Steve Cass is curious, Sunday, August 28, 2005, about a line in the latest Radical's Diary: Mr Irving's views on a picture of the execution of partisans
IT was interesting, your saying (latest Radical's Diary), "In my view -- and I may enrage many friends -- by this photo is how she and her comrades should be remembered."
Does this mean that many of your friends can see no wrong in German actions in the east during WWII? I think maybe I was like that too for a while. I wonder how much of this is overcompensation -- a response to the paranoia of establishment propaganda.
David Irving comments:
NOT quite, Steve. Partisan war, like civil war, is ugly and knows no mercy for either side. These three Russian combatants, if such they were, were clearly not in uniform; under the laws of war they could expect short shrift from their captors.
But consider this: A nation is defined by the values for which it fights. In Ireland, for example, our troops fought and still fight in full uniform. They are sitting ducks for their IRA enemies, who are also partisans or guerrillas or francs tireurs, who fight in the camouflage of plain clothes. We do not even execute those whom we catch, no matter how many innocent lives they have taken, because those are the values which we are now taught to hold more dear than the letter of international law.
The Germans and others who were exposed to the attacks of guerrillas no doubt took a vengeful satisfaction from witnessing their execution, as the later photos (which I have not posted) show.
As a fellow-human being I find a deeper satisfaction in seeing the residual courage evident in the faces of young people who know the game is up and can still stand unflinchingly and faintly smiling a few feet away from the makeshift gallows.
I have seen similar official photos of young German soldiers being executed by American troops -- the hangman and his assistants all standing with their backs to the camera, as prescribed by Army regulations, for the final "money shot"; there is very seldom any fear in the faces of the doomed man.