• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Hero or Nazi war criminal?

Jean-s

Gone
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
4,325
Reaction score
1,382
Location
Spain
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
Should a Third Reich occupation official responsible for reviewing Dutch applications to be spared from being sent to death camps be honored as a hero because he sent less than half petitions to be killed, a number that amounted to thousands? The residents of Osnabrück in northwest Germany are considering naming a museum to the Final Solution after Hans Georg Calmeyer, a native of the city, who spent the war years in the safety of a Nazi office in occupied Holland, using his pen to spare some Jews while condemning others.
Hero or Nazi war criminal? ′Good German′ Hans Calmeyer′s legacy debated | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.07.2020

There are some who say nobody is perfect but it mystifies me that a man who asked for the job of sending some Jews to their deaths can be considered by present-day Germans in Osnabrück as one of the millions of 'Good Germans'. Some are even comparing him to Oscar Schindler who saved many Jews from extermination by giving them jobs in his munitions factory near Krakau, occupied Poland.

b-der-gute-moerder-09-04-2016.jpg

Georg Calmeyer had a comfortable job in The Hague during WWII.
 

Bodhisattva

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
100,458
Reaction score
21,261
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Should a Third Reich occupation official responsible for reviewing Dutch applications to be spared from being sent to death camps be honored as a hero because he sent less than half petitions to be killed, a number that amounted to thousands? The residents of Osnabrück in northwest Germany are considering naming a museum to the Final Solution after Hans Georg Calmeyer, a native of the city, who spent the war years in the safety of a Nazi office in occupied Holland, using his pen to spare some Jews while condemning others.
Hero or Nazi war criminal? ′Good German′ Hans Calmeyer′s legacy debated | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.07.2020

There are some who say nobody is perfect but it mystifies me that a man who asked for the job of sending some Jews to their deaths can be considered by present-day Germans in Osnabrück as one of the millions of 'Good Germans'. Some are even comparing him to Oscar Schindler who saved many Jews from extermination by giving them jobs in his munitions factory near Krakau, occupied Poland.

b-der-gute-moerder-09-04-2016.jpg

Georg Calmeyer had a comfortable job in The Hague during WWII.

He saved Jews from death? Sounds pretty good to me.
 

Jonsa

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
5,335
Reaction score
3,088
Location
Toronto
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Should a Third Reich occupation official responsible for reviewing Dutch applications to be spared from being sent to death camps be honored as a hero because he sent less than half petitions to be killed, a number that amounted to thousands? The residents of Osnabrück in northwest Germany are considering naming a museum to the Final Solution after Hans Georg Calmeyer, a native of the city, who spent the war years in the safety of a Nazi office in occupied Holland, using his pen to spare some Jews while condemning others.
Hero or Nazi war criminal? ′Good German′ Hans Calmeyer′s legacy debated | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.07.2020

There are some who say nobody is perfect but it mystifies me that a man who asked for the job of sending some Jews to their deaths can be considered by present-day Germans in Osnabrück as one of the millions of 'Good Germans'. Some are even comparing him to Oscar Schindler who saved many Jews from extermination by giving them jobs in his munitions factory near Krakau, occupied Poland.

b-der-gute-moerder-09-04-2016.jpg

Georg Calmeyer had a comfortable job in The Hague during WWII.

Seems he was working within the system to save as many as he could. Second guessing a guy working directly under noses of the nazi's who managed to save over 2/3rds of jews whose "bloodline claims' were suspect. Apparently they were watching him.
 

Jean-s

Gone
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
4,325
Reaction score
1,382
Location
Spain
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
Seems he was working within the system to save as many as he could. Second guessing a guy working directly under noses of the nazi's who managed to save over 2/3rds of jews whose "bloodline claims' were suspect. Apparently they were watching him.
You are missing the point that he did not have to work with the Nazi Final Solution system. If you read the article, you will see that Hans Georg Calmeyer requested to be a jurist in Occupied Holland. To excuse him for sending only a couple of thousand Jews to death camps when he did not have to do that job in the first place strikes me as odd. We read of old men in their 90s being brought to trial because they were posted as teenage guards in camps but never hurt a single inmate while this Nazi scoundrel who used his fountain pen to send thousands to their deaths is getting a Final Solution museum in his name strikes me as shameful.
 

swing_voter

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
13,048
Reaction score
8,441
Location
'Murica
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Some figured rightly that Germany would lose the war and they would be tried as war criminals.

He could've been covering his bases.
 

Jonsa

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
5,335
Reaction score
3,088
Location
Toronto
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
You are missing the point that he did not have to work with the Nazi Final Solution system. If you read the article, you will see that Hans Georg Calmeyer requested to be a jurist in Occupied Holland. To excuse him for sending only a couple of thousand Jews to death camps when he did not have to do that job in the first place strikes me as odd. We read of old men in their 90s being brought to trial because they were posted as teenage guards in camps but never hurt a single inmate while this Nazi scoundrel who used his fountain pen to send thousands to their deaths is getting a Final Solution museum in his name strikes me as shameful.

okay. feel that way. Rejecting 2/3rds while under the nazis noses, kinda indicates the guy had an agenda. Most would prefer to think of the 3,000 he saved. But, if he really was a nazi, piss on him.

Yad Vashem will sort it out.
 

Sweden

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
5,789
Reaction score
2,429
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Should a Third Reich occupation official responsible for reviewing Dutch applications to be spared from being sent to death camps be honored as a hero because he sent less than half petitions to be killed, a number that amounted to thousands? The residents of Osnabrück in northwest Germany are considering naming a museum to the Final Solution after Hans Georg Calmeyer, a native of the city, who spent the war years in the safety of a Nazi office in occupied Holland, using his pen to spare some Jews while condemning others.
Hero or Nazi war criminal? ′Good German′ Hans Calmeyer′s legacy debated | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.07.2020

There are some who say nobody is perfect but it mystifies me that a man who asked for the job of sending some Jews to their deaths can be considered by present-day Germans in Osnabrück as one of the millions of 'Good Germans'. Some are even comparing him to Oscar Schindler who saved many Jews from extermination by giving them jobs in his munitions factory near Krakau, occupied Poland.

b-der-gute-moerder-09-04-2016.jpg

Georg Calmeyer had a comfortable job in The Hague during WWII.

If Vad Yeshem says he was OK that is good enough for me. In this particular case the only opinions that count are those of Jews.
 

HK.227

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
1,394
Reaction score
472
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
If Vad Yeshem says he was OK that is good enough for me. In this particular case the only opinions that count are those of Jews.

Agreed. On the face of it he doesn't exactly sound like the amazing Spiderman, but I am not a descendant of the people who were murdered, so I don't get to decide on their behalf.
 

Jean-s

Gone
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
4,325
Reaction score
1,382
Location
Spain
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
okay. feel that way. Rejecting 2/3rds while under the nazis noses, kinda indicates the guy had an agenda. Most would prefer to think of the 3,000 he saved. But, if he really was a nazi, piss on him.

Yad Vashem will sort it out.

Yad Vashem listened only to stories of those who were spared, not the families (usually working class) who perished at the stroke of Calmeyer's pen.
 

Jean-s

Gone
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
4,325
Reaction score
1,382
Location
Spain
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
If Vad Yeshem says he was OK that is good enough for me. In this particular case the only opinions that count are those of Jews.
I disagree that only Jews can have a valid opinion on who is guilty of war crimes. As it happens, Yad Veshem are embarrassed by their earlier quick decision about Calmeyer and they are reviewing their earlier award when they got the testimony of Auschwits-Birkenau few and far-between survivors.
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,167
Reaction score
21,573
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
Not killing people doesn't carry the same moral weight as killing people. I don't kill people every day, yet no-one gives me a medal. Guy was directly responsible for the deaths of thousands. That he could of killed more doesn't change that.
 

Chagos

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
29,503
Reaction score
7,822
Location
in expatria
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Not killing people doesn't carry the same moral weight as killing people. I don't kill people every day, yet no-one gives me a medal. Guy was directly responsible for the deaths of thousands. That he could of killed more doesn't change that.
Covers it aptly, leastwise to me, and I need add nothing.
 

Rogue Valley

Exordium and Terminus
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
66,815
Reaction score
51,001
Location
Barsoom
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Sparing some does not somehow cancel out those he condemned to be murdered.

Thankfully, Justice doesn't work that way.
 

Trypt

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
256
Reaction score
40
Location
GTA, ON
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Not killing people doesn't carry the same moral weight as killing people. I don't kill people every day, yet no-one gives me a medal. Guy was directly responsible for the deaths of thousands. That he could of killed more doesn't change that.

Let's see. You and another guy, a guy bleeding statism all the way through, are both offered the job. You're more qualified but if you don't want it, the other guy gets it and no hard feelings from the higher ups. Do you say no, and let the guy take the job, knowing he'll end up going out of his way to kill all the Jews he can, or do you take the job and make sure that you can save as many as you can? Are you more guilty with the latter than the former?

It seems to me that this guy was a godsend for the Jews at this particular camp. If he said no, ALL would have perished.

When you live in a society with an unopposed boot on your neck at all times, you can either join the true resistance and fight guerrilla warfare, which also kills many many innocents and usually gets an unproportional response from the state, or you can join and work from the inside. Both are equally valid, and moral, the difference is that the guerrilla fighter usually wants to hang all the "collaborators" after the fact, even if they were the reason why he/she was able to win to begin with.
 

Felis Leo

Moral clarity is needed
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
9,228
Reaction score
9,933
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Should a Third Reich occupation official responsible for reviewing Dutch applications to be spared from being sent to death camps be honored as a hero because he sent less than half petitions to be killed, a number that amounted to thousands? The residents of Osnabrück in northwest Germany are considering naming a museum to the Final Solution after Hans Georg Calmeyer, a native of the city, who spent the war years in the safety of a Nazi office in occupied Holland, using his pen to spare some Jews while condemning others.
Hero or Nazi war criminal? ′Good German′ Hans Calmeyer′s legacy debated | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.07.2020

There are some who say nobody is perfect but it mystifies me that a man who asked for the job of sending some Jews to their deaths can be considered by present-day Germans in Osnabrück as one of the millions of 'Good Germans'. Some are even comparing him to Oscar Schindler who saved many Jews from extermination by giving them jobs in his munitions factory near Krakau, occupied Poland.

b-der-gute-moerder-09-04-2016.jpg

Georg Calmeyer had a comfortable job in The Hague during WWII.

It is a difficult question and it is hard to say. If he had been replaced by a more fervent and murderous Nazi official, would there have been as many Jewish survivors and their descendants today to comment at all? Doubtful. And we certainly know of such Nazi Party-appointed overlords of occupied nations who were eager to make the occupied territories judenrein.

But I will say this: People who were Nazi Officials in the apparatus in charge of the life and death of Jews were not "good Germans." Some were just less evil than others. Oskar Schindler put himself at greater personal risk, burned through his considerable personal fortune of ill-gotten gains to safeguard the Jews under his stewardship and helped undermine the Nazi war effort and extermination campaign in his own way. Calmeyer does not seem to have undertaken the same risk.
 

btthegreat

DP Veteran
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
3,686
Reaction score
1,781
Location
Lebanon Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I think the question becomes what authoritative and substantive testimonial evidence did they have about why he wanted the job? We know any paper trail will show good Nazi -correct reasons, as he will get greater and more unwanted scrutiny otherwise, and whoever recommended him is not going to leave evidence of his own incompetence by employing a bad risk, and we know the man is not stupid enough to go around saying stupid things to the wrong people. Its going to have to be testimonials from very close friends or people sympathetic to the same resistance/ pro jewish cause. etc.
 
Last edited:

Bodhisattva

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
100,458
Reaction score
21,261
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
He also sent other Jews to their deaths. Sounds like a war criminal to me.

He sent them or they were already on their way and he could not pull them out of line?
 

Dayton3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
10,034
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Smackover, AR.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
He sent them or they were already on their way and he could not pull them out of line?

That depends. But I'm more inclined to go with raw numbers. If he did allow thousands of Jews to be sent on to their deaths, then I would argue that he was NOT "doing all he could".
 

Bodhisattva

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
100,458
Reaction score
21,261
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
That depends. But I'm more inclined to go with raw numbers. If he did allow thousands of Jews to be sent on to their deaths, then I would argue that he was NOT "doing all he could".

... that is a good point. Just to play Devils Advocate... at what point does a person help others but try to not be noticed and probably murdered themselves?
 

Dayton3

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
10,034
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Smackover, AR.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
... that is a good point. Just to play Devils Advocate... at what point does a person help others but try to not be noticed and probably murdered themselves?

Fair point. It is a difficult question and I wouldn't presume to know how I would've acted in such a situation. But intellectually I think that a person is obligated to prevent the murders of others up to and including endangering their own lives.

Oskar Schindler has been brought up. I would have some problems with Schindlers saving of Jews if those Jews were saved by putting them to work in his factory had been making weapons that the Nazis subsequently used to murder more Jews. But it is my understanding that Schindler's factory producing no war supporting products worthy of note.

We're getting deep into not only a moral issue but a philosophical issue of the "good vs. the greater good". Just shows that in real life there are no easy answers.
 

Bodhisattva

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
100,458
Reaction score
21,261
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Fair point. It is a difficult question and I wouldn't presume to know how I would've acted in such a situation. But intellectually I think that a person is obligated to prevent the murders of others up to and including endangering their own lives.

Oskar Schindler has been brought up. I would have some problems with Schindlers saving of Jews if those Jews were saved by putting them to work in his factory had been making weapons that the Nazis subsequently used to murder more Jews. But it is my understanding that Schindler's factory producing no war supporting products worthy of note.

We're getting deep into not only a moral issue but a philosophical issue of the "good vs. the greater good". Just shows that in real life there are no easy answers.

Agreed.
 

Jonsa

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
5,335
Reaction score
3,088
Location
Toronto
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Yad Vashem listened only to stories of those who were spared, not the families (usually working class) who perished at the stroke of Calmeyer's pen.

Not true. Vad Yashem listens to ALL survivor stories.
 

Jean-s

Gone
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
4,325
Reaction score
1,382
Location
Spain
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
Not true. Vad Yashem listens to ALL survivor stories.
I wrote the truth. Read the article. Vad Yashem is reconsidering its hasty praise of Calmeyer. Even their original decision to name him righteous had dissenters at the time. Vad Yashem did not pay attention to all survivors who were victims of Calmeyer.
 
Top Bottom