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Old November 27 2012, 06:36 PM   #3
jmc247
Vice Admiral
 
Re: The bicentennial of Napoleon's catastrophe in Russia

Retu wrote: View Post
Cut off his nads, huh? Finns would have eaten him alive. (or that's what Russians liked to tell their soldiers.)
The Finns certainly were tough as Stalin found out the hard way when he invaded Finland in 1940.

The world saw how poorly the Red Army did against who they considered a mediocre opponent so when Germany invaded a year later most of the world thought Russia would fall fairly quickly. Nope, the difference is that the Finns were fighting a defensive war then and knew how to fight in Arctic conditions... Germans certainly did not any more then the French did 200 years ago.

Anyway Zimmer told me he and his infantry buddies thought they were tough and bad ass, but the Russians were tough and bad ass on a completely different level and knew how to fight when it was so cold any part of your skin exposed to the air would frostbite so quickly you had almost no time to get it covered or you might lose that limb.

It's a bit funny, but after my sister met him at the gym she commented how nice he was. I told her he served in the German Army in WW2. Her response was shocked. He is a Nazi? They let a Nazi into the country? I told her no he was a soldier not a National Socialist. Her response was that she didn't see the difference. I asked her if she considers Red Army soldiers Communists because they served under Stalin. Her response was no that they were just serving their country. Then what makes people like Zimmer different? She didn't know.

I do though, the Allied press during the war to make it easier for our soldiers to pull the trigger interlinked the justifiably hated political party and the enemy soldiers. That is a natural thing to do in a total war, it's just the wartime propaganda stuck and it makes it easier for modern films to have U.S. soldiers say scalping German soldiers (Inglorious Bastards) and have moviegoers be able to cheer as if they are killing baby killers so my sister can't see a difference between a teenage German infantryman fighting an opposing armed force and card carrying member of the Nazi Party who joined the SS and is herding women and children into gas chambers.

It's unfortunate, because Zimmer said he considered many times returning to Germany because he was so often called a Nazi or Jew killer. His family's house was taken from them because his family was in business with Jews and they were known friends of the family. He watched in sadness as a youth as the SS directed a mob during Kristallnacht to smash Jewish stores and beat up local Jews. The last of the era who lived in such times and saw such events personally are dying.

He told me that few that have never personally experienced living under Totalitarianism would ever be able to really understand it.

Last edited by jmc247; November 27 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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