In a recent news story which you can read in full here, I read the following quote:
Oswiecim, Poland — In an upstairs room at the only remaining synagogue in this town, 37 miles west of Krakow, 13 future American military officers wrestled with ethical questions in the actual shadow of Auschwitz.
One of the ethical questions that these cadets struggled with was mentioned in this quote from the article:
For example, German army units could have questioned orders to kill Jewish civilians. According to Frey, a few German army units in the 691st Wehrmacht battalion that fought in Russia refused orders to kill Jews and were not punished. Most of the units, however, obeyed the orders.
I was not familiar with this particular incident, but I immediately suspected that there is more to this story than what was included in the news article. Were Wehrmacht soldiers ( in the regular German army) ordered to take time out from fighting on the Russian front in order to “kill Jewish civilians” for no reason other than that they were Jews? (more…)