Herr Thoelking, this particular German farmer's son, lived near Cloppenburg in the plains of northern Germany. Thoelking was one of the lucky farmer-soldiers who was able to remain on or near his father's farm during WWII, i.e. while simply doing training and war preparation with local militias. (This would be like many of our USA-farmers today now doing training with a local ROTC. Just as in the USA today, the ROTC-like troops near Cloppenburg could have been sent overseas, but many usually stayed in the home front for much of WWII.)
That particular winter afternoon in Northern Germany, Herr Thoelking mentioned to me that he had learned to know many British soldiers at the end of WWII, especially as he himself was initially imprisoned for many months at the end of the war in the British-occupied sector of North Saxony. (At that time he had first learned to speak some English.) Herr Thoelking added that he had been released from British prison camps in early autumn 1945 to help with the potato harvest.
Interestingly, Herr Thoelking soon revealed, he had also been in prison as a soldier under the Nazi regime--just two years earlier. In short, Herr Thoelking noted that he had also been in prison under Hitler.
Herr Thoelking explained that in 1943, news of Italy's Surrender to the Allied forces arrived quietly in Germany. In response to the news, soldier Thoelking had made the mistake of openly speaking his feelings. He was young, upset, and brash. Herr Thoelking had muttered loudly for all his comrades to hear, "Das wird wohl das Ende sein!" In English this means simply, "That's it. That's the end. It's over!" In short, he was revealing publicly before his comrades what many hungering Germans already knew, namely that total war would not lead to victory. The retaking of the continent by the Allies had begun.
Immediately, a by-the-book German officer had had Herr Thoelking arrested, and court-martial proceedings were begun against him for Herr Thoelking's ostensibly having uttered treasonous statements about the future of the Fatherland. His words had aided the enemy.
Luckily, as Thoelking was the elder son of a local farmer, he was imprisoned near his home in Cloppenburg. Soon, with the help of friends in the military nearby and with help of a local judge who-already-knew-his-family intervention in his case was successful. The charges against her Thoelking were soon dropped by the actions of a local judge who knew the Thoelking family. Upon his release, however, Thoelking was forced to continue serving on local military patrols till the Allied forces arrived in Northern Germany and capture his unit more than a full-year later.
In short, two years of Nazi-led Total War (1943-1945) under Goebbels and Hitler brought only further starvation and destruction to his homeland--even after Thoelking had been thrown in the brig and he had been threatened with charges of aiding and abetting the cause of the enemy . Why should not a soldier speak the truth about war to his comrades and the powerful military brass in such an instance? Likewise, why should soldiers be prohibited from sharing or leaking facts about crimes and reckless actions to the press in the time of war in a country, like the USA--which claims to be better than the Nazi regime in so many ways?
According to Aaron Mate and the press today (June 2013) in the USA, "The military trial of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning is underway. Manning is accused of providing more than 700,000 secret U.S. government documents and cables to WikiLeaks, the largest disclosure of state secrets in U.S. history. Manning faces more than 20 charges, including violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy. He has already pled guilty to 10 lesser charges of misusing classified material.The trial began Monday with the defense and prosecution presenting starkly contrasting accounts. Manning's defense lawyer, David Coombs, said Manning wanted to reveal the human costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Coombs said, quote, "[Bradley Manning] believed this information showed how we value human life. He was troubled by that. He believed that if the American public saw it, they too would be troubled."
All-in-all, evidence shows that Manning's decision to leak what amounts to less than 1% of all federal documents classified on a daily basis by the Obama regime was based on thoughtful conscientious decision making. He is a hero and an example for all whistle-blowers and real citizen soldiers anywhere. This contrasts significantly with the previous vignette or incident from 1943 concerning Soldier Thoelking in Nazi-Controlled Germany. Thoelking simply spoke out and told the truth from his gut and with anguish. Nonetheless, Thoelking was allowed to walk under the Nazi military courts while our now-a-days USA Defense Department refuses to stop punishing the young Bradley Manning, even though, Manning has a post-My Lei Massacre set of American military courts backing him up in his very just and rationale decision to release documents that revealed that the USA was acting recklessly and dangerously in Iraq less than a decade ago.
Marjorie Cohn has explained that there are multiple reasons why Manning was almost forced to speak out and claim "Foul" to the entire system of War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is also co-author of "Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent".
In her recent article "Bradley Manning's Legal Duty to Expose War Crimes", Cohn has detailed that for these following reasons soldiers, like Manning have needed to speak up--but have been kowtowed into doing nothing.