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The American Smile

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posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:36 AM
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Earlier today the Russian Troll posted this:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

"The difference between Russians and Americans"

One of the variables was that Americans smile all the time for no reason. And personally I agree and I think its mainly an American female trait. However there is more to it I think. There is sort of an altruistic streak that runs through most Americans and it reminded me of a story in my past.

So here is bit more on the "American Smile" from my perspective. When I was staying in Wiesbaden Germany many years ago after being injured while in the USN, I made pals with an old guy many years my senior by patronizing a bar there in the old downtown. He was a retired Luftwaffe pilot and had spent his time in the German Air Force piloting the F-4 Phantom of which my father helped build at Mcdonnell Douglas plant in Saint Louis. I knew a great deal about the aircraft because of that and this is how myeslf and the old man became pals.

He told me that when he was 14 years old he was drafted into the regular German army by the Nazi's. It was early 1945 and he and a pal that was the same age agreed that they would surrender to the American Army while on patrol. They were frightened because their superiors told them that Americans would kill them or at best enslave them. But rumors were out by that time that if you were lucky enough to be facing Americans it was best to surrender to them because they wouldn't kill you or hurt you.

The time came and he and his friend out on patrol saw some American troops. They dropped their weapons and raised their hands with a white cloth in their hands. The American soldiers took them. At first they roughed them up a bit looking for knives and explosives and whatnot, but then started walking them back. He said about a half mile into the walk the American soldiers realized that he could speak decent English and asked him if he was hungry.

My friend turned around and stated affirmative. He said then the American soldier just started smiling from ear to ear and reached into his pocket - for a second my German friend thought it was a trick and he was a goner - but then he saw it. He saw a wonderful Hershey chocolate bar. The American broke it in half, smiling the whole time, and gave half to him and half to his friend. The American soldier then said, "Enjoy that, maybe for you this means the war is finally over!" My German friend said he started crying like a baby for a few minutes and said that it meant so much to him. He thought humanity had ended and here in a few short seconds a smiling American made him believe that maybe it had not after all.

He then told me that his time at the POW camp was not fun by any means, but he was fed and sheltered like an actual human being and that the same could not be said by his countrymen captured by the French or British, and definitely not those captured by the Russians (sorry Russian Troll but that is historically accurate).
edit on 20-12-2018 by Fools because: .




posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Fools

To be fair the Germans were in the middle of razing and pillaging Russia after betraying them....I could see them treating German POWs poorly.
edit on 20/12/2018 by dug88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:47 AM
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originally posted by: dug88
a reply to: Fools

To be fair the Germans were in the middle of razing and pillaging Russia after betraying them....


All is fair in love and war as they say.

The funny thing about the end of WW2 is that almost NO ONE speaks of the greatest diaspora of possibly all time which was the removal of all Germans from what is currently western Poland. Of course at the same time Russia also removed all Polish people from what used to be eastern Poland before the war. To me, one of these days I want to visit those areas. I want to see Kaliningrad and see how total the transformation from German to Russian actually was. I read it was really complete. Scary times the end of WW2 was for normal civilians in Central Europe.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: dug88

This is true. Also, as Americans, we had financed the entire thing. That being said - none of that has anything to do with this being a cool story and yeah I think we smile a lot mostly because of winning tho.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:52 AM
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He had a conversation with 1 American out of 350 million. He is 1 out of 145 million. You cannot make any assumption about usa citizens or Russian citizens from that.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:56 AM
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originally posted by: 5ofineed5aladder
He had a conversation with 1 American out of 350 million. He is 1 out of 145 million. You cannot make any assumption about usa citizens or Russian citizens from that.


Sure I can, and I did.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 09:57 AM
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originally posted by: lightedhype
a reply to: dug88

This is true. Also, as Americans, we had financed the entire thing. That being said - none of that has anything to do with this being a cool story and yeah I think we smile a lot mostly because of winning tho.


Not sure, I think "common" people in the USA are actually quite wonderful people. Still to this day. It's mostly urbanites that suck personality wise.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: Fools

Thank you, I read your friend's tearing tale with affection. I was surprised a little by your last expression "sorry Russian Troll but that is historically accurate". And really, let's talk about "historical facts".

Russian in that war killed more than 27 million. The overwhelming majority are civilians and prisoners of war. Are you ready to refute this historical fact? And how many Americans, British, French and Germans?

Yes, the Russians captured many Germans, soldiers, and for a long time they built and rebuilt what they destroyed. Mortality among prisoners of war was on average lower than the mortality of post-war civilians from starvation and disease. Because they were fed and treated. This is a historical fact.

What happened in the West? You read alternative German sites. It is factually proved that Eisenhower removed millions of German prisoners from the category of "prisoners of war" and how they were destroyed by millions in post-war concentration camps. Is this news to you? This is a historical fact.

About chocolate - wildly touched. This one, like Victoria Nuland, was handing out cookies on Ukrain's Maidan. She handed out cookies for $ 5, and then robbed the country for tens of billions of dollars. Such is the sympathy.

I have a mean male tear running down my cheek!
edit on 20-12-2018 by RussianTroll because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:30 AM
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We put the Japanese in the stalls at Santa Anita.

They did nothing.

WW2 was a horrible time on all sides.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:38 AM
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a reply to: Fools

Relevant to both this thread and Russian Troll's:

Why Do Americans Smile So Much?

It brings together a couple scientific studies and a few anecdotes and presents the best theory I've seen for cultural/societal differences in expressing emotions.

Basically, the first study cited in the article shows correlation between a country's homogeneity throughout it's history (they go back to 1500 in this study) and it's people's expression of emotion (specifically mentioned in the article are attitudes toward smiling and direct eye-contact) and they go on to explain why the differences are as they are.

That's the gist of the first study but at least read the article if not the actual studies. It's really interesting and not a long read.

ETA: Sorry, I meant to include this one that comes at the question from a slightly different angle. It is linked to in the first article but here it is on its own:

Why do Some Cultures Frown on Smiling


edit on 20/12/18 by 35Foxtrot because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: lightedhype

One can live pretty comfortably even the bottom rung here. Also, US soldiers had not been on the front lines for years already and their homes and families were not personally at risk. Makes sense we would be easier on the German prisoners.

Hell, we imported dozens of them afterwards to lead our space and intelligence agencies.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:44 AM
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Eh, it's definitely an equal proportion of both urban and country people who just suck.
edit on 20-12-2018 by lightedhype because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: lightedhype




Hell, we imported dozens of them afterwards to lead our space and intelligence agencies.



Try thousands! So did the Soviets in Paperclip equivalent Operation Osoaviakhim.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Fools

I've only actually meet a few full blooded Americans face to face... which is kind of surprising, considering we're absolutely saturated in American culture over here in our day to day lives.

But I will say that for all the Americans I have meet, I certainly didn't notice them smiling more than you'd expect of the average person.

Quite the opposite actually. Don't get me wrong, all the Americans I've meet were friendly enough... But just seemed to take themselves a little to seriously, for lack of a better choice of words.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:15 AM
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originally posted by: lightedhype
Eh, it's definitely an equal proportion of both urban and country people who just suck.


Yeah, now that I think of it, you are right. I looked back on all the rural people I have known and it was pretty much 50/50. I suppose the main difference is attitude. Always seem to get a look down on you thing from urbanites even if they are nice people.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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For the record, I personally do not smile often. I don't know why, but I just don't.

I also love how generic tales now explode into particulars about large scale history. I am guilty of it as well, so I am not calling anyone out. Could Readers Digest comment board exist in this day and age?

God it would be depressing to read that wouldn't it?



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:22 AM
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originally posted by: RussianTroll
a reply to: Fools

Thank you, I read your friend's tearing tale with affection. I was surprised a little by your last expression "sorry Russian Troll but that is historically accurate". And really, let's talk about "historical facts".

Russian in that war killed more than 27 million. The overwhelming majority are civilians and prisoners of war. Are you ready to refute this historical fact? And how many Americans, British, French and Germans?

Yes, the Russians captured many Germans, soldiers, and for a long time they built and rebuilt what they destroyed. Mortality among prisoners of war was on average lower than the mortality of post-war civilians from starvation and disease. Because they were fed and treated. This is a historical fact.

What happened in the West? You read alternative German sites. It is factually proved that Eisenhower removed millions of German prisoners from the category of "prisoners of war" and how they were destroyed by millions in post-war concentration camps. Is this news to you? This is a historical fact.

About chocolate - wildly touched. This one, like Victoria Nuland, was handing out cookies on Ukrain's Maidan. She handed out cookies for $ 5, and then robbed the country for tens of billions of dollars. Such is the sympathy.

I have a mean male tear running down my cheek!


Start a new thread about the Eisenhower concentration camps. I am serious, I have never heard about that. If it is true, that is worthy of a unique thread for sure. Hell, it is even worthy if it isn't. This is ATS, that is what people need here.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: 35Foxtrot
a reply to: Fools

Relevant to both this thread and Russian Troll's:

Why Do Americans Smile So Much?

It brings together a couple scientific studies and a few anecdotes and presents the best theory I've seen for cultural/societal differences in expressing emotions.

Basically, the first study cited in the article shows correlation between a country's homogeneity throughout it's history (they go back to 1500 in this study) and it's people's expression of emotion (specifically mentioned in the article are attitudes toward smiling and direct eye-contact) and they go on to explain why the differences are as they are.

That's the gist of the first study but at least read the article if not the actual studies. It's really interesting and not a long read.

ETA: Sorry, I meant to include this one that comes at the question from a slightly different angle. It is linked to in the first article but here it is on its own:

Why do Some Cultures Frown on Smiling



Thanks, those links were interesting. Seem to make sense to me.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: dug88
a reply to: Fools

To be fair the Germans were in the middle of razing and pillaging Russia after betraying them....I could see them treating German POWs poorly.


In March 1945, the letter CCS, signed by Eisenhower, recommended the creation of a new class of prisoners - Disarmed Enemy Forces - DEF - the Disarmed Forces of the Enemy, who, unlike prisoners of war, did not fall under the Geneva Convention. Therefore, they should not have been supplied by the victorious army after the surrender of Germany.

It was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. In a letter dated March 10, in particular. argued: "The additional load on the supply of troops, caused by the recognition of the German Armed Forces as prisoners of war, requiring their provision at the level of the basic military ration, lies far beyond the limits of the Allies, even with all the resources of Germany." The letter ended: "Your approval is required. Plans will be made on this basis."

On April 26, 1945, the Joint Command approved DEF status only for prisoners of war in the hands of the US Army: the British command refused to accept the American plan for its prisoners of war. CCS decided to keep the status of the disarmed German troops in secret.

At the same time, the Chief Quartermaster of Eisenhower at SAEF, General Robert Littlejohn, already halved the ration for prisoners and the letter from SAEF addressed to General George Marshall, the commander-in-chief of the US Army, signed by Eisenhower, said that there would be no roof in the camps for prisoners other amenities ... ".

According to German media in the concentration camps of Eisenhower, between 1.5 million and 2.5 million German prisoners of war were killed.






Rhein-Zeitung, so called this photograph that had survived from the Americans, placed on its lane: Camp in Sinzig-Remagen, spring 1945.



posted on Dec, 20 2018 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: RussianTroll

Guess my pal got pretty lucky. I will look into this more. I find it interesting. Now you will admit that the rate of execution and rape was pretty bad when Russian infantry came upon German civilians as well as soldiers surrendering right?

I mean I totally understand the hatred Russians would have for Germans by that point, but don't say it wasn't so.



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