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Subject: Why we fought rss

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I visited KZ Mauthausen in Austria with my son earlier this month. A sobering experience, to say the least.

I've uploaded a few pictures here.







[originally posted under Historical Context; didn't realize that forum was being discontinued]
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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"What can men do against such reckless hate?"

Thanks for sharing.
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Sad experience ...
Have You try to climb the "stairs" to the stone-quarry?

I was there in 2005 with my family, coming from the bicentenary of Austerlitz near Brno, and going to Monaco of Bavaria we decided to go along the Danube and stop to visit the KZ.
The infamous stairs was covered with snow and, for me, go down and then up was a very very difficult exercise ... all the place has a strange sad negative aura and the silence fills the heart of a deep piety.
Thanks for sharing of your excellent images.

F.
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Jon
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The only camp I have been to was Bergen-Belsen back in the 80s.

It is really quite astounding what humans can do to one another when they put their mind to it. Truly a low point in history .... perhaps the lowest.

shake
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Matt & Laurel
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Thank you for posting those pictures.

Capt_S wrote:
The only camp I have been to was Bergen-Belsen back in the 80s.

It is really quite astounding what humans can do to one another when they put their mind to it. Truly a low point in history .... perhaps the lowest.

shake


Sadly so and it often seems like, despite the efforts of some, we continue not to learn the lessons of history.
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Andrew C
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This thread couldn't be more timely.

I know it doesn't compare to going to a real historic site, but for some reason, this morning I just watched the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan again.

I must be getting old, or perhaps it's having two boys that are growing up way too fast and who are very interested in the military, but I found that scene very disturbing, moreso than in the past. After watching the brutality for 15 minutes, I turned it off, shook my head, and muttered to myself "how can we do that to each other?"

I then walked upstairs to my half finished solo game of Storming the Reich (come to think of it, that is probably why I wanted to watch the opening scene of SPR) and realized I need to clear my head a bit before going back to it. So I logged on to BGG to screw around and this is the first thread I saw.

Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?
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Sean McCormick
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My grandparents both finished up the war there, along with their two oldest daughters. Their son was lost and abandoned in a Hungarian forest, and miraculously, they found him in an orphanage in Poland after the war.
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Cleitus the Black wrote:
Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?

I do not believe that you should have pangs of conscience about pushing cardboard counters around. Enjoy the game for what it is and remember/consider what the game represents, but do not beat yourself up for the actual events you are re-creating.

The pangs should be for those that actually affect living Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and non-combatants of any nation, but that do so without any consideration for their lives.



Edit: spelling
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Cleitus the Black wrote:
Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?

Nope.

And I have family members who fought on both sides of WWII, and family members who suffered under both Japanese and German occupation.
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Geoff Burkman
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Just as a side note, the documentary film, "Kz", is quite sobering as well and highly recommended.
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p55carroll
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While the subject is certainly sad and sobering, I have to question the thread title.

First off, who's "we" in this international community?

Secondly, who was aware of these death camps during the war and fighting because of them? Hardly anybody, I'd guess.

A better title for the thread, IMO, would be "Why it's good that the Nazis were defeated."
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I believe that it is a nod to the Frank Capra documentaries with a similar title ("Why We Fight").

Actually, did Capra direct them all? Wiki check ..... nope. Not all of them it seems.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
A better title for the thread, IMO, would be "Why it's good that the Nazis were defeated."
That's what they want us to think!
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I take a party of Year 11 pupils (15 and 16 year olds) to Berlin every year - 66 of them this year and already booked up for 85 or so next year. We go to KZ Sachsenhausen as the centrepiece of the trip. It is a source of hope and optimism to me to see the seriousness with which they take the visit. They are truly different people when they walk in and when they walk out.
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Gregory Smith
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Quote:
Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?


None at all.

The games are not real, nor a celebration of the events. Games for me are part of studying history. I play them because I find them challenging and fun, but also because playing them adds another dimension to the lessons learned from the history books that I read.

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p55carroll
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Cleitus the Black wrote:
I know it doesn't compare to going to a real historic site, but for some reason, this morning I just watched the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan again.

I must be getting old, or perhaps it's having two boys that are growing up way too fast and who are very interested in the military, but I found that scene very disturbing, moreso than in the past. After watching the brutality for 15 minutes, I turned it off, shook my head, and muttered to myself "how can we do that to each other?" ...

Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?

No, but I've had experiences similar to what you describe. Movies, photos, books, historical sites, and so forth are sometimes very sad, shocking, or disturbing. And I'm sure real war can be even more so.

Wargames almost always show a different face of war, and that one doesn't bother me. In fact, it's fun and interesting.

But I'm aware that there's that hideous face of war too. I just don't dwell on it.
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Dan Long
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"A thousand years will pass and still Germany's guilt will not have been erased." Nazi Administrator Hans Frank- convicted and executed at the Nuremberg Trials.....
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Ted Spencer
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Cleitus the Black wrote:
...Anyone else ever have a pang of conscience about playing at war?
No! My mother's younger brother died in WWII (at Metz) while her older brother was statesside conducting AA training. The younger brother was killed and the older brother went AWOL because he was not permitted to attend the funeral. Until he died he wished he had been sent to Europe.

I began to be interested in wargames in part to understand what the hell was going on. I've since forgotten that errant dream and honor those who served for what they accomplished. Me? Now I just play games. When they are wargames, I consider those who served.

My uncles knew what they were doing. I think the same could be said for every war and police action.

Sadly, I know too many who have served and died in recent wars. But that is very different than pushing cardboard.

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Dave Terhune
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I've been to Dachau. It is indeed a sobering experience.
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Capt_S wrote:
The only camp I have been to was Bergen-Belsen back in the 80s.

It is really quite astounding what humans can do to one another when they put their mind to it. Truly a low point in history .... perhaps the lowest.

shake


Don't forget Russia...
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Chris B
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Thanks for sharing.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
While the subject is certainly sad and sobering, I have to question the thread title.

First off, who's "we" in this international community?


We know the answer. We are grateful.
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Damjon wrote:
Capt_S wrote:
The only camp I have been to was Bergen-Belsen back in the 80s.

It is really quite astounding what humans can do to one another when they put their mind to it. Truly a low point in history .... perhaps the lowest.

shake


Don't forget Russia...


What are you refering to?
 
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Andreas
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Have a look at Laurence Rees "World War Two: Behind Closed Doors - Stalin, the Nazis and the West"...
I dont think that this war was fought for freeing concentration camps. This war was just another piece of realpolitik...
Of course with hindsight it can be claimed that it was fought against the evil that the 3rd Reich definitely was...
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Andy Daglish
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Quote:
Quote:
Don't forget Russia...


What are you refering to?


Magadan. 'Enemies of the people', which is to say political prisoners, were sent there to suffer for a long time before they died, though they did run a death camp for those who couldn't wait.

Camps inside the Greater Reich were not operated as extermination centres. Tens of thousands survived places like Mauthausen [it was Simon Wiesenthal's last stop on his murky transit through the camp system]. Millions were killed on arrival at the Operation Reinhard camps of Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor, during an 18-month period, and very few survived these. Thus there seems a possibility of confusion in taking schoolchildren to the bright lights of Berlin or Linz and putting in a visit to the local concentration camp, as they might equate it with something else. Recently a venerable historian bemoaned that hardly anyone bothers with squalid Belzec despite it being the third most important holocaust location.

this is interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeen_Moments_of_Spring

in return for surrendering Italy, SS boss Wolff was forgiven for sending the murdered Italian Jews to their deaths, which was via [but not in] Mauthausen.
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