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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    My strange fascination with WW II

    I was watching that ole "potboiler" "The Battle of the Bulge" with the ole lady sometime ago and she said something kinda funny and kind of profound. We were watching the scene when the young Panzer Commanders were singing "Der Panzer" song for their new commander.

    I hadn't seen the film in a while and I had just bought the DVD. When the scene was over she was looking at me kinda strangely... She said..

    "Did you know you were smiling and singing that song along with them?"

    This caught me up short. She continued...

    "You have some sort of love hate relationship with the Nazi's and that war. You know that had they won we'd probably both be dead or worse?"

    I turned the movie off and thought for a second. "Yes", I answered. "I guess I do have a love hate relationship with that war. I hate the loss of some 50 to 60 million men, women and children, the loss of uncountable man/hours or buildings and materiel, the countless works of art... But I love the struggle, the feats of daring, bravery and honor. Of men and women caught up in a massive struggle the likes of which the world will never witness again...It is the ultimate crucible, the ultimate test of a man and his nation."

    We were silent for a while... she then added as an afterthought... "god what beautiful uniforms the Nazi's had...."

    I didn't sleep well that night...

    Da Worfster

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi3Rh4TDDlo

    So you know what I'm talkin' about.

  2. #2
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Funny Worfster, I have the same feeling about WWII after I did the review of Battle of Britain, and Bridge Too Far for Bluray.com

    I really hated to see/read about so many folks being killed, but the bravery shown in war was inspiring.
    Sir Terrence

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  3. #3
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    I reckon I shouldn't be the wet blanket here, but I'm getting pretty tired with the old Nazi cliche getting thrown into the pot every time there is a WW II discussion afloat. The Nazis were a different cloth than the German soldiers who were generally less zealous in antisemitic, xenophobic, eugenic and other "ic"-ism sentiment. I know descendants of German soldiers who, in person or whose families, suffered horribly in the war and were (and are) just as horrified with the regime as one can expect. The Nazis were truly bad news, but before it happens, let's settle the difference between the two camps right now before we get off on a totally unnecessary tangent (Yeah, I know I'm being a hypocrite...).

    (Ahem! Sorry about that; I thought I should say something....When have I not....?) As far as your guilty pleasure, gents, I think we all like a good adventure. What makes it doubly good is the sacrifice and pain, which make the rewards all the sweeter. Think of Hillary (Everest), Columbus, Lewis and Clarke.

    After all, isn't a great adventure a series of pain in the asphalt in retrospect, anyway?

  4. #4
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I think the fascination stems from several areas (thought I can't really explaining your singing along with that song.....maybe its a beer hall thing....)

    First I think when we sit back in the comfort of our chairs/sofa and we see men facing those situations (even if they are Hollywood creations) we wonder what/if we would/could do in a similar situation. I think back to stories of the Civil War where men sat the night before sewing their names into their clothing knowing that they were going to die. I wonder if I would have the guts to do something like Pickett's charge or "go over the top" during WWI.

    Specific to WWII I think for most of us it far enough in the past that it at some point does not seem real. At the same time it is often portrayed as the last "good war" in the sense that you had a clearly defined enemy that personified evil. The wars since then have been for a lack of a better term more "political" and did/do not seem to evoke the same passion or national urgency even though the acts of courage and bravery were no less amazing or heroic.

    Pop psychology I know but just my sense of it.......

  5. #5
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    I dunno, Kid. I think that "passion and national urgency" have been part and parcel of many wars, including our War of Northern Aggression, which was launched after much rabble rousing and flag flying....

  6. #6
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    I reckon I shouldn't be the wet blanket here, but I'm getting pretty tired with the old Nazi cliche getting thrown into the pot every time there is a WW II discussion afloat. The Nazis were a different cloth than the German soldiers who were generally less zealous in antisemitic, xenophobic, eugenic and other "ic"-ism sentiment. I know descendants of German soldiers who, in person or whose families, suffered horribly in the war and were (and are) just as horrified with the regime as one can expect. The Nazis were truly bad news, but before it happens, let's settle the difference between the two camps right now before we get off on a totally unnecessary tangent (Yeah, I know I'm being a hypocrite...).

    (Ahem! Sorry about that; I thought I should say something....When have I not....?) As far as your guilty pleasure, gents, I think we all like a good adventure. What makes it doubly good is the sacrifice and pain, which make the rewards all the sweeter. Think of Hillary (Everest), Columbus, Lewis and Clarke.

    After all, isn't a great adventure a series of pain in the asphalt in retrospect, anyway?
    Yeah, but public perception ya know...whether it's true or not. Think propaganda posters. I tend to agree with kid's stance be it pop culture psychology or no.

  7. #7
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    I'ts funny that Worf's wife picked up on the love/hate thing concerning Nazis. I think a lot of people are fascinated by Hitler's Germany, or The History Channel wouldn't air a show about the subject at least once a month.

    I do think its ironic that so many find the subject fascinating (myself included). Pre-WWII Germany was an epicenter for intellectual thought, technology and art. It amazes me that Nazism could fester, grow, take such a hold in seemed to be a rather advanced society. The intellectuals stepped aside and let it happen. Among all the things mentioned here already, I think one of the reasons WWII fascinates me is that its a cautionary tale - because as evil as we saw the Nazis to be in hindsight, they thought they were in the right. The Nazi leadership were spiritualists themselves. As bogus as we now know the Nazi ideology of Arianism to be, its still being put into practise and worshipped as gospel among white supremists.

    One interesting note, this country in particular had a fascination with Hitler's Germany early on. I think a lot of people found Hitler engaging and somewhat liked what he stood for in the beginning. Look at an old film clips associated with the Hindenburg disaster - after the accident, there was a sort of memorial set up in one of the hangers there in New York. There were a lot of Americans who, while paying their respects to the dead, gave the Nazi salute as they passed by the bodies of the German victims.

  8. #8
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    I think pre-war Germany is a cautionary tale about what happens when you have an apathetic population that fails to participate in the process and a charasmatic figure who appeals to a segment of the population by amping up nationalistic fervor.

    The USA has not had to deal with a figure anywhere near the nature of Hitler but I think the steady decline in people participating in the electorial process has helped create a leadership vaccum that both parties have exploited. When you look how quickly people in this country were prepared to and did sacrfice the Constitution/basic civil rights after 9/11 you can see how things can happen if people are not vigilant.

  9. #9
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    I'ts funny that Worf's wife picked up on the love/hate thing concerning Nazis. I think a lot of people are fascinated by Hitler's Germany, or The History Channel wouldn't air a show about the subject at least once a month.

    I do think its ironic that so many find the subject fascinating (myself included). Pre-WWII Germany was an epicenter for intellectual thought, technology and art. It amazes me that Nazism could fester, grow, take such a hold in seemed to be a rather advanced society. The intellectuals stepped aside and let it happen. Among all the things mentioned here already, I think one of the reasons WWII fascinates me is that its a cautionary tale - because as evil as we saw the Nazis to be in hindsight, they thought they were in the right. The Nazi leadership were spiritualists themselves. As bogus as we now know the Nazi ideology of Arianism to be, its still being put into practise and worshipped as gospel among white supremists.

    One interesting note, this country in particular had a fascination with Hitler's Germany early on. I think a lot of people found Hitler engaging and somewhat liked what he stood for in the beginning. Look at an old film clips associated with the Hindenburg disaster - after the accident, there was a sort of memorial set up in one of the hangers there in New York. There were a lot of Americans who, while paying their respects to the dead, gave the Nazi salute as they passed by the bodies of the German victims.
    We also did a LOT of business in Germany during the rebuild, Ford in particular. Always follow the money. Also, Germany patterned many of its racial purity laws after those already existent in the U.S. (read the Nuremberg Trail Transcripts). To quote "Trip" in "Glory"... "we're all dirty, ain't none of us clean. Be nice to get clean though." I include myself in this statement as well.

    Sigh sorry to run so philosophical and all but war, war, war and the Olympics and weeks of solid, grass pounding rain have me in a bit of a funk.

    Da Worfster

  10. #10
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Ain' nothin' wrong wid bein' in a funk, W! Think we could all think about our handwashin' habits...'Specially since we're usin' blood 'n' soil fer soap, anyways....

  11. #11
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    Worf's first post jogged my memory. I remember a speech class I took in the late sixties, taught by a jewish fellow. I think it must have been to impress on us the power of oratory, he told us of the experience of his uncle in Germany in the early thirties. If memory serves, the uncle went to a Nazi rally out of curiosity, to see what it was all about. Hitler got the crowd keyed up, and began to chant "Destroy the Jews!" The uncle found himself caught up in it all, and found himself chanting the same thing. He quickly left the country.

    In the world as we find it today, we should all know when to cut and run...

    Laz

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