Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950. By James Bacque [London, England: Little Brown and Co., 1997]. Hardcover, illustrated, 288 pages. ISBN 0-316-64070-0.
James Bacque¹s courageous history book details the Allies¹ holocaust against the German people which resulted in millions of deaths after World War II ended.
This was worse than any ³holocaust² caused by the Nazis in wartime, for this was post-war genocide after total surrender, against a completely prostrate people.
Bacque¹s comprehensive marshaling of irrefutable demographic, epidemiological and statistical facts document that:
³At least 9.3 million Germans died needlessly soon after the war...they (the Allies) did not end the killing at the end of the war but increased it...far more German civilians died in five years of peace¹ than soldiers in six years of war.²
This Allied policy of annihilation was nothing new. After World War I, the Allies starved to death nearly a million Germans (cf. C. Paul Vincent, "The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915-1919").
The Mass Starvation of German Civilians in the West
The chief architect of the post WWII genocide was the Jewish-American Henry Morgenthau. Morgenthau¹s plan for the systematic starvation of the German people through the destruction of their industrial capacity (and hence their ability to purchase grain for import) was officially dropped by the Americans.
But in late November of 1944, Pres. Franklin Roosevelt told John Maynard Keynes ³in secret that the plan would be implemented.² US Secretary of State Cordell Hull acknowledged that the Morgenthau Plan ³would mean the deaths of some 20 million Germans by starvation.²
³What finally assured the prolonged starvation of Germans was the enforced reduction of industry. By autumn 1945, industrial production was deliberately reduced to around 25-30% of pre-war levels, thus preventing the chance of buying food imports...The Allies slowed oil production to a trickle, closed down factories, kept the labor force imprisoned, confiscated or destroyed factories and machinery...
³By false accounting, the Allies also refused to credit the value of some German exports to the German account, making it impossible for Germans to earn foreign currency to buy food.²
In Berlin in September 1945, an official estimated that half the children aged three and under would not survive the next year. The infant mortality rate in Berlin at that time was nearly 100%.
In Hamburg in 1946, in the British zone of occupation, while thousands of tons of surplus military food stockpiles were left to rot, 100,000 Germans were in the last stages of starvation.
In January of 1946, US Senator Kenneth Wherry stated, ³The American people should know once and for all that as a result of this government¹s official policy they are being made...accomplices in the crime of mass starvation...Germany is the only nation subjected to a deliberate starvation policy...²
Bacque notes that, ³Red Cross food trains were sent back to Switzerland; all foreign governments were denied permission to send food to German civilians; fertilizer production was sharply reduced...The fishing fleet was kept in port while people starved. British soldiers actually blew up one fishing boat in front of the eyes of astonished Germans.²
When the Mennonite Central Committee in Canada and the US attempted to send food to the German people, the Allied military governments ³refused the necessary permits.²
In Great Britain, ³even the concept of voluntary aid via food parcels from Britain¹s civilians was anathema to Whitehall in October, 1945. Such aid to Germans was forbidden.²
The Nazi commander Arthur Seyss-Inquart was hanged at Nuremberg for withholding food from the Dutch, even though he ordered an airlift of food supplies to Holland when the Germans themselves were hard-pressed for food.
American naval officer Capt. Albert Behnke compared the German civilians under the Allies with the conditions in Holland under the Germans, for which Seyss-Inquart had been executed as a war criminal: ³Germany was subjected to physical and psychic trauma unparalleled in history. The Germans under the Allies fared much worse than the Dutch under the Germans and for far longer.²
Furthermore, French occupiers took a terrible toll on German women, children and elderly, by ³forced seizure of food.² They also instituted a campaign of ³mass rape² of German women in Stuttgart.
German churches in the French zone of occupation flew black flags to mark the interminable deaths from starvation that took place under the heel of the French. ³The official ration in the French zone in January, 1947 was 450 calories per day...²
After the starvation process was assured and set irretrievably in motion (after hundreds of thousands of Germans were still alive but too far gone to be saved from death), the Allies allowed token relief.
Bacque notes that, ³By the time such pacifist organizations as the Mennonites of Canada were permitted to send food to their co-religionists in Germany, in June 1946, the overall death rate in Germany had risen to more than double the normal rate.²
In this way the Allies covered their bases. Millions of Germans could be exterminated while a few thousand were rescued, thereby providing camouflage for the genocide.
The Marshall plan is part of this myth, showcasing the ³spotless virtue of the American government in its great benevolence to the Germans.² But the Marshall Plan came after the mass starvations had been effected. The plan itself was an accounting trick and a public relations scam.
Had the Germans been left alone, they could have, through their own famous work ethic, provided for themselves much better than the Marshall Plan did. Bacque points out that ³The Americans took from Germany at least 20 times the amount Germans retained under the Marshall Plan.²
Four Million German Civilians Killed in the East
In the east, a great ethnic cleansing of Germans was under way perpetrated by Poles and Czechs. The ³Expulsion² as it has tepidly come to be called, was authorized under the Potsdam agreement signed by Stalin, Churchill and Truman. More than 16 million Germans were uprooted from ancestral German lands.
The atrocities visited upon these German civilians included gruesome mutilations, forced rape, starvation and mass shootings. For example, Hermine Mückusch, a grandmother from the Sudetenland was force-marched out of her homeland in the company of 27 children. Within 14 days all but one were dead.
Anyone who attempted to furnish German children with ³food, shelter or medicine was shouted at as a Nazi by his fellow Czechs. And then the army of Russian rapists arrived.²
At Neisse in Upper Silesia, the village priest wrote, ³During the first night of the Russian occupation, many of the nuns were raped as many as 50 times.² German nuns who resisted were knocked down, kicked, beaten, struck in the face with the butt-ends of revolvers and rifles until they collapsed into unconsciousness and then were raped in that state.
Many of the German priests in the East were ³murdered by Poles and Russians in the spring and summer of 1945. In Upper Silesia 45 priests were murdered because they remained with their flocks to the bitter end.²
Other German Christians also suffered horribly. Thousands of German Mennonites were beaten and shot at by British troops who tried to force them onto trains bound for the Soviet Gulag, ³for example at Liezein in Austria in June, 1945.²
Hundreds of thousands of Germans were forced into former Nazi concentration camps operated by Polish Jews. Not many Germans survived these camps. (Cf. John Sack, "An Eye for an Eye").
Today when a German survivor attempts to relate what happened he is ³hampered...by incredulity, by cover ups...For instance, bones discovered in 1976 and 1981 in mass graves at Kaltwasser/Bromberg were returned to the ground without any marker when it was decided by a Polish commission investigating Nazi war crimes that the dead had been German.²
Bacque says that ³Analogous incidents have occurred at Lambach in Austria and at Rheinberg, Erfurt and Bretzenheim in Germany.²
Of the more than 16 million German civilians expelled from the East, Bacque states that 2.1 million are officially acknowledged as having died during their expulsion to central Germany, but that another 2.5 million are unaccounted for and that most of these also died, putting the total deaths among the German civilians of Eastern Europe at well over four million.
Our newspapers, magazines, libraries, bookstores and television networks are brimming with thousands of feature articles, books and movies analyzing Nazi war crimes, persecution of Jewish people and the demise of the ³Six Million² from every conceivable publicity angle.
But there is virtually no mention in the establishment media of the Allied war crimes--nine million German civilians needlessly and unconscionably murdered by the Allies after WWII ended. This gruesome, unsung holocaust must not be forgotten or whitewashed.
If the cause of human rights for all is to be truly honored, then the world should commemorate all of the holocausts of the 20th century, not just one ³Holocaust² singled out by powerful lobbies and pressure groups for relentless publicity at the expense of all other holocaust victims, including German victims.
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