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Author Topic: ex Nazi scientist removed from space hall of fame.
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 06:38      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An ex nazi scientist was removed from the hall of fame of the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/05/19/space.museum.nazi.ap/index.html

There seems no denying that he was in some way involved in expirments on concentration camp prisoners, but does that diminish the achievements that he was honoured for? Is there no redemption? Isn't the possibility of redemption a mainstay of our American Christian faith? I find this a disturbing form of whitewashing history. I in no way support nazism but shouldn't the captured nazi scientists we brought to america to make us more mighty get the kudos they deserve?

Just a thought.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 08:18      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You'd pretty much have to remove them all. It's pretty stupid. But it's ironic that the same Nazis we were fighting were secretly taken out of Germany after the war because we thought they would be of help in fighting the oncoming Communist sourge. [Roll Eyes]
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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 08:36      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
shouldn't the captured nazi scientists we brought to america to make us more mighty get the kudos they deserve?

They shouldn't get kudos at all...perhaps simple acknowledgement is appropriate in this situation, but I feel that portraying him in a positive light is a completely incorrect thing to do here.

So, sure, keep his name up in the Hall of Fame. Just ensure that there's more information for the people who want to know what a monster he really was.

By the way, I don't want to start another religious war, but I'd like you to see the complete fallacy of your comment about redemption and the "American Christian faith." First of all, when has personal redemption held up to any legal or otherwise official precedent in this country? Don't you think the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have redeemed themselves? Why don't you suggest that the government let them go free?

And secondly, as a counterpoint, if Josef Mengele's experiments had led to something greater, would that have redeemed him for the human skin lampshades and hobbyist vivisection? It takes a special brand of person to have that flagrant a lack of respect for human life, and I definitely don't want to see them being portrayed as heroes. Scientists, sure, but fuck praising them. I know that I'd want to know.

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 10:01      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
By the way, I don't want to start another religious war, but I'd like you to see the complete fallacy of your comment about redemption and the "American Christian faith." First of all, when has personal redemption held up to any legal or otherwise official precedent in this country? Don't you think the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have redeemed themselves? Why don't you suggest that the government let them go free?

#include <treaty_of_tripoly_1796.h>

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 10:25      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If we take as our premise the idea that science is concerned with truth:


Strughold's involvement in, and responsibility for, atrocities under the Nazi regime (or anywhere else, for that matter) should always remain a matter of record as they form a fundamental part of the man's life.

Any scientific discoveries/theories/advancements which Strughold can legitimately claim as his should be recognised as such.

However, it is not necessary to place him in any "Hall of Fame" in order to recognise his scientific achievements - a simple "XXX was invented by...." will suffice. No need for fame, no need for celebrity, no need to put this man on a pedestal.

So, to answer the question "Is there no redemption?" .... The answer, in this case, is no - there is no redemption. I would venture to suggest that Strughold would have had to do a damn sight more than invent a spacesuit before he earned his redemption.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 17:11      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This reminds me of something similar, but different, so let me make the topic a bit more difficult and less clear cut ('cause well all know there's not enough disagreement on these forums).
[Roll Eyes]

Nazi scientists conducted a great deal of experimentation on concentration camp prisoners in order to investigate hypothermia in preparation for an invasion of Siberia. They killed a lot of people in the process, but amassed a body of knowledge that is unparalleled by anything we have from any other source.

Should the data be used?

It's a huge area of contention because, on the one hand, the method of gathering it was abominable and should never have been done. On the other hand, nothing will change the fact that those people were killed and the data itself could save lives if used, which could be seen as making the victims' deaths less meaningless.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2006 17:27      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was just about to point that out Steen.

Mengele gathered a huge wealth of useful data. But we owe him for something else as well. The modern standards of consent and human research ethics did not exist in Mengele's day. They did not exist because no one saw the need. Until Mengele came along and showed us a whole new meaning of depravity and cruelty. In horror, the world instituted the Nuremberg Protocols.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 01:41      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is a hard topic. All great people have flaws in their character. At some point, if we want to glorify the dead, then we have to ignore their crappy aspects. Einstein wasn't very nice to his first wife, George Washington was a slave-owner.
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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 06:22      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
All great people have flaws in their character.

Hey, maybe I'm a little biased, but I'm of the opinion that the Holocaust goes a little bit beyond a character flaw. [Roll Eyes]
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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 08:55      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
All great people have flaws in their character.

Hey, maybe I'm a little biased, but I'm of the opinion that the Holocaust goes a little bit beyond a character flaw. [Roll Eyes]
From what I read in the article, Strughold was "linked" to experiments on prisoners, but evidence of his direct involvement is pretty slim. It may be enough to avoid honoring him, but it doesn't seem like enough to condemn him, either. He may not have felt he had much choice except to work for them. The Nazis were not known for granting a lot of personal freedoms. Let's not forget the findings of the Milgram Experiment, either.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 10:29      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hey, maybe I'm a little biased, but I'm of the opinion that the Holocaust goes a little bit beyond a character flaw.
Well we agree there, but where do you draw the line? Is it when they park their car illegally, steal, beat a stranger, beat their wife, kill, or is it only genocide that stops a person being a great man?

Churchill is viewed as a top chap, but he was responsible for the killings of many civilians. It is virtually certain that Jefferson raped his slaves, and there is evidence that Washington did too. It's all a bit of a sliding scale.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 10:40      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Plus, I can see how a scientist under the Nazi era, asking for more resources to do their experiments, are told: "There, have those Jews. Do what you want with them, they're going to be killed anyway." The scientist then faces a moral choice: do with human experimentation, or decline - risking to be sent to a concentration camp too as a treator/Jew's friend/whatever they call it that week. So if the scientist do use the Jews as told, it may not be from sharing the party's line, but from fear for his, and his family's, life. In this case, isn't he more a coward rather than a cruel man? (And don't forget, high-level research facilities usually also had one or two SS officers overseeing the operations.)

Steen: Hyun Se Lee used that question in one of his "Angel Dick" manga. A group of rogue Corean physicians finds the cure for cancer through human experimentation. They did use prisonners with a death or life imprisonment sentences, and had their official approval, though. But they also killed those who tried to escape. Should the cure they developped be used or not? The answer found by one of the character was the following: he pretend to destroy the cure, but secretly sent it to another research facility, so the discovery would be credited to "clean" scientists. That way, the firm financing the physicians got nothing out of it. But doesn't righting the initial wrong this way just create another wrong? Is there no way to recognize a man's achievement while disapproving of his means?

So, if Hubertus Strughold's accomplishments are of the caliber needed to get in a Hall of Fame, and he got them with clean and sound research, I say let him be there. Especially if no one knows wheter he was involved, let alone approved of, human experimentation in his German years. I do think it's better to let a criminal run free than convict an innocent. Let g/God(s) sort them out in the end.

But that's just my opinion.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 17:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
It is virtually certain that Jefferson raped his slaves, and there is evidence that Washington did too.

Plus, both were traitors against their Rightful King, and would have been called 'terrorists' today. The pair of 'em should have been hanged.

</troll>

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2006 20:40      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Probably would have been if a) their side lost and b) they got caught. But they didn't. [Razz]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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