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[80 years ago today] "• Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, shot down and captured in 1940, breaks a window and jumps from a POW train in Ontario, making his way through the snow to Ogdensburg, New York. After the US refuses to hand him back, he will make his way to Mexico, then Brazil from where he flies back to Germany. He is the only POW to escape from Canada and make it home. He will perish after his Bf-109F suffers an engine failure over the North Sea in October, 1941."

 

Franz_von_Werra.jpgThe_One_That_Got_Away_film_poster.jpg

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3 hours ago, 216th_Nocke said:

Just amazing how brainwashed these guys must have been.

 

I don't think Franz von Werra had undergone any sort of brainwashing.  

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16 minutes ago, 216th_Nocke said:

Not in Canada, in Germany he was brainwashed.

I guess we have a misunderstanding here?

To be out of the war and do this to get back into it is just plain crazy.

 

No, I don’t think he was brainwashed anywhere.  In von Werra’s case he was a nineteen year old playboy when Hitler became Chancellor.  

 

Hundreds of allied aircrew crew managed to evade capture with the help of Dutch and French networks and undertook perilous journeys across Europe to get back into the war. We don’t consider these people as brainwashed do we?

 

It’s no easy thing to brainwash an educated, developed nation.  Millions of people across central and Eastern Europe spent forty years under the Soviet yoke in what were basically police states with their children educated in soviet ideologies and forced to join  ‘young pioneer’ type organisations.  

 

It didn’t work. They threw off and threw out these regimes in a matter of days when opportunity arose.

What the German nation did under the Nazis was not the product of brainwashing.  The Nazi’s exploited deeper themes in the history and outlook of the German nation at the time to wage wars of aggression and genocide across Europe.

Was a nation of some eighty million people brainwashed to take part in this? It seems doubtful.

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I was not thinking of "the germans", but of young soldiers.

Maybe brainwashing is not exactly the right term here, but at least they had a strong and effective propaganda going on in the Hitler youth, and in the schools. I have heard people talking about it working from own experience. They believed the shit.

Now as you write that Werra guy was already nineteen when Hitler took over than that does of course not apply for him. Just plain stupidity then in my view.

I would make a difference between germans escaping to go on fighting, and allieds doing the same. My sympathy is with the latter.

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10 hours ago, 216th_Nocke said:

I was not thinking of "the germans", but of young soldiers.

Maybe brainwashing is not exactly the right term here, but at least they had a strong and effective propaganda going on in the Hitler youth, and in the schools. I have heard people talking about it working from own experience. They believed the shit.

Now as you write that Werra guy was already nineteen when Hitler took over than that does of course not apply for him. Just plain stupidity then in my view.

I would make a difference between germans escaping to go on fighting, and allieds doing the same. My sympathy is with the latter.

Fair enough :salute:.  In von Werra's case it would seem he came a long way to spend eternity at the bottom of the north sea.

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