Ethnic Cleansing of the Germans in WW2 - Part 2

By Ingrid Rimland

 

December 27, 1999

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:

In response to yesterday's ZGram about the ethnic cleansing of the Germans after World War II, I received the following comment, which is typical:

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"Ingrid, I lived in this country for some 44 years; nobody has ever heard of "Ethnic cleansing of Germans".

"Some believe it is Nazi propaganda. Other believe the present German border is the real Germany Border und the rest was a colony of Germany of some kind.

"Others, if Germany lost 2-3 million because of ehtnic cleansing, then they deserved it for the 2nd World War.

"The Poles in this country believe that former east Germany was always part of Poland in any case."

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The brutal truth, of course, was different. I now continue with yesterday's ZGram, with the text gleaned from Greg Pavlik's "Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays by John T. Flynn."

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(T)he German victims in Poland were often herded into concentration camps. These camps were little more than death centers, with astronomical death rates. Typhus raged uncontrolled and the prison guards engaged in sadistic beatings, killings, and torture. Conditions were such that in one camp of a population of 8,064 Germans, 6,488 inmates died, including 628 children. In a rare instance of even-handedness, the American Court of the Allied High Commission for Germany found the deputy commander of the camp at Budweis in Southern Bohemia guilty of criminal and sadistic conduct and sentenced him to an eight-year prison term. The American journalist John Sack published a controversial account of these camps in 1995, An Eye for An Eye.

(Zundelsite comment: John Sack was prevented from giving a talk about this at the US Holocaust Museum. He finally had a chance to give it at David Irving's Cincinnati Revisionist conference this year.)

More generally, it is a mistake to regard the treatment of ethnic Germans by the Poles and Czechs as motivated solely or even mostly by revenge. In both countries, ethnic Germans were subject to political persecution and physical abuse prior to the war, which is why the German army was regarded as a liberation force by many ethnic Germans. The savagery of the host nations towards their German minorities at the close of the war was in some ways a continuation of existing practices, albeit in a radically exaggerated form. As an historian of my acquaintance noted, the Czechs were not discontent under Nazi rule. No native resistance movement materialized - though one existed even in Germany. The expulsion of Germans provided a convenient pretext for stealing their homes, factories, and wealth. As many as 200,000 Sudeten Germans died in the process.

(Zundelsite comment: Can we expect the Czechs, Poles and Serbs to compensate the German victims of their ethnic cleansing atrocities? Anybody holding his breath?)

In the end, some two million ethnic Germans were killed of the 15 million that had been displaced. Few noticed, though in an exceptional case Anne O'Hare McCormick reported in the New York Times that "[t]he scale of this resettlement and the conditions in which it takes place are without precedent in history. No one seeing its horrors first-hand can doubt it is a crime against humanity for which history will exact a terrible retribution...." In another report she filed with the paper, McCormick noted, "We share responsibility with horrors only comparable to Nazi cruelties...."

Germany itself was devastated and, given her unconditional surrender, at the complete mercy of the Allies. The US occupation force proceeded to enforce the spirit of the Morgenthau plan "for the destruction of the German-speaking peoples", as one Senate critic put it. JCS 1067, alluded to above, was a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to General Eisenhower from April 1945. It instructed Eisenhower to "take appropriate measures to ensure that basic living standards of the German people are no higher than those existing in and of the neighboring United Nations...." As de Zayas notes, this was "clearly a punitive measure" that was "as revolutionary and abnormal as might have been a proposal to depress the standard of living in the United States below that prevalent in Mexico or Guatemala." This was in accord with the Potsdam protocol, which called for the disassembly of German industry.

The latter goal was carried out with efficiency. Factories were looted and heavy machinery carted off. The US had a political showdown with the Russians for uprooting German railroad tracks in Anglo-American controlled territories: a quarrel among thieves. The plan was all the more cruel when one considers that this deindustrialized Germany had also lost its most fertile agricultural lands to Poland and was unable to feed herself. The Great Powers maintained starvation conditions for years until the onset of the Cold War shifted US policy toward integrating the German industrial heartland into the US orbit. (...)

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Thought for the Day - sent to me by a ZGram reader who researched these quotes:

"Ehrenburg instigated the Soviet Red Army rape and murder of German civilians. Referring to German women, Ehrenburg gloated to the advancing Red Army troops, 'that blonde hag is in for a bad time.'

"In a leaflet addressed to Soviet troops, Ehrenburg wrote: '...the Germans are not human beings...nothing gives us so much joy as German corpses.' (Anatol Goldberg, Ilya Ehrenburg, p. 197).

"Goldberg concedes that Ehrenburg, '...had always disliked the Germans...now that there was a war on he turned his old prejudice into an asset." (Ibid., p. 193).

Another publication distributed to the Red Army, this time as the soldiers approached Danzig, was (the fact that scores) of leaflets were air-dropped on the troops with a message composed by the propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg and signed by Stalin: 'Soldiers of the Red Army! Kill the Germans! Kill all Germans! Kill! Kill! Kill!' (Christopher Duffy, Red Storm on the Reich).

The Soviet leadership acknowledged that Ehrenburg sought the extermination of the entire German people (cf. Pravda, April 14, 1945.) This Jewish journalist, Ilya Ehrenburg, was Minister of Soviet Propaganda and systematic disseminator of anti-German hate material dating from the 1930s. He died a few years ago, undisturbed, in Israel.

____Information about Ingrid Rimland's historical trilogy, "Lebensraum!", seized at the Canadian border for being "politically incorrect", may be found at: http://www.lebensraum.org/ir.html

 

 

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