A highly publicized German exhibition of atrocities allegedly carried out by regular German army forces during the Second World War has been closed down in the wake of revelations that many of the harrowing photographs it displayed are deceitful.
These two Wehrmacht crimes exhibition photographs purport to show German soldiers standing amid the bodies of Jews they had killed. In fact, these victims – most of them Ukrainians – had been killed in the town of Zloczow (Galicia) in late June 1941 by Soviet security police. The bodies were disinterred after German forces drove out the Soviets.
“Victims of the massacre in Kraljevo, October 1941,” is the description given to this photo in the “Wehrmacht crimes” exhibition. It allegedly shows victims of a German massacre in Serbia. In fact, as Polish historian Musial established, these victims – mostly Ukrainians and Poles – had been killed by the Soviet NKVD in late June 1941 in a prison courtyard in Lviv (Lvov), western Ukraine.
One of the most harrowing photos in the “Wehrmacht crimes” exhibition supposedly shows German troops executing civilians in Serbia in the fall of 1941. Hungarian historian Kriszthin Ungvary has established that this picture actually shows an execution by Hungarian troops in Stari Becej (which at the time belonged to Hungary) of Communists who had been sentenced to death by a Hungarian military court for treason, murder and sabotage.
Perhaps the most widely-reproduced photograph in the anti-Wehrmacht exhibition is this one, which shows an execution by German troops in April 1941 in the town of Panchevo in the Vojvodina region. This was an execution of 18 Yugoslav army fighters who, disguised as civilians, had been involved in shootings of German soldiers. They were sentenced to death by a military court. As grim as it was, this execution was entirely in accord with internationally-sanctioned military law.
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The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory – Cultural Marxism