Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tiger im Schlamm...remembering Otto Carius

Tiger Ace, Otto Carius has passed away at 92. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy of military accomplishments.

And now for a little note. Over the past day the ASL Facebook Group and GS Forum erupted with a few (very vocal) folks who disagree with any respectful remembrance of combatants who happened to serve in the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

Now right up front, I don't subscribe to that kind of thinking. Each man/soldier deserves to be judged on their own record of accomplishment, irrespective of the regime they happened to serve. This is in no way to suggest that Nazism is anything other than the most vile political system to exist in modern history. I stand right there with those who rightfully view Nazism
as one step below the devil's work. It was that and unfortunately much more.

I have lived and studied in Germany and on one occasion found myself confronted with Nazism on a snow covered street where someone had made a huge swastika in the intersection. Many Germans were looking on as I purposely walked into the street and obliterated that hated symbol. To this day, I don't fully know what emotion overcame me...but I couldn't abide that symbol. No Germans made a move to stop me and I don't tell this story to elicit praise. I simply tell it to help the reader fully understand my opposition to Nazism.

All of that said, I will also give respect where respect is due to men who despite the horrible cause they served fought with courage and valor for their nation. We can ask nothing more of any man or woman who puts duty first.

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