Editor’s Note: The books that the American Thomas Goodrich wrote about the Second World War represent the most important literature of anything written in this century to understand the catastrophe that spawned the ethno-suicidal zeitgeist of the white man of today.
Below I reproduce chapter 3 of Goodrich’s Summer 1945: Germany, Japan and the Harvest of Hate. You have to invert the black-and-white colours of how the Americans depicted the Nazi leadership and themselves, a kind of photographic negative of what actually happened: War propaganda that persists to the present year. For example, the Eisenhower camps were the real death camps in 1945, where one million Germans were maliciously starved to death. This time the Bolshevik Jews weren’t the perpetrators of the Holodomor, but the Americans. Goodrich writes below that ten times of German soldiers died compared to those killed on the whole Western Front during the whole six years of war. And let us not speak in this hatnote about the millions of rapes of civilian women and tortures after the Germans surrendered…
The utter quackery of the so-called ‘white nationalist’ movement lies in that they aren’t harping every morning, noon and night, using books like Goodrich’s like a sword, to set the record straight about what happened in WW2. Hence the spawned ethno-suicidal zeitgeist, a ‘monster from the Id’ continues unchallenged to this day.
White nationalism must die so that an authentic movement may emerge, that we could baptise this day as the ‘priesthood of the 14 words’. As I live in the American continent, I dare not use the term ‘National Socialism’, which should be reserved for Germans and Europeans of the Nordic type once they wake up.
All the criticism that white nationalists make of Trump, that he has been false opposition (for which Richard Spencer prefers Biden) I could say of them. As long as American racists refuse to denounce the Hellstorm Holocaust their ancestors perpetrated in Europe their ideology is also false opposition.
Goodrich’s endnotes sourcing every indented quotation as well as the sources of those brief sentences between quotation marks—for example the words of genocidal manic Dwight D. Eisenhower—are omitted in this edited chapter. For a proper reading I urge visitors of this site to order a hard copy of Summer 1945: a book that, fortunately, has not been censored on Amazon Books.
______ 卐 ______
OF CRIMES AND CRIMINALS
Even as the physical massacre of Germany was in progress, the spiritual massacre of German womanhood continued without pause.
Although violent, brutal and repeated rapes persisted against defenseless females for years, most Soviet, American, British, and French troops quickly discovered that hunger was a powerful incentive to sexual surrender. Usually, a piece of bread, a little candy or a bar of soap made violent rape unnecessary. In their utterly devastated cities, young girls roamed the streets seeking something to eat and a place to sleep. Having only one thing left in the world to sell, they were not slow to sell it.
“Bacon, eggs, sleep at your home?” winked Russian soldiers over and over again, knowing full well the answer would usually be a two-minute tryst among the rubble. “I continually ran about with cooking utensils, and begged for food…,” admitted one girl. “If I heard in my neighborhood the expression ‘pretty woman,’ I reacted accordingly.’’
Despite General Eisenhower’s edict against fraternization with the despised enemy, no amount of words could slow the US soldier’s sex drive. “Neither army regulations nor the propaganda of hatred in the American press,” noted newswoman, Freda Utley, “could prevent American soldiers from liking and associating with German women, who although they were driven by hunger to become prostitutes, preserved a certain innate decency.”
“I felt a bit sick at times about the power I had over that girl,” one troubled British soldier confessed. “If I gave her a three-penny bar of chocolate she nearly went crazy. She was just like my slave. She darned my socks and mended things for me. There was no question of marriage. She knew that was not possible.”
As this young Tommy made clear, desperate German women, many with children to feed, were compelled by hunger to enter a bondage as binding as any in history. With time, some victims, particularly those consorting with officers, not only avoided starvation, but found themselves enjoying luxuries long forgotten.
“By no means could it be said that the major is raping me, revealed one woman. “Am I doing it for bacon, butter, sugar, candles, canned meat? To some extent I’m sure I am. In addition, I like the major and the less he wants from me as a man, the more I like him as a person.”
Unlike the above, relatively few females found such havens. For most, food was used to bait or bribe them into a numbing sexual slavery in which the simple avoidance of starvation was the day-to-day goal. Just as Lali Horstmann was about to sign up for kitchen duty in the Soviet Zone, a job that paid with soup and potatoes, a girl next to her whispered that her sister had volunteered several days before on the same job and had not been seen since. When an old, unattractive woman nearby raised her hand to volunteer, the Red officer in charge ignored her and instead pointed a pistol at a pretty young girl. When the girl refused, several soldiers approached.
“She was in tears as she was brutally shoved forward,” recorded Lali, “followed by others who were protesting helplessly.”
“A Pole discovered me,” acknowledged another girl, “and began to sell me to Russians. He had fixed up a brothel in his cellar for Russian officers. I was fetched by him… I had to go with him, and could not resist. I came into the cellar, in which there were the most depraved carryings on, drinking, smoking and shouting, and I had to participate… I felt like shrieking.”
While many women endured such slavery—if only to eat—others risked their all to escape. Recounted an American journalist:
As our long line of British Army lorries… rolled through the main street of Brahlstorf, the last Russian occupied town, a pretty blond girl darted from the crowd of Germans watching us and made a dash for our truck. Clinging with both hands to the tailboard, she made a desperate effort to climb in. But we were driving too fast and the board was too high. After being dragged several hundred yards she had to let go and fell on the cobblestone street. That scene was a dramatic illustration of the state of terror in which women… were living.
“All these women,” wrote a witness, “Germans, Polish, Jewish and even Russian girls ‘freed’ from Nazi slave camps, were dominated by one desperate desire to escape from the Red zone.”
* * *
By the summer of 1945, Germany had become the world’s greatest slave market where sex was the new medium of exchange. While the wolf of hunger might be kept from the door, grim disease was always waiting in the wings.
“As a way of dying it may be worse than starvation, but it will put off dying for months—or even years,” commented an English journalist.
In addition to all the venereal diseases known in the West, German women were infected by a host of new evils, including an insidious strain of Asiatic syphilis. “It is a virulent form of sickness, unknown in this part of the world,” a doctor’s wife explained. “It would be difficult to cure even if we were lucky enough to have any penicillin.”
Another dreaded concern—not only for those who were selling themselves, but for the millions of rape victims—was unwanted pregnancy. Thousands who were if fact pregnant sought and found abortions. Thousands more lived in dreadful suspense. And for those infants who were carried and delivered, their struggle was usually brief.
“The mortality among the small children and infants was very high,” noted one sad woman. “They simply had to starve to death. There was nothing for them… Generally, they did not live to be more than 3 months old—a consolation for those mothers, who had got the child against their will from a Russian… The mother worked all the time and was very seldom able to give the child the breast.”
As the above implied, simply because a mother sold her body to feed a child did not necessarily save her from back-breaking labor. Indeed, with the end of war, Germans old and young were dragooned by the victors for the monumental clean-up and dismantling of the devastated Reich. Sometimes food was given to the workers —“a piece of bread or maybe a bowl of thin, watery soup”— and sometimes not. “We used to start work at six o’clock in the morning and get home again at six in the evening,” said a Silesian woman.” We had to work on Sundays, too, and we were given neither payment nor food for what we did.”
From the blasted capital, Berlin, another female recorded:
Berlin is being cleaned up… All round the hills of rubble, buckets were being passed from hand to hand; we have returned to the days of the Pyramids—except that instead of building we are carrying away… On the embankment German prisoners were slaving away—gray-heads in miserable clothes, presumably ex-Volkssturm. With grunts and groans, they were loading heavy wheels onto freight-cars. They gazed at us imploringly, tried to keep near us. At first I couldn’t understand why. Others did, though, and secretly passed the men a few crusts of bread. This is strictly forbidden, but the Russian guard stared hard in the opposite direction. The men were unshaven, shrunken, with wretched doglike expressions. To me they didn’t look German at all.
“My mother, 72 years of age, had to work outside the town on refuse heaps,” lamented a daughter in Posen. “There the old people were hunted about, and had to sort out bottles and iron, even when it was raining… The work was dirty, and it was impossible for them to change their clothes.”
Understandably, thousands of overworked, underfed victims soon succumbed under such conditions. No job was too low or degrading for the conquered Germans to perform. Well-bred ladies, who in former times were theater-going members of the upper-class, worked side by side with peasants at washtubs, cleaning socks and underclothes of Russian privates. Children and the aged were put to work scrubbing floors and shining boots in the American, British and French Zones.
Some tasks were especially loathsome, as one woman makes clear: “As a result of the war damage… the toilets were stopped up and filthy. This filth we had to clear away with our hands, without any utensils to do so. The excrement was brought into the yard, shoveled into carts, which we had to bring to refuse pits. The awful part was, that we got dirtied by the excrement which spurted up, but we could not clean ourselves.”
Added another female from the Soviet Zone:
We had to build landing strips, and to break stones… From six in the morning until nine at night, we were working along the roads. Any Russian who felt like it took us aside. In the morning and at night we received cold water and a piece of bread, and at noon soup of crushed, unpeeled potatoes, without salt. At night we slept on the floors of farmhouses or stables, dead tired, huddled together. But we woke up every so often, when a moaning and whimpering in the pitch-black room announced the presence of one of the guards.
As this woman and others acknowledge, although sex could be bought for a bit of food, a cigarette or a toothbrush, some victors preferred to take what they wanted, whenever and wherever they pleased. “If they wanted a girl they just came in the field and got her,” recalled Ilse Breyer who worked at planting potatoes.
“Hunger made German women more ‘available’,’’ an American soldier revealed, “but despite this, rape was prevalent and often accompanied by additional violence. In particular I remember an eighteen-year-old woman who had the side of her face smashed with a rifle butt and was then raped by two Gls. Even the French complained that the rapes, looting and drunken destructiveness on the part of our troops was excessive.”
* * *
“God, I hate the Germans,” wrote Dwight D. Eisenhower to his wife in 1944.
As Mrs. Eisenhower and anyone else close to the general knew, her husband’s loathing of all things German was nothing short of pathological. With the final German capitulation in May, 1945, the Allied commander found himself in control of over five million ragged, weary, but living, enemy soldiers. “It is a pity we could not have killed more,’’ muttered the general, dissatisfied with the body-count from the greatest bloodbath in human history. And so, Eisenhower settled for next best: If he could not kill armed Germans in war, he would kill disarmed Germans in peace. Because the Geneva Convention guaranteed POWs of signer nations the same food, shelter and medical attention as their captors, and because these laws were to be enforced by the International Red Cross, Eisenhower simply circumvented the treaty by creating his own category for prisoners. Under the general’s reclassification, German soldiers were no longer considered POWs, but DEFs—Disarmed Enemy Forces. With this bit of legerdemain, and in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, Eisenhower could now deal in secret with those in his power, free from the prying eyes of the outside world.
Even before war’s end, thousands of German soldiers who somehow escaped being murdered by the Americans when they surrendered and who actually did reach a POW camp, nevertheless soon died in captivity from starvation, neglect and, in many cases, outright murder. At one camp along the Rhine River in April 1945, each group of ten men were expected to survive in the open, on a plot of mud a few yards wide, in cold, wet weather, without shelter or blankets, with virtually no food. When the Americans finally “fed” the prisoners, it was one slice of bread that had to be cut ten ways, a strip for each man. A voice on the camp loud speaker arrogantly announced: “German soldiers, eat slowly. You haven’t had anything to eat in a long time. When you get your rations today from the best fed army in the world, you’ll die if you don’t eat slowly.” This mocking, murderous routine continued for three months. Once healthy prisoners soon became barely-breathing skeletons. Like clockwork, large numbers of dead were hauled away every day.
“The provision of water was a major problem,” revealed another witness, “yet only 200 yards away was the River Rhine running bank full.”
With the war still in progress, when the hard-pressed German leadership heard of these American atrocities they naturally appealed to the International Red Cross.
“If the Germans were reasoning like normal beings, they would realize the whole history of the United States and Great Britain is to be generous towards a defeated enemy,” came Eisenhower’s pompous reply. “We observe all the laws of the Geneva Convention.”
With German surrender and the threat of retaliation against Allied POWs entirely erased, deaths in the American concentration camps soared dramatically. While tens of thousands died of starvation and thirst, hundreds of thousands more perished from overcrowding and disease. As sixteen-year-old, Hugo Stehkamper, graphically described:
I only had a sweater to protect me from the pouring rain and the cold. There just wasn’t any shelter to be had. You stood there, wet through and through, in fields that couldn’t be called fields anymore—they were ruined. You had to make an effort when you walked to even pull your shoes out of the mud… It’s incomprehensible to me how we could stand for many, many days without sitting, without lying down, just standing there, totally soaked. During the day we marched around, huddled together to try to warm each other a bit. At night we stood because we couldn’t walk and tried to keep awake by singing or humming songs. Again and again someone got so tired his knees got weak and he collapsed.
The situation at American death camps near Remagen, Rheinberg and elsewhere, was typical. With no shelter of any sort, the men were forced to dig holes with their bare hands simply to sleep in.
At night, the prisoners would lower into the holes and try to stay warm by clinging to one another. And since it rained virtually every day, those holes that did not collapse always filled with water. Because of rampant diarrhea many of the victims were forced to defecate on the ground. Others were so weakened from sickness and starvation that they could not even lower their pants. Quickly, everyone’s clothes became infected with excrement and very soon, all the men suffered from chronic diarrhea. One camp “was nothing but a giant sewer, where each man just shit where he stood,” recounts a victim. Another enclosure was “literally a sea of urine” where prisoners were compelled to live and sleep. Even though the Rhine River flowed nearby, there was no water in most camps to drink, much less wash clothes in. As the prisoners rapidly weakened, many who fell into the numerous dug holes found it difficult or impossible to get out again without the help of others.
“Amputees slithered like amphibians through the mud, soaking and freezing. Naked to the skies day after day and night after night…,” remembered a witness.
When the camp commandant decided to feed the prisoners, generally every other day, the starved men read on the ration container that the amount was only one-tenth the normal daily diet fed US troops. One prisoner actually complained to a camp commander that the starvation diet was against the Geneva Convention.
“Forget the Convention,” snapped the American officer. “You haven’t any rights.”
As elsewhere, within days of enduring such deadly conditions many of those who had gone healthy into the Remagen camp were being dragged out the front gate by their heals and thrown onto a waiting truck.
“The Americans were really shitty to us,” a survivor at another camp recalled. “All we had to eat was grass.”
At Hans Waltersdorf’s prison, the inmates survived on a daily soup made of birdseed. “Not fit for human consumption,” read the words on the sacks. At another camp, a weeping seventeen-year-old stood day in, day out beside the barbed wire fence. In the distance, the youth could just view his own village. One morning, inmates awoke to find the boy dead, his body strung up by guards and left dangling on the wires. When outraged prisoners cried “Murderers! Murderers!” the camp commander withheld their meager rations for three days.
“For us who were already starving and could hardly move because of weakness… it meant death,” said one of the men.
Not enough that his American jailers were starving them to death; Eisenhower even forbade those on the outside from feeding the prisoners:
Under no circumstances may food supplies be assembled among the local inhabitants in order to deliver them to prisoners of war. Those who violate this command and nevertheless try to circumvent this blockade to allow something to come to the prisoners place themselves in danger of being shot.
Horrified by what they could see at a distance, heart-broken women from towns and villages surrounding the camps did indeed bring their own meager food stocks to share with the starving men. Good to his word, Eisenhower’s guards always chased the women and children away, scooped up the food, poured gasoline over it, then set the piles on fire. As warned, when some anguished women persisted, they were shot. After this murderous decree, anyone who insisted that the goal of the American general was anything less than the massacre of those under his control was simply one of those privy to the plan.
There was no lack of food or shelter among the victorious Allies.
Indeed, American supply depots were bursting at the seams. “More stocks than we can ever use,” one general announced. “They stretch as far as the eye can see.” Instead of allowing even a trickle of this bounty to reach the compounds, the starvation diet was further reduced. “Outside the camp the Americans were burning food which they could not eat themselves,” revealed a starving Werner Laska from his prison.
“When they caught me throwing C-Rations over the fence, they threatened me with imprisonment,” confided an angry American guard, Private Martin Brech. “One Captain told me that he would shoot me if he saw me again tossing food to the Germans… Some of the men were really only boys 13 years of age… or old men drafted by Hitler in his last ditch stand… I understand that average weight of the prisoners… was 90 pounds.”
As Brech noted, many of the prisoners were mere children. Some little boys were still clad in the same grimy pajamas the Americans had arrested them in. Fear that the children might form guerrilla groups was the official reason given.
Horrified by the silent, secret slaughter, the International Red Cross—which had over 100,000 tons of food stored in Switzerland—tried to intercede. When two trains loaded with supplies reached the camps, however, they were turned back by American officers. “These Nazis are getting a dose of their own medicine,” a prison commandant reported proudly to one of Eisenhower’s “political advisers.”
“German soldiers were not common law convicts,” protested a Red Cross official, “they were drafted to fight in a national army on patriotic grounds and could not refuse military service any more than the Americans could.”
Like this individual, many others found no justification whatsoever in the massacre of helpless prisoners, especially since the German government had lived up to the Geneva Convention, as one American official put it, “to a tee.”
“I have come up against few instances where Germans have not treated prisoners according to the rules, and respected the Red Cross,” wrote war correspondent Allan Wood of the London Express.
“The Germans even in their greatest moments of despair obeyed the Convention in most respects,” a US officer added. “True it is that there were front line atrocities—passions run high up there—but they were incidents, not practices; and maladministration of their American prison camps was very uncommon.”
Nevertheless, despite the Red Cross report that ninety-nine percent of American prisoners of war in Germany had survived and were on their way home, Eisenhower’s murderous program continued apace.
One officer who refused to have a hand in the crime and who began releasing large numbers of prisoners soon after they were disarmed was George Patton. Reasoned the general:
I emphasized [to the troops] the necessity for the proper treatment of prisoners of war, both as to their lives and property. My usual statement was… “Kill all the Germans you can but do not put them up against a wall and kill them. Do your killing while they are still fighting. After a man has surrendered, he should be treated exactly in accordance with the Rules of Land Warfare, and just as you would hope to be treated if you were foolish enough to surrender. Americans do not kick people in the teeth after they are down.”
Although other upright generals such as Omar Bradley issued orders to release POWs, Eisenhower quickly overruled them.
Mercifully, for the two million Germans under British control, Bernard Montgomery refused to participate in the massacre. Indeed, soon after war’s end, the field marshal released and sent most of his prisoners home.
After being shuttled from one enclosure to the next, Corporal Helmut Liebich had seen for himself all the horrors the American death camps had to give. At one compound, amused guards formed lines and beat starving prisoners with sticks and clubs as they ran the gauntlet for their paltry rations. At another camp of 5,200 men, Liebich watched as ten to thirty bodies were hauled away daily. At yet another prison, there was “35 days of starvation and 15 days of no food at all,” and what little the wretched inmates did receive was rotten. Finally, in June, 1945, Liebich’s camp at Rheinberg passed to British control. Immediately, survivors were given food and shelter and for those like Liebich—who now weighed 97 pounds and was dying of dysentery—swift medical attention was provided.
“It was wonderful to be under a roof in a real bed,” the corporal reminisced. “We were treated like human beings again. The Tommies treated us like comrades.”
Before the British could take complete control of the camp, however, Liebich noted that American bulldozers leveled one section of the compound where skeletal—but breathing—men still lay in their holes.
* * *
If possible, Germans in French hands suffered even more than those held by Americans. When France requested slaves as part of its war booty, Eisenhower transferred over half a million Germans east.
“Gee! I hope we don’t ever lose a war,’’ thought a GI as he stared at the broken, starving wrecks being selected for slavery. At one American camp of over 30,000 prisoners, a stunned French officer was horrified to see nothing but a vast killing field, “peopled with living skeletons, male and female, huddling under scraps of wet card board.”
Martin Brech happened to be in a truck slowly following one group of Germans that were marching toward France and slavery. “Whenever a German prisoner staggered or dropped back, he was hit on the head with a club and killed,” recalled the shocked US private. “The bodies were rolled to the side of the road to be picked up by another truck. For many, this quick death might have been preferable to slow starvation in our killing fields.”
“When we marched through Namur in a column seven abreast, there was also a Catholic procession going through the street,” remembered one slave as he moved through Belgium. “When the people saw the POWs, the procession dissolved, and they threw rocks and horse shit at us. From Namur, we went by train in open railroad cars. At one point we went under a bridge, and railroad ties were thrown from it into the cars filled with POWs, causing several deaths. Later we went under another overpass, and women lifted their skirts and relieved themselves on us.”
Once in France, the assaults intensified. “We were cursed, spat upon and even physically attacked by the French population, especially the women,” Hans von der Heide wrote. “I bitterly recalled scenes from the spring, when we marched American POWs through the streets of Paris. They were threatened and insulted no differently by the French mob.”
Like the Americans, the French starved their prisoners. Unlike the Americans, the French drained the last ounce of labor from their victims before they dropped dead. “I have seen them beaten with rifle butts and kicked with feet in the streets of the town because they broke down of overwork,” remarked a witness from Langres. “Two or three of them die of exhaustion every week.”
“In another camp,” a horrified viewer added, “prisoners receive only one meal a day but are expected to continue working. Elsewhere so many have died recently that the cemetery space was exhausted and another had to be built.”
Revealed the French journal, Le Figaro:“In certain camps for German prisoners of war… living skeletons may be seen… and deaths from undernourishment are numerous. We learn that prisoners have been savagely and systematically beaten and that some have been employed in removing mines without protection equipment so that they have been condemned to die sooner or later.”
“Twenty-five percent of the men in our camp died in one month,” echoed a slave from Buglose.
The enslavement of German soldiers was not limited to France. Although fed and treated infinitely better, several hundred thousand POWs in Great Britain were transformed into virtual slaves. When prisoners were put to work raising projects for Britain’s grand “Victory in Europe” celebration, one English foreman felt compelled to quip: “I guess the Jerries are preparing to celebrate their own downfall. It does seem as though that is laying it on a bit thick.”
In vain did the International Red Cross protest:
The United States, Britain, and France… are violating International Red Cross agreements they solemnly signed in 1929. Investigation at Geneva headquarters today disclosed that the transfer of German war prisoners captured by the American army to French and British authorities for forced labor is nowhere permitted in the statues of the International Red Cross, which is the highest authority on the subject in the world.
* * *
Meanwhile, those Germans not consigned to bondage continued to perish in American prisons. Soldiers who did not succumb to hunger or disease often died of thirst, even though streams sometimes ran just a few feet from the camps. “The lack of water was the worst thing of all,” remembered George Weiss of his enclosure where the Rhine flowed just beyond the barbed wire. “For three and a half days we had no water at all. We would drink our own urine. It tasted terrible, but what could we do? Some men got down on the ground and licked the ground to get some moisture. I was so weak I was already on my knees.”
At one death camp, after a German officer submitted an official protest over the withholding of water from the prisoners, the American commandant ordered a large fire hose dragged into the densely-packed compound then told his men to turn it on to its utmost. Because of the great pressure, the hose flailed violently, knocking already weakened prisoners to the ground right and left. Still, many men, dying of thirst, tried desperately to capture even a few drops of water. As intended, such a spectacle provided great amusement for the US guards. “They laughed at our predicament as hard as they could,” noted one dying prisoner. When the hose was then quickly turned off only a thin layer of mud remained, which, of course, soon dried in seconds. Such sadistic treatment not only insured men would die but it guaranteed others would be driven insane.
Some prisoners, observed American guard, Martin Brech, “tried to escape in a demented or suicidal fashion, running through open fields in broad daylight towards the Rhine to quench their thirst. They were mowed down.”
As if their plight were not already hideous enough, prisoners occasionally became the targets of drunken and sadistic guards who sprayed the camps with machine-gun fire for sport. “I think,” Private Brech continued, “that soldiers not exposed to combat were trying to prove how tough they were by taking it out on the prisoners and civilians.”
I encountered a captain on a hill above the Rhine shooting down at a group of German civilian women with his -45 caliber pistol. When I asked, “Why?” he mumbled, “Target practice,” and fired until his pistol was empty… This is when I realized I was dealing with cold-blooded killers filled with moralistic hatred.
While continuing to deny the Red Cross and other relief agencies access to the camps, Eisenhower stressed among his lieutenants the need for secrecy. “Ike made the sensational statement that now that hostilities were over, the important thing was to stay in with world public opinion—apparently whether it was right or wrong,” recorded a disgusted George Patton. “After lunch he talked to us very confidentially on the necessity for solidarity in the event that any of us are called before a Congressional Committee.”
To prevent the gruesome details from reaching the outside world—and sidetrack those that did—counter-rumors were circulated stating that, far from mistreating and murdering prisoners, US camp commanders were actually turning back released Germans who tried to slip back in for food and shelter.
Ultimately, at least 800,000 German prisoners died in the American and French death camps. “Quite probably,” one expert later wrote, the figure of one million is closer to the mark. And thus, during the first summer of “peace,” did ten times the number of German soldiers die than were killed on the whole Western Front during the whole six years of war.
“It is hard to escape the conclusion,” admitted a journalist after the war, “that Dwight Eisenhower was a war criminal of epic proportions.”
* * *
Unlike their democratic counterparts, the Soviet Union made little effort to hide from the world the fate of German prisoners in its hands. Toiling and dying by the tens of thousands in the forests, bogs and mines of Siberia, the captives were slaves pure and simple and no attempt was made to disguise the fact. For the enslaved Germans, male and female, the odds of surviving the Soviet gulags were even worse than escaping the American or French prison camps and a trip to Siberia was tantamount to a death sentence. What little food the slaves received was intended merely to maintain their strength so that the last ounce of energy could be drained from them.
And so, with the once mighty Wehrmacht now disarmed and enslaved, and with their leaders either dead or awaiting trial for war crimes, the old men, women and children who remained in the dismembered Reich found themselves utterly at the mercy of the victors. Unfortunately for these survivors, never in the history of the world was mercy in shorter supply.
* * *
While disarmed and helpless German soldiers were dying by the hundreds of thousands in American death camps, helpless German civilians were likewise dying of deliberate starvation in their uncounted thousands. Indeed, in “peace,” all of Germany itself had become the world’s largest death camp, just as Henry Morgenthau had hoped and planned.
Because Germany’s entire infrastructure had been shattered by the war, it was already assured that thousands would starve to death before roads, rails, canals, and bridges could be restored. Even when much of the damage had been repaired, the deliberate withholding of food from Germany guaranteed that hundreds of thousands more were doomed to a slow death. Continuing the policy of their merciless predecessors, Harry Truman and Clement Attlee allowed the spirit of Morgenthau to dictate their course of action regarding post-war Germany.
No measures were to be undertaken, wrote President Truman to General Eisenhower, “looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany or designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy.” In other words, the shattered Germany economy would remain just as it was and the people would simply be allowed to starve.
Not only would food from the outside be denied entry, but US troops were forbidden to “give, sell or trade” supplies to the starving. Additionally, Germany’s already absent ability to feed itself would be stymied even further by withholding seed crop, fertilizer, gas, oil, and parts for farm machinery. Because of the enforced famine, it was estimated that thirty million Germans would soon succumb. Well down the road to starvation even before surrender, those Germans who survived war now struggled to survive peace.
“I trudged home on sore feet, limp with hunger…,” a Berlin woman scribbled in her diary. “It struck me that everyone I passed on the way home stared at me out of sunken, starving eyes. Tomorrow I’ll go in search of nettles again. I examine every bit of green with this in mind.”
“The search for food made all former worries irrelevant,” added Lali Horstmann. “It was the present moment alone that counted.”
While city-dwellers ate weeds, those on the land had food taken from them and were forced to dig roots, pick berries and glean fields. “Old men, women and children,” a witness noted, “may be seen picking up one grain at a time from the ground to be carried home in a sack the size of a housewife’s shopping bag.”
The deadly effects of malnutrition soon became evident. Lamented one anguished observer:
They are emaciated to the bone. Their clothes hang loose on their bodies, the lower extremities are like the bones of a skeleton, their hands shake as though with palsy, the muscles of the arms are withered, the skin lies in folds, and is without elasticity, the joints spring out as though broken. The weight of the women of average height and build has fallen way below 110 pounds. Often women of child-bearing age weigh no more than 65 pounds.
“We were really starving now…,” acknowledged Ilse McKee. “Most of the time we were too weak to do anything. Even queuing up for what little food there was to be distributed sometimes proved too much.”
Orders to the contrary, many Allied soldiers secretly slipped chocolate to children or simply turned their backs while elders stole bread. Others were determined to follow orders implacably. “It was a common sight,” recalled one GI, “to see German women up to their elbows in our garbage cans looking for something edible—that is, if they weren’t chased away.” To prevent starving Germans from grubbing American leftovers, army cooks laced their slop with soap. Tossing crumbs or used chewing gum to scrambling children was another pastime some soldiers found amusing.
For many victims, especially the old and young, even begging and stealing proved too taxing and thousands slipped slowly into the final, fatal apathy preceding death.
“Most children under 10 and people over 60 cannot survive the coming winter,” one American admitted.
“The number of still-born children is approaching the number of those born alive, and an increasing proportion of these die in a few days,” offered another witness to the tragedy. “Even if they come into the world of normal weight, they start immediately to lose weight and die shortly. Very often mothers cannot stand the loss of blood in childbirth and perish. Infant mortality has reached the horrifying height of 90 per cent.”
“Millions of these children must die before there is enough food,” echoed an American clergyman traveling in Germany. “In Frankfurt at a children’s hospital there have been set aside 25 out of 100 children. These will be fed and kept alive. It is better to feed 25 enough to keep them alive and let 75 starve than to feed the 100 for a short while and let them all starve.”
From Wiesbaden, a correspondent of the Chicago Daily News sat with a mother and watched as her eight-year-old played with her only toys, a doll and carriage. The reporter saw at a glance that the thin, frail child was starving.
“She doesn’t look well,” I said.
“Six years of war,” the mother replied, in that quiet toneless manner so common here now. “She hasn’t had a chance. None of the children have. Her teeth are not good. She catches illness so easily. She laughs and plays—yes; but soon she is tired. She never has known”—and the mother’s eyes filled with tears “what it is not to be hungry.”
“Was it that bad during the war?” I asked.
“Not this bad,” she replied, “but not good at all. And now I am told the bread ration is to be less. What are we to do; all of us? For six years we suffered. We love our country. My husband was killed—his second war. My oldest son is a prisoner somewhere in France. My other boy lost a leg… And now…”
By this time she was weeping. I gave this little girl a Hershey bar and she wept pure joy—as she held it. By this time I wasn’t feeling too chipper myself.
When a scattering of reports such as the above began filtering out to the American and British public, many were shocked, horrified and outraged at the secret slaughter being committed in their name. Already troubled that the US State Department had tried to keep an official report on conditions in Germany from public scrutiny, Senator James Eastland of Mississippi was outraged.
“There appears to be a conspiracy of silence…,” announced Eastland. “Are we following a policy of vindictive hatred, a policy which would not be endorsed by the American people as a whole if they knew true conditions?”
“Yes,” replied a chamber colleague, Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, no doubt with Henry Morgenthau on his mind:
The fact can no longer be suppressed, namely, the fact that it has been and continues to be, the deliberate policy… of this government to draw and quarter a nation now reduced to abject misery. In this process this clique, like a pack of hyenas struggling over the bloody entrails of a corpse, and inspired by a sadistic and fanatical hatred, are determined to destroy the German nation and the German people, no matter what the consequences… This administration has been carrying on a deliberate policy of mass starvation.
The murderous program was, wrote an equally outraged William Henry Chamberlain, “a positively sadistic desire to inflict maximum suffering on all Germans, irrespective of their responsibility for Nazi crimes.”
Because of these and other critics, Allied officials were forced to respond. Following a fact-finding tour of Germany, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the late president, professed to see no suffering beyond what was considered “tolerable.” And General Eisenhower, pointing out that there were food shortages all throughout Europe, noted that Germany suffered no more nor less than its neighbors. “While I and my subordinates believe that stern justice should be meted out to war criminals… we would never condone inhuman or un-American practices upon the helpless,” assuaged the general as helpless Germans died by the tens of thousands in his death camps each month.
Although some nations were indeed suffering shortages, none save Germany was starving. Many countries were actually experiencing surpluses of food, including Denmark on Germany’s north border, a nation only waiting Eisenhower’s nod to send tons of excess beef south.
“England is not starving…,” argued Robert Conway in the New York News. “France is better off than England, and Italy is better off than France.”
When Senator Albert Hawkes of New Jersey pleaded with President Truman to head off catastrophe and allow private relief packages to enter Germany, the American leader offered various excuses, then cut the senator short:
While we have no desire to be unduly cruel to Germany, I cannot feel any great sympathy for those who caused the death of so many human beings by starvation, disease, and outright murder, in addition to all the destruction and death of war…. I think that… no one should be called upon to pay for Germany’s misfortune except Germany itself… Eventually the enemy countries will be given some attention.
In time, Germany did receive “some attention.” Late in 1945, the British allowed Red Cross shipments to enter their zone, followed by the French in theirs. Months later, even the United States grudgingly permitted supplies to cross into its sector. For millions of Germans, however—the old, the young, the injured, the imprisoned—the “attention,” as originally planned, was far too little, far too late.
Had rapes, slavery and starvation been the only trials Germans were forced to endure, it would have been terrible enough. There were other horrors ahead, however—some so sadistic and evil as to stagger the senses. The nightmarish fate that befell thousands of victims locked deep in Allied prisons was enough, moaned one observer, to cause even the devout to ask “if there really were such a thing as a God.”
* * *
Soon after the Allied victory in Europe, the purge of National Socialist Party members from government, business, industry, science, education, and all other walks of German life commenced. While a surprising number of Nazis were allowed—even compelled—to man their posts temporarily to enable a smooth transition, all party members, high and low, were sooner or later excised from German daily life. In theory, “denazification” was a simple replacement of National Socialist officials with those of democratic or communist underpinnings. In practice, the purge became little more than a cloak for rape, torture and death.
Because their knowledge of the language and culture was superb, many of the intelligence officers accompanying US and British forces into the Reich were Jewish refugees who had fled Germany in the late 1930s. Although their American and English “aides” were hardly better, the fact that many of these “39ers” became interrogators, examiners and screeners, with old scores to settle, insured that Nazis—or any German, for that matter—would be shown no mercy.
One man opposed to the vengeance-minded program was George Patton.
“Evidently the virus started by Morgenthau and Bernard Baruch of a Semitic revenge against all Germans is still working,” wrote the general in private. “I am frankly opposed to this war-criminal stuff. It is not cricket and it is Semitic… I can’t see how Americans can sink so low.”
Soon after occupation, all adult Germans were compelled to register at the nearest Allied headquarters and complete a lengthy questionnaire on their past activities. While many nervous citizens were detained then and there, most returned home, convinced that at long last the terrible ordeal was over. For millions, however, the trial had but begun.
“Then it started,” whispered Anna Fest, a woman who had registered with the Americans six weeks earlier.
Such a feeling of helplessness, when three or four heavily armed military police stand in front of you. You just panic. I cried terribly. My mother was completely beside herself and said, “You can’t do this. She registered just as she was supposed to.” Then she said, “If only you’d gone somewhere else and had hidden.” But I consider that senseless, because I did not feel guilty… That was the way it went with everyone, with no reason given.
Few German adults, Nazi or not, escaped the dreaded knock on the door. Far from being dangerous fascists, Freddy and Lali Horstmann were actually well-known anti-Nazis. Recounts Lali from the Soviet Zone:
“I am sorry to bother you,” he began, “but I am simply carrying out my orders. Until when did you work for the Foreign Office?”
“Till 1933,” my husband answered.
“Then you need fear nothing,” Androff said. “We accuse you of nothing, but we want you to accompany us to the headquarters of the NKVD, the secret police, so that we can take down what you said in a protocol, and ask you a few questions about the working of the Foreign Office…”
We were stunned for a moment; then I started forward, asking if I could come along with them.
“Impossible,” the interpreter smiled.
My heart raced. Would Freddy answer satisfactorily? Could he stand the excitement? What sort of accommodation would they give him?
“Don’t worry, your husband has nothing to fear,” Androlf continued. “He will have a heated room. Give him a blanket for the night, but quickly, we must leave…”
There was a feeling of sharp tension, putting the soldier on his guard, as though he were expecting an attack from one of us. I took first the soldier, then the interpreter, by their hands and begged them to be kind to Freddy, repeating myself in the bustle and scraping of feet that drowned my words. There was a banging of doors. A cold wind blew in. I felt Freddy kiss me. I never saw him again.
“We were wakened by the sound of tires screeching, engines stopping abruptly, orders yelled, general din, and a hammering on the window shutters. Then the intruders broke through the door, and we saw Americans with rifles who stood in front of our bed and shone lights at us. None of them spoke German, but their gestures said: ‘Get dressed, come with us immediately.’ This was my fourth arrest.”
Thus wrote Leni Riefenstahl, a talented young woman who was perhaps the world’s greatest film-maker. Because her epic documentaries—Triumph of the Will and Olympia—seemed paeans to not only Germany, but National Socialism, and because of her close relationship with an admiring Adolf Hitler, Leni was of more than passing interest to the Allies. Though false, rumors also hinted that the attractive, sometimes-actress was also a “mistress of the devil”—that she and Hitler were lovers.
“Neither my husband nor my mother nor any of my three assistants had ever joined the Nazi Party, nor had any of us been politically active,” said the confused young woman. “No charges had ever been filed against us, yet we were at the mercy of the Allies and had no legal protection of any kind.”
Soon after Leni’s fourth arrest, came a fifth.
The jeep raced along the autobahns until, a few hours later… I was brought to the Salzburg Prison; there an elderly prison matron rudely pushed me into the cell, kicking me so hard that I fell to the ground; then the door was locked. There were two other women in the dark, barren room, and one of them, on her knees, slid about the floor, jabbering confusedly; then she began to scream, her limbs writhing hysterically. She seemed to have lost her mind. The other woman crouched on her bunk, weeping to herself.
As Leni and others quickly discovered, the “softening up” process began soon after arrival at an Allied prison. When Ernst von Salomon, his Jewish girlfriend and fellow prisoners reached an American holding pen near Munich, the men were promptly led into a room and brutally beaten by military police. With his teeth knocked out and blood spurting from his mouth, von Salomon moaned to a gum-chewing officer, “You are no gentlemen.” The remark brought only a roar of laughter from the attackers. “No, no, no!” the Gis grinned. “We are Mississippi boys!” In another room, military policemen raped the women at will while leering soldiers watched from windows.
After such savage treatment, the feelings of despair only intensified once the captives were crammed into cells.
“The people had been standing there for three days, waiting to be interrogated,” remembered a German physician ordered to treat prisoners in the Soviet Zone. “At the sight of us a pandemonium broke out which left me helpless… As far as I could gather, the usual senseless questions were being reiterated: Why were they there, and for how long? They had no water and hardly anything to eat. They wanted to be let out more often than once a day… A great many of them have dysentery so badly that they can no longer get up.”
“Young Poles made fun of us,” wept a woman from her cell in the same zone. “They threw bricks through the windows, paper bags with sand, and skins of hares filled with excrement. We did not dare to move or offer resistance, but huddled together in the farthest corner, in order not to be hit, which could not always be avoided… We were never free from torments.”
“For hours on end I rolled about on my bed, trying to forget my surroundings,” recalled Leni Riefenstahl, “but it was impossible.”
The mentally disturbed woman kept screaming—all through the night; but even worse were the yells and shrieks of men from the courtyard, men who were being beaten, screaming like animals. I subsequently found out that a company of SS men was being interrogated.
They came for me the next morning, and I was taken to a padded cell where I had to strip naked, and a woman examined every square inch of my body. Then I had to get dressed and go down to the courtyard, where many men were standing, apparently prisoners, and I was the only woman. We had to line up before an American guard who spoke German. The prisoners stood to attention, so I tried to do the same, and then an American came who spoke fluent German. He pushed a few people together, then halted at the first in our line. “Were you in the Party?”
The prisoner hesitated for a moment, then said: “Yes.”
He was slugged in the face and spat blood.
The American went on to the next in line.
“Were you in the Party?”
The man hesitated.
“Yes or no?”
“Yes.” And he too got punched so hard in the face that the blood ran out of his mouth. However, like the first man, he didn’t dare resist. They didn’t even instinctively raise their hands to protect themselves. They did nothing. They put up with the blows like dogs.
The next man was asked:
“Were you in the Party?”
“No,” he yelled, so no punch. From then on nobody admitted that he had been in the Party and I was not even asked.
As the above case illustrated, seldom was there any rhyme or reason to the examinations; all were designed to force from the victim what the inquisitor wanted to hear, whether true or false. Additionally, most such “interrogations” were structured to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible.
“A young commissar, who was a great hater of the Germans, cross examined me,” Gertrude Schulz remembered. “When he put the question: “Frauenwerk [Women’s Labor Service]?” I answered in the negative. Thereupon he became so enraged, that he beat me with a stick, until I was black and blue. I received about is blows… on my left upper arm, on my back and on my thigh. I collapsed and, as in the case of the first cross-examination, I had to sign the questionnaire.”
“Both officers who took our testimony were former German Jews,” reminisced a member of the women’s SS, Anna Fest. While vicious dogs snarled nearby, one of the officers screamed questions and accusations at Anna. If the answers were not those desired, “he kicked me in the back and the other hit me.”
They kept saying we must have been armed, have had pistols or so. But we had no weapons, none of us… I had no pistol. I couldn’t say, just so they’d leave me in peace, yes, we had pistols. The same thing would happen to the next person to testify… The terrible thing was, the German men had to watch. That was a horrible, horrible experience… That must have been terrible for them. When I went outside, several of them stood there with tears running down their cheeks. What could they have done? They could do nothing.
As part of one “interrogation” process, Johann Heilmeyer was forced to watch as Americans tied a woman’s hands to a chair, tore off her clothes, then took turns raping her. Other women were warned that if they failed to sign false confessions they would be turned over to black troops who would do with them as they saw fit.
Not surprisingly, with beatings, rape, torture, and death facing them, few victims failed to “confess” and most glad ly inked their name to any scrap of paper shown them. Some, like Anna, tried to resist. Such recalcitrance was almost always of short duration, however. Generally, after enduring blackened eyes, broken bones, electric shock to breasts—or, in the case of men, smashed testicles—only those who died during torture failed to sign confessions.
American author, Marguerite Higgins, asked and received permission to visit one “Interrogation Center.” What the writer expected to find is unclear, but what she did discover after a GI led her through the main door of the prison the lady was utterly unprepared for.
“Behind the bars of the cell we saw 3 uniformed Germans,” the woman recalled. “Two of them, beaten and covered with blood, were lying unconscious on the floor. A third German was lifted up by the hair on his head, and I shall never forget, he had red hair like a carrot. A GI turned his body over and struck him in the face. When the victim groaned, the GI roared, ‘Shut your mouth, damned Kraut!’“
To her horror, the American author soon learned that for the past fifteen minutes over a score of US soldiers had been beating and kicking the three Germans on the floor as well as three other victims nearby.
“The boy with the red hair was 14 years old,” remembered Marguerite. “The other 5 German boys in the cell blocks were between 14 and 17 years old.”
In the British Zone, a journalist stumbled upon the aftermath of yet another “interrogation.”
‘I’m afraid the prisoners don’t look exactly nice,” laughed the captain in charge.
Crumpled on the floor, laying in pools of blood, the newsman saw several German prisoners moaning. When they were ordered to stand to attention for the guest, slowly, all made the painful attempt. The first man to rise stood on uncertain legs and leaned against the wall for support. Then, his body shaking, the man made a reflexive motion with his arms as if to fend off blows. Others, with difficulty, eventually managed to stand, swaying against the wall. “Come off the wall,” shouted a British sergeant. Unsteadily, the beaten, bleeding men did as told.
In a nearby cell, the “medical officer” had just finished his examination of a German and on the floor lay the victim drenched in his own blood. “Up,” shouted the medical officer to the man when the visitor entered. “Get up.”
Painfully, using the arms of a chair, the victim tried to rise, but could not. Again he was ordered to get up. This time, on weak, shaky legs the man succeeded.
“Why don’t you kill me off?” moaned the victim as he stretched his arms pleading to the men.
“The dirty bastard is jabbering this all morning” the sergeant nearby growled.
Alone, surrounded by sadistic hate, utterly bereft of law, justice or hope, many victims understandably escaped in the only way they could—by taking their own lives. Like rays of sun in a black world of ugliness and evil, however, miracles did occur.
As guards led him back to his prison cell on painfully weakened legs, one Wehrmacht officer reflected on the insults, beatings, and tortures he had endured and contemplated suicide.
I could not see properly in the semi-darkness and missed my open cell door. A kick in the back and I was sprawling on the floor. As I raised myself I said to myself I could not, should not accept this humiliation. I sat on my bunk. I had hidden a razor blade that would serve to open my veins. Then I looked at the New Testament and found these words in the Gospel of St. John: “Without me ye can do nothing.”
With those simple, yet profound words, and despite the terrible pain and agony, the suffering soldier felt something stir within himself, something he had not felt for a very long time. His body beaten, bloody, broken, but his soul… untouched, unharmed, unshakable.
New strength seemed to rise in me. I was pondering over what seemed to me a miracle when the heavy lock turned in the cell door. A very young American soldier came in, put his finger to his lips to warn me not to speak.
“I saw it,” he said. “Here are baked potatoes.”
He pulled the potatoes out of his pocket and gave them to me, and then went out, locking the door behind him.