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Fallen soldier WWII monument deemed Nazi support

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I saw this new article and about shit myself I could not believe it.

 

A Portland Police officer was suspended 80 hours without pay and sent to sensitivity training for setting up a monument to fallen world war 2 soldiers, get this 11 years ago. WTF, really?

 

So now we are assuming all people who memorialize say lost loved ones are insensitive Nazi sympathizers. Yet these memorials are found common place all across Germany in memory of loved ones, not as Nazi propaganda or memorabilia.

 

I am honestly mortified, this is so stigmatizing of the German people and I feel this officer did nothing wrong from what I can tell. I am curious about your thoughts.

 

From the article:

 

 

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland police captain has been suspended for two weeks without pay for putting a plaque on Rocky Butte that honors German soldiers in World War II.

 

The plaque, which was put up 11 years ago, has since been removed and Captain Mark Kruger has apologized. He also denied that he had any sympathy for the followers of Adolf Hitler.

 

In addition to being suspended, Kruger will also have to undergo additional training and participate in a mentorship program to be determined by the police chief and the mayor.

http://www.katu.com/news/local/108525504.html

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They have a second article

 

 

“If you’re Jewish; if you’re black; if you’re gay in Portland, the last thing you want is a Portland police officer who has a history of Nazi sympathizing,” Currie said.

http://www.katu.com/news/local/104827634.html

 

In this one they claim there is a photo of him in a soldiers uniform, which they identify as a Nazi Uniform.

 

I am not willing to jump to conclusions, even if it is him. He could just he a history buff. How many men a year dress up and reenact the civil war no one is loosing their jobs for having played the confederate soldiers.

 

Apparently the deparment felt the same way:

 

 

But for months, the Portland Police Bureau said he was nothing more than a history buff.

Just the reaction that anyone who has interest in wwII or who remembers the fallen soldiers is a nazi sympathizer appalls me, that is such an offensive suggestion.

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This has been reported in the Oregonian in October already: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/10/portland_police_panel_finds_ca.html

 

Looks as if it's all about money and some fake PC.

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I remember Mark Kruger from when I lived in Portland. He was notorious for being a petty, abusive, vindictive cop -- "most rotten cop", even -- who seemed to get off on pepper-spraying people, including a news camerawoman. I had to deal with him several times and he really is one hell of an asshole. He should have been outright fired years ago, regardless of his Nazi sympathies (which are there, according to friends of his from the '80s), but the Portland Police Bureau is so corrupt and inept that'll never happen.

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http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/portland_police_chief_suspends_1.html

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I had not heard of him before. Nor have I seen anything about these being SS officials, I only noted German soldiers killed in WWII.#

 

I just do not like the assumption that remembering a fallen soldier is sympathizing. Nor the idea that people with interest in WWII are Nazi supports, they could have a fiesta with my college professor, man was obsessed with Hitler and the third reich, did it make him a Nazi supporter, no he was a historian.

 

I just do not like those associations and from what I read the reactions are very OTT in my opinion.

 

Imagine if someone tried that here, people would flip a shit, these are loved ones of people and one cannot identify all Germans or all German soldiers as Nazis. Hell even the pope himself was in Hitler Jungen, it was common at the times, it did not make him an active member of the SS or Nazi party.

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I agree with Serena: basically, my stance on this is I just don´t believe in collective guilt. It´s a non-concept for me. My German girlfriend´s father was 19 when he was forced to go to Russia. I was 21 when I was mobbed by a bunch of so-called students in a park in Buenos Aires for being English and sworn at because of my being an " inglés imperialista " ( only because I was English ). Many other similar stories but also incredibly positive ones everywhere.

I have an interest in history left and right but that doesn´t make me this or that. I´m me and I certainly am not to blame for any wars and conflicts. Are you?

When will we learn as a species?

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people who memorialize

 

Would those people be 'memorializers'?

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bramble's point about honoring foreign soldiers is apt here, and particularly because we're taking about people who served the Third Reich (however enthusiastic they may have been about it or not). If he had honored German soldiers in WWI, I would have thought it odd and would have wondered if he had any family ties to those who served in that capacity, but WWII service? Unfathomable, IMHO, unless one admired that regime in some way, and to do so in a public park is more inappropriate. Maybe there is more to this than has been reported, and the link that mattb supplied claims there is video footage of him wearing WWII uniforms, which is a very bad sign.

 

The military history buff claim rings insincere here because his actions aren't consistent with that of a mere history buff.

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Shut up chocky, lol, it sounded good at the time ;)

 

I have not come across any other additional info. I came across this during my daily KATU check.

 

Assuming this guy is a Nazi fan and not a history buff, I think it is still fair to say that these articles were written in a way that came across as people associating an interest in historical events or remembering fallen soldiers as Nazi support. That bit upsets me.

 

You know I felt the same way with all the Pope drama, about the hitler youth, and peoples Nazi pasts. You see it all the time, people associate Nazism with being German, that all Germans were Nazis and that stereotype is what I find bothersome.

 

It would be interesting to know more about the people on these plaques and why he chose them.

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...because we're taking about people who served the Third Reich (however enthusiastic they may have been about it or not).

The standard equation of German WW2 soldier = Nazi is a piece of war time propaganda that is still floating around, IMO. It's simply not true.

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I could comment here about the abuse thrown at Afrika Korps and Fallschirmjager vets and women who had the honour of being raped and abused as 12 and 13 year olds by the glorious,all-conquering RKKA at the church service at Columbiadamm by Tempelhof last Sunday.(Of COURSE they were all in on it...every jack of them...GUILTY!)

 

I paid my respects to the British and Commonwealth dead on Heer Strasse on the 11th, to our (then) enemies on Sunday. I had my photo taken several times by those who would like to revert to some fairy-tale Soviet style republic where everything is just beautiful and nice, just like in the good old days. At the very least, these people taking pictures and trying to drown out the priest were anti-democratic in spirit.It was after all, a ceremony of remembrance, not a rally for boneheads.

I was one of a handful of young people there (young is a relative word) who has interviewed and recorded the experiences of some of those present.I really do not see 89 and 90 year olds as being the progenitors of some 4th Reich.

As part of the service, the Last Post was played for a Trooper Singh, Gurhka Brigade, who died in captivity in WW1. Obviously a Narz as well. We also paid respects to the Tzarist prisoners who died as PoWs in the Great War. Monarchist Fascist scum the lot of lot them no doubt.

 

But I won't mention any of this because obviously I must be some sort of Fash-Narz Bose for daring to have an interest in the period and to have dared to befriend old German people.

 

Democracy is a great thing, init?

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The standard equation of German WW2 soldier = Nazi is a piece of war time propaganda that is still floating around, IMO. It's simply not true.

 

The point is that it's not a badge of honor in the US, and they should not be honored by US citizens, including those who actually are military history buffs. If Germans want to honor them because they were German soldiers, that has a different connotation.

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The standard equation of German WW2 soldier = Nazi is a piece of war time propaganda that is still floating around, IMO. It's simply not true.

 

Of course it's not true. And the propaganda is very unfair. My own mother is German and served in Hitler's army as a teleprinter. Certainly no Nazi, but her father (my grandfather) was, but he became disillusioned with Hitler before the war started. He served in WWI but not in WWII. 

 

The point is, though, that the person (an American) we are discussing chose to hang up plaques of German soldiers (some of them members of the SS, according to one of the articles provided) in a public place in America (instead of in his home). I find that pretty bizarre. With respect to 9/11 I would also find it bizarre if an American chose to honour a member of the Taliban in a similar way.  

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If Germans want to honor them because they were German soldiers, that has a different connotation.

The worldwide reaction would be interesting...

 

 

I find that pretty bizarre.

Yep, but aren't the cops' actions covered by the First Amendment anyway?

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Since you are from Germany, Expat, I'm pretty sure you have seen some memorials to fallen German soldiers- I have seen at least one (in Lindau am Bodensee), and I would think that they cover at least WWI as well. These may generally be memorials to locals that died in war rather than to all soldiers who died.

 

EDIT: this link may be illuminating: German War Memorials.

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Oh, I thought you had a much more public way of honoring them in mind. Something like Veterans Day for example. I know that there is Volkstrauertag, but that day is nothing compared to its American counterpart and always had a very negative, depressing touch. Rightly so, I might add. I'm not a fan of glorifying wars.

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