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Old July 8th, 2015, 10:52 AM   #1
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What % of the Wehrmacht that served in WW2 held Nazi convictions/beliefs?


How many soldiers that served in the Wehrmacht during WW2 held strong National Socialist convictions and ideals? Meaning they subscribed to the Nazi ideology and worldview and all that it entailed.

Belief in such integral Nazi doctrines such as anti semitism, anti Bolshevism, the belief in a worldwide Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy, Lebensraum, the superiority of the Aryan race and the inferiority of Jews, Slavs, and Roma etc.

Was it a minority of the men that served? A majority? Half?

We do know that the Wehrmacht did commit its fair share of atrocities during the war often as bad as the SS. They aren't innocent and blameless but they aren't all monsters. Some of them were genuinely forced to fight or fought solely to defend their country. It still doesn't excuse any crimes they may have committed.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 11:16 AM   #2
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Most soldiers are not very political beyond being patriotic and doing their duty. They generally are pretty scornful of politicians, particularly career soldiers. That's western culture soldiers in general not specific to any country. In a case like late war Germany though almost all able bodied men were drafted so it'd be pretty much whatever the attitude in the country in general was.

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Old July 8th, 2015, 11:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cmyers1980 View Post
How many soldiers that served in the Wehrmacht during WW2 held strong National Socialist convictions and ideals? Meaning they subscribed to the Nazi ideology and worldview and all that it entailed.
It's impossible to give a precise number or percentage.

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Belief in such integral Nazi doctrines such as anti semitism, anti Bolshevism, the belief in a worldwide Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy, Lebensraum, the superiority of the Aryan race and the inferiority of Jews, Slavs, and Roma etc.
Slavs were considered Aryans too. The Slavs were considered inferior to Germans but were still considered "Aryan" by the Nazis. Not even all Germans were viewed as racially the same by the Nazis.

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Was it a minority of the men that served? A majority? Half?
You've just asked the same question twice. There is no exact number or percentage.

Quote:
We do know that the Wehrmacht did commit its fair share of atrocities during the war often as bad as the SS. They aren't innocent and blameless but they aren't all monsters. Some of them were genuinely forced to fight or fought solely to defend their country. It still doesn't excuse any crimes they may have committed.
Whether any of them were "monsters" is subjective.

The Wehrmacht were sworn by the Hitler oath as well.

Many of times the Wehrmacht also worked with the SS in rounding up the Jews of towns and cities, etc.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by M9Powell View Post
Most soldiers are not very political beyond being patriotic and doing their duty. They generally are pretty scornful of politicians, particularly career soldiers. That's western culture soldiers in general not specific to any country. In a case like late war Germany though almost all able bodied men were drafted so it'd be pretty much whatever the attitude in the country in general was.
I read in a book about the eastern front that only 10-15% of the wehrmacht were members of the nazi party.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 11:48 AM   #5
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I read in a book about the eastern front that only 10-15% of the wehrmacht were members of the nazi party.
Being a member of the Nazi party after they came to power did not necessarily mean they believed in Nazism.

Nazi party members got benefits which is one of the reasons many joined. Also after 1933 and the legal discrimination policies start to take place, being a member would have put you at least risk of being persecuted for anything and you wouldn't be seen as a possibility of being an enemy of the state.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 04:56 PM   #6
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How many soldiers that served in the Wehrmacht during WW2 held strong National Socialist convictions and ideals? ...
I would guess that publicly, 100% of them
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Old July 9th, 2015, 05:57 PM   #7
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Who knows? Success has many fathers; failure is always an orphan. Up until 1943, probably a lot of Germans in the military were pretty upbeat about the Nazis. After Kursk and Stalingrad, the worm turned.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #8

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No way of telling.

After 45 everyone was "I was only in the party because they made me."

Hell even the last pope was a member of the Hitler Youth.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 06:22 PM   #9

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There is no way to know for certain.

However it is a bit of a popular myth that only the S.S. was involved in atrocities on the Eastern Front, or in carrying out the Final Solution. There were some elements of the Wehrmacht involved in both.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 05:06 AM   #10
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There is no way to know for certain.

However it is a bit of a popular myth that only the S.S. was involved in atrocities on the Eastern Front, or in carrying out the Final Solution. There were some elements of the Wehrmacht involved in both.
Wasn't the final solution the job of Totenkopfverbande and einzatsgruppen?
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