Allied War-Crimes And Atrocities

         Page II

                             

              Dresden Inferno 1945

 

          Revealed - UK Wartime Torture Camp

         United States: "Mass murder of women and children"

          American Atrocities in Germany

  THE BLITZ! WHO REALLY STARTED IT? 
"Liberating" the Germans the "democratic" way.

       Soviet Union: "Mass Graves containing the bodies of 12,500"

       Soviet Union: "Naked women were nailed through their hands"

      HIROSHIMA'S SHADOW: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy.

       MICHAEL WALSH: BEHIND THE HEADLINES SCANDAL EMERGING
HOW ALLIES TREATED GERMAN POWs

       UNDER THE BRITISH JACKBOOT

           "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949" Book Review

                 The Strange Life of Ilya Ehrenburg

            Red Army troops raped even Russian women as they freed them from camps By Daniel Johnson

             'They raped every German female from eight to 80'

          The British Ministry of Information dispached (2/29/44) a Top Secret letter to the British Broadcasting Corp.

               History is Full of Surprises for those who Ignore it

 

                Foreword to this page

Since anti-German propaganda-mills are still working overtime in the wholesale vilification of a people, we would like to present the crimes and hypocrisies of those who seem to glory in their self-righteous role as "liberators" and "teachers" of democracy and humanitarian values. This relentless propaganda in the movies, television and "literature," is not only cruel, but amounts to a form of mental genocide of the German people; a people, who,  like any other people, come in all variations of good and bad, crude and enlightened, compassionate and cruel as well as so many shades in-between. It is quite obvious who, for reasons of financial extortion and distraction from their own misdeeds is, after 57 years, still beating the drums of hatred and one-sided accusations. How "liberating" it must be in deed, to glory in one's human perfection, not because one is perfect, but, because one is blind to the complexities and intrigues of true history and human nature! Like Jesus said, " let those who are innocent throw the first stone!" Are these relentless stone-throwers as innocent as they see themselves? Or, do they not even have enough honor,  to wrestle with their own short-comings as human beings and try to forgive the other as they would forgive themselves? Perhaps more should be said, but in light of the dangers of "free speech" in these times of "politically correct" democracy, we think it best to shut up for the time being and let history reveal its truth as it eventually always does.

     The Gnostic Liberation Front.

 

 

            Revealed - UK Wartime Torture Camp

                   By Ian Cobain The Guardian 11-14-5

The British government operated a secret torture centre during the second world war to extract information and confessions from German prisoners, according to official papers which have been unearthed by the Guardian.

More than 3,000 prisoners passed through the centre, where many were systematically beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to stand still for more than 24 hours at a time and threatened with execution or unnecessary surgery.

Some are also alleged to have been starved and subjected to extremes of temperature in specially built showers, while others later complained that they had been threatened with electric shock torture or menaced by interrogators brandishing red-hot pokers.

The centre, which was housed in a row of mansions in one of London's most affluent neighbourhoods, was carefully concealed from the Red Cross, the papers show. It continued to operate for three years after the war, during which time a number of German civilians were also tortured. A subsequent assessment by MI5, the Security Service, concluded that the commanding officer had been guilty of "clear breaches" of the Geneva convention and that some interrogation methods "completely contradicted" international law.

On at least one occasion, an MI5 officer noted in a newly declassified report, a German prisoner was convicted of war crimes and hanged on the basis of a confession which he had signed after he was, at the very least, "worked on psychologically". A number of people who appeared as prosecution witnesses at war crimes trials are also alleged to have been tortured.

The official papers, discovered in the National Archives, depict the centre as a dark, brutal place which caused great unease among senior British officers. They appear to have turned a blind eye partly because of the usefulness of the information extracted, and partly because the detainees were thought to deserve ill treatment.

Not all the torture centre's secrets have yet emerged, however: the Ministry of Defence is continuing to withhold some of the papers almost 60 years after it was closed down.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

 

 

 

        
 United States:
 
"Mass murder of women and children"

 

Following is a Japanese report on the fire-bombings of Japan.

"America has revealed her barbaric character before in the terror bombings of civilian populations in Hamburg, Berlin, and other German cities, in her destruction of priceless cultural monuments in various parts of Europe, in her sinking of innumerable hospital ships, and in countless other acts of savagery beyond mention. But the raids on Tokyo and Nagoya with the last few days have demonstrated more spectacularly than ever the fiendish character of the American enemy.

"For these recent raids have been the most unquestionable examples of calculated terror bombing. Raining flaming incendiaries over a vast area of civilian dwellings, the raiders can make no excuse of having aimed at military or industrial installations.

"It was an attempt at mass murder of women and children who had no connection with war production or any activity directly connected with the war. There can be no other result than to strengthen the conviction of every Japanese that there can be no slackening of the war effort...

"The action of the Americans is all the more despicable because of the noisy pretensions they constantly make about their humanity and idealism. They are the first to accuse others of atrocities, raising loud protests over claims of alleged Japanese mistreatment of prisoners of war and alleged Japanese destruction in the zones of hostility. But even the most extravagant of the false American charges against the Japanese pale into insignificance beside the actual acts of deliberate American terror against civilian populations. No one expects war to be anything but a brutal business, but it remains for the Americans to make it systematically and unnecessarily a wholesale horror for innocent civilians.

Hoito Edoin, The Night Tokyo Burned: The Incendiary Campaign Against Japan, March - August, 1945, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1987. p.120

Reproduced from:  Bradley Smith's CODOH Site

 

US troops massacred German prisoners at Dachau
Felix Sparks's soldiers liberating Dachau. Surrendered German soldiers were stood against a wall and massacred.

 

American Atrocities in Germany

By JUDGE EDWARD L VAN RODEN

AMERICAN investigators at the U. S. Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beatings and brutal kickings. Knocking out teeth and breaking jaws. Mock trials. Solitary confinement. Posturing as priests. Very limited rations. Spiritual deprivation. Promises of acquittal.

Complaints concerning these third degree methods were received by Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall last Spring. Royall appointed Justice Gordon Simpson of the Texas Supreme Court and me to go to Germany and check up on the reports.

Accompanied by Lt. Col. Charles Lawrence. Jr., we went to Munich, Germany, set up offices there, and heard a stream of testimony about the way in which American atrocities were committed.

But first, a bit of the background. Last Spring the Supreme Court refused the habeas corpus petition of Col. Willis N. Everett. Jr., an American lawyer, who had served as defense counsel for the 74 Germans accused in the famous Malmedy case. Everett is a very able lawyer, a conscientious and sincere gentleman. He is not a fanatic.

In his petition. Everett charged that the Germans had not received a fair trial. Everett did not claim that all the German defendants were innocent, but since they did not have a fair trial, there was no way of telling the innocent from the guilty.

The tragedy is that so many of us Americans, having fought and won the war with so much sweat and blood, now say. "All Germans should be punished". We won the war, but some of us want to go on killing. That seems to me wicked.

If Everett's shocking charges were true, they would be a blot on the American conscience for eternity. The fact that there were atrocities by the Germans during the war against Americans, or by Americans against Germans, would not in the least lessen our disgrace if such peacetime atrocities were to go unchallenged.

Our specific assignment was not only to examine Col. Everett's charges, but also to examine the cases of the 139 death sentences, which at that time remained unexecuted: 152 Germans had already been executed.

The 139 doomed men who were still alive fell into three groups. They were accused of involvement in the Dachau concentration camp crimes, in the killing of American fliers, or in the Malmedy massacres. Let me say that I believe the crimes for which these Germans were tried actually took place, and that some Germans were guilty of them.

But we should not let the indiscriminate hate of all Germans that was generated during and after the war, blind us to the necessity of punishing the guilty ones only.

After this investigation, and after talking to all sides, I do not believe that the German people knew what the German Government was doing. I am convinced the German populace had no idea what diabolical crimes that arch-fiend, Himmler, was committing in the concentration camps. From the atrocities we learned about, he must have been the very prince of devils.

But as for the Germans at large, they fought the war as loyal citizens with a fatherland to support, and a fatherland to defend.

Some American fliers, shot down on bombing raids over Germany. were killed by German civilians.

These Germans felt that the American fliers were the murderers of their defenseless wives, mothers, and children who were In the bombed cities’ - just as the English felt that German fliers were their murderers. That's war.

I felt deeply about these fliers. I had two sons in the Air Force. Jimmy made 35 missions over Germany and returned safe, thank God! Dick made 32 Missions and was finally shot down over Italy. He spent 12 months in a German prisoner-of-war camp and was fairly well treated. He is now in a sanitarium in Arizona recovering from TB he contracted in the camp.

II

The Malmedy massacres, in which a group of American prisoners of war were mown down after being captured during the Battle of the Bulge, actually happened. But can't we distinguish between the assertion that these atrocities did happen, and the assertion that they were committed by these 74 Germans who had been in or near Malmedy at that time?

Because some wicked sadistic German individuals did it, are we doing the right thing by saying any and all Germans we lay our hands on are guilty and should be destroyed? I personally don't believe that. That's not the way of thinking I learnt in my church, or you learned in your church.

On Russian insistence, the Americans couldn't retry these men. The Russian philosophy in these matters is that the investigators determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, and the judge merely sets the sentence. We accepted the Russian formula of no-retrial, but we won out on the presumption of innocence before trial.

The American prohibition of hear-say evidence had been suspended. Second and third-hand testimony was admitted, although the Judge Advocate General warned against the value of hearsay evidence, especially when it was obtained, as this was. two or three years after the act. Lt. Col. Ellis and Lt Perl of the Prosectution pleaded that it was difficult to obtain competant evidence. Perl told the court, "We had a tough case to crack and we had to use persuasive methods." He admitted to the court that the persuasive methods included various "expedients, including some violence and mock trials." He further told the court that the cases rested on statements obtained by such methods.

The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four, and, five months. They were confined between four walls, with no windows, and no opportunity of exercise. Two meals a day were shoved in to them through a slot in the door. They were not allowed to talk to anyone. They had no communication with their families or any minister or priest during that time.

This solitary confinement proved sufficient in itself in some cases to persuade the Germans to sign prepared statements. These statements not only involved the signer, but often would involve other defendants

 

III

Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken.

All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators.

Perl admitted use of mock trials and persuasive methods including violence and said the court was free to decide the weight to be attached to evidence thus received. But it all went in.

One 18 year old defendant, after a series of beatings. was writing a statement being dictated to him. When they reached the 16th page, the boy was locked up for the night. In the early morning, Germans in nearby cells heard him muttering. "I will not utter another lie." When the jailer came in later to get him to finish his false statement, he found the German hanging from a cell bar, dead. However the statement that the German had hanged himself to escape signing was offered and received in evidence in the trial of the others.

Sometimes a prisoner who refused to sign was led into a dimly lit room, where a group of civilian investigators, wearing U. S. Army uniforms. were seated around a black table with a crucifix in the center and two candles burning, one on each aide. "You will now have your American trial," the defendant was told.

The sham court passed a sham sentence of death. Then the accused was told, "You will hang in a few days, as soon as the general approves this sentence: but in the meantime sign this confession and we can get you acquitted." Some still wouldn't sign.

We were shocked by the crucifix being used so mockingly.

In another case, a bogus Catholic priest (actually an investigator) entered the cell of one of the defendants, heard his confession, gave him absolution, and then gave him a little friendly tip: "Sign whatever the investigators ask you to sign. It will get you your freedom. Even though it's false, I can give you absolution now in advance for the lie you'd tell."

Our final report on these trials has been turned over to Secretary of the Army Royall. In spite of the many instances like those I have described, we found no general conspiracy to obtain evidence improperly. With the exception of 29 cases, we saw no reason why the executions should not be carried out. For the 110 others, there was sufficient competent evidence from other sources to warrant the death penalty, exclusive of the evidence obtained by the third-degree.

The 29 men whose sentences we recommended for commutation certainly did not have a fair trial by American standards. Twenty-seven of them were to have their terms reduced to life, one of them was to get 10 years, and one would get two and one-half years, according to our recommendations. We also recommended a permanent program of clemency for reconsideration of the sentences of other prisoners convicted in war crimes cases.

Secretary Royall has saved our national conscience. Could we as Americans ever have held our heads up if he hadn't looked into it? He has saved our national prestige and our international reputation.

However, in spite of Secretary Royall's action in this matter, there is little real room for complacency on the part of Americans. Rather our report reveals, by implication, that we still have a serious situation in Germany to clear up. Moreover, five of the men for whom we recommended commutations have been hanged since we turned in our report. In all 100 of the 139 we set out to investigate are now dead.

 

IV

The American investigators who committed the atrocities in the name of American Justice and under the American flag are going scot-free. At this point there are two objectives which should be aimed for:

1. Those prisoners whose death sentences have not been commuted and who have not yet been hanged should be saved, pending full judicial review.

2. American investigators who abused the powers of victory and prostituted justice to vengeance, should be exposed in a public process, preferably in the U. S., and prosecuted.

Unless these crimes committed by Americans are exposed by us at home, the prestige of America and American justice will suffer permanent and irreparable damage. We can partially atone for our own misconduct if we first search it out and publicly condemn and disavow it. If we wait for our enemies to blazon our guilt abroad, we can only bow our heads in shamed admission.

EDWARD L. VAN RODEN, a Pennsylvania judge, served in World War I and II, in the latter as Chief of the Military Justice Division for the European Theater where he saw service in Normandy, Belgium, the Rhineland, the Battle of the Bulge, and in the Ardennes. In 1946 he was reassigned to active duty and served on several important court martial trials in Germany. In 1948 Secretary of the Army Royall appointed him to an extraordinary commission charged with investigating the Dachau War Crimes program.

E. L. Van Roden, "American Atrocities in Germany", The Progressive. February 1949, p. 21f.

 

 

 

The Other Holocausts of World War 2

 
Video Thanks To Rebelnews.org

 

 

THE BLITZ! WHO REALLY STARTED IT?

http://globalfire.tv/nj/04en/history/theblitz.htm

"Liberating" the Germans the "democratic" way.

 

Between 1940 and 1945, nearly one-hundred German cities with a total population of 25 million souls were destroyed or devastated in a bombing campaign initiated by the British government. Destruction on this scale had no other purpose than the indiscriminate mass murder of as many German people as possible quite regardless of their civilian status. It led to retaliatory bombing resulting in 60,000 British dead and 86,000 injured.

"It is one of the greatest triumphs of modern emotional engineering that, in spite of the plain facts of the case which could never be disguised or even materially distorted, the British public, throughout the Blitz Period (1940 - 1941), remained convinced that the entire responsibility for their sufferings rested on the German leaders." --Advance to Barbarism, F.J.P Veale

"It may be Inconvenient History but England rather than Germany initiated the murderous slaughter of bombing civilians thus bringing about retaliation. Chamberlain conceded that it was 'Absolutely contrary to International law'. "It began in 1940 and Churchill believed it held the secret of victory. He was convinced that raids of sufficient intensity could destroy Germany’s morale, and so his War Cabinet planned a campaign that abandoned the accepted practice of attacking the enemy’s armed forces and, instead made civilians the primary target. Night after night, RAF bombers in ever increasing numbers struck throughout Germany, usually at working class housing, because it was more densley packed." --The Peoples’ War, Angus Calder. London, Jonathan Cape, 1969.

"Hitler only undertook the bombing of British civilian targets reluctantly three months after the RAF had commenced bombing German civilian targets. Hitler would have been willing at any time to stop the slaughter. Hitler was genuinely anxious to reach with Britain an agreement confining the action of aircraft to battle zones. Retaliation was certain if we carried the war into Germany. There was a reasonable possibility that our capital and industrial centres would not have been attacked if we had continued to refrain from attacking those of Germany. We began to bomb objectives on the German mainland before the Germans began to bomb objectives on the British mainland. Because we were doubtful about the psychological effect of propagandist distortion of the truth that it was we who started the strategic bombing offensive, we have shrunk from giving our great decision of May 11th, 1940, the publicity it deserves." -- J.M Spaight., CB., CBE., Principle Secretary to the Air Ministry, Bombing Vindicated

"The attack on the Ruhr was therefore an informal invitation to the Luftwaffe to bomb London. The primary purpose of these raids was to goad the Germans into undertaking reprisal raids of a similar character on Britain. Such raids would arouse intense indignation in Britain against Germany and so create a war psychosis without which it would be impossible to carry on a modern war." -- The Royal Air Force, 1939 - 1945, The Fight at Odds.p.122. Dennis Richards, Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

THE MOST UNCIVILISED FORM OF WARFARE

The eminent British war historian and strategist, Captain Sir. Basil Liddell Hart declared that through this strategy victory had been achieved "through practising the most uncivilised means of warfare that the world had known since the Mongol invasions." The Evolution of Warfare. 1946, p.75:

"Was absolutely contrary to international law." --Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain

"The inhabitants of Coventry (Liverpool), for example, continued to imagine that their sufferings were due to the innate villainy of Adolf Hitler without a suspicion that a decision, splendid or otherwise, of the British War Cabinet, was the decisive factor in the case." - F.J.P Veale. Advance to Barbarism, P.169.

THE TERROR TARGETING OF WORKING CLASS CIVILIANS

"I am in full agreement (of terror bombing). I am all for the bombing of working class areas in German cities. I am a Cromwellian - I believe in 'slaying in the name of the Lord!" --Sir. Archibald Sinclair, Secretary for Air.

WIVES AND CHILDREN TARGETED

"They (the British Air Chiefs) argued that the desired result, of reducing German industrial production, would be more readily achieved if the homes of the workers in the factories were destroyed; if the workers were kept busy arranging for the burial of their wives and children, output might reasonably be expected to fall. It was concentrated on working class houses because, as Professor Lindemann maintained, "A higher percentage of bloodshed per ton of explosives dropped could be expected from bombing houses built close together, rather than by bombing higher class houses surrounded by gardens." --Advance to Barbarism, F.J.P Veale.

SO COWARDLY IT HAD TO BE HIDDEN

"One of the most unhealthy features of the bombing offensive was that the War Cabinet - and in particular the Secretary for Air, Archibald Sinclair (now Lord Thurso), felt it necessary to repudiate publicly the orders which they themselves had given to Bomber Command." R.H.S Crossman, MP. Sunday Telegraph, Oct.1st,1961

PERSPECTIVES

During the war, more bombs by weight were dropped on the city of Berlin than were released on the whole of Great Britain during the entire war.

All German towns and cities above 50,000 population were from 50% to 80% destroyed. Dresden, an unprotected city, was incinerated with an estimated 500,000 civilian inhabitants burned and buried in the ruins. Hamburg was totally destroyed and more than 100,000 civilians died in the most appalling circumstances whilst Cologne was likewise turned into a moon-scape. As Hamburg burned the winds feeding the three mile high flames reached twice hurricane speed to exceed 150 miles per hour. Trees three feet in diameter on the outskirts of the city, were sucked from the ground by the supernatural forces of these winds and hurled miles into the city-inferno, as were vehicles, men, women... and children.

Between 1940 and 1945, nearly one-hundred German cities with a total population of 25 million souls were destroyed or devastated in a bombing campaign initiated by the British government. Destruction on this scale had no other purpose than the indiscriminate mass murder of as many German people as possible quite regardless of their civilian status. It led to retaliatory bombing resulting in 60,000 British dead and 86,000 injured.

CHILDREN MACHINE-GUNNED

The strafing of columns of refugees by both American and British fighter planes was par for the course: ".... it is said that these (zoo) animals and terrified groups of refugees were machine-gunned as they tried to escape across the Grosser Garten by low-flying planes and that many bodies riddled by bullets were found later in this park." Der Tod von Dresden, Axel Rodenberger, February, 25th, 1951. In Dresden, "Even the huddled remnants of a children's' choir were machine-gunned in a street bordering a park." David Irving, The Destruction of Dresden. "I think we shall live to rue the day we did this, and that it, (The bombing of Dresden) will stand for all time as a blot on our escutcheon." Richard Stokes, M.P. "What we want to do in addition to the horrors of fire is to bring the masonry crashing down on the Boche, to kill Boche and to terrify Boche." --'Bomber' Butch Harris, Sunday Times, January, 10th, 1993.

THE FIRESTORM OF HAMBURG

"Its horror is revealed in the howling and raging of the firestorms, the hellish noise of exploding bombs and the death cries of martyred human beings as well as the big silence after the raids. Speech is impotent to portray the measure of the horror, which shook the people for ten days and nights and the traces of which were written indelibly on the face of the city and its inhabitants. No flight of imagination will ever succeed in measuring and describing the gruesome scenes of horror in the many buried air shelters. Posterity can only bow its head in honour of the fate of these innocents, sacrificed by the murderous lust of a sadistic enemy...." --The Police President of Hamburg.

"Three-hundred times as many people died in Hamburg during the ten-day blitz as died in Coventry during the entire course of the war. "Not even Hiroshima and Nagasaki, suffering the smashing blows of nuclear explosions, could match the utter hell of Hamburg." --Martin Caidin, The Night Hamburg Died, Ballantyne Books.

THE CHILDREN

"Of the children these dreadful nights, what can be said? Their fright became horror and then panic when their tiny minds became capable of grasping the fact that their parents could no longer help them in their distress. They lost their reason and an overwhelming terror took over. Their world had become the shrieking centre of an erupting volcano from which there could be no physical escape. Nothing that hell offered could be feared more.

By the hand of man they became creatures, human in form but not in mind. Strangled noises hissed from them as they staggered pitifully through the streets in which tar and asphalt ran as streams. Some of these tiny creatures ran several hundred feet. Others managed only twenty, maybe ten feet. Their shoes caught fire and then their feet. The lower parts of their legs became flickering sticks of flame. Here were Joans of Arcs.... thousands of them. All who had perished unjustly on the fires of the Middle Ages were as nothing when compared with what was happening that night.

The sounds of many were unintelligible and undoubtedly many more called for their parents from whom they were parted by death or by accident. They grasped their tortured limbs, their tiny burning legs until they were no longer able to stand or run. And then they would crash to the ground where they would writhe in the bubbling tar until death released them from their physical misery." --Martin Caidin.

DRESDEN

"The long suppressed story of the worst massacre in the history of the world. The devastation of Dresden in February, 1945, was one of those crimes against humanity whose authors would have been arraigned at Nuremberg if that court had not been perverted." --Rt. Hon. Richard.H.S Crossman, M.P., Labour Government Minister

AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW PHOSPHOROUS

"Men, women and children too, ran hysterically, falling and stumbling, getting up, tripping and falling again, rolling over and over. Most of them managed to regain their feet and made it to the water. But many of them never made it and were left behind, their feet drumming in blinding pain on the overheated pavements amidst the rubble, until there came one last convulsing shudder from the smoking 'thing' on the ground, and then no further movement." --Martin Caidin, The Night Hamburg Died.

"Phosphorous burns were not infrequent." --U.S Strategic Bombing Survey

"Phosphorous was used 'because of its demonstrated ability to depress the morale of the Germans'." --Official British source

"Even the senseless and highly culture-destroying terror acts, against for example, Lubeck and Dresden, carried out by the Allied pilots, should have been investigated and brought before a proper court of justice." --Major General H. Bratt, Royal Swedish Army

"A nation which spreads over another a sheet of inevitably deadly gases or eradicates entire cities from the earth by the explosion of atomic bombs, does not have the right to judge anyone for war crimes; it has already committed the greatest atrocity equal to no other atrocity; it has killed - amidst unspeakable torments - hundreds of thousands of innocent people." --Hon. Lydio Machado Bandeira de Mello, Professor of Criminal Law; author of more than 40 works on law/philosophy

"As for crimes against humanity, those governments which ordered the destruction of German cities, thereby destroying irreplaceable cultural values and making burning torches out of women and children, should also have stood before the bar of justice." --Hon Jaan Lattik. Estonian statesman, diplomat and historian

 

 

Soviet Union:
"Mass Graves containing the bodies of 12,500"

 

Investigators digging at the site of a Soviet-run prison camp in the former East Germany have uncovered mass graves containing the bodies of 12,500 people, the Brandenburg state government said today.

  The camp was at Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin, and was open from 1945 to 1950. Victims were said to have included real and supposed supporters of the defeated Third Reich, as well as citizens considered unfriendly to Communist authorities.

  Until the Communist Government of East Germany collapsed in 1990, it was impossible to conduct research like that now under way at Sachsenhausen. Similar excavations are underway at other sites, and officials expect further discoveries like the one announced today.

  The excavation around Sachsenhausen revealed 50 graves, each about 25 feet long and 13 feet wide. Under the earth, bodies were stacked in heaps as high as 15 feet and higher.

  Pathologists have determined that most of the victims died of starvation, exposure or communicable diseases. Some had evidently been beaten. Most were children, adolescents and elderly people.

  In the years after the end of World War II, occupying Soviet forces imprisoned thousands of Germans. Many were accused of war crimes, and their trials were perfunctory if they were held at all. Some were simply picked off the street, victims of Stalinist crackdowns.

  The victims were taken to one of a network of prison camps. Some of them, like the one at Sachsenhausen and another at Buchenwald, were built on the sites of Nazi concentration camps.

  The German Government estimated that 65,000 people died in those Soviet run camps or in transportation to them.

  During the four decades of Communist rule in East Germany, memorials were built at places like Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald. But the memorials implied that the camps closed at the war's end. They did not mention that in the post-Nazi era, the camps became brutal Soviet-run military prisons.

Source : The New York Times - September 24, 1992

 

Soviet Union:
"Naked women were nailed through their hands"

 

At the edge of the town, on the left side of the road, stands the large inn 'Weisser Krug' ... In the farmyard further down the road stood a cart, to which four naked women were nailed through their hands in a cruciform position. Behind the Weisser Krug towards Gumbinnen is a square with a monument to the Unknown Soldier. Beyond is another larger inn, 'Roter Krug'. Near it, parallel to the road, stood a barn and to each of its two doors a naked woman was nailed through the hands, in a crucified posture. In the dwellings we found a total of seventy-two women, including children, and one old man, 74, all dead... all murdered in a bestial manner, except only for a few who had bullet holes in their necks. Some babies had their heads bashed in. In one room we found a woman, 84 years old, sitting on a sofa... half of whose head had been sheared off with an axe or a spade...

We carried the corpses to the village cemetery where they lay to await a foreign medical commission... In the meantime, a nurse from Insterburg came, a native of Nemmersdorf, who looked for her parents. Among the corpses were her mother, 72, and her father, 74, the only man among the dead. She also established that all the dead were Nemmersdorfers. On the fourth day the bodies were buried in two graves. Only on the following day did the medical commission arrive, and the tombs had to be reopened. Barn doors were set on blocks on which to lay the bodies so that the commission could examine them. This foreign commission unanimously established that all the women, as well as the girls from eight to twelve years and even the woman of 84 years had been raped. After the examination by the commission, the bodies were again buried.

(Alfred M. de Zayas, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans from the East, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London. 1988. p.63 -64)

 

 

 

The Mushrooming Cloud

BY H. JACK GEIGER


 

HIROSHIMA'S SHADOW: Writings on the
Denial of History and the Smithsonian
Controversy.

 

Edited by Kai Bird and Lawrence Lifschultz.

Pamphleteer's Press. 584 pp. Paper $25.

FALLOUT: A Historian Reflects on
America's Half-Century Encounter With
Nuclear Weapons.

By Paul Boyer.

Ohio State. 268 pp. Paper $17.95.

 

INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE THE BOMB NOW, and the cheering crowds in New Delhi and Islamabad have turned out to affirm that it is a good thing, a necessity, a rite of passage into national military adulthood. The Old Bombers Network of existing nuclear powers, fiercely resistant to any suggestion that they eliminate their own huge arsenals, have reacted with dismay. Nuclear weapons, after all, are to have and to hold (by us), not to be possessed by newcomers. With no acknowledgment of irony, they have even suggested that India and Pakistan have done something immoral. So, fifty-three years after Hiroshima, a billion or so more human beings live directly under its shadow--not counting the hundreds of millions of Southeast Asians who live downwind.

   What has been curiously missing from the resulting international outbreak of finger-wagging is any detailed new discussion of what nuclear weapons--all nuclear weapons, not just those of India and Pakistan--actually do when they are used. One virtue of Hiroshima's Shadow--the book, edited by Kai Bird and Lawrence Lifschultz--is that it does more than recall the agony of the victims. It is focused, instead, on something subtler: the long-lasting moral damage to those who choose deliberately to obliterate hundreds of thousands of civilian lives at a single stroke, and then try to justify that choice. Only one nation has made that choice, and struggled to defend it, and so Hiroshima's Shadow, while giving due attention to what happened to the Japanese, is mostly about a uniquely American experience. What happened to the Japanese is well-known. What happened to us deserves the scrutiny that this book provides.

   It is important, nevertheless, to begin by recalling the physical reality. Among the thousands of photographs, paintings and other artifacts of what happened on August 6, 1945--those images, now familiar everywhere in the world, of bleeding children, twisted buildings, grotesque figures walking across miles of rubble--there is one that is unique. It is the picture of a shadow burned into concrete, the only remnant of a person vaporized in the 5,000-degree heat of the first seconds after Little Boy exploded. It is all that is left of what might be named Hiroshima's Unknown Civilian, a ghostly doorman at the entrance to the nuclear age.

   That shadow speaks to the reality of Hiroshima. But the bomb, and the one that followed three days later over Nagasaki, instantly cast another shadow that has darkened the succeeding half-century, even as Little Boy proliferated into what one scientist has called "a monster with 70,000 heads," the global nuclear arsenal at its peak. It is the wrenching, persistent concern that Hiroshima (and, by extension, all nuclear weapons) represented the crossing of an invisible moral line. It has engendered innumerable debates and created myths, legends and rationalizations that have been intensified, in America, by the knowledge that the United States is the only nation that has actually used nuclear weapons to destroy human populations. The "official" story of Hiroshima became an American legend, wrapped in our historical consciousness--but threatened by historical scholarship that has increasingly eroded claims that the United States acted correctly, even morally. Hiroshima's Shadow is a response to the latest battle over that legend.

   The facts of that battle are straightforward. As the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II approached, the curators of the Smithsonian Institution--America's principal national museum--decided to commemorate the occasion with an exhibit that would have chronicled the origins of the war and its final act, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The planned exhibition in the National Air and Space Museum was to include the fuselage of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the bomb over Hiroshima. An elaborate multi-gallery display, including but not limited to portrayals of the human and material damage, was to be accompanied by an elaborate script that, among many other things, examined the complexity surrounding President Truman's decision to proceed with the attack on Hiroshima and included some statements critical of the use of the bomb.

   The attack on this plan came from the Air Force Association and the American Legion, rapidly joined by right-wing Republicans (newly ascendant in Congress) and fueled by a swelling and eerily McCarthyite chorus of editorials from all corners of the political spectrum (the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, for example) and Op-Ed articles, columns and letters to editors. The distinguished historians who had advised the Smithsonian were now described as people who "hated their country," "revisionists," a "ragtag collection of academics and left-wing ideologues," and "zealots of academe who prowl the liberal arts departments muttering against 'American imperialists.'" An official of the American Legion accused the Smithsonian of the "prostitution of history" and demanded adherence to "a history all of us can be proud of...a joyful mosaic celebrating the end [of World War II]." Newt Gingrich, that self-styled historian, apparently unaware that leading Republicans in 1945 had pressed for clarifications of "unconditional surrender" that might convince Japan to quit, spoke darkly of the Smithsonian as "a plaything for left-wing ideologies." (He also overlooked the fact that Herbert Hoover, that old radical, had written that "the use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul.")

   The Smithsonian caved in. Offending statements were censored. The director of the Air and Space Museum resigned. The Enola Gay was displayed without critical commentary or explanation, and with no references to Hiroshima's devastation. "Historical cleansing" had been accomplished.

   Hiroshima's Shadow is the historians' answer to what its editors call "one of the great intellectual scandals of American history." It is a massive compendium that reprints virtually every major scholarly analysis of the decision to use the bomb. It quotes the first criticisms that began to appear within days of the Hiroshima bombing and continued for years thereafter--many of them, ironically, from political conservatives, including Henry Luce, David Lawrence of what was to become US News & World Report and contributors to William Buckley's National Review. In an effort at scrupulous academic fairness, the book reprints in full two scholarly articles and five journalistic articles defending the bombing and attacking the Smithsonian, and quotes other defenders of the official canon with frequency. Sixty pages are devoted to detailed accounts of the Smithsonian struggle itself. It then offers a series of new and gruesome on-the-ground accounts of the carnage in Hiroshima by survivors. Finally, almost a hundred pages are devoted to reprinting documents--diaries of President Truman and his Cabinet officers, official memos and reports.

   The most useful section lists the four "articles of faith" that "have sustained the Hiroshima legend for more than fifty years." Bird and Lifschultz write:

First, Americans have been repeatedly told that the bomb saved a half-million, even a million, American lives or casualties. Second, the legend has led most Americans to believe that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were given specific and ample warning of the impending attack on their cities. Third, the official legend has persuaded defenders of the atomic bombings that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legitimate military targets. Fourth, the legend frames Truman's decision as a stark choice between the use of atomic weapons to force Japan's early surrender and the grisly prospect of a costly military invasion of Japan.

 

   Take these pillars of the official rationale away, the authors say, and the Hiroshima legend collapses.

   And taking them away is the very substance of the book's meticulously documented argument. American military planners officially estimated that an invasion of the Japanese mainland would cost 20,000 to 46,000 casualties. Those figures were then systematically and continually increased into the millions in postwar justifications by Truman, Churchill and many others. (This was unaccompanied by any discussion of the morality of taking civilian lives to reduce military casualties, but that moral line had long since been crossed in Nanjing, Guernica, Hamburg, Dresden, London, Coventry and the conventional firebombing of Tokyo and sixty-five other Japanese cities. Deliberate destruction of civilian populations was characteristic of World War II; the innovation at Hiroshima was the nature of the weapon, not the nature of the target.)

   Warning leaflets? The macabre fact is that leaflets were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings; there had been an official decision to use the bomb without warning.

   Military targets? In Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, roughly 4 percent of the deaths were soldiers; 96 percent were civilians. In Nagasaki alone, military casualties totaled less than two one-thousandths of 1 percent of the deaths. Years later, McGeorge Bundy, who had ghostwritten a classic defense of the bombing in a 1947 Harper's article, said, "It's not a myth that [Hiroshima was] a military target...it's a military target like New York."

   As to the fourth myth--the key article of faith that the United States had no alternative to using the bombs, other than a costly invasion of the Japanese mainland--Hiroshima's Shadow notes that "the historical record is replete with details that an alternative strategy to securing Japan's surrender without an invasion was being recommended" [emphasis in original] by virtually every senior adviser to President Truman (with the crucial exception of his buddy Secretary of State James Byrnes). All it would take, they reasoned on the basis of repeated Japanese peace feelers and intercepted cables, was a modification of the demand for "unconditional surrender" to include assurances that the role of Emperor would survive.

   There is more--much more--but I think few readers will succeed in wading through it all. Hiroshima's Shadow is maddeningly repetitious, because the editors quote the contributors, the contributors quote each other and they all quote the same basic sources. It is at once enormous in range and obsessive in detail. But there is a real reward in winnowing from these accounts the revealing--and often shocking--comments both of major contributors to the official legend and of their critics.

   Here are some of my favorites:

   First, the two quotations that so goaded the American Legion and its right-wing allies into comments against the anti-American, unpatriotic revisionists. The first reads:

"During [Secretary of War Henry Stimson's] recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings: first, on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly, because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.'"
The author: Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

 

   And the second:

"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages...wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."
So said Fleet Adm. William Leahy, Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. And yet another:
"It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell." (Winston Churchill)

 

   But there are many others, including two from Gen. Leslie Groves, chief of the Manhattan Project:

"The real purpose of building the bomb was to subdue the Soviets."
And, on radiation sickness:
"It is a very pleasant way to die."
A particularly useful comment came from one of the critics of the Smithsonian's historians. Stephen Rosenfeld, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, went (inadvertently, I am sure) to the heart of the matter.
"The critics [of Truman's decision] have an agenda...that goes well beyond instructing us to face up to our true history. It is to repudiate the moral basis of nuclear weapons. If their use in the one situation where they were actually employed can be shown to be unnecessary, illegitimate, and even depraved, then a powerful change will have been wrought in the political culture in which strategic decisions and historical judgments are made." [Emphasis in original.]
Exactly. Alas, he never did define "the moral basis of nuclear weapons."

 

   After the heavy weight of Hiroshima's Shadow it is--despite the subject matter--a joy to read Paul Boyer's Fallout. Boyer, Merle Curti Professor of History and director of the Institute of Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, has for years been studying the impact on American life and culture of Hiroshima, the nuclear arms race, Star Wars, the antinuclear protests of the sixties and the freeze campaign of the eighties. He explains at the outset that

"the 'fallout' from nuclear weapons was cultural as well as chemical...not limited to strontium 90 and other deadly substances; it also worked its way into the mental and imaginative world of an entire generation, adults and children alike, producing not only nightmares, worried conversations, and activist campaigns, but also a diverse array of cultural artifacts, ranging from poems, novels, and paintings to popular songs, slang, movies, advertisements, radio shows, and television specials."
His first book on the subject, now a classic, was By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, covering the years 1945 to 1950. Fallout, a compilation of previously printed essays, Op-Eds, commentaries and scholarly contributions, begins with "The Day America First Heard the News" and ends with the Enola Gay controversy.

 

   To read it, for activists (Boyer is one) and passive observers alike, is to relive a huge slice of American life over the past half-century--to remember Dr. Strangelove, Edward Teller, the Cuban missile crisis, Three Mile Island, Reagan-era confrontations with the Soviet Union, the antinuclear campaigns of scientists and physicians, the Armageddon preachers and the zany promises of civil defense. They are all here, described with wonderful lucidity and, what is even more important, an unfailingly perceptive instinct for their significance in the lives and thoughts of ordinary Americans. On the controversy that really underlies Hiroshima's Shadow, for example, Boyer observes:

To contemplate Hiroshima and Nagasaki unblinkingly is to confront our recent moral history in the most radical way imaginable. Few were ready to do that in 1945. Few have been prepared to do it since.

   Thus the American cultural and intellectual engagement with Hiroshima has remained episodic and inconclusive.... Hiroshima challenges...some of our most deep-seated beliefs about the meaning of our national experience. For years, cultural historians have noted the power and the tenacity of the myth of American innocence: the belief that we are somehow set apart from the other nations of the world, our motives higher, our methods purer.... It is very difficult, to say the least, to fit Hiroshima into a moral schema rooted in a national mythology of innocence and exceptionalism.

   Everyone, most particularly younger generations for whom the nuclear events of the past half-century are remote abstractions, should read this book. To discover the real history of nuclear folly, they might also turn to Fred Kaplan's The Wizards of Armageddon, about the creation of American war plans to use the bombs; Robert Scheer's With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush & Nuclear War, on the demented promises of survival through civil defense; and Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth, on the very real risks of human extinction.

   There is particular poignance, for me, in Boyer's account of the efforts of New York Times science reporter William Laurence (described by Boyer as "the Manhattan Project's official reporter--and unofficial public relations mouthpiece") to deny the stories of radiation sickness in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, already reported firsthand by the Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, as nothing but "Jap propaganda." Boyer notes that

"the official effort to discredit Burchett's Hiroshima report in fact prefigured a pattern that would continue through the Bikini tests of 1946, the Eniwetok tests of 1954, a whole series of tests in the American Southwest, and decades of blandly optimistic civil-defense pronouncements."

 

   Not long ago I took part in a committee meeting of the US Institute of Medicine that grappled with the problem of how to respond to a National Cancer Institute estimate that 10,000 to 75,000 cases of thyroid cancer among Americans would result from the fallout of radioactive iodine from those pre-1963 atmospheric tests in Nevada. A year or so earlier I was one of a team sent by the Energy Department to review the work of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, successor to the old Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. Hundreds more of Hiroshima's bomb-induced cancer cases were likely still to come, the foundation's Japanese and American researchers told us, because the exposed population was only now reaching the age of maximum cancer incidence. Hiroshima's shadow stretches on.

 

H. Jack Geiger, a founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, is Arthur C. Logan Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York Medical School.


Copyright (c) 1996, The Nation Company, L.P. All rights reserved. Electronic redistribution for nonprofit purposes is permitted, provided this notice is attached in its entirety. Unauthorized, for-profit redistribution is prohibited. For further information regarding reprinting and syndication, please call The Nation at (212) 242-8400, ext. 226 or send e-mail to Max Block.

 

 

The Russians in Germany:

 A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation,

1945 - 1949

H-NET BOOK REVIEW
Published by H-German@msu.edu  (May, 1996)

 

Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949".
Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1995. xv + 586 pp. $39.00. (cloth) ISBN 0-674-78405-7.

Reviewed by Steven P. Remy, Ohio University

Norman Naimark's "The Russians in Germany" is the first history of the occupation of Germany to draw extensively on Soviet and East German archives, including the now-inaccessible records of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SVAG). The author, the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies and Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at Stanford University, also made extensive use of American, British, and West German sources, some memoirs, interviews, and a variety of newspapers. The result is a richly detailed and fascinating account of the four and one half year occupation.

 

The author argues that the Soviets did not occupy Germany with "specific long-range goals" in mind (465), let alone a detailed plan of action. Rather, the occupation was shaped largely by a complex mixture of opportunism, principle, "Bolshevik predisposition," (468) and conflict with the West. The Soviets wanted to edge out the Americans and the British for hegemony over the entire country, eliminate all traces of Nazism, guarantee the creation of a "democratic" and "antifascist" German state, and collect reparations. Perhaps most important, Moscow wanted to build popular support among ordinary Germans for its policies and those of the German Communists (KPD, after April 1946 the Socialist Unity Party, or SED). But the behavior of the Red Army, the activities of several powerful Soviet institutions active in Germany, and the unwillingness of the occupiers and their German clients to tolerate spontaneity made this impossible. As a result, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was born in 1949 with feet of clay; it was a hollow structure propped up by Moscow's might and by one of the most sophisticated secret police establishments ever created. When these two supports began to disintegrate in 1989, the GDR collapsed virtually overnight.

Naimark begins with the creation of SVAG in the summer of 1945. Assuming that Stalin had no elaborate plan for postwar Germany and given the immediate problems facing the Red Army on the ground, Moscow's first priority was to create an apparatus to administer their zone. With the capture of Berlin, the Soviets also brought in several groups (the _Initiativgruppen_) of KPD leaders to begin rebuilding German administrations. From the start, however, Soviet efforts proved far from efficient. In the month before SVAG's founding, local Red Army commanders, without the benefit of clear lines of authority or special training, ruled the zone more or less arbitrarily. Even after the creation of SVAG, administrative efficiency in the zone was hindered by tensions between Moscow and SVAG headquarters in Karlshorst and between Soviet administrators in Germany. Even as the Soviets turned administrative functions over to their German clients, they tried to maintain control over even minute details of day-to-day administration. This practice improved neither zonal administration nor Soviet-German relations.

Of particular importance to these relations was the behavior of Red Army soldiers during the initial period of occupation. Naimark's research supports the estimate made by German historians Barbara Johr and Helke Sander that Soviet soldiers raped as many as two million German women between the time their counteroffensive reached German territory and well past the formal end of hostilities (see Johr and Sander, eds., _Befreier und Befreite, Krieg, Vergewaltigungen, Kinder_, Munich: Verlag Antje Kunstmann, 1992). While Berlin was hardest hit, the problem was endemic in the Soviet zone. Though aware of the mass rapes, SVAG officers in Germany, KPD/SED leaders, and high-level Soviet officials remained unable or unwilling to do much to stop them. The extent to which Stalin was aware of the situation is unclear, but there is evidence he condoned the practice in general. Without question, the implications for Soviet and German Communist rule in the zone (or SBZ) were very serious: "...the Germans resisted rape...by turning it back against the Soviets. So long as Russians ruled in the Eastern zone, there could be no legitimacy for the Communist Party of Germany, which initially might have been counted on to be one of the most promising in Europe" (121).

Other depredations plagued German women and men throughout the occupation period. The Soviets fundamentally altered the economy of eastern Germany by forcibly redistributing land and expropriating factories and production. Meanwhile, soldiers and occupation officials took an enormous quantity of loot -- everything from wristwatches to priceless artwork. After the failure of the Allies to settle the reparations question, the Soviets went ahead with large-scale removals from their zone. No central records appear to have been kept of the often unplanned and haphazard "take" from Germany, but Naimark estimates that the Soviets achieved their goal of ten billion dollars in reparations through removals and ongoing (or current) production by 1950 (168-9). The costs to the German economy were enormous -- Moscow's "insatiable" demand for reparations resulted in the loss of perhaps one third of eastern Germany's industrial base. The SED, increasingly identified by the German public as a tool of the Kremlin, was unable to convince the Soviets to take a more rational approach to securing reparations until a good deal more damage had been done to Soviet-German relations.

The author also provides much new information on the Soviet drive to capture German military and atomic technologies. On this issue in particular, the Cold War began in Germany at the onset of the occupation. American, British, and Soviet officials raced to capture scientists and industrial technology, partly to benefit their own economies, but also with an eye to future East-West military competition. Regarding nuclear science, Naimark's findings comport with those of David Holloway, the historian of the Soviet atomic bomb project. The German contribution here was small but not insignificant: "The Germans' experience in wartime laboratories, backed by modern chemical, optics, and electric energy industries, proved to be a welcome addition to the Soviets' theoretical sophistication, espionage success, and ability to muster the vast resources of the country for building the bomb" (214). Like rape, plunder, and reparations removals, however, "the Soviet desire to acquire German science, technology, and material, especially uranium, brought the Stalinist terror very close to home for the Germans....As a result, the Soviets seriously undermined their ability to rule the Eastern zone of Germany" (250).

Also critical to the history of the occupation and the GDR was the creation of an extensive secret police apparatus that would become the _Staatssicherheitsdienst_ (or "Stasi") in 1950. While noting that only part of the East German secret police story can be told without access to KGB archives, Naimark provides us with the fullest account yet of the Stasi's birth. Beginning in the summer of 1945, "the Soviets constructed an impressive police system in the zone in a very short time indeed" (374). The German Communists were determined, of course, to dominate the new system, and built into it several branches designed "`to know everything and to report everything worth knowing'" (366). At the same time, the NKVD/MVD "led an almost completely independent Soviet secret policy operation in the zone" (379) by rounding up a total of 122,671 suspected Nazis and anti-Soviet elements (particularly young people, members of the Social Democratic Party [SPD], and former POWs) and depositing them in "special camps" where as many as 43,889 perished (376). SVAG and SED officials protested to Moscow about the NKVD/MVD's activities, but, again, much damage was done to Soviet-German relations before the Kremlin moved to alleviate the problem.

Naimark devotes two chapters to the relationship between the Soviets and the German Left and the question of who made policy in the SBZ. The author reveals that a great deal of political "spontaneity" and diversity existed among the German Left immediately after the war. Yet SVAG and German Communist chief Walter Ulbricht, both reflecting the "Stalinist distrust of spontaneous institutions," (271) would tolerate neither moderate socialists nor groups of hard-line communists eager to Sovietize Germany. SVAG and the SED's abandonment of "a German road to socialism" in favor of a "Sovietized" SBZ in 1947 and 1948, however, was also the direct result of continued economic hardship in the zone, the unpopularity of the Russians and the SED, and the deepening East-West split.

The author provides many new details about Colonel Sergei Tiul'panov, head of SVAG's Propaganda Administration and the foremost Russian advocate of a Sovietized Germany in the SBZ. By 1946, Naimark argues, Tiul'panov's office "was running politics in the Soviet zone" (322). Despite deep displeasure with his performance among some members of the CPSU's Central Committee, the Colonel survived long enough to shape the SED as "a party of a new type" (346). Tiul'panov probably survived as long as he did not because Soviet Politburo member Andrei Zhdanov protected him (Naimark found no evidence to support this claim), but because "there were no senior officials who could operate in the German environment with the ease that he did" (351). That he was so influential was probably due to his willingness to make hard decisions other SVAG officials wished to avoid. These decisions pointed eastern Germany in the direction of Sovietization. Given Moscow's intense desire for reparations and a demilitarized, neutral Germany, Naimark seems to sympathize with those members of the Soviet Central Committee who sought to replace the hard-line propaganda chief. Perhaps greater "flexibility," he suggests, would have helped prevent the division of Germany. Given the widespread unpopularity of SVAG and the SED by 1947, however, it seems "Sovietization" was about the only choice available to Moscow were it not to leave the SED's fate to the masses.

The Soviet occupation of Germany was a failure for the Soviets and a disaster for the Germans. Moscow obtained extensive reparations only at the cost of nearly crippling the East German economy. Heavy-handed Soviet and German Communist tactics in the zone encouraged the Western allies (and Western Germans) to accept Germany's division. Terrorized and often deprived of their livelihoods, Germans in the east came to despise SVAG and the SED. The life and death of the GDR, then, can be understood only with reference to its difficult birth.

Despite the book's scope, the relationship among SVAG, the German Communists, and the Church goes largely unexamined. The same may be said for trade unions. Repetitiveness and a few mistaken dates are minor distractions. It is tempting to criticize the author for not providing more extensive speculation as to the Kremlin's intentions in postwar Germany, but Naimark pointedly avoids such speculation for the sound reason that important Soviet records (particularly those held in the Presidential and KGB archives) remain closed. Naimark's book is most valuable for its analysis of Soviet-German relations "on the ground" in the SBZ, and he provides readers with a necessary companion to recent works by Wilfried Loth, R.C. Raack, and Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, among others. In short, _The Russians in Germany_ will remain the standard source on the Soviet occupation until scholars gain greater access to Soviet archives.

 

Copyright (c) 1996 by H-Net, all rights reserved. This work may be copied in whole or in part, with proper attribution, as long as the copying is not-for-profit "fair use" for research, commentary, study, or teaching. For other permission, please contact H-Net@msu.edu.

 

Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 371-381.

 

 

 

The Strange Life of Ilya Ehrenburg

MARK WEBER

Ilya Ehrenburg, the leading Soviet propagandist of the Second World War, was a contradictory figure.

A recent article in the weekly Canadian Jewish News sheds new light on the life of this "man of a thousand masks." [1]

Ehrenburg was born in 1891 in Kiev to a non-religious Jewish family. In 1908 he fled Tsarist Russia because of his revolutionary activities.

Although he returned to visit after the Bolshevik revolution, he continued to live abroad, including many years in Paris, and did not settle in the Soviet Union until 1941.

A prolific writer, Ehrenburg was the author of almost 30 books. The central figure of one novel, The Stormy Life of Lazik Roitschwantz, is a pathetic "luftmensch," a recurring character in Jewish literature who seems to live "from the air" without visible means of support .

As a Jew and a dedicated Communist, Ehrenburg was a relentless enemy of German National Socialism. During the Second World War, he was a leading member of the Soviet-sponsored Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.

(At fund-raising rallies in the United States for the Soviet war effort, two leading members of the Committee displayed bars of soap allegedly manufactured by the Germans from the corpses of murdered Jews.)

Ehrenburg is perhaps most infamous for his viciously anti-German wartime propaganda. In the words of the Canadian Jewish News: "As the leading Soviet journalist during World War II, Ehrenburg's writings against the German invaders were circulated among millions of Soviet soldiers."

His articles appeared regularly in Pravda, Izvestia, the Soviet military daily, Krasnaya Zvezda ("Red Star"), and in numerous leaflets distributed to troops at the front.

In one leaflet headlined "Kill," Ehrenburg incited Soviet soldiers to treat Germans as sub-human. The final paragraph concludes:

The Germans are not human beings. From now on the word German means to use the most terrible oath. From now on the word German strikes us to the quick. We shall not speak any more. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day ... If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet. If there is calm on your part of the front, or if you are waiting for the fighting, kill a German in the meantime. If you leave a German alive, the German will hang a Russian and rape a Russian woman. If you kill one German, kill another -- there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days, do not count kilometers. Count only the number of Germans killed by you. Kill the German -- that is your grandmother's request. Kill the German -- that is your child's prayer. Kill the German -- that is your motherland's loud request. Do not miss. Do not let through. Kill. [2]

Ehrenburg's incendiary writings certainly contributed in no small measure to the orgy of murder and rape by Soviet soldiers against German civilians.

Until his death in 1967, "his support for the Soviet state, and for Stalin, never wavered," the Canadian Jewish News notes. His loyalty and service were acknowledged in 1952 when he received the Stalin Prize.

In keeping with official Soviet policy, he publicly criticized Israel and Zionism.

The Canadian Jewish News further writes:

... the recent disclosure that Ehrenburg arranged to transfer his private archives to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem library and archive, while still alive, comes as a stunning revelation.

The reason this information has come to light only now is that Ehrenburg agreed to transfer his archive on condition that the transfer, and his will, remain secret for 20 years after his death.

On Dec. 11 [1987], wit the 20-year period expired, Israel's daily Maariv related Ehrenburg's story ... "

The collection includes material about the important wartime Jewish partisan movement Among the documents in the collection is one concerning a pogrom in Malalchovka, a village near Moscow, which took place in 1959.

This new revelation about one of the most influential figures of Me Stalinist regime shows that, whatever he may have said for public consumption, Ehrenburg never privately disavowed Zionism or ever forgot his ancestry.

Notes

[1] Rose Kleiner, "Archives to throw new light on Ehrenburg," Canadian Jewish News (Toronto), 17 March 1988, p. 9.
[2] Alfred de Zayas, Nemesis at Potsdam (London: Roudedge & Kegan Paul, 2nd edition, 1979), pp. 6546, 201; and, Erich Kern (ed.), Verheimlichte Dokumente (Munich: FZ- Verlag, 1988), pp. 260-61, 353-55.

Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 507-509.

 

 

 

Red Army troops raped even Russian women
as they freed them from camps 

By Daniel Johnson (Filed: 24/01/2002)

THE Red Army's orgy of rape in the dying days of Nazi Germany was conducted on a much greater scale than previously suspected, according to a new book by the military historian Anthony Beevor.

Beevor, the author of the best-selling Stalingrad, says advancing Soviet troops raped large numbers of Russian and Polish women held in concentration camps, as well as millions of Germans.

The extent of the Red Army's indiscipline and depravity emerged as the author studied Soviet archives for his forthcoming book Berlin, to be published in April by Viking.

Beevor - who was educated at Sandhurst and served in the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own), an elite cavalry regiment - says details of the Soviet soldiers' behaviour have forced him to revise his view of human nature.

"Having always in the past slightly pooh-poohed the idea that most men are potential rapists, I had to come to the conclusion that if there is a lack of army discipline, most men with a weapon, dehumanised by living through two or three years of war, do become potential rapists," he told The Bookseller.

He appears to echo the American feminist Marilyn French's notorious claim that "in their relations with women, all men are rapists, and that's all they are".

Any such resemblance is, however, superficial. Beevor is careful to qualify any suggestion that what happened from 1944 onwards is in any way typical of male behaviour in peacetime. But he admits that he was "shaken to the core" to discover that Russian and Polish women and girls liberated from concentration camps were also violated.

"That completely undermined the notion that the soldiers were using rape as a form of revenge against the Germans," he said.

"By the time the Russians reached Berlin, soldiers were regarding women almost as carnal booty; they felt because they were liberating Europe they could behave as they pleased. That is very frightening, because one starts to realise that civilisation is terribly superficial and the facade can be stripped away in a very short time."

Beevor's high reputation as a historian ensures that his claims will be taken seriously. Stalingrad was widely praised and awarded the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize.

His account of the siege of Berlin, however, promises to be more controversial. "In many ways the fate of the women and the girls in Berlin is far worse than that of the soldiers starving and suffering in Stalingrad."

To understand why the rape of Germany was so uniquely terrible, the context is essential. Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, began the most genocidal conflict in history. Perhaps 30 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union are now thought to have died during the war, including more than three million who were deliberately starved in German PoW camps.

The Germans, having shown no quarter, could expect none in return. Their casualties were also on a vast scale. In the Battle of Berlin alone more than a million German soldiers were killed or died later in captivity, plus at least 100,000 civilians. The Soviet Union lost more than 300,000 men.

Against this horrific background, Stalin and his commanders condoned or even justified rape, not only against Germans but also their allies in Hungary, Romania and Croatia. When the Yugoslav Communist Milovan Djilas protested to Stalin, the dictator exploded: "Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometres through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?"

And when German Communists warned him that the rapes were turning the population against them, Stalin fumed: "I will not allow anyone to drag the reputation of the Red Army in the mud."

The rapes had begun as soon as the Red Army entered East Prussia and Silesia in 1944. In many towns and villages every female, aged from 10 to 80, was raped. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate who was then a young officer, described the horror in his narrative poem Prussian Nights: "The little daughter's on the mattress,/Dead. How many have been on it/A platoon, a company perhaps?"

But Solzhenitsyn was rare: most of his comrades regarded rape as legitimate. As the offensive struck deep into Germany, the orders of Marshal Zhukov, their commander, stated: "Woe to the land of the murderers. We will get a terrible revenge for everything."

By the time the Red Army reached Berlin its reputation, reinforced by Nazi propaganda, had already terrified the population, many of whom fled. Though the hopeless struggle came to an end in May 1945, the ordeal of German women did not.

How many German women were raped? One can only guess, but a high proportion of at least 15 million women who either lived in the Soviet Union zone or were expelled from the eastern provinces. The scale of rape is suggested by the fact that about two million women had illegal abortions every year between 1945 and 1948.

It was not until the winter of 1946-47 that the Soviet authorities, concerned by the spread of disease, imposed serious penalties on their forces in East Germany for fraternising with the enemy.

Soviet soldiers saw rape, often carried out in front of a woman's husband and family, as an appropriate way of humiliating the Germans, who had treated Slavs as an inferior race with whom sexual relations were discouraged. Russia's patriarchal society and the habit of binge-drinking were also factors, but more important was resentment at the discovery of Germany's comparative wealth.

The fact, highlighted by Beevor, that Soviet troops raped not only Germans but also their victims, recently liberated from concentration camps, suggests that the sexual violence was often indiscriminate, although far fewer Russian or Polish women were raped when their areas were liberated compared to the conquered Germans.

Jews, however, were not necessarily regarded by Soviet troops as fellow victims of the Nazis. The Soviet commissars had commandeered German concentration camps in order to incarcerate their own political prisoners, who included "class enemies" as well as Nazi officials, and their attitude towards the previous inmates was, to say the least, unsentimental.

As for the millions of Russian prisoners or slave workers who survived the Nazis: those who were not executed as traitors or sent to the Gulag could count themselves lucky. The women among them were probably treated no better than the Germans, perhaps worse.

The rape of Germany left a bitter legacy. It contributed to the unpopularity of the East German communist regime and its consequent reliance on the Stasi secret police. The victims themselves were permanently traumatised: women of the wartime generation still refer to the Red Army war memorial in Berlin as "the Tomb of the Unknown Rapist".

15 June 1999: 'Stalingrad' wins prize for non-fiction

Information appearing on Electronic Telegraph is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright

 

 

'They raped every German female
from eight to 80'

Antony Beevor, author of the acclaimed new book about the fall of Berlin, on a massive war crime committed by the victorious Red Army.

Antony Beevor
Wednesday May 1, 2002
The Guardian

"Red Army soldiers don't believe in 'individual liaisons' with German women," wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. "Nine, ten, twelve men at a time - they rape them on a collective basis."

The Soviet armies advancing into East Prussia in January 1945, in huge, long columns, were an extraordinary mixture of modern and medieval: tank troops in padded black helmets, Cossack cavalrymen on shaggy mounts with loot strapped to the saddle, lend-lease Studebakers and Dodges towing light field guns, and then a second echelon in horse-drawn carts. The variety of character among the soldiers was almost as great as that of their military equipment. There were freebooters who drank and raped quite shamelessly, and there were idealistic, austere communists and members of the intelligentsia appalled by such behaviour.

Beria and Stalin, back in Moscow, knew perfectly well what was going on from a number of detailed reports. One stated that "many Germans declare that all German women in East Prussia who stayed behind were raped by Red Army soldiers". Numerous examples of gang rape were given - "girls under 18 and old women included".

Marshal Rokossovsky issued order No 006 in an attempt to direct "the feelings of hatred at fighting the enemy on the battlefield." It appears to have had little effect. There were also a few arbitrary attempts to exert authority. The commander of one rifle division is said to have "personally shot a lieutenant who was lining up a group of his men before a German woman spreadeagled on the ground". But either officers were involved themselves, or the lack of discipline made it too dangerous to restore order over drunken soldiers armed with submachine guns.

Calls to avenge the Motherland, violated by the Wehrmacht's invasion, had given the idea that almost any cruelty would be allowed. Even many young women soldiers and medical staff in the Red Army did not appear to disapprove. "Our soldiers' behaviour towards Germans, particularly German women, is absolutely correct!" said a 21-year-old from Agranenko's reconnaissance detachment. A number seemed to find it amusing. Several German women recorded how Soviet servicewomen watched and laughed when they were raped. But some women were deeply shaken by what they witnessed in Germany. Natalya Gesse, a close friend of the scientist Andrei Sakharov, had observed the Red Army in action in 1945 as a Soviet war correspondent. "The Russian soldiers were raping every German female from eight to eighty," she recounted later. "It was an army of rapists."

Drink of every variety, including dangerous chemicals seized from laboratories and workshops, was a major factor in the violence. It seems as if Soviet soldiers needed alcoholic courage to attack a woman. But then, all too often, they drank too much and, unable to complete the act, used the bottle instead with appalling effect. A number of victims were mutilated obscenely.

The subject of the Red Army's mass rapes in Germany has been so repressed in Russia that even today veterans refuse to acknowledge what really happened. The handful prepared to speak openly, however, are totally unrepentant. "They all lifted their skirts for us and lay on the bed," said the leader of one tank company. He even went on to boast that "two million of our children were born" in Germany.

The capacity of Soviet officers to convince themselves that most of the victims were either happy with their fate, or at least accepted that it was their turn to suffer after what the Wehrmacht had done in Russia, is striking. "Our fellows were so sex-starved," a Soviet major told a British journalist at the time, "that they often raped old women of sixty, seventy or even eighty - much to these grandmothers' surprise, if not downright delight."

One can only scratch at the surface of the psychological contradictions. When gang-raped women in Königsberg begged their attackers afterwards to put them out of their misery, the Red Army men appear to have felt insulted. "Russian soldiers do not shoot women," they replied. "Only German soldiers do that." The Red Army had managed to convince itself that because it had assumed the moral mission to liberate Europe from fascism it could behave entirely as it liked, both personally and politically.

Domination and humiliation permeated most soldiers' treatment of women in East Prussia. The victims not only bore the brunt of revenge for Wehrmacht crimes, they also represented an atavistic target as old as war itself. Rape is the act of a conqueror, the feminist historian Susan Brownmiller observed, aimed at the "bodies of the defeated enemy's women" to emphasise his victory. Yet after the initial fury of January 1945 dissipated, the sadism became less marked. By the time the Red Army reached Berlin three months later, its soldiers tended to regard German women more as a casual right of conquest. The sense of domination certainly continued, but this was perhaps partly an indirect product of the humiliations which they themselves had suffered at the hands of their commanders and the Soviet authorities as a whole.

A number of other forces or influences were at work. Sexual freedom had been a subject for lively debate within Communist party circles during the 1920s, but during the following decade, Stalin ensured that Soviet society depicted itself as virtually asexual. This had nothing to do with genuine puritanism: it was because love and sex did not fit in with dogma designed to "deindividualise" the individual. Human urges and emotions had to be suppressed. Freud's work was banned, divorce and adultery were matters for strong party disapproval. Criminal sanctions against homosexuality were reintroduced. The new doctrine extended even to the complete suppression of sex education. In graphic art, the clothed outline of a woman's breasts was regarded as dangerously erotic. They had to be disguised under boiler suits. The regime clearly wanted any form of desire to be converted into love for the party and above all for Comrade Stalin.

Most ill-educated Red Army soldiers suffered from sexual ignorance and utterly unenlightened attitudes towards women. So the Soviet state's attempts to suppress the libido of its people created what one Russian writer described as a sort of "barracks eroticism" which was far more primitive and violent than "the most sordid foreign pornography". All this was combined with the dehumanising influence of modern propaganda and the atavistic, warring impulses of men marked by fear and suffering.

The novelist Vasily Grossman, a war correspondent attached to the invading Red Army, soon discovered that rape victims were not just Germans. Polish women also suffered. So did young Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian women who had been sent back to Germany by the Wehrmacht for slave labour. "Liberated Soviet girls quite often complain that our soldiers rape them," he noted. "One girl said to me in tears: 'He was an old man, older than my father'."

The rape of Soviet women and girls seriously undermines Russian attempts to justify Red Army behaviour on the grounds of revenge for German brutality in the Soviet Union. On March 29 1945 the central committee of the Komsomol (the youth organisation of the Soviet Union) informed Stalin's associate Malenkov of a report from the 1st Ukrainian Front. "On the night of 24 February," General Tsygankov recorded in the first of many examples, "a group of 35 provisional lieutenants on a course and their battalion commander entered the women's dormitory in the village of Grutenberg and raped them."

In Berlin, many women were simply not prepared for the shock of Russian revenge, however much horror propaganda they had heard from Goebbels. Many reassured themselves that, although the danger must be great out in the countryside, mass rapes could hardly take place in the city in front of everybody.

In Dahlem, Soviet officers visited Sister Kunigunde, the mother superior of Haus Dahlem, a maternity clinic and orphanage. The officers and their men behaved impeccably. In fact, the officers even warned Sister Kunigunde about the second-line troops following on behind. Their prediction proved entirely accurate. Nuns, young girls, old women, pregnant women and mothers who had just given birth were all raped without pity.

Yet within a couple of days, a pattern emerged of soldiers flashing torches in the faces of women huddled in the bunkers to choose their victims. This process of selection, as opposed to the indiscriminate violence shown earlier, indicates a definite change. By this stage Soviet soldiers started to treat German women more as sexual spoils of war than as substitutes for the Wehrmacht on which to vent their rage.

Rape has often been defined by writers on the subject as an act of violence which has little to do with sex. But that is a definition from the victim's perspective. To understand the crime, one needs to see things from the perpetrator's point of view, especially in the later stages when unaggravated rape had succeeded the extreme onslaught of January and February.

Many women found themselves forced to "concede" to one soldier in the hope that he would protect them from others. Magda Wieland, a 24-year-old actress, was dragged from a cupboard in her apartment just off the Kurfürstendamm. A very young soldier from central Asia hauled her out. He was so excited at the prospect of a beautiful young blonde that he ejaculated prematurely. By sign language, she offered herself to him as a girlfriend if he would protect her from other Russian soldiers, but he went off to boast to his comrades and another soldier raped her. Ellen Goetz, a Jewish friend of Magda's, was also raped. When other Germans tried to explain to the Russians that she was Jewish and had been persecuted, they received the retort: "Frau ist Frau."

Women soon learned to disappear during the "hunting hours" of the evening. Young daughters were hidden in storage lofts for days on end. Mothers emerged into the street to fetch water only in the early morning when Soviet soldiers were sleeping off the alcohol from the night before. Sometimes the greatest danger came from one mother giving away the hiding place of other girls in a desperate bid to save her own daughter. Older Berliners still remember the screams every night. It was impossible not to hear them because all the windows had been blown in.

Estimates of rape victims from the city's two main hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in the city, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death rate was thought to have been much higher among the 1.4 million estimated victims in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Altogether at least two million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.

If anyone attempted to defend a woman against a Soviet attacker it was either a father trying to defend a daughter or a young son trying to protect his mother. "The 13-year old Dieter Sahl," neighbours wrote in a letter shortly after the event, "threw himself with flailing fists at a Russian who was raping his mother in front of him. He did not succeed in anything except getting himself shot."

After the second stage of women offering themselves to one soldier to save themselves from others, came the post-battle need to survive starvation. Susan Brownmiller noted "the murky line that divides wartime rape from wartime prostitution". Soon after the surrender in Berlin, Ursula von Kardorff found all sorts of women prostituting themselves for food or the alternative currency of cigarettes. Helke Sander, a German film-maker who researched the subject in great detail, wrote of "the grey area of direct force, blackmail, calculation and real affection".

The fourth stage was a strange form of cohabitation in which Red Army officers settled in with German "occupation wives". The Soviet authorities were appalled and enraged when a number of Red Army officers, intent on staying with their German lovers, deserted when it was time to return to the Motherland.

Even if the feminist definition of rape purely as an act of violence proves to be simplistic, there is no justification for male complacency. If anything, the events of 1945 reveal how thin the veneer of civilisation can be when there is little fear of retribution. It also suggests a much darker side to male sexuality than we might care to admit.

© Antony Beevor.
www.antonybeevor.com

· Berlin: The Downfall 1945 is published by Viking Penguin. The BBC Timewatch film about researching the book will be shown on BBC2 at 9pm on May 10.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002

Reproduced gratefully from "The Guardian"

 

 

The British Ministry of Information dispached (2/29/44)
a Top Secret letter to the British Broadcasting Corp.

The British Ministry of Information dispached (2/29/44) a Top Secret letter to the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), and to high-ranking ministers of the Church of England on the need to divert public attention away from Red Army atrocities by faking Axis war crimes:

: "We know the methods of rule employed by the Bolshevik Dictator in Russia (U.S.S.R.) itself...from the writings and speeches of the prime minister himself during the last 20-years. We know how the Red Army behaved in Poland in 1920 and in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Galacia, and Bessarabia only recently.We must, therefore, take into account how the Red Army will behave when it overruns Central Europe. Unless precautions are taken, the obviously inevitable horrors which will result will throw an undue strain on public opinion in this country.

“ We cannot reform the Bolsheviks but we can do our best to save them and ourselves from the consequences of their acts. The disclosure of the last quarter century will render more denials unconvincing. The only alternative to denial is to distract public attention from the whole subject. Experience has shown the best distraction is atrocity propaganda directed against the enemy...your cooperation is therefore earnestly sought to distract public attention from, the doings of the Red Army by your whole hearted support of various charges against the Germans and Japanese which have and will be put into circulation by the Ministry.” : (ZUNDEL "HOLOCAUST TRIALS", Defense Exhibit, Toronto (1-7-85)).

 

History is Full of Surprises
for Those Who Ignore It

by Michael Peirce

It was with a sense of wonder that I read English writer Daniel Johnson’s piece "Red Army troops raped even Russian women as they freed them from camps."

What really knocked me out of my chair was this statement, "The Red Army's orgy of rape in the dying days of Nazi Germany was conducted on a much greater scale than previously suspected." I can only ask, "than previously suspected by whom"? The answer must be that public school graduates are as ill informed in the UK as they are here in never never land (as in Never Read, Never Think). That, coupled with the fact the in both countries the State-sponsored media conform to a leftist world view that eschews truth as anathema, has been enough to teach several generations of post modernist "deep thinkers" that all evil that exists in this world is a result somehow of either Christians with their annoying morality or political right wingers, real and alleged. Is not "Nazi" the worst insult that light weights like Madeleine Albright can pull out of their linguistic bag of tricks? Heard any commentator mention the crimes of the left lately?

Unbelievable as it seems, there are in this world many who remain convinced that the Soviet communists were really no worse than say, the Republicans. It should be obvious that there is no comparison between the two – the communists for all their sins were at least effective. No one can accuse the Republicans of that. How long has stopping the abortion holocaust been part of their alleged "platform"?

The Communist Party on the other hand dealt with the perceived problems of Russia with methods right out of Genghis Khan’s handbook. That millions died is not debatable – the numbers tossed around are between thirty and sixty million. That’s not counting the millions that died enjoying the dubious distinction of being "liberated" by the Red Army. Complaining about the Soviet Army’s predilection for rape seems almost silly in a way – like complaining about the Allied planes causing noise pollution flying over Hamburg or Dresden. Not knowing about the Soviet Army’s bad habits is on the other hand, downright dangerous.

That our media of today is staffed by writers and announcers who are essentially clueless is mortifying – one almost longs for the government controlled media of the many conspiracy theories – at least then there would be an excuse other than sheer ignorance.

Johnson’s admission of ignorance comes in his review of a book on the Battle of Stalingrad by one Anthony Beevor. Beevor apparently is either as ill-educated as Johnson or simply a shill for the radical feminists. Consider this quote, "I had to come to the conclusion that if there is a lack of army discipline, most men with a weapon, dehumanized by living through two or three years of war, do become potential rapists…" Is that so? Most men?

One might reasonably ask why other armies don’t turn into mobs of licentious brutes, which is not to say that some don’t but which is to say that most don’t. What is scary here, and particularly for writers of the politically correct genre, is the fact that armies take on the characteristics of the nations they are raised to defend. The Russian Army was known as a pack of rapists since long before the Napoleonic wars. The Prussians on the other hand are known for rather an indifferent almost casual brutality. The French Army has always been known for pillaging and plundering, the Polish for suicidal courage, and the British Army (perish the thought!) has come down through history with one of the worst of all reputations for drunkenness and rapine. "The scum of the earth, enlisted for drink" is how the Duke of Wellington put it.

And of course let’s not forget the Americans. Our boys, with some exceptions, like Sherman’s brigands, have been well known for their essential decency. Unless of course, you happen to be on the wrong map square when some politician starts worrying about his legacy and sends out the bombers and cruise missiles. Still, if you must be invaded, US troops are the ones you want. Nobody has any sayings about them like there are in Europe such as "May God deliver us from the Cossacks!" Those guys aren’t handing out chewing gum folks…

It might behoove us to consider history for a moment. Let’s focus on the Russian Army and strip away all the banal nonsense about "men as rapists" and consider Russian men as rapists because generalities are for the intellectually vapid – let’s look at specifics and see how facts intrude upon silly theories of the mythical "everyman".

In 1805 England seized upon the execution by Napoleon of the duc d’Enghien as a Bourbon terrorist to launch yet another war against the French. Chary as always of risking their own blood, the British deemed it best to wage war with money and let others pay the butcher’s bill. They enticed the Austrians and Russians into forming what came to be known as the Third Coalition. Once again, the armies would march to stamp out the hated Corsican usurper.

The usurper was quicker. His Grande Armee marched from the camps in Boulougne facing England all the way to Austria almost before the Austrians realized they were at war. "He makes war in a new way –with our feet not our blood." Napoleon’s army of 1805 was arguably the best, or one of the best in the history of war. He and his Marshals soon trounced the "unfortunate General Mack" at Ulm and chased the Austrians right out of their capital city of Vienna!

The much overrated General Katusov force marched his Russian Army to a juncture with that of the remaining Austrians. This force consisted of thousands of serfs impressed into uniform and commanded by the spoiled nobility of Czarist Russia. The "Little Father" of the Russians, Czar Alexander, and his ally the Austrian Emperor Francis had rather a chilly meeting. Francis was glad of the reinforcement but quietly horrified and greatly angered by the stories coming in from the countryside. It seems his allies, the Russians, had been looting, raping and plundering their way across his kingdom with a barbarity that shocked even the Austrian generals who had themselves seen some horrors in the endless wars against the Turk on the military frontier. What was worse, the Austrian citizenry were so terrified by the Russians that they were welcoming the French invaders as liberators!

Alexander was unimpressed by the news that his serfs in arms had been committing depredations. After all, they comported themselves in exactly the same way back in the Rodina, Holy Mother Russia herself. It was a long Russian tradition and harkened back to the Tatars and Mongols who had themselves subjected Russia to a string of brutal invasions. To this day the discerning eye can sense the cruelty of the east in the Russian apparatus of war – look carefully at one of their tanks and the spirit of the Mongol Horde can be discerned in the design.

Borders matter you see, and must be defended to the death. Countries who fail to do that will end up invaded and brutalized. Are you listening Dubya?!

For even after repelling or assimilating the last of the invaders, Russia remained always a land under the shadow of the brutal horseman who had rampaged across the steppes. The plight of the Russian peasant was always worse than that of their cousins in western Europe and remained so under the Czars.

A Russian serf could be sold along with an estate. Their situation was essentially slavery with no hope of manumission. Russian soldiers were "requisitioned" from the nobility who not surprisingly, often sent the dregs off to war, keeping the best to work the estates. Men who should perhaps, have graced a gallows or a drunk tank, found themselves marching through rich lands where they encountered women unlike any they had ever seen back home; places where even the peasants seemed to them to live like the nobility in rich homes boasting delicacies unheard of in the east. Ivan helped himself to whatever he wanted, and he wanted whatever he saw.

Napoleon saw off the Russians and Austrians at the Battle of Austerlitz, a classic example of a modern army destroying a peasant levy commanded by men whose only claim to command was blood. Blood was indeed the price of such folly and the Russians who survived the massacre on the ice marched sullenly back to their eastern lair, to the vast relief of all who’d had the misfortune to be in their line of march.

Fast forward to 1945. Meet the Red Army of kindly old US ally "Uncle Joe," beloved of Roosevelt, the Western intellectuals and the spiritual fathers of those liberals who today can be found in the teacher’s unions and the Democratic Party. The lot of the Russian peasant who served in the ranks had not improved appreciably since the days of the Czars. Conditions were if anything worse. The relentless German invaders had turned much of Russia into a zone of desolation. Behind the lines, in both directions, brutal secret political police tortured and murdered at will.

A recent movie called "Enemy at the Gates" gave us a fairly accurate and chilling glimpse of the beastly conditions of war on the Eastern front. A war so horrific, that Germany was in fact defeated beyond any hope of recovery before the first Western Allied soldiers set foot on the shores of Europe. Six million German soldiers had become casualties fighting in this most desperate of all wars and now the Red Army was poised to strike at Berlin. Their tanks sported catchy slogans such as "Forward to the lair of the fascist beast." Thousands of tanks and Stalin Organs (multiple rocket launcher trucks) were waiting to blast the husk of the Wehrmacht to pieces and end it.

The soldiers crouched behind the turrets of the huge T-34 tanks clutching their submachine guns and trenching tools had cold eyes and lived for revenge. For many of them, there was no home to go to; their homes had been destroyed by the Germans or simply obliterated during the huge battles of the early years of the war. They lived for the moment and knew that life was short at the front. Even the commissars had learned to walk softly around the steely eyed men of the Guards Divisions.

Propagandists like Ilya Ehrenberg stirred up their blood lust with chilling exhortations to revenge.

Attacks were fronted by penal troops – men grabbed by the NKVD or police for crimes as trivial as laughing or talking during political education and some for crimes as dreadful as murder. Many of them had simply had the misfortune to be captured by the Germans early in the war and had been arrested as "class traitors" upon being "freed" from the German POW camps. Together with the Mongolian troops whom Marshal Zhukov considered highly expendable, these men would fight their way through the mine fields under the fire of the crazed German defenders whose wives and families were often trekking westward just behind the thin screen of desperate fighters, in long columns of refugees. These columns were routinely strafed by the Red Air Force and on occasion, simply rolled over by the long lines of Stalin tanks. It got really ugly when the Russian foot soldiers caught up with these refugee columns.

Picture if you will, how such men will treat the civilians of the countries upon whom their dark shadow falls. Then remember their rich heritage of rapine and plunder and ponder this: even these men considered the rear area troops to be the truly dangerous fellows and often warned their own victims to beware the second wave!

Marshal Zhukov actually told Eisenhower that yes, his men did indeed rape grandmothers, in his words, "to their surprise and delight," and that this was an old Russian practice and was considered good luck. Really? I’m unaware of any other nation where this charming bit of mythology holds sway! I wonder if those who maintain that all cultures are morally equal would care to incorporate this practice into our less exotic western mores?

Ivan is a paradox – kind to children and possessed of almost a child like docility, he can turn into a monster with no warning. He treated the "liberated" countries of Eastern Europe just as he treated the Germans with whom he had at least a real grievance. He was brave beyond belief and fought in a war that offered him nothing more than a chance for survival under a brutal regime and an occasional issue of cheap army vodka. See the writings of General von Mellenthin and Colonel von Luck, both German panzer commanders who fought against the Red Army, for a surprisingly sympathetic view of these men.

In the end though, it is difficult to maintain a sympathetic view of them. It is interesting however, to note how the national characteristics shine through, even when cloaked with a dark blanket of ideology. The Prussians were their usual brutal selves in World War Two, the Russians raped everyone in sight. The British got everybody into the war that they could including the USA and supplied arms to anyone who would fight. Napoleon would have been surprised only by the scope of the conflict but not by the conduct of the warring nations.

What conclusions can we draw from all this? Let’s try a few and see what we find.

  • Nations exist because groups of people with similar characteristics tend to stay together, and it is dangerous to draw conclusions about all men based on the actions of some men! After years of domination by the anti-nationalist communists, the Russians remain after all, just Russians.
  • History is of scant interest to those who educate and to those who shape the opinions of the masses. Everything is new to them, every day.
  • Communism is a brutal and murderous doctrine that has been largely ignored and even elevated since the end of the Cold War to the status of a mere political party by those in the media and academe. We should be very worried about that because those who cover up mass murder while pontificating routinely about "tolerance" and "hurtful conduct" obviously have an agenda that bodes ill for you and me.
  • It is a real bad thing to be invaded by Russia, regardless of who is in charge!

The one question that keeps coming back to me about this British writer is in reference to yet another of those pesky historical incidents that are considered best forgotten by post modern man. Will he be just as surprised when he hears about this? Perhaps he will be even more surprised, coming as he does from a country where all is pristine socialist perfection and men live to glorify a happy, classless diversity.

It is about a city that was literally torn to pieces in a three day orgy of rape and violence during the Napoleonic Wars. There wasn’t a Russian for hundreds of miles in any direction yet the atrocities were indeed committed by another supposedly friendly power against an ally. The city was called Badejoz and the victims were Spanish. The violence finally burned itself out only after the Duke of Wellington had a gallows erected in the center of town as a warning to his troops to desist.

Yes, it was done by British troops and they utterly trashed that Spanish town while terrified French and Hessian prisoners looked on in horror and British officers watched helplessly. Perhaps Misters Johnson and Beevor owe the Russians an apology?

January 28, 2002

Mr. Peirce [send him mail] fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian Smith side, of course).

Copyright 2002 LewRockwell.com

Reproduced gratefully from:  LewRockwell.com

 

 

MICHAEL WALSH: BEHIND THE HEADLINES

SCANDAL EMERGING

HOW ALLIES TREATED GERMAN POWs

 

 

NEWS DESK 24th JUNE 2000

MICHAEL WALSH: BEHIND THE HEADLINES

SCANDAL EMERGING

HOW ALLIES TREATED GERMAN POWs

"War crime trials for allied soldiers overdue." Says analyst

"British and allied troops appearing as defendants in war crimes trials with brutal Serbs and former Red Army thugs is well overdue", says 20th Century analyst, Michael Walsh. His research exposes allied genocide, enslavement and institutionalized ill treatment of axis prisoners-of-war both during and after World War 11.

He says, "the scale of abuse of prisoners-of-war was contrary to the Geneva and other conventions to which Britain and its allies were signatories. As late as 1948, three years after the war’s end, the British Government’s treatment of its foreign prisoners was subject to International Red Cross scrutiny and international condemnation. The IRC threatened to bring the British government before international tribunals for abuse and illegal enslavement. Typically, British administered prisoner-of-war camps were worse than Belsen long after the war had ended and war disruption ceased. Tragically even civilians were illegally held, deported and murdered in the tens of thousands whilst the evil killers responsible have so far evaded justice.

The respected Associated Press Photographer, Henry Griffin who had taken the pictures of corpses in Buchenwald and Dachau when visiting Allied POW camps agreed: "The only difference I can see between these men and those corpses is that here they are still breathing." (1)

"According to revelations by members of the House of Commons, about 130,000 former German officers and men were held during the winter of 1945-46 in British camps in Belgium under conditions which British officers have described as 'not much better than Belsen." (2)

TORTURE AND BRUTALITY

Adding to international outrage, Cyril Connolly, one of England’s most acclaimed writers reported: "British guards imprisoned German troops and tortured them." He described how "they were so possessed by propaganda about German 'Huns' that they obviously enjoyed demonstrating their atrocities to visiting journalists. A British reporter named Moorehead who was present at these ‘torture fests’ observed that 'a young British medical officer and a captain of engineers managed the Bergen-Belsen camp. "The captain was in the best of moods," he said. "When we approached the cells of gaoled guards, the sergeant lost his temper." The captain explained. 'This morning we had an interrogation. I'm afraid the prisoners don't look exactly nice.'

The cells were opened for the visiting journalists. "The German prisoners lay there, crumpled, moaning, covered with gore. The man next to me made vain attempts to get to his feet and finally managed to stand up. He stood there trembling, and tried to stretch out his arms as if fending off blows. "Up!" yelled the sergeant. "Come off the wall."

"They pushed themselves off from the wall and stood there, swaying. In another cell the medical officer had just finished an interrogation. "Up." yelled the officer. "Get up." The man lay in his blood on the floor. He propped two arms on a chair and tried to pull himself up. A second demand and he succeeded in getting to his feet. He stretched his arms towards us. "Why don't you kill me off?" he moaned.

"The dirty bastard is jabbering this all morning." the sergeant stated. (3)

SHOOTING PRISONERS ‘FOR FUN’

Former British Army veteran A.W Perkins of Holland-on-Sea described conditions in the ‘Sennelager’ British concentration camp, which shockingly held, not captured troops but civilians. He recounts; "During the latter half of 1945 I was with British troops guarding suspected Nazi civilians living on starvation rations in a camp called Sennelager. They were frequently beaten and grew as thin as concentration camp victims, scooping handfuls of swill from our waste bins."

This ex-guard described how other guards amused themselves by baiting starving prisoners. "They could be shot on sight if they ventured close to the perimeter fence. It was a common trick to throw a cigarette just inside the fence and shoot any prisoner who tried to reach it." (4).

"When Press representatives ask to examine the prison camps, the British loudly refuse with the excuse that the Geneva Convention bars such visits to prisoner-of-war camps." complained press correspondent Arthur Veysey from London on May 28th 1946.

"UNDERFED AND BEATEN" ADMITS TOP AMERICAN NEWSPAPER

Typically "The prisoners lived through the winter in tents and slept on the bare ground under one blanket each. They say they are underfed and beaten and kicked by guards. Many have no underclothes or boots." reported the Chicago Tribune Press Service on 19 May 1946 one year after the war’s end.

"In the summer of 1946 an increasing number of prisoners of-war were escaping from British slave camps often with British civilian aid. "Accounts of the chases by military police are reminiscent of pre-Civil War pursuits by fleeing Negro fugitives." stated an Associated Press dispatch (London, August 27th, 1946) more than sixteen months after the war ended.

CIVILIANS; WOMEN AND CHILDREN MACHINE-GUNNED

Tens of thousands of middle-European peoples, displaced by the war who fell into British hands were treated even worse in British controlled Austria and Yugoslavia. There, Britain and the NKVD ran the concentration camps jointly. The latter, forerunners to the evil KGB, were invited to assist the British in the capture and corralling, deportation and slaughter of their captives.

One British officer described how "The prisoners (civilians) were treated coarsely but not brutally. They were pushed and shoved but there was no resistance, no fighting or trying to get back or get away. They were all completely docile, resigned to their fate. The soldiers collected them all quickly into groups and marched them away to be machine-gunned in groups.'

The British officer added, 'some of them didn't get very far I'm afraid. At the back of the station there was a wood, a copse, and they seemed to be marched behind this copse. Shortly afterwards there were quite a number of sustained bursts of machine-gun fire. I can't say for certain what happened, because I couldn't see the shooting. But I am pretty sure that a lot of them were shot there and then, not on the siding itself but just around the corner of the wood."

This is typical of many accounts when units of the British Army working with Red Army NKVD officers, hunted down and butchered tens of thousands of Cossack civilian refugees including children in Austria, in summer, 1945 after the war had ended.

A BLOOD-SPATTERED BRITISH TRANSPORT TRAIN

Tens of thousands of people of many nationalities were hunted down and rounded up like cattle to be taken to the Red Army’s killing fields. One account described how ‘the whole train was bespattered with blood. They were open-plan carriages, and I remember the bloodstains where bodies had been dragged right down the corridor between the seats and down three of four steps. The lavatories were absolutely covered in blood...."

"Another such patrol, consisting of two Red Army officers and four British soldiers set off into the hills on horseback on June 8th. They captured one such group on the lower slopes.... "The Cossacks ran off, leaving just a few, mainly women and children who were too weak to move. One soldier spotted a Cossack in the distance, aimed his rifle at him, fired and saw him drop. .... As he was not seen to rise again it was assumed he had been killed."

Captain Duncan McMillan remembers, 'Being guided to a small railway station where there was a barbed-wire enclosure' He saw the Cossacks being unloaded from the trucks and described how they were stripped of their possessions, even food before being marched away. 'Many British soldiers who were there have testified that they heard the rattle of machine-guns nearby just moments after the prisoners were removed." James Davidson said: "We thought that machine-gunning must be the finish of them. We thought they were just taken back there and slaughtered."

These awful accounts were described in Nicholas Bethell’s book, The Last Secret published by Futura, (London) in 1974. The English legal apparatus suppressed further accounts.

SLAVE LABOUR IN THE CENTURY

In August 1946 15 months after the end of the Second World War, according to the International Red Cross, "Britain had 460,000 German prisoners slaving for her." This was in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention (Enslavement of Prisoners-of-War is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Article.75) which Britain was a signatory to. Arthur Veysey of the Chicago Tribune Press Service on May 28th 1946 reported "When they (German POWs) learned upon arrival in British and French ports they were to be worked indefinitely as slaves, they became sullen."

PROFITING FROM GERMAN SLAVES

Arthur Veysey appalled by the British government’s abuse of human rights and the illegality of its evil slave-ownership policies and defiance of the Geneva Convention said, "The British Government nets over $250,000,000 annually from its slaves. The Government, which frankly calls itself the 'owner' of the prisoners, hires the men out to any employer needing men, charging the going rate for such work, usually $15 to $20 a week. It pays the slaves from 10 to 20 cents a day. The prisoners are never paid in cash, but are given credits either in the form of vouchers or credits."

THE SOVIET UNION FOLLOWS BRITAIN’S SLAVE EMPIRE EXAMPLE

When American attempts were made to prevent Stalin from abducting five million Germans, many of them civilians including children, as slave laborers after Germany’s defeat, the Soviets made their point. They produced a proclamation signed by General Dwight Eisenhower a year earlier, which gave the Soviets complete freedom to do whatever, they wished with captured Germans. This included deportation, enslavement; to loot and destroy without restraint, even using German transport to do so. They reminded the US Government that they had an equal right to do as the Americans were doing and were exercising the same right.

Eyewitness accounts describe events when Berlin and Breslau surrendered. "The long grey-green columns of prisoners were marched east downcast and fearful towards huge depots near Leningrad, Moscow, Minsk, Stalingrad, Kiev, Kharkov and Sevastopol. All fit men had to march 22 miles a day. Those physically handicapped went in handcarts or carts pulled by spare beasts." This was reported in the Congressional Record on March 29th 1946.

STARVATION OF POWS IN FRANCE

By August 1946 France according to the International Red Cross had enslaved nearly three-quarters of a million former German servicemen. Of these 475,000 had been captured by the Americans who ‘in a deal’ had transferred them to French control for the expressed purpose of forced labour. Interestingly in a macabre way, the French returned 2,474 German POWs complaining that they were weaklings. (5)

Those returned must indeed have been in a bad way for the 472,526 remaining slaves had already been described by correspondents as; "a beggar army of pale, thin men clad in vermin infested tatters." All were pronounced unfit for work, three quarters of them due to deliberate starvation. Of this unfortunate ‘army’ of slaves 19% were so badly treated they needed to be hospitalized (6)

In the notorious camp in the Sarthe District for 20,000 prisoners, inmates received just 900 calories a day; thus 12 died every day in the hospital. Four to five thousand are unable to work any more. Recently trains with new prisoners arrived at the camp; several prisoners had died during the trip, several others had tried to stay alive by eating coal that had been lying in the freight train by which they came. (7)

On December 5th 1946 the American Government requested the repatriation (by October 1, 1947) to Germany of the 674,000 German prisoners-of-war it had handed over to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

France agreed in principle but refused to abide by the release date stipulated. They pointed out, correctly, that a December 1st 1945 memorandum clearly stated that German prisoners handed over to the French by the US Government ‘were chattels to be used indefinitely as forced labour’. (8)

US ARMY SLAUGHTERED GERMAN POWS

The German armed forces invariably obeyed the Rules of War conventions to the letter. Speaking for himself and other allied military commanders, Major General Robert W. Grow, U.S.A. Commander 6th Armored Division in Europe conceded there was ‘no German atrocity problem’.

"My service during World War Two was in command of an armored division throughout the European campaign, from Normandy to Saxony. My division lost quite a number of officers and men captured between July 1944 and April 1945. In no instance did I hear of personnel from our division receiving treatment other than proper under the 'Rules of Land Warfare'. As far as the 6th Armored Division was concerned in its 280 days of front line contact, there was no 'atrocity problem'. Frankly, I was aghast, as were many of my contemporaries, when we learned of the proposed 'war crimes' trials and the fact that military commanders were among the accused. I know of no general officer who approved of them." (9)

Despite the German observance of convention the American forces response was often as summary and as brutal as those practiced by their Soviet allies. Only in cases where large numbers of captured soldiers had been taken were they to be enslaved. If captured in smaller groups the US Army policy was simply to slaughter their captured prisoners where they stood.

A specific study is now being made for the purpose of compiling evidence of such atrocities to which the author, Michael Walsh, would appreciate input.

One such case was the cold-blooded slaying of an estimated 700 troops of the 8th SS Mountain Division. These troops who had fought with honorable distinction had earlier captured a US field hospital. Although the German troops had conducted themselves properly they were, when subsequently captured by the US Army, routinely separated and gunned down in groups by squads of American troops.

US ARMY TURNS PEACEFUL DACHAU INTO CHARNEL HOUSE

A similar fate befell infantrymen of the SS Westphalia Brigade who were captured by the US 3rd Armored Division. Most of the German captives were shot through the back of the head. "The jubilant Americans told the locals to leave their bodies in the streets as a warning to others of US revenge" Their corpses lay in the streets for five days before the occupying forces relented and allowed the corpses to be buried. After the war the German authorities attempted, without success, to prosecute the GIs responsible. (10)

Ironically in the light of postwar research it has been revealed that the only atrocities committed at Dachau were those carried out by the victorious allies. Equally ironically this camp was an allied concentration camp (eleven years) for a longer period of time than it was a German administered camp. There, "Three hundred SS camp guards were quickly neutralized." on the orders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The term neutralized of course is a politically correct (or cowardly) way of saying that prisoners-of-war were rounded up and machine-gunned in groups. Accounts of the mass murder of prisoners-of-war at Dachau have been described in at least two books; 'The Day of the Americans by Nerin Gun, Fleet Publishing Company, New York, and, Deliverance Day - The Last Hours at Dachau by Michael Selzer; Lippincot, Philadelphia

These books describe how German prisoners were collected in groups, placed against a wall and methodically machine-gunned by American soldiers while some were still standing, hands raised in surrender. American soldiers casually climbed over the still twitching bodies, killing the wounded. Whilst this was happening, American photographers were taking pictures of the massacres that have since been published.

At Dachau, which was in the American zone of Germany, a shock force of American and Polish guards attempted to entrain a group of Russian prisoners from Vlasov's Army who had refused to be repatriated under the new American ruling.

MASS SUICIDES

'All of these men refused to entrain,' Robert Murphy wrote in his report of the incident. 'They begged to be shot. They resisted entrainment by taking off their clothes and refusing to leave their quarters.... Tear-gas forced them out of the building into the snow where those who had cut and stabbed themselves fell exhausted and bleeding in the snow. Nine men hanged themselves and one had stabbed himself to death and one other who had stabbed himself subsequently died; while twenty others are still in hospital from self-inflicted wounds. The entrainment was finally effected of 368 men." (11)

"The last operation of this kind in Germany took place at Plattling near Regensburg, where fifteen hundred men of Vlasov's Army had been interned by the Americans. In the early hours of February 24th, 1946, they were driven out of their huts wearing only their night-clothes, and handed over to the Russians in the forest near the Bavarian-Czech border. Before the train set off on its return journey the American guards were horrified to see the bodies of Vlasov's men who had already committed suicide hanging in rows from trees, and when they returned to Plattling even the German SS prisoners in the nearby POW camp jeered at them for what they had done." (13)

According to the Toronto Daily Star, March, 9th, 1968, "Former members of an illegal Israeli force which was given absolute freedom to slaughter Germans conceded that "More than 1,000 Nazi SS Officers died as a result of eating arsenic-impregnated bread introduced April, 13th, 1946, in an American-run prisoner-of-war camp near Nuremberg."

After the US victory (the battle for Remagen Bridge) Germans in the Rhineland surrendered en masse. Between April and July 1945, some 260,000 German prisoners-of-war were held under American guard in the boggy fields between Remagen and Sinzig. They were kept in the open air and their daily ration was one potato, a biscuit, a spoonful of vegetables and some water. Racked by disease, at least 1,200 died, according to German records." (14)

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONDEMNS US SLAVERY

In the USA where 140,000 German prisoners-of-war were shipped, the Catholic Bishops Conference described how, "Multitudes of civilians and prisoners of war have been deported and degraded into forced labor unworthy of human beings."

"Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are put like slaves to forced labor, although the only thing with which they can be reproached is the fact that they were soldiers. Many of these poor fellows are without news from home and have not been allowed to send a sign of life to their dear ones."

GERMAN SLAVES HELD IN ALLIED COUNTRIES

United States 140,000 (US Occupation Zone of which 100,000 were held in France, 30,000 in Italy, 14,000 in Belgium. Great Britain 460,000 German slaves. The Soviet Union 4,000,000 - 5,000,000 estimated. France had 680,000 German slaves by August 1946. Yugoslavia 80,000, Belgium 48,000, Czechoslovakia 45,000, Luxembourg 4,000, Holland 1,300. Source: International Red Cross.

"AN EVIL PRECEDENT"

An outraged International Red Cross organization opined: "The United States, Britain and France, nearly a year after peace are violating International Red Cross agreements they solemnly signed in 1929. Although thousands of former German soldiers are being used in the hazardous work of clearing minefields, sweeping sea mines and razing shattered buildings, the Geneva Convention expressly forbids employing prisoners 'in any dangerous labour or in the transport of any material used in warfare.'

Henry Wales in Geneva, Switzerland on April 13, 1946 added, 'The bartering of captured enemy soldiers by the victors throws the world back to the dark ages when feudal barons raided adjoining duchies to replenish their human live stock. It is an iniquitous system and an evil precedent because it is wide open for abuse with difficulty in establishing responsibility. It is manifestly unjust and sell them for political reasons as the African Negroes were a century ago."

GERMAN TREATMENT OF POWs FAR MORE HUMANE

By contrast the German armed forces behaved impeccably towards their prisoners-of-war. "The most amazing thing about the atrocities in this war is that there have been so few of them. I have come up against few instances where the Germans have not treated prisoners according to the rules, and respected the Red Cross reported respected newspaper The Progressive February, 4th1945.

Allan Wood, London Correspondent of the London Express agreed. "The Germans even in their greatest moments of despair obeyed the Convention in most respects. True it is that there were front line atrocities - passions run high up there - but they were incidents, not practices, and misadministration of their American prison camps was very uncommon." Lieutenant Newton L. Marguiles echoed his words.

US Assistant Judge Advocate, Jefferson Barracks, April 27th1945. "It is true that the Reich exacted forced labour from foreign workers, but it is also true that, they were for the most part paid and fed well."

"I think some of the persons found themselves better off than at any time in their lives before." added Dr.James K.Pollack, Allied Military Government.

"What did the Germans do to get efficient production from forced labour that we were not able to do with Germans working down the mines? They fed their help and fed them well." Said Max H. Forester, Chief of AMG's Coal and Mining Division in July 1946.

WILL NEMESIS DELIVER?

Asked what were the chances of the evil perpetrators of such crimes being brought to justice, Michael Walsh said that the only thing that stood between the allied sadists and the hangman’s rope was the will to bring them to trial.

Precedent on retrospective justice is already a fact of life. Its failure is that war crimes justice is selective and so far applicable only to the defeated foe under highly questionable and internationally criticized legal procedures.

What is needed is to raise public awareness and a lead be given by those in public life whose voice is less likely to be censored. He added that the interests of justice must come before national pride, political expediency and military guilt. "How else." He added, "can human civilization progress than through the administration of justice that is blind to race, political dogma and national interests?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources:

(1) Congressional Record, December 11, 1945 p. A-5816.

(2) Gruesome Harvest, R.F. Keeling, Institute of American Economics, Chicago, 1947.

(3) Cyril Connolly, The Golden Horizon, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London

(4) Daily Mail, London, 22nd, April, 1995

(5) John Thompson, Chicago Tribune Press Service, Geneva, August 24, 1946).

(6) Gruesome Harvest, R.F. Keeling, Institute of American Economics, Chicago, 1947).

(7) Louis Clair, The Progressive, 14 January, 1946).

(8) Gruesome Harvest, R.F. Keeling, Institute of American Economics, Chicago, 1947).

(9) Doenitz at Nuremberg: A Re-Appraisal, H.K Thompson/Henry Strutz, Amber Publishing Corp.

N.Y 1976.

(10) Daily Mail, London, May 1, 1995.

(11) Douglas Botting, In The Ruins of The Reich, George Allen & Unwin, London

(12) Douglas Botting, In The Ruins of The Reich, George Allen & Unwin, London

(13) Douglas Botting, In The Ruins of The Reich, George Allen & Unwin, London

(14) Roger Boyes, The (London) Times, 7th March 1995

A MICHAEL WALSH SPECIAL REPORT

 

 

All this really happened -- but in reverse. It happened in Germany, and we, the British occupying forces, carried it out.

 
Daily Mail

London, Augfust 25, 2001

 

UNDER THE BRITISH JACKBOOT

Rape, torture, execution and the horrors of interrogation camps. A new book paints a chilling picture of Germany under British rule in the aftermath of World War II

Christopher Hudson

 

TRY to imagine Britain occupied by a victorious Germany after World War II. A young boy is executed for displaying a picture of Churchill on his birthday.

Theft carries the death penalty, so does possession of any kind of firearm.

Firing squads are expensive. Hanging wastes time. The Nazi Penal Branch asks permission to use the guillotine, which can carry out six single executions in 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, internment camps have sprung up across the country. Almost 40,000 British civilians and prisoners of war, men and women aged 16-70 have been swept up into these camps and are held without charge or expectation of a trial.

They include not only 'war criminals', profiteers and anti-Nazi agitators, but anyone who 'ridicules, damages or destroys' German culture, along with any persons 'considered dangerous to the Occupation or its objectives', even if they have not committed any offence.

One English mother of four has been imprisoned for a year because she hid in a ditch to snatch a word with her husband who was out on a working party.

Conditions in these camps are brutal. Inmates sleep in their clothes, packed five at a time like sardines on beds constructed from old pieces of wood.

There is so little to eat that the majority of them are emaciated.

Family visits are restricted to 30 minutes every three months.

Internees are frequently kept in dark cellars to prepare them for interrogation. According to a report compiled by a courageous German bishop, they are 'terribly beaten, kicked, and so mishandled that traces can be seen for weeks afterwards.

'The notorious Third Degree methods of using searchlights on victims and exposing them to high temperatures are also applied.' All this really happened -- but in reverse. It happened in Germany, and we, the British occupying forces, carried it out.

According to a new book by Patricia Meehan, historian and former BBC TV producer and documentarist who worked in Germany in 1945, the first few years of our Occupation were tarnished by deeds which would not have seemed out of place in Hitler's Third Reich.

Besides internment centres and holding camps for returned prisoners of war, there were also secret camps known by the initials DIC -- Direct Interrogation Centres.

One day in February 1947, two of the inmates of No.74 DIC (Bad Nenndorf) were dumped at an Internee Hospital. One patient was skeletal, suffering from frostbite, unable to speak; the other was unconscious, with no discernible pulse -- cold, skeletal and covered in 'thick cakes of dirt; frostbite to arms and legs'.

BOTH men died within hours. A third, who had been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, committed suicide while undergoing interrogation. The resulting investigation uncovered horror stories of deprivation amounting to torture. Men were treated for injuries without anaesthetic.

One prisoner, after eight days of solitary confinement, was put in an unheated punishment cell in midwinter. Buckets of cold water were thrown into the cell which the prisoner had to mop up with a rag.

His jacket and boots were removed, and he had to stand with bleeding feet for about ten hours in extreme cold on a concrete floor. Finally he had to crawl on hands and knees to interrogation.

The Camp Commandant, Medical Officer and three interrogators were suspended and charged. But charges were dropped or reduced to negligence.

All three courts-martial, including the Commandant's, petered out, and the men were allowed to leave the service.

True, Bad Nenndorf was an extreme case, which made the headlines. And after fighting Germany in two world wars, it was hardly surprising if there were outbreaks of vindictiveness among British officers who had fought and suffered in them.

 

CERTAINLY Hitler and Himmler would not have concerned themselves with the legality of such crimes.

Nevertheless, the very fact that this barbarism could have gone unnoticed or neglected by higher authorities for nearly two years is evidence of the chaos which engulfed defeated Germany, upon which no number of bureaucrats and administrators could at first impose order.

After Germany surrendered in May 1945, it was divided into sectors, with Russians in the east, Americans in the south, French in the west and the British occupying the northwest, from Bonn to Hamburg.

Millions of Germans were on the roads -- women, children and old people, pushing bicycles, prams and carts, or crowding into cattle wagons, to escape the Red Army which was killing and raping as it advanced, laying waste to millions of homes and driving soldiers and civilians alike back to forced labour in the USSR.

Meanwhile, thousands of Displaced Persons -- Germany's slave labourers from the East -- were roving the countryside, raping and pillaging, driven by hunger and vengeance.

Hatred for the Germans knew no bounds. Thousands of them died in Polish camps. In Czech camps, babies were drowned in latrines while their mothers were made to watch; German doctors were made to crawl and eat human excrement.

Hence the panic-driven migration to the western sectors, where 50 million Germans crowded into territory where 38 million had lived before the war.

Britain inherited the most heavily populated zone. Hamburg, the second biggest city after Berlin, lay in ruins. From July 24 to 29, 1943, five RAF raids had created a firestorm which rose two and a half miles above the city.

In those five nights, most of Hamburg was destroyed. Some 750,000 people were made homeless, and up to 150,000 killed -- many more than died from air raids in Britain in the whole of World War II.

When the occupying forces arrived in Hamburg, they discovered a land of cave-dwellers.

Thousands of people were living in windowless concrete air-raid shelters; thousands more crammed into cellars under the rubble or else climbed a ladder into rooms suspended in some teetering ruin, amid falling masonry.

Water supply was a standpipe in the ruins for a few hours a day, for those lucky enough to have a receptacle which could hold liquid. There were no knives, forks, pots, pans, needles, scissors, shoelaces, soap or household medicines.

Urban Germany had become a nation of rag-and-bone people, dragging little trailers after them in case they spotted something in the rubble, and rooting in dustbins for food which the newly-arrived occupying forces had thrown away.

The human response of British servicemen might have been one of sympathy, but by order of the London government, the C-in-C of the British Zone, Field Marshal Montgomery, was ordered to enforce a strict policy of 'non-fraternisation'.

'You must keep clear of Germans -- man, woman and child -- unless you meet them in the course of duty,' he instructed. 'You must not walk with them or shake hands or visit their homes.' There was to be no smiling, no playing with children; (soldiers were put on a charge for 'permitting children to climb on an Army vehicle').

General Eisenhower, in the U.S. sector, thought this self-defeating -- how were the Allies supposed to influence the Germans if they could not speak to little children?

It took Montgomery three months to persuade London of the sense of this, and it was another three months before the Cabinet cancelled the non-fraternisation order.

Relations immediately eased between the conquerors and the conquered, although a system of apartheid remained in place.

British and Germans travelled in separate carriages on the Under- ground. They did not worship together, or see films together, or sit together to listen to music. Officers' wives attending dances would have to be warned in advance if Germans were present.

It was unnatural; more than that, it put a brake on every aspect of administering Germany.

In May 1947 a new instruction was handed down: 'We should behave towards the Germans as the people of one Christian and civilised race towards another whose interests in many ways converge with our own and for whom we no longer have any ill-will.' The trouble was that it had been drummed into British personnel going out to the British Zone that the Germans were a race of pariahs.

In November 1945, the Foreign Office had set out the principles by which Germany should be governed: 'The primary purpose of the JACKBOOT Occupation is destructive and preventive, and our measures of destruction and prevention are only limited by consideration for (1) the security and wellbeing of the forces of Occupation, (2) prevention of unrest among the German people, (3) broad considerations of humanity.' The consequence was that in the early years all Germans were regarded as equally guilty, except by a handful of German specialists.

Ignorance started at the top. The new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, had not forgotten his time as an infantry officer in the trenches of World War I.

He once confided in the late Lord Longford that he had always disliked Germans very much, but that he and his wife had once had a nice German maid.

His Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, explained: 'I try to be fair to them but I 'ates them, really.' Neither of them ever visited the British Occupied Zone.

British attitudes towards Germans had hardened since the pre-war maxim that: 'All Germans are intelligent, honourable and pro-Hitler, but never more than two of these three.' Media hostility played its part.

Several newspaper correspondents in Germany were under tacit instructions not to send back reports which were complimentary to the Germans -- a line which did not really change until the Queen's visit in 1965.

Three factors contributed to the failure of the British administration to get to grips with the situation in the Occupied Zone despite the efforts of the native population to help.

The first was a diktat laid down to the Allies by President Roosevelt that all Nazi party members were to be excluded from public office and from important positions in private enterprise.

 

HE WAS told that party membership had been virtually a condition of employment in most of the German civil service, and that whole new departments would have to be recruited and trained up. But Roosevelt was unyielding.

The second was that the existence of a genuine opposition to Hitler within Germany, which had culminated in the failed July 1944 plot on his life, had been concealed from the British public for propaganda reasons during the war; it was easier to rally arms against an undivided evil.

Nor did people recall the 20 million Germans who had voted against Hitler in the last election before the war. This left the Zone administrators with no more sophisticated a view of the German people than was provided in a booklet handed out to all new arrivals.

Entitled The German Character, it explained how the Germans 'stress fanatical willpower, work and sacrifice' and described their sadism, fatalism and sentimentality, warning that to 'try and be kind or conciliatory will be regarded as weakness'.

Thoughtful British officials might have raised an eyebrow at this, but -- which was the third factor -- recruits to the central administration of the British Zone, known as the Control Commission Germany (CCG), tended not to be of high calibre.

They included demobbed servicemen with nowhere to go, officers who could not find a good job in 'civvy street', and in the words of a Foreign Office memo, 'retired drain-inspectors, unsuccessful businessmen and idle ex-policemen'.

Very few of them could speak German. Encouraged to believe that non-Nazis were as dangerous as Nazis, they kept all Germans at arm's length.

No one could apply for public employment who had not been de-nazified, which meant they had to fill in a form demanding their record of employment and income, and their memberships of every party, group, club, union or institute since Hitler came to power.

More than one million of these forms were issued. Checking them became a nightmare for the CCG officials, who knew no German and could not conceive the reality of life under a dictatorship.

Anybody who had not risked death by openly resisting the Nazi authorities became liable to dismissal or even internment. The process meant that Germans with invaluable knowledge and experience were being removed from their posts.

The Germans joked about Hitler's 1,000-year Reich -- 12 years of Nazism and 988 years of de-nazification. The CCG took the point. Soon it was no longer necessary to de-nazify all the typists, only the head typist.

Finally, in October 1947, the task was handed over to the German Lander or local government areas, to sort out properly.

There was plenty left to administer. It was a condition of the peace treaty that swathes of German industrial plant had to be dismantled and equipment destroyed.

Meanwhile the CCG regulated matters which even the Nazis had never interfered with. And even songs came under scrutiny in case they had links to the Nazis.

By the end of 1946, the CCG numbered 24,785 personnel, their American opposite numbers merely 5,008.

Overmanning brought boredom, drunkenness and corruption to the CCG as well as to servicemen. They were, after all, living in a country where everything could be bartered.

German food rations averaged 1,500 calories a day: too much to die on but not enough to live comfortably. Cigarettes were the only viable currency and all sales were black market.

Even girls from good families found that they had nothing to offer except their bodies -- either that or join the 'rubble ladies' who cleared the roads and ruins and emptied basements of half-decomposed corpses.

There were three women to every man. In Berlin, by December 1946, half a million women were selling sex for Western goods.

In the British zone, where one cigarette was worth five marks and troops had a free weekly allowance of 50 (plus chocolate and soap), 80 per cent of the girls suffered from VD, and penicillin had to be flown in from Britain.

On the grounds that the standard of morality of German women was so low, the British Army and Government agreed that troops should officially be excused from paying maintenance for any offspring that they conceived.

The Army C-in-C responded to the scandal by organising 'Leadership Courses' and early morning runs.

So much negligence, and so much callousness. But it has to be weighed against the loathing that existed for all things German -- a loathing which was being deepened by revelations of Nazi atrocities.

Newsreel of the death camps had been seen across the Western world.

Unlike eastern Europeans, the British in occupied Germany had no bloodlust for revenge.

AND their behaviour, even the worst of it, has to be set against the plans Hitler had for Occupied Britain, which decreed that Britain's entire able-bodied male population aged 17-45 would be dispatched to the Continent, thus bringing the UK effectively to a standstill.

And, slowly, some of the right decisions were made.

With a gigantic effort, German education in the British Zone was put back on its feet and the years of Nazi indoctrination overcome.

In June 1948 the three Western allies introduced the new currency, the Deutschmark, thus in a stroke destroying the black market and allowing shopkeepers to put goods on their shelves for sale in real money.

Finally, in July 1951, after six years, came the formal announcement of the end of 'the state of war with Germany'. The Army stayed on, but the Occupation was at an end.

A STRANGE Enemy People: Germans Under The British 1945-50, by Patricia Meehan, will be published by Peter Owen Publishers in September at GBP 17.99.

Reproduced From: David Irving's The International Campaign for Real History

 

 

Please visit our APOCALYPSE AT DRESDEN Page as well as our other Pages dealing with Allied Hypocrisy, Lies, Disinformation and outright anti-German Propaganda:

Dresden - The Real Holocaust

 

 

The Other Holocausts of World War 2

 
Video Thanks To Rebelnews.org

 

 

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