Good wikipedia article on the clean Wehrmacht myth

I wonder how someone could believe something likthe “the Wehrmacht didn’t commit any war crime!” unless they’re reading david irving .


It’s actually the norm, not the exception, for people to deny unflattering things about their own people or nation. Consider what Russian sources would say about “The Woman in Berlin.” From a practical perspective, most German men of military age during WW2 were in the Wehrmacht, so most working adults in Germany in the 1950’s had been in the Wehrmacht. Even in the United States, generally Liberal sources portray Konrad Adenauer quite positively, glossing over his spreading of this ahistorical myth.

Adenauer was imprisoned by the Nazis for his politics, so it’s not like Adenauer was secretly sympathetic to Nazism. Adenauer was simply doing what he thought was practical.


When I was younger I heard this on several occasions from people that had lived in Slovakia back in the 40s. They said that when the Wehrmacht soldiers first arrived, they were clean, orderly, that they paid for most concessions made for them and the officers were ready to resolve any issues the soldiers caused (of course far from the “no war crimes” statement, just kinda supports the narrative that not all German military personnel were murderous racist fanatics).
On the other hand they said that when the Soviet front arrived later in the war, that the Russian (& pals) soldiers were dirty flea-ridden rabble (possibly ex-cons) that weren’t shy to eat from the pigs’ trough as they had pretty much no supplies of their own (now the situation being of course much different after long months of brutal combat).

Now, of course, there are two ways to look at this: hearsay clouded by nearly 50 years of selective retrospection or first-hand accounts that are becoming extremely rare these days. I’ll leave you at the liberty to strike a balance between the two viewpoints that suits you best. Just figured this might be interesting to share.