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Dying SS Troops

Article about: Like Bob said, it is extremely difficult to judge anyone from this war; while we sit at our keyboards, in our safe surroundings, with a stomach full of food. It should not be our pleasure to

  1. #51

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Quote by gnadenlose View Post
    Some disturbing images of Estonain W-SS men being executed by Chech partisans. The protagonist is Ritterkreutzträger Paul Maitla (front left on the middle pic). Those who didn't fight back, were allowed to smoke their last cigarettes...
    http://wehrmacht.wehrmacht.pri.ee/fotod/2/9/9.html
    I was aware of this, but unaware of the fact that it had been captured on film.

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  3. #52

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    They photographed the actual shooting itself--note the office in mid air falling backwards. I assume Maitla is the last man standing?:
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  4. #53

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Quote by stonemint View Post
    I assume Maitla is the last man standing?:
    I guess the last man standing is the guy from previous picture far left in the back row.

    These photos popped up in Chech Republic some 3-5 yrs ago and are now in the well known Estonian SS-collection. Some enthusiasts (including Maitla's daughter!) are working hard bring Maitla's remains back to his fatherland. The trouble is that no-one knows where the remains lay today, because the original grave was probably opened a few decades ago and the bodies were entombed in an unknown place. All kind of information about the fate of Maitla's body is more than welcome! This far we can light a candle on his wife's grave in Tallinn

  5. #54
    ?

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    I have seen these photos many times but still find it shocking to see the last moments of a highly decorated fighting man , RIP Paul Maitla.

    Hopefully some day he will return to Estonia.
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #55
    ?

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Paul Maitla
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  7. #56

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    There were 3 incidents of human decency in the film, the first being the cameraman giving the girl with the black eye cigerettes, the second the person throwing a handkerchief over the dead german and the third, the survivors being removed by the americans.I remember this was part of a TV programme, The Second World war in colour - the camera crew inadvertantly stumbled on a village where reprisals had taken place by the local communist partisans prior to their arrival. The cameraman recorded the events as they happened and the german who was still alive in the video was taken to a US medical area for treatment. Whether he lived, it was never revealed. However, people should remember the terrible attrocities commited to the Czech people after Reinhard Heydrich was killed.All partizans knew they would be horribly tortured before being exEcuted if captured. With regard to the Estonians including MaiTla in the photos, the local Communists allowed him and his friends a soldiers death.If the soviets had captured them, they would have been badly tortured before being killed for being Soviet Army traitors who had been captured and then decided to fight for the Nazis. At the very least these photos show humane (if it were possible) sentences of death. I believe this was why the deaths were recorded in photographs by the Czechs. Every death in this world is pointless unless it is of old age and without recourse to politics, religion and mass ideology and the murder of other human beings. However we cannot judge the past as we were not present and history always rewrites itself.

  8. #57

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    That was such an alien time to how we live today. He bravely faced his killers Paul, so he lived and died according to his code. I also hope his daughter gets to take him home.
    Courage is not the lack of fear, it is the ability to take action, no matter the cost.

  9. #58
    ?

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Quote by shuggymac1 View Post
    There were 3 incidents of human decency in the film, the first being the cameraman giving the girl with the black eye cigerettes, the second the person throwing a handkerchief over the dead german and the third, the survivors being removed by the americans.I remember this was part of a TV programme, The Second World war in colour - the camera crew inadvertantly stumbled on a village where reprisals had taken place by the local communist partisans prior to their arrival. The cameraman recorded the events as they happened and the german who was still alive in the video was taken to a US medical area for treatment. Whether he lived, it was never revealed. However, people should remember the terrible attrocities commited to the Czech people after Reinhard Heydrich was killed.All partizans knew they would be horribly tortured before being exEcuted if captured. With regard to the Estonians including MaiTla in the photos, the local Communists allowed him and his friends a soldiers death.If the soviets had captured them, they would have been badly tortured before being killed for being Soviet Army traitors who had been captured and then decided to fight for the Nazis. At the very least these photos show humane (if it were possible) sentences of death. I believe this was why the deaths were recorded in photographs by the Czechs. Every death in this world is pointless unless it is of old age and without recourse to politics, religion and mass ideology and the murder of other human beings. However we cannot judge the past as we were not present and history always rewrites itself.
    Interesting comments as usual !! The local communists allowed him a Soldiers death ......... !!!! executed in a ditch after surrendering , not sure where that fits in with the Geneva convention or any known soldiers code. Humane treatment because they were only shot and not tortured !!

    Like many other incidents during the war a Straight forward warcrime.
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #59

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Hi Paul, I meant the code of standing tall and bravely dying. He appears to calmly smoke his cigarette, walk to the ditch, and await his fate. Many men would have broken down watching his compatriots being shot one at a time. These incidents were just mind numbing.

    Take care,
    Jay
    Courage is not the lack of fear, it is the ability to take action, no matter the cost.

  11. #60

    Default Re: Dying SS Troops

    Quote by shuggymac1 View Post
    If the soviets had captured them, they would have been badly tortured before being killed for being Soviet Army traitors who had been captured and then decided to fight for the Nazis.
    I've been talking with large amount of veterans about the event in Chech Republic back in May 45 and many of them have said that the Russian soldiers and officers treated the captured Estonians with much more dignity and compassion than local partisans. Which of course is quite understandable- Russians were the front soldiers and they saw Estonians as POW's, while Chechs were civilians for whom my country mates were only the murderous scum. And as for the torturing- I've never heard that Russians had tortured any Estonian POW's at these days (a few years after the war's end they started to do it, though), nor did they execute them right after the capturing. That's just the sad history of Estonia- first communist Russia occupied us, then nazi Germany liberated us from Stalin and occupied us. The WWII was not our war, but we were taken by it's whirlwinds against our will, fighting side by side with both enemies, hoping that one day our country will be free again. It didn't happen and it's not our grandfathers' fault. And what could be more unfair than to be killed by some third nation, with whom we had nothing to do during the whole war? For me it's undescribebly tragic.

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