to compare the soldiers who fought in the Great Patriotic War on different sides. For our country, the Great Patriotic War is actually a fundamental element of Russian statehood, and therefore the discussion of the war, in a different way from the official perception, is an insult to the overwhelming number of citizens. This is on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is an obvious fact, at least for me, that there is simply no unambiguous answer to the question asked. Yes, there were heroes, each country has its own, there were victims of circumstances. I would say that in Germany, towards the end of the war, all citizens became hostages and victims of circumstances, in the USSR heroism at the initial stage was fantastic, which by the end of the war was perceived as the norm, which does not beg for it, there were also victims of circumstances, Order 227 turned hundreds of thousands of soldiers into victims, but by the end of the

  8. I would say that people were and still are hostages of circumstances.
    have they become heroes or victims (in their own eyes? in the eyes of the environment?) it already depends on their decisions in specific situations: someone took a piece of bread, and someone divided theirs.

    Personally, I am a little disgusted and alarmed by the weekly mention of these gentlemen under various pretexts on this platform.

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