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How are World War 2 veterans from the German (nazi) army treated in Germany?

I'm assuming there are many veterans of World War 2 from Germany that are still alive. There are so many in the US, and they are all called heroes by us. What do the German people think of their own veterans from the same war? Are they treated as heroes or are they not even acknowledged because they were on the losing side (and did many evil things)?

I know they probably aren't celebrated as we do here (with all veterans, not just WW2), but are they celebrated or acknowledged at all? Do Germans want to forget about them and what they did?

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First of all no there are not many veterans left since the war is over more than 60 years the few who are still alive are very old men.
They are not looked down upon since they faught for the country not for the Nazis there was no nazi army that was the SS please be aware of that difference if you don't know it read books before insulting others.
They are also not seen as heroes naturally that would make no sense since Germany lost the war heroes are only the ones who win.

It is comparable to the veterans of the Vietnam war in the US they are not seen as heroes either since they lost

USA did lose the Vietnam war if on the battlefield or at the green table makes no difference for the result you really should stop interpreting historical events at the momentary needs which is very American
If you say again you did not lose I ll post links and pictures

the Kieler
No they are not seen as heroes since Germany lost the war
Same as Vietnam veterans are not seen as heroes in the USA

A lot better than Vietnam veterans in the US

They are not treated as heros since they are no heroes they lost the war!
However no soldier and no officer is looked down upon either

You need to make the difference between army and SS there was no Nazi army just the army or do you want me to call American Army IMPERIALIST

@ Brian LOL USA did not lose the war in vietnam well if they did not lose they won there is only these two possibilities I was not aware the US were friends with Ho Chi Minh

Bernd L
Some of the answers try to tell you things like "not all were Nazis" and there is a difference
between regular Wehrmacht and SS. For others it is important to mention, that a war was not lost, because...
This doesnt make any difference. In any war, in any country
you find soldiers supporting the regime by heart and others just following because they have to.
In any war you find people who like to kill and others who avoid it. In a war that lasts for years,
soldiers get changed dramatically. A life doesnt count much, in WW II, in Vietnam or Bosnia.
All of you, who make judgement and did not go through the hell of a war or in a totalitary system
dont know what you are talking about. The father of an english friend was bomber pilot in WW II,
he still is not able to say a single word about this time.
So respect any soldier who survived this hell, whatever country he was fighting for.
War criminals were judged and will be in the future.

Do they have some sort of club?

das deutche man
nobody cares about them

There are not that many veterans left in Germany from World War II. Think about it! Most of them were born in the early 20's to late 30's. That makes them at least 70 years old if they were recruited as children!

They are not called heroes in Germany. They are called "survivors". Not all of them did evil things. Most of them did things just like the Americans did. Most of them were in the "Wehrmacht", or the German army. Not everybody was a Nazi - in fact only about every third person supported the Nazis, and that makes two out of three people who weren't Nazis. Many thought the right thing to do was to defend their country.

For example, my husband's father was in the Wehrmacht unit called the "Afrika Corps". He never fired a weapon in the whole war. He never knew there were camps they tortured people until after the war. He was just a tank mechanic armed with a wrench. The Germans don't want to forget. They want to remember, but they want to remember how it really was - not how some people glorify it.

In a war everybody loses - there are no real winners, and heroes are not really heroes for killing people, but just lucky survivors, who didn't get killed themselves.

I don't know, but when I was stationed in Germany in 1968-1970, I was struck by the amount of 50 year old men missing limbs. As an American GI, I had no animosity towards them. They were ordinary people caught up in a great evil. I wonder how people in the USA would have acted if the situations were reversed.

Interestingly, I had three World War II veterans in my family, including my dad, grandfather and uncle. My uncle, however was in the Wehrmacht, and just like my dad and grandfather, he fought bravely and gallantly for his native land. In my eyes, the eyes of many others, Onkel Friederich was as much a hero as my father and grandfather were. He was an ordinary young man who answered his country's call to war. He never joined the National Socialist party and held minimal political convictions, not at all unlike my father. His World War II service, and the service of many other ordinary German soldiers, was honored and respected by his fellow Germans. As one of the other answerers pointed out, the common German Wehrmacht soldier did not do any more "evil things" than the common Allied soldier. You are perhaps thinking of the elite SS troops. The newer German generations have learned much of the folly of war and are less likely to idolize the military and soldiers than Germans of many years ago, so they are not as likely to brand everyone who has worn a uniform a "hero" as we tend to do.

By the way, some of the answerers need to brush up on their Vietnam history, as do many Americans. America did not "lose" the Vietnam war. The Treaty of Paris that concluded the U.S. involvement in Vietnam was signed and executed almost two years before South Vietnam fell to communist North Vietnam. It was the corrupt and inefficient South Vietnamese army that lost that war. The United States withdrew honorably nearly two years prior.

It is important to realize that not all German soldiers were Nazis, or committed atrocities. Most war crimes and atrocities were committed by the SS, not by regular soldiers. However, there were also criminal acts among the common Wehrmacht (army). There has been a traveling exhibition "Verbrechen der Wehrmacht" (Crimes of the army) in Germany for some years now which has started widespread discussion (see the Wikipedia article).

Regarding the "common" veteran, veterans have never been in high regard in post-war Germany. The only people who were later regarded as "heroes" were those who at some point dared to resist Nazi rule, particularly the conspirators of July 20, 1944, who tried to kill Hitler and overthrow the Nazis.

Please note that many common soldiers were prisoners of war after the war ended. This was an issue in post-war Germany. The last prisoners of war were set free as late as 1955 by the Soviet Union.

usually officers arent looked upon highly because of their involvement in the nazi's evil acts but most low ranking soldiers from WW2 are viewed as having fought for their country and not for hitler. its not as celebrated to be a WW2 veteran there as it is here and mostly they dont want to talk about fighting for the nazis, but veterans are still respected.

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