Life as a WW2 German tank driver

Discussion in 'Past Life Memories' started by tanker, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    I also recall it was not that long after this that my parents 'trained' me never to cry!
     
  2. yvettebruneau

    yvettebruneau Senior Member

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    Trained you to never cry? That sounds... honestly confusing to me.
     
  3. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    Well, you get punished if you cry, praised if you don't. It tends to work. I don't think I ever cried in my parents' lifetime, apart from once after my father died. I've done plenty since.
     
  4. There and back again

    There and back again Senior Member

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    Got a small confession to make, I've been into tanks for some years but anyway here is a channel that should be of interest to you. Have to feel bad for those Sherman crews when their tanks got splashed by a 380mm shell.

     
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  5. Ritter

    Ritter Banned by Moderators

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    Gods above, I would not have wanted to be a loader in one of those things. Had to have had some kind of hydraulic mechanism or such. But still. No thanks.
     
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  6. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    It makes me sad too.
     
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  7. briski

    briski Senior Registered

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    I was bought up in a simliar way, that it was weak to
     
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  8. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    Thanks for that interesting film. The Sturmtiger was developed after I was long gone, so never saw one. I believe Bovington showed a hologram Sturmtiger, not sure if that's still displayed. Anyway it's an ugly brute, whereas the Koenigstiger is still magnificent.
     
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  9. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    Fireflydancing, thank you for the beautiful film clip. First time I've heard it sung since I was two. Same effect on me, **** it.

    There have been various versions of the words over time, I think - some of them completely different. The two verses I quoted are the ones I recall my mother singing.
     
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  10. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    I smiled to see one word has been asterisked there ... I didn't even think the mild word I wrote was swearing!
     
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  11. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    The Holocaust, Nazis and the forum.

    I've been reflecting on this forum for a day or two, and trying to work out whether it's actually helping me or not. Initially it certainly did, but of late I'm feeling out on a limb, as I belong to a group of people who are the only ones who seemingly will never be fully accepted on the same terms as anyone else. Despite being an ordinary fighting German soldier, I've recently seemed to disappear under the popular term of 'Nazis' with all that word's modern evil connotations.

    This was brought home to me when I saw a large photo of Holocaust victims recently posted on forum. It actually gave me an asthma attack. Not that I haven't seen it before, but it was like a slap in the face in this particular context (Germans cannot justify fighting the war) and in this supposedly 'safe' place where I wasn't expecting to see it. I can understand people's gut reaction to sights like this, and I share that. I share all the horror and the disbelief that such a thing could possibly be perpetrated in the name of a civilised nation, and the belief that it should serve as a warning and never be forgotten.

    However ... this seems to be the only thing that anyone ever thinks of when 'Germany' and 'war' are mentioned in the same breath. Germans are the eternal 'bad guys' that brought about the Holocaust, and it seems to be all right to tar them all with the same Nazi brush. Other nations have brave soldiers. Germans just have 'Nazis'.

    I'm out on a limb because I don't feel I have a real place here. I fought for the defence of my country as I saw it, I killed people as a result. That's unfortunately what war is, and I can't change who I was. But I was not responsible for the Holocaust. I never even knew a thing about it at the time. I am not guilty of it. It has about as much to do with me as to do with any of the rest of the soldiers on this forum.

    There are many non-German soldiers on here who understand each other, and are getting plenty of support, but I don't feel included on quite the same level. I try to respect others' views, but I don't feel 'safe' here any more when I talk about my past. I feel I have to be careful what I say now, and this is doing me harm. Over-sensitive maybe, but the Holocaust is a sensitive subject to 'innocent' Germans, who simply don't know how to handle collective guilt that was not their fault.

    Thank God for PMs, where at least I can be honest with people who see me for what I am, an ordinary soldier like anyone else. I'm grateful for that.
     
  12. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    Hi tanker. The post your referring to wasn't aimed at you or any of the other common German soldier or repentant past life true Nazi.

    That post was aimed at those who still support such an ideology as the Nazis and lament the loss of the Nazi regime.

    I've never considered you anything but another soldier and a genuine current life person.
     
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  13. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    Thank you, Jim, that's kind. It's such a difficult subject for me and seeing that gave me a huge shock. I'm glad it wasn't aimed at me.
     
  14. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    That's cool tanker.

    My post was meant to shock. I think people need a shock when such things as Eugenics and the loss of Europe's Nazi future is lamented on the forum. The image I posted is a natural progression of such ideology. I simply wanted to remind everyone of that.

    From your own posting your ideology is no different from mine. You were just a soldier fighting for his country.
     
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  15. Speedwell

    Speedwell Senior Registered

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    I think it's a difficult subject for all of us. As far as I'm aware, I don't have a past life from that era, and my recent lives don't involve war or military at all.

    Nevertheless, I read the accounts of other member's personal experiences with interest. Occasionally though I am shocked, stopped in my tracks at some occasional posts on this forum. I guess that's how the photo felt too, a jolting shock. I think the thing to consider is that we're all in this together, and some of the things which are shocking and difficult to see or read impact on us all, rather than being narrowly significant to just a few.
     
  16. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    I agree in principle. We do need a jolt at times. But with my background it was a shock to the system too far, and it's given me a very hard time, which I'm struggling to get over.
     
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  17. Speedwell

    Speedwell Senior Registered

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    Yes, I understand that.

    But moving onto a broader view, of how past-life memories affect us all, I think one of the problems is that in society as a whole there can very often be the idea that once a person or group of people are dead, then it is entirely permissible to dissect and evaluate people as though they were an inanimate specimen like a fossil being studied under a microscope. There is no concept that those so-called 'dead' are still very much alive and living amongst us. I've personally felt this when I occasionally come across some casual or careless remarks made in relation to the time when I had my past life. Having said that, consideration for others is sometimes hardly any better among the living, but it does seem that those who are believed to be beyond being hurt may be subject to the severest criticism and judgement, regardless of whether justified or not. There's an underlying belief that the dead no longer matter, they cannot be hurt.
     
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  18. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Jim,

    One reason I am in sympathy with the German soldiers coming forward on the Board is because my own perception of history is largely that of an "unreconstructed" (i.e., unrepentant) Southerner in the U.S. I grew up in an era when the tide turned away from the sympathy for the South shown in movies such as "Gone with the Wind", and a Southern accent by a character in a TV show or movie guaranteed that he/she was ignorant, racist and/or evil (usually all three). This has not changed as far as I can tell. I have seen the heroes who fought for Southern independence and the symbols of the South dragged through the dirt. I refer to it as the "Nazification" of the South--which is apt as "Nazi" has become (one way or the other) the symbol of all evil. I am also aware of the self-justifying histories written by those who utterly destroyed the South and reduced its people to abject poverty and a second-class status in the U.S. (though Southerners were the greatest of the Founding Fathers IMO). There is not a flaw in the South that did not also exist in the North at the time of the war, nor were the people who fought in its cause evil (including my Great Grandfather). We fought hard and have always been disproportionately represented in the Military and in terms of the metals and award given for valor to soldiers. As he camped in Mississippi in September 1863, Union General William T. Sherman said of the “young bloods of the South” he had been fighting:

    War suits them, and the rascals are brave, fine riders, bold to rashness … and they are the most dangerous set of men that this war has turned loose upon the world. They … must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace.

    Southerners have also always tended to be strongly religious, family oriented, and patriotic (on the latter they felt like they were completely within the spirit of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers to withdraw from the Union just as the U.S. had previously withdrawn from the British empire). Consequently, that puts us increasingly at odds with the direction of popular culture over the last century (and utterly detested by "progressives"). Were they wrong about some things or capable of great evil--of course. We all are. But we generally judge people (from Socrates to Lee) in the context of their place and era and do not expect them to be or react to things like we do now.

    From what I can tell, the Irish and their symbols and beliefs were trashed in much the same way as the South over a long period of history by the English, so some of this you should understand. I realize that great evils were done by the Nazi Regime, but I have great sympathy for the ordinary (and often extraordinary!) soldiers of Germany just like I do for the ordinary and extraordinary soldiers who fought in the Southern cause. I remain a Southerner. Like Tanker that involves some conflicts and things that I've got to get used to (and/or don't like) about the South and its history, but it doesn't mean I can't also celebrate what is good about both.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--Most Southerners did not even own slaves, and this was especially true of the ordinary fighting man. They fought against a ruthless invasion and their concerns were proven correct by the destruction and impoverishment of their people by the conquerors. There was no "Marshall Plan" for the South. It was left crippled and destitute, and has only slowly recovered.
     
  19. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    Interesting observation on that subject, Speedwell. I think you've hit the nail on the head.

    We all seem to vary here in the degree to which we identify, or don't identify, with our past selves. The sad fact is that I can't seem to get any degree of separation from my past self. I don't feel 'dead' even though technically I died all those years ago. So I often write from a past perspective as if it were still present. So yes, some of the 'dead' can still unfortunately be hurt, illogical though that seems.
     
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  20. tanker

    tanker Senior Registered

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    My grasp on history is very poor, other than my own narrow field, so I know little about those wars you mention. It's always sad to me that disagreements so often end in taking up weapons to a so-called 'enemy' so easily. It seems to be in our nature.

    I would dearly like to celebrate what is good, as I see it, about the German soldier, but I'm constantly fearful of misunderstanding. Modern views have become so fixed. In the end I just tend to keep quiet and keep out of digging myself into more trouble. I would just say that although I was not in the SS I knew quite a few who were (I'm talking about Waffen-SS). And despite indoctrination, I found them to be decent and honourable men, and many who would have disapproved and been as horror-stricken as the rest of us now at where it all went wrong. People are entitled to a different view, but I was there and will hold to that view till I have to die again.
     
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