Originally posted by RANT
Just "Following Orders..."
Originally posted by Nerdling
Joining the Hitler Youth was mandatory after 1939.
It was not mandatory before that.
Originally posted by Gazrok
It is interesting though, isn't it? That one would choose such a man as their direct conduit to their God?
I mean, do you really want someone who wasn't willing to die for their beliefs and convictions in such a role?
Seems to me he's made a history of taking the path of least resistance. First joining youth program, then allowing himself to be a soldier, and then
furthermore deserting when defeat was eminent.
According to the timeline, he became a priest only when it was obvious the Nazis were losing.
Hardly the one I'd choose to be such a conduit....
While such a history shouldn't preclude one from many many roles in life, I'd think that "Pope" should have a bit more stringent requirements, and
I'm not even Catholic or Christian.
Just a thought.
Just to clear things up, so nobody gets the wrong idea from these posts.
The Hitler Youth
became mandatory in 1938. Ratzinger turned 14 in 1941
along with a total of about 8 million
other German children.
He was a 14 year old kid, not one you'd want to become a martyr. He dances around with a swastika on his shoulder because the guy with the funny
moustache who controls the military told him to.
When he was 16
, he was drafted (with many of his classmates) to serve AA batteries at varying place around the Reich. In at least one
instance, he was a telephone operator. I do doubt that the later in the war it got, they would have put him into a non-combat role, so in all
likelihood he served some sort of mundane function the entire time. If any has more info on this, it'd be appreciated.
In 1944, he was drafted again, to dig anti-tank embankments in defense of the inevitable Red Army offensive. This is different from the conquered
people forced to do the same work...how? He was around 17 at this time.
A month or two later, he was drafted again into the infantry. He never saw combat and deserted (like much of the Army was doing).
Now, according to his family, he wanted nothing other than to be a priest. Obviously, he wouldn't enter the seminary at age 14, and he was a bit
preoccupied at that time with being drafted and all. But when the war was ove,r he entered the deminary with his brother.
You can dislike Ratzinger for any number of reasons. His hardline conservative beliefs, for one. I don't liek them either. But please, don't make
it sound like he's some sort of Nazi sympathizer when he went through exactly what millions of other Germans went through during the war. You're
supposed to be denying ignorance here, not helping to spread vitriol. Now, if you have something substantial, then by all means bring it up. But so
far I've just heard rhetoric about "Following Orders" and "only changing when the Nazis were losing", and some sort of claim that a teenager
should martyr himself for his beliefs (I know everyone here would take a bullet rather than answer the phone). This all without taking into account
anything other than knowing it will annoy a few Catholics and up your posts. None of us lived back then, none of us were drafted, none of us know
what it's like to be just old enough to drive and then shoved into a uniform and sent off to die. I'm not going to judge him because, frankly, I
probably would have done exactly what he did.
I've read nothing here that I haven't read or heard a dozen times over the past week. And it all sounds the same- trying to make an issue out of
nothing. Make an issue out of something important, you'll come out sounding alot better.
[edit on 4-21-2005 by Esoterica]