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View Full Version : how many admired old trainers were in the Hitler's Youth?



Lambie Boat
Dec. 8, 2006, 02:49 PM
I was just wondering. Not trying to 'out' them. I do know of several well loved charming older gentlemen trainers who were involved in the Hilter's Youth or other such organizations. I am just wondering how many are out there?

cosmos mom
Dec. 8, 2006, 02:52 PM
I hear the train a comin'...

Liz
Dec. 8, 2006, 03:03 PM
Come on, who thinks of this stuff.

Rooty
Dec. 8, 2006, 03:12 PM
Lots of people do stupid things in their youth...

Moll
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:02 PM
Probably all the German trainers alive then. It was pretty much mandatory.

DieBlaueReiterin
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:06 PM
Probably all the German trainers alive then. It was pretty much mandatory.

haha yeah i was gonna say the same thing...it was kinda expected that you would join. doesn't really say anything about the person...just something people did back then. i don't see why it matters at all. i lived in germany and if i would have asked a question like that i would have insulted everyone within hearing distance and earned myself a reputation for being a very insensitive foreigner.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:14 PM
Wow, what an awful and insensitive topic. What connection this really has to anything that is relevant about modern dressage, I have no idea. I hope it is closed.

cosmos mom
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:16 PM
I would second closing this topic. It rather sux.

eventing-n-SD
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:20 PM
I third closing the topic.

andy
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:27 PM
I do know that Klaus Balkenhol and his father were involved in the police action AGAINST Hitler and worked to SAVE many jews

Erin
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:32 PM
If you don't like the topic, don't reply to it. :rolleyes:

lark_b
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:44 PM
Probably most who are of that "age." As someone else said, it was mandatory and didn't necessarily have a thing to do with personal sentiment. Even if it did have to do with that, it's been 60 years--people change. Not to mention it's total lack of relevance to skill.

I'm a Jew, and I wouldn't have any problem riding with one of "those trainers." What people did 60 year ago as frightened teens is unlikely to have any bearing on how they currently live their lives and teach their students.

physical.energy
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:45 PM
Since George Theodorescue is Romanian and fled from the nazi's you can put him on the list of not involved.
Ditto Lark b.... as a jew I have never had any problem riding with any of the german master that have come here. I am happy for their knowledge and never have thought about where they were during the war. Down deep inside I guess I already accept that may be a part of their past and I forgive them for anything they did under the circumstances. It is not like there was a choice to be involved. Do or die. I guess I have compassion for their circumstance as well as my family who were in concentration camps.

Lambie Boat
Dec. 8, 2006, 04:57 PM
thank you Erin. I did try to delete it immediately after pushing send. I have no idea why I was thinking about this lately. If wondering about something is a crime, slap the cuffs on.

Posting Trot
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:10 PM
Why shouldn't we think about the past? It may not be relevant to their ability to ride, but it might be relevant to a person's decision to ride with them.

I'm a historian; the past is real for me.

hluing
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:14 PM
I actually think it is an interesting question. I agree what someone did in thier youth is not a direct correlation with the person they are today...but it does give you pause. I would certianly hope people would not want to forget or push under the rug the horrible things that occured in Nazi Germany. But it is thankfully not the Germany of today. When I went to Germany for the first time I had a very hard time imagining that it could have occured in such a beautiful place with such warm people. But it was a somewhat chilling realization that it did.

Moll
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:26 PM
I do know that Klaus Balkenhol and his father were involved in the police action AGAINST Hitler and worked to SAVE many jews

As Klaus was born in 1939, what a precocious little lad he was.

eventing-n-SD
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:39 PM
I actually think it is an interesting question. I agree what someone did in thier youth is not a direct correlation with the person they are today...but it does give you pause. I would certianly hope people would not want to forget or push under the rug the horrible things that occured in Nazi Germany. But it is thankfully not the Germany of today.

I agree with you completely. The reason I thought the thread should be closed is because of the likelyhood of this topic turning into a major flame-o-thon (we've seen it happen with much more mundane subjects). It is a sensitive topic, at least for me, and I'm sure for many others who participate in this forum. What happened in that time in history should NEVER be forgotten nor swept under the rug.

Canadian Starz
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:40 PM
:confused: Let's start a topic, with "all those Dressage Riders with holes in their Butts....raise their hands! :confused:
Try thinking of something to make a Constructive difference in this world! :yes:

Sakura
Dec. 8, 2006, 05:47 PM
Why shouldn't we think about the past? It may not be relevant to their ability to ride, but it might be relevant to a person's decision to ride with them.

I'm a historian; the past is real for me.

Interesting point. We visited Tokyo Disney Land when we lived in Japan... they have a "ride" that covers the entire history of Japan from its very volcanic creation to modern day... well almost the entire history, they conviniently left out their involvement in WWII by blacking out the screen and saying that "Japan endured a ~dark` period..." :rolleyes:. Putting your head in the sand and pretending certain events did not happen because they make you feel uncomfortable is not a way to learn from past mistakes.

YoungFilly
Dec. 8, 2006, 06:06 PM
There is nothing wrong with the topic. I can't think of any that were in Hitlers Youth, but I think it was a mandatory program, not something you had a choice about if you lived in Germany at the time. On another interesting note though, Hitler HATED horses, and wanted to kill all of the lippizanners.

sid
Dec. 8, 2006, 06:25 PM
I think it was mandatory too. My best friend's father was a young Nazi soldier (I think he was a cook) early in the war, was taken prisoner and was sent to Ft. Levinworth. It was there that he was able to see how propoganda and fear were at work with many Nazi youth, including himself.

Youth filled with propoganda and fear...hard to hold that against anyone.

inca
Dec. 8, 2006, 06:37 PM
Um, the Lippizans were definitely in danger during WWII but I'm not sure Hitler hating horses and wanting to kill the Lippizans is a correct statement. I don't think the German Army would have done much in the war without horses. Back then, horses were still used by the army.

The Lippizans were in danger from bombing raids (not necessarily aimed at the horses) and scarce food. Then there was the fear that when the area fell to the Soviets that the horses would be slaughtered for horse meat by the Soviets (not by Hitler.)

mp
Dec. 8, 2006, 06:52 PM
how the OP expects to get an answer to that question on this board. So far, no posts that say "ya, I vass in der Hitler Jugend." Or former students telling of any indiscreet reminiscences after too much schnapps.

Maybe PMs?

YoungFilly
Dec. 8, 2006, 06:58 PM
Um, the Lippizans were definitely in danger during WWII but I'm not sure Hitler hating horses and wanting to kill the Lippizans is a correct statement. I don't think the German Army would have done much in the war without horses. Back then, horses were still used by the army.

The Lippizans were in danger from bombing raids (not necessarily aimed at the horses) and scarce food. Then there was the fear that when the area fell to the Soviets that the horses would be slaughtered for horse meat by the Soviets (not by Hitler.)

Seriously, I saw it on the history channel. The Lippizans did a private show for him, where he and his wife were sitting in chairs in the middle of the areana. They said that he hated horses, and wanted to distroy them all, or at least the Lippizans. I will go see if I can find anything on the net to back up my claim. Its possible I am not remembering that correctly.

Edited :UGH, just go check the first link on google with this in the search "hitler hated horses" Thats horrible.

Here is a link. Do a search of it for Hitlers name.
http://www.dererstezug.com/VetMaier.htm

Sakura
Dec. 8, 2006, 07:01 PM
Seriously, I saw it on the history channel. The Lippizans did a private show for him, where he and his wife were sitting in chairs in the middle of the areana. They said that he hated horses, and wanted to distroy them all, or at least the Lippizans. I will go see if I can find anything on the net to back up my claim. Its possible I am not remembering that correctly.

Supposedly it was illegal to name a horse Adolph in Nazi Germany (there's some useless horse trivia for you).

inca
Dec. 8, 2006, 07:03 PM
Well, I am NOT a history buff so maybe that is true. No mention of it I could find but I didn't do an extensive search. The man was insane so I guess it would not surprise me!

Dalfan
Dec. 8, 2006, 07:18 PM
Then there was the fear that when the area fell to the Soviets that the horses would be slaughtered for horse meat by the Soviets (not by Hitler.)

It was General Patton who saved the Lips


The Lippizans did a private show for him, where he and his wife were sitting in chairs in the middle of the areana.

I believe they put on a demonstration for Gen. Patton (being a horse lover) to convince him to save the horses from the Russians.

MEP
Dec. 8, 2006, 07:30 PM
Interesting point. We visited Tokyo Disney Land when we lived in Japan... they have a "ride" that covers the entire history of Japan from its very volcanic creation to modern day... well almost the entire history, they conviniently left out their involvement in WWII by blacking out the screen and saying that "Japan endured a ~dark` period..." :rolleyes:. Putting your head in the sand and pretending certain events did not happen because they make you feel uncomfortable is not a way to learn from past mistakes.

I'll agree with some earlier observations - when I first saw the thread title, I though Uh-Oh, but there have been some thoughtful and interesting answers demonstrating that people have some understanding of what social circumstances and political movements can force people to do.

As far as the "dark period" in Japan is concerned, that statement is, I believe, for Japan a pretty open acknowledgement of the horror that the country and people initiated and experienced. I am hardly an expert on Japanese culture and history, but from what I've seen and heard over the years, shame is a very strong concept and taboo in Japanese culture, so to even acknowledge something "dark" is shameful. That is most likely a very strong and clear message to Japanese - while it may seem too weak and unclear to foreigners from the US, Canada, or Europe where we have to have whole museums with graphic reminders as to what happened. And actually, when you come to think of it, we in North America have taken a very long time to acknowledge some of our darker moments - say with Native Americans.

So, to move back to dressage, understanding and forgiveness on our part for those trainers who experienced coersion to participate in an overwhelmingly powerful movement in their youth is certainly the mature approach.

inca
Dec. 8, 2006, 07:36 PM
It was General Patton who saved the Lips

I never said who saved the Lippizans - I do know it was Patton. He saved them AFTER the area they were in fell behind Russian lines.

ideayoda
Dec. 8, 2006, 08:20 PM
THe picture of the lipps cantering around the people in the middle of the arena was them riding around Eva Braun because they knew she was terrified of horses. It was supposedly to show how well trained they were.

And yes, we all know who you are referring to, in the OP. And so what it was almost 70 years ago, and required of the children.

mazu
Dec. 8, 2006, 11:19 PM
Interesting point. We visited Tokyo Disney Land when we lived in Japan... they have a "ride" that covers the entire history of Japan from its very volcanic creation to modern day... well almost the entire history, they conviniently left out their involvement in WWII by blacking out the screen and saying that "Japan endured a ~dark` period..." :rolleyes:. Putting your head in the sand and pretending certain events did not happen because they make you feel uncomfortable is not a way to learn from past mistakes.

I agree with the general point, but I wouldn't take the Disney Land thing as any "head-in-the-sand" thing. It's Disney Land! Were I, by some horrible accident, to become a parent, I think I'd be a bit upset to have my kid(s) introduced to rape, genocide, and bayonets by Daffy Duck.

It's an interesting topic, and I appreciate that it's being discussed so respectfully. I can't imagine that it's easy for anyone who was in the Hitler Youth to live with that fact.

Alagirl
Dec. 9, 2006, 12:09 AM
I am pretty sure, if Hitler had wanted to destroy the Lippizans, he had ample time to do so (Austria was annexed in 38....)

It is safe to assume that all the BNTs (real or imagined) born before - oh, say 36 or there about (my dad was born then) where old enough to be HJ member, which was at one point mandatory (girls, too had their little group, BDM, Bund Deutscher Maedchen)....at least they didn't inhale....

sweetfern
Dec. 9, 2006, 12:49 AM
My mother was in the Hitler Youth. She is dead now.
Do I do dressage 'cause she was in the HY????
Or am I just evil???

??????????????WTF??????????????

dray
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:02 AM
Hitler murdered many Latvian horses and the women trainers and riders who stood beside them, even young girls. I saw many photographs of this. It made my heart sick. He was a mad man and full of evil (like Osama and his ilke) and I think, although it is a difficult subject, it is important to realize that this type of atrocity did happen and that we must not ever bury our heads in the sand.

I hope that we understand that our culture and freedoms as always to be protected with vigilence.

I am not offended by this question. Questions and discussions are how we learn.

Donna
Carson Farm
www.sportequine.com

Horsedances
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:22 AM
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I don't take this attitude "Befehl ist Befehl"

And please let these kind of discussions flow to another BB, because the now living generation of Germans has nothing to do with the mistakes their grandpa's or daddy's made.

And if you want to know : all files are public since 1995.

Theo

Alagirl
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:25 AM
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I don't take this attitude "Befehl ist Befehl"

And please let these kind of discussions flow to another BB, because the now living generation of Germans has nothing to do with the mistakes their grandpa's or daddy's made.

And if you want to know : all files are public since 1995.

Theo


I take it you are a post 45 model....

abrant
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:26 AM
I listened to Dr. Ernestine Schlant (better known as Bill Bradley's wife) lecture once about growing up in Germany during WWII and a new generation of Germans learning to deal with the Holocaust and the role of their country/family. She was WONDERFUL. A lot about speaking out and trying to understand. (she wrote "The Language of Silence: West German Literature and the Holocaust")

After hearing her speak, I once wrote a paper in a college history course about how the German people shouldn't be broadbrushed as Nazis and should not be considered 'to blame' for the Holocaust. (The paper was supposed to be about the graphic novel "Maus" and the thesis was that the German people should not have been portrayed as cats.) The professor RIPPED ME TO PIECES. The best part was when he suggested I read a specific book about the holocaust. I flipped to several footnotes and the bibliography showing in fact, I had read the book and used it in my paper (it was required reading for another course). His reaction was mostly knee-jerk. I later showed the paper to the prof who I had taken "Holocausts in History" with (a JEW!) and he had no issues with it (probably because it was based a lot on his lectures, profs like it when you can reguritate what they say, lol).

Point being, it's a sensitive topic. I'd still afraid to touch it after having that history prof going after me like that. But I still believe, you can empathize with the Germans without being a Nazi. My history prof didn't believe this.

Anywho...

I always wondered what Alois Podhajsky's place was in WWI? Anyone know?

~Adrienne

islandrider
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:56 AM
I worked for a guy who wrote about formula one drivers in the time of Hitler. It was drama, it was an age. Will one day someone ask, "how many top trainers rode in the time of Bush?" Hear those trains a'comin!

Alagirl
Dec. 9, 2006, 03:01 AM
I worked for a guy who wrote about formula one drivers in the time of Hitler. It was drama, it was an age. Will one day someone ask, "how many top trainers rode in the time of Bush?" Hear those trains a'comin!


Thank goodness we don't have to be party members to do what we want to do, not even with Bush. However, the situation wasn't this way back then. To lead a choir you had to be a party member...and from a certain point in time, you where old enough you where either HJ (boys) or BDM(girls) no getting around.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 9, 2006, 09:01 AM
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:


And please let these kind of discussions flow to another BB, because the now living generation of Germans has nothing to do with the mistakes their grandpa's or daddy's made.


Theo

That was my point. What relevance does a topic like this even have with dressage not to mention how offensive this must be to some of our European board members?

Kareen
Dec. 9, 2006, 10:21 AM
I don't feel offended. Being asked questions about this part of our history is something I think we Germans are obliged to live with and questions like this are legitimate. It's true the archives are open like Horsedances says but I feel that keeping up some kind of public memory of what went on will help to make sure such thing may never happen again.
As for the matter: I too would assume most men of this age-group were members unless they were threatened and kicked out by the Nazis before WWII started or managed to be lucky enough to escape in time.

EqTrainer
Dec. 9, 2006, 12:38 PM
I have just read the first few posts on this thread so forgive if it has already been said, but for those people, "joining" was all about staying alive, if nothing else. A situation none of us can relate to.

nhwr
Dec. 9, 2006, 01:41 PM
I don't know about trainers but I know some people who grew up in Germany during and after the war. It sounds like survival was very difficult, particlarly towards the end of the war and after. As an American citizen wondering how we can justify the decisions of our idiot president and our exploits in Iraq to history and the world, I wouldn't make a lot of judgements about what some German people did in order to survive.

Horsedances
Dec. 9, 2006, 02:07 PM
I don't know about trainers but I know some people who grew up in Germany during and after the war. It sounds like survival was very difficult, particlarly towards the end of the war and after. As an American citizen wondering how we can justify the decisions of our idiot president and our exploits in Iraq to history and the world, I wouldn't make a lot of judgements about what some German people did in order to survive.

This whole thing could only happen because Germany was in a deep depression at that time. You probably can manipulate people much easier when they think that they have nothing to loose.

Theo

fargonefarm
Dec. 9, 2006, 03:22 PM
I am sure that the OP did not bring up this topic so that anyone could be judged. I for one find my trainers backgrounds, my idol's backgrounds, etc., to be of great interest because I feel that it has more than likely helped to shape who they are today - for better or for worse. If a BNT was indeed part of anything to do with Hitler or his youth movement, does that make them bad or worthy of assigning blame or stigma to? Of course not. Are their experiences worth noting? Of course.

As human beings we have choices. We can choose to focus on the mundane and "safe" and never challenge our thinking or analyze past mistakes. And however "safe" we may feel then, we will never exercise our moral compass and critical thinking abilities, which by the way, I consider a horrible crime. Throughout history, great atrocities have occurred. Should we close our eyes and keep chanting "move on and forget" or should we think critically about what has happened and choose to learn. I think choosing to study and learn is our responsibility as human beings. We have been given the gift of rational thinking - the only mammal capable of doing so - so thus it is our gift and our responsibility. Should anyone want to criticize anyone else of being insensitive because they brought up a question that is not normally discussed or one that many feel is taboo - then go back to reading your threads on bits, bling, and what Anky was wearing last week. I'm sure you'll be happy there.

I'm sure that those German trainers that may or may not have been involved in Hitler's army, whether forcibly or not, have much to offer not just from an equestrian perspective, but from a human one as well.

fargonefarm
Dec. 9, 2006, 03:26 PM
Our current Pope was a member of Hitler's youth. It was forced upon most young German's at the time. It has no bearing on what or who these young men and women are now.

Karoline
Dec. 9, 2006, 03:48 PM
Clearly there was no choice.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hitler_youth.htm

"...The Hitler Youth was a logical extension of Hitler's belief that the future of Nazi Germany was its children. The Hitler Youth was seen as being as important to a child as school was. In the early years of the Nazi government, Hitler had made it clear as to what he expected German children to be like:

"The weak must be chiselled away. I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel."

Nazi education schemes part fitted in with this but Hitler wanted to occupy the minds of the young in Nazi Germany even more.

Movements for youngsters were part of German culture and the Hitler Youth had been created in the 1920's. By 1933 its membership stood at 100,000. After Hitler came to power, all other youth movements were abolished and as a result the Hitler Youth grew quickly. In 1936, the figure stood at 4 million members. In 1936, it became all but compulsory to join the Hitler Youth. Youths could avoid doing any active service if they paid their subscription but this became all but impossible after 1939.

The Hitler Youth catered for 10 to 18 year olds. There were separate organisations for boys and girls. The task of the boys section was to prepare the boys for military service. For girls, the organisation prepared them for motherhood.

Boys at 10, joined the Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People) until the age of 13 when they transferred to the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) until the age of 18. In 1936, the writer J R Tunus wrote about the activities of the Hitler Jugend. He stated that part of their "military athletics" (Wehrsport) included marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defence, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire and pistol shooting.

Girls, at the age of 10, joined the Jungmadelbund (League of Young Girls) and at the age of 14 transferred to the Bund Deutscher Madel (League of German Girls). Girls had to be able to run 60 metres in 14 seconds, throw a ball 12 metres, complete a 2 hour march, swim 100 metres and know how to make a bed.

"Every girl belongs to us" League of German Maidens poster

The whole Hitler Youth movement was overseen by Balder von Shirach.

To the outside world, the Hitler Youth seemed to personify German discipline. In fact, this image was far from accurate. School teachers complained that boys and girls were so tired from attending evening meetings of the Hitler Youth, that they could barely stay awake the next day at school. Also by 1938, attendance at Hitler Youth meetings was so poor - barely 25% - that the authorities decided to tighten up attendance with the 1939 law making attendance compulsory.

Karoline
Dec. 9, 2006, 03:50 PM
More information here. Really quite fascinating from a propaganda, brain washing standpoint. And quite repeatable anywhere fear mongering install itself.

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/index.html

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

The faces of some of these boy soldiers are very telling.

Posting Trot
Dec. 9, 2006, 04:13 PM
But would you take dressage lessons from the Pope? (just kidding).

Wikipedia has a good article on the Hitler Youth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Youth

Ooops, I see Karoline beat me to the posting of the Wiki link.

lark_b
Dec. 9, 2006, 04:30 PM
Throughout history, great atrocities have occurred. Should we close our eyes and keep chanting "move on and forget" or should we think critically about what has happened and choose to learn.

I haven't seen a single person on this thread say that we should just forget what happened. I HAVE seen a lot of people say that what people did 60 years ago probably has very litle bearing on how they feel today and has even less bearing on their training abilities. That's not at all the same thing as "just forget about it." But there has to be room for individual people to grow out past their personal history. It's important to remember the events that occurred in the aggregate, but if those events don't significantly color what an individual does today, then their personal history is their own.

When I was 12 I stole something from one of my parents. I am now more than twice that age and they STILL BRING IT UP, even though I haven't stolen a thing since, have a bachelor's degree and 1.75 master's degrees, live on my own, and financially independent, you get the picture. It's important to remember that people steal so that we can protect ourselves from them as necessary, but it is really not necessary and doesn't get anyone anything to keep bringing up the individual incident since it has little bearing on my current life. Since I long ago learned my lesson, it does nothing but make me feel bad and like nothing I ever do can overshadow that one thing. Obviously the scale here is different, but I think the concept is similar.

JAGold
Dec. 9, 2006, 06:22 PM
Membership in Hitler's Youth may have been mandatory, but that does not mean it was universal. Many people resisted -- at great risk to their own careers and personal safety.

Does having been a member of Hitler's Youth in one's childhood or teens undermine one's ability to train horses and riders now? No. But does having had the courage and strength to say "no" to a reprehensible social movement reflect favorably on anyone -- horse trainer or otherwise -- who made that decision make me respect that person more? Yes, absolutely. And all things being equal, I'd prefer a trainer whose moral courage I have reason to admire to one who -- whatever the reason -- made a less courageous or just decision in the past.

The decisions people made and actions they took in their youth, in a time of great turmoil, great fear, and tremendous pressure and propaganda, do not define them. But they are also not completely wiped out of history. --Jess

Daydream Believer
Dec. 9, 2006, 07:44 PM
I haven't seen a single person on this thread say that we should just forget what happened. I HAVE seen a lot of people say that what people did 60 years ago probably has very litle bearing on how they feel today and has even less bearing on their training abilities. That's not at all the same thing as "just forget about it." But there has to be room for individual people to grow out past their personal history. It's important to remember the events that occurred in the aggregate, but if those events don't significantly color what an individual does today, then their personal history is their own.



Yes, this is what I meant by my earlier posts. I just don't see how one person's actions under 18 years old...to join a mandatory paramilitary organization, in a time of great social upheaval and war could ever be held against them. :no: I'll bet 95% of the people on this forum would have done the very same thing.

JAGold
Dec. 9, 2006, 10:33 PM
Yes, this is what I meant by my earlier posts. I just don't see how one person's actions under 18 years old...to join a mandatory paramilitary organization, in a time of great social upheaval and war could ever be held against them. :no: I'll bet 95% of the people on this forum would have done the very same thing.
People are responsible for their own actions, even in a time of great social upheaval and war. This has been established by many socities in many different times (e.g. the Nuremberg Trials).

These actions don't necessarily detract from a person's riding or training ability, but they are a part of his or her history. It's one thing to take past actions in context, and another to ignore them all together.

And I hope to hell that I don't live in a society where 95% of the people can be intimidated into ignoring the difference between right and wrong. --Jess

sweetfern
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:15 AM
OMG!!!!!!!

I just read in the "Off Course" forum (2006 "Best Of The BB" Awards - come vote for your favs!) that .............. Hitler developed rollkur!!!

It is so clear to me now!!!!!!!!

Karoline
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:28 AM
People are responsible for their own actions, even in a time of great social upheaval and war. This has been established by many socities in many different times (e.g. the Nuremberg Trials).

These actions don't necessarily detract from a person's riding or training ability, but they are a part of his or her history. It's one thing to take past actions in context, and another to ignore them all together.

And I hope to hell that I don't live in a society where 95% of the people can be intimidated into ignoring the difference between right and wrong. --Jess

Let me say this before I answer. I have been in the hospital for 10 days now (great computer in the lounge) attending my mom who is very sick. I was browsing and saw this thread which is very close to my heart- hence I am posting.

I am French and I was raised with hyper awareness of the holocaust. I have also studied propaganda at the masters level at NYU.

Now, what society do you think you are leaving in now that speaks in terms of Good and Evil, invaded a foreign country for false reasons (no wdms), is rewriting the rules on torture, is listening to its citizens and is lobbying for prayer in schools, blind xenophobia and is fostering a us agaisnt them sentiment amongst its population. The red alert, the yellow alert, the advice to buy tape and plastic sheeting, no liquids on airplanes, fear and terror are such a useful tool to get people to relinquish their rights and then their wills willingly.

Dont think because there are no swastikas, no flags, no shining boots and ridiculous mustaches that the same kind of fanaticism is not at work. Kids who were born in Germany back then had no choice, they did not know the difference. Their parents did but by the time they woke up, for most normal, simple folks their lives had become about survival, not ideology.

Neuremberg was after the facts, and not everyone got their just desserts either. Find out how many Nazis were able to escape to South America - sort of the same way a seven foot tall terrorist was able to escape unoticed from afghanistan.

Now, if any of these trainers still arbor the same beliefs and that is public record then as far as I am concerned they should be shunned publicly. Otherwise, why bring it up?

Velvet
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:34 AM
I think some people take political correctness to far. You can answer. You can remember. Those who don't remember are doomed to repeat history.

It wasn't pretty, but most things humans do on this planet are often not pretty (just look at what Paris Hilton has done to herself--everyone could learn a lesson there :lol: ).

Personally, I knew, admired, and learned a LOT from a German trainer who had absolutely no choice but to join the cavalry. He was forced to use his wonderful horses in the service of his country. He believed in his country, but not necessarily his leader (something I can definitely relate to these days :rolleyes: ). He was sent to the Russian front and had to see most of his families horses eaten when the soldiers were starving. He immediately left his country after the war, leaving behind all his families estates, his position, etc. It was not really a choice.

I guess talking about this doesn't smack of rehashing WWII, per se, but rather someone is asking a question they find interesting. There's nothing wrong with it. It's history. If you did something bad, you can be forgiven--but the world will never forget, and maybe it shouldn't.

I think we all need to talk about things. Heck, there are a TON of people out here who aren't afraid of showing their complete ignorance about dressage (and it's amazing that many of them are actually trying to act like experts) and then expect people to just accept them and/or give them positive feedback in their posts. And since the education system in the U.S. is steadily declining (I think it goes along with the lowering of IQs, personally ;) ), you can only expect to have more people out needing to be instructed in historical information. Use these questions as opportunities, people. It's not a bad thing. No one asked for names. :no:

Sabine
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:38 AM
Let me say this before I answer. I have been in the hospital for 10 days now attending my mom who is very sick. I was browsing and saw this thread which is very close to my heart- hence I am posting.

I am French and I was raised with hyper awareness of the holocaust. I have also studied propaganda at the masters level at NYU.

Now, what society do you think you are leaving in now that speaks in terms of Good and Evil, invaded a foreign country for false reasons (no wdms), is rewriting the rules on torture, is listening to its citizens and is lobbying for prayer in schools, blind xenophobia and is fostering a us agaisnt them sentiment amongst its population.

Dont think because there are no swastikas, no flags, no shining boots and ridiculous mustaches that the same kind of fanaticism is not at work.
Hope your mom gets better, that's much more important. :)
I agree with your statement one hundred percent. What happened then is happening now in a smaller format but still- same thing.

As far as trainers from this time....I was taught by an Hungarian Military who lived in Munich in the 50's but was active in the war and probably at one time fought against the other guy I was trained by- who was a member of the HJ and later in the military- a military rider and trainer. Ironical...LOL~ also my family took severe losses during the Hitler time- drama equal or worse than the usual kind- and I am very aware of the post war German numbness- the inflicted guilt and lack of identity...it was the syndrome of the youth that grew up in the fifties and sixties...although we did not participate in anything- we sure suffered what is called 'ERBSUENDE'.

Velvet
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:39 AM
Now, what society do you think you are leaving in now that speaks in terms of Good and Evil, invaded a foreign country for false reasons (no wdms), is rewriting the rules on torture, is listening to its citizens and is lobbying for prayer in schools, blind xenophobia and is fostering a us agaisnt them sentiment amongst its population. The red alert, the yellow alert, the advice to buy tape and plastic sheeting, no liquids on airplanes, fear and terror are such a useful tool to get people to relinquish their rights and then their wills willingly.

Amen, and amen, sister. (Except to prayer in school IF someone wants to pray. Not that it should be mandatory. We need to keep religious freedoms.)

Fear is SUCH a practical tool. Tell the kids there is a boogey man under the bed and they won't leave it at night. Makes it easier to control them. Oh, and give up your freedoms in the hopes of finding security. Sorry, there is NO SUCH THING while you're alive on this world. Not gonna happen. Life happens. No one, especially not the government, can keep you completely safe. Giving up freedoms for a sense of security is what leads to dictatorships and a complete loss of all freedom. Get rid of government oversight. Get back to state control and having individuals actually have to be RESPONSIBLE and held ACCOUNTABLE for their own actions. Oh, wait, people will have to think and will have to care about others. My bad. :lol:

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:03 AM
Let me say this before I answer. I have been in the hospital for 10 days now (great computer in the lounge) attending my mom who is very sick. I was browsing and saw this thread which is very close to my heart- hence I am posting.

I am French and I was raised with hyper awareness of the holocaust. I have also studied propaganda at the masters level at NYU.

Now, what society do you think you are leaving in now that speaks in terms of Good and Evil, invaded a foreign country for false reasons (no wdms), is rewriting the rules on torture, is listening to its citizens and is lobbying for prayer in schools, blind xenophobia and is fostering a us agaisnt them sentiment amongst its population. The red alert, the yellow alert, the advice to buy tape and plastic sheeting, no liquids on airplanes, fear and terror are such a useful tool to get people to relinquish their rights and then their wills willingly.

Dont think because there are no swastikas, no flags, no shining boots and ridiculous mustaches that the same kind of fanaticism is not at work. Kids who were born in Germany back then had no choice, they did not know the difference. Their parents did but by the time they woke up, for most normal, simple folks their lives had become about survival, not ideology.

Neuremberg was after the facts, and not everyone got their just desserts either. Find out how many Nazis were able to escape to South America - sort of the same way a seven foot tall terrorist was able to escape unoticed from afghanistan.

Now, if any of these trainers still arbor the same beliefs and that is public record then as far as I am concerned they should be shunned publicly. Otherwise, why bring it up?

Wow have you misunderstood nearly everything I said. I do not support the US policy towards Iraq, and more than half of Americans agree with me. There are NOT 95% of us willing to go along with whatever Bush says. And there are a LOT of people who are willing to speak out and say that the administration has been down the wrong path. The efforts of those people are finally starting to pay off; Rumsfeld is out, the incoming Secretary of State is less ideologically and politically vested in current policy in Iraq, there are important and necessary changes being made with regards to detainment policy, etc. All this because we didn't have 95% of the population willing to just go along.

The Nuremberg Trials established the principle that being told to do something is not acceptible justification for doing the wrong (illegal, immoral) thing. The clear outcome of the Nuremberg trials was that international society considers people responsible for their own actions even if they were "just following orders." Whether or not everyone was caught (of course not) is not the question here at all. The question was whether being in a time of upheaval and war was justification for doing something despicable. It was not, and Nuremberg demonstrated that the international community recognized that.

Finally, children too young to make their own decisions may not have had any choice about whether or not to join movements like Hitler's Youth, but teenagers were old enough to make their own decisions and are therefore responsible for them (again, within the context). There were teenagers leading and playing critical roles in the resistance in Germany and other countries. They clearly understood and made different decisions; it was possible. --Jess

Velvet
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:14 AM
Hmm. I must be on a LOT of ignore lists. :lol:

Maybe I should at least write back a message to Erin (who can't ignore me, even though she'd probably like to).

Erin, can you believe I agree with you that this should be left out here? Don't worry, I'll wait the necessary years for you to die of old age before expecting to see you rolling in your grave. ;)

lark_b
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:18 AM
And I hope to hell that I don't live in a society where 95% of the people can be intimidated into ignoring the difference between right and wrong. --Jess

You do. For three reasons.

1. What is right and wrong is subjective. Would YOU ever eat a dog, a horse, or another human? Would you have multiple spouses? Probably not, but there are cultures where these things are accepted and aren't considered wrong. 200 years ago, black people in this country were treated like livestock. We would never do that now, but if you lived 200 years ago you would because you were told that's all they were. It all depends on perspective and what you were taught.

2. What is wrong can be spun to look right. You can always lie lie lie to make it seem like what you're doing is right. The German people as a whole had no idea what was really happening to the Jews and other persecuted groups, and most of the German Army didn't either. The Hitler Youth definitely didn't! Sure, there was negative rhetoric, but they didn't know what was actually HAPPENING to them--they knew the Jews didn't live as well as they did (why should they, they're a lesser race) but they didn't know they were being slaughtered. At the same time that they have no idea about the true fate of the Jews these are people that are told constantly that they are the master race, that they are better than everyone else and this is something to be defended and is leading to a better future for their children. Publicly, there was NO OTHER OPPOSING viewpoint out there. The Nazis did a very throrough job of brainwashing the German people. They were striking a balance between fear for their own well-being, the dogma they had been schooled in, and just trying to live their lives as trouble-free as possible. They weren't IGNORING the difference between right and wrong, they simply had the parts that were so bad that they would have been forced to do something hidden from them.

3. Compliance with the group is a biological imperative. Even modern humans with intact higher functions struggle with overcoming it. There have been some very interesting studies done about a) how far you will take it when someone in a position of authority tells you to do something, even if you know it's wrong, and b) how difficult it is to break out of the group when they are all doing the same thing. I can give you specific examples if you like, but the bottom line is that it has been proven over and over again in scientific ways that it is a lot harder to break away from the group than we think it is. Edit: Just because we are legally responsible even if we were "just following orders" does not mean it isn't a VERY powerful tactic to get behaviors out of people. We did not have the research then that we do now about human motivation. We all say, "well I would never let a woman get murdered while I looked on" but it HAPPENS. Normal people, educated people, civilized people, like you and me. So even if they knew it was wrong and were stupid enough to risk themselves and their families to say so, they have to overcome this very significant part of human psychology. Don't understimate it.

You DO live in a society where 95% of people can become confused about right and wrong, but it's more complicated than intimidation--many of the German people were brainwashed to really believe it, not just be intimidated into compliance. The Germans were just normal people like we are, and with a similar "perfect storm" of political, economic and social circumstances we could find ourselves right back there. Don't think we're any better than they were... the psychology of the human mind hasn't changed in 70 years.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:40 AM
2. What is wrong can be spun to look right. You can always lie lie lie to make it seem like what you're doing is right. The German people as a whole had no idea what was really happening to the Jews and other persecuted groups, and most of the German Army didn't either. The Hitler Youth definitely didn't! Sure, there was negative rhetoric, but they didn't know what was actually HAPPENING to them--they knew the Jews didn't live as well as they did (why should they, they're a lesser race) but they didn't know they were being slaughtered. At the same time that they have no idea about the true fate of the Jews these are people that are told constantly that they are the master race, that they are better than everyone else and this is something to be defended and is leading to a better future for their children. Publicly, there was NO OTHER OPPOSING viewpoint out there. The Nazis did a very throrough job of brainwashing the German people. They were striking a balance between fear for their own well-being, the dogma they had been schooled in, and just trying to live their lives as trouble-free as possible. They weren't IGNORING the difference between right and wrong, they simply had the parts that were so bad that they would have been forced to do something hidden from them.
I don't have time to reply to your whole post now, but I do want to answer this part. I think you are underestimating the information that was available. There WAS a resistance movement inside Germany -- clearly, those involved had enough information to know that whatever was going on, it was worth risking their lives to fight against. And all Germans knew that Jews were forced to wear Stars of David, that they were being rounded up and vanishing, that their property was being confiscated...even "just" those parts are very seriously bad. It should not require actually seeing concentration camps to know that something very bad is happening. --Jess

lark_b
Dec. 10, 2006, 02:00 AM
I don't have time to reply to your whole post now, but I do want to answer this part. I think you are underestimating the information that was available. There WAS a resistance movement inside Germany -- clearly, those involved had enough information to know that whatever was going on, it was worth risking their lives to fight against. And all Germans knew that Jews were forced to wear Stars of David, that they were being rounded up and vanishing, that their property was being confiscated...even "just" those parts are very seriously bad. It should not require actually seeing concentration camps to know that something very bad is happening. --Jess

Sure, there was a resistance movement. But you said 95%, right? Only death and taxes apply to EVERYONE :). Maybe those people has more information than the standard German. Maybe they had personal experiences that made them more resistant to the brainwashing. But the regular, run-of-the-mill German was going on the general information everyone had. Knowing that another group of people that you have been taught to think of as no better than cattle are being forced to wear Stars of David and are their property is being taken would frankly not be a big enough deal to make 95% of people put themselves and their families in danger. It would be like saving that cow going to slaughter by putting your head in front of the bolt instead of his. It just doesn't make sense in the context of the propoganda they were given--Jews were lesser beings, so in order to put yourself on the line for them you need to have personal information that tells you they AREN'T lesser beings (see above about resistance). Most people just didn't.

As for being rounded up and shipped off, the German people for the most part thought they were very literally being resettled. We think about this now and laugh, it seems so obvious and absurd--but the propoganda machine was churning, and that's what they truly thought. But the resettling line was sort of a fail safe for the Nazis, because their main technique to get the German people to ignore what was happening was, as I have already said, the "cattle approach." Even if they know that this is happening to the Jews, since they're no better than cattle it doesn't really matter. Would you care if a cow had to wear an identifying marking? Or that all cows had to go live in a different place? Or that some cows are dying for the greater good of society (hey man, we gotta eat, right?). No. They're cows. Even if you love cows, you're not going to put yourself and your family on the line to save them unless you're some sort of PETA freako. Once you think about it like that, it makes a lot more sense. The Nazis took the humanity out of the Jews, so to understand how the regular German could handle the events you need to take the humanity out of it too. You have to put yourself in the mindset of the time, looking at it from a 2006 perspective won't work.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 02:18 AM
Sure, there was a resistance movement. But you said 95%, right? Only death and taxes apply to EVERYONE :). Maybe those people has more information than the standard German. Maybe they had personal experiences that made them more resistant to the brainwashing. But the regular, run-of-the-mill German was going on the general information everyone had. Knowing that another group of people that you have been taught to think of as no better than cattle are being forced to wear Stars of David and are their property is being taken would frankly not be a big enough deal to make 95% of people put themselves and their families in danger. It would be like saving that cow going to slaughter by putting your head in front of the bolt instead of his. It just doesn't make sense in the context of the propoganda they were given--Jews were lesser beings, so in order to put yourself on the line for them you need to have personal information that tells you they AREN'T lesser beings (see above about resistance). Most people just didn't.
I said I hope I don't live in a society where 95% of people can be intimidated into ignoring the difference between right and wrong. That is NOT the same as saying I expect 95% to always do the right thing -- it's saying I expect that there are 5% out there who have the information and strength and courage and capacity to do the right thing. No where did I say I expected 95% of people to put themselves or their family in danger. You've got it backwards.

Also, when Hitler first came to power, the average German had no reason to believe that "Jews were lesser beings." (Yes, there was anti-Semitism before Hitler. But not of the scale required to dehumanize an entire people.) The Stars of David, the confiscation of property -- those things came early, before "brainwashing" had set in. And we are just going to have to agree to disagree on whether or not average Germans had been sufficiently "brainwashed" (your term, not mine) to believe that Jews were no better than cows. Some people went along because it was easier and safer not to, NOT because they didn't see anything wrong with what Hitler was doing and saying.

We're well past the horse-related part of this discussion, so let's just leave it. --Jess

Karoline
Dec. 10, 2006, 03:12 AM
The answer lies in a poor economy a wounded national psyche after the WWI defeat and the genious of a man called Goebbels.

If you have not, and you may have already, you might want to check a book by Jacques Ellul called Propaganda and read up on the best propagandist in the world, Joseph Goebbels:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm#Antisem

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goebmain.htm

He said:

"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never again escape from it. "
Goebbels.

Some of his principles. Notice how timely they still are:

GOEBBELS' PRINCIPLES OF PROPAGANDA

Based upon Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, published in Public Opinion and Propaganda; A Book of Readings edited for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.

2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.
a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.

b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.

c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.

4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.
a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence

b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions

c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself

d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign

6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.

7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.

8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.

9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.

10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.

11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.
a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.

b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment

c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses

b. They must be capable of being easily learned

c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations

d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.

16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.
a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat

b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.
a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated

b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.

On this note, I agree, lets drop it and go back to the horses.

Sabine
Dec. 10, 2006, 03:24 AM
The answer lies in a poor economy a wounded national psyche after the WWI defeat and the genious of a man called Goebbels.

If you have not, and you may have already, you might want to check a book by Jacques Ellul called Propaganda and read up on the best propagandist in the world, Joseph Goebbels:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm#Antisem

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goebmain.htm

He said:

"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never again escape from it. "
Goebbels.

Some of his principles. Notice how timely they still are:

GOEBBELS' PRINCIPLES OF PROPAGANDA

Based upon Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, published in Public Opinion and Propaganda; A Book of Readings edited for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.

2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.
a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.

b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.

c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.

4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.
a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence

b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions

c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself

d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign

6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.

7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.

8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.

9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.

10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.

11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.
a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.

b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment

c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses

b. They must be capable of being easily learned

c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations

d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.

16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.
a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat

b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.
a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated

b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.

Thank You Karoline- you do surprise me frequently- this is quite masterful and I am deeply grateful- as I feel defended- by someone with great words and logic- although I shouldn't feel accused in the first place- but by birth right- and history- and the 'inherited sin' it is hard to shake the feeling of guilt.

nonetheless- this was not the OP's question...ironically in my experience- and I have ridden with quite a few that were 'affiliated'-none of the politics ever made a dent in their undying love for horses and their incredible commitment to be great teachers and horse men- so in that respect- consider the OPs question answered by saying:
Many were involved- willingly or not and none participated- other than saving the horses and trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives....

Karoline
Dec. 10, 2006, 04:22 AM
Thank you Sabine. It serves no purpose to demonize an entire people. Ironically, it is falling for propaganda, of a different kind. This is a topic that fascinates me so I will use one last quote and let it rest. And while I have watched three trainers who are germans and of that generation, what I retain from them is their disciplined approach to dressage, the depht of their knowledge, the excellence of their riding and their love of horses.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State"

Goebbels.

siegi b.
Dec. 10, 2006, 11:12 AM
Thank you for this statement -

"It serves no purpose to demonize an entire people. Ironically, it is falling for propaganda, of a different kind."

You managed to put into words what I couldn't.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 12:54 PM
Thank you Sabine. It serves no purpose to demonize an entire people.
No, it does not -- and no one on this thread has claimed that all Germans are evil. But it does serve a purpose to hold individuals accountable for their own actions and decisions.

Also, I find it incredibly ironic that you use take the words of Hitler's own propaganda chief to explain how people came to sympathize with the Nazis. Consider the famous line you cited: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." That works both ways. It could mean that if you keep telling the Germans that the Jews are inferior, they believe it. It could also mean that if you keep insisting that the Germans didn't know any better and couldn't be expected to have acted any differently, the rest of the world will believe it.

Goebbels was indeed one of the most influential propagandists in the world. But I absolutely refuse to acknowledge him as a moral authority of any sort :no: --Jess

nhwr
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:25 PM
But it does serve a purpose to hold individuals accountable for their own actions and decisions.
This thread is about the Hilter Youth program. It is ridiculous to suggest that children should be held accountable for their participation in something that the entire world let happen and couldn't stop for years and years :rolleyes:

To me the more interesting aspect of reviewing this history is seeing just how far a nation went (or might go now) when they have been whipped into a frenzy of fear of an externalized enemy. Is there such a big difference between the "reason" Hilter invaded Poland and "weapons of mass destruction"? Americans born after 1950 have a remote understanding of what WWII was about. We learned about it in school, but the Europeans lived it for years after 1945 because of reconstruction. We can blithely lecture on about accountability with an attitude of intellectual superiority. But if we have the responsibility to learn from history, how do we justify Bush's re-election?

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 01:38 PM
This thread is about the Hilter Youth program. It is ridiculous to suggest that children should be held accountable for their participation in something that the entire world let happen and couldn't stop for years and years :rolleyes:

As I have already said, there is a difference between children who really were too young to make their own decisions and teenagers who were not. Some teenagers chose to be active in the resistance -- clearly, they were old enough and well informed enough to make their own decisions. Their peers who chose to take the path of least resistance are still responsible for that decision.

I'm not talking about a witch hunt or punishment or anything of the sort. I am saying that decisions that people make are part of their histories. They have to be understood in context, but they do not vanish just because they were a long time ago or because other people made bad decisions as well.


But if we have the responsibility to learn from history, how do we justify Bush's re-election?
I don't think we do. I voted against Bush, both times. I volunteered for Kerry's campaign (and on a different campaign before the primary.) I've written letters to my elected representatives. Not all Germans supported the Nazis. Not all Americans support Bush. --Jess

szipi
Dec. 10, 2006, 02:28 PM
I just read the thread. Wow, George Teodorescu fled from Romania to Germany to escape the nazis! Interesting, very interesting.

carolprudm
Dec. 10, 2006, 02:44 PM
Seriously, I saw it on the history channel. The Lippizans did a private show for him, where he and his wife were sitting in chairs in the middle of the areana. They said that he hated horses, and wanted to distroy them all, or at least the Lippizans. I will go see if I can find anything on the net to back up my claim. Its possible I am not remembering that correctly.

Edited :UGH, just go check the first link on google with this in the search "hitler hated horses" Thats horrible.

Here is a link. Do a search of it for Hitlers name.
http://www.dererstezug.com/VetMaier.htm

Hitler didn't get married until a few days before he died

lark_b
Dec. 10, 2006, 03:50 PM
JAGold, I find your attitude disturbing in the extreme. The implication is that the German people--including their children--had all the information and were able to make decisions based on it. This gives no respect to the circumstances of the time and is simply not the case. Even if it were, since we are talking about children in this thread, the ballgame changes a bit. The human brain does not reach full mauturity until well after the teenage years, and that includes the moral and reasoning centers. Even the teenagers that somehow managed to avoid the Hitler Youth don't necessarily deserve applause, because they couldn't, by definition of being a teenager, fully grasp the dangers and consequences of their actions. The same goes for those who joined with no resistance, for the same reason. This would be true even if all the information were available, because they were not mature enough to be able to make a decision. Teenagers are not just smaller adults, they are physically and emotionally different. We hope that our teenagers of today make good decisions because we have set them up in a world where they can--they are not being bombarded with propoganda, they are not being threatened with the peril of their family, they are not living in a time where food is scarce or people disappear overnight. But even in these circumstances they sometimes make poor decisions, ones they would handle differently as adults. How can we possibly hold Hitler Youth teenagers responsible for joining, when they didn't even know what was really happening in the war and when they had all these other issues I mentioned above also floating around? That is (and was) a hard decision for even a mature adult to make. And who is to say that not joining was even the right decision? I think you are making somevery big generalizations here based on a very black and white view of the situation. Like I said, these were people, just like us, and psycholopgy hasn't changed so much in the last 70 years to make you think that given the same circumstances we wouldn't do the same thing.

I think those who were involved in Nazi Germany have probably be "held accountable" quite enough by now.

physical.energy
Dec. 10, 2006, 04:03 PM
I just read the thread. Wow, George Teodorescu fled from Romania to Germany to escape the nazis! Interesting, very interesting.

I don't remember the complete story obviously, but I don't think George went to Germany to flee the Nazi's..... I think he left his home to flee the Nazi's but to where he went I do not know. He is Romanian and was not a participant of the Nazi party. I wish I could remember the story details.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 04:06 PM
JAGold, I find your attitude disturbing in the extreme. The implication is that the German people--including their children--had all the information and were able to make decisions based on it. This gives no respect to the circumstances of the time and is simply not the case. Even if it were, since we are talking about children in this thread, the ballgame changes a bit. The human brain does not reach full mauturity until well after the teenage years, and that includes the moral and reasoning centers. Even the teenagers that somehow managed to avoid the Hitler Youth don't necessarily deserve applause, because they couldn't, by definition of being a teenager, fully grasp the dangers and consequences of their actions. The same goes for those who joined with no resistance, for the same reason. This would be true even if all the information were available, because they were not mature enough to be able to make a decision. Teenagers are not just smaller adults, they are physically and emotionally different. We hope that our teenagers of today make good decisions because we have set them up in a world where they can--they are not being bombarded with propoganda, they are not being threatened with the peril of their family, they are not living in a time where food is scarce or people disappear overnight. But even in these circumstances they sometimes make poor decisions, ones they would handle differently as adults. How can we possibly hold Hitler Youth teenagers responsible for joining, when they didn't even know what was really happening in the war and when they had all these other issues I mentioned above also floating around? That is (and was) a hard decision for even a mature adult to make. And who is to say that not joining was even the right decision? I think you are making somevery big generalizations here based on a very black and white view of the situation. Like I said, these were people, just like us, and psycholopgy hasn't changed so much in the last 70 years to make you think that given the same circumstances we wouldn't do the same thing.

I think those who were involved in Nazi Germany have probably be "held accountable" quite enough by now.

Don't worry, I find yours equally disturbing.

We have countless examples of teenagers -- then and now -- who make brave, responsible decisions. Teenagers can vote, go to war, and be held legally responsible for their actions. They can and should be considered responsible for their own actions -- again, and hopefully for the last time -- in context.

As for your other comments -- there's plenty of propaganda in the world today, as well. We can hold those who joined Hitler's Youth accountable for exactly that -- joining an organization that supported violation of human rights, in a time when membership in the organization was being pushed on them by authority figures. I'm not talking about holding them individually responsible for the Holocaust. I am talking about holding them responsible for their own actions. Making allowances for historical circumstances does not mean forgetting the past.

And as for this:
And who is to say that not joining was even the right decision?I sincerely hope that you aren't suggesting that Hitler's Youth was, in hindsight, a good organization to belong to? If so, we have very little to discuss, indeed.

Finally:
I think those who were involved in Nazi Germany have probably be "held accountable" quite enough by now.There is a big difference between teenagers who were members of Hitler's Youth, civilians who didn't actively oppose the Nazis -- groups who I think are still accountable for their past but not subject to punishment for it -- and Nazis. Many have been punished by the international legal system. Others escaped or have hidden. But there are some crimes that time doesn't simply wash away. Again -- I am NOT saying this applies to civilians trying to take the path of least resistance, or to the decendants or younger German generations. It DOES apply to those who actively participated in genocide, though. --Jess

lark_b
Dec. 10, 2006, 04:25 PM
I was going to respond to this point by point, but I'm pretty much out of energy for it. Hopefully other people understand the points I was trying to make better than you do.

Alagirl
Dec. 10, 2006, 04:50 PM
Please! Calm down!

As German, I find this discussion worthwhile and neccessary. Nobody would have ever believed something like the Holocaust would have been remotely possible in a civilised country, but it was, and still is.


The Human psyche is interesting, to say the least, and to examine the events from the past we might gain deeper insites and greater awareness.

Groupdynamics and laziness make a person reseptive for propaganda, a multitude of information sources can counter act that - if used appropriately! Please remember, back then there also was only Radio Hitler, the Hitler Times and United Hitler Movies....


And - to get political in a present day scenario - we need to keep our eyes and ears peeled to not fall for the same traps used back then. The current administration is skating on dreatfully thin ice IMHO...

nhwr
Dec. 10, 2006, 08:22 PM
As I have already said, there is a difference between children who really were too young to make their own decisions and teenagers who were not. Some teenagers chose to be active in the resistance -- clearly, they were old enough and well informed enough to make their own decisions. Their peers who chose to take the path of least resistance are still responsible for that decision.

I'm not talking about a witch hunt or punishment or anything of the sort. I am saying that decisions that people make are part of their histories. They have to be understood in context, but they do not vanish just because they were a long time ago or because other people made bad decisions as well.

Quote:
But if we have the responsibility to learn from history, how do we justify Bush's re-election?
I don't think we do. I voted against Bush, both times. I volunteered for Kerry's campaign (and on a different campaign before the primary.) I've written letters to my elected representatives. Not all Germans supported the Nazis. Not all Americans support Bush.
So those of us who didn't vote for Bush are off the hook, but teenagers in Germany were supposed to have join the resistance? This is the kind of self pacification I find extremely alarming.

It is my understanding that the average German was unware of that Jews were being massacred in concentration camps, though they certainly were probably aware that the Jews were being arrested. At the time that this was happening the majority of the German people were living in poverty and the Nazis had killed twice as many civillians in the Soviet Union as Jews. They killed almost as many Poles (mostly Catholics) as Jews. It was a horrible episode in history. But communication were much more primative than it is now. It is quite conceivable that people were unaware of the true nature and extent of the problem.

In the current situation, civil liberties have been suspended, the Geneva convention is side stepped, there are secret detention camps in undisclosed locations around the world, but I am not responsible because I didn't vote for Bush?

Sorry, IMO that is the exact attitude that allowed Hilter to dominate Germany.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 08:54 PM
So those of us who didn't vote for Bush are off the hook, but teenagers in Germany were supposed to have join the resistance? This is the kind of self pacification I find extremely alarming.
No. The resistance was one option open to them -- evidence that joining Hitler's Youth was not the only possibility. It's not so much a question of whether or not teenagers in Germany were supposed to have joined the resistance as of whether they are accountable for having participated in Hilter's Youth. There is a lot of distance between saying that someone is accountable for his or her own past and saying that he or she should have joined the resistance.


In the current situation, civil liberties have been suspended, the Geneva convention is side stepped, there are secret detention camps in undisclosed locations around the world, but I am not responsible because I didn't vote for Bush?

Sorry, IMO that is the exact attitude that allowed Hilter to dominate Germany.
Your question was "how do we justify Bush's re-election?" My answer is that we do not. Further, IMO, we take steps to change the situation. What answer do you want? Are you implying that no one in the world bears any culpability for Hitler's rise and rule, or that everyone is responsible for Bush? My point is that there are positions in the middle -- that individuals are responsible for their actions to either support immoral policy, accept the status quo, take mild action to reverse the status quo, or take drastic action. I'm not sure what your point is. Are you doing anything to bring about changes in US foreign policy? If so, what?

Edited to add:
How is it that you think my attitude towards George Bush -- that his policies are wrong, and that I personally act through the political system to oppose him -- are the sort that "allowed Hitler to dominate Germany," yet insisting that teenagers who were members of Hitler's Youth are accountable for their actions is unreasonable? Why do you believe in personal responsibility in one situation and not the other? Why didn't joining Hitler's Youth contribut to "allow[ing] Hitler to dominate Germany," and how does ignoring the role, small though it may be, that someone played in the past help prevent a similar situation in the future? You can't have it both ways. --Jess

Karoline
Dec. 10, 2006, 09:08 PM
I understand your point about personal responsibility, I just think that you have to take context into account. Where there Swing Kids in germany, sure, were there many, i dont think so. You cannot ignore the brainwashing and propaganda that went on for decades and its effects on every day, normal people. And then you add fear and you have a great situation for eventually just being to focused on survival to care about humanity.

But then, how can we point the fingers to the Germans? What about the Afrikaaners, the french during the algerian war, the centuries of slavery, the colonization of countries for their wealth, the genocides we let happen left and right, the deliberate contamination of amazon indians, the killing of hundred of thousands in Irak, the napalm burning of vietmam.


No country has a monopol on evil doing.

JAGold
Dec. 10, 2006, 09:17 PM
I agree that the context is important -- and again, I'm not saying that former members of Hitler's Youth have to be villified, just that their past cannot be erased. But let's not overstate the context, either -- there were not "decades" of brainwashing.

The question in this thread was about the hypothetical pasts of some dressage trainers. That I think former members of Hitler's Youth are accountable for their pasts in no way implies that I think other people get a pass on their own histories. But this isn't the BB for that. If there were a former Rwandan military officer who wanted to give me riding lessons, I'd take his past into account, too. Same for other situations you mentioned. --Jess

EquusTP
Dec. 10, 2006, 11:11 PM
What exactly do you mean then by "accountable" unless you mean that they be punished in some way? In what way would you punish someone who, in their teen years participated in an organized youth program.

In what way does this have ANYTHING to do with Dressage, Dressage Training, selecting a Dressage instructor, or anything else to do with horses???

It sounds a LOT like the OP is trying to start some sort of smear campaign of some trainer or another and I would hope that Erin has the sense to end it before it becomes a matter of legal ramifications against the COTH.

This thread is offensive, in incredibly poor taste, and frankly I don't understand the purpose of it. Remembering the past in order to not repeat it and dredging it up like a dead body just to put on display are two entirely different concepts. This thread feels an awful lot like the latter rather than the former. It is simply disgusting.

~Equus

Velvet
Dec. 10, 2006, 11:23 PM
BUT, is it the OP who had an agenda? Or are you wanting there to be one so you can win and have this thread closed? Seriously, who is the one with the agenda? I haven't heard anything where a person has attacked a German trainer. I see people debating (well, arguing) about Nazi Germany and similarities in other countries at this time--and the responsibility of those who end up involved in atrocities.

It DID start out with a slight dressage relationship, but since others have taken it very far off course and chosen to be outraged over a simple question and have dragged it further and further away from the original question, I guess that justifies closing it. But the original question and conversations are not what justify the closing.

If people would just reply and not get into a mud wrestling match (those are reserved for me and slc, btw ;) ), then it's not such a terrible topic.

dutchmike
Dec. 10, 2006, 11:44 PM
I am from holland and we were invaded in wwII but this topic is just stupid why bring up bad stuff from 60 years ago. Should we ask how many american trainers took part in atrocities in the vietnam war aswell?. IMO what has this got to do with dressage?

Karoline
Dec. 10, 2006, 11:50 PM
I apologize if I am one who is taking it further from its roots (the discussion). My judgement may be a bit clouded.

JAGold
Dec. 11, 2006, 12:02 AM
I'm not going to appologize for responding to posts that I disagree with and find offensive. I've tried my best to keep this civil and tied to the original question, but I'm not willing to stay quiet when I have strong opinions about a topic that is open for discussion. If the topic is deemed not horse related and is closed, I will certainly respect that. --Jess

Sabine
Dec. 11, 2006, 12:32 AM
I wasn't going to say anything- this is not a good thread. It has now nothing to do with dressage and everything with who did what and who is responsible.

After reading thru it all- I think it needs to end right here. We all have different view points- ironically the ones that are old enough to have really tasted it, speak the most contained- maybe a sign of age?- but Jess- I can see from the great CC picture in your profile that you are from a new and different generation and your view is influenced by your own families pain and suffering and the stories you were told by the ones dear to you. I very much respect that and I hope that your generation and your children will do what you so desire- which is not wait too long- but speak up and stop the crazy stuff that's going on.

Right now- that would be Iraq. LEt's stop it and set an example.....so everyone who is so comfortable in their shells and likes their little lives the way they are- step out and look across the fence and do something so that the misery stops and we don't have to watch anymore young american people get killed for no reason at all- other than that they are at the wrong place in the wrong time.

Let's move on to another topic....:)

TBsRgr8
Dec. 11, 2006, 09:09 AM
I want to know where all these members of Congress were burying their heads when the military think tanks were doing their jobs playing out differing scenarios of what could happen IF we decided to go into Iraq. This was several months before the invasion happened and Congress was asked about sending troops into the country. It was pretty universal in the reports that best case scenario, we would be committing our troops for a MINIMUM of 5 years and more likely, there would be more like a 10 year commitment. The information was declassified enough then for soldiers to share with their friends and family... ummmm, memebers of Congress have a much higher level of security clearance than the average Joe Schmoe, so that is not an excuse for them to not have that information. Talk about blind faith trusting elected officials who want to be spoon-fed information (and apparently, you are also supposed to have a crystal ball to predict every scenario and how it will play out with 100% accuracy) that is important in their decision making process and many, many things they will need to vote on in the future. Talk about being asleep on the job and denial. These folks have bigger staffs than the average worker posting here on the board. I would think that in a climate where it looks like there is a strong possibility that they would be asked to send in our military, you would think that they'd at least have someone on their staff watching out for the reports coming out of the think tanks and giving them at minimum the bullet points of what is reported.

abrant
Dec. 11, 2006, 11:06 AM
I said I hope I don't live in a society where 95% of people can be intimidated into ignoring the difference between right and wrong. That is NOT the same as saying I expect 95% to always do the right thing -- it's saying I expect that there are 5% out there who have the information and strength and courage and capacity to do the right thing. No where did I say I expected 95% of people to put themselves or their family in danger. You've got it backwards.

I imagine that a large number of the '95%' you talk about probably did know what was going on. I also imagine that a significant number of that did not like what was going on.

But say you're a German during WWII. You KNOW the Germans have these concentration camps and they're killing the Jews (and the homosexuals, and the disabled, and the gypsies), and somehow you have not been effected by the propaganda machine. What are you going to do? Call the police? If you raise a stink they are going to come kill your family. What is strong and courageous and right about speaking out when the obvious direct result will be the imprisonment and murder of you and your family??

You must be VERY CAREFUL when making value judgements on people during a time of war. Not to downplay what the resistance fighters did, but realize that there were more reasons not to resist than to resist. While later, we might sit in our safe houses and think that they should have been willing to give up everything to fight against Hilter... you or I will have no idea what we would really do unless we were in that situation.

Bush's people are going to come kill you and your family because you worked on the Kerry campaign. It's not at ALL the same.

~Adrienne

sm
Dec. 11, 2006, 11:44 AM
this of course begs the question, how many fei dressage trainers here today voted for Bush going into Iraq.... raise your hands?

Because I'm polish, and the poles didn't do too well with Hitler --- I would like to think that anyone who did join the organization has since make amends or otherwise lived their life to be of value to their fellow man. And of value to our horses.

I can forgive youth that were part of an org that ravaged an entire country (Poland)... who can say that these youth the OP asks about didn't secretly help some Jews and Poles when the opportunities came up? Kinda like the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. My family got out, and it wasn't because they were rich.

I think the OP needs to get a life and let the Old dressage trainers in the OP live theirs. And if they secretly helped my ancestors (and I know someone did): a big THANK YOU from me.

nhwr
Dec. 11, 2006, 12:15 PM
There is a real tendency on the part of many Americans to take a very simplified view of the history of WWII. Most of us sit thousands of miles away from any real impact and look back at it with the knowledge that has been accumulated over 60 years. We think we can say how people should have behaved. We forget that Germany was really struggling economically when Hilter was elected. People were afraid. The internet didn't exist, televisions didn't exist. Information was controlled very effectively by the State. The average German didn't have access to uncontrolled information. Yes, it was known that some populations were being sent to camps. But we did the same thing here in the US with the Japanese. It was a politically acceptable solution at the time. Most Germans would have no way to know what the Nazis were really doing. Many of them were almost starving themselves and living in a country that was at war in a way we have never experienced.

Today, we sit here in the US with access to a lot of information through the media and the internet. We invaded another country under false pretenses (sound familiar?). We have not found WMDs. We have Abu Ghraib. We are not treating prisoners by the accords of the Geneva conventions. We have secret facilities in other parts of the world so we can circumvent laws against torture. We are "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here". We live in relative comfort. Our lives are not threatened on a daily basis from starvation or bombs (as the Germans were). We have much more information than the German people ever did during WWII and face much less risk as individuals than they did. And what are we doing about the abuses of our own government? Not much.

In that context, to say that, today someone who has lived a good and moral life for the last 60 years should be "held accountable" (whatever that means) for something they did as a teenager in an extreme circumstance is a bit disingenuous, IMO.

Mozart
Dec. 11, 2006, 12:43 PM
Wow, I step away from the computer for a few days and come back to find the dressage bb debating history, political studies and ethics. I appreciate it is the prerogative of the moderators what they considered horse related and what they don't, but with all due respect, you have erred this time.

The only way this is possibly horse related is for people to add names of old German or Austrian trainers who were Nazis so that others may choose not to ride with them for that reason. And that would be an awful and inflammatory thread that WOULD get closed.

Debating whether or not old Germans and Austrians are morally culpable for their inaction as young people is perhaps interesting but not horse related. Sorry, but the mods have goofed here.

eventing-n-SD
Dec. 11, 2006, 04:37 PM
Debating whether or not old Germans and Austrians are morally culpable for their inaction as young people is perhaps interesting but not horse related. Sorry, but the mods have goofed here.

I could not possibly agree with you more. The degredation of this thread was predictable at first glance.

Kimberlee
Dec. 11, 2006, 04:48 PM
I thought the original question would be interesting to have answered. Just like asking how many trainers have a certain background. It would be a history lesson. I am always interested in odd bits of knowledge that you never know when they will be useful. I believe I recall reading a couple different bios in the USDF monthly pulication that referred to the instructers past history in Germany. Can't remember many specifics though.

I do find it funny that those opposed to horse slaughter can get so up in arms about the US invading a country where they are barbaric to their citizens. If we want to stop cruelty, shouldn't it be in all forms? Not just those convinent. My brother is currently serving, and though he does not think that everything they are doing over there has been done the "right" way, he cannot believe the way these people lived during Saddam Hussein's rule and he has seen a lot of good done. My grandfather has a saying that throughout history war is the one constant. I believe that people who think that world peace is acheivable are to be commended, those that activly work towards it even more so. However, I think that blind acceptance of any reality or goal is what lead people down a path, that later they will look back upon with regret. I voted for Bush (twice). I don't have to agree with everything to support him as our President. I also don't see anyone who stepped up to the plate in 2004 that would have made better decisions (or had the people behind him/her to make those decisions).

Just my $0.02 worth.

Dressage Art
Dec. 11, 2006, 05:01 PM
I did not read all of the responses – I am sorry, I am busy with work, but wanted to post my thoughts on this subject.

I’m Russian, I was born in one of the former USSR republics, my grandma is from Moscow. Hitler murdered almost half of my family and Stalin murdered almost another half. None of the men survived. My grandma was in three wars and she was a medical lieutenant during the World War II. She saw it all, the rape, the hunger, the killing. Just like many others, she ended up using what was available to survive – for example, the necessities taken from the dead SS Nazi soldiers with the SS swastikas: spoon and bowl that she ate during the war, because she could not find any Soviet utensils. I still have them stored away, she did not want them, she just wants to forget, but I kept them – it’s a part of our family’s ironical history. The only thing that my grandma still has is the portrait of her 18-year-old brother, who was killed by Hitler’s soldiers on his first day of combat at the age of 18.

I am in the dressage L Judge program and I am reading the suggested list of books now. The Hitler’s officer wrote one of them. Great book. I bet he was a great dressage rider to.

What does Hitler has to do with dressage? Nothing. It’s our personal history, memories and experience that makes us who we are – doesn’t matter how hard you try to separate yourself from your feelings, sometimes you pause while reading a book on dressage from Hitler’s officer and think about your uncle that died when he was 18 years old from the hand of the Nazi soldier.

I’m very glad that people are able to forget. I’ve been forsed to join the USSR youth soviet party myself. I can tell you that if I didn’t join – I had no chance of going to High School. You can go to High School only if you are a “Komsomolec” – it use to be this way. Don’t blame German Youth for trying to live their life, I sure they were forced to join as well. Officers and grownups – that’s very different. To go this high, fro so long, one has to be a true believer.

I know that in America this subject is quite alien and not talked often. Please make a difference between Nazi and German. Germans are nationality – it’s not the same as Nazi - a political believe. German soldier is not necessarily a Nazi soldier. Most German people those days carry a huge guilt for their past already. Don’t make it anymore uncomfortable for them: please do make a difference between German and Nazi. Same as Soviet and Russian. I’m Russian (nationality), but I’m not Soviet (a political believe). I have many German friends who are not Nazis. The war was between Soviet Army led by Stalin and Nazi Army led by Hitler. Please don’t blame all Germans or all Russians for what happened during the war... there is no reason to continue the hatrid

Erin
Dec. 11, 2006, 09:15 PM
I could not possibly agree with you more. The degredation of this thread was predictable at first glance.

Yes, because the people who thought it should be closed started a big hue and cry saying what a horrible topic it was. :rolleyes:

Here's a thought -- if those of you who didn't like the topic didn't read it or contribute to it, it would have continued on its merry way nary bothering you a bit.

The original question was horse-related. It has wandered a bit off track, but most people seem to be trying to address the original question. If it continues off-track, it will be closed; if it gets back to the original question, it will be left alone.

If you do not like the original question, by all means, don't read the thread. But you don't get to armchair moderate and decide whether or not we goofed. It's not appreciated nor useful. Go start your own bulletin board if you don't like the way this one is moderated.

YoungFilly
Dec. 11, 2006, 10:27 PM
Well, after Erins post. I don't mind posting the url that I thought was unbelievable.

I can't imagine anyone hating horses this much, but I would take a knife to this person if confronted, to save my horses.

http://horsehater.blogspot.com/2005/02/i-am-hitler-horses-are-jews_16.html

I saw the first page because I was looking for "Hitler hated horses" and this is what I found. Its macabre to say the least. :confused:

I didn't go through the rest.... but in the name of free speech?

And if anyone wants my opinion on Bush..... I felt when he came into office he was putting together a war cabinet in the first place, even before 911. He has been a dangerous idiot since he has been in office.

And, we are lucky, because if we were not allowed to say that on the internet, we would truly be in trouble. Some other countries don't have the same liberty. Thats not to say that ANYTHING we all say is going to change anything, until at least you look at the last election. :)

JAGold
Dec. 12, 2006, 01:14 AM
I imagine that a large number of the '95%' you talk about probably did know what was going on. I also imagine that a significant number of that did not like what was going on.
abarant, you're certainly welcome to disagree with me, but please take my quote in context. The 95% figure was in response to another poster who claimed that 95% of us would have done the same thing. There is not one shred of evidence that 95% of Germans supported Hitler, and as I said, I hope that today, it would not be possible to intimidate 95% of people into supporting a similar regime. That means I hope that at least 5% of people would be able to resist that sort of pressure. But I was never, in any of my posts, talking about 95% of the German people in the 1930s or 1940s.

Also, Sabine, I'm not sure what you mean by this post.
but Jess- I can see from the great CC picture in your profile that you are from a new and different generation and your view is influenced by your own families pain and suffering and the stories you were told by the ones dear to you.I'm tired of arguing (actually, by midnight, I'm just plain tired!) and you seem to mean the comments kindly. However, I don't know what you can tell from a picture (taken more than 5 years ago, at some point when I was in college -- though you are right that I am relatively young) about my family or its history. I haven't brought them into this conversation in any way, and you have no way of knowing anything about them, so I wish you wouldn't either even though you meant the comment well.

Finally, and bringing this back to horses, I think that one of the best things about the equestrian world is that horses are a common language. They can often bridge cultural divides that otherwise seem impossibly wide. The rescue of the Lippizan horses is a great example of this. I don't think that acknowledging that the horse world's history is not always unsoiled undermines the celebration of what it can do to bring people together. --Jess

Moll
Dec. 12, 2006, 04:27 AM
Well, after Erins post. I don't mind posting the url that I thought was unbelievable.

I can't imagine anyone hating horses this much, but I would take a knife to this person if confronted, to save my horses.

http://horsehater.blogspot.com/2005/02/i-am-hitler-horses-are-jews_16.html



It's a JOKE page. Like the Bonsai Kitten, remember? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Moll
Dec. 12, 2006, 04:28 AM
I would take a knife to this person if confronted, to save my horses.

THAT is the scary part. :eek:

mazu
Dec. 12, 2006, 06:53 AM
YoungFilly, you brighten my day.

Thomas_1
Dec. 12, 2006, 07:52 AM
The OP seems to show a remarkable lack of knowledge and political naivity relating to history in general and to the Hitler Youth Movement in particular.

It was an organisation set up to train and educate young people in political principles and whilst not compulsory, about 70% of german boys were members of it and Aryan boys were expected to join.

However as it was disbanded 65 years ago chances are there's not going to be any trainers still working that were in it! Chances also are that any German male aryan over the age of 65 was in it at some point in their life.

Goodness knows why the OP should post on a horse forum to find out what is pretty basic general knowledge though.

Carol Ames
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:42 PM
the survivors!:yes:

Carol Ames
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:45 PM
That war ended in 11945; let it go!

Carol Ames
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:50 PM
I'm sure I have known many and profited , as have my horses from their knowledg:yes:e, God rest their souls;)

Carol Ames
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:54 PM
in case you haven't noticed, there are a couple of other wars:sadsmile: going on now which, merit our attention

Coppers mom
Jan. 5, 2010, 04:00 PM
Carol, what in the world are you going on about? This topic is 4 years old!

FancyFree
Jan. 5, 2010, 04:08 PM
Carol, what in the world are you going on about? This topic is 4 years old!

Not to mention the four posts in a row after it.

Edit button :yes:

Peace
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:08 PM
The current Pope was involved as well guess they were in good comany:( How does one find a thread 3-4 years old??

Alagirl
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:29 PM
I do know that Klaus Balkenhol and his father were involved in the police action AGAINST Hitler and worked to SAVE many jews


LOL, He might have done a lot of things with his Dad, but being born in 1939, I doubt there was much action on his side.

Dunno the age limit, 12 or 10, but you were that age you better be in the HJ or you'd be in a heap of a lot of trouble.



HAHAHHAHAHAHA, somebody got bored and dug up old crap!

Happy New Year Amigos!

BaroquePony
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:35 PM
Wow, what an awful and insensitive topic. What connection this really has to anything that is relevant about modern dressage, I have no idea. I hope it is closed.

I think it is an excellent topic. I rode under Fritz Weiss who left Germany as Hitler began to really make his intentions more obvious. Fritz was on the German Olympic Team scheduled for 1936 or 1938, but the Olympics were called off having something to do the the war or upcoming war or whatever.

I had several family members that left Germany (they were Aryan German or Austrian/Prussian) when they saw the writing on the wall.

I had several discussions about what the very early signs were because I think it is very important to look for nefarious social trends. Sorry.

I also rode in an Argentine jumping saddle that no one wanted to use because it was a 'cheap Argentine saddle" ... but it had an OUTSTANDING tree in it and it was my favorite jumping saddle and I was doing five foot courses and four foot field trials in it. Up until that saddle I had only been jumping in Pariannis or Stubbens. I hated all of the other Argentine saddles that I had or have ever sat in.

Years later I was discussing this particular saddle with a friend who owned a tack shop and she was extrmeley knowledgeable .... she said it most likely was made by a Nazi that escaped to Argentina. That made sense.

Alagirl
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:45 PM
the 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, the German Equipe did very well, lots of officers riding.

1940 and 44 were canceled due to the war.

(not going to speculate on the saddle maker, but there was a large exodus towards Argentina during that time. I am wondering why, if they were not die hard party members...I think the Perons were sympathetic to 'the cause...)

BaroquePony
Jan. 5, 2010, 06:25 PM
Hah ... my previous post was strictly coming from being out in the cold ttttooooo long fighting with a brand new "no-kink" hose that of course kinked really badly .... and ... and ....

Anyway, thanks for correcting me on the dates and I didn't even answer the question right :lol:

ETA: I also am a little over sensitive on the subject since I have quite a bit of German blood :uhoh:

Foxtrot's
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:03 PM
I was born British during WW11 so have no recollection, but the war scarred all who lived through it on both sides. A very dear friend of ours (now dead) was a German pilot in the war before emigrating here. His brother had been shot down by the British and he went to avenge his brother's death and was also subjected to all the propoganda. It is a painful part of his and many other's lives and deserves to be left in the past - not resurrected into somewhat meaningless threads, but not forgotten, either.

It does seem to me that it takes generations for the effects of war to heal, unfortunately.

Foxtrot's
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:06 PM
Oh, Jeeze - I always feel swindled when I realize I have replied to a post two years old. Let's let it go.

quietann
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:31 PM
I think this is an interesting post; I wasn't around COTH when it was posted -- in fact, my return to riding was in its second month at that point.

I had professors in college who'd been in the HY. It wasn't necessarily optional! It didn't really bother me.

The SS is another story entirely, as I'm Jewish and undoubtedly lost relatives to them.

The fact that after the war, Germany picked itself up (with a lot of the US) and went on, former Nazis and all, has always fascinated me.

ThatScaryChick
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:05 PM
Why did you bump this post up Carol Ames?

Moderator 1
Jan. 6, 2010, 08:34 AM
Because this topic is only peripherally horse-related and it's several years old, we're going to close the thread.

Thanks!
Mod 1