As I watched “My Honor Was Loyalty,” the movie changed my view on war, morality, life and love.
In the film, German soldier Untersharführer Ludwig Herckel (also known as Herschel) is knocked unconscious by Soviet troops while fighting. He wanders the woods in a daze and feels as if he life is coming to an end. While in the woods, Herschel meets another wandering German soldier, known as Dietwolf. The two talk for a while, and Dietwolf explains how he saw soldiers killing Jews at a train station. Dietwolf continues to express his fear that his wife, who is Jewish, will be tracked down by the SS. When Herschel hears about this, he is shocked, as he previously thought that the Jews were sent to work camps in conjunction with the growing war effort. His reasoning was that since the Jews “ruined the nation,” it is their duty to contribute. (The Jews were scapegoats for Germany’s economic crisis after the end the WWI.)
As Herschel finds his way back to Germany, he decides to find Dietwolf’s wife, Eleanor, and visit her. He soon finds out that the Gestapo are attempting to arrest her, and, shortly after, she is shot and killed. Herschel is greatly troubled by this act. He returns to his unit on the western front days later, and witnesses the decline of his division, loss of comrades, and multiple acts of war crimes and cruel handling of POWs for both sides. Herschel begins to question what he is fighting for, and whether the war is worth it. He keeps in mind that if they lose this war they will be seen as criminals, and be “cursed forever.” In Herschel’s eyes, the SS were just like any other soldier fighting for their country and people; their honor was loyalty.
After I watched the final credits roll off of the screen, I asked myself the following questions: Do I really want to go to war? How do our veterans feel? How do the young boys on the front lines feel about their first kill? I figured they might feel guilty after a while, or they might not. I don’t really know. I talk about my death like it is no big deal. If I actually were to go to war, though, I know that my death would affect the lives of a lot of people. Also, if I went to war, what if I were to come home safe, but haunted by the memories of me killing a man, or a child? And what would certain people in my life, like my father or my girlfriend, think of me? Will they see me as a soldier, or a murderer?
What I learned from this movie is that history is written by the victors. Although this movie is not Pro SS, it does tell the story of a simple SS soldier, and how he battles with his conscience as the war approaches an end. I highly recommend watching this movie, which is available on Amazon, and to develop your own opinion.
The movie is awful propaganda that would have the viewer believe a false, even evil equivalency: that the Nazi Waffen SS, the SS!, were honorable just like US soldiers, did no worse than US soldiers, even as they swept through Russia slaughtering Jews in their path — not shown or mentioned. The film is a disgusting erasure of moral responsibility, marginalizes the savagery of the devoted Nazi, Hitler loving, Jew hating and killing Waffen SS. No serious honest indication in the film that millions of people were being destroyed by SS genocidal fanaticism in Auschwitz, etc.
The movie pretends that SS soilders were not really Nazi but just good often morally confused and compromised people who loved their country. It even has a Waffen SS soldier trying to protect a Jewish woman from the Gestapo! This is the false equivalency, moral relativizing, white washing at its worst.
See this movie if you want to barf, vomit, barf and vomit.
Naive people and dupes and neo Nazi will exalt this film. I refuse to shed tears for the Waffen SS Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler.
Who is the producer, Pepe. He is a dangerous jackass fool, a propagandist, and simply an awe full director.
I feel soiled by seeing this film.
And yes I do know what I’m talking about. I am a published and tenured professor of modern German history.
O, please, the real killers were the Einzätsgruppen. If you are a professor, then the youth is damned. Your repeated use of truly idiotic phrases nearly had me barfing. Waffen SS were just soldiers. How do you feel about modern day war crimes committed by Isreal, the US, Russia etc. Of course you will deny it.
I am German-American and like Mr. Russ saw no indication it was in any way pro-SS. It was hard to figure which must have been more terrible to go through at times, when they won or lost…
They were Nazi party soldiers, when they joined, it was a nationalist socialist workers party , the turnaround came after the kristkncht and the murder of the SA leadership . The Bolsheviks terminated thousands of gypsies and Jews and German socialists under Stalin and pre 1939 . The world kept silent . The Einsatgruppen took revenge and they were paid by military intelligence . It is no secret Churchill hated the Russians as they killed the English born monarch .the rest of it is history …ww2 began .
History has always been written by the victors. From the time of Julius Caesar and before, the winning side writes their version of the battle, their version of the war. War is a horrific thing. If you know combat veterans, you will quickly notice that they don’t talk about their experiences in combat. If they do open up about it, it’s always with other combat veterans. Let’s hope that some day, soon, we humans evolve enough to do away with war. Plato said, “only the dead have seen the end of war”. I hope he was wrong.