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April 13, 2011

the Allies secretly recorded German Wehrmacht soldiers bragging about their war crimes

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:56 am

According to the website of the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, a new book entitled Soldaten (Soldiers) has been published by S. Fischer Verlag and the book “has the potential to change our view of the war.” You can read the newspaper article here.

During Word War II, the Allies secretly listened in on conversations between German POWs in their cells and recorded them. According to Der Speigel, the recordings of these conversations destroy once and for all the myth of a “clean” Wehrmacht.

The book is subtitled Transcripts of Fighting, Killing and Dying. According to the German newspaper, the book includes the transcripts of the secret recordings in which the POWs discussed their views of the enemy and their own leaders, as well as the details of combat missions, and gave detailed accounts of the atrocities they both witnessed and committed.

This quote is from the article on Der Spiegel’s website:

It is March 6, 1943, and two German soldiers are talking about the war. Fighter pilot Budde and Corporal Bartels were captured by the British a few weeks earlier. The war is over for them, and it’s time to share memories.

Budde: “I flew two spoiling attacks. In other words, we shelled buildings.”

Bartels: “But not destructive attacks with a specific target, like what we did?”

Budde: “No, just spoiling attacks. We encountered some of the nicest targets, like mansions on a mountain. When you flew at them from below and fired into them, you could see the windows rattling and then the roof going up in the air. There was the time we hit Ashford. There was an event on the market square, crowds of people, speeches being given. We really sprayed them! That was fun!”

Two other pilots, Bäumer and Greim, also had their share of amusing experiences, which they described in a conversation with other soldiers.

Bäumer: “We had a 2-centimeter gun installed on the front (of the aircraft). Then we flew down low over the streets, and when we saw cars coming from the other direction, we put on our headlights so that they would think another car was approaching them. Then we shot them with the gun. We had a lot of successes that way. It was great, and it was a lot of fun. We attacked trains and other stuff the same way.”

Greim: “We once flew a low-altitude attack near Eastbourne . When we got there we saw a big castle where there was apparently a ball or something like that being held. In any case, there were lots of women in nice clothes and a band. We flew past the first time, but then we attacked and really stuck it to them. Now that, my dear friend, was a lot of fun.”

To me, this recorded conversation between two German pilots is an example of German humor.  I think that these pilots had figured out that their cells were bugged, and they decided to tell some tall tales as a joke.

I grew up in a German-American family in a German-American community where this kind of joking around was done all the time.  As a small child, I didn’t understand that people were joking when they said things that they didn’t really mean.

I think that these pilots were just playing with the British; it was the British that bombed German mansions just for the fun of it.  I learned about the British bombing of German manor houses and old mansions when I visited the Rhineland in Germany in 1995.


  1. Absolutely. It’s clearly a massive conspiracy to defame the Wermacht and a forgery that has fooled thousands of scholars, historians, and journalists but not us.

    Comment by Mike — June 22, 2012 @ 6:55 am

  2. You should make a post just on the pictures presented in that article incorporating the informed comments here. The captions are obvious propaganda especially the first one. Apparently they aren’t even German. This means they are flat out wrong and it should be corrected. We can even email the author about this.

    Comment by Kageki — April 14, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    • I agree. My colleague sent you some images you can use FG. You have to start exposing these frauds vs. real photos.

      Comment by Lucius — April 15, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  3. Dear Gasan
    There is very little I can add to your comments as your assumption and observation is pretty well correct. I have never heard any POW, even those that were highly decorated ever relating to their exploits or achievements why they received those decorations. Questions I often asked were usually answered by a shaking of their heads and a smile. I found as a rule they did not want to talk about it. I have never heard them joke or put on a “show” of what had happened during their war time activities. But they defended strongly outright lies or distortions of facts. If they knew that they were spied on, they would naturally invent all sorts of misdeeds, you were trained for this.
    Looking at picture number one, the hanging of partisans, this was in most cases carried out by the Feldgendarmerie (MP) and they were in general terms disliked by all Army Units. The soldiers looking at the victims or taken pictures, seem to be Hifies=Russian Hilfswillige as most of them have the Hoheitsabzeichen i.e.eagle with swastika from their caps removed. The one in the very front wears a typical Russian padded jacket, not normal without insignias. There is one German officer second on the left.
    It is well documented that Russian Partisans up to Battalion strength operated behind German lines, and I can relate only one case when two young Russian brothers came in a dilapidated state to the Bielmeier family in Dachau to help KZ-ler in the Bakery at the age of 13 and 14 and were taken away when the youngest reached the age of 16. The family was upset and my father in law had written to some authority and received the transcript of the Military Trial of the boys outlining their partisan activities. As the law apparently stated that you can not hang anyone under 16, they waited and and most likely did their deed then, as they never returned!
    Picture number 5 is interesting, this is an SS soldier of an elite unit, he wears an distinctive arm band on his right sleeve, but I can not decipher it. The Panzerfaust is not in the open visor position, he has to wait until the tank is at least 30 meters away for a frontal shot.
    When it comes to rape etc, there have been Military Trials during the Polish Invasion, when it came to Jewish girls,it was considered as Blutschande but as a rule very little is known, the Army had their brothels and condoms were issued when going for “R&R” especially in France.
    I had always thought Der Spiegel was a more conservative and objective Bildzeitung, perhaps the Editor has changed?

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 14, 2011 @ 2:28 am

    • Herb,

      Just as a matter of clarification, is it appropriate to describe you as a former Wehrmacht member?

      Comment by Kageki — April 18, 2011 @ 12:23 am

  4. Interesting how the Alfred Naujocks affidavit is so hard to come by. One wonders if it even exists and on what sort of letterhead, assuming it does. Was it drafted in German or English? The English typescript reminds one of the Gestapo forgeries exposed by Ingrid Weckert, which were written by the Allied Psych Warfare Dept. to indict the Germans for “Crystal Night” — fakes that were attributed to the Gestapo and SD.

    Comment by Konrad — April 13, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

  5. It would be very interesting to see, what Herb Stolpmann thinks about those self-incriminating talks among German POW’s He could provide the first hand information, whether German soldiers even would have such conversations among each other.
    However, Further Glory is correct in his assessment of those “recorded” chats.
    “To me, this recorded conversation between two German pilots is an example of German humor. I think that these pilots had figured out that their cells were bugged, and they decided to tell some tall tales as a joke.”
    And this is from Der Spiegel:
    “Many of the transcribed conversations have the feel of party banter. The prisoners aren’t interested in having heart-to-heart talks with each other. They seem surprisingly composed, given the horrors they have experienced. Instead, they seek to entertain and even amuse each other. As is often the case when men recount their exploits to each other, there is also a boastful aspect to their stories”.
    Now, it does make sense. The German Soldiers were joking.
    Okay, let us forget about those stories, either they are real, or made up by the “Allies”.
    Let us look at the pictures, posted on the same Der Spiegel page.
    Photo #1.
    Two men had been hanged and the German soldiers are making pictures of the gallows.
    The caption reads:
    “The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers, Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer, have destroyed it once and for all. This photo shows German soldiers at an execution on the Eastern Front in the winter of 1941/1942.”
    Do you see the girl, approximately age 11-13 on this photo, right in front of the gallows? Does she look being scared? Not at al! I could see some disgust in her eyes towards executed. And who were those two persons? Why they were executed in the first place? What crime did they commit? Maybe they have killed that girl’s parents? Notice also, that none of the soldiers carries a weapon. The picture appears to be taken in occupied territory of USSR.
    Photo #2.
    Three German soldiers are posing themselves with a Russian peasant girl. The soldier in the middle is hugging her from behind.
    The caption reads:
    “Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide. Here, Wehrmacht soldiers pose with a Russian girl.
    Wait a second, where do you see “violence against civilians, rape and genocide” on this picture? What I see is a smiling Russian peasant girl, who is being hugged by quite a handsome young German soldier and the both look very happy. Why wouldn’t we assume that they just fell in love?
    The rest of the pictures have nothing to do with the “atrocities”: the German Soldiers on the march in Lithuania, or using Die Panzefaust, the Soviets defending Stalingrad, etc.
    Is this the best they got?
    There is the hierarchy of criminal evidence. The material evidence is superior to documentary evidence and the witnesses testimonies are the lowest ones.
    The pictures posted on Der “Mirror” website are superior to the writings of publishers of another lie.

    Comment by Gasan — April 13, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  6. No military person would ever refer to 20 mm caliber Mauser MG 151/20 cannon as “two centimeter gun”. Sometimes, I tend to agree with some readers claiming that Anglo-Saxon propaganda technique as most retarded in the World.

    Comment by Gasan — April 13, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  7. Who+dares+wings,
    You could look at those “forgeries” in this blog. It is evident that KSMG Robert Bruce-Lockhart conspired to kill Himmler.

    Comment by Gasan — April 13, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  8. All fake. All of it. Note the source for these “braggings”: Allied interrogations.

    What will War High say, I wonder?

    Comment by Lucius — April 13, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  9. Last May I was at the British National Archives at Kew gardens doing research on Sir Bruce Lochkart of the PWE (Political Warfare Executive) which was a top secret “black ops” unit inside the SOE (Special Operations Executive) which was itself inside MI6 (I believe). Most of Lockhart’s papers are archived elsewhere so one of the only folders they had to examine there was a folder of miscellaneous correspondence. These were rather prosaic thank you letters to dinner hosts and memos to his team, nothing earthshaking. However, there was a page inserted in the folder from the NA announcing 8 documents in that collection had been deemed forgeries and removed. Another folder number was provided to find the missing forgeries. This indicates that people continue to creating and plant fake documents in national archives. If they’re putting them in they’re probably taking them out, too.

    Since I didn’t have time to look at those forgeries I wonder if they may of had something to do with that scandal a couple of years ago over the British author who was misled by fake documents he found at Kew indicating Himmler was murdered.

    These ongoing media “revelations” about events in WWII that only continue to heap opprobrium on Germany should be looked at askance, especially since we are rarely if ever presented with any “revelations” that would dishonor the Allies behavior in the war. Whenever that does happen, though, notice how quick the messenger is shot and his message buried.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — April 13, 2011 @ 11:06 am

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