TIL that Confederate soldiers could not be buried in national cemeteries, nor were they afforded any benefits from the United States Government. When the reburial corps in the late 1860s found remains on battlefields, they'd remove the Union soldiers and leave the Confederates.

Not really the same thing. Obviously there were normal german soldiers who committed war crimes and contributed to the horrors of WWII, but I think the point is that the average German soldier was essentially a teenager who was rounded up, handed a rifle, and sent to the front to die. They didn't really have the level of autonomy to necessary to be individually guilty of every crime their military committed and the majority were likely only guilty of being drafted by the wrong side.

An analogous example would be American troops in vietnam. Nobody thinks the American military was blameless for the atrocities committed there and nobody thinks the blame for individual atrocities should rest solely on the leadership. But the average Vietnam draftee wasn't murdering babies or gunning down villages. Your average draftee was some schmuck from ohio who was plucked from his home to die in a jungle on the other side of the world with no choice in the matter whatsoever. The question isn't whether average soldiers were complicit in the atrocities committed in vietnam, it's whether the average soldier was--whether Bill from Ohio is personally complicit.

I think the same goes for WWII, the Civil War, and all wars since the day Ugg drafted Ogg to go murder Grugg.

/r/todayilearned Thread Parent Link - nps.gov