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War Crimes

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I realise I haven't posted for a while, but this has been niggling at me for a long time. I recently found out my grandad was guilty of war crimes while in service during ww2. He shot and killed a civilian in the street.

It has completely changed my opinion of him and I don't know what to think anymore. Obviously this wasn't the man I remember. He died a couple of years ago.

Does anyone know of any useful online information for people whose relatives committed war crimes.

Sorry I don't expect anyone will, but any feedback would be really appreciated.

Thanks

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you know why he shot the civilian?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because she was jeering at them as far as we know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, sorry I don't know of anything. However, you must remember that during the war many people commited "crimes" and I'm sure, at the time, it would not of been as frowned upon as it is today.
    X
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another thing to remember is that he must have been very young at the time.

    If you can imagine being shot at, bombed etc for hours, days and weeks on end, something has to crack.

    And young men are often guilty of extreme violence and bloodlust which is why they send young men to war.

    I would be every wary of reacting badly to this. It happened a long, long time ago and he is almost certainly a completely different person now. He shot a civilian which is bad but in relation to the other war crimes that were committed by all sides, his action likely pales in significance.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know of any sources for help.

    However I'd ask how do you know? was it something he said and was he remorseful for it? was it something a relative said - perhaps one with a grudge? And what was the background - if he was on policing duties in 1946 Germany its a different context from if he'd just taken the town with 75% of his rifle company dead or injured.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    he is almost certainly a completely different person now.

    I'd suggest that his being deceased would mean he is a completely different person.......:rolleyes:


    Back to the OP, your grandad may have done something wrong during a time of war, something in the heat of the moment that he has lived with for 60 years, something he has taken to the grave.

    Instead of thinking about the one thing he did do all that time ago, remember that he was still your grandad. I imagine he probably spent 60 years of his life trying to make up for what he did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'd suggest that his being deceased would mean he is a completely different person.......:rolleyes:

    Oops! I missed that! :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks everyone. Yep whowhere he definitely did seem to regret it and worked for humanitarian causes in his later years. It's just sad he didn't feel he could confide in people and felt he had to carry the burden alone.

    It was just a bit of a shock initially, butI'm getting my head around it now.
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