Saturday, October 13, 2012

Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying

Highly recommended. There were also German tapes of Allied prisoners, but those have not yet been found!

Sönke Neitzel, Professor of International History, London School of Economics, discusses his investigations into the mind-set of the German fighting man during World War II. Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying, written with social psychologist Harald Welzer, is based on declassified transcripts of covert recordings taken within the confines of the holding cells, bedrooms, and camps that housed the German POWs, providing a view of the mentality of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the German navy.
See also What it was like, specifically:
Tapping Hitler's Generals: Transcripts of Secret Conversations, 1942-1945. Farm Hall for captured German generals. Who knew what, when? More here. Those tricky Englanders!
For more on Farm Hall, where German nuclear scientists were held and secretly taped, see The Heisenberg uncertainty.


Ken Condon said...

Fascinating. Near the end of the interview Neitzel mentions that the German prisoners were treated well by the English and this encouraged them to speak truthfully (outside of being bugged). One can carry this to the idea of torture, and it becomes obvious that if one wants to extract truthful information from another person you treat them well. Morality aside-torture plain does not work. Many interrogators know this-some don’t.

MtMoru said...

Part of the American ideology, part of the "Overton Window", is that the whole Wehrmacht were Nazis and Jew-haters, and to claim or even suggest otherwise is to lose friends.

From 1945 to now WW II has gone from a war for democracy a war against the expansion of Germany to a war against anti-Semites. Hmmmmm. I wonder why?

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