Franz Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Streifzüge durch die Landschaften meines Lebens, privately printed, Munich 2000, 166
"The fact that, at the time of the events and for so many decades thereafter, enormities of the greatest importance have been scrubbed clean by propaganda suggests implications far beyond the events themselves."
The policy of constraint applied by the victors brings only fragile and misleading solutions... For as long as there is reason for revenge,there will be a renewed risk of war. Germany was never as dangerous as when she was isolated.
Robert Schuman, Pour l’Europe , 2 nd edn, Paris 1964 , 107 , 110
I guess the world is lucky......
We have read and heard about WW2. About how evil the Germans were. Concentration camps. Extermination camps. Holocaust. Ethnic cleansing. Brutal treatment of Russian POW on the Eastern Front. True. But this is only one side of the story......
In 1945 when Germany lost the war, it was treated by the Allies in a manner that can be, at best, be termed as inhuman. Read on...
There are no angels in this world....
FROM THE BOOK
Then why were the entire German people chastised and brutally punished in 1945 and later?
The onslaught of rape by invading Russian forces is, of course, infamous. In the Russian zone of Austria, "rape was part of daily life until 1947 and many women were riddled with VD and had no means to cure it." MacDonogh tells us that "conservative estimates place the number of Berlin women raped at 20,000." When the British arrived in Berlin, "officers later recalled the shock of seeing the lakes in the prosperous west filled with the corpses of women who had committed suicide after being raped."
The age of the victim made little difference, with those raped ranging from 12 to 75. Nurses and nuns were among the victims (some as many as fifty times). "The Russians were particularly hard on the nobles, setting fire to their manor houses and raping or killing the inhabitants." Although "most of the unwanted Russian children were aborted," MacDonogh says "it is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 'Russian babies' survived."
The Russians raped wherever they went, so that it wasn't just German women who were raped, but also women of Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, and Yugoslavia even though it was on the same side. There was an official policy against rape, but it was so commonly ignored that "it was only in 1949 that Russian soldiers were presented with any real deterrent." Until then, "they were egged on by [Ilya] Ehrenburg and other Soviet propagandists who saw rape as an expression of hatred."
Although there was a "widespread incidence of rape by American soldiers," there was an enforced military policy against it, with "a number of American servicemen executed" for it. Criminal charges brought for rape "rose steadily" during the final months of the war, but declined sharply thereafter. What did continue was arguably almost as bad: the sexual exploitation of starving women who "voluntarily" sold sexual services for food. In Gruesome Harvest, Keeling quotes from an article in the Christian Century for December 5, 1945: "The American provost marshals said that rape represents no problem for the military police because 'a bit of food, a bar of chocolate, or a bar of soap seems to make rape unnecessary.'"
The extent of this is shown by the figure MacDonogh provides of an "estimated 94,000 Besatzungskinder or 'occupation children' [who] were born in the American zone." He says that in 1945-6 "many female children resorted to prostitution to survive. Boys, too, performed a service for Allied soldiers."
“A nurse from Stettin, a young, good-looking blond, told how her father had been stabbed to death by Russian soldiers who, after raping her mother and sister, tried to break into her own room. She escaped and hid in a haystack with four other women for four days …
“On the train to Berlin she was pillaged once by Russian troops and twice by Poles. Women who resisted were shot dead, she said, and on one occasion she saw a guard take an infant by the legs and crush its skull against a post because the child cried while the guard was raping its mother.
“An old peasant from Silesia said ... victims were robbed of everything they had, even their shoes. Infants were robbed of their swaddling clothes so that they froze to death. All the healthy girls and women, even those 65 years of age, were raped in the train and then robbed, the peasant said.”
“Nine hundred and nine men, women and children dragged themselves and their luggage from a Russian railway train at Lehrter station [in Berlin] today, after eleven days travelling in boxcars from Poland. Red Army soldiers lifted 91 corpses from the train, while relatives shrieked and sobbed as their bodies were piled in American lend-lease trucks and driven off for internment in a pit near a concentration camp.
The recommendation that the expulsion of the German-speaking
people from Poland, Bohemia, Hungary and Rumania – about twelve
million in all – and their resettlement in the overcrowded ruins of
Western Germany should proceed in an ‘orderly and humane’ fashion
was somewhat reminiscent of the request of the Holy Inquisition that
its victims should be put to death ‘as gently as possible and without
Golo Mann, The History of Germany since 1789,
Measures were introduced consciously aping those taken by the Germans against the Jews: they could go out only at certain times of day; they were obliged to wear white armbands, sometimes emblazoned with an ‘N’ for Němec or German; they were forbidden from using public transport or walking on the pavement; they could not send letters or go to the cinema, theatre or pub; they had restricted times for buying food; and they could not own jewellery, gold, silver, precious stones, wireless sets or cameras. They were issued with ration cards, but were not allowed meat, eggs, milk, cheese or fruit. The Germans also had to be ready to work as slaves on farms, in industry or in the mines. There were two waves of atrocities:
p 131, After The Reich by Giles Macdonogh
The Ministry of Education, the Military Prison, the Riding School, the Sports Stadium and the Labour Exchange were set aside for German prisoners. The Scharnhorst School was the scene of a massacre on the night of the 5th. Groups of ten Germans were led down to the courtyard and shot: men, women and children – even babies. The others had to strip the corpses and bury them. Alfred Gebauer saw female SS employees forced to roll naked in a pool of water before they were beaten senseless with rifle butts. There were as many as 10,000–15,000 Germans in the football stadium in Strahov. Here the Czechs organised a game where 5,000 prisoners had to run for their lives as guards fired on them with machine guns. Some were shot in the latrines. The bodies were not cleared away and those who used the latrines later had to defecate on their dead countrymen. As a rule all SS men were killed, generally by a shot in the back of the head or the stomach. Even after 16 May when order was meant to be restored, twelve to twenty people died daily and were taken away from the stadium on a dung wagon. Most had been tortured first. Many were buried in mass graves at Pankrác Prison where a detachment of sixty prisoners was on hand to inter the corpses. Another impromptu prison was in a hotel up in the hills. This had been the Wehrmacht’s brothel. A number of Germans were locked up in the cellar, and the whores and their pimps indulged in a new orgy of sadism and perversity. German men and women had to strip naked for their treatment. One of them was Professor Walter Dick, head of a department at the Bulovka Hospital. He was driven insane by his torturers and hanged himself on a chain.
After The Reich P - 134
RAPE OF GERMAN ECONOMY
The British took much for themselves and passed other industrial property on to "client states" such as Greece and Yugoslavia. The British royal family received Goering's yacht, and the British zone of Germany was stripped of "plants that might later offer competition with British industries." MacDonogh says "the BritishS had their own brand of organized theft in [something called] T-Force, which sought to glean any industrial wizardryS." For their part, the French asserted "the right to plunder."
"The FrenchS made no bones about pocketing a chlorine business in Rheinfelden, a viscose business in Rottweil, the Preussag mines or the chemicals groups Rhodia,"S and much more.
If the Plan had been fully implemented over a longer period of time, the effects would have been calamitous. Keeling, in Gruesome Harvest, says that by seeking "the permanent destruction of Germany's industrial heartland" it would have had as an "ineluctable consequenceS the death through starvation and disease of millions and tens of millions of Germans."
‘The plain fact is . . . we are starving the Germans. crime and punishment 362 And we are starving them, not deliberately in the sense that we definitely want them to die, but wilfully in the sense that we prefer their death to our own inconvenience.’
Giles MacDonogh (born 1955) is a British writer, historian and translator. He has worked as a journalist most notably for the Financial Times (1988–2003), where he covered food, drink and a variety of other subjects. He has also contributed to most of the other important British newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Times. As a historian, MacDonogh concentrates on central Europe, principally Germany. He was educated at the City of London School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read modern history. He later carried out historical research at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris.
About the book
“In his meticulously researched book After the Reich, British-born Giles MacDonogh, an expert in German history, offers a different view of this ‘noble’ war’s aftermath. With unsparing detail and ample documentation, he chronicles the events after the victory in Europe in May 1945 to the Berlin airlift four years later, and exposes the slippery slope of the moral high ground many of us believed the Allies possessed during those years. . . . One cannot read After the Reich without thinking of the phrase ‘winning the war but losing the peace’ as the book draws a line from the occupation directly to the division of Berlin and the Cold War that gripped much of the world and informed foreign relations for the next 60 years. Scars across Europe from the post–World War II era remain, and MacDonogh has picked the scab at a time of modern war and occupation when, perhaps, the world most needs to examine an old wound.” —Boston Globe
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas
The author recounts many first hand narratives of survivors of the violence that was doled out to anyone of German ancestry who found themselves in areas conquered by the Soviet army plus lists evidence gathered by the German Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau. Among the horrors the reader will encounter is the savagery dealt out to citizens of the German town of Nemmersdorf which included crucifictions of women and the mass murder of children. The reader will march along ethnic Germans being forced from their homes in eastern Europe and will witness the wholesale murders that befell many. De Zayas proves that victims know no nationality.
German POW Tortured By Allies
Waffen SS Prisoners Brutalised By American Soldiers
Germans Killed And Tortured In Czechoslovakia In 1945