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Oradour in the news again


Cendrillon

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This soldier was so young when he perpetrated these acts and frankly it was all very well a french politician saying yesterday that he could have said no, but really, how could he have done that?

Make no mistake, I am not offering any sort of defence for his actions,  I am not! I hope that he has suffered during his life with horrific nightmares and misery. Whether he has or not is by the by and I am glad that he has at last come to justice. As far as I am concerned no one will ever be too old for justice to be served.

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Yes that's a good point.  He must have been early twenties at the time.  Can you imagine a feared SS officer screaming at you to kill everybody?  Even if you thought it wrong you would not dare say so as you would be put against the wall and shot as a traitor, and of course there would be no doubt in your mind that Germany would win the war so never a possibility of being accused of a war crime.
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Whilst I'm in favour of pursuing those who have committed war crimes I'm not very comfortable about this particular case.

The soldier in question was 19 years old. It's pretty unlikely he would have had any discretion over carrying out orders in the Oradour massacre and I would think that the result of any disobedience on his part would have been to have forfeit his own life (as has already been suggested).

Remember, a 19 year old junior soldier.  

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Yes, at 19 he had two choices - carry out the orders or be killed himself. Nice to say 'I would refuse the orders' whilst sitting in a comfortable home with no pressure but his situation was entirely different and the self preservation instinct can be very strong.

That is not to say that the massacre was trivial but those further up the chain are the ones to blame.
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 This boy would have only been 7 when Hitler got to power and the real indoctrination started, the likelihood of him saying no is rather remote. And yet, some did. And germans did not continue being mass murderers post war, rather indicates that they actually did know the difference between right and wrong, even 'then'.

As I said, I hope his life was tormented because anyone involved in committing such despicable acts deserves to suffer.

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