ss officers

When the Nazis arrived in the small villages of the Ukraine with their accursed Einsatzgruppen units, they followed a specific recipe: the Jews were ordered to assemble, any thought of resistance was crushed, and the entire Jewish community was led out of town away from prying eyes, usually into the forests on the edge of town. The people were made to dig ditches, undress and pile their belongings in ordered piles, and then to stand in rows one group after another in front of the ditches….

In one small village, as the Jews were assembled in a clearing in the forest outside of town, it was abundantly clear what was about to happen. The remains of the previous day’s action for a different nearby village were obvious; the ditches were already dug, the piles of clothing still present, and the machine guns set up on tripods opposite the ditches left no room for doubt.

In the midst of it all, one of the Rabbis of the town stepped forward and addressed the SS officer clearly in charge:

“Sir! Is it not customary for a prisoner to be granted a last request? I should like the opportunity to lead my congregation in one final blessing.”

Amused, the SS officer decided to grant the Jew this last request, whereupon the Rabbi turned towards the community and recited out loud the morning blessing:

 “Blessed are you oh Lord our G-d, master of the Universe, who did not make me of the Nations of the world (“… shelo’ asani Goy.”); Then the rabbi led the community in the final Vidui (confessional) prayers.

The SS officer, now curious asked the rabbi what the prayer meant and the rabbi explained he was thanking G-d for having created them as Jews and not as Germans, whereupon the SS Officer roared with laughter:

“Fool!” he said, “If you had been born a German you would not be standing in front of ditches about to leave this world! Why would you be thankful for being Jewish …?”

And the Rabbi explained: “For whatever the reason G-d has decreed some will be murdered and some will be murderers; we are blessed not to be murderers…”  - Rav Ephraim Oshry

SS-Untersturmführer Werner Wolff photographed with the Knight’s Cross in 1943. Wolff, the battle-tested adjutant to Joachim Peiper (III./SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 “LAH"), took over a leaderless company, following the wounding of its commander, and stopped a massive enemy tank attack in which thirty Soviet tanks were destroyed in close combat during Operation Zitadelle in July 1943. Wolff destroyed one tank with hand held explosives and refused to give ground to the Soviet attack. For this he was decorated with the Knight’s Cross on 7 August 1943. Wolff fell in March 1945 near Inota, Hungary, as commander of the 7./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 “LAH".

variety.com
First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’
Variety has been given exclusive access to the first-look image from Amma Asante’s “Where Hands Touch,” which stars Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) and George MacKay (“Captain Fantastic”)...
By Leo Barraclough

“Fifteen-year-old Leyna (Stenberg), daughter of a white German mother and a black father, meets Lutz (MacKay), the son of a prominent SS officer, and a member of the Hitler Youth. “They fall helplessly in love, putting their lives at risk as all around them the persecution of Jews and those deemed ‘non-pure’ slowly unfolds,” according to a statement. “Does their love stand a chance amidst violence and hatred?”

The film, which also stars Abbie Cornish (“Bright Star”), Christopher Eccleston (“28 Days Later”) and Tom Sweet (“The Childhood of a Leader”), is being sold by Protagonist Pictures in Berlin’s European Film Market. It was shot in Belgium and the Isle of Man, wrapping in December, and is in post-production.

Asante, whose latest film “A United Kingdom” opens Friday in the U.S., said: “It has been a passion of mine to tell this story for many years — to shine a light on the existence of German children of color who were forced to grow up under Hitler’s rule, labelled as ‘Rhineland bastards.’ Against this historical backdrop, Leyna and Lutz enter a rite of passage negotiating the path to true identity in a society that has turned in on itself and is eating its own tail. Completing this film brings together everything I am as filmmaker.”

Y'all got to calm tf down about Amandlas new movie that’s coming out. So, many of you may not know this but the director of the movie (a British-Ghanaian woman called Amma Asante) wanted this movie to talk about black/mixed race ppl and how they survived/experienced or died bc of the Nazi regime/Holocaust. Because guess what; there aren’t many movies or books that talk about that. It’s just a fact that the Nazis not only massacred 6 million Jews and made a horrible genocide happen; they also killed and sterilized romas, black and mixed race people, disabled people; anything that did not fit into the category of the “healthy” and “pure aryan” German. Another hint; Amandla had to shave their head for the movie which probably means they’re gonna end up in a concentration camp. I don’t know how this can possibly romanticize Nazis?

About their love interest; he is a son of a SS officer yes. However, we have not seen the movie. There were ppl in places like these or concentration camp guards or regular ppl that were anti-regime UNDERCOVER. Because that was the only way to not get killed or persecuted yourself. We don’t know if he’s gonna be anti-regime or pro but by falling in love with a biracial girl he’s definitely going against the regime and its ideology… We’ll have to see the movie to know.
Another thing; many of the German kids were brainwashed as they were forced into Hitler Youth, through massive propaganda and often through their parents etc. So, many of the kids were NOT aware that a genocide was going on. It could also be that the guy will discover through them what horrible actions his regime was responsible for. As the director describes the character as “a young man who is bearing witness to the madness, and who is having the scales fall from his eyes as he comes of age, and the difficulty in understanding the choices his country is making in order to, apparently, make a better future for him, which is the kind of rhetoric that these children were exposed to.” We haven’t seen the movie yet. We can talk about the fact that it could turn out problematic, but we shouldn’t assume stuff without looking at the actual material first and without critically assessing the actual material first.

And finally, love was always something that happened even in the darkest parts of history. So, it is very possible that such a story of falling in love happened between two people… Love can happen even if hatred is all that surrounds ppl.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Hans Collani with his wife Elisabeth and daughter Ingeborg in 1943. At this time he lead the Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS attached to the elite Wiking Division until mid-1943. He then commanded SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 49 “De Ruyter” of the 23. SS Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Nederland (niederlandische Nr 1) until he died on 29 July 1944 on Narva front. Collani was awarded posthumously the Knight’s Cross for his bravery and leadership during the battles on Narva River.

SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Klingenberg photographed after he was awarded the Knight’s Cross in May 1941, for capturing Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia on 12 April 1941. Klingenberg used a mix of dash and bravado to capture the city virtually single-handed. Promoted to SS-Oberführer, Klingenberg was killed in March 1945 while commanding 17. SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen.

If I was born in 1918, I would have enlisted as an officer in the Army.

I want you all to understand that.

In that time, I would have had no issue driving a bayonet into a SS officer’s heart and looking him dead in the eye as I did it.

Because the Nazis were a likely, imminent, and serious threat, as a whole, to the safety of massive amounts of innocent people.

I would, if I found myself faced with the horrors of places like Aushwitz, Dachau, and their ilk, very seriously have to resist a strong urge to raze not only the general area, but that whole country, to the firmament in retribution.

I would have that urge. 

Even thinking of those places gives me that urge, to seek out and scour every trace of any person who would so much as consider the ideology espoused by the Third Reich from this earth.

I implore you to not mistake my resistance to violence as either cowardice or acceptance, or that such a stance is one that is either easy or enjoyable for me.

I am fettered by my ideals, they are not wings that uplift me but chains which bind my actions and thoughts, because if I was unfettered, I would be heralded by a tide of blood.

It is precisely because I can, with great ease, do great harm to people that I have these ideals and shackle my arms, because without them I would become a monster. 

anonymous asked:

Hey i read in a interview with the director of that movie that she wanted to tell a story of how the fate of many black and biracial kids was affected by the holocaust; with many of them also ending up in concentration camps. And that the kid of an SS officer with whom the lead falls in love with is realizing as he gets older what horrors his regime is doing and can't understand it. Can you explain how this romanticizes Nazism?

thank you for asking. i appreciate that you want to learn more about this situation. it’s taken me a while to collect my thoughts, so here they are.

i’m usually a firm believer in both the power of love through adversity and the artistic rights of actors and filmmakers. i’m not trying to place blame on amandla stenberg or amma asante. however, this movie feels insensitive, exploitative, and extremely tasteless. every other jewish person i’ve discussed this with has had the exact same reaction. here’s why:

before she edited it, amandla’s post called the holocaust a “backdrop” for the love story. that’s right, the genocide of my people used as a narrative device to frame some sort of “forbidden” romeo/juliet type  relationship. in a world where fucking neo nazis are making a comeback i’m afraid i’m not so forgiving to situations like this. goy filmmakers have a long history of exploiting the holocaust and the suffering of jewish/romani people for the sake of furthering their own heroic narratives and i’m done with that bullshit. 

i’m aware that hitler youth was often compulsory for german children. i’m also aware that hitler’s doctrine threatened everyone perceived as “un-aryan”, not just jewish and romani people. the fate of poc, especially black and biracial people, in hitler’s germany is absolutely something worth talking about and exploring further. i’ve often advocated for studies of the holocaust include sections that discuss not only the complete jewish and romani experience, but also the experience of poc, lgbtq people, disabled people, and others affected. but to do it in a way that humanizes their oppressors, who are literal fucking nazis, is absolutely atrocious. there is no equal love between an oppressed person and their oppressors. 

in conclusion, nazism is not a hurdle for kids to overcome on their path to true love. nazism is an evil mindset that led to the deaths of 6 million of my people and millions of others as well. these deaths should never be a rhetorical device that goy filmmakers exploit for the sake of making their story feel more “forbidden”. being a nazi doesn’t mean you get to be a star-crossed lover. being a nazi means you should get punched in the face.

in conclusion, this ethnic jewish girl is fucking done with the romanticism and humanization of nazis. she’s fucking done. 

Soldiers of the Das Reich Division photographed during the campaign in Yugoslavia in April 1941. The man on the left is a motorcycle despatch rider, while the two on the right are SS-Untersturmführers.

Sustained Activism

Something I am making myself consider this morning is that I will not feel this way in six months. Conservatives are remarkably boring. There is a timeline where Donald goes the Full Hitler, and things are obvious and terrifying and there are gold uniformed SS officers walking around our cities. That could happen.

But there’s a greater possibility, I think, that he will enact insidious changes that annoy, dispirit, but do not exactly outrage. Cutting obscure programs that have not directly impacted you, for example. Restricting federal funds until states meet certain difficult to parse requirements. Appointing conservatives that you have never heard of and may not know to hate until they fail you. (Ex. Michael DeWayne Brown, the man who fucked up the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Though I despised Bush, I didn’t know who Brown was, or how under-qualified he was until almost 2,000 people had died. Heckuva job, Brownie.)

Because of my position of privilege very soon most of my thoughts will turn inward. If you are a part of one of the groups directly in Trump’s crosshairs, I know that this will be on your mind. If you already engage in sustained activism, that’s amazing. Tell me how! But if you are like me, privileged, try to think of something you felt strongly about two- three years ago. Was it Ferguson, and the killing of Michael Brown? How much have you accomplished since the initial outrage faded? How much did you continue to donate? Is it less than you thought you would? Did your desire to see the city of Ferguson treat its citizens justly, the schools of Ferguson educate its students, get distracted as more and more victims of police violence in other parts of the US came to light? You may have been talking about it a lot, but what did you do?

Seeing the number of people want to give and fight and resist is great. But I work with nonprofits and I know that they are not set up to hold someone’s hand. They don’t have the resources. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, apathy, they’re not going to encourage you to continue to volunteer after the initial outrage fades. They are going to continue putting out the call and focus on who accepts, and not check to see who declined. They’re going to move on, and apathy can snowball. I’m speaking from experience here. 

So if you’re serious (and I’m trying to be serious), it’s time to get a mentor, it’s time to get a community. Myself, I’m going to get more involved with my local Unitarian Universalist church. I’m an atheist (though it’s not like the Unitarians care), but the point of a congregation is to handhold, is to say “I missed seeing you at the march/volunteer opportunity/meeting.” This is my way of doing it, Unitarians aren’t for everyone, and they’re not even that numerous. Look for a way to get people to hold your hand. Join a student group where accountability matters, form a group where accountability matters. Set giving and volunteer hour goals and talk about them openly. Revisit them monthly. 

me: *settled in trying to relax watching The Crown*

fake queen elizabeth: *marrying fake prince phillip*

fake winston churchill: it’s too bad his sisters aren’t here because they’re all MARRIED TO NAZIS

me: wait… oh my god… is that… that’s not…

wikipedia: yes that’s correct every one of prince phillip’s sisters was married to a different SS officer or nazi soldier, here are their names and pictures and bios that are oddly laissez-faire about them being literal footsoldiers of hitler? anyway main takeaway here is that queen elizabeth is/was related by marriage to four different ranking members of the third reich

me: :O

the british monarchy: ???????????????????????????????????????????

Portrait of SS-Untersturmführer Havvo Lübbe of the Leibstandarte Division, c. 1942.