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John Wear
Germany's War
The Origins, Aftermath and Atrocities of World War II
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Dedication

This book is dedicated to the all-but-forgotten memory of the millions of Germans murdered by the Western Allies after the end of World War II.

Introduction • War Is Hell • 1,300 Words
ORDER IT NOW

My father was a pilot in 50 bombing missions for the U.S. Eighth Air Force during World War II. When I was a boy I asked him if he had killed anyone during the war. He replied, “I hope I didn’t kill anyone.” In regard to his participation in the Normandy invasion, he said: “You cannot imagine how big of an operation that was. People on the ground were being killed!” My father repeatedly stated he hated war and that “War is hell.” He also expressed his opinion that the Germans had fought extraordinarily hard during the war.

I have always wondered how wars have continuously existed throughout history when virtually everyone agrees with my father that “War is hell.” In regard to the origin of World War II, a fascinating discussion occurred during the Nuremberg trials between American psychologist Dr. Gustave Gilbert and former German Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. On the evening of April 18, 1946, in Goering’s jail cell, Dr. Gilbert expressed his belief that the common people are not very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction. Goering responded:

Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.[1]Gilbert, Gustave M., Nuremberg Diary, New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947, p. 278.

Dr. Gilbert told Goering that there is one difference. Gilbert said: “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war.”

Goering responded: “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”[2]Ibid., pp. 278-279.
(Gilbert, Gustave M., Nuremberg Diary, New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947, p. 278.)

Hermann Goering was speaking the truth to Dr. Gilbert. The common people of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Japan and all other countries in the world were strongly against war. World War II was instigated only because the leaders of some countries had wanted war and brought the people to their bidding. The question is: Which countries had leaders who wanted to bring about World War II?

Dr. Gilbert stated that the leaders of Germany were the ones who had wanted war.3 Goering emphatically denied that he and Adolf Hitler had wanted war. Most historians would agree with Dr. Gilbert’s statement and reject Goering’s denial as self-serving, absurd, and irresponsible. However, as we will discuss in Part 1 of this book, the historical record clearly shows that Goering was right. Hitler had wanted to free Germany from the Treaty of Versailles, but had never wanted to plunge Germany into World War II.

This book discusses the origins, aftermath, and atrocities of World War II from a German perspective. It is in essence Germany’s side of the story. This book is designed to counteract the one-sided bias of establishment historians against Germany in regard to World War II. Most establishment historians, for example, state that it is self-evident that Adolf Hitler and Germany started World War II. However, an objective review of the origins of World War II reveals that the Allied leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain were primarily responsible for starting and prolonging the war.

Part I of this book documents that: 1) Adolf Hitler was forced to invade the Soviet Union to preempt a Soviet takeover of Europe; 2) U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt repeatedly told the American public he was committed to peace while making every effort to involve the United States in war; and 3) Germany was forced to fight Great Britain even though Hitler had always wanted peace with Britain and regarded the two countries as natural allies. The leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain were all committed to the complete destruction of Germany. The Allied leaders purposely sacrificed the lives of tens of millions of people and practiced uncivilized warfare to accomplish their goal.

The Allies also intentionally allowed the Soviet Union to gain control of Eastern Europe. Thus, a war allegedly fought for freedom and democracy turned into a totalitarian nightmare for the people of the Eastern European nations.

Part II of this book reports the Allied mass murder of the German people after the end of World War II. Although denied by almost all historians, the Western Allies murdered approximately 1 million German prisoners of war through intentional starvation and exposure to the elements. The Allies also carried out the largest forced population transfer in history by expelling approximately 16 million ethnic Germans from their homes after the end of the war. Probably a minimum 2.1 million of these German expellees died in what was supposed to be an “orderly and humane” expulsion. Finally, the Allies murdered millions of additional Germans through starvation after the end of World War II.

Allied soldiers also raped an estimated 2 million German women during and after World War II. This represents more rapes against a defeated enemy than any other war in history. The Allies conducted a brutal denazification program designed to make the German people feel guilty about their war effort. Hundreds of German scientists were also compelled to emigrate by the victors, and German patents, technological advances, and other property were confiscated by the Allies. Millions of Germans were also sent to the Soviet Union and other Allied nations to be used as slave labor. Large numbers of these German slave laborers did not survive their captivity. The Allied postwar treatment of Germany is surely one of the most criminal, murderous, and unreported atrocities in world history.

The real and alleged atrocities committed by Germany during World War II are discussed in Part III of this book. Germany engaged in vicious anti-partisan activity and conducted an extensive euthanasia program against its own people during the war. Illegal medical experimentation and executions were also committed by Germany in its concentration camps. However, National Socialist Germany did not have a policy of genocide against the Jewish people during the war. Although hundreds of thousands of Jews died of disease and other natural causes in the German concentration camps, Germany did not murder millions of Jews as claimed by most historians. Also, while almost never reported by establishment historians, the Allies murdered tens of thousands of Germans in former German concentration camps after the end of World War II.

This book does not pretend to be a definitive or comprehensive history of the origins, aftermath and atrocities of World War II. The subject matter is far too broad for one book. Instead, it is written to summarize in an objective manner the highly successful Allied plan to conquer, control, and mass murder the German people. This book also exposes the Allied falsification and exaggeration of German atrocities during World War II. My hope is that this book will open up a debate concerning these historical events and perhaps stimulate others to investigate more deeply into these long-suppressed subjects.

Footnotes

[1] Gilbert, Gustave M., Nuremberg Diary, New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947, p. 278.

[2] Ibid., pp. 278-279.

[3] Ibid., pp. 282, 364.

Part I • The Allied Conspiracy to Originate World War II

Chapter One • The Chief Culprit: Josef Stalin & The USSR • 15,900 Words

Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, is widely interpreted by historians as an unprovoked act of aggression by Germany. Adolf Hitler is typically described as an untrustworthy liar who maliciously broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact he had signed with the Soviet Union. Historians usually depict Josef Stalin as an unprepared victim of Hitler’s aggression who was foolish to have trusted Hitler. Many historians think the Soviet Union was lucky to have survived Germany’s attack.

This standard version of history does not incorporate information obtained from the Soviet archives. The Soviet archives show that the Soviet Union had amassed the largest, most powerful, and best equipped army in history. As we shall see in the following discussion, the Soviet Union was on the verge of launching a massive military offensive against all of Europe. Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union was a desperate preemptive attack that prevented the Soviet Union from conquering all of Europe. Germany was totally unprepared for a prolonged war against an opponent as powerful as the Soviet Union.

Viktor Suvorov is a former Soviet military intelligence operative who defected to the United Kingdom in 1978. Suvorov joined the Soviet army as an 11-year-old, and for the next seven years attended the extremely tough Military Boarding School. After graduation, Suvorov was chosen for the Frunze High Command Army School in Kiev, where he graduated in three years with honors. Suvorov’s work as an intelligence operative was noticed. He was sent to the Soviet Army Academy, which was the Soviet Union’s most secret military academy. The curriculum at the Soviet Army Academy was extremely intense and was designed as a test; those who excelled would get the most interesting intelligence assignments.

Suvorov had been taught to notice strange occurrences, anomalies, and exceptions to the rules. Suvorov noticed that no matter what happened in the Soviet Union, the government and media always tried to conceal the negative aspects and show the positive. You could not find any negative news about the Soviet Union. Everything was always fine, culture was flourishing, the quality of life was getting better and better, the Soviet Union would soon surpass the United States. A magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale earthquake that leveled the city of Ashkhabad was not reported; those who spoke about the earthquake were arrested and put into prison for spreading false rumors. Even catastrophes such as the Chernobyl disaster were not reported. After an international investigation exposed the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviets claimed that the Chernobyl accident was completely insignificant and no one should pay any attention to it.[1]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.

Suvorov noticed one exception to these rules: June 22, 1941, the day Germany attacked the Soviet Union. All Soviet sources talk about the blatant unpreparedness of the Red Army for military action. Soviet sources said that the Soviet army had no good commanders, that Soviet tanks and airplanes were outdated, that the Soviet Union was totally unprepared for war, and that Stalin was stupid to have trusted Hitler. Suvorov was taught by his intelligence training to look for incoherence. He asked: Why was it that the Soviets, who would hide all other mistakes, accidents, and catastrophes, make such a tremendous effort to emphasize the mistakes of the Soviet Union in June 1941?

Suvorov soon realized that Communist historians and propaganda masters had gone out of their way to hide any details that would enable an outsider to construct the reality of what was happening in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the German invasion. Suvorov found a way to re-construct this reality. While a student at the Academy, Suvorov wrote an independent research paper entitled “The Attack of Germany on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.” Suvorov explained his interest in the subject by saying to his professors that he wanted to study how Germany prepared for the attack so that a horrible tragedy of this kind would never happen again. The topic of Suvorov’s research was approved and he was given access to closed archives. Suvorov was extra careful not to reveal the real interest of his research.[2]Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

Suvorov discovered that the Soviet version of World War II history is a lie and that it conceals the Soviet Union’s responsibility for planning the start of the war. The Red Army in June 1941 was the largest, best equipped army in the history of the world. The concentration of Soviet troops on the German border was frightful. If Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union would have easily taken over all of Europe. German intelligence correctly saw the massive concentration of Soviet forces on the German border, but it did not see all of the Soviet military preparedness. The real picture was much graver than Germany realized.

Suvorov first published his findings in English in 1990 in the book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? The book quickly sold out, but the publisher refused to print further editions. It quickly became apparent that the Western academic community was as reluctant as the Communists to accept Suvorov’s new interpretation of World War II. However, with the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, Icebreaker and Suvorov’s later books sold in large quantities. Beginning in 1990, Suvorov began to receive a flood of letters from all over the world. People provided Suvorov with their unique insights and sent him copies of documents in support of his theory. Many of these insights, as well as evidence from newly published materials, are incorporated in Suvorov’s latest book The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II.

Before summarizing the evidence in Suvorov’s book, I want to mention that Suvorov does not believe that traditional methods of historical science are needed to understand the Soviet Union. Suvorov regards the Soviet Union as a criminal conglomerate. The Soviet leaders have committed innumerable acts of atrocity against their own people and people of other countries. This is why for Suvorov the history of the Soviet Union should be studied using methods of criminology and intelligence rather than classical historical research. The first rule of intelligence is: do not believe what is demonstrated to you; seek what is hidden. Suvorov states that Soviet leaders were demonstrating the unpreparedness of the Soviet Union for war. What Soviet leaders were hiding was a massive military offensive designed to take over all of Europe.[3]Ibid., pp. xxi-xxii.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

Industrialization, Collectivization of the Soviet Economy

The Soviet Union adopted a Five Year Plan in 1927 for developing industry. The main focus of the first Five Year Plan was not the production of arms, but rather the creation of an industrial base which was later used to produce armaments. The military emphasis was not so noticeable in these first five years. The Red Army had 79 foreign-made tanks at the beginning of the first plan; at the end of the first plan it had 4,538 tanks.[4]Ibid., p. 23.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

The second Five Year Plan that began in 1932 in the Soviet Union was a continuation of the development of the industrial base. This meant the creation and purchase of furnaces, giant electricity plants, coal mines, factories, and machinery and equipment. In the early 1930s, American engineers traveled to the Soviet Union and built the largest and most powerful enterprise in the entire world—Uralvagonzavod (the Ural Railroad Car Factory). Uralvagonzavod was built in such a manner that it could at any moment switch from producing railroad cars to producing tanks. In 1941, an order was issued to produce tanks, and Uralvagonzavod without any delays began the mass production of tanks. Uralvagonzavod produced 35,000 T-34 tanks and other weapons during World War II.[5]Ibid., p. 25.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

The third Five Year Plan that began in 1937 had as its goal the production of military weapons of very high quality in enormous quantities. The Soviet Union under Stalin was highly successful in achieving its goals, and produced superior military weapons on a grandiose scale. For example, the Chelyabinsk tractor factory was completed in the Urals, and similar to Uralvagonzavod this factory was built in such a way that it could begin producing tanks at any time. The Chelyabinsk tractor factory was called Tankograd during the course of the war. It built not only the medium T-34 tanks, but also the heavy IS and KV tank classes.[6]Ibid., pp. 25-26.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

A third gigantic factory, Uralmash, was built not far away in Sverdlovsk. This factory is among the top 10 engineering factories in the world. The Soviet net of steel-casting factories was greatly expanded in order to supply these three giant factories in the Urals. Magnitogorsk, a city of metallurgists, was built in addition to a huge plant the main output of which was steel armor. In Stalingrad, a tractor factory was also built that in reality was primarily for producing tanks. Automobile, motor, aviation, and artillery factories were also erected at the same time.[7]Ibid., p. 26.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

The most powerful aviation factory in the world was built in the Russian Far East. The city Komsomolsk-na-Amure was built in order to service this factory. Both the factory and the city were built according to American designs and furnished with the most modern American equipment. The American engineers sent to Komsomolsk to install the equipment were astounded by the scope of the construction.[8]Ibid., p. 26.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

One secret of Soviet success in building its military was the use of terror to control the Soviet population. Communists shut down the borders of the Soviet Union, making it impossible to leave the country. Secret police also unleashed a fight against “saboteurs.” Any accident, breakage, or lack of success in a production line was declared to be the result of an evil plot. The guilty and innocent alike were sentenced to long prison terms. Those who were named “malevolent saboteurs” were executed.

The terror improved worker discipline and eliminated any need to fear strikes and demands for higher wages on the part of workers. Also, the terror caused millions of people to be sent to concentration camps. Concentration camp inmates constituted a slave labor force that could be sent anywhere in the country without having to be paid. The development of the remote regions of Siberia and the Far East would have been impossible without the millions of inmates deported to work in these regions. The Soviets planned in advance the number of prisoners that would be needed for the next year, and would place an order in advance with the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) to obtain the needed workers.[9]Ibid., pp. 23-24.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

The second secret of Stalin’s industrialization success was the vast resources available in the Soviet Union. Valuables amassed over the centuries such as paintings, statues, icons, medals, precious books, antique furniture, furs, jewelry, gold, platinum, and diamonds were all mercilessly confiscated and sold abroad. The Soviet Union also had every sort of resource in almost inexhaustible quantities. Timber exports, gold mining, coal, nickel, manganese, petroleum, caviar and furs were all used to pay for Soviet industrialization. Western technology was the main key to success. The Soviet Union became the world’s biggest importer of machinery and equipment in the early 1930s.[10]Ibid., pp. 23-25.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

Stalin also sent large numbers of prominent tank, aviation, and artillery engineers to prison, accusing them of being spies. The task assigned to the engineers was straightforward: create the best bomber, tank, cannon, engine, or submarine in the world and you will receive your freedom. Fail and you will work in a gold mine where inmates did not live too long. The engineers did not have to be paid, but were still highly motivated to create the best weapons in the world to obtain their freedom. Stalin’s spies also supplied these talented engineers with the best American, German, British, and other designs in the given field. The engineer could choose the best design, and based on it create something even more outstanding.[11]Ibid., p. 26.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

The lives of the people in the Soviet Union were not improved with the Soviet industrialization. Basic necessities such as pots and pans, rubber boots, plates, furniture, cheap clothing, nails, home appliances, matches and other goods all became scarce. People had to wait in long lines outside the stores to obtain these items. Stalin let his people’s standard of living drop extremely low to focus practically all of the Soviet Union’s industrial production on military expansion.[12]Ibid., pp. 26-27.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.)

Stalin also began his bloody war against peasants, which was called collectivization. Units of the Red Army would herd peasants and their families into railroad cattle cars and transport them to Siberia, the Urals, or Kazakhstan, where they were thrown out into the cold on the bare steppes. This operation was ordered by Stalin and executed by his deputy Molotov. Many years later, when Molotov was asked how many people were transferred during collectivization, Molotov answered: “Stalin said that we relocated 10 million. In reality, we relocated 20 million.”[13]Chuev, Felix, Molotov: Master of Half a Domain, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2002, p. 458. The Soviet collectivization of 1932-1933 is estimated to have resulted in 3.5 to 5 million deaths from starvation, and another 3 million to 4 million deaths as a result of intolerable conditions at the places of exile.[14]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.

Stalin’s Preparations for War: Tanks

Tanks were planned to be the spearhead for the Soviet offensive against Europe. Stalin built and mass-produced the best tanks in the world as he built Soviet industry. The Red Army produced the T-28 tank in 1933. Not a single German, British, American, French, or Japanese tank from the 1930s could match the T-28 in terms of weapons, armor, engine power, or the ability to cross water barriers underwater.[15]Ibid., p. 41.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

The Germans started producing the Pz-IVA, the most powerful German tank of the first half of World War II, at the end of 1937. The T-28 tank was superior to the German tank in all respects except one: the T28 fired shells with an initial speed of 381 m/s, while the German PzIVA tank fired shells with an initial speed of 385 m/s. In response, starting in 1938, the Soviet T-28 tanks were produced with a new L-10 gun that fired shells with an initial speed of 555 m/s. The L-10 Soviet tank gun was unrivaled in Germany or anywhere else in the world. Despite being outstanding in comparison with all foreign tanks, after the war Soviet historians and generals called the T-28 tank obsolete.

On Dec. 19, 1939, the Red Army introduced the T-34 tank. Entire volumes of rave reviews of the T-34 tank have been published; its debut caused a sensation at the beginning of the war. The T-34 surpassed any German tank in all parameters: speed, acceleration ability, cross-country ability, tank gun, ideal body shape, powerful diesel engine, and wide caterpillar tracks. In addition, unlike other tanks, the T-34 could be easily mass produced. Any large-scale automobile factory could be converted to produce this tank. Also, the production of the T-34 tank did not require a highly qualified workforce.[16]Ibid., pp. 42-44.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

Communist historians acknowledge the remarkable qualities of the T-34, but attempt to show the unpreparedness of the Soviet Union by stating that only 967 T-34s existed in June 1941 at the time of the German invasion. However, Suvorov shows that the Soviet Union had 1,400 T-34s at the time of invasion. During the second half of 1941, Soviet industry produced another 1,789 T-34 tanks. More importantly, in 1942 the Soviet Union produced 12,520 T-34 tanks, while in Germany the production of an analogous tank had not begun. The mass production of the T-34 provided the Soviet Union with major advantages over Germany in tank warfare during World War II.

The German equivalent of the T-34 was the Panther, which first appeared in the summer of 1943 during the tank battle at Kursk. The Panther had design flaws compared to the T-34. First, the T-34 had a diesel engine, while the Panther had a carburetor engine. A diesel engine is more economical and less susceptible to fire. Second, the Panther did not have the engine and transmission located in the rear of the tank. As a result, the Panther was too large and weighed 44.8 tons when it was supposed to weigh 30 tons. With its dimensions and weight, the Panther was easier to hit, had weaker armor protection, and could not compete with the T-34 in anything related to mobility. The T-34 surpassed the Panther in maneuverability, acceleration, and cross-country mobility, which are all parameters needed for offense.[17]Ibid., pp. 44-45.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

The Panther’s main flaw, however, was that its complex design made it unfit for mass production. Only 5,976 tanks of this model were produced during the war. The Soviet Union produced nine T-34s for every Panther Germany produced. In fact, the Soviet Union produced more T34 tanks during World War II than tanks of all types were produced in Great Britain, Germany, and Japan put together.[18]Ibid., p. 45.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to produce a heavy tank. The first Soviet heavy tank, the T-35, was produced in series and entered the ranks of the troops in 1933. In 1941, no other tank outside the Soviet Union could even approximately compare with the heavy T-35. The T-35 surpassed every other tank outside the Soviet Union in terms of weapons, armor, and engine power. Moreover, the T-35 exerted much less pressure on the ground than the German tanks, which meant that it had greater mobility and did not sink in snow, mud, or soft ground. Despite being in a class by itself compared to all other foreign tanks, Western and Soviet historians declared the T-35 tank to be obsolete and did not mention it in statistics.[19]Ibid., pp. 46-47.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

The T-35 tank was replaced by the KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks, which weighed 47 and 52 tons, respectively. The KV was the first tank in the world with a true anti-shell armor. The wide caterpillar tracks of the KV allowed it to fight on almost any terrain in any weather condition, and its 600-horsepower diesel engine surpassed all foreign tanks in power, reliability, and economy. The tank guns of the KV far exceeded the capacity of any other tank produced outside the Soviet Union. The KV later turned into the IS-1 and then the IS-2, the most powerful tank of World War II.

Designers of the Soviet heavy tanks accomplished a technological feat: they almost doubled the thickness of the armor and installed a gun that was three times more powerful, while staying in the same weight class of the heavy tank. Stalin had a remarkable pair of tanks: the most powerful heavy tank by far in the world, and an excellent mass-produced medium T-34 tank. The availability of tens of thousands of T-34 tanks allowed them to be used anywhere. The availability of the heavy tanks supported the battle capabilities of the medium T-34 tanks. The crews of the T-34 could fight confidently, knowing that they had the support of a powerful KV or IS tank behind them.[20]Ibid., pp. 48-49.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.)

The German failure to design a good tank for mass production inevitably led to defeat in World War II. Gen. Heinz Guderian wrote after the war: “…The Russians would have won the war even without the help of their Western allies and would have occupied the whole of Europe. No power on earth could have stopped them.”[21]Guderian, Heinz, Panzer Leader, New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1952, p. 283.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 resulted in the destruction or abandonment of thousands of Soviet tanks. The Communist historians explained this catastrophe very simply: the tanks were obsolete and therefore useless. Suvorov states that this explanation is nonsense. The “obsolete” Soviet medium T-28 and heavy T-35 tanks far surpassed every other tank outside of the Soviet Union. The Soviet T-34 tank is widely regarded as one of the best tanks of all time. The Soviet KV tank was the most powerful tank in the world during the first half of World War II. [22]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56. How can tanks be obsolete when there is nothing else of comparable quality anywhere else in the world?

The Soviet Union also built an entire family of BT tanks—the BT-2, BT-5, BT-7, BT-7A, and BT-7M. BT stands for bystrokhodnyi (high-speed) tank. At the beginning of World War II, the Red Army had 6,456 BT tanks, as many as all other operational tanks in the rest of the world. The BT tanks were well designed, heavily armed for their times, had standard bullet-proof armor, and used a diesel engine which made the tanks far less vulnerable to fires. The first BTs had a speed of 69 mph; today most tanks would still be envious of such high speeds. Nevertheless, Soviet historians categorized these tanks among the obsolete models, so obsolete that until 1991 they were not even included in statistics.[23]Ibid., pp. 51-52.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The disadvantage of BT tanks is that they could only be used in aggressive warfare on good roads such as the autobahn in Germany. The BT tank’s most important characteristic—its speed—was achieved through the use of its wheels. The wheels of the BT tank made it impossible to use the BT tank successfully off the roads, or on the bad roads of the Soviet Union. In the battles fought on Soviet territory, thousands of BT tanks were abandoned. Historians say that Stalin’s BT tanks were not ready for war. This statement is not true. The BT tank was ready for an offensive war on German territory, but not for a defensive war fought on its own territory.[24]Ibid., pp. 52-53.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Soviet Union also built an outstanding family of amphibious tanks: the T-37A, T-38, and T-40. By June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union had over 4,000 amphibious tanks in its arsenal. By comparison, to this day Germany has never built any amphibious tanks. Amphibious tanks are useful in offensive operations to cross rivers and seize bridges before the enemy can blow the bridges up when threatened with a takeover. If there are no remaining enemy bridges, amphibious tanks allow an army to cross the river and establish a bridgehead on the other side of the river. Amphibious tanks are useful in offensive operations; they are of little use in a defensive war.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, it had a total of 3,350 tanks on the Eastern Front, all of them inferior to the Soviet tanks and none of them amphibious. Yet historians called the Soviet amphibious tanks obsolete.[25]Ibid., pp. 55-57.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)
The Soviet amphibious tanks in 1941 became unnecessary and played no role in the war. But the question remains: Why were the amphibious tanks developed and built? Why did Stalin need 4,000 amphibious tanks which could not be used in a defensive war? The obvious answer is that Stalin planned to use the amphibious tanks in a massive military invasion of Europe.

Soviet Aviation and Airborne Assault Troops

Stalin could have averted World War II by developing large quantities of the heavy high-speed, high-altitude TB-7 bomber. This bomber had a strong defense system consisting of 20-mm cannons and 12.7-mm heavy machine guns. The TB-7 was the most powerful bomber in the world; bombs of the largest caliber could fit in its large bomb compartment. However, the TB-7’s most remarkable quality is that it could fly at altitudes between 10,000 and 12,000 meters, where it was untouchable by anti-aircraft artillery and could not be reached by the majority of existing fighters. A Soviet delegation headed by Molotov in the spring of [1942] was able to fly over Germany in a TB-7 without being detected by German anti-aircraft defenses.[26]Ibid., pp. 32-33.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Stalin needed only to produce 1,000 TB-7 bombers and announce to selected countries that the Soviet Union would use these untouchable TB-7 bombers to destroy any country that attacked it. Suvorov says that Stalin signed the order to produce the TB-7 four times, and four times he canceled the order. Stalin was advised to direct all efforts of the Red Army not toward undermining the military and economic capabilities of the enemy, but toward taking the enemy over. The Red Army’s objective was to destroy the opponent’s armies. Soviet aviation was designed to open the road to Soviet armies and support their rapid advancement.[27]Ibid., pp. 34, 38, 40.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

If Stalin was preparing for a defensive war, he should have ordered his plane designers to create the best fighters in the world, capable of defending the skies over the Soviet Union. But fighters did not interest Stalin. Stalin ordered his fighter designer to drop all his work on the creation of a fighter and start developing a light bomber, named the Ivanov originally, and later the Su-2 in honor of its creator, P.O. Sukhoi.

The ideal combat plane Stalin developed was a light bomber designed to operate free of enemy resistance. Record-breaking characteristics were not required; Stalin demanded only simplicity, durability, and firepower. Stalin planned to create a plane that could be produced in numbers exceeding all warplanes of all types of all countries in the world. Literally, Stalin planned to build as many light bombers as there were small but mobile horsemen in the hordes of Genghis Khan.

Germany carried out a preemptive strike on Soviet air bases when it invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Hitler’s preemptive strike did not permit the Su-2 to do the work it was primarily designed to do. The Su-2 was ineffective and not needed in a defensive war. Production of 100,000 to 150,000 Su-2 planes had been planned for conditions in which the Red Army would deliver the first attack, and nobody would hinder production of the plane. Hitler’s invasion ruined Stalin’s plan. Production of the Su-2 was stopped, but the Soviet Union produced tens of thousands of planes later in the war that were much more complex in terms of production than the Su-2.[28]Ibid., pp. 64-65.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union it could only send 2,510 airplanes, including many outdated planes and assorted aircraft used for transport, communications, and medical purposes. The Soviet Union had 2,769 of the newest models Il-2, Pe-2, MiG-3, Yak-1, and LaGG-3. The Soviet Union also had seven additional new types of planes: the Ar2, Er-2, Su-2, Pe-8, Yak-2, Yak-4, and Il-4. Aside from the 12 newest models, the Soviet Union also had the “obsolete” TB-3 and SB bombers, and the I-16 and I-153 fighters.

The Soviet air force exceeded that of Germany both in plane quantity and plane quality at the start of the war. Suvorov asks: Why then in the first stage of the war did the Soviet air force lose air superiority from day one? The answer is that the majority of Soviet pilots, including fighter pilots, were not taught dogfighting. Soviet aviation was designed to conduct one grandiose, sudden, aggressive operation to crush the enemy’s air force on the ground in one raid and obtain air superiority. Hitler’s preemptive strike prevented Soviet aviation from accomplishing its planned aggressive operations of unheard-of dimensions.[29]Ibid., pp. 69-72.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Airborne assault troops were also part of Stalin’s plans. According to the official Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, on Aug. 18, 1940, the Soviet Union had more than 1 million trained parachutists at the beginning of the war. Airborne assault troops can only be used in the course of offensive operations and only in conjunction with regular troops advancing against the enemy. In light of declassified documents, it is clear that Pravda lowered the number of Russian paratroopers to 1 million to calm fears of Soviet aggression. The actual number of trained parachutists in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war was arguably closer to 2 million. Never before had the world seen such large-scale preparations for offensive war.[30]Ibid., p. 73.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Red Army needed an air armada of transport planes and gliders to deliver hundreds of thousands of paratroopers. Soviet factories started the mass production of cargo gliders beginning in the spring of 1941. On April 23, 1941, Stalin and Molotov signed an order to accelerate the production of an 11-seat glider with a deadline of May 15, 1941, and of a 20-seat glider with a deadline of July 1, 1941. The gliders that were produced in the spring of 1941 had to be used by the latest in the early fall of 1941. Gliders had light and fragile bodies and wings and could not be parked outdoors. Keeping a huge cargo glider outdoors during fall winds and rains would harm it beyond repair. Since all available hangars were already full with previously produced gliders, the mass production of gliders in the spring of 1941 meant that they had to be used either in the summer of 1941 or early fall at the latest.[31]Ibid., p. 76.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Cargo warplanes are used to deliver assault forces with parachutists to the enemy’s rear. Soviet war-transport aviation used the American Douglas DC-3, which was considered to be the best cargo plane in the world at the start of World War II, as its primary cargo plane. In 1938, the U.S. government sold to Stalin the production license and the necessary amount of the most complex equipment for the DC-3’s production. The Soviet Union also bought 20 DC-3s from the United States before the war. In 1939, the Soviet Union produced six identical DC-3 aircraft; in 1940, it produced 51 DC-3 aircraft; and in 1941, it produced 237 DC-3 aircraft. During the entire war 2,419 DC-3s or equivalent planes were produced in Soviet factories.[32]Ibid., p. 77.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Soviet gliders and transport planes would be easy prey for enemy fighters if the Soviet Union did not secure complete air superiority. The Red Army had to begin the war with a massive air attack and invasion against the enemy’s air bases. Tens of thousands of paratroopers could then be dropped to seize and control key bases and strategic sites. Any other scenario was not viable. Instead, it was Hitler who carried out a preemptive strike, and Stalin’s strategy to strike the first blow was aborted. The Soviet Union’s carefully designed plan to mount a massive air offensive followed by an assault of airborne troops had to be abandoned in the desperate rush to fight a defensive war.[33]Ibid., pp. 77-78.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)
Suvorov discusses what happened to the Soviet airborne forces that could no longer be used in an offensive war. Ten air assault corps, approximately 100,000 to 150,000 men, had been originally sent to the trenches to help stop the German troops. The rest of the over 1 million paratroopers were kept in reserve and used as needed as regular infantry soldiers. These reserves were used to help stop German advances in the direction of the Caucasus, at Stalingrad, in the violent battle at Kursk, and in other crisis situations during the war.[34]Ibid., pp. 79-80.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Soviet Preparations for Offensive War

In the years 1937-1941, the Soviet army grew five-fold, from 1.1 million to 5.5 million.[35]Ibid., p. 94.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)
An additional 5.3 million people joined the ranks of the Red Army within one week of the beginning of the war. A minimum of 34.5 million people were used by the Red Army during the war.[36]Ibid., p. 239.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)
This huge increase in the size of the Soviet army was accomplished primarily by ratification of the universal military draft in the Soviet Union on Sept. 1, 1939. According to the new law, the draft age was reduced from 21 to 19, and in some categories to 18. This new law also allowed for the preparation of 18 million reservists, so that the Soviet Union continued to fill the ranks of the Red Army with many millions of soldiers as the war progressed.[37]Ibid., pp. 125-126.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Several age groups were drafted into the Red Army at the same time; in essence, all of the young men in the country. The duration of army service for the majority of the draftees was two years, so the Soviet Union had to enter a major war within two years. If war did not start by then, all of the young people would have to go home on Sept. 1, 1941, and then there would be almost nobody left to draft. It is extremely difficult to maintain an army of this size without a war; the army does not produce anything and consumes everything produced by the country. Stalin knew when he established the draft that in two years, in the summer of 1941, the Soviet Union must enter into a major war.[38]Ibid., pp. 123-126.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

On Jan. 11, 1939, in preparation for war the Soviet Union created four new People’s Commissariats: one for the shipbuilding industry, one for weapons, one for the aviation industry, and one for ammunition. The Shipbuilding Commissariat undertook strictly military projects from the moment of its founding. Also, on May 25, 1940, the following numbers of civilian ships were handed over to the military: 74 to the Baltic fleet, 76 to the Black Sea fleet, 65 to the North Fleet, and 101 to the Pacific fleet. By June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union also possessed 218 submarines in its ranks and 91 more in shipyards, all of which matched up to the best world standards.[39]Ibid., pp. 127-128.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Stalin’s more than 200 submarines and the rest of his navy were ineffective at the start of the war because it was an attack fleet. Stalin’s navy was built for aggressive war and could not be used effectively in a defensive war. Entirely different ships with entirely different characteristics are needed for defense: submarine hunters, picket boats, minesweepers, and net-layers. The armament of the Soviet ships was also designed exclusively for participation in a war of aggression. While armed with powerful artillery, mine, and torpedo equipment, Soviet ships had quite weak anti-aircraft armament and defenses.

Soviet generals had planned to begin the war with a crushing surprise attack against the enemy’s air bases that annihilated his aviation. When Germany attacked first, the Soviet navy’s lack of anti-aircraft defenses was a major liability. The Soviet war effort was also hurt by the fact that all of the navy’s reserves of shells, mines, torpedoes, and ship fuel had been transported to the German borders and were quickly seized by the Germans when they invaded the Soviet Union.[40]Ibid., pp. 128-129.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Ammunition Commissariat was created as a separate ministry to take care exclusively of the production of ammunition. This ministry had to determine where to locate all of the new factories that would be producing shells, gunpowder, cartridges, missiles, and other weapons. If Stalin had planned to conduct a defensive war, the new ammunition factories would have been built either behind the Volga River or even farther inland in the Ural Mountains. But no defensive options were ever discussed. Since Stalin planned to conduct an offensive operation into a war-devastated and weakened Europe, all of the new ammunition factories were built near the western border regions of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union lost almost all industry capable of producing new ammunition at the beginning of the war. From August to November 1941, German troops took over 303 Soviet ammunition factories as well as mobilization reserves of valuable raw materials located in those factories. These factories produced 85% of all output from the Ammunition Commissariat. All of these resources went to Germany and were used against the Red Army. The Red Army also lost an unthinkable amount of artillery shells in the border regions of the Soviet Union at the start of the war. However, Stalin’s prewar potential was so great that he was able to rebuild his ammunition factories behind the Volga River and in the Urals, and produce all of the ammunition needed to defeat the German army.[41]Ibid., pp. 131-132.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The seizure of Stalin’s supplies was a tremendous benefit for Germany, but Hitler needed to shift Germany’s own industry to a wartime regime. Hitler waited until January 1942 before he made the decision to gradually begin the shift of industry from a peacetime to a wartime regime. Stalin, on the other hand, began setting Soviet industry on a wartime regime back in January 1939. Despite losing 85% of the ammunition of the Ammunition Commissariat, the Red Army used 427 million shells and artillery mines and 17 billion cartridges during the war. To this one can add innumerable hand grenades, land mines, and air bombs. Imagine what the outcome of World War II would have been if Stalin had been able to use 100% of his ammunition arsenal.[42]Ibid., pp. 133-135.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

In the summer of 1940, Stalin brought Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Soviet Union, and concentrated his forces in that region on the border of Eastern Prussia. The occupation of these Baltic countries by the Red Army made sense only if there were plans for an aggressive war against Germany. The Red Army transferred its air bases to the very front edge of the German border. From the air bases in Lithuania the Soviet air force could support the advance of Soviet troops to Berlin. The Soviet navy also transferred primary forces and reserves to naval bases established in Tallinn, Riga, and Liepaja. Since it was a short distance from Liepaja to the routes taken by German vessels carrying ore, nickel, and wood to Germany, a strike from this area could be sudden and devastating.[43]Ibid., pp. 150-152.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Soviet Union annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in 1940. From Bessarabia the Soviet air force could keep the Romanian oil industry, which was the main supplier of oil to Germany, under constant threat. Northern Bukovina was needed because it had a railroad of strategic importance that had a narrow gauge track which enabled it to be used by railroad cars from all over Europe. The Soviet Union used a broad gauge track. Soviet locomotives and trains could therefore not be used on the narrow gauge tracks of Central and Western Europe. In a Soviet invasion of Europe, Stalin would need many locomotives and trains with a narrow gauge to supply his troops that were quickly moving westward.

During the course of the Bessarabia campaign, the Soviet Union captured 141 locomotives, 1,866 covered train cars, 325 half-covered train cars, 45 platforms, 19 cisterns, 31 passenger cars, and two luggage cars. But this was not enough for Stalin. At the Soviet-Romanian talks in July 1940, Soviet representatives demanded that Romania return all captured mobile railroad units.

On July 31, 1940, Romania agreed to transfer 175 locomotives and 4,375 cars to the Soviet Union by Aug. 25, 1940. None of these trains would have been needed in a defensive war. Stalin needed these trains seized in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in an offensive war designed to take over all of Europe.[44]Ibid., pp. 156-157.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

In the summer of 1941, the Red Army began using the new multiple-launcher rocket weapons BM-8 and BM-13. These unusual weapons were called “Stalin’s Pipe Organs” or “Katyusha.” In August 1941, the Red Army added the BM-8-36 multiple-launcher rocket artillery system, and in the summer of 1942, the BM-8-48 rocket artillery system was added. A salvo from one BM-13 was 16 rocket-propelled rounds of 132mm caliber, while a salvo from the BM-8 was 36 rocket-propelled rounds of 82-mm caliber. One battery consisted of four to six BM-8s or BM-13s. Usually one target was fired upon by a group of batteries or regiments. Hundreds or even thousands of missiles covered a huge territory almost simultaneously, creating an avalanche of fire accompanied by a wild roar and noise. The devastating psychological impact of these terrible weapons was a highly unpleasant memory for any German soldier who was on the Eastern Front.[45]Ibid., pp. 58-59.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Despite losses sustained in the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Red Army continued to expand its use of the multiple-launcher rocket weapons BM-8 and BM-13 during the war. On June 1, 1941, the Red Army had seven BM-13 rocket launcher vehicles. By Sept. 1, 1941, the Red Army had 49 of these weapons. By Oct. 1, 1941, the Red Army had 406 BM-8s and BM-13s. The count would eventually mount into the thousands, and this weapon became a weapon of mass destruction. The Soviet Union managed to quickly supply its army with the new system of multiple-launcher rocket weapons despite heavy losses in its industrial and raw material bases.[46]Ibid., p. 59.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Soviet Union in 1941 was preparing for an offensive war against Europe. In the first half of June 1941, the Soviet 9th Army was the most powerful army in the world. The 9th Army appeared on the Romanian border on June 14, 1941, in the exact place where a year ago it had “liberated” Bessarabia. If the Soviet 9th Army had been allowed to attack Romania, Germany’s main source of oil would have been lost and Germany would have been defeated. Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union prevented this from happening. The unjustified concentration of Soviet troops on Romanian borders presented a clear danger to Germany, and was a major reason for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.[47]Ibid., pp. 196-197.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

On May 5, 1941, Stalin made it clear to his generals that the Soviet Union would be the aggressor in a war with Germany. At a banquet a Soviet general toasted Stalin’s peaceful foreign policy. Stalin intervened:

Allow me to make a correction. A peaceful foreign policy secured peace in our country. A peaceful foreign policy is a good thing. For a while, we drew a line of defenses until we rearmed our army [and] supplied it with modern means of combat. Now, when our army has been rebuilt, our technology modernized, [now that we are] strong [enough] for combat, now we must shift from defense to offense. In conducting the defense of our country, we are compelled to act in an aggressive manner. From defense we have to shift to a military policy of offense. It is indispensable that we reform our training, our propaganda, our press to a mindset of offense. The Red Army is a modern army, and the modern army is an army of offense.

The general who made the toast to Stalin’s peaceful foreign policy was discharged a few days after the banquet.[48]Ibid., p. 205.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

On June 13, 1941, TASS broadcast that “Germany was following the conditions of the Soviet-German pact as flawlessly as the Soviet Union,” and that rumors of an impending German attack on the USSR “were clumsily fabricated propaganda by the enemies of Germany and the USSR, interested in broadening and prolonging the war.” The TASS announcement also stated, “Rumors that the USSR is preparing for war against Germany are false and provocative….” However, the reality is that Soviet troops were already traveling to the western border. June 13, 1941, marked the beginning of the biggest organized movement of troops, arms, ammunition, and other military supplies in history.

For example, the First Strategic Echelon of the Red Army had 170 tank, motorized, cavalry, and rifle divisions. Fifty-six of them were already located right on the border and could not move any farther ahead. All of the remaining 114 divisions began to move toward the border in the wake of the reassuring TASS announcement on June 13, 1941.

This massive troop movement could not have been defensive. Troops preparing for defense dig themselves into the ground, close off roads, establish barbwire barriers, dig anti-tank trenches, and prepare covers behind the barricades. The Red Army did none of these things. Instead, the additional Soviet divisions began to hide in the border forests just like the German troops preparing for invasion. The TASS announcement was made solely in an attempt to falsely allay German fears of a pending Soviet invasion of Europe.[49]Ibid., pp. 207-217.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Suvorov also dismisses claims that the Soviet Union did not have qualified military leaders in 1941. Stalin did conduct a purge of the military from 1937-1938, but reports that 40,000 military commanders were executed are an exaggeration. Soviet documents show that 1,654 military commanders were either executed or died in prison while awaiting trial during 1937-1938. Since the officer corps of the Red Army in February 1937 numbered 206,000, less than 1% of the Soviet Union’s officers died in Stalin’s purge. Soviet military commanders in 1941 were well-qualified to lead Stalin’s war of aggression against Europe.[50]Ibid., pp. 92-97.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Suvorov also mentions that Soviet soldiers and officers were issued Russian-German and Russian-Romanian phrase books as part of their preparations for an invasion of Europe. Thousands of Soviet troops did not think to get rid of this compromising evidence when they were captured in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Russian-German phrase books were composed very simply: a question in Russian, followed by the same question in German written in Russian letters, then in German in Latin letters. If the Soviet soldier did not know how to pronounce the needed German phrase, he could point to the corresponding lines in the book and the Germans could read the lines themselves. The phrases indicated that the Soviets were planning to conduct an offensive war in Europe. For example, some phrases asked: “Where is the burgermeister? Is there an observation point on the steeple?” There were no burgermeisters or steeples in the Soviet Union. These questions are relevant only if the Soviet soldiers were in Germany. Here are other examples: “Where is the fuel? Where is the garage? Where are the stores? Where is the water? Gather and bring here [so many] horses [farm animals], we will pay!” These questions and phrases would not be relevant on Soviet soil. Other revealing phrases are the following: “You do not need to be afraid. The Red Army will come soon!” These phrases are also not relevant for a war conducted on Soviet soil.[51]Ibid., pp. 257-258.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Soviet Military Operations Prior to June 22, 1941

The Soviet Union engaged in a number of military operations prior to Germany’s invasion on June 22, 1941. All of these operations showed substantial military strength that the Soviet Union was able to hide from most of the world.

In the beginning of May 1939, an armed conflict occurred between Soviet and Japanese troops on the border between Mongolia and China near the river Khalkhin-Gol. The Soviet Union controlled Mongolia. Japan occupied the adjoining Chinese territory. Nobody declared war, but the conflict escalated into battles fought with the use of aviation, artillery, and tanks. On June 1, 1939, the Soviet Union officially declared, “We will defend the borders of the Mongolian People’s Republic as we defend our own.” The next day Gen. Zhukov flew from Moscow to Mongolia to take command of the Soviet and Mongolian troops.[52]Ibid., p. 105.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Stalin armed Soviet troops in Mongolia with the most modern weapons, including the BT-5 and BT-7 tanks all armed with the most powerful tank cannon of that time. Soviet armored automobiles were also armed with the same powerful cannon. Some of the best Soviet pilots were sent to Mongolia and established air superiority above the theater of operations. The Red Army used long-range bombers, and for the first time I-16 fighters successfully used air-to-air RS-82 rocket missiles. The Red Army also had the newest and best artillery, howitzers, and mortars in the world.[53]Ibid., pp. 105, 116-117.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

During the course of endless exhausting battles, Zhukov decided to end the conflict with a sudden and crushing defeat of the Japanese army. On Aug. 20, 1939, at 5:45 AM, 153 Soviet bombers under the cover of a corresponding number of fighters carried out a surprise raid over Japanese air bases and command posts. An extremely intense and powerful artillery barrage joined in immediately and lasted almost three hours. Soviet aviation carried out a second raid during the course of the artillery action, and at 9:00 AM Soviet tank units broke through Japanese defenses. Zhukov had conducted a classic encirclement operation. On the fourth day of the attack, the circle drawn around Japanese troops was tightened and the rout of the Japanese army began. There had never been such a crushing military defeat in all of Japanese history.[54]Ibid., pp. 114-115.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

The Soviet operation at Khalkhin-Gol, which is sometimes referred to as the Nomonhan Incident, was brilliant in its planning and execution. It totally surprised the Japanese—during the first hour and a half of battle, the Japanese artillery did not fire a single shot and not a single Japanese plane rose into the air. Khalkhin-Gol was the first blitzkrieg of the 20th century. It was the first time in human history that large masses of tanks were used correctly to strike in depth, and it was a prime example of the use of unseen concentration of artillery in tight areas of the front. The defeat of the Japanese army on the Khalkhin-Gol thwarted Japanese aggression in the direction of Mongolia and the Soviet Union. In the fall of 1941, during months critical for the Soviet Union, the Japanese remembered Khalkhin-Gol and did not dare attack the Soviet Union.[55]Ibid.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

For obvious reasons, the Japanese did not report their defeat in Mongolia to the world. Since there were no international observers and journalists in Mongolia, few people knew about the operation at the time. Stalin also ordered silence concerning the impressive Soviet defeat of the Japanese army. Stalin ordered silence because he was preparing the same sort of defeat on a much grander scale for all of Europe. Stalin’s interest lay in concealing the might of the Red Army, and making the world believe that the Soviet army was not able to conduct modern warfare. Stalin wanted to catch Hitler and the rest of Europe off-guard and not scare them.[56]Ibid., p. 116.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression agreement called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This agreement guaranteed that Hitler would not have to fight the Soviet Union if Germany invaded Poland. A secret agreement also discussed the division of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union in the event of war.[57]Ibid., pp. 282-284.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Hitler attacked Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939. The Soviet Union waited until Sept. 17, 1939, to attack Poland from the east. Stalin’s troops committed similar or worse atrocities in Poland than Germany, but Great Britain and France did not declare war on the Soviet Union. The fault for beginning the war fell upon Germany, and world opinion considered the Soviet Union to be innocent in starting the war.

Suvorov states that even the German blitzkrieg in Poland failed. On Sept. 15, 1939, two weeks after the start of World War II, the activity of the German air force dropped substantially, and the German army was almost completely out of fuel. The Soviet army attacked Poland on Sept. 17, 1939, to save the German blitzkrieg and allow the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union.[58]Ibid., p. 118.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.)

Another reason the Soviets waited until Sept. 17, 1939, to invade Poland is that the ceasefire with Japan ending the Nomonhan Incident was not signed until Sept. 15, 1939. The Soviets wanted to ensure that they no longer had to fight Japan before they invaded Poland.[59]Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 34-35.

In October 1939, Stalin’s diplomats continued the Soviet Union’s territorial aggression by demanding the cession of the Karelian Isthmus from Finland in exchange for a territory twice the size of the isthmus. Stalin’s demands were rejected because the Karelian Isthmus is a direct gateway to the capital of Finland. The geographical disposition of Finland is such that any aggression against Finland from the Soviet Union could come only through the Karelian Isthmus. For this reason, starting in 1918, Finland began an extensive buildup of defensive fortifications and obstructions on the Karelian Isthmus known as the Mannerheim Line. Finland spent practically all of her military budget for the 10 years preceding the war on the completion of the Mannerheim Line. Stalin’s diplomats in essence had demanded that Finland hand over to the Red Army all of her heavily fortified defenses in exchange for swampland and marshy woods no one needed.[60]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.

Stalin issued an order to crush Finland when Stalin’s demands were rejected. After a brief but intense artillery softening-up, the Red Army crossed the Finnish border on Nov. 30, 1939. The Red Army first encountered a security pale full of traps, barricades, obstacles, and minefields. The entire space was filled with granite boulders, concrete blocks, forest blockages, scarps and counterscarps, anti-tank trenches, and bridges wired with explosives ready to be blown up by the Finnish border patrol. Finnish snipers and light mobile squads were fully active and operating to the best of their capacity. The Red Army took two weeks and suffered heavy casualties before it passed through the security pale.

After overcoming the security pale, the Red Army reached Finland’s main line of defense—the Mannerheim Line. The line was a brilliantly camouflaged defense structure, well integrated into the surroundings, and stretching up to 30 kilometers in depth. In addition to innumerable minefields and anti-tank trenches, the Mannerheim Line contained 2,311 concrete, ironclad, and wooden defense structures, as well as granite boulders and hundreds of rows of thick barbwire on metal stakes connected to mines. The fighting on the Mannerheim Line was especially tenacious. The Red Army finally broke through the Mannerheim Line on March 12, 1940, after suffering colossal casualties: 126,875 soldiers and officers killed, 188,671 wounded, 58,370 ill, and 17,867 frostbitten. [61]Ibid., pp. 137-140.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.)

All military experts prior to Finland’s war with the Soviet Union had declared that breaking through the Mannerheim Line could not be done by any army. The Red Army had done the impossible. Furthermore, the Red Army broke through the Mannerheim Line impromptu in winter without any preparation for such limiting conditions. The military experts of the West should have recognized the amazing warfare capabilities of the Red Army. If the Red Army could break through the Mannerheim Line in the winter, then it was capable of crushing Europe and whoever else got in its way. Instead, military experts of the West declared the Red Army to be unfit and unprepared for war.[62]Ibid., p. 144.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.)

Only three months after the Soviet Union ended military operations in Finland, the three Baltic nations, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, surrendered to Stalin and became republics of the Soviet Union. The governments and military leadership of these three Baltic countries had carefully watched the war in Finland. They correctly concluded that the Red Army could not be stopped by any number of casualties, and that resistance to the Soviet Union was futile. Therefore, the three Baltic nations surrendered without firing a shot. With the addition of these three neutral countries, the Soviet Union advanced its borders to the west and made it easier for the Soviet Union to conduct an offensive operation against Europe.[63]Ibid., pp. 144-145.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.)

Stalin also issued an ultimatum to the government of Romania to give up Bessarabia. Realizing that resistance was futile, Romania handed over both Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union without even organizing lengthy talks.64 Thus, within less than a year, the Soviet Union destroyed a Japanese army in Mongolia, took over the eastern part of Poland by military force, conducted an extremely difficult and successful invasion of Finland, forced the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia to join the Soviet Union against their will, and took possession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania.

These Soviet military conquests and ultimatums expanded the Soviet Union’s territory by 426,000 square kilometers, approximately equal to the surface area of the German Reich in 1919.65 These Soviet military operations prove that the Soviet Union was extremely powerful and aggressive. The Soviet Union was well-positioned to launch a massive offensive against all of Europe after these military conquests.

Stalin Removes Defensive Barriers; Plans Offensive War

After the division of Poland by the Soviet Union and Germany, Soviet troops could have created a powerful barrier on the new Soviet-German border. In 1939 conditions for defense along the Soviet-German border were highly favorable: forests, rivers, swamps, few roads, and lots of time. However, instead of making the area impassable, it was quickly made more penetrable. The Red Army tore down previously existing fortifications and buried them under mounds of ground. The Soviet Union also stopped producing anti-tank and anti-aircraft cannon. The Soviet Union had huge land mine production that could have been used for defense, but after the new borders with Germany were established this production was curbed.[66]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.

The Red Army also dismantled the security pale created earlier on the old western borders, and failed to create a new security pale on the Polish territory annexed to the Soviet Union. The Red Army in Finland learned the hard way that a security pale could ease the position of the defense and complicate the position of the aggressor. All Soviet commanders expressed their awe at the Finnish line of defense. The Soviet Union had to expend a huge amount of time, strength, resources, and blood to cross the Finnish security pale. However, the Soviet Union dismantled its security pale in 1940 because it was not interested in conducting a defensive war.[67]Ibid., p. 165.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The Soviet Union also constructed new railroads and railroad bridges in the western border regions. Almost all railroad troops were concentrated in the western border regions. The railroad troops worked intensively to modernize old railroads and build new ones right up to the border. Simultaneously with the construction of railroads, automobile roads were built in the western regions. The Red Army was building railroads and roads from east to west, which is usually done when preparing for advance, for a quick transfer of reserves, and for further supplying the troops after they crossed the borders. All of this work was designed for offense and hurt the Soviet Union in a defensive war. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, German troops used the roads, bridges, supplies, rails, and sectional bridges constructed by the Soviets in the western regions to aid their advance into Soviet territory.[68]Ibid., pp. 166-167.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The Soviet Union also destroyed its partisan movement in the late 1930s. Soviet leaders knew that partisan tactics could win a war against any aggressor. With the largest territory of any country in the world, Soviet territory naturally facilitated partisan warfare. In the 1920s, Stalin created light mobile units and stationed them in the woods in the event of a German attack. These partisan units were comprised only of commanders, organizers, and specialists that acted as a nucleus. At the very beginning of a war, each peacetime partisan unit would expand into a powerful formation numbering thousands of people.[69]Ibid., p. 168.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The Soviet peacetime partisan groups had secret bases created in impenetrable forests and islets amid the swamps. In an emergency, the partisans could easily disappear from any attackers into the mined forests and swamps, which were impassable to the enemy. Soviet partisan units were formed in the Soviet security pale, where during retreat of Soviet troops all bridges would be blown up, tunnels buried, and railroads and communication channels destroyed. The partisan groups were trained to prevent the enemy from restoring the destroyed infrastructure. In addition, some partisans were trained for undercover activities. These partisans did not retreat to the forests, but stayed in the cities and towns with the task of “gaining the trust of the enemy” and “offering him assistance.”

In the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland, the Red Army encountered the Mannerheim Line, a security pale before it, and light squads of partisan fighters within. The light ski units of Finnish partisans carried out sudden strikes and then immediately disappeared into the forests. The Red Army suffered tremendous casualties from these strikes. All of the Red Army’s modern technology was useless in a fight against an enemy that evaded open battle.

However, having learned a cruel lesson in Finland, Stalin did not change his mind and create partisan units in the western regions of the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union’s industrial and military might grew, Stalin planned to fight enemies on their soil rather than on Soviet land. In the second half of the 1930s, defense systems and partisan units became unnecessary for the Soviet Union.[70]Ibid., pp. 168-169.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)
Stalin reestablished partisan units only after Germany had invaded the Soviet Union.

From 1926 to 1937, the Soviet Union constructed 13 fortified regions along its western borders known unofficially as “the Stalin Line.” There were many differences between the Soviet Stalin Line and the French Maginot Line. Unlike the French Maginot Line, the Stalin Line was built in secrecy and not publicized. The Stalin Line was much deeper and was built not only to stop infantry, but mostly to stop tanks. The Soviets also used huge quantities of steel and granite boulders in addition to concrete. The Stalin Line was built from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and could not be bypassed. Finally, unlike the Maginot Line, the Stalin Line was not built at the very border, but farther into Soviet territory.[71]Ibid., pp. 171-172.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The 13 fortified regions on the Stalin Line were built for defense and came at a tremendous cost in effort and money. Each fortified region was also a military formation that could independently conduct military operations during a long period of time and in isolated conditions. In 1938 it was decided to strengthen all 13 regions by building heavy artillery installations within them. The Soviet Union also started construction of eight more fortified regions. Then, when the MolotovRibbentrop Pact created a common border between Germany and the Soviet Union, Stalin ordered further construction of the fortified regions to stop. The existing fortified regions were disarmed, and everything connected with defense was dismantled and destroyed.[72]Ibid., pp. 171-173.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The construction of a new line of fortified regions began during the summer of 1940 on the new Soviet-German border. These new regions were unofficially referred to as the Molotov Line, but they were never finished. The defense buildup on the new borders proceeded very slowly, while the destruction of the Stalin Line was surprisingly fast. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Molotov Line was not yet built. Soviet generals and marshals after Stalin’s death unanimously expressed their anger. They asked: How could Stalin liquidate and disarm the fortified regions on the old borders without building the necessary defenses on the new western borders? The answer is that Stalin was not planning to fight on his territory; Stalin was planning an offensive war against all of Europe.[73]Ibid., pp. 173-176.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

Another defense system of the Soviet Union was the Dnepr military flotilla. All Dnepr river bridges were mined before 1939 and could be thoroughly demolished so that nothing would be left to restore. The Dnepr military flotilla was created in the early 1930s to prevent the establishment and crossing of temporary bridges across the river. The flotilla included 120 warships and motorboats, as well as its own air force with shoreline and air defense batteries. The Dnepr flotilla could securely close off the roads to the industrial regions in the south of Ukraine and to the Black Sea bases of the Soviet navy. A German attack could be stopped on the Dnepr line, or at least held up for several months. However, when Hitler attacked France, Stalin ordered the removal of mines from the Dnepr river bridges and disbanded the military flotilla. The Dnepr flotilla could only be used in a defensive war on Soviet territory, and Stalin did not believe he needed it.[74]Ibid., pp. 190-191.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

Stalin divided the defensive Dnepr flotilla into two flotillas: the Danube flotilla and the Pinsk flotilla. The Danube flotilla would be useless in a defensive war. In an offensive war, however, the Danube flotilla could be deadly for Germany. It only had to sail 300 or 400 kilometers up the river to the strategically important bridge at Chernavoda, where it could disrupt the petroleum supply from Ploiesti to the port of Constanza. The entire German war machine could be stopped simply because German tanks, planes, and warships would be out of fuel. However, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the Danube flotilla found itself cut off from Soviet troops without the possibility of retreat. Most of its ships had to be sunk, while gigantic supplies were either destroyed or left behind.[75]Ibid., pp. 191-192.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The Pinsk flotilla would also be difficult to use for defense. The Pinsk flotilla had 66 river warships and cutters, a squadron of airplanes, a company of marines, and other units. In the defensive war of 1941, the Soviets had to blow up and abandon all of the ships of the Pinsk flotilla. However, in a war of aggression, the Pinsk flotilla could have used the newly constructed canal from Pinsk to Kobrin, which would then allow its ships to reach the Vistula basin and head further west to the German rivers. In 1945, a Soviet admiral reached Berlin with his flotilla. [76]Ibid., pp. 193-194.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The records of a conference of the Soviet High Command held in Moscow from Dec. 23, 1940, through the evening of Dec. 31, 1940, also indicate that the Soviet Union was planning a massive offensive against Europe. This extremely secret meeting was attended by 274 of the highest-ranking leaders of the Red Army. Most of the speakers discussed the importance of the new tactics of sudden surprise attack. Defense at the primary locations of attack was not foreseen, even theoretically. The Soviet military leaders made it clear at the conference that they had no established contemporary defense theory. Soviet military leaders also did not work on questions of defense after the conference. The goal of the Red Army was to conduct grandiose, sudden, offensive operations that overwhelmed the enemy on its own territory.[77]Ibid., pp. 184-186.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

During the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili, the son of Stalin, was taken prisoner by the Germans. Stalin’s son was searched and questioned. A letter dated June 11, 1941, was found in his pockets from another officer stating: “I am at the training camps. I would like to be home by fall, but the planned walk to Berlin might hinder this.” German intelligence officers asked Yakov Dzhugashvili to clarify the statement about the “planned walk to Berlin.” Stalin’s son read the letter and quietly muttered: “Damn it!” Obviously, the letter indicates that Soviet forces were planning to invade Germany later that year.[78]Ibid., p. 258.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

German intelligence officers also asked Stalin’s son why the Soviet artillery, which had the best cannon and howitzers in the world, fired so poorly. Stalin’s son truthfully answered: “The maps let the Red Army down, because the war, contrary to expectations, unfolded to the east of the state border.” The Soviet maps were of territories in which the Red Army planned to advance, and were useless for defending the country. Storages of topographic maps located unreasonably close to the border were either destroyed by the advancing German army or by the retreating Soviet forces. In 1941, the Red Army fought without maps, and the Soviet artillery could not fire accurately without maps.[79]Ibid., pp. 258-259.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

Every Soviet commander, starting with regiment level and higher, had in his safe a so-called “Red Packet,” which contained the plans for war. When Germany invaded, the commanders opened their “Red Packets,” but they did not find in them anything useful for defense. The Red Army had neither prepared for defense nor conducted any training in defensive operations. The defensive operations of the Red Army in the summer of 1941 were pure improvisation.[80]Ibid., pp. 252-253.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The actions of the Red Army during the first days of the war speak best about Soviet intentions to conduct an offensive war. Up until June 30, 1941, Gen. Zhukov insisted on advance and demanded that commanders of Soviet forces aimed at Romania and Hungary exclusively attack. Zhukov stopped the attack only when he and his colleagues concluded that his armies could no longer advance. On June 22, 1941, several other Soviet commanders also followed prewar plans without awaiting orders from Moscow, and attacked the following regions: the Rava-Russkaya region, Tilzit in Eastern Prussia, and the Polish city of Suvalki.

The actions of the Soviet fleet during the first days of the war also show with sufficient clarity its plans for offense. On June 22, 1941, the submarines of the Baltic Fleet sailed toward the shores of Germany with the objective of sinking all enemy ships and vessels according to the rules of unrestricted warfare. No exceptions were made, not even for medical vessels sailing under the Red Cross flag. Soviet submarines from the Black Sea Fleet immediately sailed into the sea toward the shores of Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. On June 25 and 26, 1941, the Black Sea fleet’s cruisers carried out an intensive artillery raid in the vicinity of the Romanian port of Constanta. At the same time, the Danube military flotilla began an assault in the Danube river delta. The garrison of the Soviet naval base Hanko also conducted intensive assault operations during the beginning of the war, taking over 19 Finnish islands in the course of several days.[81]Ibid., pp. 253-256.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

The Soviet air force also acted in an aggressive manner at the start of the war. On June 25, 1941, despite losses suffered during the first days of the war, Soviet air forces bombed all known air fields of the southern part of Finland. On June 23, 1941, acting according to plans, the Soviet long-range bomber air force carried out a massive attack against military targets in Koenigsberg and Danzig. Soviet long-range bombers also began to bomb the Ploiesti oil fields in Romania on June 26, 1941. After a few days of raids, the amount of oil Germany obtained in Romania was reduced almost in half. If Hitler had not attacked first, the Soviet air force would have been much more dangerous, and could have totally paralyzed the entire German war effort through its strikes against the oil-producing regions.[82]Ibid., p. 254.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.)

Further evidence that the Soviet Union was planning to attack Germany is provided by Andrei Vlasov, a Soviet general who had been captured by the Germans. During a conversation in 1942 with SS Gen. Richard Hildebrandt, Vlasov was asked if and when Stalin had intended to attack Germany. Hildebrandt later stated: “Vlasov responded by saying that the attack was planned for August-September 1941. The Russians had been preparing the attack since the beginning of the year, which took quite a while because of the poor Russian railroad network. Hitler had sized up the situation entirely correctly, and had struck directly into the Russian buildup. This, said Vlasov, is the reason for the tremendous initial German successes.”[83]Michaels, Daniel W., “New Evidence on the 1941 ‘Barbarossa’ Attack: Why Hitler Attacked Soviet Russia When He Did,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, May/June 1999, p. 41.

Stalin’s Role in Elevating Hitler to Power & Creating War

Suvorov states that Stalin paved the way for Adolf Hitler to come to power. Stalin read Mein Kampf and realized that Hitler’s main goal was to liberate Germany from the chains of the Versailles Treaty. Stalin understood that if Hitler tried to free Germany from the Versailles Treaty, both France and Great Britain would interfere, because France imposed the treaty in alliance with Great Britain. Stalin’s tactic relied on eliminating one enemy with the hands of another. If Germany entered into a war with Great Britain and France, other countries would be pulled into the war and great destruction would follow. The Soviet Union could then invade Europe and easily take over the entire continent.[84]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.

In 1925 Stalin declared that World War II was inevitable. Stalin’s goal was not to start the war or be a participant at the start of the war, but to enter the war last and tip the scale in the Soviet Union’s favor. Stalin thought that Hitler, who made enemies with the French and the Jews, would be the perfect vehicle to start a war in Europe. In the German parliamentary elections of Nov. 6, 1932, neither Hitler’s party (NSDAP), the Social Democrats, or the Communist Party obtained a majority of the votes. At the end of 1932, the NSDAP was out of money and facing bankruptcy. It looked as if Hitler’s time would be up, and that he would be finished as a politician. However, Stalin ordered the German Communist Party to go against the Social Democrats and open the way for Hitler to take power in Germany.[85]Ibid., pp. 29-31.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Suvorov agrees with Hitler that the Versailles Treaty was extremely unfair and degrading to Germany. The Versailles Treaty demanded from Germany virtually complete disarmament. The number of armed forces was fixed at 100,000, all military drafts were abolished in Germany, the General Staff and all academies were disbanded, and the creation of a new General Staff and academies were not allowed by the treaty. Germany lost the right to have heavy artillery, tanks, and aviation (including blimps). The submarine fleet was completely abolished, and the surface naval fleet was cut drastically. Germany was forbidden to have chemical weapons and supplies of poisonous gas. The majority of German fortifications were blown up, and the treaty forbade all import into Germany of any weaponry or war materiel. The treaty required arms production to be under international control.[86]Ibid., p. 7.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Central and Western Europe was in such a debilitated state after World War I that a major war could not arise because no nation was capable of starting one. To avert war in Europe, all the Kremlin leaders had to do was to make sure that the Versailles Treaty was not breached so that Germany would stay disarmed and weak militarily. But the Kremlin leaders did the opposite. The Soviet Union helped Germany secretly reorganize its army. The German government was allowed to create secret design bureaus and training centers on Soviet territory. Germany was provided access to Soviet factories that produced tanks and airplanes so that the Germans could look, memorize, and copy the designs. The Soviet government eventually gave German commanders all that was forbidden by the Versailles Treaty such as tanks, heavy artillery, war planes, training classes, and weapons testing and shooting ranges.

On April 15, 1925, an agreement was signed to create a secret air force center for training German military pilots in the Russian city of Lipetsk. Germans who went to the German aviation school in Lipetsk had their names changed and were formally discharged from the Reichswehr. Planes designed for training and testing secretly arrived at Lipetsk by non-stop flights at high altitudes. By the end of 1933, the school in Lipetsk had trained 450 German pilots and air force personnel, many of whom later entered the core of the Luftwaffe command staff. Over the years, numerous German airplane models were also secretly developed and tested for Germany in the Soviet Union. The Luftwaffe was born in the Soviet city of Lipetsk as part of Stalin’s plan to prepare Germany for a new world war.

In 1926 Stalin also created a tank school for the Reichswehr near the Soviet city of Kazan. In Kazan future German generals mastered the art of modern tank warfare. Stalin also made sure that German engineers and designers did not fall behind other European nations in technological and scientific advancement. Stalin ensured that all amassed scientific and technological knowledge and experience were made available to newly starting German creators of military weapons. An agreement was also worked out in the 1920s creating production facilities in the Soviet Union for the German war industry, masked as Soviet-German enterprises. Germany could not have armed itself for a second world war without Stalin’s help.[87]Ibid., pp. 17-18.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Stalin’s first attempt to start a major war in Europe occurred in July 1936, when Gen. Francisco Franco led a militant uprising against the Spanish Republic. Gen. Franco was provided military aid by the dictators of Germany, Italy, and Portugal—Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Antonio Salazar. Stalin sent to the Spanish Republic 2,065 military commanders of various rank as well as 648 warplanes, 347 tanks, 60 armored cars, 1,186 artillery weapons, 20,486 machine guns, 497,813 rifles, and numerous supplies. After almost three years of fighting, Gen. Franco won the war and Soviet military advisers were evacuated.

Suvorov states that Stalin did not count on victory in the Spanish war. Stalin’s goal was to start a major war in Europe by drawing Great Britain and France into the war in Spain against Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Soviet propaganda screamed in outrage that children were dying in Spain while Great Britain and France did nothing. Stalin’s agents asked: How can Great Britain and France show such heartless indifference to the death and suffering of so many Spanish children? However, Stalin’s political agents, diplomats, and spies were not able to spread the war in Spain beyond its borders. Stalin executed many of his spies and diplomats for their failure. By the end of 1938, Stalin dropped all of his anti-Hitler propaganda to calm Hitler and encourage him to attack Poland.[88]Ibid., pp. 98-104.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

On Aug. 11, 1939, British and French delegations arrived in Moscow to discuss joint action against Germany. During the course of the talks, British and French delegates told the Soviets that they were very serious in their guarantees to Poland. If Germany attacked Poland, Great Britain and France would declare war against Germany. This was the information that Stalin needed to know.

On Aug. 19, 1939, Stalin stopped the talks with Great Britain and France, and told the German ambassador in Moscow that he wanted to reach an agreement with Germany.[89]Ibid., pp. 106-108.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)
On that same day, Aug. 19, 1939, a secret meeting of the Politburo took place. The following are some excerpts from Stalin’s speech:

If we accept Germany’s proposal about the conclusion of a pact regarding invasion, she will of course attack Poland, and France and England’s involvement in this war will be inevitable. Western Europe will be subjected to serious disorders and disturbances. Under these conditions, we will have many chances to stay on the sidelines of the conflict, and we will be able to count on our advantageous entrance into the war. It is in the interest of the USSR—the motherland of workers—that the war unfolds between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French bloc. It is necessary to do everything within our powers to make this war last as long as possible, in order to exhaust the two sides. It is precisely for this reason that we must agree to signing the pact, proposed by Germany, and work on making this war, once declared, last a maximum amount of time.[90]Ibid., p. 109.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement which led to the destruction and division of Poland and the beginning of World War II. The Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement instigated the war in Europe that Stalin had long planned and prepared for. The nations of Western Europe became mired in a destructive war while the Soviet Union remained neutral. Stalin’s role in unleashing World War II was quickly and thoroughly forgotten. Stalin even received substantial aid from the United States and Great Britain after Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Ultimately, at the end of the war, Poland did not gain her independence, but was given over to the Soviet Union along with all of Central Europe and part of Germany. [91]Ibid., pp. 111-112.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact began to unravel when Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived in Berlin on Nov. 12, 1940. Molotov presented to Hitler a long list of ridiculous territorial claims on behalf of the Soviet Union. Molotov demanded strongholds in Yugoslavia, in the Adriatic Sea, in Greece, in the Bosporus and Dardanelles, in the Persian Gulf; he demanded that countries south of the Baku-Batumi line, in the direction of the Persian Gulf, be given over to Soviet control, including eastern Turkey, northern Iran, and Iraq.[92]Ibid., p. 278.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

These territorial claims were repeated on Nov. 25, 1940, when the Soviet Union proposed a peace pact between Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Molotov also demanded naval bases on the Danish side of the straits of Kattegat and Skagerrak, and from Japan the renunciation of its oil concessions in the province of Northern Sakhalin. The German ambassador to Moscow was told on Nov. 25, 1940, that Germany had to withdraw its troops from Finnish territory immediately. Molotov repeatedly reminded Hitler that without Soviet raw materials German victories in Europe would have been impossible. Hitler and his officials were surprised by such extraordinary demands and did not respond.

Hitler stated to Molotov in their talks that the Soviet Union’s takeover of Northern Bukovina violated their pact about the division of spheres of influence. Molotov replied that the Soviet Union did indeed violate the previously reached agreement with Germany, but that it would not give up what it got from Romania. Moreover, Stalin wanted Southern Bukovina and Bulgaria. Hitler again reminded Molotov that they had agreed about the division of Europe back in August 1939. Molotov replied that it was now time for a new division of Europe that would give an advantage to the Soviet Union. Hitler brought up questions of safety from a Soviet invasion of Germany’s oil supply in Romania and other territory crucial to Germany. Molotov did not give a satisfactory reply, and further discussions were in the same tone.[93]Ibid., pp. 181-183.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Hitler had been preparing for an invasion of Great Britain when Stalin demanded new territories in Europe—territories on which Germany’s economy and armed forces depended completely. After Molotov’s departure, Hitler gathered his most trusted subordinates and clearly let them understand that he planned to invade the Soviet Union. On June 21, 1941, Hitler wrote a letter to Mussolini: “Russia is trying to destroy the Romania oil field….The task for our armies is eliminating this threat as soon as possible.” The Soviet threat to the Romanian oil fields is a major reason why Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was not at all a struggle for Lebensraum (living space).[94]Ibid., pp. 159, 183.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Why Hitler’s Invasion of the Soviet Union Surprised Stalin

Stalin had three separate independent espionage agencies working for him. The total power of these agencies was colossal, and testimonies abound about the might of Stalin’s espionage. These Soviet espionage services had penetrated into leading German military and political circles. Soviet military intelligence managed to gain access in Germany to the most secret information from the highest levels of power. Given these facts, the question is: “How could Hitler have surprised Stalin with his invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941?”

Suvorov says that Hitler knew that it had become impossible to conceal his preparations to invade the Soviet Union. Therefore, Hitler said in secret, in a way that Stalin could hear, “Yes, I want to attack Stalin after I have finished the war in the west.” The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces (GRU) also made extensive studies of all the economic, political, and military aspects of the situation and concluded that Germany could not win a war on two fronts. The GRU concluded that Hitler would not begin a war in the east without first finishing the war in the west. The head of the GRU submitted a detailed report to Stalin on March 20, 1941, which concluded that “the earliest possible date on which operations against the USSR may begin is the moment following victory over England or after an honorable peace for Germany has been achieved.”[95]Ibid., pp. 244-247.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Soviet intelligence knew about the massive concentration of German troops on Soviet borders, the locations of all German divisions, the huge ammunition supplies, the movements of the German air force, and many other things. Soviet GRU agents knew many important secrets, including the name of Operation Barbarossa and the time of its inception. Yet on the eve of the German invasion, Soviet intelligence reported that preparations for invasion had not yet begun, and without these preparations it was impossible for Germany to begin the war.[96]Ibid., p. 248.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Soviet intelligence believed, with good reason, that a country needed serious preparations to fight the Soviet Union. One of the vital things Germany would need to fight the Soviet Union was sheepskin coats so that its troops could survive the Russian winter. All GRU agents in Europe gathered and analyzed information on sheep in Europe, and on the main sheep-breeding centers and slaughterhouses. As soon as Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union, Soviet intelligence thought that Germany would order industry to begin producing millions of sheepskin coats. This would be reflected in rising sheepskin prices, and sheepskin coats would be delivered to German divisions. However, sheepskin coats were never delivered to any divisions of the German army.

Soviet intelligence also reasoned that the German army would have to use a new type of lubricating oil for its weaponry and motor fuel for its vehicles for the extremely cold Russian winters. The lubricating oil Germany usually used would congeal in the frost, component parts would freeze together, and the weapons would not work. The normal German motor fuel broke down into incombustible components in heavy frost. The quantities and type of liquid fuels possessed by Germany were not sufficient to conduct deep offensive operations in the Soviet Union. Germany was not even conducting research in the field of creating frost-resistant fuels and oils.

The GRU closely followed many other indicators for warning signals of a German invasion. German soldiers needed boots, warm underwear, sweaters, special tents, hats, heaters, skis, ski wax, masking robes, devices for heating water, and frost-resistant batteries. The German army also needed tanks with broad caterpillar tracks, thousands of cars that could drive in poor road conditions, and so on. The German army had none of these. Outside of a great buildup of German troops on the Soviet border, Germany had made no preparations for war against the Soviet Union. Since the German army had not taken reasonable actions to prepare for war, Stalin and his agents did not believe that Germany would invade the Soviet Union.[97]Ibid., pp. 248-250.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

However, Hitler launched his invasion of the Soviet Union without making reasonable preparations. Hitler realized that he had no choice but to invade the Soviet Union. If Hitler had waited for Stalin to attack, all of Europe would have been lost.

Suvorov states in The Chief Culprit that both German and Soviet forces were positioned for attack on June 22, 1941. The position of the divisions of the Red Army and the German army on the border mirrored each other. The airfields of both armies were moved all the way up to the border. From the defensive point of view, this kind of deployment of troops and airfields by both armies was stupid and suicidal. Whichever army attacked first would be able to easily encircle the troops of the other army. Hitler attacked first to enable German troops to trap and encircle the best units of the Red Army.[98]Ibid., p. xx.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.)

Hitler’s Decision to Invade the USSR & Other Comments

Suvorov’s book The Chief Culprit fails to mention Adolf Hitler’s speech on Dec. 11, 1941, declaring war on the United States. This speech provides important corroborating evidence why Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Hitler states in this speech:

When I became aware of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through reports from the British House of Commons and by observations of Soviet Russian troop movements on our frontiers, I immediately ordered the formation of many new armored, motorized and infantry divisions. The human and material resources for them were abundantly available….

We realized very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our heart. Nevertheless, the decision in this case was a very difficult one. When the writers for the democratic newspapers now declare that I would have thought twice before attacking if I had known the strength of the Bolshevik adversaries, they show that they do not understand either the situation or me.

I have not sought war. To the contrary, I have done everything to avoid conflict. But I would forget my duty and my conscience if I were to do nothing in spite of the realization that a conflict had become unavoidable. Because I regarded Soviet Russia as a danger not only for the German Reich but for all of Europe, I decided, if possible, to give the order myself to attack a few days before the outbreak of this conflict.

A truly impressive amount of authentic material is now available that confirms that a Soviet Russian attack was intended. We are also sure about when this attack was to take place. In view of this danger, the extent of which we are perhaps only now truly aware, I can only thank the Lord God that He enlightened me in time and has given me the strength to do what must be done. Millions of German soldiers may thank Him for their lives, and all of Europe for its existence.

I may say this today: If this wave of more than 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens of thousands of artillery pieces, along with more than 10,000 airplanes, had not been kept from being set into motion against the Reich, Europe would have been lost.

Several nations have been destined to prevent or parry this blow through the sacrifice of their blood. If Finland had not immediately decided, for the second time, to take up weapons, then the comfortable bourgeois life of the other Nordic countries would have been quickly ended.

If the German Reich, with its soldiers and weapons, had not stood against this opponent, a storm would have burned over Europe that would have eliminated once and for all time the laughable British idea of the European balance of power in all its intellectual paucity and traditional stupidity.

If the Slovaks, Hungarians and Romanians had not also acted to defend this European world, then the Bolshevik hordes would have poured over the Danube countries as did once the swarms of Attila’s Huns, and [Soviet] Tatars and Mongols would [then] force a revision of the Treaty of Montreux on the open country by the Ionian Sea.

If Italy, Spain and Croatia had not sent their divisions, then a European defense front would not have arisen that proclaims the concept of a new Europe and thereby effectively inspires all other nations as well. Because of this awareness of danger, volunteers have come from northern and western Europe: Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Flemish, Belgians and even French. They have all given the struggle of the allied forces of the Axis the character of a European crusade, in the truest sense of the word.[99]“The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, pp. 395-396.

Hitler’s speech confirms Suvorov’s thesis that the German invasion of the Soviet Union was for preemptive purposes. Hitler’s attack was not for Lebensraum or any other malicious reason.

Hitler’s speech also mentions an important point not discussed in The Chief Culprit: numerous brave men from northern and western Europe volunteered to join Germany in its fight against the Soviet Union. Volunteers from 30 nations enlisted to fight in the German armed forces during World War II.[100]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 7. These volunteers knew that the Soviet Union, which Suvorov calls “the most criminal and most bloody empire in human history,”[101]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 58. could not be allowed to conquer all of Europe.

Suvorov states in The Chief Culprit that by exposing Stalin’s aggressive endeavors, he is not attempting to exonerate Hitler. For Suvorov, Hitler still remains a “heinous criminal.”[102]Ibid., p. xi.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 58.)
However, Suvorov does make it clear that Hitler’s preemptive attack of the Soviet Union prevented Stalin from conquering all of Europe.[103]Ibid., p. 159.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 58.)
Suvorov also clearly shows that it was Stalin and not Hitler who broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. As Frederick the Great of Prussia once stated, “The attacker is the one who forces his adversary to attack.”[104]Franz-Willing, Georg, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 108.

As brilliant as Suvorov is in exposing the historical lies of the corrupt Soviet regimes, his book contains a major contradiction. Throughout The Chief Culprit, Suvorov states that Germany did not have the strategic resources needed to successfully conduct a sustained military conflict. Furthermore, many of Germany’s strategic resources came from militarily vulnerable sources. Germany’s iron ore came mostly from northern Sweden, its lumber from Finland and Sweden, and its nickel supplies from Finland.[105]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149. Germany’s primary source of oil came from Romania, and this Romanian supply of oil was never enough for Germany to effectively conduct a sustained military campaign.[106]Ibid., pp. 158-159.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.)
All of these raw materials were vulnerable to attack from the Soviet Union. Suvorov states that Germany’s lack of raw materials not only prohibited it from conducting a two-front war, but also from conducting a prolonged single-front war. Germany’s only hope for victory was a blitzkrieg—the quick defeat of an enemy.[107]Ibid., p. 112.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.)

Despite Germany’s inability to successfully fight a prolonged war, Suvorov makes statements in his book as if Germany was attempting to conquer the world. Suvorov states: “In that same year, 1939, Hitler began his war for global domination,”[108]Ibid., p. 65.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.)
and “Hitler went after world domination in September 1939 with just six tank divisions.”[109]Ibid., p. 87.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.)
Hitler never had the resources or military to obtain world domination. Hitler was not even aware that his attack of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, would turn into anything more than a local conflict. If Hitler had known that his invasion of Poland would result in a major world war, he never would have invaded Poland.

Suvorov also implies that Hitler attacked Poland because Poland refused to satisfy Hitler’s aggressive demands. Suvorov states: “Hitler demanded a review of the Versailles Treaty. In accordance with this treaty, Eastern Prussia was separated from the main part of Germany, and the city of Danzig was declared a free city. Hitler demanded to be given a corridor through Polish territory to build a highway and a railroad between East Prussia and mainland Germany. Additionally, the city of Danzig was to become a part of Germany. The Polish government refused to satisfy Hitler’s demands.”[110]Ibid., p. 106.
(Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.)

This analysis is simplistic and misleading. As we will discuss in Chapter Three, it would be more accurate to state that Poland, with the backing of Great Britain, refused to negotiate with Germany and adopted policies that forced war between Germany and Poland.

Footnotes

[1] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.

[2] Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.

[3] Ibid., pp. xxi-xxii.

[4] Ibid., p. 23.

[5] Ibid., p. 25.

[6] Ibid., pp. 25-26.

[7] Ibid., p. 26.

[8] Ibid., p. 26.

[9] Ibid., pp. 23-24.

[10] Ibid., pp. 23-25.

[11] Ibid., p. 26.

[12] Ibid., pp. 26-27.

[13] Chuev, Felix, Molotov: Master of Half a Domain, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2002, p. 458.

[14] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.

[15] Ibid., p. 41.

[16] Ibid., pp. 42-44.

[17] Ibid., pp. 44-45.

[18] Ibid., p. 45.

[19] Ibid., pp. 46-47.

[20] Ibid., pp. 48-49.

[21] Guderian, Heinz, Panzer Leader, New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1952, p. 283.

[22] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.

[23] Ibid., pp. 51-52.

[24] Ibid., pp. 52-53.

[25] Ibid., pp. 55-57.

[26] Ibid., pp. 32-33.

[27] Ibid., pp. 34, 38, 40.

[28] Ibid., pp. 64-65.

[29] Ibid., pp. 69-72.

[30] Ibid., p. 73.

[31] Ibid., p. 76.

[32] Ibid., p. 77.

[33] Ibid., pp. 77-78.

[34] Ibid., pp. 79-80.

[35] Ibid., p. 94.

[36] Ibid., p. 239.

[37] Ibid., pp. 125-126.

[38] Ibid., pp. 123-126.

[39] Ibid., pp. 127-128.

[40] Ibid., pp. 128-129.

[41] Ibid., pp. 131-132.

[42] Ibid., pp. 133-135.

[43] Ibid., pp. 150-152.

[44] Ibid., pp. 156-157.

[45] Ibid., pp. 58-59.

[46] Ibid., p. 59.

[47] Ibid., pp. 196-197.

[48] Ibid., p. 205.

[49] Ibid., pp. 207-217.

[50] Ibid., pp. 92-97.

[51] Ibid., pp. 257-258.

[52] Ibid., p. 105.

[53] Ibid., pp. 105, 116-117.

[54] Ibid., pp. 114-115.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid., p. 116.

[57] Ibid., pp. 282-284.

[58] Ibid., p. 118.

[59] Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 34-35.

[60] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.

[61] Ibid., pp. 137-140.

[62] Ibid., p. 144.

[63] Ibid., pp. 144-145.

[64] Ibid., p. 145.

[65] Hoffmann, Joachim, Stalin’s War of Extermination, 1941-1945: Planning, Realization, and Documentation, Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001, p. 31.

[66] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.

[67] Ibid., p. 165.

[68] Ibid., pp. 166-167.

[69] Ibid., p. 168.

[70] Ibid., pp. 168-169.

[71] Ibid., pp. 171-172.

[72] Ibid., pp. 171-173.

[73] Ibid., pp. 173-176.

[74] Ibid., pp. 190-191.

[75] Ibid., pp. 191-192.

[76] Ibid., pp. 193-194.

[77] Ibid., pp. 184-186.

[78] Ibid., p. 258.

[79] Ibid., pp. 258-259.

[80] Ibid., pp. 252-253.

[81] Ibid., pp. 253-256.

[82] Ibid., p. 254.

[83] Michaels, Daniel W., “New Evidence on the 1941 ‘Barbarossa’ Attack: Why Hitler Attacked Soviet Russia When He Did,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, May/June 1999, p. 41.

[84] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.

[85] Ibid., pp. 29-31.

[86] Ibid., p. 7.

[87] Ibid., pp. 17-18.

[88] Ibid., pp. 98-104.

[89] Ibid., pp. 106-108.

[90] Ibid., p. 109.

[91] Ibid., pp. 111-112.

[92] Ibid., p. 278.

[93] Ibid., pp. 181-183.

[94] Ibid., pp. 159, 183.

[95] Ibid., pp. 244-247.

[96] Ibid., p. 248.

[97] Ibid., pp. 248-250.

[98] Ibid., p. xx.

[99] “The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, pp. 395-396.

[100] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 7.

[101] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 58.

[102] Ibid., p. xi.

[103] Ibid., p. 159.

[104] Franz-Willing, Georg, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 108.

[105] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.

[106] Ibid., pp. 158-159.

[107] Ibid., p. 112.

[108] Ibid., p. 65.

[109] Ibid., p. 87.

[110] Ibid., p. 106.

Chapter Two • Franklin D. Roosevelt and America’s Second Crusade • 15,600 Words

Most historians portray President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a lover of peace and democracy who had to involve the United States in World War II to stop fascist aggression. However, as we shall see in the following discussion, Franklin Roosevelt and his administration secretly made every effort to instigate war in Europe. Roosevelt and his administration then secretly adopted policies and manipulated world events to plunge the United States into war against Germany. All of these secret policies and actions occurred while Roosevelt repeatedly told the American public that he was committed to keeping the United States out of war.

Roosevelt Admires Stalin & Hates Hitler

Josef Stalin is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s most ruthless dictators and one of the greatest mass murderers in all of history. Despite Stalin’s criminal record, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a good friend of Stalin. Roosevelt indulged in provocative name-calling against the heads of totalitarian nations such as Germany, Italy and Japan, but never against Stalin or the Soviet Union.[1]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. 8, 16. Roosevelt always spoke favorably of Stalin, and American wartime propaganda referred to Stalin affectionately as “Uncle Joe.”

Roosevelt’s attitude toward Stalin is remarkable considering that his first appointed ambassador to the Soviet Union warned Roosevelt of the danger of supporting Stalin. William Bullitt served as America’s first ambassador to the Soviet Union from November 1933 to 1936. Bullitt left the Soviet Union with few illusions, and by the end of his tenure he was openly hostile to the Soviet government.

Bullitt stated in his final report from Moscow on April 20, 1936, that the Russian standard of living was possibly lower than that of any other country in the world. Bullitt reported that the Bulgarian Comintern leader, Dimitrov, had admitted that the Soviet popular front and collective security tactics were aimed at undermining the foreign capitalist systems. Bullitt concluded that relations of sincere friendship between the Soviet Union and the United States were impossible.[2]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 423. Bullitt stated in his final report to the State Department:

The problem of relations with the government of the Soviet Union is…a subordinate part of the problem presented by communism as a militant faith determined to produce world revolution and the “liquidation” (that is to say murder) of all non-believers. There is no doubt whatsoever that all orthodox Communist parties in all countries, including the United States, believe in mass murder….The final argument of the believing Communist is invariably that all battle, murder, and sudden death, all the spies, exiles, and firing squads are justified.[3]Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 73.

Joseph E. Davies succeeded William Bullitt as ambassador to the Soviet Union. Davies reported to President Roosevelt on April 1, 1938, that the terror in Russia was “a horrifying fact.” Davies complained of the gigantic Soviet expenditures for defense, totaling approximately 25% of the Soviet Union’s total income in 1937. Davies reported that Stalin, in a letter to Pravda on Feb. 14, 1938, had confirmed his intention to spread Communism around the world. Stalin also promised in his letter that the Soviet Union would work with foreign Communists to achieve this goal. Stalin concluded in his letter, “I wish very much…that there were no longer on earth such unpleasant things as a capitalist environment, the danger of a military attack, the danger of the restoration of capitalism, and so on.” Davies stated in his report that the Soviet Union could best be described as “a terrible tyranny.”[4]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 423.

Roosevelt was fully aware of the slave-labor system, the liquidation of the kulaks, the man-made famine, the extreme poverty and backwardness, and the extensive system of espionage and terror that existed in the Soviet Union. However, from the very beginning of his administration, Roosevelt sang the praises of a regime that recognized no civil liberties whatsoever. In an attempt to gain swift congressional approval for Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union, Roosevelt even stated that Stalin’s regime was at the forefront of “peace and democracy in the world.” At a White House press conference, Roosevelt also claimed that there was freedom of religion in the Soviet Union.[5]Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 204.

Henry A. Wallace, vice president of the United States during Roosevelt’s third term, joined the chorus hailing the Soviet Union as a gallant ally whose good faith and good intentions could not be questioned. Vice-President Wallace preached that the Soviet Union could do no wrong, and that any criticism of Stalin’s dictatorship was akin to treason.[6]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 242-244. Wallace even stated in a speech that “There are no more similar countries in the world than the Soviet Union and the United States of America.”[7]Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 224.

The Roosevelt administration’s support for the Soviet Union was also hailed by former ambassador Joseph Davies in his book Mission to Moscow, which praised Stalin’s tough-minded ability to protect himself from internal threat. Published in 1941, Mission to Moscow provided welcome reassurance to the American public that their democracy was in alliance with a fair-minded and trustworthy Soviet leader. The book became a runaway international success, selling 700,000 copies in the United States alone, and topping the bestseller lists in the 13 languages into which it was translated.[8]Ibid., p. 147.
(Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 224.)

Among other things, Davies said in his book that the Soviets wanted “to promote the brotherhood of man and to improve the lot of the common people. They wish to create a society in which men live as equals, governed by ethical ideas. They are devoted to peace.”[9]Davies, Joseph E., Mission to Moscow, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1941, p. 511. Mission to Moscow was turned into a Hollywood movie in 1943 at a time when the American media were celebrating Soviet military triumphs. State Department experts on the Soviet Union called the movie “one of the most blatantly propagandistic pictures ever seen.” Stalin awarded Joseph Davies the Order of Lenin in May 1945 for his contribution to “friendly Soviet-American relations.”[10]Dobbs, Michael, Six Months in 1945, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, p. 215.

The Soviet Union had been a totalitarian regime since 1920. By the time Hitler’s National Socialist Party came to power in 1933, the Soviet government had already murdered millions of its own citizens. The Soviet terror campaign accelerated in the late 1930s, resulting in the murder of many more millions of Soviet citizens as well as thousands of American citizens working in the Soviet Union. Many Americans lost their entire families in the Soviet purge of the late 1930s. Despite these well-documented facts, the Roosevelt administration always fully supported the Soviet Union.[11]Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, pp. 100-102, 105, 127.

By contrast, the Roosevelt administration’s relationship with Germany steadily deteriorated due to Roosevelt’s acerbic hostility toward Hitler’s regime. Roosevelt and his administration made every effort to convince the American public to support war against Germany even though Hitler had never wanted war with either the United States or Great Britain.

The Secret Polish Documents

The Germans seized a mass of documents from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs when they invaded Warsaw in late September 1939. The documents were seized when a German SS brigade led by Freiherr von Kuensberg captured the center of Warsaw ahead of the regular German army. Von Kuensberg’s men took control of the Polish Foreign Ministry just as Ministry officials were in the process of burning incriminating documents. These documents clearly establish Roosevelt’s crucial role in planning and instigating World War II. They also reveal the forces behind President Roosevelt that pushed for war.[12]“President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer 1983, pp. 136-137, 140.

Some of the secret Polish documents were first published in the United States as The German White Paper. Probably the most revealing document in the collection is a secret report dated Jan. 12, 1939, by Jerzy Potocki, the Polish ambassador to the United States. This report discusses the domestic situation in the United States. I quote Ambassador Potocki’s report in full:

There is a feeling now prevalent in the United States marked by growing hatred of Fascism, and above all of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100% [of the] radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible— above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited—this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe.

At the present moment most Americans regard Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism as the greatest evil and greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent platform for public speakers of all kinds, for emigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with a great many words and with most various calumnies incite the public. They praise American liberty which they contrast with the totalitarian states.

It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign which is conducted above all against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely eliminated. Soviet Russia, if mentioned at all, is mentioned in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way that it would seem that the Soviet Union were cooperating with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the sympathies of the American public are completely on the side of Red Spain.

This propaganda, this war psychosis is being artificially created. The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a thread and that war is inevitable. At the same time the American people are unequivocally told that in case of a world war, America also must take an active part in order to defend the slogans of liberty and democracy in the world. President Roosevelt was the first one to express hatred against Fascism. In doing so he was serving a double purpose; first he wanted to divert the attention of the American people from difficult and intricate domestic problems, especially from the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Second, by creating a war psychosis and by spreading rumors concerning dangers threatening Europe, he wanted to induce the American people to accept an enormous armament program which far exceeds United States defense requirements.

Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation on the labor market is growing worse constantly. The unemployed today already number 12 million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only the huge sums, running into billions, which the treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far only the usual strikes and local unrest have taken place. But how long this government aid can be kept up it is difficult to predict today. The excitement and indignation of public opinion, and the serious conflict between private enterprises and enormous trusts on the one hand, and with labor on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are causing him many sleepless nights.

As to point two, I can only say that President Roosevelt, as a clever player of politics and a connoisseur of American mentality, speedily steered public attention away from the domestic situation in order to fasten it on foreign policy. The way to achieve this was simple. One needed, on the one hand, to enhance the war menace overhanging the world on account of Chancellor Hitler, and, on the other hand, to create a specter by talking about the attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to bellicose German militarism. As was said here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol-point. Hence, France and England had no choice and had to conclude a shameful peace.

The prevalent hatred against everything which is in any way connected with German National Socialism is further kindled by the brutal attitude against the Jews in Germany and by the émigré problem. In this action Jewish intellectuals participated; for instance, Bernard Baruch; the Governor of New York State, Lehman; the newly appointed judge of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter; Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, and others who are personal friends of Roosevelt. They want the president to become the champion of human rights, freedom of religion and speech, and the man who in the future will punish trouble-mongers. These groups, people who want to pose as representatives of “Americanism” and “defenders of democracy” in the last analysis, are connected by unbreakable ties with international Jewry.

For this Jewish international, which above all is concerned with the interests of its race, to put the president of the United States at this “ideal” post of champion of human rights, was a clever move. In this manner they created a dangerous hotbed for hatred and hostility in this hemisphere and divided the world into two hostile camps. The entire issue is worked out in a mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been forcing the foundation for vitalizing American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous stocks for the coming war, for which the Jews are striving consciously. With regard to domestic policy, it is extremely convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism which is ever growing in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending faith and individual liberty against the onslaught of Fascism.[13]Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 29-31.

On Jan. 16, 1939, Potocki reported to the Warsaw Foreign Ministry a conversation he had with American Ambassador William Bullitt. Bullitt was in Washington on a brief leave of absence from Paris. Potocki reported that Bullitt stated that the main objectives of the Roosevelt administration were: “1) The vitalizing foreign policy, under the leadership of President Roosevelt, severely and unambiguously condemns totalitarian countries. 2) The United States preparation for war on sea, land and air which will be carried out at an accelerated speed and will consume the colossal sum of $1.250 million. 3) It is the decided opinion of the president that France and Britain must put an end to any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries. They must not let themselves in for any discussions aiming at any kind of territorial changes. 4) They have the moral assurance that the United States will leave the policy of isolation and be prepared to intervene actively on the side of Britain and France in case of war. America is ready to place its whole wealth of money and raw materials at their disposal.”[14]Ibid., pp. 32-33.
(Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 29-31.)

Juliusz (Jules) Lukasiewicz, the Polish ambassador to France, sent a top secret report from Paris to the Polish Foreign Ministry at the beginning of February 1939. This report outlines the U.S. policy toward Europe as explained to him by William Bullitt:

A week ago, the ambassador of the United States, W. Bullitt, returned to Paris after having spent three months holiday in America. Meanwhile, I had two conversations with him which enable me to inform Monsieur Minister on his views regarding the European situation and to give a survey of Washington’s policy….

The international situation is regarded by official quarters as extremely serious and being in danger of armed conflict. Competent quarters are of the opinion that if war should break out between Britain and France on the one hand and Germany and Italy on the other, and Britain and France should be defeated, the Germans would become dangerous to the realistic interests of the United States on the American continent. For this reason, one can foresee right from the beginning the participation of the United States in the war on the side of France and Britain, naturally after some time had elapsed after the beginning of the war. Ambassador Bullitt expressed this as follows: “Should war break out we shall certainly not take part in it at the beginning, but we shall end it.”[15]Juliusz Lukasiewicz to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 43-44.

On March 7, 1939, Ambassador Potocki sent another remarkably perceptive report on Roosevelt’s foreign policy to the Polish government. I quote Potocki’s secret report in full:

The foreign policy of the United States right now concerns not only the government, but the entire American public as well. The most important elements are the public statements of President Roosevelt. In almost every public speech he refers more or less explicitly to the necessity of activating foreign policy against the chaos of views and ideologies in Europe. These statements are picked up by the press and then cleverly filtered into the minds of average Americans in such a way as to strengthen their already formed opinions. The same theme is constantly repeated, namely, the danger of war in Europe and saving the democracies from inundation by enemy fascism. In all of these public statements there is normally only a single theme, that is, the danger from Nazism and Nazi Germany to world peace.

As a result of these speeches, the public is called upon to support rearmament and the spending of enormous sums for the navy and the air force. The unmistakable idea behind this is that in case of an armed conflict the United States cannot stay out but must take an active part in the maneuvers. As a result of the effective speeches of President Roosevelt, which are supported by the press, the American public is today being conscientiously manipulated to hate everything that smacks of totalitarianism and fascism. But it is interesting that the USSR is not included in all of this. The American public considers Russia more in the camp of the democratic states. This was also the case during the Spanish civil war when the so-called Loyalists were regarded as defenders of the democratic idea.

The State Department operates without attracting a great deal of attention, although it is known that Secretary of State [Cordell] Hull and President Roosevelt swear allegiance to the same ideas. However, Hull shows more reserve than Roosevelt, and he loves to make a distinction between Nazism and Chancellor Hitler on the one hand, and the German people on the other. He considers this form of dictatorial government a temporary “necessary evil.” In contrast, the State Department is unbelievably interested in the USSR and its internal situation and openly worries itself over its weaknesses and decline. The main reason for the United States interest in the Russians is the situation in the Far East. The current government would be glad to see the Red Army emerge as victor in a conflict with Japan. That’s why the sympathies of the government are clearly on the side of China, which recently received considerable financial aid amounting to $25 million.

Eager attention is given to all information from the diplomatic posts as well as to the special emissaries of the president who serve as ambassadors of the United States. The president frequently calls his representatives from abroad to Washington for personal exchanges of views and to give them special information and instructions. The arrival of the envoys and ambassadors is always shrouded in secrecy and very little surfaces in the press about the results of their visits. The State Department also takes care to avoid giving out any kind of information about the course of these interviews.

The practical way in which the president makes foreign policy is most effective. He gives personal instructions to his representatives abroad, most of whom are his personal friends. In this way the United States is led down a dangerous path in world politics with the explicit intention of abandoning the comfortable policy of isolation. The president regards the foreign policy of his country as a means of satisfying his own personal ambition. He listens carefully and happily to his echo in the other capitals of the world. In domestic as well as foreign policy, the Congress of the United States is the only object that stands in the way of the president and his government in carrying out his decisions quickly and ambitiously. One hundred and fifty years ago, the Constitution of the United States gave the highest prerogatives to the American parliament which may criticize or reject the law of the White House.

The foreign policy of President Roosevelt has recently been the subject of intense discussion in the lower house and in the Senate, and this has caused excitement. The so-called Isolationists, of whom there are many in both houses, have come out strongly against the president. The representatives and the senators were especially upset over the remarks of the president, which were published in the press, in which he said that the borders of the United States lie on the Rhine. But President Roosevelt is a superb political player and understands completely the power of the American parliament. He has his own people there, and he knows how to withdraw from an uncomfortable situation at the right moment.

Very intelligently and cleverly he ties together the question of foreign policy with the issues of American rearmament. He particularly stresses the necessity of spending enormous sums in order to maintain a defensive peace. He says specifically that the United States is not arming in order to intervene or to go to the aid of England or France in case of war, but because of the need to show strength and military preparedness in case of an armed conflict in Europe. In his view this conflict is becoming ever more acute and is completely unavoidable.

Since the issue is presented this way, the houses of Congress have no cause to object. To the contrary, the houses accepted an armament program of more than 1 billion dollars. (The normal budget is $550 million, the emergency $552 million.). However, under the cloak of a rearmament policy, FDR continues to push forward his foreign policy, which unofficially shows the world that in case of war the United States will come out on the side of the democratic states with all military and financial power.

In conclusion it can be said that the technical and moral preparation of the American people for participation in a war—if one should break out in Europe—is proceeding rapidly. It appears that the United States will come to the aid of France and Great Britain with all its resources right from the beginning. However, I know the American public and the representatives and senators who all have the final word, and I am of the opinion that the possibility that America will enter the war as in 1917 is not great. That’s because the majority of the states in the Midwest and West, where the rural element predominates, want to avoid involvement in European disputes at all costs. They remember the declaration of the Versailles Treaty and the well-known phrase that the war was to save the world for democracy. Neither the Versailles Treaty nor that slogan have reconciled the United States to that war. For millions there remains only a bitter aftertaste because of unpaid billions which the European states still owe America.[16]Germany. Foreign Office Archive Commission. Roosevelts Weg in den Krieg: Geheimdokumente zur Kriegspolitik des Praesidenten der Vereinigten Staaten. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag, 1943. Translated into English by the IHR, “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 150-152.

These secret Polish reports were written by top level Polish ambassadors who were not necessarily friendly to Germany. However, they understood the realities of European politics far better than people who made foreign policy in the United States. The Polish ambassadors realized that behind all of their rhetoric about democracy and human rights, the Jewish leaders in the United States who agitated for war against Germany were deceptively advancing their own interests.

There is no question that the secret documents taken from the Polish Foreign Ministry in Warsaw are authentic. Charles C. Tansill considered the documents genuine and stated, “Some months ago I had a long conversation with M. Lipsky, the Polish ambassador in Berlin in the prewar years, and he assured me that the documents in the German White Paper are authentic.”[17]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p.[184] (footnote 292).

William H. Chamberlain wrote, “I have been privately informed by an extremely reliable source that Potocki, now residing in South America, confirmed the accuracy of the documents, so far as he was concerned.”[18]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 60 (footnote 14). Historian Harry Elmer Barnes also stated, “Both Professor Tansill and myself have independently established the thorough authenticity of these documents.”[19]Barnes, Harry Elmer, The Court Historians versus Revisionism, N.p.: privately printed, 1952, p. 10.

Edward Raczynski, the Polish ambassador to London from 1934 to 1945, confirmed in his diary the authenticity of the Polish documents. He wrote in his entry on June 20, 1940: “The Germans published in April a White Book containing documents from the archives of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consisting of reports from Potocki from Washington, Lukasiewicz in Paris and myself. I do not know where they found them, since we were told that the archives had been destroyed. The documents are certainly genuine, and the facsimiles show that for the most part the Germans got hold of the originals and not merely copies.”[20]Raczynski, Edward, In Allied London, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963, p. 51.

The official papers and memoirs of Juliusz Lukasiewicz published in 1970 in Diplomat in Paris 1936-1939 reconfirmed the authenticity of the Polish documents. Lukasiewicz was the Polish ambassador to Paris who authored several of the secret Polish documents. The collection was edited by Waclaw Jedrzejewicz, a former Polish diplomat and cabinet member. Jedrzejewicz considered the documents made public by the Germans absolutely genuine, and quoted from several of them.

Tyler G. Kent, who worked at the U.S. Embassy in London in 1939 and 1940, has also confirmed the authenticity of the secret Polish documents. Kent says that he saw copies of U.S. diplomatic messages in the files which corresponded to the Polish documents.[21]“President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 142.

The German Foreign Office published the Polish documents on March 29, 1940. The Reich Ministry of Propaganda released the documents to strengthen the case of the American isolationists and to prove the degree of America’s responsibility for the outbreak of war. In Berlin, journalists from around the world were permitted to examine the original documents themselves, along with a large number of other documents from the Polish Foreign Ministry. The release of the documents caused an international media sensation. American newspapers published lengthy excerpts from the documents and gave the story large front page headline coverage.[22]Ibid., pp. 137-139.
(“President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 142.)

However, the impact of the released documents was far less than the German government had hoped for. Leading U.S. government officials emphatically denounced the documents as not being authentic. William Bullitt, the U.S. ambassador who was especially incriminated by the documents, stated, “I have never made to anyone the statements attributed to me.” Secretary of State Cordell Hull denounced the documents by stating: “I may say most emphatically that neither I nor any of my associates in the Department of State have ever heard of any such conversations as those alleged, nor do we give them the slightest credence. The statements alleged have not represented in any way at any time the thought or the policy of the American government.”[23]New York Times, March 30, 1940, p. 1. American newspapers stressed these high-level denials in reporting the release of the Polish documents.

These categorical denials by high-level U.S. government officials almost completely eliminated the effect of the secret Polish documents. The vast majority of the American people in 1940 trusted their elected political leaders to tell the truth. If the Polish documents were in fact authentic and genuine, this would mean that President Roosevelt and his representatives had lied to the American public, while the German government told the truth. In 1940, this was far more than the trusting American public could accept.

More Evidence Roosevelt Helped Instigate World War II

While the secret Polish documents alone indicate that Roosevelt was preparing the American public for war against Germany, a large amount of complementary evidence confirms the conspiracy reported by the Polish ambassadors. The diary of James V. Forrestal, the first U.S. secretary of Defense, also reveals that Roosevelt and his administration helped start World War II. Forrestal’s entry on Dec. 27, 1945, states:

Played golf today with Joe Kennedy [Roosevelt’s ambassador to Great Britain in the years immediately before the war]. I asked him about his conversations with Roosevelt and Neville Chamberlain from 1938 on. He said Chamberlain’s position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy’s view: That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England if it had not been for Bullitt’s urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington. Bullitt, he said, kept telling Roosevelt that the Germans wouldn’t fight; Kennedy that they would, and that they would overrun Europe. Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war.

In his telephone conversations with Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 the president kept telling him to put some iron up Chamberlain’s backside. Kennedy’s response always was that putting iron up his backside did no good unless the British had some iron with which to fight, and they did not.

What Kennedy told me in this conversation jibes substantially with the remarks Clarence Dillon had made to me already, to the general effect that Roosevelt had asked him in some manner to communicate privately with the British to the end that Chamberlain should have greater firmness in his dealings with Germany. Dillon told me that at Roosevelt’s request he had talked with Lord Lothian in the same general sense as Kennedy reported Roosevelt having urged him to do with Chamberlain. Lothian presumably was to communicate to Chamberlain the gist of his conversation with Dillon. Looking backward there is undoubtedly foundation for Kennedy’s belief that Hitler’s attack could have been deflected to Russia.”[24]Forrestal, James V., The Forrestal Diaries, edited by Walter Millis and E.S. Duffield, New York: Vanguard Press, 1951, pp. 121-122.

Joseph Kennedy is known to have had a good memory, and it is highly likely that Kennedy’s statements to James Forrestal are accurate. Forrestal died on May 22, 1949, under mysterious circumstances when he fell from his hospital window.

Sir Ronald Lindsay, the British ambassador to Washington, confirmed Roosevelt’s secret policy to instigate war against Germany with the release of a confidential diplomatic report after the war. The report describes a secret meeting on Sept. 18, 1938, between Roosevelt and Ambassador Lindsay. Roosevelt said that if Britain and France were forced into a war against Germany, the United States would ultimately join the war. Roosevelt’s idea to start a war was for Britain and France to impose a blockade against Germany without actually declaring war. The important point was to call it a defensive war based on lofty humanitarian grounds and on the desire to wage hostilities with a minimum of suffering and the least possible loss of life and property. The blockade would provoke some kind of German military response, but would free Britain and France from having to declare war. Roosevelt believed he could then convince the American public to support war against Germany, including shipments of weapons to Britain and France, by insisting that the United States was still neutral in a non-declared conflict.[25]Dispatch No. 349 of Sept. 30, 1938, by Sir Ronald Lindsay, Documents on British Foreign Policy, (ed.). Ernest L. Woodard, Third Series, Vol. VII, London, 1954, pp. 627-629. See also Lash, Joseph P., Roosevelt and Churchill 1939-1941, New York: Norton, 1976, pp. 25-27.

President Roosevelt told Ambassador Lindsay that if news of their conversation was ever made public, it could mean Roosevelt’s impeachment. What Roosevelt proposed to Lindsay was in effect a scheme to violate the U.S. Constitution by illegally starting a war. For this and other reasons, Ambassador Lindsay stated that during his three years of service in Washington he developed little regard for America’s leaders.[26]Dallek, Robert, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy 1932-1945, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, pp. 31, 164-165.

Ambassador Lindsay in a series of final reports also indicated that Roosevelt was delighted at the prospect of a new world war. Roosevelt promised Lindsay that he would delay German ships under false pretenses in a feigned search for arms. This would allow the German ships to be easily seized by the British under circumstances arranged with exactitude between the American and British authorities. Lindsay reported that Roosevelt “spoke in a tone of almost impish glee and though I may be wrong the whole business gave me the impression of resembling a school-boy prank.”

Ambassador Lindsay was personally perturbed that the president of the United States could be gay and joyful about a pending tragedy which seemed so destructive of the hopes of all mankind. It was unfortunate at this important juncture that the United States had a president whose emotions and ideas were regarded by a friendly British ambassador as being childish.[27]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 518-519.

Roosevelt’s desire to support France and England in a war against Germany is discussed in a letter from Verne Marshall, former editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, to Charles C. Tansill. The letter states:

President Roosevelt wrote a note to William Bullitt [in the summer of 1939], then ambassador to France, directing him to advise the French government that if, in the event of a Nazi attack against Poland, France and England did not go to Poland’s aid, those countries could expect no help from America if a general war developed. On the other hand, if France and England immediately declared war on Germany, they could expect “all aid” from the United States.

FDR’s instructions to Bullitt were to send this word along to “Joe” and “Tony,” meaning ambassadors Kennedy, in London, and Biddle, in Warsaw, respectively. FDR wanted Daladier, Chamberlain and Josef Beck to know of these instructions to Bullitt. Bullitt merely sent his note from FDR to Kennedy in the diplomatic pouch from Paris. Kennedy followed Bullitt’s idea and forwarded it to Biddle. When the Nazis grabbed Warsaw and Beck disappeared, they must have come into possession of the FDR note. The man who wrote the report I sent you saw it in Berlin in October 1939.[28]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 168.

William Phillips, the American ambassador to Italy, also stated in his postwar memoirs that the Roosevelt administration in late 1938 was committed to going to war on the side of Britain and France. Phillips wrote: “On this and many other occasions, I would have liked to have told him [Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister] frankly that in the event of a European war, the United States would undoubtedly be involved on the side of the Allies. But in view of my official position, I could not properly make such a statement without instructions from Washington, and these I never received.”[29]Phillips, William, Ventures in Diplomacy, North Beverly, MA: privately published, 1952, pp. 220-221.

When Anthony Eden returned to England in December 1938, he carried with him an assurance from President Roosevelt that the United States would enter as soon as practicable a European war against Hitler if the occasion arose. This information was obtained by Sen. William Borah of Idaho, who was debating how and when to give out this information when he dropped dead in his bathroom. The story was confirmed to historian Harry Elmer Barnes by some of Sen. Borah’s closest colleagues at the time.[30]Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 208.

The American ambassador to Poland, Anthony Drexel Biddle, was an ideological colleague of President Roosevelt and a good friend of William Bullitt. Roosevelt used Biddle to influence the Polish government not to enter into negotiations with Germany. Carl J. Burckhardt, the League of Nations high commissioner to Danzig, reported in his postwar memoirs on a memorable conversation he had with Biddle. On Dec. 2, 1938, Biddle told Burckhardt with remarkable satisfaction that the Poles were ready to wage war over Danzig. Biddle predicted that in April a new crisis would develop, and that moderate British and French leaders would be blown away by public opinion. Biddle predicted a holy war against Germany would break out.[31]Burckhardt, Carl, Meine Danziger Mission 1937-1939, Munich: Callwey, 1960, p. 225.

Bernard Baruch, who was Roosevelt’s chief advisor, scoffed at a statement made on March 10, 1939, by Neville Chamberlain that “the outlook in international affairs is tranquil.” Baruch agreed passionately with Winston Churchill, who had told him: “War is coming very soon. We will be in it and you [the United States] will be in it.”[32]Sherwood, Robert E., Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948, p. 113.

Georges Bonnet, the French foreign minister in 1939, also confirmed the role of William Bullitt as Roosevelt’s ambassador in pushing France into war. In a letter to Hamilton Fish dated March 26, 1971, Bonnet wrote, “One thing is certain is that Bullitt in 1939 did everything he could to make France enter the war.”[33]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 62.

Dr. Edvard Benes, the former president of Czechoslovakia, wrote in his memoirs that he had a lengthy secret conversation at Hyde Park with President Roosevelt on May 28, 1939. Roosevelt assured Dr. Benes that the United States would actively intervene on the side of Great Britain and France against Germany in the anticipated European war.[34]Benes, Edvard, Memoirs of Dr. Edvard Benes, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954, pp. 79-80.

American newspaper columnist Karl von Wiegand, who was the chief European newspaper columnist of the International News Service, met with Ambassador William Bullitt at the U.S. Embassy in Paris on April 25, 1939. More than four months before the outbreak of war, Bullitt told Wiegand: “War in Europe has been decided upon. Poland has the assurance of the support of Britain and France, and will yield to no demands from Germany. America will be in the war soon after Britain and France enter it.”[35]“Von Wiegand Says-,” Chicago-Herald American, Oct. 8, 1944, p. 2. When Wiegand said that in the end Germany would be driven into the arms of Soviet Russia and Bolshevism, Ambassador Bullitt replied: “What of it? There will not be enough Germans left when the war is over to be worth Bolshevizing.”[36]Chicago-Herald American, April 23, 1944, p. 18.

On March 14, 1939, Slovakia dissolved the state of Czechoslovakia by declaring itself an independent republic. Czechoslovakia President Emil Hácha signed a formal agreement the next day with Hitler establishing a German protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia, which constituted the Czech portion of the nation. The British government initially accepted the new situation, reasoning that Britain’s guarantee of Czechoslovakia given after Munich was rendered invalid by the internal collapse of the Czech state. It soon became evident after the proclamation of the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia that the new regime enjoyed considerable popularity among the Czechs. Also, the danger of a war between the Czechs and the Slovaks had been averted.[37]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 250.

However, Bullitt’s response to the creation of the German protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia was highly unfavorable. Bullitt telephoned Roosevelt and, in an “almost hysterical” voice, Bullitt urged Roosevelt to make a dramatic denunciation of Germany and to immediately ask Congress to repeal the Neutrality Act.[38]Moffat, Jay P., The Moffat Papers 1919-1943, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956, p. 232.

Washington journalists Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen reported in their nationally syndicated column that on March 16, 1939, President Roosevelt “sent a virtual ultimatum to Chamberlain” demanding that the British government strongly oppose Germany. Pearson and Allen reported that “the president warned that Britain could expect no more support, moral or material through the sale of airplanes, if the Munich policy continued.”[39]Pearson, Drew and Allen, Robert S., “Washington Daily Merry-Go-Round,” Washington Times-Herald, April 14, 1939, p. 16.

Responding to Roosevelt’s pressure, the next day Chamberlain ended Britain’s policy of cooperation with Germany when he made a speech at Birmingham bitterly denouncing Hitler. Chamberlain also announced the end of the British “appeasement” policy, stating that from now on Britain would oppose any further territorial moves by Hitler. Two weeks later the British government formally committed itself to war in case of German-Polish hostilities.

Roosevelt also attempted to arm Poland so that Poland would be more willing to go to war against Germany. Ambassador Bullitt reported from Paris in a confidential telegram to Washington on April 9, 1939, his conversation with Polish Ambassador Lukasiewicz. Bullitt told Lukasiewicz that although U.S. law prohibited direct financial aid to Poland, the Roosevelt administration might be able to supply war planes to Poland indirectly through Britain. Bullitt stated: “The Polish ambassador asked me if it might not be possible for Poland to obtain financial help and airplanes from the United States. I replied that I believed the Johnson Act would forbid any loans from the United States to Poland, but added that it might be possible for England to purchase planes for cash in the United States and turn them over to Poland.”[40]U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (Diplomatic Papers), 1939, General, Vol. I, Washington: 1956, p. 122.

Bullitt also attempted to bypass the Neutrality Act and supply France with airplanes. A secret conference of Ambassador Bullitt with French Premier Daladier and the French minister of aviation, Guy La Chambre, discussed the procurement of airplanes from America for France. Bullitt, who was in frequent telephonic conversation with Roosevelt, suggested a means by which the Neutrality Act could be circumvented in the event of war. Bullitt’s suggestion was to set up assembly plants in Canada, apparently on the assumption that Canada would not be a formal belligerent in the war. Bullitt also arranged for a secret French mission to come to the United States and purchase airplanes in the winter of 19381939. The secret purchase of American airplanes by the French leaked out when a French aviator crashed on the West Coast.[41]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 101-102.

On Aug. 23, 1939, Sir Horace Wilson, Chamberlain’s closest advisor, went to American Ambassador Joseph Kennedy with an urgent appeal from Chamberlain to President Roosevelt. Regretting that Britain had unequivocally obligated itself to Poland in case of war, Chamberlain now turned to Roosevelt as a last hope for peace. Kennedy telephoned the State Department and stated: “The British want one thing from us and one thing only, namely that we put pressure on the Poles. They felt that they could not, given their obligations, do anything of this sort but that we could.”

Presented with a possibility to save the peace in Europe, President Roosevelt rejected Chamberlain’s desperate plea out of hand. With Roosevelt’s rejection, Kennedy reported, British Prime Minister Chamberlain lost all hope. Chamberlain stated: “The futility of it all is the thing that is frightful. After all, we cannot save the Poles. We can merely carry on a war of revenge that will mean the destruction of all Europe.”[42]Koskoff, David E., Joseph P. Kennedy: A Life and Times, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974, p. 207; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005, p. 272.

Roosevelt Wants the U.S. At War with Germany

After the outbreak of war, Joseph Kennedy contacted Roosevelt and recommended that Roosevelt act boldly for peace. On Sept. 11, 1939, Kennedy cabled to Roosevelt from London: “It seems to me that the situation may crystallize to a point where the president can be the savior of the world. The British government as such certainly cannot accept any agreement with Hitler, but there may be a point when the president himself may work out plans for world peace. Now this opportunity may never arise, but as a fairly practical fellow all my life, I believe that it is entirely conceivable that the president can get himself in a spot where he can save the world….”

President Roosevelt rejected Kennedy’s idea to save peace in Europe. Roosevelt stated to Henry Morgenthau: “Joe has been an appeaser and will always be an appeaser….If Germany and Italy made a good peace offer tomorrow, Joe would start working on the king and his friend the queen and from there on down to get everybody to accept it.”[43]Beschloss, Michael R., Kennedy and Roosevelt, New York: Norton, 1980, pp. 190-191.

Roosevelt sent Kennedy a strictly confidential telegram on Sept. 11, 1939, stating that any American peace effort was totally out of the question. Roosevelt said that he “sees no opportunity or occasion for any peace move to be initiated by the President of the United States. The people of the United States would not support any move for peace initiated by this government that would consolidate or make possible a survival of a regime of force and aggression.”[44]Hull to Kennedy (No. 905), U.S., Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1939, General, Vol. I, Washington: 1956, p. 424.

President Roosevelt also refused all mediation efforts with the German government. On Oct. 3, 1939, Hermann Goering stated to the American negotiator, William R. Davis: “You can assure Mr. Roosevelt that if he will undertake mediation, Germany will agree to an adjustment whereby a new Polish State and a new Czecho-Slovakian independent government would come into being. I agree that the conference should be in Washington.”[45]Tansill, Charles, Back Door to War—The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941, Chicago: Regnery, 1952, pp. 560-561. Goering renewed the offer in mid-October 1939, and again at the beginning of 1940. Neither Davis nor the Reich government ever received an answer.

Overtures made by the former president of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, were also rejected. The contacts established by the Reich press chief, Dr. Otto Dietrich, with the foreign correspondent and chief of the Berlin office of the Associated Press, L.P. Lochner, were equally unproductive. Roosevelt justified his refusal of mediation by saying, “He could not come to the fore as mediator without the consent of the two Western powers.”[46]Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 365-366.

The beginning of the war in Europe made it possible for the Roosevelt administration to attempt to eliminate the undesired arms embargo. Roosevelt called a special session of Congress on Sept. 21, 1939, and argued that repeal of the embargo provisions of the Neutrality Act was a means to keep the United States at peace. Roosevelt’s exact words were:

Let no group assume the exclusive label of the “peace bloc.” We all belong to it….I give you my deep and unalterable conviction, based on years of experience as a worker in the field of international peace, that by the repeal of the embargo the United States will more probably remain at peace than if the law remains as it stands today. …Our acts must be guided by one single, hardheaded thought— keeping America out of war.[47]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 103.

Many members of Congress disagreed with Roosevelt’s viewpoint. Sen. William E. Borah recalled that Secretary of State Hull had once said that the purpose of the Neutrality Act was to keep us out of war. Borah commented: “If the purpose of the Embargo Act then was to keep us out of war, what is the purpose of repealing it: to get us into war?” Sen. Robert M. LaFollette, Jr., argued that “repeal can only be interpreted at home and abroad as an official act taken by our government for the purpose of partial participation in the European war.”[48]Ibid., pp. 103-104.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 103.)

The amended Neutrality Act of 1939 with new cash-and-carry provisions was finally enacted by Congress on Nov. 3, 1939, and signed into law the next day. The amended Neutrality Act enabled Roosevelt to establish a one-sided transfer of weapons to Germany’s adversaries. American vessels were transferred to foreign registries, principally to that of Panama, immediately after this new legislation became law in order not to be restricted by its provisions. It was slick but legal to do so, and although Roosevelt had on other occasions argued against the violation of the “spirit” of laws, he approved of this obvious violation of the purpose of the Neutrality Act. British and French agents began purchasing American vessels as a result of this new legislation. [49]Sanborn, Frederic R., Design For War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1951, pp. 96-97.

Roosevelt also initiated a deceitfully named “neutrality patrol” of American waters by or before Sept. 22, 1939. Wholly contrary to the established rules of international law, the so-called “neutral zone” was extended out to sea anywhere from 300 to 1,000 miles in order to benefit Britain against Germany. It was not long before American naval vessels were directing and escorting British warships to capture German vessels. On Dec. 19, 1939, for example, the U.S.S. Tuscaloosa directed and escorted the British Hyperion to the German merchant vessel Columbus within this “neutral zone.”[50]Ibid., p. 90.
(Sanborn, Frederic R., Design For War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1951, pp. 96-97.)

On Oct. 18, 1939, Roosevelt announced that only the submarines of the Soviet Union were allowed in American ports. All the other belligerents were forbidden to enter American ports except in case of force majeure.[51]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman, 13 Vols., New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941, VIII, pp. 552-554.

By March 19, 1940, Roosevelt was allowing our advanced type of aircraft to be sold to Britain and other countries, while compelling the American Army and Navy to wait for them for many months to come. This problem became so acute that Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox wrote in a report to Roosevelt after the Pearl Harbor attack: “Of course, the best means of defense against air attack consists of fighter planes. Lack of an adequate number of this type of aircraft available to the Army for the defense of the Island is due to the diversion of this type before the outbreak of the war to the British, the Chinese, the Dutch and the Russians.”[52]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XXIV, p. 1753.

On May 15, 1940, Churchill cabled Roosevelt and requested a long list of war materials, as well as the abandonment of American neutrality. The next day Roosevelt made the first in a series of requests to Congress for additional appropriations “for National Defense.” On May 17, 1940, Roosevelt ordered the remaining older U.S. destroyers to be commissioned. This led to the Sept. 2, 1940, Destroyers for Bases Agreement between the United States and Great Britain. This agreement transferred 50 old destroyers from the United States Navy in exchange for land rights on British possessions.[53]Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 210-211.

On July 19, 1940, Hitler appealed to Great Britain to make peace. Hitler’s offer was very serious, and many competent observers believed that Britain would have accepted Hitler’s offer had it not been for Roosevelt’s intervention.[54]Ibid., p. 212.
(Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 210-211.)
Instead, Hitler’s peace offer was rejected, and Churchill continued to make more formidable demands of Roosevelt for help against Germany.

By Dec. 12, 1940, joint staff conferences between the U.S. and Britain were secretly commenced in London, Manila, and Washington. Neither the American people nor the Congress was told the truth about these conferences. Admiral Stark wrote to his fleet commanders at the close of these conferences, “The question of our entry into war now seems to be when, and not whether.”[55]Ibid., pp. 213-214.
(Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 210-211.)

Roosevelt began preparing the American public to adopt lend-lease legislation. In a fireside chat to the American public on Dec. 29, 1940, Roosevelt warned of the dire peril supposedly threatening the Western Hemisphere:

Never since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has American civilization been in such danger as now….If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the high seas—and they will be in a position to bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere. It is no exaggeration to say that all of us in the Americas would be living at the point of a gun—a gun loaded with explosive bullets, economic as well as military.[56]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 128.

In his State of the Union address to Congress on Jan. 6, 1941, Roosevelt outlined his plan for lend-lease aid to the anti-Axis powers. International law has long recognized that it is an act of war for a neutral government to supply arms, munitions, and implements of war to a belligerent. But Roosevelt brushed off objections to lend-lease based on international law. Roosevelt stated, “Such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should unilaterally proclaim it to be.” In this same speech, Roosevelt barred the door to suggestions of a negotiated peace, “We are committed to the proposition that the principles of morality and considerations of our own security will not permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers.”[57]Ibid., pp. 129-130.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 128.)

President Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law on March 11, 1941. This legislation marked the end of any pretense of neutrality on the part of the United States. Despite soothing assurances by Roosevelt that the United States would not get into the war, the adoption of the Lend-Lease Act was a decisive move which put America into an undeclared war in the Atlantic. It opened up an immediate appeal for naval action to insure that munitions and supplies procured under the Lend-Lease Act would reach Great Britain.[58]Ibid., p. 130.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 128.)

Roosevelt in the prewar period had two faces. For the American people, the Congress, and the public record, there was the face of bland assurance that Roosevelt would do everything in his power to keep the United States out of war. Typical is a speech Roosevelt made to an audience in Boston: “While I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” Roosevelt added in a later speech, “The first purpose of our foreign policy is to keep our country out of war.”[59]Ibid., pp. 124-125.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 128.)

But in more intimate surroundings Roosevelt presented a second face. Roosevelt talked in private conversations as if the United States was already at war. Dr. Constantin Fotitch, the Yugoslav ambassador in Washington, stated after a talk with Roosevelt on April 3, 1941: “The United States was still neutral, yet the president spoke to me about the organization of peace after the victory; about ‘common objectives, common efforts and the common enemy’; in short, as if the United States was already in the war against the Axis. When Mr. Roosevelt received me he greeted me almost as a new ally who had just joined the coalition against the enemy.”[60]Fotitch, Constantin, The War We Lost: Yugoslavia’s Tragedy and the Failure of the West, New York: Viking Press, 1948, p. 86.

Another example that Roosevelt had decided to enter the war on the side of Great Britain was revealed by Harry Hopkins at a luncheon on Jan. 11, 1941. Hopkins told Winston Churchill: “The president is determined that we shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me here to tell you that at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him—there is nothing he will not do so far as he has human power.”[61]Barnes, Harry Elmer, “Summary and Conclusions,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 678-679. See also Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 83-84, and Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, p. 23.

On April 9, 1941, the United States entered into an agreement with a Danish official for the defense of Greenland. Simultaneously, Roosevelt illegally sent American Marines to occupy Greenland. [62]Sanborn, Frederic R., Design For War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1951, p. 258. In June 1941, Roosevelt also agreed with Churchill to relieve the British troops in Iceland, and this was done with U.S. Marines on July 7, 1941.[63]Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, pp. 149-150. Also in June 1941, Roosevelt ordered the closing of all the German and Italian consulates in the United States.[64]Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 216.

Another step toward war in the Atlantic was the adoption on April 24, 1941, by the United States of a naval patrol system to insure delivery of munitions and supplies to Great Britain. The American Navy under this scheme was assigned the responsibility of patrolling the Atlantic Ocean west of a median point represented by 25º longitude. American warships and planes within this area would search out German vessels and submarines and broadcast their position to the British navy. Roosevelt tried to represent the naval patrol as a merely defensive move, but it was clearly a hostile act toward Germany designed to help the British war effort.[65]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 136-137.

Late June and July 1941 were largely concerned with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The first wartime meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill began on Aug. 9, 1941, in a conference at the harbor of Argentia in Newfoundland. The principal result of this conference was the signing of the Atlantic Charter on Aug. 14, 1941. Roosevelt repeated to Churchill during this conference his predilection for an undeclared war, saying, “I may never declare war; I may make war. If I were to ask Congress to declare war, they might argue about it for three months.”

The Atlantic Charter was in effect a joint declaration of war aims, although Congress had not voted for American participation in the war. The Atlantic Charter, which provided for Anglo-American cooperation in policing the world after the Second World War, was a tacit but inescapable implication that the United States would soon become involved in the war. This implication is fortified by the large number of top military and naval staff personnel who were present at the conference.[66]Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 217-218.

Roosevelt’s next move toward war in the Atlantic was the issuing of secret orders on Aug. 25, 1941, to the Atlantic Fleet to attack and destroy German and Italian “hostile forces.” These secret orders resulted in an incident on Sept. 4, 1941, between an American destroyer, the Greer, and a German submarine.[67]Ibid., p. 218.
(Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 217-218.)
Roosevelt falsely claimed in a fireside chat to the American public on Sept. 11, 1941, that the German submarine had fired first. The reality is that the Greer had tracked the German submarine for three hours, and broadcast the submarine’s location for the benefit of any British airplanes and destroyers which might be in the vicinity. The German submarine fired at the Greer only after a British airplane had dropped four depth charges which missed their mark. During this fireside chat Roosevelt finally admitted that, without consulting Congress or obtaining congressional sanction, he had ordered a shooton-sight campaign against Axis submarines.[68]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 147-148.

On Sept. 13, 1941, Roosevelt ordered the Atlantic Fleet to escort convoys in which there were no American vessels.[69]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part V, p. 2295. This policy would make it more likely to provoke future incidents between American and German vessels. Roosevelt also agreed about this time to furnish Britain with “our best transport ships.” These included 12 liners and 20 cargo vessels manned by American crews to transport two British divisions to the Middle East.[70]Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, pp. 492-493.

More serious incidents followed in the Atlantic. On Oct. 17, 1941, an American destroyer, the Kearny, dropped depth charges on a German submarine. The German submarine retaliated and hit the Kearny with a torpedo, resulting in the loss of 11 lives. On Oct. 30, 1941, an older American destroyer, the Reuben James, was sunk with a casualty list of 115 of her crew members.[71]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 148-149. Some of her seamen were convinced the Reuben James had already sunk a U-boat or two before she was torpedoed by the German submarine.[72]Newsweek, Nov. 10, 1941, p. 35.

On Oct. 27, 1941, Roosevelt broadcast over nationwide radio his Navy Day address. Roosevelt began his Navy Day address by stating that German submarines had torpedoed the U.S. destroyers Greer and Kearny. Roosevelt characterized these incidents as unprovoked acts of aggression directed against all Americans, and that “history will record who fired the first shot.”

What Roosevelt failed to mention in his broadcast is that in each case the U.S. destroyers had been involved in attack operations against the German submarines, which fired in self-defense only as a last resort. Hitler wanted to avoid war with the United States at all costs, and had expressly ordered German submarines to avoid conflicts with U.S. warships, except to avoid imminent destruction. It was Roosevelt’s shoot-on-sight orders to U.S. Navy vessels that were designed to make incidents like the ones Roosevelt condemned inevitable.[73]“Roosevelt’s ‘Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 125-126.

In an effort to convince his listeners in his Navy Day speech that Germany was a real threat to American security, Roosevelt made the following announcement: “Hitler has often protested that his plans for conquest do not extend across the Atlantic Ocean. I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler’s government—by the planners of the new world order. It is a map of South America and a part of Central America as Hitler proposes to organize it.” Roosevelt explained that the map showed South America, as well as “our great life line, the Panama Canal,” divided into five vassal states under German control. Roosevelt concluded: “That map, my friends, makes clear the Nazi design not only against South America but against the United States as well.”[74]Ibid., p. 126.
(“Roosevelt’s ‘Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 125-126.)

The Italian government stated that if Roosevelt did not publish his map “within 24 hours, he will acquire a sky high reputation as a forger.” A reporter at a press conference the next day asked Roosevelt for a copy of the secret map. Roosevelt refused, insisting that it came from “a source which is undoubtedly reliable.” The truth about the map emerged after the war: It was a forgery produced by the British intelligence service. William Stephenson, chief of British intelligence operations in North America, passed it on to the chief of U.S. intelligence, William Donovan, who gave it to Roosevelt. Wartime British agent Ivar Bryce claimed credit for thinking up the secret map in his memoir published in late 1984.[75]Ibid., pp. 126-127.
(“Roosevelt’s ‘Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 125-126.)

Roosevelt went on in his Navy Day address to mention that he also had in his possession “another document made in Germany by Hitler’s government. It is a detailed plan to abolish all existing religions— Catholic, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish alike” which Germany will impose “on a dominated world, if Hitler wins.”

Roosevelt continued: “The property of all churches will be seized by the Reich and its puppets. The cross and all other symbols of religion are to be forbidden. The clergy are to be ever liquidated….In the place of the churches of our civilization there is to be set up an international Nazi church, a church which will be served by orators sent out by the Nazi government. And in the place of the Bible, the words of Mein Kampf will be imposed and enforced as Holy Writ. And in the place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols: the swastika and the naked sword.”[76]Ibid., p. 126.
(“Roosevelt’s ‘Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 125-126.)

As with the secret map, the German government correctly denounced Roosevelt’s religious document as a preposterous fraud. Roosevelt’s Navy Day address was loaded with brazen falsehoods designed to convince the American public to enter into war against Germany. Despite Roosevelt’s lies and provocations, the American public was still against entering the war. By the end of October 1941, Roosevelt had no more ideas how to get into a formal and declared war: “…He had said everything ‘short of war’ that could be said. He had no more tricks left. The hat from which he had pulled so many rabbits was empty.”[77]Sherwood, Robert E., Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948, p. 438; see also Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, p. 539.

Even full-page advertisements entitled “Stop Hitler Now” inserted in major American newspapers by Roosevelt’s supporters had failed to sway the American public. The advertisements warned the American people that a Europe dominated by Hitler was a threat to American democracy and the Western Hemisphere. The advertisements asked: “Will the Nazis considerately wait until we are ready to fight them? Anyone who argues that they will wait is either an imbecile or a traitor.” Roosevelt endorsed the advertisement, saying that it was “a great piece of work.”[78]Johnson, Walter, The Battle against Isolation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944, pp. 8587.

Yet the American people were still strongly against war.

Germany and Italy had firmly decided to do nothing that would accelerate or cause America’s entry into the war. The front door to war in Europe appeared to be completely barred. Roosevelt was forced to use the back door to obtain a declared war against Germany.

Roosevelt Uses Japan as a Back Door to War

The impetus for the war which began at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, had started 10 years earlier. In September 1931, Japan seized Mukden, the capital of the semi-independent Chinese regime in Manchuria. The seizure of Mukden was the beginning of a process that eventually led to all of Manchuria being under Japanese control. A new state, Manchukuo, was set up under the nominal rule of an emperor, but whose real power was in the hands of Japanese army officers and civilian officials. The United States refused to recognize Manchukuo, but this led to no major adverse consequences.[79]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 153-154.

A new crisis arose when Japan and China began a large-scale war in the summer of 1937. In an address in Chicago on Oct. 5, 1937, Roosevelt proposed that aggressor nations be subject to “quarantine.”[80]Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941, VI, p. 408. This was Roosevelt’s first public attempt to discard the doctrine of neutrality for the United States in concert with what later became known as “peace-loving nations”—among them the Soviet Union. However, Roosevelt could not get the American people to support the “quarantine” proposal because the American public did not want their elected officials to thrust war upon them.[81]Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 318. There is no doubt that Roosevelt was disappointed by the failure of the American people to respond favorably to his speech.[82]Byrnes, James F., Speaking Frankly, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947, p. 6.

The most serious incident affecting America’s relations with Japan before Pearl Harbor was the sinking of the United States gunboat Panay by Japanese bombers on Dec. 12, 1937. Four lives were lost in the bombing. The sinking of the Panay closely followed the capture of the Chinese capital of Nanking, and the Japanese military leaders had been in an exuberant, trigger-happy mood. The Japanese government was quick to apologize for the incident, and paid an indemnity of two and a quarter million dollars to compensate the United States for its losses. Fortunately, the sinking of the Panay failed to kindle any desire for war in the United States.[83]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 156.

The United States began a campaign of economic pressure against Japan. On July 26, 1939, the United States gave notice to Japan of its intention, effective six months from the date, to abrogate the 1911 Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Japan. On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the president to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials. Roosevelt acted at once under these powers.[84]Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 322. U.S. ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew, remarked, “I have pointed out that once started on a policy of sanctions we must see them through and that such a policy may conceivably lead to eventual war.”[85]Grew, Joseph C., Ten Years In Japan, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 281.

On July 26, 1940, Roosevelt announced a ban on Japanese acquisition of U.S. high-octane aviation gasoline, certain grades of steel and scrap iron, and some lubricants. On Sept. 26, 1940, Roosevelt imposed a ban on all scrap iron exports to Japan. Since the Japanese steel industry was highly dependent on imported scrap iron from the United States, the ban compelled Japan to draw down its stockpiles and operate its steel industry well below capacity. The embargo was expanded in December 1940 to include iron ore, steel, and steel products. The following month the embargo was expanded to include copper, brass, bronze, zinc, nickel, and potash. Other items were continually added to the list, each of which was much needed for Japanese industrial production.[86]Miller, Edward S., Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007, pp. 88123.

Provoking Japan into an overt act of war was the principal policy that guided Roosevelt’s actions toward Japan throughout 1941. Lt. Cmdr. Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence, wrote an eight-action memo dated Oct. 7, 1940, outlining how to provoke a Japanese attack on the United States. McCollum had spent his youth in various Japanese cities and spoke Japanese before learning English. McCollum was an expert in Japanese activities, culture, and intentions, and he had access to intercepted and decoded Japanese military and diplomatic messages. The following are the eight actions that McCollum predicted would provoke a Japanese attack on the United States:

  • Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.
  • Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies.
  • Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek.
  • Send a division of long-range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.
  • Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.
  • Keep the main strength of the U.S. Fleet, now in the Pacific, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.
  • Completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.[87]Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 6, 8.

McCollum’s eight-action memorandum was approved by Roosevelt’s most trusted military advisers. Roosevelt’s “fingerprints” can be found on each of the provocations listed in the memorandum. For example, Roosevelt personally took charge of the fourth action, which involved the deliberate deployment of American warships within or adjacent to the territorial waters of Japan. Roosevelt called the provocations under the fourth action “pop-up” cruises. Roosevelt stated: “I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing. I don’t mind losing one or two cruisers, but do not take a chance on losing five or six.” White House records show that from March through July 1941, Roosevelt ignored international law and dispatched naval vessels into Japanese waters on three such pop-up cruises.[88]Ibid., pp. 9-10.
(Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 6, 8.)

Roosevelt also adopted additional measures that were consistent with the third action listed in McCollum’s eight-action memorandum of giving aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek. The United States had loaned China 25 million dollars for currency stabilization on Sept. 25, 1940. China received an additional 100 million dollar loan on Nov. 30, 1940. On March 11, 1941, China became eligible for lend-lease aid. The United States also entered into a monetary stabilization accord with China on April 26, 1941.[89]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 158. Finally, increased military aid was granted to Chiang Kai-shek, and a U.S. Army Commission was sent to China in October 1941.[90]Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, p. 156.

The climax of Roosevelt’s measures designed to bring about war in the Pacific occurred on July 25, 1941, when Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in the United States. This brought commercial relations between the nations to an effective end, including an end to the export of oil to Japan. As early as Aug. 7, 1941, Prince Konoye, the Japanese premier, requested a meeting with Roosevelt to resolve the differences between the United States and Japan. American Ambassador Grew sent a series of telegrams to Washington, D.C. in which he strongly recommended that such a meeting take place. However, Roosevelt steadfastly refused to meet with the Japanese premier.[91]Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 327-331.

Foreign Minister Toyoda made a dispatch to Japanese Ambassador Nomura on July 31, 1941. Since U.S. Intelligence had cracked the Japanese diplomatic code, Roosevelt and his associates were able to read this message:

Commercial and economic relations between Japan and third countries, led by England and the United States, are gradually becoming so horribly strained that we cannot endure it much longer. Consequently, our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure the raw materials of the South Seas….I know that the Germans are somewhat dissatisfied with our negotiations with the United States, but we wished at any cost to prevent the United States from getting into the war, and we wished to settle the Chinese incident.[92]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XII, p. 9.

This obvious desire of Japan for peace with the United States did not change Roosevelt’s policy toward Japan. Roosevelt refused to lift the oil embargo against Japan. The Roosevelt administration was well aware that Japan imported approximately 90% of her oil, and that 75% to 80% of her oil imports came from the United States. Roosevelt also knew that the Netherlands East Indies, which produced 3% of the world’s oil output, was the only other convenient oil producer that could meet Japan’s import needs.[93]Miller, Edward S., Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007, p. 162.

On Oct. 31, 1941, an oil agreement between Japan and the Netherlands East Indies expired. The Netherlands East Indies had promised to deliver to Japan about 11.4 million barrels of oil, but had actually delivered only one-half of that amount. The Japanese navy had consumed about 22% of its oil reserves by the time the war broke out.[94]Sanborn, Frederic R., Design for War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The DevinAdair Company, 1951, p. 424.

Resentment over the economic pressure being exerted by the United States and other countries began mounting in Japan. U.S. Ambassador Grew repeatedly warned Roosevelt and his administration that economic pressure would not bring Japan to its knees. Ambassador Grew cautioned that a belligerent Japanese response “may come with dangerous and dramatic suddenness.”[95]Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: Japan, 1931-1941, Department of State Publication 2016, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943, II, pp. 701-704. Ambassador Grew’s warnings, as he later remarked in his diary, “brought no response whatsoever; they were never even referred to, and reporting to the department was like throwing pebbles into a lake at night; we were never even permitted to see the ripples.”[96]Feis, Herbert, The Road to Pearl Harbor, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1950, p. 298.

The refusal of Roosevelt to meet with Konoye and Roosevelt’s economic boycott of Japan were a real ultimatum to Japan. On Nov. 5, 1941, Japan sent instructions to Ambassador Nomura that Nov. 25, 1941, would be the deadline in the negotiations with the United States. Tensions between Japan and the United States continued to mount, but Roosevelt and his administration showed no interest in negotiations with Japan. Ten days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Defense Secretary Henry Stimson wrote in his diary: “[Roosevelt] brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps (as soon as) next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them into firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.”[97]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XI, p. 5433.

Roosevelt and his advisors briefly discussed a modus vivendi or truce with Japan. In fact, on Nov. 21, 1941, the army’s War Plans Division told Secretary of State Cordell Hull it was a matter of “grave importance…that we reach a modus vivendi with Japan.”[98]Heinrichs, Waldo, Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Entry into World War II, New York: 1988, p. 213 Hull permitted the peacemakers in Roosevelt’s administration to put together a proposal that had real potential. The proposal offered Japan practical proof of American friendship in the form of a 2-billion-dollar loan contingent on Japan’s ending the war with China on reasonable terms. The proposal promised a renewal of the shipments of oil, metals, and other minerals that Japan needed for her factories. The proposal might have at least produced a temporary truce with Japan. But the idea of a modus vivendi was quickly rejected by interventionists in the State Department and War Department, and the final version was an unacceptable ghost of the original proposal.[99]Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 21.

Instead of a modus vivendi, on Nov. 26, 1941, Secretary of State Hull handed to the Japanese diplomatic representatives a 10-point proposal which amounted to a sharp ultimatum. The proposal, which was cleared by Roosevelt before submission, called for complete Japanese withdrawal from China and Indochina. The proposal also called for Japan to support only the Nationalist government of China, with which Japan had been in conflict for four years, and to interpret its pledges under the Tripartite Pact so that Japan would be bound to peace in the Pacific and to noninterference in Europe. The United States would meanwhile be free to intervene in Europe.[100]Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 344-346.

Roosevelt knew that the Japanese government could not accept such a proposal: the proposal was in effect an invitation to war. The Japanese leaders were dumbfounded by such harsh terms, referring to the proposal as “humiliating.”[101]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XII, p. 195. In a defense deposition at the Tokyo war crime trials, Foreign Minister Togo said of the Hull proposal: “The reaction of all of us to it was, I think, the same. Ignoring all past progress and areas of agreement in the negotiations, the United States had served upon us what we viewed as an ultimatum containing demands far in excess of the strongest positions theretofore taken.”[102]Record of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Washington, D.C.: Department of State, 1946, Exhibit No. 3646.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, as a result of Roosevelt’s provocations. Secretary of War Henry Stimson was relieved the attack had taken place. Stimson stated:

We three [Hull, Knox, Stimson] all thought that we must fight if the British fought. But now the Japs have solved the whole thing by attacking us directly in Hawaii….When the news first came in that Japan had attacked us, my first feeling was of relief that the indecision was over and that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people. This continued to be my dominant feeling in spite of the news of catastrophes which quickly developed. For I feel that this country united has practically nothing to fear; while the apathy and divisions stirred by unpatriotic men have been hitherto very discouraging.[103]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XI, p. 5438.

Roosevelt and his administration had finally forced Japan to attack the United States. The American public would now enthusiastically support all-out war with Japan. The next step was to provoke Hitler and Germany into declaring war on the United States.

Germany Declares War on the United States

On Dec. 8, 1941, President Roosevelt made a speech to Congress calling for a declaration of war against Japan. Condemning the attack on Pearl Harbor as a “date which will live in infamy,” Roosevelt did not once mention Germany. Hitler’s policy of keeping incidents between the United States and Germany to a minimum seemed to have succeeded. Hitler had ignored or downplayed the numerous provocations that Roosevelt had made against Germany. Even after Roosevelt issued orders to shoot-on-sight at German submarines, Hitler had ordered his naval commanders and air force to avoid incidents that Roosevelt might use to bring America into the war. Also, since the Tripartite Pact did not obligate Germany to join Japan in a war initiated by Japan, it appeared unlikely that Hitler would declare war on the U.S.[104]Meskill, Johanna Menzel, Hitler and Japan: The Hollow Alliance, New York: 1955, p. 40.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor surprised Hitler. Hitler had never wanted Japan to attack the United States. Germany had repeatedly urged Japan to attack Singapore and the rest of Great Britain’s Far East Empire, but Japan refused to do so. After the war Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl said that Hitler had wanted Japan to attack Great Britain and the Soviet Union in the Far East, which would have set up a two-front war. Hitler thought Roosevelt would probably not be able to persuade the American public to go to war to defend Britain’s Asian colonies. Jodl said that Hitler had wanted in Japan “a strong new ally without a strong new enemy.”[105]Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.

Hitler’s decision to stay out of war with the United States was made more difficult on Dec. 4, 1941, when the Chicago Tribune carried in huge black letters the headline: F.D.R.’s WAR PLANS! The Washington Times Herald, the largest paper in the nation’s capital, carried a similar headline. Chesly Manly, the Tribune’s Washington correspondent, revealed in his report what Roosevelt had repeatedly denied: that Roosevelt was planning to lead the United States into war against Germany. The source of Manly’s information was no less than a verbatim copy of Rainbow Five, the top-secret war plan drawn up at Roosevelt’s request by the joint board of the United States Army and Navy. Manly’s story even contained a copy of President Roosevelt’s letter ordering the preparation of the plan.[106]Ibid., p. 1.
(Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.)

Rainbow Five called for the creation of a 10-million-man army, including an expeditionary force of 5 million men that would invade Europe in 1943 to defeat Germany. On Dec. 5, 1941, the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., cabled the entire transcript of the newspaper story to Berlin. The story was reviewed and analyzed in Berlin as “the Roosevelt War Plan.” On Dec. 6, 1941, Adm. Erich Raeder submitted a report to Hitler prepared by his staff that analyzed the Rainbow Five plan.

Raeder concluded that the most important point contained in Rainbow Five was the fact that the United States would not be ready to launch a military offensive against Germany until July 1943. [107]Ibid., pp. 1-2, 33.
(Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.)

On Dec. 9, 1941, Hitler returned to Berlin from the Russian front and plunged into two days of conferences with Raeder, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, and Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. The three advisors stressed that the Rainbow Five plan showed that the United States was determined to defeat Germany. They pointed out that Rainbow Five stated that the United States would undertake to carry on the war against Germany alone even if Russia collapsed and Britain surrendered to Germany. The three advisors leaned toward Adm. Raeder’s view that an air and U-boat offensive against both British and American ships might be risky, but that the United States was already unquestionably an enemy.[108]Ibid., pp. 33-34.
(Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.)

On Dec. 9, 1941, Roosevelt made a radio address to the nation that is seldom mentioned in the history books. In addition to numerous uncomplimentary remarks about Hitler and Nazism, Roosevelt accused Hitler of urging Japan to attack the United States. Roosevelt declared:

We know that Germany and Japan are conducting their military and naval operations with a joint plan. Germany and Italy consider themselves at war with the United States without even bothering about a formal declaration….Your government knows Germany has been telling Japan that if Japan would attack the United States Japan would share the spoils when peace came. She was promised by Germany that if she came in she would receive control of the whole Pacific area and that means not only the Far East, but all the islands of the Pacific and also a stranglehold on the west coast of North and Central and South America. We know also that Germany and Japan are conducting their naval operations in accordance with a joint plan.[109]Ibid., pp. 34-35.
(Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.)

All of the above statements are obviously false. Germany and Japan did not have a joint naval plan before Pearl Harbor, and never concocted one for the rest of the war. Germany did not have foreknowledge and certainly never encouraged Japan to attack the United States. Japan never had any ambition to attack the west coast of North, Central, or South America. Germany also never promised anything to Japan in the Far East. Germany’s power in the Far East was negligible.[110]Meskill, Johanna Menzel, Hitler and Japan: The Hollow Alliance, New York: 1955, pp. 1-47.

On Dec. 10, 1941, when Hitler resumed his conference with Raeder, Keitel, and Goering, Hitler said that Roosevelt’s speech confirmed everything in the Tribune story. Hitler considered Roosevelt’s speech to be a de facto declaration of war. Since war with the United States was inevitable, Hitler felt he had no choice but to declare war on the United States. Hitler declared war on the U.S. in his Reichstag speech on Dec. 11, 1941, stating among other things:

Since the beginning of the war, the American President Roosevelt has steadily committed ever more serious crimes against international law. Along with illegal attacks against ships and other property of German and Italian citizens, there have been threats and even arbitrary deprivations of personal freedom by internment and such. The increasingly hostile attacks by the American President Roosevelt have reached the point that he has ordered the American navy to immediately attack, fire upon and sink all German and Italian ships, in complete violation of international law. American officials have even boasted about destroying German submarines in this criminal manner. American cruisers have attacked and captured German and Italian merchant ships, and their peaceful crews were taken away to imprisonment. In addition, President Roosevelt’s plan to attack Germany and Italy with military forces in Europe by 1943 at the latest was made public in the United States, and the American government made no effort to deny it.

Despite the years of intolerable provocations by President Roosevelt, Germany and Italy sincerely and very patiently tried to prevent the expansion of this war and to maintain relations with the United States. But as a result of his campaign, these efforts have failed.[111]“The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, p. 412.

Hitler ended this speech with a declaration of war against the United States. Roosevelt had finally gotten a declared war with Germany using Japan as a back door to war.

Closing Thoughts

No nation has ever been led into war with as many soothing promises of peace as the American public received from President Roosevelt. Most of the American public felt that the United States had entered the First World War under false pretenses. Polls consistently showed that the American people did not favor entry into a second war in Europe. Roosevelt assuaged these fears with statements such as “…I have passed unnumbered hours, I shall pass unnumbered hours, thinking and planning how war may be kept from this nation.”[112]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 98.

The truth is that Roosevelt did everything in his power to plunge the United States into war against Germany. Roosevelt eventually went so far as to order American vessels to shoot-on-sight German and Italian vessels—a flagrant act of war. However, Hitler wanted to avoid war with the United States at all costs. Hitler expressly ordered German submarines to avoid conflicts with U.S. warships, except to prevent imminent destruction. It appeared that Hitler’s efforts might be successful in keeping the United States out of the war against Germany.

President Roosevelt finally was able to use Japan as a back door to instigate war against Germany. Roosevelt followed an eight-step action plan designed to induce Japan to attack the United States. The complete embargo of all trade with Japan was especially crippling to Japan, as she was dependent on imports of oil and other natural resources for her existence. When the United States refused to negotiate with Japan to ease the embargo, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and other places in the Far East. Germany declared war against the United States four days after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The leak of Rainbow Five, which outlined the plan of the United States to invade Germany by July 1943, had forced Germany to declare war on the United States.

Defenders of Roosevelt’s policies claim that National Socialist Germany was so uniquely evil that she had to be stopped at all costs. Germany had already taken over most of Europe, and many people believed that the United States must enter the war to protect democracy and freedom around the world. In the next chapter we will examine how the war in Europe started. We will also examine whether the United States needed to enter the war to stop Germany’s aggression in Europe and Asia.

Footnotes

[1] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. 8, 16.

[2] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 423.

[3] Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 73.

[4] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 423.

[5] Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 204.

[6] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 242-244.

[7] Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 224.

[8] Ibid., p. 147.

[9] Davies, Joseph E., Mission to Moscow, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1941, p. 511.

[10] Dobbs, Michael, Six Months in 1945, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, p. 215.

[11] Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, pp. 100-102, 105, 127.

[12] “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer 1983, pp. 136-137, 140.

[13] Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 29-31.

[14] Ibid., pp. 32-33.

[15] Juliusz Lukasiewicz to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 43-44.

[16] Germany. Foreign Office Archive Commission. Roosevelts Weg in den Krieg: Geheimdokumente zur Kriegspolitik des Praesidenten der Vereinigten Staaten. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag, 1943. Translated into English by the IHR, “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 150-152.

[17] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p.[184] (footnote 292).

[18] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 60 (footnote 14).

[19] Barnes, Harry Elmer, The Court Historians versus Revisionism, N.p.: privately printed, 1952, p. 10.

[20] Raczynski, Edward, In Allied London, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963, p. 51.

[21] “President Roosevelt’s Campaign to Incite War in Europe: The Secret Polish Documents,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1983, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 142.

[22] Ibid., pp. 137-139.

[23] New York Times, March 30, 1940, p. 1.

[24] Forrestal, James V., The Forrestal Diaries, edited by Walter Millis and E.S. Duffield, New York: Vanguard Press, 1951, pp. 121-122.

[25] Dispatch No. 349 of Sept. 30, 1938, by Sir Ronald Lindsay, Documents on British Foreign Policy, (ed.). Ernest L. Woodard, Third Series, Vol. VII, London, 1954, pp. 627-629. See also Lash, Joseph P., Roosevelt and Churchill 1939-1941, New York: Norton, 1976, pp. 25-27.

[26] Dallek, Robert, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy 1932-1945, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, pp. 31, 164-165.

[27] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 518-519.

[28] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 168.

[29] Phillips, William, Ventures in Diplomacy, North Beverly, MA: privately published, 1952, pp. 220-221.

[30] Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 208.

[31] Burckhardt, Carl, Meine Danziger Mission 1937-1939, Munich: Callwey, 1960, p. 225.

[32] Sherwood, Robert E., Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948, p. 113.

[33] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 62.

[34] Benes, Edvard, Memoirs of Dr. Edvard Benes, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954, pp. 79-80.

[35] “Von Wiegand Says-,” Chicago-Herald American, Oct. 8, 1944, p. 2.

[36] Chicago-Herald American, April 23, 1944, p. 18.

[37] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 250.

[38] Moffat, Jay P., The Moffat Papers 1919-1943, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956, p. 232.

[39] Pearson, Drew and Allen, Robert S., “Washington Daily Merry-Go-Round,” Washington Times-Herald, April 14, 1939, p. 16.

[40] U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (Diplomatic Papers), 1939, General, Vol. I, Washington: 1956, p. 122.

[41] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 101-102.

[42] Koskoff, David E., Joseph P. Kennedy: A Life and Times, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974, p. 207; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005, p. 272.

[43] Beschloss, Michael R., Kennedy and Roosevelt, New York: Norton, 1980, pp. 190-191.

[44] Hull to Kennedy (No. 905), U.S., Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1939, General, Vol. I, Washington: 1956, p. 424.

[45] Tansill, Charles, Back Door to War—The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941, Chicago: Regnery, 1952, pp. 560-561.

[46] Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 365-366.

[47] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 103.

[48] Ibid., pp. 103-104.

[49] Sanborn, Frederic R., Design For War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1951, pp. 96-97.

[50] Ibid., p. 90.

[51] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman, 13 Vols., New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941, VIII, pp. 552-554.

[52] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XXIV, p. 1753.

[53] Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 210-211.

[54] Ibid., p. 212.

[55] Ibid., pp. 213-214.

[56] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 128.

[57] Ibid., pp. 129-130.

[58] Ibid., p. 130.

[59] Ibid., pp. 124-125.

[60] Fotitch, Constantin, The War We Lost: Yugoslavia’s Tragedy and the Failure of the West, New York: Viking Press, 1948, p. 86.

[61] Barnes, Harry Elmer, “Summary and Conclusions,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 678-679. See also Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 83-84, and Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, p. 23.

[62] Sanborn, Frederic R., Design For War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1951, p. 258.

[63] Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, pp. 149-150.

[64] Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 216.

[65] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 136-137.

[66] Sanborn, Frederic R., “Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 217-218.

[67] Ibid., p. 218.

[68] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 147-148.

[69] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part V, p. 2295.

[70] Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, pp. 492-493.

[71] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 148-149.

[72] Newsweek, Nov. 10, 1941, p. 35.

[73] “Roosevelt’s ‘Secret Map’ Speech,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 125-126.

[74] Ibid., p. 126.

[75] Ibid., pp. 126-127.

[76] Ibid., p. 126.

[77] Sherwood, Robert E., Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948, p. 438; see also Churchill, Winston S., The Grand Alliance, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950, p. 539.

[78] Johnson, Walter, The Battle against Isolation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944, pp. 8587.

[79] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 153-154.

[80] Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941, VI, p. 408.

[81] Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 318.

[82] Byrnes, James F., Speaking Frankly, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947, p. 6.

[83] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 156.

[84] Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 322.

[85] Grew, Joseph C., Ten Years In Japan, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 281.

[86] Miller, Edward S., Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007, pp. 88123.

[87] Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 6, 8.

[88] Ibid., pp. 9-10.

[89] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 158.

[90] Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, p. 156.

[91] Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 327-331.

[92] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XII, p. 9.

[93] Miller, Edward S., Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007, p. 162.

[94] Sanborn, Frederic R., Design for War: A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, New York: The DevinAdair Company, 1951, p. 424.

[95] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: Japan, 1931-1941, Department of State Publication 2016, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943, II, pp. 701-704.

[96] Feis, Herbert, The Road to Pearl Harbor, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1950, p. 298.

[97] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XI, p. 5433.

[98] Heinrichs, Waldo, Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Entry into World War II, New York: 1988, p. 213

[99] Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 21.

[100] Morgenstern, George, “The Actual Road to Pearl Harbor,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 344-346.

[101] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XII, p. 195.

[102] Record of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Washington, D.C.: Department of State, 1946, Exhibit No. 3646.

[103] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess., 39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, Part XI, p. 5438.

[104] Meskill, Johanna Menzel, Hitler and Japan: The Hollow Alliance, New York: 1955, p. 40.

[105] Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, pp. 31-32.

[106] Ibid., p. 1.

[107] Ibid., pp. 1-2, 33.

[108] Ibid., pp. 33-34.

[109] Ibid., pp. 34-35.

[110] Meskill, Johanna Menzel, Hitler and Japan: The Hollow Alliance, New York: 1955, pp. 1-47.

[111] “The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, p. 412.

[112] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 98.

Chapter Three • The Forced War: How WWII Was Originated • 15,400 Words

Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, was a preemptive strike that prevented the Soviet Union from conquering all of Europe. Hitler was later forced to declare war on the United States because of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s numerous provocations, including a shoot-on-sight policy against German shipping and leaked plans of a United States invasion of Germany by 1943. In both cases war was forced on Germany against her wishes. We will now examine the events that led to Germany’s invasion of Poland and the start of World War II.

The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles is sometimes said to be the beginning of the Second World War. The Versailles Treaty crushed Germany beneath a burden of shame and reparations, stole vital German territories, and rendered Germany defenseless against enemies from within and without. Britain’s David Lloyd George warned the treaty makers at Versailles: “If peace is made under these conditions, it will be the source of a new war.”[1]Degrelle, Leon, Hitler: Born at Versailles, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, Author’s Preface, p. x. We will examine in this section some of the provisions of the Versailles Treaty that made it so unfair to Germany.

President Woodrow Wilson in an address to Congress on Jan. 8, 1918, set forth his Fourteen Points as a blueprint to peacefully end World War I. The main principles of Wilson’s Fourteen Points were a non-vindictive peace, national self-determination, government by the consent of the governed, an end of secret treaties, and an association of nations strong enough to check aggression and keep the peace in the future. Faced with ever increasing American reinforcements of troops and supplies and a starvation blockade imposed by the Allies, Germany decided to end World War I by signing an armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. The parties agreed to a pre-armistice contract that bound the Allies to make the final peace treaty conform to Wilson’s Fourteen Points.[2]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 13-15, 20-22.

The Treaty of Versailles was a deliberate violation of the prearmistice contract. Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles placed upon Germany the sole responsibility “for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.” This so-called “war guilt clause” was fundamentally unfair and aroused widespread hatred among virtually all Germans. It linked up Germany’s obligation to pay reparations with a blanket self-condemnation to which almost no German could subscribe.[3]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 81, 84.

The Allies under the Versailles Treaty could set reparations at any amount they wanted. In 1920, the Allies set the final bill for reparations at the impossible sum of 269 billion gold marks. [4]Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103. The Allied Reparations Committee in 1921 lowered the amount of reparations to 132 billion gold marks or approximately $33 billion—still an unrealistic demand.[5]Ibid., see also Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 85.
(Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103.)

The Allied representatives at the Paris Peace Conference decided that Germany should lose all of her colonies. All private property of German citizens in German colonies was also forfeited. The rationale for this decision was the hypocritical guise of humanitarian motives that claimed that Germany had totally failed to appreciate the duties of colonial trusteeship. Germany was extremely upset that the Allied governments refused to count the loss of her colonies as a credit in her reparations account. Some Germans estimated the value of Germany’s colonies at $9 billion. This was a large sum of money that would have greatly reduced Germany’s financial burden to pay reparations under the treaty’s war guilt clause.[6]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 86-87.

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to cede 73,485 square kilometers of her territory, inhabited by 7,325,000 people, to neighboring states. Germany lost 75% of her annual production of zinc ore, 74.8% of iron ore, 7.7% of lead ore, 28.7% of coal, and 4% of potash. Of her annual agricultural production, Germany lost 19.7% in potatoes, 18.2% in rye, 17.2% in barley, 12.6% in wheat, and 9.6% in oats. The Saar territory and other regions to the west of the Rhine were occupied by foreign troops and were to remain occupied for 15 years until a plebiscite was held. The costs of the occupation of the Saar territory totaling 3.64 billion gold marks had to be paid by Germany.[7]Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103.

The Versailles Treaty forced Germany to disarm almost completely. The treaty abolished the general draft, prohibited all artillery and tanks, allowed a volunteer army of only 100,000 troops and officers, and abolished the air force. The navy was reduced to six capital ships, six light cruisers, 12 destroyers, 12 torpedo-boats, 15,000 men and 500 officers. After the delivery of its remaining navy, Germany had to hand over its merchant ships to the Allies with only a few exceptions. All German rivers had to be internationalized and overseas cables ceded to the victors. An international military committee oversaw the process of disarmament until 1927.[8]Ibid.
(Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103.)

The German delegation in Paris was formally presented with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles on May 7, 1919. At first the German delegation refused to sign the treaty. After German delegate Johann Giesberts read the long list of humiliating provisions of the treaty, he stated with vehemence: “This shameful treaty has broken me, for I believed in Wilson until today. I believed him to be an honest man, and now that scoundrel brings us such a treaty.”[9]Luckau, Alma, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, New York: Columbia University Press, 1941, p. 124.

German foreign minister Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau replied: “It is demanded of us that we admit ourselves to be the only ones guilty of the war. Such a confession in my mouth would be a lie. We are far from declining any responsibility for this great world war…but we energetically deny that Germany and its people, who were convinced that they were making a war of defense, were alone guilty….”[10]Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 48; see also Mee, Charles L., The End of Order: Versailles 1919, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1980, pp. 215216.

Germany eventually signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, because she faced death by starvation and invasion if she refused. With the naval blockade still in force and her merchant ships and even Baltic fishing boats sequestered, Germany could not feed her people. Germany’s request to buy 2.5 million tons of food was denied by the Allies. U.S. warships now supported the blockade. With German families starving, Bolshevik uprisings in several German cities, Trotsky’s Red Army driving into Europe, Czechs and Poles ready to strike from the east, and Allied forces prepared to march on Berlin, Germany was forced to capitulate.[11]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 77, 83.

Francesco Nitti, prime minister of Italy, said of the Versailles Treaty: “It will remain forever a terrible precedent in modern history that against all pledges, all precedents and all traditions, the representatives of Germany were never even heard; nothing was left to them but to sign a treaty at a moment when famine and exhaustion and threat of revolution made it impossible not to sign it….”[12]Hoover, Herbert, Memoirs, Vol. 1, Years of Adventure, New York: MacMillan, 1951-1952, p. 341.

It is estimated that approximately 800,000 Germans perished because of the Allied naval blockade.[13]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 96. The blockade’s architect and chief advocate had been the first lord of the admiralty, Winston Churchill. His confessed aim had been to starve the whole German population into submission.[14]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 79. One commentator noted the effects of the blockade: “Nations can take philosophically the hardships of war. But when they lay down their arms and surrender on assurances that they may have food for their women and children, and then find that this worst instrument of attack on them is maintained—then hate never dies.”[15]Tansill, Charles C., Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941, Chicago: Regnery, 1952, p. 24.

Herbert Hoover said of the Allied blockade in Germany: “The blockade should be taken off…these people should be allowed to return to production not only to save themselves from starvation and misery but that there should be awakened in them some resolution for continued national life…the people are simply in a state of moral collapse….We have for the last month held that it is now too late to save the situation.”[16]O’Brien, Francis William (ed.), Two Peacemakers in Paris: The Hoover-Wilson Post-Armistice Letters, 1918-1920, College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1978, p. 129.

When Hoover was in Brussels in 1919, a British admiral arrogantly said to him, “Young man, I don’t see why you Americans want to feed these Germans.” Hoover impudently replied, “Old man, I don’t understand why you British want to starve women and children after they are licked.”[17]Hoover, Herbert, Memoirs, Vol. 1, Years of Adventure, New York: MacMillan, 1951-1952, p. 345.

George E.R. Gedye was sent to Germany in February 1919 on an inspection tour. Gedye described the impact of the blockade upon the German people:

Hospital conditions were appalling. A steady average of 10% of the patients had died during the war years from lack of fats, milk and good flour. Camphor, glycerine and cod-liver oil were unprocurable. This resulted in high infant mortality….We saw some terrible sights in the children’s hospital, such as the “starvation babies” with ugly, swollen heads….Such were the conditions in Unoccupied Territory. Our report naturally urged the immediate opening of the frontiers for fats, milk and flour…but the terrible blockade was maintained as a result of French insistence…until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June, 1919….No severity of punishment could restrain the Anglo-American divisions of the Rhine from sharing their rations with their starving German fellow-creatures.[18]Gedye, George E. R., The Revolver Republic; France’s Bid for the Rhine, London: J. W. Arrowsmith, Ltd., 1930, pp. 29-31.

Few historians in postwar years believed Germany to be solely responsible for the outbreak of World War I. There were differences of opinion about the degree of responsibility borne by Germany, Great Britain, France, Russia, and other belligerent nations, but no responsible person could find Germany totally responsible for the war. Representative of impartial scholarship on the subject is the opinion of Dr. Sidney B. Fay of Harvard University. Fay concluded after an extensive study of the causes of World War I:

Germany did not plot a European war, did not want one and made genuine, though too belated efforts to avert one….It was primarily Russia’s general mobilization, made when Germany was trying to bring Austria to a settlement, which precipitated the final catastrophe, causing Germany to mobilize and bring war….The verdict of the Versailles Treaty that Germany and her allies were responsible for the war, in view of the evidence now available, is historically unsound.[19]Fay, Sidney B., The Origins of the World War, New York: Macmillan, 1930, pp. 552, 554-555.

Other historians who established that Germany was not primarily responsible for causing World War I include professors Harry Elmer Barnes, Michael H. Cochran, Max Montgelas, and Georges Demartial. The Englishman Arthur Ponsonby also convincingly demonstrated that atrocity charges against the Germans were manufactured by Allied propagandists.[20]Ponsonby, Arthur, Falsehood in Wartime, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1991.

Most American liberals who had originally supported American involvement in World War I eventually repudiated the thesis of unique German responsibility for the war. They logically denounced the failure to revise the Treaty of Versailles with its absurd attempt to collect astronomical reparations from Germany.[21]Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 159.

Despite the unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles, its provisions remained in effect and were formally confirmed by the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact of 1928. Germans regarded the provisions of the Versailles Treaty as chains of slavery that needed to be broken. One German commented in regard to the Versailles Treaty, “The will to break the chains of slavery will be implanted from childhood on.”[22]Luckau, Alma, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, New York: Columbia University Press, 1941, pp. 98-100. Adolf Hitler referred to the Versailles Treaty in Mein Kampf as “…a scandal and a disgrace …the dictate signified an act of highway robbery against our people.”[23]Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by James Murphy, London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1942, p. 260. Hitler was committed to breaking the chains of Versailles when he came to power in Germany in 1933.

The Road to Breaking the Chains of Versailles

Hitler’s first success in breaking the chains of Versailles was a legal victory in the Saar plebiscite on Jan. 13, 1935. This highly industrialized region had been detached from Germany and placed under the administration of the League of Nations by the Treaty of Versailles. The terms of the Versailles Treaty called for a plebiscite after 15 years with three choices: return to Germany, annexation by France, or continuation of League of Nations rule.[24]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 45. In an unquestionably free election, the vote was 477,119 in favor of union with Germany and only 46,613 in favor of the continuance of the existing regime.[25]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 118. Despite offering the Saar citizens a number of tax and customs advantages if they decided to become part of France, only 0.40% of voters voted to join France; 8.85% voted for independence of the Saar, and 90.75% voted for union with Germany.[26]Bochaca, Joaquin, “Reversing Versailles,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Nov. /Dec. 2012, Vol. XVIII, No. 6, p. 61.

The Saar inhabitants who voted overwhelmingly to return to Germany were mostly industrial workers—Social Democrats or Roman Catholics. They knew what awaited them in Germany: a dictatorship, the destruction of trade unions, and restrictions on freedom of expression.[27]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 86. They knew of the establishment of the Dachau concentration camp and the execution of scores of SA members in the Roehm purge on June 30, 1934. The German economy in January 1935 was also not substantially better than that of France or other countries in Europe. The Saar election was evidence that the appeal of German nationalism could be irresistible.

Hitler began an assault on the Versailles provisions with the creation of a German air force on March 9, 1935. On March 16, 1935, Hitler announced the restoration of compulsory military service. Germany regarded the army of the Soviet Union at 960,000 men as excessively large, and France had recently increased the terms of service in her armies. Hitler wanted to increase German military strength to 550,000 troops because of this Franco-Russian threat.[28]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 119.

Germany continued to modify the Versailles provisions by signing the Anglo-German Naval Agreement on June 18, 1935. This treaty fixed the size of the German fleet at 35% of the total tonnage of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Germany could also build a submarine force equal to that of Great Britain. Hitler was elated with the agreement. Hitler had dreamed of an Anglo-German alliance ever since he had fought Britain in World War I. Britain’s naval treaty with Germany also effectively undermined the Stresa Front that Britain had established with France and Italy earlier in 1935.[29]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 145-147.

Germany was forbidden under the Treaty of Versailles to build fortifications or maintain troops in a wide demilitarized zone along its western frontier. This arrangement made the vital Ruhr and Rhineland industries vulnerable to a swift attack from France. The Treaty of Locarno, of which Britain and Italy were co-guarantors, also endorsed the demilitarization of the Rhineland. Hitler challenged this limitation when he sent troops into the Rhineland on March 7, 1936. Although this was a major gamble by Hitler, France was unwilling to challenge Hitler without British support. Britain was unwilling to authorize anything resembling war because there was a general feeling in Britain that Germany was only asserting a right of sovereignty within her own borders.[30]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 46.

Germany was now able to protect her western borders by constructing the Siegfried Line. Lloyd George, the former prime minister of Great Britain, commended Hitler in the House of Commons for having reoccupied the Rhineland to protect his country:

France had built the most gigantic fortifications ever seen in any land, where, almost a hundred feet underground, you can keep an army of over 100,000 and where you have guns that can fire straight into Germany. Yet the Germans are supposed to remain without even a garrison, without a trench….If Herr Hitler had allowed that to go on without protecting his country, he would have been a traitor to the Fatherland.[31]Rowland, Peter, David Lloyd George: A Biography, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975, p. 728.

On later meeting Hitler, Lloyd George was “spellbound by Hitler’s astonishing personality and manner” and referred to Hitler as “indeed a great man. Fuehrer is the proper name for him, for he is a born leader—yes, a statesman.”[32]Ibid., p. 733.
(Rowland, Peter, David Lloyd George: A Biography, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975, p. 728.)

Other British statesmen were also impressed with Hitler. In a book published in 1937, Churchill expresses his “admiration for the courage, the perseverance, and the vital force which enabled [Hitler] to challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all the authorities or resistances which barred his path.”[33]Churchill, Winston, Great Contemporaries, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937, p. 228. Hitler and his Nazis had shown “their patriotic ardor and love of country.”[34]Ibid.
(Churchill, Winston, Great Contemporaries, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937, p. 228.)

Churchill also wrote: “Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism. Nor is this impression merely the dazzle of power. He exerted it on his companions at every stage in his struggle, even when his fortunes were in the lowest depths.”[35]Ibid., p. 232.
(Churchill, Winston, Great Contemporaries, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937, p. 228.)

By March 1936 Germany had taken important steps in overcoming the provisions of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler made no more moves in Europe for the next two years. Until 1938, Hitler’s moves in foreign policy had been bold but not reckless. From the point of view of the Western Powers, his methods constituted unconventional diplomacy whose aims were recognizably in accord with traditional German nationalist clamor.[36]Kershaw, Ian, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, New York: W. W. Norton, 2000, p. 91.

The Anschluss

The statesmen at the Paris Peace Conference had wanted to divide rather than unify Austria and Germany. Austria had asked Allied permission at the Paris Peace Conference to enter into a free-trade zone with Germany. Austria’s request was denied. As far back as April and May of 1921, plebiscites on a union with Germany were held in Austria at the Tyrol and at Salzburg. The votes in the Tyrol were over 140,000 for the Anschluss and only 1,794 against. In Salzburg, more than 100,000 voted for union with Germany and only 800 against.[37]Neilson, Francis, The Makers of War, New Orleans, LA: Flanders Hall Publishers, 1950, p. 171. Despite the overwhelming desire of Austrians to join with Germany, the Treaty of St. Germain signed by Austria after World War I prevented the union.

Under the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, Germany and Austria could not even enter into a customs union without permission from the League of Nations. In 1931, hard hit by the Great Depression, Germany asked again for permission to form an Austro-German customs union. The League of Nations denied Germany’s request. Germany later requested an end to its obligation to pay war reparations under Versailles because of Germany’s economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. Germany’s request was again refused. Many historians believe the resulting economic distress contributed to the rapid rise of National Socialists to power in Germany.[38]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 183-184. The Allied refusals also increased the desire of German and Austrian nationalists to exercise their right of self-determination.

Hitler was given encouragement for the peaceful incorporation of Austria into Germany when he met with Edward Frederick Lindley Wood (Lord Halifax) at Berchtesgaden on Nov. 19, 1937. Lord Halifax mentioned the important questions of Danzig, Austria, and Czechoslovakia on his own initiative without any prompting from Hitler. Halifax told Hitler that Great Britain realized that the Paris Treaties of 1919 contained mistakes that had to be rectified.[39]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 76. Halifax stated that Britain would not go to war to prevent an Anschluss with Austria, a transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany, or a return of Danzig to the Reich. Britain might even be willing to serve as an honest broker in effecting the return of what rightfully belonged to Germany, if this was all done in a gentlemanly fashion.[40]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 183-187.

Lord Halifax had given Hitler his approval for the peaceful incorporation of Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Danzig into Germany if done “without far reaching disturbances.” British historian A.J.P. Taylor writes:

This was exactly what Hitler wanted…Halifax’s remarks, if they had any practical sense, was an invitation to Hitler to promote German nationalist agitation in Danzig, Czechoslovakia, and Austria; an assurance also that his agitation would not be opposed from without. Nor did these promptings come from Halifax alone. In London, Eden told Ribbentrop: “People in Europe recognized that a closer connection between Germany and Austria would have to come about sometime.” The same news came from France. Papen, on a visit to Paris, “was amazed to note” that Chautemps, the premier, and Bonnet, then finance minister, “considered a reorientation of French policy in Central Europe as entirely open to discussion….” They had “no objection to a marked extension of German influence in Austria obtained through evolutionary means”; nor in Czechoslovakia “on the basis of a reorganization into a nation of nationalities.”[41]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 137138.

Lord Halifax’s message to Hitler underscores a crucial point in the history of this era: Hitler’s agenda was no surprise to European statesmen. Any German nationalist would demand adjustments to the frontiers laid down at Versailles. With Great Britain’s approval of the peaceful annexation of Austria into Germany, the problem was how to get the Austrians to peacefully agree to unification with Germany. Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg would soon force the issue.[42]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 188-189.

Since the summer of 1934, Austria had been governed by a conservative dictatorship headed by Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg. Schuschnigg persecuted Austrians who favored unification with Germany. Political dissidents landed in concentration camps, and the regime denied persons of “deficient civic reliability” the right to practice their occupation.[43]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 98.

In January 1938, Austrian police discovered plans of some Austrian National Socialists to overthrow Schuschnigg in violation of a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” entered into with Germany on July 11, 1936. Schuschnigg met with Hitler at Berchtesgaden on Feb. 12, 1938, complaining of the attempted overthrow of his government by Austrian National Socialists. Hitler and Schuschnigg reached an agreement that day, but Schuschnigg claimed that Hitler had been violent in manner during the first two hours of conversation.[44]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 91. Some accounts of their meeting say that Schuschnigg was bullied by Hitler and subject to a long list of indignities.[45]Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 141.

Schuschnigg began to consider means of repudiating the agreement made with Hitler in their meeting on Feb. 12, 1938. Schuschnigg’s solution was to hold a rigged plebiscite. On March 9, 1938, Schuschnigg announced that a plebiscite would be held four days later on March 13, 1938, to decide, finally and forever, whether Austria was to remain an independent nation.

The planned plebiscite was completely unfair. There was only one question, which asked the voter, “Are you for a free and German, independent and social, Christian and united Austria, for peace and work, for the equality of all those who affirm themselves for the people and the Fatherland?” There were no voting lists; only yes ballots were to be provided by the government; anyone wishing to vote no had to provide their own ballot, the same size as the yes ballots, with nothing on it but the word no.[46]Quigley, Carroll, Tragedy and Hope, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966, p. 624. During preparations for the election, the government press in Austria announced that anyone voting “no” would be guilty of treason.[47]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 102.

The Austrian government took additional steps to ensure that the vote would swing in their direction. The qualification age to vote was raised to 24, making it impossible for young National Socialists to register their views. Schuschnigg and his men also distributed a huge number of flyers, scattering some by aircraft in Austria’s most remote and snowbound corners. Trucks drove around the country transmitting the message of Austrian independence by loudspeaker. Everywhere the German theme was driven home: To be a good Austrian was to be a good German; to be German was to be free. Austrians were better Germans than the National Socialists.[48]MacDonogh, Giles, Hitler’s Gamble, New York: Basic Books, 2009, p. 35.

Hitler was shocked by Schuschnigg’s proposed plebiscite. Hitler had hoped for an evolutionary strategy in Austria that would gradually merge Austria into the Reich. However, Hitler felt humiliated and betrayed by Schuschnigg, and he could not let the phony plebiscite proceed. After receiving word on March 11, 1938, that Mussolini accepted the Anschluss, Hitler decided to march into Austria with his troops on March 12, 1938. Hitler was greeted with a joyously enthusiastic reception from the mass of the Austrian people.[49]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 93. Not a shot was fired by Hitler’s army.

Hitler was aware of the bad publicity abroad such an apparent act of force would generate. However, Schuschnigg and his entire cabinet had resigned from office after Britain, France, and Italy all denounced the phony plebiscite. Hitler feared that Austrian Marxists might take advantage of Austria’s momentary political vacuum and stage an uprising. Goering also warned of the possibility that Austria’s neighbors might exploit its temporary weakness by occupying Austrian territory. Hitler decided to militarily occupy Austria to prevent either of these possibilities from occurring.[50]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 104.

On April 10, 1938, joint plebiscites were held in Germany and Austria to approve the Anschluss. All Germans and Austrians over the age of 20 were eligible to vote, with the exception of Jews and criminals.

The result of the poll was 99.08% of the people in favor of the Anschluss. The plebiscite might have been manipulated to some extent as shown by the near unanimous assent from the Dachau concentration camp. Also, the ballot was not anonymous since the voter’s name and address were printed on the back of each ballot. However, there is no question that the vast majority of people in Germany and Austria approved the Anschluss. Hitler’s aims had struck a chord with national German aspirations, and the plebiscite reflected Hitler’s popularity with the German people.[51]MacDonogh, Giles, Hitler’s Gamble, New York: Basic Books, 2009, pp. 104-106.

The invasion of Austria had hurt Germany’s public image. As historian A.J.P. Taylor states:

Hitler had won. He had achieved the first object of his ambition. Yet not in the way that he had intended. He had planned to absorb Austria imperceptibly, so that no one could tell when it had ceased to be independent; he would use democratic methods to destroy Austrian independence as he had done to destroy German democracy. Instead he had been driven to call in the German army. For the first time, he lost the asset of aggrieved morality and appeared as a conqueror, relying on force. The belief soon became established that Hitler’s seizure of Austria was a deliberate plot, devised long in advance, and the first step toward the domination of Europe. This belief was a myth. The crisis of March 1938 was provoked by Schuschnigg, not by Hitler. There had been no German preparations, military or diplomatic. Everything was improvised in a couple of days—policy, promises, armed force….But the effects could not be undone….The uneasy balance tilted, though only slightly, away from peace and toward war. Hitler’s aims might still appear justifiable; his methods were condemned. By the Anschluss—or rather by the way in which it was accomplished—Hitler took the first step in the policy which was to brand him as the greatest of war criminals. Yet he took this step unintentionally. Indeed he did not know that he had taken it.[52]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 149150.

Winston Churchill made the following statement in the House of Commons shortly after the Anschluss:

The public mind has been concentrated upon the moral and sentimental aspects of the Nazi conquest of Austria—a small country brutally struck down, its government scattered to the winds, the oppression of the Nazi Party doctrine imposed upon a Catholic population and upon the working classes of Austria and Vienna, the hard ill usage of persecution which indeed will ensue—which is probably in progress at the moment—of those who, this time last week, were exercising their undoubted political rights, discharging their duties to their own country….[53]Neilson, Francis, The Makers of War, New Orleans, LA: Flanders Hall Publishers, 1950, pp. 176177.

Churchill’s statement is a misrepresentation of the truth. The overwhelming majority of Austrians had desired a union with Germany. The Anschluss was hugely popular in Austria. Churchill in his speech had begun the warmongering that led to World War II.

The Czechoslovakia Crisis & The Munich Agreement

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, 3.25 million German inhabitants of Bohemia and Moravia were transferred to the new Czechoslovakia in a flagrant disregard of Woodrow Wilson’s ideal of self-determination. The new Czechoslovakia was a multiethnic, multilingual, Catholic-Protestant conglomerate that had never existed before. From 1920 to 1938, repeated petitions had been sent to the League of Nations by the repressed minorities of Czechoslovakia. By 1938, the Sudeten Germans were eager to be rid of Czech rule and become part of Germany. In a fair plebiscite, a minimum of 80% of Sudeten Germans would have voted to become part of the new Reich.[54]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 213-215.

It was clear to Czech leaders that the excitement among the Sudeten Germans after the Anschluss would soon force the resolution of the Sudeten question. The Czech cabinet and military leaders decided on May 20, 1938, to order a partial mobilization of the Czech armed forces. This partial mobilization was based on the false accusation that German troops were concentrating on the Czech frontiers. Czech leaders hoped that the resulting confusion would commit the British and French to the Czech position before a policy favoring concessions to the Sudeten Germans could be implemented. Although the plot failed, Czech leaders granted interviews in which they claimed that Czechoslovakia had scored a great victory over Germany. An international press campaign representing that Czechoslovakia had forced Hitler to back down from his planned aggression reverberated around the world.[55]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 106-107.

British Ambassador to Germany Nevile Henderson believed that the Czech mobilization of its army, and the ridicule heaped upon Hitler by the world press, led directly to the Munich Agreement:

The defiant gesture of the Czechs in mobilizing some 170,000 troops and then proclaiming to the world that it was their action which had turned Hitler away from his purpose was…regrettable. But what Hitler could not stomach was the exultation of the press. …Every newspaper in America and Europe joined in the chorus. “No” had been said and Hitler had been forced to yield. The democratic powers had brought the totalitarian states to heel, etc. It was, above all, this jubilation which gave Hitler the excuse for his…worst brain storm of the year, and pushed him definitely over the border line from peaceful negotiation to the use of force. From May 23rd to May 28th his fit of sulks and fury lasted, and on the later date he gave orders for a gradual mobilization of the army, which should be prepared for all eventualities in the autumn.[56]Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, pp. 142-143.

By the 1930s, the majority of the British people believed that Germany had been wronged at Versailles. The British people now broadly supported the appeasement of Germany in regaining her lost territories. If appeasement meant granting self-determination to the Sudetenland Germans, the British people approved.[57]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 213-227.

Lord Halifax informed French leaders on July 20, 1938, that a special fact-finding mission under Lord Runciman would be sent to Czechoslovakia. President Benes of Czechoslovakia was disturbed by this news. It was a definite indication that the British might adopt a compromising policy toward Germany in the crisis. The British mission completed its study in September 1938, and it reported that the main difficulty in the Sudeten area had been the disinclination of the Czechs to grant reforms. This British report was accompanied by the final rupture of negotiations between the Sudeten Germans and the Czech leaders. The Czech crisis was coming to a climax.[58]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 108.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Hitler’s mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden to discuss the Czech problem directly with Hitler. At their meeting Hitler consented to refrain from military action while Chamberlain would discuss with his cabinet the means of applying the principle of self-determination to the Sudeten Germans. The result was a decision to transfer to Germany areas in which the Sudeten Germans occupied more than 50% of the population. President Benes of Czechoslovakia reluctantly accepted this proposal.[59]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 53-54.

A problem developed in the negotiations when Chamberlain met with Hitler a second time. Hitler insisted on an immediate German military occupation of regions where the Sudeten Germans were more than half of the population. Hitler also insisted that the claims of the Polish and Hungarian minorities be satisfied before participating in the proposed international guarantee of the new Czechoslovakia frontier. Several days of extreme tension followed. Chamberlain announced on Sept. 28, 1938, to the House of Commons that Hitler had invited him, together with Daladier and Mussolini, to a conference in Munich the following afternoon. The House erupted in an outburst of tremendous enthusiasm.[60]Ibid., p. 54.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 53-54.)

The parties signed the Munich Agreement in the early hours of Sept. 30, 1938. Hitler got substantially everything he wanted. The Sudeten Germans had become a part of Germany. Chamberlain and Hitler signed a joint declaration that the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German naval accord symbolized “the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with each other again.” Chamberlain told the cheering crowd in London that welcomed him home, “I believe it is peace in our time.”[61]Ibid., p. 55.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 53-54.)
War had been averted in Europe.

The British war enthusiasts lost no time in launching their effort to spoil the celebration of the Munich Agreement. On Oct. 1, 1938, First Lord of the Admiralty Alfred Duff Cooper announced that he was resigning from the British cabinet. In a speech delivered on Oct. 3, 1938, Cooper criticized the British government for not assuming a definite commitment during the Czech crisis. He asserted that Great Britain would not have been fighting for the Czechs, but rather for the balance of power, which was precious to some British hearts. Duff Cooper believed that it was his mission and that of his country to prevent Germany from achieving a dominant position on the continent.[62]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 180-181.

Clement Attlee, the new Labor Party leader, spoke of the Munich Agreement as a huge victory for Hitler and an “annihilating defeat for democracy.” Of course, Attlee in his speech included the Soviet Union as a democracy. Anthony Eden gave a speech in which he criticized Chamberlain on detailed points, and expressed doubt that Britain would fulfill her promised guarantee to the Czech state. Eden advised the House to regard the current situation as a mere pause before the next crisis. He claimed that the British armament campaign was proceeding too slowly.[63]Ibid., p. 188.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 180-181.)

In his speech on Oct. 5, 1938, Winston Churchill stated that Hitler had extracted British concessions at pistol point, and he loved to use the image of Hitler as a gangster. Churchill used flowery rhetoric and elegant phrases to describe the allegedly mournful Czechs slipping away into darkness. Churchill wanted to convince his countrymen that National Socialist Germany was governed by an insatiable desire for world conquest. The simple and stark purpose of the speech was to convince the British people to eventually accept a war of annihilation against Germany. Churchill was a useful instrument in building up British prejudice against Germany.[64]Ibid., p. 190.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 180-181.)

The debate on the Munich Agreement surpassed all other parliamentary debates on British foreign policy since World War I. Other Conservatives who refused to accept the Munich Agreement include Harold Macmillan, Duncan Sandys, Leopold Amery, Harold Nicolson, Roger Keyes, Sidney Herbert, and Gen. Edward Spears. These men were joined by a score of lesser figures in the House of Commons, and they were supported by such prominent people as Lord Cranborne and Lord Wolmer in the House of Lords. Chamberlain won the vote of confidence, but he did not possess the confidence of the British Conservative Party.[65]Ibid., p. 191.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 180-181.)

The warmongering that led to World War II was increasing in Great Britain. Hitler was dismayed at the steady stream of hate propaganda directed at Germany. In a speech given in Saarbruecken on Oct. 9, 1938, Hitler said: “…All it would take would be for Mr. Duff Cooper or Mr. Eden or Mr. Churchill to come to power in England instead of Chamberlain, and we know very well that it would be the goal of these men to immediately start a new world war. They do not even try to disguise their intents, they state them openly.”[66]Bradberry, Benton L., The Myth of German Villainy, Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012, p. 324.

Germany’s Decision to Occupy Prague

The Munich Agreement was meant to mark the beginning of a new epoch in European affairs. The Versailles Treaty was now officially dead and buried. The Versailles system directed against Germany had been successfully dismantled without a war. A new epoch, based on equality and mutual confidence among the four great European Powers, was supposed to take its place.[67]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 187.

Public opinion in the Western democracies soon took a hard turn against Germany. On the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938, National Socialist storm troopers went on a rampage, looting Jewish shops, smashing windows, burning synagogues, and beating Jews. Hundreds were assaulted and dozens perished in what came to be known as Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass. The United States soon called its German ambassador home. Much of the goodwill garnered by Germany from the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the Munich Agreement, which the democracies still believed had averted war, was washed away by Kristallnacht.[68]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 241.

War propaganda began to intensify in Great Britain. The British press in late November 1938 reported rumors that Germany was massing her troops in preparation for an invasion of Czechoslovakia. These false rumors originated from London. Anthony Eden was sent to the United States by Halifax in December 1938 to spread rumors about sinister German plans. Roosevelt responded with a provocative and insulting warning to Germany in his message to Congress on Jan. 4, 1939.[69]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 235, 241.

Halifax secretly circulated rumors both at home and abroad which presented the foreign policy of Hitler in the worst possible light. On Jan. 24, 1939, Halifax sent a message to President Roosevelt in which he claimed to have received “a large number of reports from various reliable sources which throw a most disquieting light on Hitler’s mood and intentions.” Halifax claimed that Hitler had recently planned to establish an independent Ukraine, and that Hitler intended to destroy the Western nations in a surprise attack before he moved into the East. Halifax further claimed that not only British intelligence but “highly placed Germans who are anxious to prevent this crime” had furnished evidence of this evil conspiracy. These claims were all lies. Hitler did not have the remotest intention at the time of attacking the Ukraine or any Western country.[70]Ibid., p. 240.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 235, 241.)

A crisis developed in Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement. The German, Polish, and Hungarian minorities had been successfully separated from Czech rule. However, the Slovaks and Ruthenians were also eager to escape from Czech rule, and they received encouragement from Poland and Hungary. For about four months after Munich, Hitler considered the possibility of protecting the remnants of the Czech state. Hitler gradually came to the conclusion that the Czech cause was lost in Slovakia, and that Czech cooperation with Germany could not be relied upon. Hitler eventually decided to transfer German support from the Czechs to the Slovaks.[71]Ibid., p. 227.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 235, 241.)

Increasingly serious internal difficulties faced the Czech state, and in early 1939 the Czech problem with Slovakia deteriorated rapidly. The climax of the Slovak crisis occurred on March 9, 1939, when the Czech government dismissed the four principal Slovak ministers from the local government at Bratislava.

Josef Tiso, the Slovakian leader, arrived in Berlin on March 13, 1939, and met with Hitler in a hurried conference. Hitler admitted to Tiso that until recently he had been unaware of the strength of the independence movement in Slovakia. Hitler promised Tiso that he would support Slovakia if she continued to demonstrate her will to independence. The Slovakian government proceeded to vote a declaration of independence from Czechoslovakia on March 14, 1939.[72]Ibid., pp. 245-247.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 235, 241.)
Ruthenia also quickly declared independence and became part of Hungary, dissolving what was left of the Czech state.[73]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 246.

Czech President Emil Hácha on his own initiative asked to see Hitler in the hope of finding a solution for a hopeless crisis. President Hácha was correctly received at Berlin with the full military honors due a visiting chief of state. Hitler met Hácha’s train and presented flowers and chocolates to Hácha’s daughter, who accompanied her father.

After World War II, Hácha’s daughter denied to Allied investigators that her father had been subjected to any unusual pressure during his visit to Berlin. This information is important because Hácha, who was bothered by heart trouble, had a mild heart attack during his visit with the German leaders. Hácha agreed to accept German medical assistance, and recovered quickly enough to negotiate the outline of an agreement with Germany and the Czech state.

The details were arranged between the Czechs and the Germans at Prague on March 15th and 16th.[74]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 248.

The occupation of Prague by German troops was legalized by the agreements signed with the Czech and Slovak leaders. The period of direct German military rule lasted a little over one month. The new regime formed by the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia on March 16, 1939, enjoyed considerable popularity among the Czechs. On July 31, 1939, Hitler agreed to permit the Czech government to have a military force of 7,000 soldiers, which included 280 officers.[75]Ibid., pp. 250-251.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 248.)

President Hácha had voluntarily placed the fate of the Czech state in the hands of Germany. Hácha and his new cabinet resumed control of the government on April 27, 1939.[76]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, pp. 117, 119. Hácha would serve Hitler faithfully throughout the war. British historian Donald Cameron Watt writes, “[Hitler] was remarkably kind…to the Czech Cabinet after the march into Prague, keeping its members in office for a time and paying their pensions.”[77]Watt, David Cameron, How War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War, 19381939, New York: Pantheon, 1989, p. 145.

The motives behind Hitler’s actions in the Czech crisis of March 1939 remain in dispute. British historian A.J.P. Taylor evaluates Hitler’s motives:

All the world saw in this the culmination of a long-planned campaign. In fact, it was the unforeseen by-product of developments in Slovakia; and Hitler was acting against the Hungarians rather than against the Czechs. Nor was there anything sinister or premeditated in the protectorate over Bohemia. Hitler, the supposed revolutionary, was simply reverting in the most conservative way to the pattern of previous centuries. Bohemia had always been part of the Holy Roman Empire; it had been part of the German Confederation between 1815 and 1866; then it had been linked to German Austria until 1918. Independence, not subordination, was the novelty in Czech history. Of course Hitler’s protectorate brought tyranny to Bohemia—secret police, the S.S., the concentration camps; but no more than in Germany itself…Hitler’s domestic behavior, not his foreign policy, was the real crime which ultimately brought him—and Germany—to the ground. It did not seem so at the time. Hitler took the decisive step in his career when he occupied Prague. He did it without design; it brought him slight advantage. He acted only when events had already destroyed the settlement of Munich. But everyone outside Germany, and especially the other makers of that settlement, believed that he had deliberately destroyed it himself.[78]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 202203.

American historian David Hoggan writes: “Hitler’s decision to support the Slovaks and to occupy Prague had been based on the obvious disinterest of the British leaders in the Czech situation. There had been ample opportunities for them to encourage the Czechs in some way, but they had repeatedly refused to do so. The truth was that the British leaders did not care about the Czechs. They used Hitler’s policy as a pretext to become indignant about the Germans.”[79]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 228.

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain originally explained in the House of Commons on March 15, 1939, that Germany had no obligation to consult Great Britain in dealing with the Czech-Slovak crisis. The British government had also never fulfilled its promise to guarantee the Czech state after the Munich Agreement. Chamberlain stated that the Slovak declaration of independence on March 14, 1939, put an end by internal disruption to the Czech state, and therefore the British guarantee to preserve the integrity of Czechoslovakia was no longer binding.[80]Ibid., p. 252.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 228.)
Chamberlain concluded, “Let us remember that the desire of all the peoples of the world still remains concentrated on the hopes of peace.”[81]Smith, Gene, The Dark Summer: An Intimate History of the Events That Led to World War II, New York: Macmillan, 1987, p. 132.

Lord Halifax now began to take command of British policy toward Germany. Halifax informed Chamberlain that his speech of March 15, 1939, was unacceptable. President Roosevelt of the United States was also highly critical of Chamberlain’s speech. Two days later on March 17, 1939, Chamberlain expressed the first sign of a major shift in policy toward Germany. In a speech in his home city of Birmingham, Chamberlain charged Hitler with “a flagrant breach of personal faith.” Chamberlain presented himself as the victim of German duplicity, and stated that he would never be able to believe Hitler again. Chamberlain asked rhetorically if this was a step by Hitler to attempt to dominate the world by force.[82]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 252-253.

Halifax expressed his hostile views concerning Germany’s occupation of Prague to German Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen on March 15, 1939. Halifax claimed that Hitler had unmasked himself as a dishonest person, and that German policy implied a rejection of good relations with Great Britain. Halifax insisted that Germany was “seeking to establish a position in which they could by force dominate Europe, and, if possible, the world.” Halifax stated that he could understand Hitler’s taste for bloodless victories, but he promised the German diplomat that Hitler would be forced to shed blood the next time.[83]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.

The reports which Ambassador Dirksen sent to Berlin during the next several days indicate that he was considerably shaken by the violent British reaction to the latest Czech crisis. The entire German Embassy staff was dismayed by the events of March 1939. Ambassador Dirksen recognized the importance of an Anglo-German understanding, and he became almost incoherent with grief when confronted with the collapse of his diplomatic efforts. The British had created the impression that the future of Bohemia was a matter of complete indifference to them. Then the British hypocritically turned around and declared that the events in Bohemia had convinced them that Hitler was seeking to conquer the world. No wonder the German diplomats in London were in despair. [84]Ibid., p. 297.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.)

Halifax next sought a broader basis than the Czech crisis to justify Britain’s belligerence toward Germany. Virgil Tilea, the Romanian minister to Great Britain, was recruited by Halifax to make false charges against Germany. Tilea was carefully coached for his role by Sir Robert Vansittart, Great Britain’s vehemently anti-German chief diplomatic advisor. On March 17, 1939, Tilea issued a carefully prepared public statement which charged that Germany was seeking to obtain control of the entire Romanian economy. Tilea further claimed that Germany had issued an ultimatum that terrified Romanian leaders. These false accusations were published by the major British newspapers. Millions of British newspaper readers were aghast at Hitler’s apparently unlimited appetite for conquest. Tilea’s false accusations produced anxiety and outspoken hostility toward Germany among the British public.[85]Ibid., pp. 299-301.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.)

The British minister to Romania, Reginald Hoare, contacted Halifax and proceeded to explain in detail the ridiculous nature of Tilea’s charges. Hoare stated that it was “so utterly improbable that the minister of foreign affairs would not have informed me that an immediate (italics his) threatening situation had developed here that I called on him as soon as your telegrams to Warsaw and Moscow had been deciphered. He told me that he was being inundated with enquiries regarding the report of a German ultimatum which had appeared in The Times and Daily Telegraph today. There was not a word of truth in it.”[86]Ibid., p. 301.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.)

Hoare naturally assumed that his detailed report would induce Halifax to disavow the false Tilea charges. Nothing of this sort occurred. Hoare was astonished when Halifax continued to express his faith in the authenticity of Tilea’s story after its falsehood had been exposed. The Tilea hoax was crucial to the development of Halifax’s policy of inciting hatred among the British public toward Germany. Halifax was not concerned with any adverse repercussions of the Tilea hoax in Romania.[87]Ibid.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.)

Halifax had lied to the British public about German policy toward Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement, and he had lied to them about the alleged crisis in Romania. It was only by means of these palpable falsehoods that the British public had been stirred into a warlike mood. It was by these means that Halifax would be able to persuade the British public to accept a foreign policy that was both dangerous and devoid of logic.[88]Ibid., p. 341.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.)

Great Britain’s Blank Check to Poland

On March 21, 1939, while hosting French Prime Minister Daladier, Chamberlain discussed a joint front with France, Russia, and Poland to act together against German aggression. France agreed at once, and the Russians agreed on the condition that both France and Poland sign first. However, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck vetoed the agreement on March 24, 1939.[89]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207. Polish statesmen feared Russia more than they did Germany. Polish marshal Edward Smigly-Rydz told the French ambassador, “With the Germans we risk losing our liberty; with the Russians we lose our soul.”[90]DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.

Another complication arose in European diplomacy when the residents of Memel in Lithuania wanted to join Germany. The Allied victors in the Versailles Treaty had detached Memel from East Prussia and placed it under a League of Nations protectorate. Lithuania then proceeded to seize Memel from the League of Nations shortly after World War I. Memel was a German city which in the seven centuries of its history had never separated from its East Prussian homeland. Germany was so weak after World War I that it could not prevent the tiny new-born nation of Lithuania from seizing the ancient Prussian city of Memel.[91]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 25, 312.

Germany’s occupation of Prague generated uncontrollable excitement among the mostly German population of Memel. The population of Memel was clamoring to return to Germany and could no longer be restrained. The Lithuanian foreign minister traveled to Berlin on March 22, 1939, where he agreed to the immediate transfer of Memel to Germany. The annexation of Memel into Germany went through the next day. The question of Memel appears to have exploded of itself without any deliberate German plan of annexation.[92]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209. Polish leaders had agreed that the return of Memel to Germany from Lithuania would not constitute an issue of conflict between Germany and Poland.[93]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.

What did cause an issue of conflict between Germany and Poland was the so-called Free City of Danzig. Danzig was founded in the early 14th century and was historically the key port at the mouth of the great Vistula River. From the beginning Danzig was inhabited almost exclusively by Germans, with the Polish minority in 1922 constituting less than 3% of the city’s 365,000 inhabitants. The Treaty of Versailles converted Danzig from a German provincial capital into a League of Nations protectorate subject to numerous servitudes established for the benefit of Poland. The citizens of Danzig had never wanted to leave Germany, and they were eager to return to Germany in 1939. Their eagerness to join Germany was exacerbated by the fact that Germany’s economy was healthy while Poland’s economy was still mired in depression.[94]Ibid., pp. 49-60.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.)

The citizens of Danzig had consistently demonstrated their unwavering loyalty to National Socialism and its principles. They had even elected a National Socialist parliamentary majority before this result had been achieved in Germany. It was widely known that Poland was constantly seeking to increase her control over Danzig despite the wishes of Danzig’s citizens. Hitler was not opposed to Poland’s further economic aspirations at Danzig, but Hitler was resolved never to permit the establishment of a Polish political regime at Danzig. Such a renunciation of Danzig by Hitler would have been a repudiation of the loyalty of Danzig citizens to the Third Reich and their spirit of self-determination.[95]Ibid., pp. 328-329.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.)

Germany presented a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Danzig question with Poland on Oct. 24, 1938. Hitler’s plan would allow Germany to annex Danzig and construct a superhighway and a railroad to East Prussia. In return Poland would be granted a permanent free port in Danzig and the right to build her own highway and railroad to the port. The entire Danzig area would also become a permanent free market for Polish goods on which no German customs duties would be levied. Germany would take the unprecedented step of recognizing and guaranteeing the existing German-Polish frontier, including the boundary in Upper Silesia established in 1922. This later provision was extremely important since the Versailles Treaty had given Poland much additional territory which Germany proposed to renounce. Hitler’s offer to guarantee Poland’s frontiers also carried with it a degree of military security that no other non-Communist nation could match. [96]Ibid., pp. 145-146.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.)

Germany’s proposed settlement with Poland was far less favorable to Germany than the Thirteenth Point of Wilson’s program at Versailles had been. The Versailles Treaty gave Poland large slices of territory in regions such as West Prussia and Western Posen which were overwhelmingly German. The richest industrial section of Upper Silesia was also later given to Poland despite the fact the Poles lost the plebiscite there. Germany was willing to renounce these territories in the interest of German-Polish cooperation. This concession of Hitler’s was more than adequate to compensate for the German annexation of Danzig and construction of a superhighway and a railroad in the corridor. The Polish diplomats themselves believed that Germany’s proposal was a sincere and realistic basis for a permanent agreement.[97]Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.)

On March 26, 1939, the Polish ambassador to Berlin, Joseph Lipski, formally rejected Germany’s proposals for a settlement. The Poles had waited over five months to reject Germany’s proposals, and they refused to countenance any change in existing conditions. Lipski stated to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that “it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland.”[98]Ibid., p. 323.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.)

Józef Beck accepted an offer from Great Britain on March 30, 1939, that gave an unconditional unilateral guarantee of Poland’s independence. The British Empire agreed to go to war as an ally of Poland if the Poles decided that war was necessary. In words drafted by Halifax, Chamberlain spoke in the House of Commons on March 31, 1939, declaring:

I now have to inform the House…that in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, his majesty’s government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to that effect.[99]Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.

Great Britain for the first time in history had left the decision whether or not to fight a war outside of her own country to another nation. Britain’s guarantee to Poland was binding without commitments from the Polish side. The British public was astonished by this move. Despite its unprecedented nature, Halifax encountered little difficulty in persuading the British Conservative, Liberal, and Labour parties to accept Great Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland.[100]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 333, 340.

Numerous British historians and diplomats have criticized Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland. For example, British diplomat Roy Denman called the war guarantee to Poland “the most reckless undertaking ever given by a British government. It placed the decision on peace or war in Europe in the hands of a reckless, intransigent, swashbuckling military dictatorship.”[101]Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121. British historian Niall Ferguson states that the war guarantee to Poland tied Britain’s “destiny to that of a regime that was every bit as undemocratic and anti-Semitic as that of Germany.”[102]Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 377. English military historian Liddell Hart stated that the Polish guarantee “placed Britain’s destiny in the hands of Poland’s rulers, men of very dubious and unstable judgment. Moreover, the guarantee was impossible to fulfill except with Russia’s help.”[103]Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.

American historian Richard M. Watt writes concerning Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland: “This enormously broad guarantee virtually left to the Poles the decision whether or not Britain would go to war. For Britain to give such a blank check to a Central European nation, particularly to Poland—a nation that Britain had generally regarded as irresponsible and greedy—was mind-boggling.”[104]Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.

When the Belgian minister to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, received the text of the British guarantee to Poland, he exclaimed that “blank check” was the only possible description of the British pledge. Davignon was extremely alarmed in view of the proverbial recklessness of the Poles. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsaecker attempted to reassure Davignon by claiming that the situation between Germany and Poland was not tragic. However, Davignon correctly feared that the British move would produce war in a very short time.[105]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.

Weizsaecker later exclaimed scornfully that “the British guarantee to Poland was like offering sugar to an untrained child before it had learned to listen to reason!”[106]Ibid., p. 391.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

The Deterioration of German-Polish Relations

German-Polish relationships had become strained by the increasing harshness with which the Polish authorities handled the German minority. The Polish government in the 1930s began to confiscate the land of its German minority at bargain prices through public expropriation. The German government resented the fact that German landowners received only one-eighth of the value of their holdings from the Polish government. Since the Polish public was aware of the German situation and desired to exploit it, the German minority in Poland could not sell the land in advance of expropriation. Furthermore, Polish law forbade Germans from privately selling large areas of land.

German diplomats insisted that the November 1937 Minorities Pact with Poland for the equal treatment of German and Polish landowners be observed in 1939. Despite Polish assurances of fairness and equal treatment, German diplomats learned on Feb. 15, 1939, that the latest expropriations of land in Poland were predominantly of German holdings. These expropriations virtually completed the elimination of substantial German landholdings in Poland at a time when most of the larger Polish landholdings were still intact. It became evident that nothing could be done diplomatically to help the German minority in Poland.[107]Ibid., pp. 260-262.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Poland threatened Germany with a partial mobilization of her forces on March 23, 1939. Hundreds of thousands of Polish army reservists were mobilized, and Hitler was warned that Poland would fight to prevent the return of Danzig to Germany. The Poles were surprised to discover that Germany did not take this challenge seriously. Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland, refrained from responding to the Polish threat of war. Germany did not threaten Poland and took no precautionary military measures in response to the Polish partial mobilization.[108]Ibid., pp. 311-312.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Hitler regarded a German-Polish agreement as a highly welcome alternative to a German-Polish war. However, no further negotiations for a German-Polish agreement occurred after the British guarantee to Poland for the simple reason that Józef Beck refused to negotiate. Beck ignored repeated German suggestions for further negotiations. Beck knew perfectly well that Halifax hoped to accomplish the complete destruction of Germany. Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable since 1936, and Britain’s anti-German policy was made public with Chamberlain’s speech on March 17, 1939. Halifax discouraged German-Polish negotiations because he was counting on Poland to provide the pretext for a British preventive war against Germany.[109]Ibid., pp. 355, 357.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

The situation between Germany and Poland deteriorated rapidly during the brief span of six weeks from the Polish partial mobilization of March 23, 1939, to a speech delivered by Beck on May 5, 1939. Beck’s primary purpose in delivering his speech before the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was to convince the Polish public and the world that he was able and willing to challenge Hitler. Beck knew that Halifax had succeeded in creating a warlike atmosphere in Great Britain, and that he could go as far as he wanted without displeasing the British. Beck took an uncompromising attitude in his speech that effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany.

Beck made numerous false and hypocritical statements in his speech. One of the most astonishing claims in his speech was that there was nothing extraordinary about the British guarantee to Poland. He described it as a normal step in the pursuit of friendly relations with a neighboring country. This was in sharp contrast to British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan’s statement to Joseph Kennedy that Britain’s guarantee to Poland was without precedent in the entire history of British foreign policy.[110]Ibid., pp. 381, 383.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Beck ended his speech with a stirring climax that produced wild excitement in Poland’s Sejm. Someone in the audience screamed loudly, “We do not need peace!” and pandemonium followed. Beck had made many Poles in the audience determined to fight Germany. This feeling resulted from their ignorance which made it impossible for them to criticize the numerous falsehoods and misstatements in Beck’s speech. Beck made the audience feel that Hitler had insulted the honor of Poland with what were actually quite reasonable peace proposals. The Polish foreign minister had effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany. Beck had made Germany the deadly enemy of Poland.[111]Ibid., pp. 384, 387.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

More than 1 million ethnic Germans resided in Poland at the time of Beck’s speech, and these Germans were the principal victims of the German-Polish crisis in the coming weeks. The Germans in Poland were subjected to increasing doses of violence from the dominant Poles. The British public was told repeatedly that the grievances of the German minority in Poland were largely imaginary. The average British citizen was completely unaware of the terror and fear of death that stalked these Germans in Poland. Ultimately, many thousands of Germans in Poland paid for the crisis with their lives. They were among the first victims of Halifax’s war policy against Germany.[112]Ibid., p. 387.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

The immediate responsibility for security measures involving the German minority in Poland rested with Interior Department Ministerial Director Waclaw Zyborski. Zyborski consented to discuss the situation on June 23, 1939, with Walther Kohnert, one of the leaders of the German minority at Bromberg. Zyborski admitted to Kohnert that the Germans of Poland were in an unenviable situation, but he was not sympathetic to their plight. Zyborski ended their lengthy conversation by stating frankly that his policy required a severe treatment of the German minority in Poland. He made it clear that it was impossible for the Germans of Poland to alleviate their hard fate. The Germans in Poland were the helpless hostages of the Polish community and the Polish state. [113]Ibid., pp. 388-389.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Other leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for help during this period. Sen. Hans Hasbach, the leader of the conservative German minority faction, and Dr. Rudolf Wiesner, the leader of the Young German Party, each made multiple appeals to Poland’s government to end the violence. In a futile appeal on July 6, 1939, to Premier Slawoj-Skladkowski, head of Poland’s Department of Interior, Wiesner referred to the waves of public violence against the Germans at Tomaszów near Lódz, May 13-15th, at Konstantynów, May 21-22nd, and at Pabianice, June 22-23, 1939. The appeal of Wiesner produced no results. The leaders of the German political groups eventually recognized that they had no influence with Polish authorities despite their loyal attitudes toward Poland. It was “open season” on the Germans of Poland with the approval of the Polish government.[114]Ibid.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

The Polish anti-German incidents of this period also occurred against the German majority in the Free City of Danzig. On May 21, 1939, Zygmunt Morawski, a former Polish soldier, murdered a German at Kalthof on Danzig territory. The incident itself would not have been so unusual except for the fact that Polish officials acted as if Poland and not the League of Nations had sovereign power over Danzig. Polish officials refused to apologize for the incident, and they treated with contempt the effort of Danzig authorities to bring Morawski to trial. It was obvious that the Poles in Danzig considered themselves above the law.[115]Ibid., pp. 392-393.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Tension steadily mounted at Danzig after the Kalthof murder. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would show them no mercy if Poland were permitted to obtain the upper hand. The Poles were furious when they learned that Danzig was defying Poland by organizing her own militia for home defense. The Poles blamed Hitler for this situation. The Polish government protested to German Ambassador Hans von Moltke on July 1, 1939, about the current military defense measures of the Danzig government. Józef Beck told French Ambassador Léon Noel on July 6, 1939, that the Polish government had decided that additional measures were necessary to meet the alleged threat from Danzig.[116]Ibid., pp. 405-406.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

On July 29, 1939, the Danzig government presented two protest notes to the Poles concerning illegal activities of Polish custom inspectors and frontier officials. The Polish government responded by terminating the export of duty-free herring and margarine from Danzig to Poland. Polish officials next announced in the early hours of Aug. 5, 1939, that the frontiers of Danzig would be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promised by the end of the day never to interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. This threat was formidable since Danzig produced only a relatively small portion of her own food. All Polish customs inspectors would also bear arms while performing their duty after Aug. 5, 1939. The Polish ultimatum made it obvious that Poland intended to replace the League of Nations as the sovereign power at Danzig.[117]Ibid., p. 412.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Hitler concluded that Poland was seeking to provoke an immediate conflict with Germany. The Danzig government submitted to the Polish ultimatum based on Hitler’s recommendation.

Beck had explained to British Ambassador Kennard that the Polish government was prepared to take military measures against Danzig if it failed to accept the Polish terms. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would have executed a full military occupation of Danzig had the Polish ultimatum been rejected. It was apparent to the German government that the British and French were either unable or unwilling to restrain the Polish government from arbitrary steps that could produce an explosion.[118]Ibid., pp. 413-415.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

On Aug. 7, 1939, the Polish censors permitted the newspaper Illustrowany Kuryer Codzienny in Kraków to feature an article of unprecedented recklessness. The article stated that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier to destroy German military installations and to carry confiscated German military equipment into Poland. The Polish government failed to prevent the newspaper, with the largest circulation in Poland, from telling the world that Poland was instigating a series of violations of her frontier with Germany. Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Beck to seek an agreement with the Germans. Potocki later succinctly explained the situation by stating that “Poland prefers Danzig to peace.”[119]Ibid., p. 419.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

President Roosevelt knew that Poland had caused the crisis which began at Danzig, and he was worried that the American public might learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging Roosevelt’s plan for American military intervention in Europe. Roosevelt instructed U.S. Ambassador Biddle to urge the Poles to be more careful in making it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig. Biddle reported to Roosevelt on Aug. 11, 1939, that Beck expressed no interest in engaging in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers designed to deceive the American public. Beck stated that at the moment he was content to have full British support for his policy.[120]Ibid., p. 414.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Roosevelt also feared that American politicians might discover the facts about the hopeless dilemma which Poland’s provocative policy created for Germany. When American Democratic Party campaign manager and Postmaster General James Farley visited Berlin at this time, Roosevelt instructed the American Embassy in Berlin to prevent unsupervised contact between Farley and the German leaders. The German Foreign Office concluded on Aug. 10, 1939, that it was impossible to penetrate the wall of censorship around Farley. The Germans knew that President Roosevelt was determined to prevent them from freely communicating with visiting American leaders.[121]Ibid., p. 417.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Polish Atrocities Force War

On Aug. 14, 1939, the Polish authorities in East Upper Silesia launched a campaign of mass arrests against the German minority. The Poles then proceeded to close and confiscate the remaining German businesses, clubs, and welfare installations. The arrested Germans were forced to march toward the interior of Poland in prisoner columns. The various German groups in Poland were frantic by this time, and they feared that the Poles would attempt the total extermination of the German minority in the event of war. Thousands of Germans were seeking to escape arrest by crossing the border into Germany. Some of the worst recent Polish atrocities included the mutilation of several Germans. The Poles were warned not to regard their German minority as helpless hostages who could be butchered with impunity.[122]Ibid., pp. 452-453.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Rudolf Wiesner, who was the most prominent of the German minority leaders in Poland, spoke of a disaster “of inconceivable magnitude” since the early months of 1939. Wiesner claimed that the last Germans had been dismissed from their jobs without the benefit of unemployment relief, and that hunger and privation were stamped on the faces of the Germans in Poland. German welfare agencies, cooperatives, and trade associations had been closed by Polish authorities. Exceptional martial law conditions of the earlier frontier zone had been extended to include more than one-third of the territory of Poland. The mass arrests, deportations, mutilations, and beatings of the last few weeks in Poland surpassed anything which had happened before. Wiesner insisted that the German minority leaders merely desired the restoration of peace, the banishment of the specter of war, and the right to live and work in peace. Wiesner was arrested by the Poles on Aug. 16, 1939, on suspicion of conducting espionage for Germany in Poland.[123]Ibid., p. 463.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

The German press devoted increasing space to detailed accounts of atrocities against the Germans in Poland. The Völkischer Beobachter reported that more than 80,000 German refugees from Poland had succeeded in reaching German territory by Aug. 20, 1939. The German Foreign Office had received a huge file of specific reports of excesses against national and ethnic Germans in Poland. More than 1,500 documented reports had been received since March 1939, and more than 10 detailed reports were arriving in the German Foreign Office each day. The reports presented a staggering picture of brutality and human misery.[124]Ibid., p. 479.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

W.L. White, an American journalist, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed people by this time that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland.[125]Ibid., p. 554.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.)

Donald Day, a Chicago Tribune correspondent, reported on the atrocious treatment the Poles had meted out to the ethnic Germans in Poland:

I traveled up to the Polish corridor where the German authorities permitted me to interview the German refugees from many Polish cities and towns. The story was the same. Mass arrests and long marches along roads toward the interior of Poland. The railroads were crowded with troop movements. Those who fell by the wayside were shot. The Polish authorities seemed to have gone mad. I have been questioning people all my life and I think I know how to make deductions from the exaggerated stories told by people who have passed through harrowing personal experiences. But even with generous allowance, the situation was plenty bad. To me the war seemed only a question of hours.[126]Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, CA: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.

British Ambassador Nevile Henderson in Berlin was concentrating on obtaining recognition from Halifax of the cruel fate of the German minority in Poland. Henderson emphatically warned Halifax on Aug. 24, 1939, that German complaints about the treatment of the German minority in Poland were fully supported by the facts. Henderson knew that the Germans were prepared to negotiate, and he stated to Halifax that war between Poland and Germany was inevitable unless negotiations were resumed between the two countries. Henderson pleaded with Halifax that it would be contrary to Polish interests to attempt a full military occupation of Danzig, and he added a scathingly effective denunciation of Polish policy. What Henderson failed to realize is that Halifax was pursuing war for its own sake as an instrument of policy. Halifax desired the complete destruction of Germany.[127]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.

On Aug. 25, 1939, Henderson reported to Halifax the latest Polish atrocity at Bielitz, Upper Silesia. Henderson never relied on official German statements concerning these incidents, but instead based his reports on information he had received from neutral sources. The Poles continued to forcibly deport the Germans of that area, and compelled them to march into the interior of Poland. Eight Germans were murdered and many more were injured during one of these actions.

Hitler was faced with a terrible dilemma. If Hitler did nothing, the Germans of Poland and Danzig would be abandoned to the cruelty and violence of a hostile Poland. If Hitler took effective action against the Poles, the British and French might declare war against Germany. Henderson feared that the Bielitz atrocity would be the final straw to prompt Hitler to invade Poland. Henderson, who strongly desired peace with Germany, deplored the failure of the British government to exercise restraint over the Polish authorities.[128]Ibid., p. 509
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. This non-aggression pact contained a secret protocol which recognized a Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. German recognition of this Soviet sphere of influence would not apply in the event of a diplomatic settlement of the German-Polish dispute. Hitler had hoped to recover the diplomatic initiative through the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact. However, Chamberlain warned Hitler in a letter dated Aug. 23, 1939, that Great Britain would support Poland with military force regardless of the MolotovRibbentrop agreement. Beck also continued to refuse to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Germany.[129]Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

Germany made a new offer to Poland on Aug. 29, 1939, for a last diplomatic campaign to settle the German-Polish dispute. The terms of a new German plan for a settlement, the so-called Marienwerder proposals, were less important than the offer to negotiate as such. The terms of the Marienwerder proposals were intended as nothing more than a tentative German plan for a possible settlement. The German government emphasized that these terms were formulated to offer a basis for unimpeded negotiations between equals rather than constituting a series of demands which Poland would be required to accept. There was nothing to prevent the Poles from offering an entirely new set of proposals of their own.

The Germans, in offering to negotiate with Poland, were indicating that they favored a diplomatic settlement over war with Poland. The willingness of the Poles to negotiate would not in any way have implied a Polish retreat or their readiness to recognize the German annexation of Danzig. The Poles could have justified their acceptance to negotiate with the announcement that Germany, and not Poland, had found it necessary to request new negotiations. In refusing to negotiate, the Poles were announcing that they favored war. The refusal of British Foreign Secretary Halifax to encourage the Poles to negotiate also indicated that he favored war.[130]Ibid., pp. 513-514.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain were both privately critical of the Polish government. Daladier in private denounced the “criminal folly” of the Poles. Chamberlain admitted to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it was the Poles, and not the Germans, who were unreasonable. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt, “frankly he   [Chamberlain] is more worried about getting the Poles to be reasonable than the Germans.” However, neither Daladier nor Chamberlain made any effort to influence the Poles to negotiate with the Germans.[131]Ibid., pp. 441, 549.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

On Aug. 29, 1939, the Polish government decided upon the general mobilization of its army. The Polish military plans stipulated that general mobilization would be ordered only in the event of Poland’s decision for war. Henderson informed Halifax of some of the verified Polish violations prior to the war. The Poles blew up the Dirschau (Tczew) bridge across the Vistula River even though the eastern approach to the bridge was in German territory. The Poles also occupied a number of Danzig installations and engaged in fighting with the citizens of Danzig on the same day. Henderson reported that Hitler was not insisting on the total military defeat of Poland. Hitler was prepared to terminate hostilities if the Poles indicated that they were willing to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.[132]Ibid., pp. 537, 577.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

Germany decided to invade Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. All of the British leaders claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast that evening on British radio that “the responsibility for this terrible catastrophe (war in Poland) lies on the shoulders of one man, the German Chancellor.”

Chamberlain claimed that Hitler had ordered Poland to come to Berlin with the unconditional obligation of accepting without discussion the exact German terms. Chamberlain denied that Germany had invited the Poles to engage in normal negotiations. Chamberlain’s statements were unvarnished lies, but the Polish case was so weak that it was impossible to defend it with the truth.

Halifax also delivered a cleverly hypocritical speech to the House of Lords on the evening of Sept. 1, 1939. Halifax claimed that the best proof of the British will to peace was to have Chamberlain, the great appeasement leader, carry Great Britain into war. Halifax concealed the fact that he had taken over the direction of British foreign policy from Chamberlain in October 1938, and that Great Britain would probably not be moving into war had this not happened. He assured his audience that Hitler, before the bar of history, would have to assume full responsibility for starting the war. Halifax insisted that the English conscience was pure, and that, in looking back, he did not wish to change a thing as far as British policy was concerned. [133]Ibid., pp. 578-579.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)

On Sept. 2, 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to hold a mediation conference among themselves and Great Britain, France, and Poland. Halifax attempted to destroy the conference plan by insisting that Germany withdraw her forces from Poland and Danzig before Great Britain and France would consider attending the mediation conference. French Foreign Minister Bonnet knew that no nation would accept such treatment, and that the attitude of Halifax was unreasonable and unrealistic.

Ultimately, the mediation effort collapsed, and both Great Britain and France declared war against Germany on Sept. 3, 1939. When Hitler read the British declaration of war against Germany, he paused and asked to no one in particular: “What now?”[134]Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.
(Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.)
Germany was now in an unnecessary war with three European nations.

Similar to the other British leaders, Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador to Germany, later claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Henderson writes in his memoirs in 1940: “If Hitler wanted peace he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what would bring it about. The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.”[135]Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227. Henderson forgets in this passage that he had repeatedly warned Halifax that the Polish atrocities against the German minority in Poland were extreme. Hitler invaded Poland in order to end these atrocities.

Polish Atrocities Continue Against German Minority

The Germans in Poland continued to experience an atmosphere of terror in the early part of September 1939. Throughout the country the Germans had been told, “If war comes to Poland you will all be hanged.” This prophecy was later fulfilled in many cases.

The famous bloody Sunday in Torun on Sept. 3, 1939, was accompanied by similar massacres elsewhere in Poland. These massacres brought a tragic end to the long suffering of many ethnic Germans. This catastrophe had been anticipated by the Germans before the outbreak of war, as reflected by the flight, or attempted escape, of large numbers of Germans from Poland. The feelings of these Germans were revealed by the desperate slogan, “Away from this hell, and back to the Reich!”[136]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 390.

Dr. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas writes concerning the ethnic Germans in Poland:

The first victims of the war were Volksdeutsche, ethnic German civilians resident in and citizens of Poland. Using lists prepared years earlier, in part by lower administrative offices, Poland immediately deported 15,000 Germans to eastern Poland. Fear and rage at the quick German victories led to hysteria. German “spies” were seen everywhere, suspected of forming a fifth column. More than 5,000 German civilians were murdered in the first days of the war. They were hostages and scapegoats at the same time. Gruesome scenes were played out in Bromberg on September 3, as well as in several other places throughout the province of Posen, in Pommerellen, wherever German minorities resided.[137]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.

Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans have been documented in the book Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland. Most of the outside world dismissed this book as nothing more than propaganda used to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland. However, skeptics failed to notice that forensic pathologists from the International Red Cross and medical and legal observers from the United States verified the findings of these Polish war crimes investigations. These investigations were also conducted by German police and civil administrations, and not the National Socialist Party or the German military. Moreover, both anti-German and other university-trained researchers have acknowledged that the charges in the book are based entirely on factual evidence.[138]Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland states:

When the first edition of this collection of documents went to press on November 17, 1939, 5,437 cases of murder committed by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians against men, women and children of the German minority had been definitely ascertained. It was known that the total when fully ascertained would be very much higher. Between that date and February 1, 1940, the number of identified victims mounted to 12,857. At the present stage investigations disclose that in addition to these 12,857, more than 45,000 persons are still missing. Since there is no trace of them, they must also be considered victims of the Polish terror. Even the figure 58,000 is not final. There can be no doubt that the inquiries now being carried out will result in the disclosure of additional thousands dead and missing.[139]Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.

Medical examinations of the Polish murder victims showed that Germans of all ages, from four months to 82 years of age, were murdered. The report concludes:

It was shown that the murders were committed with the greatest brutality and that in many cases they were purely sadistic acts— that gouging of eyes was established and that other forms of mutilation, as supported by the depositions of witnesses, may be considered as true.

The method by which the individual murders were committed in many cases reveals studied physical and mental torture; in this connection several cases of killing extended over many hours and of slow death due to neglect had to be mentioned.

By far the most important finding seems to be the proof that murder by such chance weapons as clubs or knives was the exception, and that as a rule modern, highly-effective army rifles and pistols were available to the murderers. It must be emphasized further that it was possible to show, down to the minutest detail, that there could have been no possibility of execution [under military law].[140]Ibid., pp. 257-258.
(Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.)

The Polish atrocities were not acts of personal revenge, professional jealously or class hatred; instead they were a concerted political action. They were organized mass murders caused by a psychosis of political animosity. The hate-inspired urge to destroy everything German was driven by the Polish press, radio, school, and government propaganda. Britain’s blank check of support had encouraged Poland to conduct inhuman atrocities against its German minority.[141]Ibid., pp. 88-89.
(Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.)

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland answers the question of why the Polish government allowed such atrocities to happen:

The guarantee of assistance given Poland by the British government was the agent which lent impetus to Britain’s policy of encirclement. It was designed to exploit the problem of Danzig and the corridor to begin a war, desired and long-prepared by England, for the annihilation of Greater Germany. In Warsaw moderation was no longer considered necessary, and the opinion held was that matters could be safely brought to a head. England was backing this diabolical game, having guaranteed the “integrity” of the Polish state. The British assurance of assistance meant that Poland was to be the battering ram of Germany’s enemies. Henceforth Poland neglected no form of provocation of Germany and, in its blindness, dreamt of “victorious battle at Berlin’s gates.” Had it not been for the encouragement of the English war clique, which was stiffening Poland’s attitude toward the Reich and whose promises led Warsaw to feel safe, the Polish government would hardly have let matters develop to the point where Polish soldiers and civilians would eventually interpret the slogan to extirpate all German influence as an incitement to the murder and bestial mutilation of human beings.[142]Ibid., pp. 75-76.
(Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.)

Footnotes

[1] Degrelle, Leon, Hitler: Born at Versailles, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, Author’s Preface, p. x.

[2] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 13-15, 20-22.

[3] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 81, 84.

[4] Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103.

[5] Ibid., see also Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 85.

[6] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 86-87.

[7] Franz-Willing, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 103.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Luckau, Alma, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, New York: Columbia University Press, 1941, p. 124.

[10] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 48; see also Mee, Charles L., The End of Order: Versailles 1919, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1980, pp. 215216.

[11] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 77, 83.

[12] Hoover, Herbert, Memoirs, Vol. 1, Years of Adventure, New York: MacMillan, 1951-1952, p. 341.

[13] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 96.

[14] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 79.

[15] Tansill, Charles C., Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941, Chicago: Regnery, 1952, p. 24.

[16] O’Brien, Francis William (ed.), Two Peacemakers in Paris: The Hoover-Wilson Post-Armistice Letters, 1918-1920, College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1978, p. 129.

[17] Hoover, Herbert, Memoirs, Vol. 1, Years of Adventure, New York: MacMillan, 1951-1952, p. 345.

[18] Gedye, George E. R., The Revolver Republic; France’s Bid for the Rhine, London: J. W. Arrowsmith, Ltd., 1930, pp. 29-31.

[19] Fay, Sidney B., The Origins of the World War, New York: Macmillan, 1930, pp. 552, 554-555.

[20] Ponsonby, Arthur, Falsehood in Wartime, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1991.

[21] Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 159.

[22] Luckau, Alma, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, New York: Columbia University Press, 1941, pp. 98-100.

[23] Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by James Murphy, London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1942, p. 260.

[24] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 45.

[25] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 118.

[26] Bochaca, Joaquin, “Reversing Versailles,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Nov. /Dec. 2012, Vol. XVIII, No. 6, p. 61.

[27] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 86.

[28] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 119.

[29] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 145-147.

[30] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 46.

[31] Rowland, Peter, David Lloyd George: A Biography, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975, p. 728.

[32] Ibid., p. 733.

[33] Churchill, Winston, Great Contemporaries, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937, p. 228.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid., p. 232.

[36] Kershaw, Ian, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, New York: W. W. Norton, 2000, p. 91.

[37] Neilson, Francis, The Makers of War, New Orleans, LA: Flanders Hall Publishers, 1950, p. 171.

[38] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 183-184.

[39] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 76.

[40] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 183-187.

[41] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 137138.

[42] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 188-189.

[43] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 98.

[44] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 91.

[45] Tansill, Charles C., “The United States and the Road to War in Europe,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 141.

[46] Quigley, Carroll, Tragedy and Hope, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966, p. 624.

[47] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 102.

[48] MacDonogh, Giles, Hitler’s Gamble, New York: Basic Books, 2009, p. 35.

[49] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 93.

[50] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 104.

[51] MacDonogh, Giles, Hitler’s Gamble, New York: Basic Books, 2009, pp. 104-106.

[52] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 149150.

[53] Neilson, Francis, The Makers of War, New Orleans, LA: Flanders Hall Publishers, 1950, pp. 176177.

[54] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 213-215.

[55] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 106-107.

[56] Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, pp. 142-143.

[57] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 213-227.

[58] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 108.

[59] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 53-54.

[60] Ibid., p. 54.

[61] Ibid., p. 55.

[62] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 180-181.

[63] Ibid., p. 188.

[64] Ibid., p. 190.

[65] Ibid., p. 191.

[66] Bradberry, Benton L., The Myth of German Villainy, Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012, p. 324.

[67] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 187.

[68] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 241.

[69] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 235, 241.

[70] Ibid., p. 240.

[71] Ibid., p. 227.

[72] Ibid., pp. 245-247.

[73] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 246.

[74] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 248.

[75] Ibid., pp. 250-251.

[76] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, pp. 117, 119.

[77] Watt, David Cameron, How War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War, 19381939, New York: Pantheon, 1989, p. 145.

[78] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 202203.

[79] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 228.

[80] Ibid., p. 252.

[81] Smith, Gene, The Dark Summer: An Intimate History of the Events That Led to World War II, New York: Macmillan, 1987, p. 132.

[82] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, pp. 252-253.

[83] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 252, 297.

[84] Ibid., p. 297.

[85] Ibid., pp. 299-301.

[86] Ibid., p. 301.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Ibid., p. 341.

[89] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207.

[90] DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.

[91] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 25, 312.

[92] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209.

[93] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.

[94] Ibid., pp. 49-60.

[95] Ibid., pp. 328-329.

[96] Ibid., pp. 145-146.

[97] Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.

[98] Ibid., p. 323.

[99] Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.

[100] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 333, 340.

[101] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121.

[102] Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 377.

[103] Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.

[104] Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.

[105] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.

[106] Ibid., p. 391.

[107] Ibid., pp. 260-262.

[108] Ibid., pp. 311-312.

[109] Ibid., pp. 355, 357.

[110] Ibid., pp. 381, 383.

[111] Ibid., pp. 384, 387.

[112] Ibid., p. 387.

[113] Ibid., pp. 388-389.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid., pp. 392-393.

[116] Ibid., pp. 405-406.

[117] Ibid., p. 412.

[118] Ibid., pp. 413-415.

[119] Ibid., p. 419.

[120] Ibid., p. 414.

[121] Ibid., p. 417.

[122] Ibid., pp. 452-453.

[123] Ibid., p. 463.

[124] Ibid., p. 479.

[125] Ibid., p. 554.

[126] Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, CA: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.

[127] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.

[128] Ibid., p. 509

[129] Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.

[130] Ibid., pp. 513-514.

[131] Ibid., pp. 441, 549.

[132] Ibid., pp. 537, 577.

[133] Ibid., pp. 578-579.

[134] Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.

[135] Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227.

[136] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 390.

[137] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.

[138] Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.

[139] Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.

[140] Ibid., pp. 257-258.

[141] Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[142] Ibid., pp. 75-76.

Chapter Four • The Allied Conspiracy to Instigate & Prolong WWII • 15,400 Words

President Franklin D. Roosevelt revealed his antagonism toward Germany when he wrote to Secretary of War Henry Stimson on Aug. 26, 1944: “Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place—that only a few Nazi leaders are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people as a whole must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization.”[1]Aug. 26, 1944, memorandum from Roosevelt to Stimson, in Morgenthau Diary (Germany), Vol. 1, Washington, D.C.: Senate Judiciary Committee, 1967, p. 445. Quoted in Hitchcock, William I., The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe, New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 171.

President Roosevelt in this communication ignores the existence of a German opposition to National Socialism which frequently manifested itself during its rule and which culminated in the unsuccessful conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944. More importantly, Roosevelt tried to place the entire blame for starting World War II on the German people as a whole. As we have seen, Germany and its people were not primarily responsible for starting World War II. In this chapter we will show that, in fact, it was President Roosevelt and the other Allied leaders who were engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization.

FDR Conspires to Allow ‘Surprise’ Attack at Pearl Harbor

By the closing months of 1941, the United States was intercepting and breaking within a matter of hours almost every code produced by Japan.[2]Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, p. 83. The Army Signal Corps had broken the top Japanese diplomatic code known as PURPLE in August 1940. The United States was thus able to decipher and read all diplomatic messages sent between Tokyo and Japanese officials all over the world. Copies of these and other intercepted messages were circulated to all key administration officials in Washington, D.C. These messages, known as MAGIC, revealed much important information to the recipients.

The United States sent duplicate code machines to London, Singapore, and the Philippine Islands to keep the British and our Far East forces informed. Hawaii never received a duplicate code machine. Therefore, our government in Washington, D.C. had a far greater than normal responsibility to make certain that Hawaii was properly informed and alerted.[3]Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 410. However, the two United States commanders at Pearl Harbor, Rear Adm. Husband Kimmel and Maj. Gen. Walter Short, were never informed of the intercepted Japanese messages. The Roosevelt administration did not disclose these intercepted Japanese messages to Kimmel and Short because it wanted the Japanese to make a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

In the last week of November 1941, Roosevelt knew that an attack by the Japanese in the Pacific was imminent. Roosevelt warned William Bullitt against traveling across the Pacific, “I am expecting the Japs to attack any time now, probably within the next three or four days.”[4]Feb. 12, 1946, conversation between William Bullitt and Henry Wallace, from Henry Wallace Diary, Henry Wallace Papers, Library of Congress Manuscripts, Washington, D.C. Quoted in Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 240. Roosevelt and his administration knew this based on the intercepted Japanese messages. This information should have been given to the commanders at Pearl Harbor to enable them to prepare for and thwart the Japanese attack.

The war was only 10 days old before some congressmen questioned why America’s military leaders at Pearl Harbor had been unprepared for the Japanese attack. Fearing that a congressional investigation would harm both his political future and the war effort, Roosevelt appointed a five-man board of inquiry headed by Associate Justice Owen J. Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court. In order to maintain military secrecy, the Roberts Commission did not examine or discuss any of the Japanese naval intercepts. The Roberts Commission’s report concluded that the Pearl Harbor attack was successful due to failures and errors of judgment by Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Short. They were both charged with dereliction of duty. President Roosevelt approved the Roberts Commission’s report on Jan. 24, 1942.[5]Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 254-255.

A number of investigations of the Pearl Harbor attack followed the Roberts Commission report. Most of these investigations have been attempts to suppress, mislead, or confuse those who seek the truth. Facts and files have been withheld so as to reveal only those items of information which benefit the Roosevelt administration.[6]Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 409.

Investigations conducted by the Army and Navy boards did eventually exonerate Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Short from derelictions of duty and failures to act which were “the effective causes” of the disaster at Pearl Harbor. In its report released on Aug. 29, 1945, the Navy Court of Inquiry said that Adm. Harold Stark had “failed to display the sound judgment expected of him” in not transmitting to Adm. Kimmel in 1941 important information. This important information included warning Kimmel “that an attack in the Hawaiian area might be expected soon.”[7]Beard, Charles A., President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948, pp. 306-307.

One commentator has noted that those who maintained secrecy, failed to remember, or testified on behalf of the administration in the Pearl Harbor investigations rose very quickly to high places. These people include Gen. George Marshall, who was made a permanent five-star general, Col. Walter Bedell Smith, who became a three-star general, Alben Barkley, who became vice president under Harry Truman, Sen. Scott Lucas, who became the Senate majority leader, and John W. Murphy and Samuel H. Kaufman, who were both appointed to lifetime federal judgeships. On the other hand, virtually no one who testified in the various hearings as to the facts that were damaging to the Roosevelt administration and their superiors was ever promoted or rewarded.[8]Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 409, 466.

None of the Pearl Harbor investigations was able to prove definitively that the Roosevelt administration knew beforehand of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is because key evidence began to be concealed as early as Dec. 11, 1941. On this date Rear Adm. Leigh Noyes, the Navy’s director of communications, consigned the pre-Pearl Harbor Japanese military and diplomatic intercepts and the relevant directives to Navy vaults. In August 1945, the Navy blocked public access to the pre-Pearl Harbor intercepts by classifying the documents TOP SECRET. When the congressional investigation into the Pearl Harbor attack began on Nov. 15, 1945, only diplomatic messages were released. None of the details of the interception, decoding, or dissemination of the pre-Pearl Harbor naval messages was introduced into evidence.[9]Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 255-257.

The Freedom of Information Act has since been used by Robert Stinnett to release information not available in previous Pearl Harbor investigations. Stinnett, a veteran of the Pacific war, conducted 17 years of research involving more than 200,000 documents and interviews. Stinnett concludes that: 1) the United States provoked Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor; 2) U.S. intelligence knew that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was coming; and 3) Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Walter Short were deprived of this intelligence.[10]Ibid., Preface, pp. XIII-XIV.
(Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 255-257.)

Stinnett states: “Seven Japanese naval broadcasts intercepted between November 28 and December 6 [1941] confirmed that Japan intended to start the war and that it would begin at Pearl Harbor. The evidence that poured into American intelligence stations is overpowering. All the broadcasts have one common denominator: none ever reached Admiral Kimmel.”[11]Ibid., pp. 203-204.
(Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 255-257.)

Adm. Robert A. Theobald, who was in the port of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked, conducted extensive research for many years into the Pearl Harbor attack. Theobald concludes that President Roosevelt forced Japan to war by unrelenting diplomatic-economic pressure. Also, Theobald concludes that Roosevelt enticed Japan to initiate hostilities with its surprise attack of the Pacific fleet in Hawaiian waters. By withholding information from Adm. Kimmel that would have caused Kimmel to render the attack impossible, Theobald states that President Roosevelt brought war to the United States on Dec. 7, 1941. There would have been no Pearl Harbor attack if MAGIC had been made available to the Hawaiian commanders.[12]Theobald, Robert A., The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, Old Greenwich, CT: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954, pp. 192, 198, 201.

Adm. Theobald lists the following facts to show that the Pearl Harbor attack was in accord with President Roosevelt’s plans:

  1. President Roosevelt and his military and naval advisors were well aware that Japan invariably started her wars with a surprise attack synchronized closely with her delivery of the declaration of war;
  2. In October, 1940, the president stated that, if war broke out in the Pacific, Japan would commit the overt act which would bring the United States into war;
  3. The Pacific Fleet, against contrary naval advice, was retained in Hawaii by order of the president for the alleged reason that the Fleet, so located, would exert a restrictive effect upon Japanese aggression in the Far East;
  4. The fleet in Hawaii was neither powerful enough nor in the necessary strategic position to influence Japan’s diplomatic decisions, which could only be accomplished by the stationing of an adequate naval force in Far Eastern waters;
  5. Before the fleet could operate at any distance from Pearl Harbor, its train (tankers, supply and repair vessels) would have had to be tremendously increased in strength—facts that would not escape the notice of the experienced Japanese spies in Hawaii;
  6. President Roosevelt gave unmistakable evidence, in March, 1941, that he was not greatly concerned with the Pacific Fleet’s effects upon Japanese diplomatic decisions, when he authorized the weakening of that fleet, already inferior to that of Japan, by the detachment of three battleships, one aircraft carrier, four light cruisers, and 18 destroyers for duty in the Atlantic—a movement which would immediately be detected by Japanese espionage in Hawaii and the Panama Canal Zone;
  7. The successful crippling of the Pacific Fleet was the only surprise operation which promised the Japanese navy sufficiently large results to justify the risk of heavy losses from land-based air attacks if the surprise failed;
  8. Such an operation against the fleet in Hawaii was attended with far greater chances of success, especially from the surprise standpoint, and far less risk of heavy losses than a similar attack against the fleet based in U.S. West Coast ports;
  9. The retention of the fleet in Hawaii, especially after its reduction in strength in March, 1941, could serve only one possible purpose, an invitation to a surprise Japanese attack;
  10. The denial to the Hawaiian commanders of all knowledge of Magic was vital to the plan for enticing Japan to deliver a surprise attack upon the fleet in Pearl Harbor, because, as late as Saturday, December 6, Admiral Kimmel could have caused the attack to be canceled by taking his fleet to sea and disappearing beyond land-based human ken.[13]Ibid., pp. 193-195.
    (Theobald, Robert A., The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, Old Greenwich, CT: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954, pp. 192, 198, 201.)

Adm. Theobald’s conclusions are reinforced by Adm. William F. Halsey, who was one of three senior commanders of the Pacific Fleet serving under Adm. Kimmel. Adm. Halsey states: “…I did not know then of any of the pertinent ‘MAGIC messages.’ All our intelligence pointed to an attack by Japan against the Philippines or the southern areas in Malaya or the Dutch East Indies. While Pearl Harbor was considered and not ruled out, the mass of evidence made available to us pointed in another direction. Had we known of Japan’s minute and continued interest in the exact location and movement of our ships in Pearl Harbor, as indicated in the ‘MAGIC messages,’ it is only logical that we would have concentrated our thought on meeting the practical certainty of an attack on Pearl Harbor.”[14]Ibid., Foreword, pp. vii-viii.
(Theobald, Robert A., The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, Old Greenwich, CT: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954, pp. 192, 198, 201.)

Adm. Kimmel was dumbfounded that the MAGIC messages were never disclosed to him. Kimmel states that if he had all of the important information then available to the Navy Department, he would have gone to sea with his fleet and been in a good position to intercept the Japanese attack.[15]Kimmel, Husband E., Admiral Kimmel’s Story, Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955, p. 110. Adm. Kimmel concludes in regard to the Pearl Harbor attacks:

Again and again in my mind I have reviewed the events that preceded the Japanese attack, seeking to determine if I was unjustified in drawing from the orders, directives and information that were forwarded to me the conclusions that I did. The fact that I then thought and now think my conclusions were sound when based upon the information I received, has sustained me during the years that have passed since the first Japanese bomb fell on Pearl Harbor.

When the information available in Washington was disclosed to me I was appalled. Nothing in my experience of nearly 42 years of service in the Navy had prepared me for the actions of the highest officials in our government which denied this vital information to the Pearl Harbor commanders.

If those in authority wished to engage in power politics, the least that they should have done was to advise their naval and military commanders what they were endeavoring to accomplish. To utilize the Pacific Fleet and the Army forces at Pearl Harbor as a lure for a Japanese attack without advising the commander-inchief of the fleet and the commander of the Army base at Hawaii is something I am wholly unable to comprehend.[16]Ibid., p. 186.
(Kimmel, Husband E., Admiral Kimmel’s Story, Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955, p. 110.)

Adm. James O. Richardson agrees with Kimmel’s assessment. Richardson wrote after the war:

I consider that, after Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel received the rawest of raw deals from Franklin D. Roosevelt….I consider [Harold] “Betty” Stark, in failing to ensure that Kimmel was furnished with all the information available from the breaking Japanese dispatches, to have been to a marked degree professionally negligent in carrying out his duties as chief of naval operations.

This offense was compounded, since in writing he had assured the commander-in-chief of the United States Fleet twice (both myself and Kimmel) that the commander-in-chief was “being kept advised on all matters within his own [Stark’s] knowledge” and “you may rest assured that just as soon as I get anything of definite interest, I shall fire it along.”[17]Richardson, James O., On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor: The Memoirs of Admiral James O. Richardson, Washington, D.C.: Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, 1973, p. 450.

The U.S. government and military possessed solid intelligence before Dec. 7, 1941, concerning Japanese plans to attack the United States. According to the Army Pearl Harbor Board:

Information from informers and other means as to the activities of our potential enemy and their intentions in the negotiations between the United States and Japan was in possession of the State, War and Navy departments in November and December of 1941. Such agencies had a reasonably complete disclosure of Japanese plans and intentions, and were in a position to know what…Japanese potential moves…were scheduled…against the United States. Therefore, Washington was in possession of essential facts as to the enemy’s intentions….This information showed clearly that war was inevitable and late in November absolutely imminent. It clearly demonstrated the necessity of resorting to every trading act possible to defer the ultimate day of breach of relations to give the Army and Navy time to prepare for the eventualities of war.[18]Kimmel, Thomas K. Jr., “Kimmel and Short: Vindicated,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. IX, No. 2, March/April 2003, p. 42.

The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor was no surprise to the Roosevelt administration. Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Short were denied the vital information of a planned Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor because Roosevelt wanted an excuse to get the United States into the war. Roosevelt made Kimmel and Short the scapegoats for the Pearl Harbor tragedy. This is consistent with Franklin Roosevelt’s complex and devious nature. Roosevelt admitted to Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau six months after Pearl Harbor: “You know I am a juggler, and I never let my right hand know what my left hand does…and furthermore I am willing to mislead and tell untruths if it will help win the war.”[19]Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 26.

FDR Conspires to Force the U.S. To Enter World War II

Numerous historians and political leaders conclude that Roosevelt conspired to force the United States into war. Historian Harry Elmer Barnes summarizes President Roosevelt’s efforts to involve the United States in World War II:

Roosevelt “lied the United States into war.” He went as far as he dared in illegal efforts, such as convoying vessels carrying munitions, to provoke Germany and Italy to make war on the United States. Failing in this, he turned to a successful attempt to enter the war through the back door of Japan. He rejected repeated and sincere Japanese proposals that even Hull admitted protected all the vital interests of the United States in the Far East, by his economic strangulation in the summer of 1941 forced the Japanese into an attack on Pearl Harbor, took steps to prevent the Pearl Harbor commanders, General Short and Admiral Kimmel, from having their own decoding facilities to detect a Japanese attack, kept Short and Kimmel from receiving the decoded Japanese intercepts that Washington picked up and indicated that war might come at any moment, and ordered General Marshall and Admiral Stark not to send any warning to Short and Kimmel before noon on December 7th, when Roosevelt knew that any warning sent would be too late to avert the Japanese attack at 1:00 P.M., Washington time.[20]Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, pp. 285-286.

William Henry Chamberlain also concludes that Roosevelt guided America into the war. Chamberlain writes: “The war with Germany was also very largely the result of the initiative of the Roosevelt administration. The destroyer deal, the lend-lease bill, the freezing of Axis assets, the injection of the American Navy, with much secrecy and doubletalk, into the Battle of the Atlantic: these and many similar actions were obvious departures from neutrality, even though a Neutrality Act, which the president had sworn to uphold, was still on the statute books.”[21]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 352.

Chamberlain goes on to state that America’s entry into World War II was based on illusions:

America’s Second Crusade was a product of illusions which are already bankrupt. It was an illusion that that the United States was at any time in danger of invasion by Nazi Germany. It was an illusion that Hitler was bent on the destruction of the British Empire. It was an illusion that China was capable of becoming a strong, friendly, Western-oriented power in the Far East. It was an illusion that a powerful Soviet Union in a weakened and impoverished Eurasia would be a force for peace, conciliation, stability, and international co-operation. It was an illusion that the evils and dangers associated with totalitarianism could be eliminated by giving unconditional support to one form of totalitarianism against another. It was an illusion that a combination of appeasement and personal charm could melt away designs of conquest and domination which were deeply rooted in Russian history and Communist philosophy.[22]Ibid., p. 364.
(Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 352.)

Historian Klaus Fischer writes that Roosevelt implemented numerous actions in 1941 that prepared the United States to enter World War II:

Roosevelt’s actions against both Germany and Japan were positively provocative, including the previously mentioned programs of cash and carry, lend-lease, neutrality zones, restoring conscription, increased defense appropriations, and secret war plans. In March 1941 Roosevelt informed the British that they could have their ships repaired in American docks, and that same month the president ordered the seizure of all Axis vessels in American ports. On April 10, Roosevelt extended the security zone all the way to the eastern coast of Greenland, negotiating the use of military bases on the island with a Danish official who did not have approval from his home government. If we add the various economic sanctions the president imposed on Japan, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Roosevelt was preparing the nation for war.[23]Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p. 140.

Clare Boothe Luce surprised many people at the Republican Convention in 1944 by saying that Roosevelt “lied the American people into war because he could not lead them into it.” Once this statement proved to be true, the Roosevelt supporters ceased to deny it. Instead, they said Roosevelt was forced to lie to save his country and the rest of the world.

Sir Oliver Lyttelton, the British minister of productions in Churchill’s cabinet, confirms that the United States was not forced into war. Speaking before the American Chamber of Commerce in London in 1944, Lyttelton stated: “Japan was provoked into attacking the Americans at Pearl Harbor….It is a travesty of history to ever say America was forced into war.”[24]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.

On Dec. 8, 1941, Rep. Hamilton Fish made the first speech in Congress asking for a declaration of war against Japan. Fish later said that if he had known what Roosevelt had been doing to provoke Japan to attack, he never would have asked for a declaration of war. Fish states:

FDR deliberately goaded Japan into war….Roosevelt was the main instigator and firebrand to light the fuse of war, abetted by the five members of his war cabinet. They were all sure that the Japanese would start the war by an undeclared strategic attack.

Roosevelt, through his numerous campaign pledges and also by the plank of the Democratic national platform against intervention, had tied himself in unbreakable peace knots. There was only one way out—to provoke Germany or Japan into attacking us. He tried in every way possible to incite the Germans to attack, but to no avail. The convoy of ships, and the shoot-at-sight order, were open and brazen efforts by the president to take the country into war against Germany, but Hitler avoided the lure.

The delay and virtual refusal to inform our Hawaiian commander is inconceivable, except as a part of a deceitful and concerted scheme of silence….The tragedy of Pearl Harbor rests with FDR, not only because of the infamous war ultimatum, but for not making sure that Kimmel and Short were notified of the Japanese answer to the ultimatum.[25]Ibid., pp. 139, 149-150.
(Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.)

If Roosevelt’s secret policies had been known, the public demand for his impeachment would probably have been unstoppable. Fish states: “If the American people had known that they were deliberately tricked into a foreign war by Roosevelt in defiance of all his promises and pledges, there would have been political bombs exploding all over the United States, including demands for his resignation or impeachment.”[26]Ibid., p. 150.
(Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.)
Fish concludes: “Roosevelt had the opportunity to be a great peacemaker. Instead he chose to be a disastrous warmaker.”[27]Ibid., p. 76.
(Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.)

Even biographers friendly to Roosevelt admit that until the last year when he was weighed down by physical illness, Roosevelt had never been as happy as during World War II. After the Casablanca Conference, Roosevelt wrote a letter to George VI: “A truly mighty meeting….As for Mr. Churchill and myself, I need not tell you that we make a perfectly matched team in harness and out—and incidentally we had lots of fun together, as we always do.”[28]Ibid., p. 116.
(Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.)

USSR Conspires to Foment WWII & Infiltrate U.S. Government

Stalin adopted three Five Year Plans beginning in 1927 designed to make the Soviet Union by far the greatest military power in the world. Stalin also conspired to start a major war in Europe by drawing Great Britain and France into war against Germany and other countries. Stalin’s plan was to eliminate one enemy with the hands of another. If Germany entered into a war with Great Britain and France, other countries would enter into the war and great destruction would follow. The Soviet Union could then invade Europe and easily take over the entire continent.

Stalin first attempted to start a major war in Europe in 1936 during the civil war in Spain. Stalin’s political agents, propagandists, diplomats, and spies in Spain all screamed in outrage that children were dying in Spain while Great Britain and France did nothing. However, Stalin’s agents were not able to spread the war beyond Spain’s borders. By the end of 1938, Stalin stopped all anti-Hitler propaganda to calm Hitler and to encourage him to attack Poland.

Stalin eventually forced war in Europe with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. British and French delegations had arrived in Moscow on Aug. 11, 1939, to discuss joint action against Germany. During the course of the talks, British and French delegates told the Soviets that if Germany attacked Poland, Great Britain and France would declare war against Germany. This was the information that Stalin needed to know. On Aug. 19, 1939, Stalin stopped the talks with Great Britain and France, and told the German ambassador in Moscow that he wanted to reach an agreement with Germany. Germany and the Soviet Union then signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, which resulted in the destruction and division of Poland.[29]Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 106-108.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement is remarkable in that Hitler repeatedly stated he hated communism and did not trust the leaders of the Soviet Union. Hitler writes in Mein Kampf:

It must never be forgotten that the present rulers of Russia are blood-stained criminals, that here we have the dregs of humanity which, favored by the circumstances of a tragic moment, overran a great state, degraded and extirpated millions of educated people out of sheer blood-lust, and that now for nearly 10 years they have ruled with such a savage tyranny as was never known before. It must not be forgotten that these rulers belong to a people in whom the most bestial cruelty is allied with a capacity for artful mendacity and believes itself today more than ever called to impose its sanguinary despotism on the rest of the world. It must not be forgotten that the international Jew, who is today the absolute master of Russia, does not look upon Germany as an ally but as a state condemned to the same doom as Russia. One does not form an alliance with a partner whose only aim is the destruction of his fellow partner. Above all, one does not enter into alliances with people for whom no treaty is sacred; because they do not move about this earth as men of honor and sincerity but as the representatives of lies and deception, thievery and plunder and robbery. The man who thinks that he can bind himself by treaty with parasites is like the tree that believes it can form a profitable bargain with the ivy that surrounds it.[30]Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by James Murphy, London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939, p. 364.

Hitler also states in Mein Kampf: “Therefore the fact of forming an alliance with Russia would be the signal for a new war. And the result of that would be the end of Germany.”[31]Ibid.
(Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by James Murphy, London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939, p. 364.)

Hitler repeated his distrust of the Soviet Union in a conversation on March 3, 1938, with British Ambassador Nevile Henderson. Hitler stated in this conversation that any limitations on arms depended on the Soviet Union. Hitler noted that the problem was rendered particularly difficult “by the fact that one could place as much confidence in the faith in treaties of a barbarous creature like the Soviet Union as in the comprehension of mathematical formulae by a savage. Any agreement with the U.S.S.R. was quite worthless.” Hitler added that it was impossible, for example, to have faith in any Soviet agreement not to use poison gas.[32]Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 115.

These statements by Hitler in Mein Kampf and to Nevile Henderson were prescient. Stalin had been conspiring to take over all of Europe ever since the 1920s. Stalin and the Soviet Union could not be trusted to uphold any peace agreement. However, Hitler decided to enter into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement because Hitler was desperate to end the atrocities being committed against the ethnic Germans in Poland. Hitler was hoping that the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement would prevent Great Britain and France from declaring war against Germany.[33]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 472.

Hitler also signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement because the negotiations that had been ongoing between Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union had taken on a threatening character for Germany. Hitler was confronted with the alternative of being encircled by this massive alliance coalition or ending it via diplomatic channels. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact prevented Germany from being encircled by these three powers.[34]Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 385-386.

Stalin stayed out of the war in Europe he had conspired to instigate. Stalin kept the war in Europe going by supplying much needed supplies to Germany. However, Hitler’s swift victory over France prevented the massive destruction in Europe Stalin had hoped for. Molotov was sent to Germany in November 1940 to announce the Soviet Union’s new territorial demands in Europe. These new territorial demands effectively ended the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. Hitler was forced to launch a preemptive attack on June 22, 1941, to prevent the Soviet Union from conquering all of Europe.

The Soviet war effort in the European theater of World War II was enormous. Most historians underestimate the incredible power of the Soviet military. As historian Norman Davies states: “…the Soviet war effort was so overwhelming that impartial historians in the future are unlikely to rate the British and American contribution to the European theater as much more than a supporting role. The proportions were not ‘fifty-fifty’, as many imply when talking of the final onslaught on Nazi Germany from East and West. Sooner or later people will have to adjust to the fact that the Soviet role was enormous and the Western role was respectable but modest.”[35]Davies, Norman, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, New York: Viking Penguin, 2007, p. 483.

A crucial factor that prevented the Soviet takeover of Europe was the more than 400,000 non-German Europeans who volunteered to fight on the Eastern Front. Combined with 600,000 German troops, the 1,000,000 man Waffen-SS represented the first truly pan-European army to ever exist. The heroism of these non-German volunteers who joined the Waffen-SS prevented the planned Soviet conquest of Europe. In this regard, Waffen-SS Gen. Leon Degrelle states:

If the Waffen-SS had not existed, Europe would have been overrun entirely by the Soviets by 1944. They would have reached Paris long before the Americans. Waffen-SS heroism stopped the Soviet juggernaut at Moscow, Cherkov, Cherkassy and Tarnopol. The Soviets lost more than 12 months. Without SS resistance the Soviets would have been in Normandy before Eisenhower. The people showed deep gratitude to the young men who sacrificed their lives.[36]Degrelle, Leon Gen., Hitler Democrat, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2012, p. 11.

The Soviet Union also conspired to have Japan attack the United States. Harry Dexter White, who was later proven to be a Soviet agent, carried out a mission to provoke Japan into war with the United States. When Secretary of State Cordell Hull allowed the peacemakers in Roosevelt’s administration to put together a modus vivendi that had real potential, White drafted a 10-point proposal that the Japanese were certain to reject. White passed a copy of his proposal to Hull, and this final American offer—the so-called “Hull note”—was presented to the Japanese on Nov. 26, 1941.[37]Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 135-137, 169.

The Hull note, which was based on two memoranda from White, was a declaration of war as far as the Japanese were concerned. The Hull note destroyed any possible peace settlement with the Japanese, and led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In this regard, historian John Koster writes:

Harry Dexter White, acting under orders from Soviet intelligence, pulled the strings by which Cordell Hull and [State Department expert on Far Eastern Affairs] Stanley Hornbeck handed the Japanese an ultimatum that was tantamount to a declaration of war—when both the Japanese cabinet and the U.S. military were desperately eager for peace….Harry Dexter White knew exactly what he was doing. The man himself remains a mystery, but the documents speak for themselves. Harry Dexter White gave us Pearl Harbor.[38]Ibid., p. 215.
(Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 135-137, 169.)

The Soviets had also planted numerous other agents in the Roosevelt administration. For example, Harold Glasser, a member of Morgenthau’s Treasury staff, provided intelligence from the War Department and the White House to the Soviets. Glasser’s reports were deemed so important by the NKVD that 74 reports generated from his material went directly to Stalin. One historian writes of the Soviet infiltration of the U.S. government and its effect on Roosevelt:

These spies, plus the hundreds in other U.S. agencies at the time, including the military and the OSS, permeated the administration in Washington, and, ultimately, the White House, surrounding FDR. He was basically in the Soviets’ pocket. He admired Stalin, sought his favor. Right or wrong, he thought the Soviet Union indispensable in the war, crucial to bringing world peace after it, and he wanted the Soviets handled with kid gloves. FDR was star struck. The Russians hardly could have done better if he was a Soviet spy.[39]Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 250-251.

The opening of the Soviet archives in 1995 revealed that more than[300] Communist members or supporters had infiltrated the American government. Working in Lend-Lease, the Treasury Department, the State Department, the office of the president, the office of the vice president, and even American intelligence operations, these spies constantly tried to shift U.S. policy in a pro-Soviet direction. During World War II several of these Soviet spies were well positioned to influence American policy. Especially at the Tehran and Yalta meetings toward the end of World War II, the Soviet spies were able to influence Roosevelt to make huge concessions to the Soviet Union.[40]Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 242, 245.

Churchill Conspires to Perpetuate WWII, Destroy Germany

Hitler had never wanted war with Great Britain. To Hitler, Great Britain was the natural ally of Germany and the nation he admired most. Hitler had no ambitions against Britain or her Empire, and all of the captured records solidly bear this out.[41]Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 3.

Hitler had also never planned for a world war. British historian A.J.P. Taylor shatters the myth of a great German military buildup:

In 1938-39, the last peacetime year, Germany spent on armament about 15% of her gross national product. The British proportion was almost exactly the same. German expenditure on armaments was actually cut down after Munich and remained at this lower level, so that British production of aeroplanes, for example, was way ahead of German by 1940. When war broke out in 1939, Germany had 1,450 modern fighter planes and 800 bombers; Great Britain and France had 950 fighters and 1,300 bombers. The Germans had 3,500 tanks; Great Britain and France had 3,850. In each case Allied intelligence estimated German strength at more than twice the true figure. As usual, Hitler was thought to have planned and prepared for a great war. In fact, he had not.[42]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. xxi.

Taylor further states that Hitler was not intending or anticipating a major war:

He was not projecting a major war; hence it did not matter that Germany was not equipped for one. Hitler deliberately ruled out the “rearmament in depth” which was pressed on him by his technical advisors. He was not interested in preparing for a long war against the Great Powers. He chose instead “rearmament in width”—a frontline army without reserves, adequate only for a quick strike. Under Hitler’s direction, Germany was equipped to win the war of nerves—the only war he understood and liked; she was not equipped to conquer Europe….In considering German armament we escape from the mystic regions of Hitler’s psychology and find an answer in the realm of fact. The answer is clear. The state of German armament in 1939 gives the decisive proof that Hitler was not contemplating general war, and probably not intending war at all.[43]Ibid., pp. 217-218.
(Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. xxi.)

Hitler was eager to make peace once Great Britain and France had declared war against Germany. Hitler confided to his inner circle: “If we on our side avoid all acts of war, the whole business will evaporate. As soon as we sink a ship and they have sizable casualties, the war party over there will gain strength.”[44]Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 331. Hitler made a peace offer on Oct. 6, 1939, that was quickly rejected. No doubt the leaders of the Soviet Union, who wanted a general European war, were relieved by the quick rejection of Hitler’s offer.

Hitler dreamed of an Anglo-German alliance even when Germany was at war with Great Britain. Hitler biographer Alan Bullock states: “Even during the war Hitler persisted in believing that an alliance with Germany…was in Britain’s own interest, continually expressed his regret that the British had been so stupid as not to see this, and never gave up the hope that he would be able to overcome their obstinacy and persuade them to accept his view.”[45]Bullock, Alan, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, New York: Harper & Row, 1962, p. 337.

Germany’s offensive against Dunkirk was halted by Hitler’s order on May 24, 1940. German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt insists that his hands were tied by Hitler’s instructions. Hitler talked to von Rundstedt and two key men of his staff, Gens. Georg von Sodenstern and Guenther Blumentritt. As Gen. Blumentritt tells the story:

He [Hitler] then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilization that Britain had brought into the world….He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany’s position on the continent. The return of Germany’s lost colonies would be desirable but not essential, and he would even offer to support Britain with troops if she should be involved in any difficulties anywhere.[46]Hart, B. H. Liddell, The Other Side of the Hill, London: Papermac, 1970, pp. 200-201; see also Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 76.

Hitler told his friend Frau Troost: “The blood of every single Englishman is too valuable to be shed. Our two peoples belong together, racially and traditionally—this is and always has been my aim even if our generals can’t grasp it.”[47]Ibid.
(Hart, B. H. Liddell, The Other Side of the Hill, London: Papermac, 1970, pp. 200-201; see also Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 76.)

Hitler states in his political testament of Feb. 26, 1945: “Churchill was quite unable to appreciate the sporting spirit of which I had given proof by refraining from creating an irreparable breach between the British and ourselves. We did, indeed, refrain from annihilating them at Dunkirk. We ought to have been able to make them realize that the acceptance by them of the German hegemony established in Europe, a state of affairs to the implementation of which they had always been opposed, but which I had implemented without any trouble, would bring them inestimable advantages.”[48]Fraser, L. Craig, The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, pp. 72-73.

Having been given the gift of Dunkirk by Hitler, Churchill refused to acknowledge it. Churchill instead described the evacuation of British troops off the beaches of Dunkirk as a heroic miracle accomplished by the British navy. Churchill became even more bellicose in his determination to continue the war.[49]Bradberry, Benton L., The Myth of German Villainy, Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012, p. 369.

Hitler’s desire to preserve the British Empire was expressed on another occasion when the military fortunes of the Allies were at their lowest ebb. When France appealed for an armistice, von Ribbentrop gave the following summary of Hitler’s attitude toward Great Britain in a strictly private talk with the Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano:

He [Ribbentrop] said that in the Fuehrer’s opinion the existence of the British Empire as an element of stability and social order in the world is very useful. In the present state of affairs it would be impossible to replace it with another, similar organization. Therefore, the Fuehrer—as he has also recently stated in public—does not desire the destruction of the British Empire. He asks that England renounce some of its possessions and recognize the fait accompli. On these conditions Hitler would be prepared to come to an agreement.[50]Ciano, Count Galeazzo, Ciano’s Diplomatic Papers, London: Odhams Press, 1948, p. 373.

After Dunkirk, Ribbentrop wrote that Hitler was enthused with making a quick peace with England. Hitler outlined the peace terms he was prepared to offer the British: “It will only be a few points, and the first point is that nothing must be done between England and Germany which would in any way violate the prestige of Great Britain. Secondly, Great Britain must give us back one or two of our old colonies. That is the only thing we want.”[51]Hinsley, F.H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 81.

On June 25, 1940, Hitler telephoned Joseph Goebbels to lay out the terms of an agreement with Great Britain. Goebbels wrote in his diary:

The Fuehrer…believes that the [British Empire] must be preserved if at all possible. For if it collapses, then we shall not inherit it, but foreign and even hostile powers take it over. But if England will have it no other way, then she must be beaten to her knees. The Fuehrer, however, would be agreeable to peace on the following basis: England out of Europe, colonies and mandates returned. Reparations for what was stolen from us after [World War I].[52]Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Power Order and the Lessons of Global Power, New York: Basic, 2003, pp. 330-331.

Hitler took the initiative to end the war after the fall of France in June 1940. In a victory speech on July 19, 1940, Hitler declared that it had never been his intention to destroy or even harm the British Empire. Hitler made a general peace offer in the following words:

In this hour I feel it to be my duty before my conscience to appeal once more to reason and commonsense in Great Britain as much as elsewhere. I consider myself in a position to make this appeal, since I am not the vanquished, begging favors, but the victor, speaking in the name of reason. I can see no reason why this war must go on.[53]Hitler, Adolf, My New Order, Edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussy de Sales, New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941, p. 837.

This speech was followed by private diplomatic overtures to Great Britain through Sweden, the United States, and the Vatican. There is no question that Hitler was eager to end the war. But Churchill was in the war with the objective of destroying Germany. Churchill was not concerned with saving the British Empire from destruction. British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax also wanted the war to continue, and brushed aside what he called Hitler’s “summons to capitulate at his will.”[54]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 84. Hitler’s peace offer was officially rejected on July 22, 1940.[55]Hinsley, F.H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 82.

Alan Clarke, defense aid to Margaret Thatcher, believes that only Churchill’s obsession with Hitler and “single-minded determination to keep the war going” prevented his accepting Germany’s offer to end the war in 1940: “There were several occasions when a rational leader could have got, first reasonable, then excellent terms from Germany. Hitler actually offered peace in July 1940 before the Battle of Britain started. After the RAF victory, the German terms were still available, now weighed more in Britain’s favor.”[56]Clark, Alan, “A Reputation Ripe for Revision,” London Times, Jan. 2, 1993.

On Aug. 14, 1940, during the Battle of Britain, Hitler called his field marshals into the Reich Chancellery to impress upon them that victory over Britain must not lead to the collapse of the British Empire:

Germany is not striving to smash Britain because the beneficiaries will not be Germany, but Japan in the east, Russia in India, Italy in the Mediterranean, and America in world trade. This is why peace is possible with Britain—but not so long as Churchill is prime minister. Thus we must see what the Luftwaffe can do, and wait a possible general election.[57]Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 130.

Hitler continued to search for a way to end the war he had never wanted. On May 10, 1941, Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess flew in a Messerschmitt 110 to Scotland to attempt to negotiate a peace settlement with Great Britain. On May 11, 1941, Rudolf Hess told the duke of Hamilton why he had flown to Scotland: “I am on a mission of humanity. The Fuehrer does not want to defeat England and wants to stop fighting.”[58]Langer, Howard J., World War II: An Encyclopedia of Quotations, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999, p. 142.

While it is impossible to prove that Hess flew to Scotland with Hitler’s knowledge and approval, the available evidence suggests that he did. The relationship between Hess and Hitler was so close that one can logically assume that Hess would not have undertaken such an important step without first informing Hitler. Also, Hess was prohibited from speaking openly about his mission during the entire 40-year period of his imprisonment in Spandau prison. This “gag order” was obviously imposed because Hess knew things that, if publicly known, would be highly embarrassing to the Allied governments.[59]Hess, Wolf Ruediger, “The Life and Death of My Father, Rudolf Hess,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, Jan./Feb. 1993, pp. 29, 31.

A peaceful settlement of the war was impossible after the announcement of the Allied policy of unconditional surrender at a press conference in Casablanca on Jan. 23, 1943. The Allied policy of unconditional surrender ensured that the war would be fought to its bitter end. Maurice Hankey, an experienced British statesman, summed up the effect of the unconditional surrender policy as follows:

It embittered the war, rendered inevitable a fight to the finish, banged the door to the possibility of either side offering terms or opening up negotiations, gave the Germans and the Japanese the courage of despair, strengthened Hitler’s position as Germany’s “only hope,” aided Goebbels’s propaganda, and made inevitable the Normandy landing and the subsequent terribly exhausting and destructive advance through north France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland and Germany. The lengthening of the war enabled Stalin to occupy the whole of Eastern Europe, to ring down the iron curtain and so to realize at one swoop a large installment of his avowed aims against so-called capitalism, in which he includes social democracy….Not only the enemy countries, but nearly all countries were bled white by this policy, which has left us all, except the United States of America, impoverished and in dire straits. Unfortunately also, these policies, so contrary to the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, did nothing to strengthen the moral position of the Allies.[60]Hankey, Maurice Pascal Alers, Politics, Trials and Errors, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 125-126.

Numerous other historians and political leaders have stated that Great Britain and the United States made it impossible for Germany to reach a peaceful resolution to the war. It is widely acknowledged that Hitler did not want a war with either Great Britain or the United States.[61]Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p. 2. Instead, Great Britain and the U.S. wanted war with Germany. In this regard, Rep. Hamilton Fish states:

If Roosevelt and Churchill had really wished to deliver the world from the menace of totalitarianism, they had their Godgiven opportunity on June 22, 1941. England could have withdrawn from the war and made peace with Hitler on the most favorable terms. Hitler had no designs whatever on the United States, so we would not have been endangered by this turn of events. Then Hitler and Stalin would have fought each other into exhaustion. This is exactly what the Baldwin-Chamberlain foreign policy had originally envisaged. Mr. Truman, then a senator, strongly supported this policy, as did Senator Vandenberg and many others. It would have left the United States and England dominant powers in the world, and they might have kept it a predominantly free world.[62]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 115.

German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop had told Rep. Hamilton Fish that cooperation between England and Germany was essential for the maintenance of peace. Hitler had even “offered to place 15 German army divisions and the entire fleet at the disposal of the British government to support her empire in case of war anywhere in the world.” Fish did not believe this statement from von Ribbentrop at the time, but it was substantiated years later.[63]Ibid., p. 87.
(Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 115.)

Hitler voiced his puzzlement to the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin at Great Britain’s refusal to accept his peace offers. Hitler felt he had repeatedly extended the hand of peace and friendship to the British, and each time they had blackened his eye in reply. Hitler said, “The survival of the British Empire is in Germany’s interest too because if Britain loses India, we gain nothing thereby.”[64]Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 236.

Even a diplomat from Churchill’s own Conservative Party admitted: “To the world at large, Churchill appeared to be the very embodiment of a policy of war. To have brought him into government when the balance between peace and war was still quivering, might have definitely tilted the scales on the side of war.”[65]Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, p. 272.

The refusal of Churchill to negotiate peace with Germany is remarkable in that Churchill spoke of the evils of communism. Churchill once said of communism:

It is not only a creed; it is a plan of campaign. A Communist is not only the holder of certain opinions, he is the pledge adept of a well-thought-out means of enforcing them. The anatomy of discontent and revolution has been studied in every phase and aspect, and a veritable drill book prepared in a scientific spirit of sabotaging all existing institutions. No faith need be kept with non-Communists. Every act of goodwill, or tolerance or conciliation or mercy or magnanimity on the part of governments or statesmen is to be utilized for their ruin. Then, when the time is ripe and the moment opportune, every form of lethal violence, from revolt to private assassination, must be used without stint or compunction. The citadel will be stormed under the banners of liberty and democracy, and once the apparatus of power is in the hands of the brotherhood, all opposition, all contrary opinions must be extinguished by death. Democracy is but a tool to be used and afterwards broken.[66]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 51.

Despite his aversion to communism, Churchill ignored all German peace efforts and joined the Soviet Union in the war against Germany.

On Jan. 20, 1943, Joseph E. Davies disclosed that Hitler offered to retire from office if by doing so Great Britain would make peace with Germany. Churchill and other British leaders refused Hitler’s offer.[67]Walsh, Michael, Hidden Truths About the Second World War, United Kingdom: The Historical Review Press, 2012, p. 15.

Churchill never once attempted to make peace with Germany. In a Jan. 1, 1944, letter to Stalin, Churchill said: “We never thought of peace, not even in that year when we were completely isolated and could have made peace without serious detriment to the British Empire, and extensively at your cost. Why should we think of it now, when victory approaches for the three of us?”[68]Walendy, Udo, The Methods of Reeducation, Vlotho/Weser, Germany: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1979, p. 3.

It is well known that Churchill loved war. English publicist F.S. Oliver has written of Churchill: “From his youth up, Mr. Churchill has loved with all his heart, all his mind, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, three things: war, politics, and himself. He loved war for its dangers, he loved politics for the same reason, and himself he has always loved for the knowledge that his mind is dangerous….”[69]Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. 115-116. Churchill always wanted to continue the war against Germany rather than negotiate a peaceful settlement.

Even leaders of the German resistance movement discovered that the Allied policy of unconditional surrender would not change with Hitler dead. On July 18, 1944, Otto John returned from fruitless negotiations with Allied representatives in Madrid and informed his fellow plotters that unconditional surrender would be in place even if they succeeded in killing Hitler.

Dr. Eugen Gerstenmaier, a former conspirator and president of the West German Parliament after the war, stated in a 1975 interview: “What we in the German resistance during the war did not want to see, we learned in full measure afterward; that this war was ultimately not waged against Hitler, but against Germany.”[70]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 257.

Great Britain Practices Uncivilized Warfare

In addition to ignoring all German efforts to make peace, Churchill and other leaders of Great Britain began to conduct a war of unprecedented violence. On July 3, 1940, a British fleet attacked and destroyed much of the French fleet at Oran in southwestern Algeria to prevent it from falling into German hands. The French navy went to the bottom of the sea, and with it 1,297 French sailors. Churchill and the British government did not seem to mind that 1,297 of their French ally’s sailors were killed in the attack. This attack on the French fleet illustrates Churchill’s determination to continue fighting Hitler “no matter what the cost.”[71]Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, pp. 122-123.

A surprising aspect of the British attack on the French fleet is that low-flying British airplanes repeatedly machine-gunned masses of French sailors as they struggled in the water. It is an event still remembered with great bitterness in France. This deliberate British war crime was soon followed by the assassination of French Adm. Darlan by British agents in Algiers.[72]Bird, Vivian, “An Examination of British War Crimes During World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. VI, No. 6, Nov. /Dec. 2000, p. 56.

Great Britain also began to violate the essential rule of civilized warfare that hostilities must be limited to the combatant forces. On May 11, 1940, British bombers began to attack the industrial areas of Germany. The British government adopted a new definition of military objectives so that this term included any building which in any way contributed, directly or indirectly, to the war effort of the enemy.

On Dec. 16, 1940, a moonlight raid by 134 British planes took place on Mannheim designed “to concentrate the maximum amount of damage in the center of the town.” Great Britain abandoned all pretense of attacking military, industrial, or any other particular target with this raid.[73]Veale, Frederick J. P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 182-183.

After France surrendered on June 22, 1940, for about a month Hitler clung to the hope that the war could be brought to an end by a negotiated peace. Once Hitler realized that a negotiated peace was impossible, he launched a massive air attack on Britain in order to win command of the air. The German air attacks were purely a military operation, carried out mainly in daylight, against airfields, docks and shipping. It was not until Sept. 6, 1940, that the German Luftwaffe was ordered to launch a reprisal air offensive against Great Britain. These German reprisal attacks were exactly similar to the British air attacks against Germany which had been going on ever since May 11, 1940.

The two air offensives continued concurrently until the spring of 1941, when the Luftwaffe was withdrawn to take part in the invasion of the Soviet Union. The German air offensive was a complete failure in that it did not achieve its sole purpose of inducing the British government to discontinue the air offensive against Germany. The British air offensive was a failure to the extent that it did nothing toward crippling Germany’s war production. However, it was a huge success to the extent that it generated a frenzied war psychosis in Great Britain and prevented the war from stagnating. The British public incorrectly believed that the British air offensive against Germany was merely a justified reprisal for the attacks of the Luftwaffe on Great Britain. The British public did not realize that it was Great Britain that had initiated the air attacks.[74]Ibid., p. 183.
(Veale, Frederick J. P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 182-183.)

On March 28, 1942, the British air offensive against Germany initiated Frederick Lindemann’s bombing plan. The Lindemann Plan, which continued with undiminished ferocity until the end of the war, concentrated on bombing German working-class houses. The British bombing during this period was simple terror bombing designed to shatter the morale of the German civilian population and thereby generate an inclination to surrender. The bombing focused on working-class houses built close together because a higher percentage of bloodshed per ton of explosives dropped could be expected as opposed to bombing higher class houses surrounded by large yards and gardens.[75]Ibid., pp. 184-185.
(Veale, Frederick J. P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 182-183.)

The climax of the British bombing offensive under the Lindemann Plan was reached on the night of Feb. 13, 1945, when a massive bombing raid was directed against Dresden. The population of Dresden was swollen by a horde of terrified German women and children running from the advancing Soviet army. No one will ever know exactly how many people died in the bombing of Dresden, but estimates of 250,000 or more civilian deaths appear to be reasonable. The bombing of Dresden served no military purpose; it was designed solely to terrify the German civilian population and break their will to continue the war.[76]Ibid., pp. 185-186, 192-193.
(Veale, Frederick J. P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 182-183.)

A horrifying aspect of the Dresden terror bombings occurred during the daylight hours of Feb. 14, 1945. On this day low-flying American fighters machine-gunned helpless Germans as they rushed toward the Elbe River in a desperate attempt to escape the inferno. Since Dresden had no air defense, the German civilians were easy targets.[77]Bird, Vivian, “An Examination of British War Crimes During World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. VI, No. 6, Nov. /Dec. 2000, p. 59.

As word of the savage bombings of innocent German civilians began to filter to the outside world, the British government initially denied the slaughter. British leaders declared that the targets of the British air offensive were always military in nature. Despite the persistent government denials, the truth of the British mass bombings of civilian targets could not be suppressed forever. Critics of the civilian bombings became concerned about the moral demise of Great Britain. For example, British historian Basil Liddell Hart stated: “It will be ironical if the defenders of civilization depend for victory upon the most barbaric, and unskilled, way of winning a war that the modern world has seen….We are now counting for victory on success in the way of degrading it to a new level—as represented by indiscriminate (night) bombing.”[78]Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 36-37.

Evidence of the ruthless mass bombings of congested German cities was provided by many of the British bomber crews themselves. The almost total lack of German opposition to the British bombings toward the end of the war made the bombing of cities less like war and more like murder. While open criticism of government policy was not allowed, the guilt of young British flyers occasionally surfaced. One British crewman confessed: “There were people down there being fried to death in melted asphalt in the roads, they were being burnt up and we were shuffling incendiary bombs into this holocaust. I felt terribly sorry for the people in the fire I was helping to stoke up.”[79]Ibid., pp. 37-38.
(Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 36-37.)

After the destruction of Dresden, outrage was directed at Arthur Harris, the British chief of Bomber Command. Once known affectionately by his men as “Bomber” Harris, after Dresden many of his men nicknamed him “Butcher” Harris. One angry British crewman later explained: “We were told at the briefing that there were many thousands of Panzer troops in the streets [of Dresden], either going to or coming back from the Russian Front. My personal feeling is that if we’d been told the truth at the briefing, some of us wouldn’t have gone.”[80]Ibid., p. 124.
(Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 36-37.)

Winston Churchill, the man directly responsible for the Dresden holocaust, began to publicly distance himself from the terror bombings. Churchill stated to Sir Charles Portal, the chief of the British Air Staff, on March 28, 1945:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts should be reviewed. The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing….I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives, such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.[81]Veale, Frederick J.P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 194.

In spite of Churchill’s protests, the British terror bombing continued unabated until the end of the war. On May 3, 1945, the British Royal Air Force attacked the German Cap Arcona and Thielbek passenger ships. Both of these ships were flying many large white flags with huge Red Cross emblems painted on the sides of the ships. The British attacks, which were a violation of international law, resulted in the deaths of approximately 7,000 prisoners being shipped from the Neuengamme concentration camp to Stockholm. When large numbers of corpses dressed in concentration camp garb washed ashore the German coastline a few days later, the British claimed the Germans had intentionally drowned the prisoners in the Baltic Sea. It took years for the truth of the illegal British attacks to be made public.[82]“The 1945 Sinking of the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 19, No. 4, July/Aug. 2000, pp. 2-3; see also Schmidt, Hans, Hitler Boys in America: Re-Education Exposed, Pensacola, FL: Hans Schmidt Publications, 2003, pp. 231-232.

After Dresden, Joseph Goebbels angrily urged Hitler to retaliate by abrogating the Geneva Convention. However, Hitler and his military staff continued to abide by the Geneva Convention throughout the war. As a result, almost 99% of Allied prisoners of war survived the war to return home.[83]Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 126-127.

Like Winston Churchill, other British leaders responsible for the terror bombings began distancing themselves from the deeds when the details of atrocities at Dresden and other places became publicly known. British commander Sir Arthur Harris insisted he was only following orders from “higher up.” Harris and other Allied leaders actually had very little to fear. The Allies had, after all, won the war. With an army of journalists, film makers, and historians to cover their tracks, none of the Allied war criminals risked being held accountable for their crimes.[84]Ibid., pp. 344-345.
(Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 126-127.)

Allies Conspire to Allow Stalin to Control Eastern Europe

In addition to not negotiating peace with Germany and practicing uncivilized warfare, the Allied leaders intentionally allowed the Soviet Union to take over Berlin and Eastern Europe. The supreme Allied commander in the West, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, had no intention of occupying Berlin. According to Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs, “Stalin said that if it hadn’t been for Eisenhower, we wouldn’t have succeeded in capturing Berlin.”[85]Nadaeu, Remi, Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt Divide Europe, New York: Praeger, 1990, p. 163.

Stalin wanted his troops to reach as far into Europe as possible to enable the Soviet Union to control more of Europe after the war was over. Stalin knew that once the Soviet troops had a stronghold in Eastern Europe, it would be almost impossible to dislodge them. Soviet hegemony could not be dislodged unless Roosevelt wanted to take on the Soviet Union after fighting Germany. Stalin said in private: “Whoever occupies a territory imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”[86]Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 318.

The United States could have easily prevented the Soviet Union from marching so far west into Europe. After defeating Germany in north Africa, the Americans and British went into Sicily and then Italy. Churchill favored an advance up the Italian or Balkan peninsulas into central Europe. Such a march would be quicker in reaching Berlin, but Roosevelt and Stalin opposed this strategy at the Tehran Conference in November 1943. In general sessions at Tehran with Churchill present, Roosevelt opposed strengthening the Italian campaign. Instead, Roosevelt wanted troops in Italy to go to France for the larger cross-Channel attack planned for 1944.[87]Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 237238.

Gen. Mark Clark, the American commander in Italy, later commented on Roosevelt’s decision: “The weakening of the campaign in Italy in order to invade southern France, instead of pushing on into the Balkans, was one of the outstanding mistakes of the war….Stalin knew exactly what he wanted…and the thing he wanted most was to keep us out of the Balkans.”[88]Ibid., pp. 238-239.
(Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 237238.)

The Allied military leaders also intentionally prevented Gen. George Patton from quickly defeating Germany in Western Europe. In August 1944, Patton’s Third Army was presented with an opportunity to encircle the Germans at Falaise, France. However, Gens. Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower ordered Patton to stop at Argentan and not complete the encirclement of the Germans, which most historians agree Patton could have done. As a result, probably 100,000 or more German soldiers escaped to later fight U.S. troops in December 1944 in the lastditch counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge.[89]Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 284-288.

Patton wrote in his diary concerning the halt that prevented the encirclement of Germans at Falaise: “This halt [was] a great mistake. [Bradley’s] motto seems to be, ‘In case of doubt, halt.’ I wish I were supreme commander.”[90]Blumenson, Martin, ed., The Patton Papers, 1940-1945, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974, pp. 508, 511.

Maj. Gen. Richard Rohmer, who was a Canadian fighter pilot at the time, wrote that if the gap had closed it “could have brought the surrender of the Third Reich, whose senior generals were now desperately concerned about the ominous shadow of the great Russian bear rising on the eastern horizon of the Fatherland.” Even Col. Ralph Ingersoll, Gen. Bradley’s own historian, wrote, “The failure to close the Argentan-Falaise gap was the loss of the greatest single opportunity of the war.”[91]Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, p. 288.

By Aug. 31, 1944, Patton had put Falaise behind and quickly advanced his tanks to the Meuse River, only 63 miles from the German border and 140 miles from the Rhine River. The German army Patton was chasing was disorganized and in disarray; nothing could stop Patton from roaring into Germany. However, on August 31, the Third Army’s gasoline allotment was suddenly cut by 140,000 gallons per day. This was a huge chunk of the 350,000 to 400,000 gallons per day the Third Army had been consuming. Patton’s advance was halted even though the way ahead was open and largely undefended by the German army in retreat.

Siegfried Westphal, Gen. von Rundstedt’s chief of staff, later described the condition of the German army on the day Patton was stopped: “The overall situation in the west [for the Germans] was serious in the extreme. The Allies could have punched through at any point with ease.” The halt of the Third Army blitzkrieg allowed the Germans to reposition and revitalize. With the knowledge that they were defending their home soil, the Germans found a new purpose for fighting. They were not just waging a war, but were defending their families from what they regarded as revenge seeking hordes.[92]Ibid., pp. 290-298.
(Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, p. 288.)

Germany took advantage of the overall Allied slowdown and reorganized her troops into a major fighting force. Germany’s counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge took Allied forces completely by surprise. The Germans created a “bulge” in the lax American line, and the Allies ran the risk of being cut off and possibly annihilated or thrown back into the sea. Patton had to pull back his Third Army in the east and begin another full scale attack on the southern flank of the German forces. Patton’s troops arrived in a matter of days and were the crucial factor in pushing the German bulge back into Germany.[93]Ibid., pp. 300-301.
(Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, p. 288.)

Patton was enthused after the Battle of the Bulge and wanted to quickly take his Third Army into the heart of Germany. The German army had no more reserves and was definitely on its last legs. However, once again Patton was held back by Gen Eisenhower and the Joint Chiefs of Staff led by Gen. Marshall. Patton was dumbfounded. Patton wrote: “I’ll be damned if I see why we have divisions if not to use them. One would think people would like to win a war…we will be criticized by history, and rightly so, for having sat still so long.”[94]Ibid., p. 313.
(Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, p. 288.)

The Western Allies were still in a position to easily capture Berlin. However, Eisenhower ordered a halt of American troops on the Elbe River, thereby in effect presenting a gift to the Soviet Union of central Germany and much of Europe. One American staff officer bitterly commented: “No German force could have stopped us. The only thing that stood between [the] Ninth Army and Berlin was Eisenhower.”[95]Lucas, James, Last Days of the Reich—The Collapse of Nazi Germany, May 1945, London: Arms and Armour Press, 1986, p. 196.

On May 8, 1945, the day the war in Europe officially ended, Patton spoke his mind in an “off the record” press briefing. With tears in his eyes, Patton recalled those “who gave their lives in what they believed was the final fight in the cause of freedom.” Patton continued:

I wonder how [they] will speak today when they know that for the first time in centuries we have opened Central and Western Europe to the forces of Genghis Khan. I wonder how they feel now that they know there will be no peace in our times and that Americans, some not yet born, will have to fight the Russians tomorrow, or 10, 15 or 20 years from tomorrow. We have spent the last months since the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine stalling; waiting for Montgomery to get ready to attack in the north; occupying useless real estate and killing a few lousy Huns when we should have been in Berlin and Prague. And this Third Army could have been. Today we should be telling the Russians to go to hell instead of hearing them tell us to pull back. We should be telling them if they didn’t like it to go to hell and invite them to fight. We’ve defeated one aggressor against mankind and established a second far worse, more evil and more dedicated than the first.[96]Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 331-332.

A few days later Patton shocked everyone at a Paris hotel gathering by saying basically the same things. At a later gathering in Berlin, when asked to drink a toast with a Soviet general, Patton told his translator, “tell that Russian sonovabitch that from the way they are acting here, I regard them as enemies and I’d rather cut my throat than have a drink with one of my enemies!”[97]Ibid., p. 333.
(Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 331-332.)

Patton became known among U.S. and Soviet leaders as a bona fide menace and a threat to world peace. In addition, Patton was viewed as insubordinate, uncontrollable, and, in the eyes of some, treasonous. Douglas Bazata claims to have been given the order to assassinate Patton by the Office of Strategic Services, an American military espionage ring. Bazata says he shot Patton during a planned auto wreck of Patton’s vehicle on Dec. 9, 1945. Patton later died in a hospital on Dec. 21, 1945, under very suspicious circumstances.[98]Ibid., pp. 342, 391.
(Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 331-332.)

Did Germany Conspire to Start World War II?

No confirmation has ever been found in German archives that Germany conspired to instigate World War II. The Axis powers also never had a clear-cut plan for achieving world domination. Gen. George Marshall points out in a report titled The Winning of the War in Europe and the Pacific that there was never close cooperation among the Axis powers. Marshall’s report, which was published after the war, was based on American intelligence reports and interviews with captured German commanders. Marshall’s report contains the following statements:

No evidence has yet been found that the German High Command had any over-all strategic plan….

When Italy entered the war Mussolini’s strategic aims contemplated the expansion of his empire under the cloak of German military success. Field Marshal Keitel reveals that Italy’s declaration of war was contrary to her agreement with Germany. Both Keitel and Jodl agree that it was undesired….

Nor is there evidence of close strategic coordination between Germany and Japan. The German General Staff recognized that Japan was bound by the neutrality pact with Russia but hoped that the Japanese would tie down strong British and American land, sea and air forces in the Far East.

In the absence of anything so far to the contrary, it is believed that Japan also acted unilaterally and not in accordance with a unified strategic plan…. Not only were the European partners of the Axis unable to coordinate their plans and resources and agree within their own nations how best to proceed, but the eastern partner, Japan, was working in even greater discord. The Axis as a matter of fact existed on paper only.[99]Marshall, George C., General Marshall’s Report—The Winning of the War in Europe and the Pacific. Published for the War Department in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945, pp. 1-3. Quoted in Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 351.

Hitler confirms the lack of military coordination between Germany and Italy in his Testament. Hitler states:

Even while they proved themselves incapable of maintaining their positions in Abyssinia and Cyrenaica, the Italians had the nerve to throw themselves, without seeking our advice and without even giving us previous warning of their intentions, into a pointless campaign in Greece. The shameful defeats which they suffered caused certain of the Balkan states to regard us with scorn and contempt. Here, and nowhere else, are to be found the causes of Yugoslavia’s stiffening and her volte-face in the spring of 1941. This compelled us, contrary to all our plans, to intervene in the Balkans, and that in its turn led to a catastrophic delay in the launching of our attack on Russia. We were compelled to expend some of our best divisions there. And as a net result we were then forced to occupy vast territories in which, but for this stupid show, the presence of any of our troops would have been quite unnecessary.[100]Fraser, L. Craig, The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, pp. 46-47.

British historian A.J.P. Taylor agrees that Hitler did not conspire to instigate war or conquer the world. Taylor states: “Hitler did not make plans—for world conquest or anything else. He assumed that others would provide opportunities, and that he would seize them.”[101]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 134.

Could Germany Have Averted World War II?

A review of the historical record indicates that it would have been extremely difficult for Germany to have averted World War II.

Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 determined to free Germany from the Versailles Treaty’s onerous provisions. The Treaty of Versailles was a deliberate violation of the pre-armistice contract that was to be based on Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Germany was forced to sign the Versailles Treaty against her will and to admit sole responsibility for the origin of World War I. Consequently, Germany had to pay burdensome reparations to the Allies, lost large amounts of her territory including all of her colonies, and was left defenseless against potential enemies. By 1928, historians had documented that Germany was not primarily responsible for originating World War I.[102]Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 6. The Allies, however, refused to renounce or modify the Versailles Treaty.

Hitler’s determination to free Germany from the Versailles Treaty was entirely justified. No responsible leader would have allowed his nation to be subject to the provisions of the Versailles Treaty forever. Hitler began to rearm Germany beginning in March 1935. On March 7, 1936, Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland to protect Germany’s western borders from invasion by constructing the Siegfried Line. Great Britain and France did not challenge Hitler’s move because there was a general feeling that Germany was only asserting a right of sovereignty within her own borders.

The impetus toward World War II began with the Anschluss in March 1938. Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg of Austria announced on March 9, 1938, that Austria would hold a plebiscite four days later to decide if Austria would remain forever independent of Germany. The proposed plebiscite was a total farce in that, among other reasons, only a yes ballot for independence was issued from the government. Anyone wishing to vote no had to provide their own ballot, the same size as the yes ballots, with nothing on it but the word no. Hitler marched into Austria with his army to stop the phony plebiscite.

The Anschluss with Germany was hugely popular among the Austrian people. Austria had been part of Germany for more than 1,000 years prior to World War I. The legislators of Austria had voted to join Germany after World War I, but the architects of the Versailles Treaty refused to abide by the desire of the Austrian legislators. The Anschluss was regarded by most Austrians as an act of liberation from a hated puppet regime.[103]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 98. However, even though not a shot was fired, by using his army Hitler lost the asset of aggrieved morality. Hitler appeared to the world for the first time as a conqueror relying on force.

A crisis later developed when the Czech government and military leaders decided on May 20, 1938, to order a partial mobilization of the Czech armed forces. This partial mobilization was based on the lie that German troops were concentrating on the Czech frontiers. President Benes and other Czech leaders then lied to the world press that Czechoslovakia had forced Germany to back down. Hitler was furious and decided that the desire of the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia to return to Germany should now be fulfilled.

The threat of war ended when the Munich Agreement was signed on Sept. 30, 1938, by Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy. Hitler got substantially everything he wanted, and the Sudeten Germans returned to the Reich. Similar to the Anschluss with Austria, the Sudeten Germans regarded the Munich Agreement as an act of liberation from a hated regime. The British war enthusiasts, however, denounced the Munich Agreement as an inappropriate appeasement of Germany. The warmongering that led to World War II began to increase in Great Britain.

After the Munich Agreement, a crisis developed in Czechoslovakia when Slovakia declared her independence from Czech rule on March 14, 1939. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia that followed occurred without design or encouragement from Germany. The Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, established on March 16, 1939, was legalized by agreements signed with the Czech and Slovak leaders. German troops occupied Prague for over a month to provide stability pursuant to these agreements. Hitler acted only when events had already destroyed the settlement of Munich. Most people outside Germany, however, thought Hitler had intentionally planned the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Halifax hypocritically expressed his hostile views concerning Germany’s occupation of Prague, and promised that Hitler would be forced to shed blood the next time. British officials said that Hitler had overstepped his bounds, and that his word could never be trusted again. The truth is that Halifax and other British officials did not care about Czechoslovakia. They were merely using the Czech crisis as a means to stir up hostility toward Germany among the British public.[104]Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 204205.

In hindsight, Hitler’s establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia proved to be a tactical mistake. It probably would have been better for Hitler not to have involved Germany in the resolution of the Czech crisis. This would have prevented the British warmongers from claiming that Hitler had violated the Munich Agreement.

Halifax also supported the hoax that Germany was seeking to obtain control of the entire Romanian economy, and that Germany had terrified Romanian leaders with an ultimatum. Halifax continued to support these claims even after their falsehood had been exposed. Halifax made these and other false claims in order to further turn the British public’s opinion against Germany. Obviously, Hitler could not have prevented Halifax from making these lies against him.

The impetus for war continued when Great Britain announced an unconditional unilateral guarantee of Poland’s independence on March 31, 1939. This unprecedented blank check to Poland obligated Great Britain to go to war if the Poles decided war was necessary. Polish authorities proceeded to instigate numerous acts of murder, beatings, deportation and discrimination against the Germans of Poland and Danzig. It was “open season” on the Germans in Poland. Hitler soon had more than sufficient justification to go to war with Poland based on traditional practices among nations.

British Ambassador Nevile Henderson tried to inform Halifax of these Polish atrocities, but Halifax refused to listen. Halifax was interested in Poland only as a means of fomenting war against Germany. Polish newspapers recklessly admitted that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier to destroy German military installations and to carry confiscated German military equipment into Poland. Józef Beck also refused any peace negotiations with Germany.

The leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for mercy during this period, but to no avail. More than 80,000 German refugees had been forced to leave Poland by Aug. 20, 1939, and virtually all other ethnic Germans in Poland were clamoring to leave to escape Polish atrocities.[105]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 358, 382, 388, 391-92, 479.

Hitler was forced to invade Poland to end these atrocities against Poland’s ethnic German minority. Hitler had hoped the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement would persuade Great Britain not to declare war on Germany. However, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany two days after Germany’s invasion of Poland.

Hitler planned to offer to restore sovereignty to the Czech state and to western Poland as part of a peace proposal with Great Britain and France. Joachim von Ribbentrop informed Soviet leaders of Hitler’s intention in a note on Sept. 15, 1939. Stalin and Molotov sought to stifle any action that might bring Germany and the Allies to the conference table. They told Ribbentrop that they did not approve of the resurrection of the Polish state. Aware of Germany’s dependency on Soviet trade, Hitler abandoned his plan to reestablish Polish statehood.[106]Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, pp. 160-161.

Numerous historians who blame Hitler for starting World War II claim that if Hitler had wanted peace he would not have been so impatient to undo the Versailles Treaty. In reality Hitler was responding to the actions of the Austrian, Czech, and Polish leaders. American historian David Hoggan writes:

Schuschnigg had challenged Germany with a fraudulent anti-German plebiscite scheme, and Hitler responded by intervening in Austria. Benes challenged Germany with a Czech mobilization based on the false claim of German troop concentrations on the Czech frontier. Hitler responded with his decision to liberate the Sudetenland from Czech rule in 1938. Beck challenged Germany with a partial mobilization and a threat of war, and Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland, refrained from responding at all. It was not until Beck joined the British encirclement front that Hitler took precautionary military measures against the Polish threat. It would have been incompatible with the security of Germany to refrain from doing so, after the formation of a hostile Anglo-Polish combination. The charge that Hitler did not know how to wait can be applied more appropriately to the Austrian, Czech and Polish leaders.[107]Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 312.

Harry Elmer Barnes agreed with Hoggan’s analysis. Barnes stated: “The primary responsibility for the outbreak of the German-Polish War was that of Poland and Britain, while for the transformation of the German-Polish conflict into a European War, Britain, guided by Halifax, was almost exclusively responsible.”[108]Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 222.

Barnes further stated: “It has now been irrefutably established on a documentary basis that Hitler was no more responsible for war in 1939 than the Kaiser was in 1914, if indeed as responsible….Hitler’s responsibility in 1939 was far less than that of Beck in Poland, Halifax in England or even Daladier in France.”[109]Ibid., pp. 227, 249.
(Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 222.)

Dr. Barnes also disputed the generally accepted theory of Hitler’s diabolism. Barnes stated that some very well informed people contended that Hitler was too soft, generous and honorable rather than too tough and ruthless. They point to the following considerations:

[Hitler] made a genuine and liberal peace offer to Britain on August 25, 1939; he permitted the British to escape at Dunkirk to encourage Britain to make peace, which later on cost him the war in north Africa; he failed to occupy all of France, take north Africa at once, and split the British Empire; he lost the Battle of Britain by failing to approve the savagery of saturation bombing of civilians and to build armed bombers to carry on this type of military barbarism which played so large a role in the Allied victory; he delayed his attack on Russia and offered Molotov lavish concessions in November, 1940, to keep peace between Germany and Russia; he lost the war with Russia by delaying the invasion in order to bail Mussolini out of his idiotic attack on Greece; and he declared war on the United States to keep his pledged word with Japan, which had long before made it clear that it deserved no such consideration and loyalty from Hitler.[110]Ibid., pp. 251-252.
(Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 222.)

The Allies had planned a long and devastating war resulting in the complete destruction of Germany. This is indicated by a conversation on Nov. 21, 1938, between William Bullitt and Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki. According to what military experts told Bullitt during the fallcrisis of 1938, a war lasting at least six years would break out in Europe. In the military experts’ opinion the war would result in the complete destruction of Europe, with communism reigning in all European states. The benefits would accrue to the Soviet Union at the conclusion of the war. Bullitt, who enjoyed the special confidence of President Roosevelt, also told Potocki that the United States would take part in the war after Great Britain and France had made the first move. The complete destruction of Germany and the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe occurred exactly as Bullitt had predicted.[111]Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a forward by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 19-21.

It is difficult to see how Hitler could have avoided war in Europe no matter what policies he adopted. Even if Hitler had passively accepted the chains of the Versailles Treaty and done nothing to rearm, the Soviet Union would have eventually attacked Germany and taken over all of Europe.

The Lawless Allied Conspiracy Against Modern Civilization

In his final statement at the Nuremberg trial, Hermann Goering said he “did not want a war” and “did not bring it about.” Franz von Papen was beside himself. At the lunch break he furiously attacked Goering: “Who in the world is responsible for all this destruction if not you? You haven’t taken the responsibility for anything! All you do is make bombastic speeches. It is disgraceful!” Goering laughed at Papen in response.[112]Taylor, Telford, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, pp. 535-536.

Goering was correct that Germany was not primarily responsible for starting World War II. Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany had not wanted a war. Instead, the historical record clearly indicates that the Allied leaders had conspired to both instigate and prolong World War II. It was the Allied leaders who had engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization.

In addition to the Allied leaders, the Western press showed no constraint when it came to stirring up hatred against Germany. Germany was constantly portrayed as a threat to other nations. In this regard, Hitler remarked in his Reichstag speech on April 28, 1939:

As far as Germany is concerned, I am not aware that threats of that kind are being made against other nations; but I do read every day in the democratic newspapers lies about these threats.

I read every day of German mobilization, of landings, of extortions and that against countries with whom we are living not only in perfect tranquility, but with whom we have, in many cases, a deep friendship.

 [T]hen it is criminal negligence, not to use a stronger expression, when heads of nations, who have at their disposal the power, are incapable of tightening the reins of the war-mongering press and so keep the world safe from the threatening disaster of a military conflict.[113]Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 34-35.

The Allied nations and the Western press did more than conspire to start a world war leading to the complete destruction of Germany. The historical record shows that the Allies were planning a devastating treatment of Germany after the end of the war. In the next three chapters we will examine the horrific Allied crimes committed against the German people after the end of World War II.

Footnotes

[1] Aug. 26, 1944, memorandum from Roosevelt to Stimson, in Morgenthau Diary (Germany), Vol. 1, Washington, D.C.: Senate Judiciary Committee, 1967, p. 445. Quoted in Hitchcock, William I., The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe, New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 171.

[2] Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, p. 83.

[3] Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 410.

[4] Feb. 12, 1946, conversation between William Bullitt and Henry Wallace, from Henry Wallace Diary, Henry Wallace Papers, Library of Congress Manuscripts, Washington, D.C. Quoted in Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 240.

[5] Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 254-255.

[6] Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 409.

[7] Beard, Charles A., President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948, pp. 306-307.

[8] Greaves, Percy L. Jr., “The Pearl Harbor Investigations,” in Barnes, Harry Elmer (ed.), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 409, 466.

[9] Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, New York: The Free Press, 2000, pp. 255-257.

[10] Ibid., Preface, pp. XIII-XIV.

[11] Ibid., pp. 203-204.

[12] Theobald, Robert A., The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, Old Greenwich, CT: The Devin-Adair Company, 1954, pp. 192, 198, 201.

[13] Ibid., pp. 193-195.

[14] Ibid., Foreword, pp. vii-viii.

[15] Kimmel, Husband E., Admiral Kimmel’s Story, Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955, p. 110.

[16] Ibid., p. 186.

[17] Richardson, James O., On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor: The Memoirs of Admiral James O. Richardson, Washington, D.C.: Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, 1973, p. 450.

[18] Kimmel, Thomas K. Jr., “Kimmel and Short: Vindicated,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. IX, No. 2, March/April 2003, p. 42.

[19] Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 26.

[20] Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, pp. 285-286.

[21] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 352.

[22] Ibid., p. 364.

[23] Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p. 140.

[24] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. xi-xii.

[25] Ibid., pp. 139, 149-150.

[26] Ibid., p. 150.

[27] Ibid., p. 76.

[28] Ibid., p. 116.

[29] Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 106-108.

[30] Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by James Murphy, London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939, p. 364.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Henderson, Sir Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 115.

[33] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 472.

[34] Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 385-386.

[35] Davies, Norman, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, New York: Viking Penguin, 2007, p. 483.

[36] Degrelle, Leon Gen., Hitler Democrat, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2012, p. 11.

[37] Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 135-137, 169.

[38] Ibid., p. 215.

[39] Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 250-251.

[40] Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 242, 245.

[41] Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 3.

[42] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. xxi.

[43] Ibid., pp. 217-218.

[44] Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 331.

[45] Bullock, Alan, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, New York: Harper & Row, 1962, p. 337.

[46] Hart, B. H. Liddell, The Other Side of the Hill, London: Papermac, 1970, pp. 200-201; see also Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 76.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Fraser, L. Craig, The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, pp. 72-73.

[49] Bradberry, Benton L., The Myth of German Villainy, Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012, p. 369.

[50] Ciano, Count Galeazzo, Ciano’s Diplomatic Papers, London: Odhams Press, 1948, p. 373.

[51] Hinsley, F.H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 81.

[52] Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Power Order and the Lessons of Global Power, New York: Basic, 2003, pp. 330-331.

[53] Hitler, Adolf, My New Order, Edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussy de Sales, New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941, p. 837.

[54] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 84.

[55] Hinsley, F.H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 82.

[56] Clark, Alan, “A Reputation Ripe for Revision,” London Times, Jan. 2, 1993.

[57] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 130.

[58] Langer, Howard J., World War II: An Encyclopedia of Quotations, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999, p. 142.

[59] Hess, Wolf Ruediger, “The Life and Death of My Father, Rudolf Hess,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, Jan./Feb. 1993, pp. 29, 31.

[60] Hankey, Maurice Pascal Alers, Politics, Trials and Errors, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 125-126.

[61] Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p. 2.

[62] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 115.

[63] Ibid., p. 87.

[64] Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 236.

[65] Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, p. 272.

[66] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 51.

[67] Walsh, Michael, Hidden Truths About the Second World War, United Kingdom: The Historical Review Press, 2012, p. 15.

[68] Walendy, Udo, The Methods of Reeducation, Vlotho/Weser, Germany: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1979, p. 3.

[69] Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. 115-116.

[70] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 257.

[71] Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, pp. 122-123.

[72] Bird, Vivian, “An Examination of British War Crimes During World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. VI, No. 6, Nov. /Dec. 2000, p. 56.

[73] Veale, Frederick J. P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, pp. 182-183.

[74] Ibid., p. 183.

[75] Ibid., pp. 184-185.

[76] Ibid., pp. 185-186, 192-193.

[77] Bird, Vivian, “An Examination of British War Crimes During World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. VI, No. 6, Nov. /Dec. 2000, p. 59.

[78] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 36-37.

[79] Ibid., pp. 37-38.

[80] Ibid., p. 124.

[81] Veale, Frederick J.P., Advance to Barbarism, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 194.

[82] “The 1945 Sinking of the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 19, No. 4, July/Aug. 2000, pp. 2-3; see also Schmidt, Hans, Hitler Boys in America: Re-Education Exposed, Pensacola, FL: Hans Schmidt Publications, 2003, pp. 231-232.

[83] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 126-127.

[84] Ibid., pp. 344-345.

[85] Nadaeu, Remi, Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt Divide Europe, New York: Praeger, 1990, p. 163.

[86] Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 318.

[87] Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 237238.

[88] Ibid., pp. 238-239.

[89] Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 284-288.

[90] Blumenson, Martin, ed., The Patton Papers, 1940-1945, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974, pp. 508, 511.

[91] Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, p. 288.

[92] Ibid., pp. 290-298.

[93] Ibid., pp. 300-301.

[94] Ibid., p. 313.

[95] Lucas, James, Last Days of the Reich—The Collapse of Nazi Germany, May 1945, London: Arms and Armour Press, 1986, p. 196.

[96] Wilcox, Robert K., Target: Patton, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008, pp. 331-332.

[97] Ibid., p. 333.

[98] Ibid., pp. 342, 391.

[99] Marshall, George C., General Marshall’s Report—The Winning of the War in Europe and the Pacific. Published for the War Department in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945, pp. 1-3. Quoted in Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 351.

[100] Fraser, L. Craig, The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, pp. 46-47.

[101] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 134.

[102] Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 6.

[103] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 98.

[104] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, pp. 204205.

[105] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 358, 382, 388, 391-92, 479.

[106] Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, pp. 160-161.

[107] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 312.

[108] Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout, Costa Mesa, CA: The Institute for Historical Review, 1991, p. 222.

[109] Ibid., pp. 227, 249.

[110] Ibid., pp. 251-252.

[111] Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a forward by C. Hartley Grattan, New York: Howell, Soskin & Company, 1940, pp. 19-21.

[112] Taylor, Telford, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, pp. 535-536.

[113] Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: THE BARNES REVIEW, 2013, pp. 34-35.

Part II • Allied Postwar Crimes Against Germans

Chapter Five • Allied Pow Camps • 17,300 Words

World War II is often referred to as the “Good War,” a morally clear-cut conflict between good and evil.[1]Terkel, Studs, The Good War, New York: Pantheon, 1984, p. vi. The “Good War” is also claimed to have led to a good peace. After a period of adjustment, the United States generously adopted the Marshall Plan and put Germany back on her feet. Germany with the help of the Allies soon became a prosperous democracy which took her place among the family of good nations.

The above misleading description does not reflect the horrific treatment of Germans after the end of the Second World War. In this chapter we will examine the mass murder of captured German soldiers in the Allied prisoner of war camps.

Introduction to the U.S. & French Prisoner of War Camps

On July 27, 1929, the Allies extended the Protective Regulations of the Geneva Convention for Wounded Soldiers to include prisoners of war (POWs). These regulations state: “All accommodations should be equal to the standard of their troops. The Red Cross supervises. After the end of the hostilities the POWs should be released immediately.” On March 10, 1945, Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, disregarded these regulations by classifying German prisoners captured on German territory as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” (DEFs). The German prisoners were therefore at the mercy of the Allies and were not protected by international law.[2]Gruettner, Maria, “Real Death Camps of World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, July/August 2012, pp. 28-29.

The Western Allies deliberately murdered approximately 1 million disarmed German POWs by means of starvation, exposure, and illness. This Allied atrocity was first publicly exposed in 1989 in the book Other Losses by James Bacque. Dr. Ernest F. Fisher, Jr., a retired colonel in the U.S. Army and a distinguished Army historian, wrote the foreword to the updated version of Other Losses. I quote Dr. Fisher’s Foreword from Other Losses in its entirety:

Over most of the Western Front in late April 1945, the thunder of artillery had been replaced by the shuffling of millions of pairs of boots as columns of disarmed German soldiers marched wearily toward Allied barbed wire enclosures. Scattered enemy detachments fired a few volleys before fading into the countryside and eventual capture by Allied soldiers.

The mass surrenders in the west contrasted markedly with the final weeks on the eastern front where surviving Wehrmacht units still fought the advancing Red Army to enable as many of their comrades as possible to evade capture by the Russians.

This was the final strategy of the German High Command then under Grand Adm. Doenitz, who had been designated commander-in-chief by Adolf Hitler following Reich Marshall Goering’s surrender to the west.

From the German point of view, this strategy delivered millions of German soldiers to what they believed would be the more merciful hands of the Western Allies under supreme military commander Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. However, given Gen. Eisenhower’s fierce and obsessive hatred not only of the Nazi regime, but indeed of all things German, this belief was at best a desperate gamble. More than 5 million German soldiers in the American and French zones were crowded into barbed wire cages, many of them literally shoulder to shoulder. The ground beneath soon became a quagmire of filth and disease. Open to the weather, lacking even primitive sanitary facilities, underfed, the prisoners soon began dying of starvation and disease. Starting in April 1945, the United States Army and the French army casually annihilated about 1 million men, most of them in American camps. Not since the horrors of the Confederate-administered prison at Andersonville during the American Civil War had such cruelties taken place under American military control. For more than four decades this unprecedented tragedy lay hidden in Allied archives.

How at last did this enormous war crime come to light? The first clues were uncovered in 1986 by the author James Bacque and his assistant. Researching a book about Raoul Laporterie, a French resistance hero who had saved about 1,600 refugees from the Nazis, they interviewed a former German soldier who had become a friend of Laporterie in 1946. Laporterie had taken this man, Hans Goertz, and one other, out of a French prison camp in 1946 to give them work as tailors in his chain of stores. Goertz declared that “Laporterie saved my life, because 25% of the men in that camp died in one month.” What had they died of? “Starvation, dysentery, disease.”

Checking as far as possible the records of the camps where Goertz had been confined, Bacque found that it had been one of a group of three in a system of 1,600, all equally bad, according to ICRC reports in the French army archives at Vincennes, Paris. Soon they came upon the first hard evidence of mass deaths in U.S.controlled camps. This evidence was found in army reports under the bland heading Other Losses. The terrible significance of this term was soon explained to Bacque and me by Col. Philip S. Lauben, a former chief of the Germany Affairs Branch of SHAEF.

In the spring of 1987, Mr. Bacque and I met in Washington. Over the following months, we worked together in the National Archives and in the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia, piecing together the evidence we uncovered. The plans made at the highest levels of the U.S. and British governments in 1944 expressed a determination to destroy Germany as a world power once and for all by reducing her to a peasant economy, although this would mean the starvation of millions of civilians. Up until now, historians have agreed that the Allied leaders soon canceled their destructive plans because of public resistance.

Eisenhower’s hatred, passed through the lens of a compliant military bureaucracy, produced the horror of death camps unequaled by anything in American military history. In the face of the catastrophic consequences of this hatred, the casual indifference expressed by the SHAEF officers is the most painful aspect of the U.S. Army’s involvement.

Nothing was further from the intent of the great majority of Americans in 1945 than to kill off so many unarmed Germans after the war. Some idea of the magnitude of this horror can be gained when it is realized that these deaths exceed by far all those incurred by the German army in the west between June 1941 and April 1945. In the narrative that follows, the veil is drawn from this tragedy.[3]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xv-xvii.

Col. Fisher sat on a U.S. Army commission investigating allegations of war crimes committed by American soldiers in 1945. He later said that the commission was “a whitewash.”[4]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. xiii.

After conducting his research in France, James Bacque realized that a catastrophe had occurred in the American and French POW camps. In the United States National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue, Bacque found the documents with the heading Weekly Prisoner of War and Disarmed Enemy Forces Report. In each report was the heading Other Losses, which paralleled the statistics he had seen in France.

Bacque reviewed these reports with Col. Philip S. Lauben, who had been chief of the German Affairs Branch of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in charge of prisoner transfers and repatriation. Bacque and Lauben went over the headings in the reports one by one until they got to the heading Other Losses. Lauben said, “It means deaths and escapes.” When Bacque asked how many escapes, Lauben answered “Very, very minor.” Bacque later learned that the escapes were less than one-tenth of 1%.[5]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. lxv-lxvi.

Bacque states that because some prisoner documents were deceptive when made, and because many records were destroyed in the 1950s or hidden in euphemisms, the number of dead will always be in dispute. However, there is no question that enormous numbers of men of all ages, plus some women and children, died of starvation, exposure, unsanitary conditions, and disease in American and French POW camps in Germany and France starting in April 1945.

Bacque estimates in Other Losses that the victims undoubtedly number over 790,000, almost certainly over 900,000, and quite likely over a million. The prisoners’ deaths were knowingly caused by Army officers who had sufficient resources to keep these prisoners alive. Relief organizations such as the Red Cross that attempted to help prisoners in the American camps were refused permission by the Army.[6]Ibid., pp. lxvi-lxvii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. lxv-lxvi.)

U.S. Witnesses to American & French Prisoner of War Camps

Some American guards have published accounts of their experiences at the Allied POW camps. One of the most credible and informative is that of Martin Brech. The following is the major portion of his account:

In October, 1944, at age 18, I was drafted into the U.S. Army. …In late March or early April, 1945, I was sent to guard a POW camp near Andernach along the Rhine. I had four years of high school German, so I was able to talk to the prisoners, although this was forbidden. Gradually, however, I was used as an interpreter and asked to ferret out members of the S.S. (I found none).

In Andernach about 50,000 prisoners of all ages were held in an open field surrounded by barbed wire. The women were kept in a separate enclosure I did not see until later. The men I guarded had no shelter and no blankets; many had no coats. They slept in the mud, wet and cold, with inadequate slit trenches for excrement. It was a cold, wet spring and their misery from exposure alone was evident.

Even more shocking was to see the prisoners throwing grass and weeds into a tin can containing a thin soup. They told me they did this to help ease their hunger pains. Quickly, they grew emaciated. Dysentery raged, and soon they were sleeping in their own excrement, too weak and crowded to reach the slit trenches. Many were begging for food, sickening and dying before our eyes. We had ample food and supplies, but did nothing to help them, including no medical assistance.

Outraged, I protested to my officers and was met with hostility or bland indifference. When pressed, they explained they were under strict orders from “higher up.” No officer would dare do this to 50,000 men if he felt that it was “out of line,” leaving him open to charges. Realizing my protests were useless, I asked a friend working in the kitchen if he could slip me some extra food for the prisoners. He too said they were under strict orders to severely ration the prisoners’ food and that these orders came from “higher up.” But he said they had more food than they knew what to do with and would sneak me some.

When I threw this food over the barbed wire to the prisoners, I was caught and threatened with imprisonment. I repeated the “offense,” and one officer angrily threatened to shoot me. I assumed this was a bluff until I encountered a captain on the 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. I saw the women running for cover, but, at that distance, couldn’t tell if any had been hit.

This is when I realized I was dealing with cold-blooded killers filled with moralistic hatred. They considered the Germans subhuman and worthy of extermination; another expression of the downward spiral of racism. Articles in the G.I. newspaper, Stars and Stripes, played up the German concentration camps, complete with photos of emaciated bodies; this amplified our self-righteous cruelty and made it easier to imitate behavior we were supposed to oppose. Also, I think, soldiers not exposed to combat were trying to prove how tough they were by taking it out on the prisoners and civilians.

These prisoners, I found out, were mostly farmers and workingmen, as simple and ignorant as many of our own troops. As time went on, more of them lapsed into a zombie-like state of listlessness, while others tried to escape in a demented or suicidal fashion, running through open fields in broad daylight toward the Rhine to quench their thirst. They were mowed down.

Some prisoners were as eager for cigarettes as for food, saying they took the edge off their hunger. Accordingly, enterprising G.I. “Yankee traders” were acquiring hordes of watches and rings in exchange for handfuls of cigarettes or less. When I began throwing cartons of cigarettes to the prisoners to ruin this trade, I was threatened by rank-and-file G.I.s too.

The only bright spot in this gloomy picture came one night when I was put on the “graveyard shift,” from two to four A.M. Actually, there was a graveyard on the uphill side of this enclosure, not many yards away. My superiors had forgotten to give me a flashlight and I hadn’t bothered to ask for one, disgusted as I was with the whole situation by that time. It was a fairly bright night and I soon became aware of a prisoner crawling under the wires toward the graveyard. We were supposed to shoot escapees on sight, so I started to get up from the ground to warn him to get back. Suddenly I noticed another prisoner crawling from the graveyard back to the enclosure. They were risking their lives to get to the graveyard for something; I had to investigate.

When I entered the gloom of this shrubby, tree-shaded cemetery, I felt completely vulnerable, but somehow curiosity kept me moving. Despite my caution, I tripped over the legs of someone in a prone position. Whipping my rifle around while stumbling and trying to regain composure of mind and body, I soon was relieved I hadn’t reflexively fired. The figure sat up. Gradually, I could see the beautiful but terror-stricken face of a woman with a picnic basket nearby. German civilians were not allowed to feed, nor even come near the prisoners, so I quickly assured her I approved of what she was doing, not to be afraid, and that I would leave the graveyard to get out of the way.

I did so immediately and sat down, leaning against a tree at the edge of the cemetery to be inconspicuous and not frighten the prisoners. I imagined then, and still do now, what it would be like to meet a beautiful woman with a picnic basket, under those conditions, as a prisoner. I have never forgotten her face.

Eventually, more prisoners crawled back to the enclosure. I saw they were dragging food to their comrades and could only admire their courage and devotion.

On May 8, V.E. Day, I decided to celebrate with some prisoners I was guarding who were baking bread the other prisoners occasionally received. This group had all the bread they could eat, and shared the jovial mood generated by the end of the war. We all thought we were going home soon, a pathetic hope on their part. We were in what was to become the French zone, where I soon would witness the brutality of the French soldiers when we transferred our prisoners to them for their slave labor camps.

On this day, however, we were happy.

As a gesture of friendliness, I emptied my rifle and stood it in the corner, even allowing them to play with it at their request. This thoroughly “broke the ice,” and soon we were singing songs we taught each other or I had learned in high school German (“Du, du liegst mir im Herzen”). Out of gratitude, they baked me a special small loaf of sweet bread, the only possible present they had left to offer. I stuffed it in my “Eisenhower jacket” and snuck it back to my barracks, eating it when I had privacy. I have never tasted more delicious bread, nor felt a deeper sense of communion while eating it. I believe a cosmic sense of Christ (the Oneness of all Being) revealed its normally hidden presence to me on that occasion, influencing my later decision to major in philosophy and religion.

Shortly afterward, some of our weak and sickly prisoners were marched off by French soldiers to their camp. We were riding on a truck behind this column. Temporarily, it slowed down and dropped back, perhaps because the driver was as shocked as I was. Whenever a German prisoner staggered or dropped back, he was hit on the head with a club until he died. 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 I finally saw the German women in a separate enclosure, I asked why we were holding them prisoner. I was told they were “camp followers,” selected as breeding stock for the S.S. to create a super-race. I spoke to some and must say I never met a more spirited or attractive group of women. I certainly didn’t think they deserved imprisonment.

I was used increasingly as an interpreter, and was able to prevent some particularly unfortunate arrests. One rather amusing incident involved an old farmer who was being dragged away by several M.P.s. I was told he had a “fancy Nazi medal,” which they showed me. Fortunately, I had a chart identifying such medals. He’d been awarded it for having five children! Perhaps his wife was somewhat relieved to get him “off her back,” but I didn’t think one of our death camps was a fair punishment for his contribution to Germany. The M.P.s agreed and released him to continue his “dirty work.”

Famine began to spread among the German civilians also. It was a common sight to see German women up to their elbows in our garbage cans looking for something edible—that is, if they weren’t chased away.

When I interviewed mayors of small towns and villages, I was told their supply of food had been taken away by “displaced persons” (foreigners who had worked in Germany), who packed the food on trucks and drove away. When I reported this, the response was a shrug. I never saw any Red Cross at the camp or helping civilians, although their coffee and doughnut stands were available everywhere else for us. In the meantime, the Germans had to rely on the sharing of hidden stores until the next harvest.

Hunger made German women more “available,” but despite this, rape was prevalent and often accompanied by additional violence. In particular I remember an 18-year-old woman who had the side of her face smashed with a rifle butt and was then raped by two G.I.s. Even the French complained that the rapes, looting and drunken destructiveness on the part of our troops was excessive. In Le Havre, we’d been given booklets warning us that the German soldiers had maintained a high standard of behavior with French civilians who were peaceful, and that we should do the same. In this we failed miserably.

“So what?” some would say. “The enemy’s atrocities were worse than ours.” It is true that I experienced only the end of the war, when we were already the victors. The German opportunity for atrocities had faded; ours was at hand. But two wrongs don’t make a right. Rather than copying our enemy’s crimes, we should aim once and for all to break the cycle of hatred and vengeance that has plagued and distorted human history. This is why I am speaking out now, 45 years after the crime. We can never prevent individual war crimes, but we can, if enough of us speak out, influence government policy. We can reject government propaganda that depicts our enemies as subhuman and encourages the kind of outrages I witnessed. We can protest the bombing of civilian targets, which still goes on today. And we can refuse ever to condone our government’s murder of unarmed and defeated prisoners of war.

I realize it is difficult for the average citizen to admit witnessing a crime of this magnitude, especially if implicated himself. Even G.I.s sympathetic to the victims were afraid to complain and get into trouble, they told me. And the danger has not ceased. Since I spoke out a few weeks ago, I have received threatening calls and had my mailbox smashed. But it’s been worth it. Writing about these atrocities has been a catharsis of feeling suppressed too long, a liberation, and perhaps will remind other witnesses that “the truth will make us free, have no fear.” We may even learn a supreme lesson from all this: only love can conquer all.[7]Brech, Martin, “In ‘Eisenhower’s Death Camps’: A U.S. Prison Guard’s Story,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1990, pp. 161-166.

Martin Brech saw bodies go out of the camp by the truckload, but he was never told how many there were, or where and how they were buried.[8]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 41, 44. Brech said in 1995 regarding the U.S. Army, “It is clear that in fact it was the policy to shoot any civilians trying to feed the prisoners.” Brech has also confirmed that Eisenhower’s starvation policy was harshly enforced down to the lowest level of camp guard.[9]Ibid., pp. 45-46.
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 41, 44.)

Many other U.S. Army officers and NCOs have admitted that the conditions in the Allied POW camps were lethal for the Germans. Cpl. Daniel McConnell suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by his experiences in a U.S. Army camp at Heilbronn. McConnell had been ordered, despite his ignorance of medicine, to take over Baker No. 4, a “hospital” tent at Heilbronn. McConnell writes: “One day while working on a coal detail, I was summoned to the office of the first sergeant who said, ‘We see from your 201 file you know some German— the guy out in the prison camp is messing up. We’re sending you out to straighten things out.’ ”

The “hospital” had no medical facilities beyond bottles of aspirin. McConnell writes: “After a tour of inspection, I saw that Baker No. 4 was a hospital in name only. Not even the most elementary standards of cleanliness were maintained or enforceable. Cleaning compounds and disinfectants were unavailable, not to mention medical and surgical [supplies]….The odor was unendurable….Operations were performed without anesthesia….At night the chatter of a machine gun or the crack of a rifle could be heard as a POW went for the wire to escape.”[10]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.

The mud-floored tent was simply a way to assemble dying prisoners convenient to the trucks that would soon take away their corpses. McConnell saw the prisoners die en masse in this camp, and saw the prisoners buried by bulldozers in mass graves. McConnell states: “When a POW died, his remains were taken in a gunny sack to a tent near the main gate. There a medical officer would sign a death certificate, which I would witness. A number of bodies would be taken to a long slit trench outside the camp for mass burial. If next of kin were present (a rare event), a few words were spoken by a clergyman, then a bulldozer would start up and cover the bodies with earth.”

Since McConnell was ordered to supervise all of this without being able to stop it, his guilt never left him. After 50 years McConnell’s mental condition eventually made him physically ill. The Veterans Administration, which in 1998 awarded McConnell a 100% medical pension, admitted that McConnell had been injured for life by the horrors he had witnessed in the camp but could not prevent.[11]Ibid., pp. xx-xxi.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

Probably the most eminent of the American eyewitnesses to the camps is Maj. Gen. Richard Steinbach (then a colonel), who was ordered to take over administration of several U.S. Army prison camps near Heilbronn. In his memoirs, Steinbach says that on an inspection tour he found that the conditions in the American camps were terrible. The great majority of the prisoners had no shelter. Most of the prisoners had lost weight, some were suffering from illness, and some were slowly losing their minds. Often far less than the official food allotment of 1,000 calories per day was given to the prisoners, even though Steinbach soon found that sufficient food was available.[12]Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

Steinbach knew what had caused the terrible conditions in the American POW camps: “This was caused by the Morgenthau Plan…. Morgenthau was venting his pent-up feelings on Germany by starving these men….[His] objective was vengeance rather than promoting U.S. national objectives. Of course, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president who approved this plan, was also responsible. Worse even than the starvation was the idleness enforced on these people. I was amazed and disgusted at the same time. Was this the American way to treat people, even though some might be criminals? Obviously it was not. I directed the U.S. camp commander to send to the railhead and draw supplementary rations.” Steinbach said that the food and tents were delivered immediately from supplies nearby.[13]Ibid., pp. xix-xx.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

Gen. Withers Alexander Burress, like Steinbach a member of the Sixth Army command, found the same conditions in his camps. Steinbach says he saw the same things elsewhere: “I inspected other camps and found the same situation, ordering the same remedial action….As soon as I returned to our headquarters, I met with Gen. Burress. He said that the German POW camp was something beyond his comprehension.” Unfortunately, Steinbach was transferred early the next year, and conditions at Heilbronn deteriorated again according to Cpl. Daniel McConnell.[14]Ibid.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

American prison camps in France were also kept far below the standards set by the Geneva Convention. Lt. Col. Henry W. Allard, who was in charge of some camps in France from late 1944 through May 1945, says that only food rations were sent to the camps. Supplies such as medicine, clothing, fuel, mess kits, and stoves were denied to the prisoners. Allard describes the camps’ conditions: “The standards of PW [prisoner of war] camps in the ComZ [the U.S. Army’s rear zone] in Europe compare as only slightly better or even with the living conditions of the Japanese PW camps our men tell us about, and unfavorably with those of the Germans.”[15]Ibid., p. 190. See also Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 29.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

After the war conditions in the American camps grew steadily worse. Col. Philip Lauben later said that the American and French camps in the Vosges region in France were so bad that “the Vosges was just one big death camp.”[16]Ibid., p. 100.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

Disastrous overcrowding, disease, exposure and malnutrition were the rule in the U.S. camps in Germany beginning in 1945. U.S. Army Cols. James B. Mason and Charles H. Beasley observed the conditions in the American camps along the Rhine in April 1945:

April 20 was a blustery day with alternate rain, sleet and snow and with bone-chilling winds sweeping down the Rhine valley from the north over the flats where the enclosure was located. Huddled close together for warmth, behind the barbed wire was a most awesome sight—nearly 100,000 haggard, apathetic, dirty, gaunt, blank-staring men clad in dirty field gray uniforms, and standing ankle-deep in mud. Here and there were dirty white blurs which, upon a closer look were seen to be men with bandaged heads or arms or standing in shirt sleeves! The German Division Commander reported that the men had not eaten for at least two days, and the provision of water was a major problem—yet only 200 yards away was the river Rhine running bank-full.[17]Ibid., p. 31.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

The view from inside the camps was even worse. The inmates suffered from nagging hunger and thirst, and large numbers died from starvation, dysentery, and exposure to the elements. Capt. Ben H. Jackson said that when he approached one of the camps along the Rhine: “I could smell it a mile away. It was barbaric.”[18]Ibid., p. 194.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.)

A Jewish intelligence lieutenant at Bad Kreuznach stated: “I’ve been interrogating German officers for the War Crimes Commission, and when I find them half-starved to death right in our own P.W. cages and being treated like you wouldn’t treat a dog, I ask myself some questions. Sometimes I have to get them fed up and hospitalized before I can get a coherent story out of them….All these directives about don’t coddle the Germans have thrown open the gates for every criminal tendency we’ve got in us.”[19]Dos Passos, John, Tour of Duty, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1945, pp. 251-252.

Gen. Mark Clark, the U.S. political commissioner in Austria, was horrified by the conditions in the U.S. camps when he arrived in Austria. Clark took the unusual step of writing a memo “for files.” This was probably to exculpate himself before history without offending his boss, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. Clark wrote:

When I first came to Austria from Italy, Gen. Keyes told me of the deplorable conditions which existed in the Ebensee Camp, mostly due to over-crowding and to lack of proper nourishment. He told me he was taking corrective steps….I sent for Col. Lloyd, my inspector-general, and told him to make an inspection at this camp. Later Gen. Hume came in with a detailed report showing the critical situation which exists there. I immediately directed the overcrowding be released, and that the caloric value of the ration be increased to approximately 2800 calories. I am not sure that I have the authority to do this, but will do it anyway because some immediate action must be taken. What astounds me is my lack of information on this camp from my staff officers.[20]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.

The deplorable condition of the Austrian camps is confirmed by a special investigation held in September 1945 under the command of U.S. Lt. Col. Herbert Pollack. Pollack found starvation conditions and severe malnutrition problems among many of the prisoners in U.S. camps in Austria.[21]Ibid., p. 184.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

U.S. Sgt. Merrill W. Campbell writes of a mass atrocity he witnessed in southern Germany:

There [were] 10,000 or more German prisoners in this open field, standing shoulder to shoulder. This bunch of prisoners [was] there for three days or more with no food or water, no shelter. There was little concern for these people. There [were] no German civilians around. As for food and water, I personally think it could have been provided to them. Most of the guards were very brutal. As I was not in charge of this camp, there was little I could do. On the morning the prisoners were moved out, my company had orders to leave and go to Garmisch as my company was leaving the area. I looked back where they were moving the prisoners out; mud was deep as far as I could see. Heads, arms and legs of the dead were sticking out of the mud. It made me sick and disgusted.[22]Ibid., pp. 191-192.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

U.S. Capt. Frederick Siegfriedt was detailed in eastern France near Zimming in December 1945, where there were about 17,000 German prisoners. Captain L., a lifelong friend of Siegfriedt’s, was medical officer of the detachment. Siegfriedt writes:

Capt. L. had been an extremely hard working and conscientious person all his life. It was evident that he was under extreme stress trying to cope with the conditions at CCE 27 and receiving no cooperation, no help, no understanding, was helpless, and had not even anyone to talk to. I was able to serve to fill the [last] need. He explained to me that most of the men had dysentery and were suffering from malnutrition. Some men in the cages had as many as 17 bloody stools a day, he said. He took me to one of the former French barracks that served as the hospital. It had 800 men lying all over, on the cold concrete floors as well as the beds. It just broke your heart to see it….Almost without exception the other [U.S.] officers were reclassified because of alcoholism or psychiatric problems….The operation of CCE 27 seemed typical of the entire system. When an enclosure got a bunch of prisoners they didn’t know what to do with, or could not otherwise handle, they were shipped unannounced to another enclosure….I have no idea how many died [or] where they were buried. I am sure the Americans did not bury them, and we had no such thing as a bulldozer. I can only assume that a detail of German PWs would bury them. I could look out of the window of my office and tell if the body being carried by was alive or dead by whether or not there was a fifth man following with the man’s personal possessions. The number could have been from five to 25 a day.[23]Ibid., pp. 192-193.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

Siegfriedt concludes that “…the [American] staff was much more concerned with living the luxurious life than it was about the operation of the prison camps.”[24]Ibid., p. 193.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

An American officer, who requested anonymity because of fear of reprisals, said: “The conditions you so aptly described were exactly as it was in Regensburg, Moosburg and other camps throughout lower Bavaria and Austria. Death was commonplace and savage treatment given by the Polish guards under American officers.”[25]Ibid., p. 192.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

Many German POWs “accidentally suffocated” in Allied boxcars while being shipped. U.S. Lt. Arthur W. von Fange saw about 12 locked boxcars filled with men stationed on a siding near Remagen in March 1945. He heard cries from within which gradually died down. Von Fange said, “I don’t imagine they lasted three days.”[26]Ibid., p. 194.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)
Several times in March 1945, American guards opening rail cars of prisoners arriving from Germany found the prisoners dead inside. At Mailly le Camp on March 16, 1945, 104 prisoners were found dead. A further 27 German prisoners were found dead at Attichy. [27]Ibid., p. 18.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.)

Soon after Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, Gen. Eisenhower sent an urgent courier throughout the huge area that he commanded. The message reads in part: “The military government has requested me to make it known, that, under no circumstances may food supplies be assembled among the local inhabitants, in order to deliver them to the German prisoners of war. Those who violate this command and nevertheless try to circumvent this blockade, to allow anything to come to the prisoners, place themselves in danger of being shot….”[28]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 40-43. Copies of this order have been found in many towns and villages in Germany.[29]Ibid., pp. 49-50.
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 40-43.)

An American sergeant (who has asked to remain anonymous), saw this order to civilians posted in German and English on the bulletin board of U.S. Army Military Government Headquarters in Bavaria, signed by the chief of staff of the military governor of Bavaria. The order was even posted in Polish in Straubing and Regensburg, because there were a lot of Polish guards at those camps. The American sergeant said that it was the intention of army command from May 1945 through the end of 1947 to exterminate as many German POWs in the U.S. zone as the traffic would bear without international scrutiny. This sergeant, who at the time was in military intelligence in the U.S. Army of Occupation, witnessed the lethal conditions inflicted on German prisoners at several camps, including Regensburg near Munich.[30]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxi.

Oscar E. Plummer of Clinton, Illinois writes of the lethal conditions he observed in American POW camps:

I served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and was wounded in Belgium. I spent a lot of time in Germany during and after the war.

Many people are reluctant to believe that the United States could have mistreated German prisoners in the way that James Bacque relates in his book Other Losses. I can attest to the fact that the U.S. Army did have those inhumane holding pens for German prisoners: I saw them! These were guarded, fenced-in areas with thousands of German prisoners of war inside, and there were no interior buildings or shelters. The POWs looked very thin and drawn. This was months after the war was over. They should have been released when the war was over.[31]The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, July/August 1994, p. 48.

Additional Witnesses to the American & French POW Camps

Many other witnesses and government officials knew about the horrible conditions in the Allied POW camps. In an interview conducted in June 1945 with the U.S. Army, Dr. Konrad Adenauer deplored the U.S. death camps along the Rhine in very strong terms. Adenauer said:

Some of the German PWs are being held in camps in a manner contrary to all humanitarian principles and flagrantly contrary to the Hague [and Geneva] conventions. All along the Rhine from Remagen-Sinzig to Ludwigshafen the German prisoners have been penned up for weeks without any protection from the weather, without drinking water, without medical care and with only a few slices of bread to eat. They could not even lie down on the floor [ground]. These were many hundreds of thousands. It is said that the same is true in the interior of Germany. These people died by the thousands. They stood day and night in wet mud up to their ankles! Conditions have improved during the past few weeks. Of course the enormous number of prisoners is one of the causes of these conditions but it is noteworthy that to the best of my knowledge, it took a great many weeks to improve at least the worst conditions. The impression made on the Germans by the publication of facts about the concentration camps was greatly weakened by this fact….I know that in the winter of 1941-1942 the Russian prisoners were very badly treated by the Germans, and we ought to be ashamed of the fact, but I feel that you ought not to do the same thing. German prisoners too in camps ate grass and picked leaves from the trees because they were hungry exactly as the Russians unfortunately did….[32]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.

Dr. Adenauer’s description of the German men who “stood day and night in wet mud up to their ankles” as they died by the thousands is similar to the description of the prisoners in American camps along the Rhine made in April 1945 by Cols. Beasley and Mason, who said that the prisoners were “standing ankle-deep in mud.”

Dr. Joseph Kirsch, a French volunteer doctor who worked in an evacuation hospital for moribund prisoners of war, writes:

I volunteered to the military government of the 21st [French] Military region [near Metz]….I was assigned to the French military hospital at the little seminary of Montigny….In May 1945, the Americans who occupied the hospital at Legouest brought us every night by ambulance, stretchers loaded with moribund prisoners in German uniforms….These ambulances arrived by the back door….We lined up the stretchers in central hall. For treatment, we had nothing at our disposal. We could only perform elementary superficial examinations (auscultation), only to find out the anticipated cause of death in the night…for in the morning, more ambulances arrived with coffins and quicklime….These prisoners were in such extremely bad condition that my role was reduced to comforting the dying. This drama has obsessed me since the war; I consider it a horror.[33]Ibid., p. xxxix.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.)

Similar to the experience of U.S. Cpl. Daniel McConnell, Dr. Kirsch discovered that these “hospitals” were merely places to take moribund prisoners rather than places to help the prisoners get well.

Prisoners transferred from the American camps to the French camps kept on starving. Journalist Jacques Fauvet wrote in Le Monde: “As one speaks today of Dachau, in ten years people throughout the world will speak about camps like Saint Paul d’Eyjeaux,” where 17,000 prisoners taken over from the Americans in late July were dying so fast that within a few weeks two cemeteries of 200 graves each had been filled. The death rate by the end of September was 10 per day, or over 21% per year.

Fauvet challenged the question of revenge: “People will object that the Germans weren’t very particular on the matter of feeding our men, but even if they did violate the Geneva Convention, that hardly seems to justify our following their example….People have often said that the best service that we could do the Germans would be to imitate them, so they would one day find us before the judgment of history, but it is to an ideal higher than mere dignity that France should remain faithful; it is to be regretted that the foreign press had to remind us of that….We didn’t suffer and fight to perpetuate the crimes of other times and places.”[34]Ibid., pp. 97-98.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.)

Jean-Pierre Pradervand, head of the delegations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in France, went to inspect the French camp at Thorée les Pins in the late summer of 1945. This camp was already known in the village nearby as “Buchenwald” after the notorious German camp. Two thousand of the men at the camp were already so far gone that nothing could save them. Twenty of the prisoners died that day while Pradervand was there. Approximately 6,000 of the prisoners would soon be dead unless they were immediately given food, clothing, shelter and medical care. All of the remaining prisoners were undernourished.

Pradervand first appealed directly to de Gaulle, who repeatedly ignored him. So Pradervand got in touch with the ICRC in Geneva, asking for action. On Sept. 14, 1945, the ICRC in Geneva sent a devastating document to the State Department in Washington, D.C. based on Pradervand’s report of the conditions in the camp. The document requested that the U.S. government take emergency measures to supply the prisoners with food, medications, clothing, boots, blankets, and soap. The ICRC recommended that the United States increase rations in American camps in Europe to obviate the prolonged undernourishment of the German prisoners.[35]Ibid., pp. 87-88.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.)

Henry W. Dunning, who was in the prisoner of war department of the American Red Cross, also wrote on Sept. 5, 1945, to the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dunning stated:

[T]he situation of the German prisoners of war in France has become desperate and shortly will become an open scandal. During the past week several Frenchmen, who were formerly prisoners of the Germans, have called on me to protest the treatment being given German prisoners of war by the French government. Gen. Thrasher, commanding the Oise Intermediary sector, asked one of our field workers to come to Paris to see me about the same matter. Mrs. Dunning, returning from Bourges, reports that dozens of German prisoners are dying there weekly. I saw Pradervand, who told me that the situation of German prisoners in France in many instances is worse than in the former German concentration camps. He showed me photographs of human skeletons and letters from French camp commanders who have asked to be relieved because they can get no help from the French government and cannot stand to see the prisoners dying from lack of food. Pradervand has appealed to everyone in the French government but to no avail.[36]Ibid., p. 89.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.)

The French newspaper Le Figaro reported the horrific conditions of the prisoner camps in September 1945. The newspaper had been convinced by the testimony of impeccable witnesses, such as a priest, Father Le Meur, who had actually seen the prisoners starving in the camps. Le Figaro’s reporter, Serge Bromberger, wrote:

The most serious source confirmed that the physical state of the prisoners was worse than deplorable. People were talking a horrifying death rate, not from sickness but starvation, and of men who weighed an average 35-45 kilos [80-100 pounds]. At first we doubted the truth of all this, but appeals came to us from many sources and we could not disregard the testimony of Father Le Meur, assistant general chaplain to the prisoners.

Le Figaro interviewed French Gen. Louis Buisson, the head of the Prisoner of War Service, who admitted that the prisoners got only 900 to 1,000 calories per day. Buisson said, “The doctors told us this was just enough for a man lying in bed never moving not to die too quickly.”[37]Ibid., p. 91.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.)

Louis Clair wrote in The Progressive of the horrible conditions in the French camps of German POWs. He reported:

In a camp in the Sarthe district for 20,000 prisoners, inmates receive 900 calories a day; thus 12 die every day in the hospital. Four to five thousand are unable to work at all anymore. Recently trains with new prisoners arrived in the camp: several prisoners had died during the trip, several others had tried to stay alive by eating coal that had been laying in the freight train by which they came.

In an Orleans camp, the commander received 16 francs a day per head or prisoner to buy food, but he spent only nine francs, so that the prisoners were starving. In the Charentes district, 2,500 of the 12,000 camp inmates were sick. A young French soldier wrote to a friend just returned from a Nazi camp: “I watch those who made you suffer so much, dying of hunger, sleeping on cold cement floors, in no way protected from rain and wind. I see kids of 19, who beg me to give them certificates that they are healthy enough to join the French Foreign Legion….Yes, I, who hated them so much, today can only feel pity for them.”

A witness reported on the camp in Langres: “I have seen them beaten with rifle butts and kicked in the streets of the town because they broke down of overwork. Two or three of them die of exhaustion every week.”

In another camp near Langres, 700 prisoners slowly died of hunger; they had hardly any blankets and not enough straw to sleep on; there is a typhoid epidemic in the camp, which has already spread to the neighboring village. In another camp prisoners received only one meal a day but are expected to continue working. Elsewhere so many died recently that the cemetery space was exhausted and another cemetery had to be crafted.

In a camp where prisoners work on the removal of mines, regular food supplies arrive only every second day so that “prisoners make themselves a soup of grass and some stolen vegetables.” All prisoners of this camp have contracted tuberculosis. Here and elsewhere treatment differs in no respect from the Nazi SS brutality. Many cases have been reported where men have been so horribly beaten that their limbs were broken. In one camp, men were awakened during the night, crawled out of their barracks and then were shot “because of attempted escape.”

There are written affidavits proving that in certain camps commanding officers sold on the black market all the supplies that had been provided by American Army authorities; there are other affidavits stating that the prisoners were forced to take off their shoes and run the gauntlet. And so on, and so on…These are the facts.[38]Clair, Louis, The Progressive, Jan. 14, 1946, p. 4. Quoted in Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War Against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, pp. 22-23.

The ICRC inspecting the French camps in 1945 and 1946 reported time after time that conditions were “unsatisfactory,” “disturbing,” “alarming,” but very seldom that they were satisfactory. At the end of October 1946, the ICRC stated that “the situation at present is more than alarming. More than half the German POWs working are insufficiently clad and will not be able to stand up to the rigors of winter without running the gravest risks of disease. In such conditions a high number of deaths in the course of winter must be expected.” The same dire warnings were repeated in a report by the ICRC in 1947.[39]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 107.

Random shootings of prisoners were common in the French camps. Lt. Col. Barnes reported that drunken French army officers at Andernach one night drove their jeep through the camp laughing and shouting as they blasted the prisoners with their Sten guns. The result was 47 prisoners dead and 55 wounded. French guards, pretending to notice an escape attempt at another camp, shot down 10 prisoners in their cages. The violence reached such heights in the 108th Infantry Regiment that Gen. Billotte, the commanding officer of the region, recommended that the regiment be dissolved. Billotte’s recommendation was based on the advice of Lt. Col. de Champvallier, the Regiment’s CO, who had given up attempting to discipline his men.[40]Ibid., pp. 85-86.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 107.)

French Capt. Julien thought as he walked in the former American camp of 32,000 prisoners at Dietersheim in July 1945, “This is just like Buchenwald and Dachau.”

The muddy ground was “peopled with living skeletons,” some of whom died as he watched, others huddled under bits of cardboard. Women lying in holes in the ground stared at him with bulging bellies from hunger edema, old men with long gray hair watched him feebly, and starving children of six or seven looked at him with lifeless eyes. Julien could find no food at all in this camp. The two German doctors in the “hospital” were attempting to take care of the many dying patients stretched out on dirty blankets on the ground, between the marks of the tents the Americans had taken with them.

The 103,500 prisoners in five camps near Dietersheim were supposed to be part of the labor force given by the Americans to the French for reparations. However, of these prisoners the French counted 32,640 who could not work because they were old men, women, children less than eight years old, boys age eight to 14, terminally sick or cripples. All of these prisoners were immediately released. The prisoners found at another former U.S. camp at Hechtsheim were also in lamentable condition. The skeletal prisoners at Hechtsheim dressed in rags again reminded Capt. Julien of the victims in German concentration camps. In his report, Julien called the camps bagnes de mort lents or “slow death camps.”

Capt. Julien took immediate steps to improve conditions in the camps. The official army ration had been only 800 calories per person per day. This starvation level, which was the same as the German concentration camp at Belsen when it was liberated, was all that the French army allocated to POWs from its own supplies. Capt. Julien rounded up the women from the village, who immediately brought food to the camp. Julien received additional help in his efforts to improve conditions in the camps from “German authorities” and the ICRC. By Aug. 1, 1945, over 90% of the prisoners were housed in tents, food rations were greatly increased, and the death rate had been cut by more than half. Capt. Julien’s system of improving the camps worked. The U.S. Army could have adopted Julien’s humanitarian methods, but chose instead to let the German POWs die of exposure and slow starvation.[41]Ibid., pp. 81-83.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 107.)

On a visit to one prison camp, Robert Murphy, who was the civilian political advisor to Eisenhower while he served for a few months as military governor, “was startled to see that our prisoners were almost as weak and emaciated as those I had observed in Nazi prison camps.”

The commandant of the camp told Murphy that he had deliberately kept the inmates on a starvation diet. The commandant explained, “These Nazis are getting a dose of their own medicine.” Murphy was later able to get the commandant transferred to another post. It is uncertain how much conditions at the camp improved after the commandant’s transfer.[42]Ibid., pp. 144-145.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 107.)

Survivor Witnesses to the American & French POW Camps

Surviving German prisoners have provided additional testimony of the horrific conditions and mistreatment they received in the Allied POW camps. Many surviving German prisoners were badly mistreated even before arriving at the Allied camps. Werner Wilhelm Laska, a German prisoner of war, reports his transfer to an American prison camp:

The American guards who arrived with the truck were nasty and cruel from the start. I was forced in with kicks and punches to my back. Other German soldiers were already on board. After a drive of an hour or two we arrived at an open field on which many servicemen were already assembled, in rank and file. As we got off the truck, a large group of Americans awaited us. They received us with shouts and yells, such as: “You Hitler, you Nazi, etc….” We got beaten, kicked and pushed; one of those gangsters brutally tore my watch from my wrist. Each of these bandits already possessed 10 or 20 watches, rings and other things. The beating continued until I reached the line where my comrades stood. Most of our water-bottles (canteens), rucksacks etc. were cut off, and even overcoats had to be left on the ground. More and more prisoners arrived, including even boys and old men. After a few hours, big trailer-trucks—usually used for transporting cattle—lined up for loading with human cattle.

We had to run the gauntlet to get into the trucks; we were beaten and kicked. Then they jammed us in so tightly that they couldn’t even close the hatches. We couldn’t even breathe. The soldiers drove the vehicles at high speed over the roads and through villages and towns; behind each trailer-truck always followed a jeep with a mounted machine gun.

In late afternoon we stopped in an open field again, and were unloaded in the same manner, with beating and kicking. We had to line up at attention just like recruits in basic training. Quickly, the Americans fenced us in with rolls of barbed wire, so there was no space to sit or to lie down that night. We even had to do our necessities in the standing position. Since we received no water or foodstuffs, our thirst and hunger became acute and urgent. Some men still had tea in their canteens, but there was hardly enough for everyone.

Next day the procedure began as on the day before; running the gauntlet into the cattle-trailers, then transport to the next open field. No drinking and no eating, but always fenced in—there is an American song: “…Don’t fence me in…”—as well as the childish behavior of most of the Americans: Punishing the Nazis! After the first night, when we were loaded again, some of us stayed on that field, either dead or so weak and sick that they could not move any more. We had been approaching the Rhine River, as we noticed, but we had still one night to pass in the manner related. It was terrible!

All this could not have been a coincidence. It must have been a plan, because, as we later learned, there was nearly the same treatment in all camps run by American units. During the war we heard about the “Morgenthau Plan” and the “Kaufman Plan,” and exactly that seemed to have been happening to us in those moments: the extermination of an entire people![43]Laska, Werner Wilhelm, “In a U.S. Death Camp—1945,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1990, pp. 169-170.

Laska eventually was sent to France to work in coal mines and other unpleasant places, where his ordeal continued. On Jan. 7, 1950, the French finally discharged Laska to Germany.[44]Ibid., p. 175.
(Laska, Werner Wilhelm, “In a U.S. Death Camp—1945,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1990, pp. 169-170.)

James Bacque writes that the response he has received following the original publication of Other Losses has been amazing. Bacque states: “Most gratifying has been the huge response from thousands of ex-prisoners who have written to me, or telephoned, sent faxes or e-mail, or even called at my door, to thank me for telling a story they feared would die with them. They continue to send me diaries, letters, Tagebücher, self-published books, typescripts of memoirs, in three or four languages, along with photographs, maps, drawings, paintings and even a few artifacts.”[45]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxiii.

Several prisoners from Heilbronn have written Bacque to confirm the dreadful conditions witnessed by Cpl. Daniel McConnell and Maj. Gen. Richard Steinbach. One is Anton Pfarrer, who was 16 years old when captured and imprisoned at Heilbronn. Pfarrer writes: “I can recall nearly every day of suffering, but I made it back, although so many thousands never did. There were 3,000 men in my cage in May but by the end of August, only 1,500 were left to answer roll call. They had all died.” There were no discharges from his cage during that time. Pfarrer telephoned Gen. Steinbach in 1998 to thank Steinbach for saving his life.[46]Ibid., p. xxii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxiii.)

Rudi Buchal had been ordered to serve as a German medical orderlyclerk in the POW “hospital” at Bretzenheim, a tent with an earth floor inside the camp. The hospital had no beds, no medical supplies, no blankets, and starvation rations for the first month or more. A few supplies were later obtained by American teams from the German towns nearby. Buchal was told by drivers of the 560th Ambulance Company that 18,100 POWs had died in the six camps around Bretzenheim in the 10 weeks of American control. Buchal also heard the figure of 18,100 dead from the Germans who were in charge of the hospital statistics, and from other American hospital personnel. The six camps were Bretzenheim, Biebelsheim, Bad Kreuznach, Dietersheim, Hechtsheim and Heidesheim.[47]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 49-50.

The reliability of Rudi Buchal has been attested to by the U.S. Army itself. Upon discharge Buchal received a paper stating that in the opinion of U.S. Army officers who commanded him, “During the above mentioned period [April-July 1945] he proved himself to be co-operative, capable, industrious and reliable.” Similar to the experiences of U.S. Cpl. Daniel McConnell and French Dr. Joseph Kirsch, Buchal discovered that these “hospitals” were merely places to take moribund prisoners rather than places to help the prisoners get well. Buchal recalls that many of the mortally sick evacuees were taken to Idstein, north of Wiesbaden. Buchal states, “And I can remember that from there no prisoners returned.”[48]Ibid., pp. 50-51, 53.
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 49-50.)

German prisoners who survived Bretzenheim have described arriving there on May 9, 1945. The prisoners saw three rows of corpses along the road in front of the camp. A total of 135 dead from Bretzenheim were acknowledged by the Americans to have been buried in Stromberg on May 9 and May 10. Not all of the dead at Bretzenheim were killed by the usual starvation, disease and exposure.[49]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.

Johannes Heising, formerly the abbot of a monastery on the Rhine, published a book in the 1990s about his experiences in the U.S. camp at Remagen. Franz-Josef Plemper, another former prisoner at Remagen, reminded Heising of an event not described in Heising’s book: on one night the Americans had bulldozed living men under the earth in their foxholes. Plemper described the scene to Heising:

One night in April 1945, I was startled out of my stupor in the rain and the mud by piercing screams and loud groans. I jumped up and saw in the distance (about 30 to 50 meters) the searchlight of a bulldozer. Then I saw this bulldozer moving forward through the crowd of prisoners who lay there. In the front it had a blade making a pathway. How many of the prisoners were buried alive in their earth holes I do not know. It was no longer possible to ascertain. I heard clearly cries of, “You murderer.”

The horror of this incident had been so painful that Heising had suppressed it from his memory. Heising remembered this event only after Plemper reminded him of it.[50]Ibid., p. lxiii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

A similar incident occurred at the American camp at Rheinberg in mid-June 1945. According to reports from several ex-prisoners, the last act of the Americans at Rheinberg before the British took over was to bulldoze one section of the camp level while there were still living men in their holes in the ground.[51]Ibid., p. 130.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

Prisoner Wolfgang Iff said that in his sub-section of perhaps 10,000 people at Rheinberg, 30 to 40 bodies were dragged out every day. As a member of the burial commando, Iff was well placed to see what was going on. Iff saw about 60 to 70 bodies going out per day in other cages of similar size.[52]Ibid., pp. 40-41.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

A 50-year-old sergeant with a Ph.D. kept a diary in ink on toilet paper at Rheinberg. He writes on May 20, 1945: “How long will we have to be without shelter, without blankets or tents? Every German soldier once had shelter from the weather. Even a dog has a doghouse to crawl into when it rains. Our only wish is finally after six weeks to get a roof over our heads. Even a savage is better housed. Diogenes, Diogenes, you at least had your barrel.”[53]Ibid., pp. 37, 39.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

Part of the problem at Rheinberg was that for a long time it was overcrowded. A cage measuring 300 meters by 300 meters was supposed to hold no more than 10,000 people. However, at the beginning, as many as 30,000 prisoners were forced in, leaving about three square meters per person. Prisoner Thelen told his son through the barbed wire that approximately 330 to 770 prisoners per day were dying at Rheinberg. The camp then contained between 100,000 and 120,000 prisoners.[54]Ibid., p. 41.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

Charles von Luttichau said of his POW camp at Kripp near Remagen on the Rhine:

The latrines were just logs flung over ditches next to the barbed wire fences. To sleep, all we could do was to dig out a hole in the ground with our hands, then cling together in the hole. We were crowded very close together. Because of illness, the men had to defecate on the ground. Soon, many of us were too weak to take off our trousers first. So our clothing was infected, and so was the mud where we had to walk and sit and lie down. There was no water at all at first, except the rain, then after a couple of weeks we could get a little water from a standpipe. But most of us had nothing to carry it in, so we could get only a few mouthfuls after hours of lining up, sometimes even through the night. We had to walk along between the holes on the soft earth thrown up by the digging, so it was easy to fall into a hole, but hard to climb out. The rain was almost constant along that part of the Rhine that spring. More than half the days we had rain. More than half the days we had no food at all. On the rest, we got a little K ration. I could see from the package that they were giving us one-tenth of the rations that they issued to their own men. So in the end we got perhaps 5% of a normal U.S. Army ration. I complained to the American camp commander that he was breaking the Geneva Convention, but he just said, “Forget the Convention. You haven’t any rights.”

Within a few days, some of the men who had gone healthy into the camp were dead. I saw our men dragging many dead bodies to the gate of the camp, where they were thrown loose on top of each other onto trucks, which took them away.[55]Ibid., pp. 33-34.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

One 17-year-old boy who could see his village in the distance was found shot one morning at the foot of the barbed wire fence. His body was strung up and left hanging on the wire by the guards as a warning to the other prisoners. Many prisoners cried out, “Moerder, moerder [murderer, murderer]!” In retaliation, the camp commander withheld the prisoners’ meager rations for three days. For prisoners who were already starving and could hardly move because of weakness, it was frightful; for many it meant death. The commander also withheld rations at other times to punish the prisoners.[56]Ibid., p. 34.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

George Weiss, a German tank repairman, said his camp on the Rhine was so crowded that “we couldn’t even lie down properly. All night we had to sit up jammed against each other. But the lack of water was the worst thing of all. 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, when finally we got a little water to drink. I think I would have died without that water. But the Rhine was just outside the wire. The guards sold us water through the wire, and cigarettes. One cigarette cost 900 marks. I saw thousands dying. They took the bodies away on trucks.”[57]Ibid., p. 36.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

German Cpl. Helmut Liebich was captured near Gotha in central Germany by the Americans on April 17, 1945. The Gotha DEF camp had only the usual barbed wire fences with no tents. The prisoners were forced to run a gauntlet between lines of guards who hit them with sticks in order to get a small ration of food. On April 27, 1945, the prisoners were transferred to the American camp at Heidesheim farther west, where there was no food at all for days, and then very little. The prisoners started to die in large numbers from exposure, starvation and thirst. Liebich saw about 10 to 30 bodies a day being dragged out of his section, Camp B, which held about 5,200 prisoners.

On May 13, 1945, Liebich was transferred to another American camp at Bingen-Buedesheim near Bad Kreuznach. Liebich soon fell sick with dysentery and typhus. He was transferred again, semi-conscious, in an open-topped railway car with about 60 other prisoners. On a detour through Holland, the Dutch stood on bridges to smash stones down on the heads of the prisoners. After three nights, Liebich’s fellow prisoners helped him stagger into the American camp at Rheinberg, again without shelter or much food.

One day in June 1945, Liebich saw the British coming through the hallucinations of his fever. The British saved his life in their hospital at Lintfort. Liebich remembered the life-saving care he received from the British with gratitude for the rest of his life. Liebich states: “It was wonderful to be under a roof in a real bed. We were treated like human beings again. The Tommies treated us like comrades.”[58]Ibid., pp. 128-130.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

Former prisoners have also reported numerous instances of prisoners and civilians who were shot by American and French guards. Paul Kaps, a German soldier who was in the U.S. camp at Bad Kreuznach, writes, “In one night, May 8, 1945, 48 prisoners were shot dead in Cage 9.” Prisoner Hanns Scharf witnessed an especially gruesome killing when a German woman with her two children asked an American guard at Bad Kreuznach to give a wine bottle to her husband, who was just inside the wire. The guard drank the wine himself, and when the bottle was empty the guard killed the prisoner with five shots. The other prisoners protested, and U.S. Army Lt. Holtsman said: “This is awful. I’ll make sure there is a stiff court-martial.” No evidence of a court-martial of this or any other similar incidents has ever been found.[59]Ibid., pp. xxxiv, 239.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

Prisoners and civilian women were shot even though the Eisenhower order gave individual camp commanders a chance to exempt family members trying to feed relatives through the wire. German prisoner Paul Schmitt was shot in the American camp at Bretzenheim when he came close to the wire to receive a basket of food from his wife and young son. Dr. Helmut von Frizberg saw an American guard at Remagen shoot a German prisoner for talking to his wife through the wire. Frau Agnes Spira was shot by French guards at Dietersheim in July 1945 for taking food to prisoners. Her memorial in nearby Buedesheim reads, “On the 31 of July 1945, my mother was suddenly and unexpectedly torn from me because of her good deed toward the imprisoned soldiers.”[60]Ibid., pp. xxxii-xxxiv.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.)

French Capt. Julien got into serious trouble for quarreling with a fellow officer, Capt. Rousseau. Rousseau shot at German women in Julien’s presence, at about the same time and in the same place as a French officer shot Frau Spira. At Bad Kreuznach, William Sellner said that at night guards would shoot machine gun bullets at random into the camps, apparently for sport. Ernst Richard Krische in Bad Kreuznach wrote in his diary on May 4, 1945: “Wild shooting in the night, absolute fireworks. It must be the supposed peace. Next morning 40 dead as ‘victims of the fireworks,’ in our cage alone, many wounded.”[61]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 46.

Allies Had Ability to Feed and Shelter Prisoners

The record clearly shows that the Allies had the ability to feed and shelter their POWs. The Allies prevented food from reaching Germany. James Bacque writes:

Even as the gallows at Nuremberg displayed their awful warning, the Allies were depriving men, women and children in Germany of available food. Foreign relief agencies were prevented from sending food from abroad; Red Cross food trains were sent back full to Switzerland; all foreign governments were denied permission to send food to German civilians; fertilizer production was sharply reduced; and food was confiscated during the first year, especially in the French zone. 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. “The people say the sea is full of fish, but they want to starve us,” said Burgomaster Petersen.[62]Ibid., p. 88.
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 46.)

Some historians claim that Eisenhower’s order banning civilian food supply of the camps was prompted by an overall threat of a food shortage. However, many German prisoners and civilians saw American guards burn the food brought by civilian women. Ernst Kraemer, a prisoner at Buederich and Rheinberg, states: “At first, the women from the nearby town brought food into the camp. The American soldiers took everything away from the women, threw it in a heap and poured gasoline [benzine] over it and burned it.” Writer Karl Vogel, the German camp commander appointed by the Americans in Camp 8 at GarmischPartenkirchen, says that Eisenhower himself ordered the food to be destroyed. The Americans were destroying food outside the gate even though the prisoners were getting only 800 calories per day.[63]Ibid., pp. 91, 231 (footnote 13).
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 46.)

German prisoner Herbert Peters states concerning conditions at the huge U.S. camp at Rheinberg: “Even when there was little for us to eat, the provisions enclosure was enormous. Piles of cartons like bungalows with intersecting streets throughout.”[64]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.

Ten prisoners and several civilians describe starvation conditions at Bretzenheim through the approximately 70 days the camp was under U.S. control. The official U.S. Army ration book shows that the prisoners at Bretzenheim received 600 to 850 calories per day. According to Capt. Lee Berwick of the 424th Infantry Regiment, the prisoners at Bretzenheim starved even though food was piled up all along the camp fence. Capt. Berwick could not explain why the prisoners got only 600 to 850 calories per day. During the camp’s worst period of about 16 days, Berwick estimates that three to five bodies a day at Bretzenheim were taken from each of 20 cages within the larger enclosure.[65]Ibid., pp. xxxi, xxxvi-xxxvii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The German prisoners went on starving despite plenty of food in Europe. The U.S. Army had stored 13,500,000 high-protein Red Cross food parcels in army warehouses in Europe taken over from the ICRC in May 1945. On Nov. 17, 1945, the Army was still wondering what to do with these parcels. Each parcel contained on average 12,000 calories. There was enough food in them to have given the approximately 700,000 German prisoners who had died by then a supplementary 1,000 calories per day for about eight months. The ICRC parcels alone would probably have kept most of the German prisoners alive until early 1946.[66]Ibid., p. 102.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

One of the first signs of the Allies’ starvation policy came from North America, where the ICRC delegation reported that the German prisoners’ rations had been cut as soon as Germany released its Allied POWs. Then, in late May or early June 1945, the ICRC loaded two freight trains with food from their warehouses in Switzerland, where they had over 100,000 tons of food in storage. The trains traveled to their destination in the American sector via the normal route prescribed by the German government during the war. When the trains reached their destinations, the U.S. Army informed the ICRC officials accompanying the trains that the warehouses were full. The trains were forced to return to Switzerland.[67]Ibid., p. 69.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

Max Huber, the head of the ICRC, began inquiries into the U.S. Army’s actions. After a long investigation, Huber wrote a letter to the U.S. State Department. Huber referred to the Red Cross food trains that were returned full to Switzerland in the spring of 1945. Huber writes:

When hostilities in Europe ceased, the International Committee of the Red Cross made every effort to improve the situation of prisoners of all categories whose status after the liberation by the Allied armies became that of “ex-prisoner of war.” Anticipating the difficulties which would result from these circumstances, the committee hoped to alleviate as much as possible the hardships of the former internee by working out a relief scheme with the Allied military authorities which, while bringing a considerable measure of aid, would also prove to be a rational means of liquidating the accumulated stocks in Switzerland and other countries.

…Meanwhile, the numerous communications from Allied officers in charge of assembly areas and camps for Displaced Persons; the reports of our delegates on medical missions in Germany; and especially the many direct requests addressed to us from the camps themselves, bear witness to the fact that tens if not hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in Germany are still in dire need of aid. From all this we are bound to recognize that the demands made upon the Anglo-American pool by the competent sections of the Allied armies are not proportionate to the prevailing need….In consequence, the humanitarian work of the International Committee is in danger of becoming discredited. Our responsibility for the proper use of relief supplies placed in our care is incompatible with a restriction to the fulfillment of orders which renders us powerless to furnish relief which we ourselves judge necessary.

The anticipated requisitions were either not made at all, or else came in with much delay. Having effected delivery with our trains in Germany in default of those promised by the Allied armies in Germany but never placed at our disposal, we would then find that the receiving personnel at the various destinations were without proper instructions as to the handling of these consignments. If the warehouse happened to be full, our trains would be refused there in turn. That the warehouses were still filled to overflowing was proof positive that the distributions in view of which previous requisitions had been made were still in abeyance….The Allied authorities’ dispositions…of Anglo-American stocks…have failed to achieve relief in reasonable proportion to the extent of these stocks and degree of transport facilities available.

Practical experience showed…that in consequence of the general food shortage caused by the occupation army’s normal requisitions and the dislocation of transport, the [armies] were unable to allot even a minimum ration to the Balts, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Italians, Romanians and apatrides [stateless people] on Germany territory. Thus, stating our case fully to the governments and Red Cross societies concerned, we desire to stress the fact that the conditions set forth above leave us no alternative but to express our grave concern for the immediate future. To stand passively by whilst holding large quantities of immediately available relief supplies and knowing the plight of many camps of displaced persons of all categories in Germany, growing steadily more alarming, is not compatible with the tradition of our institution.[68]Ibid., pp. 69-71.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The United States Force, European Theater (USFET), over Eisenhower’s signature, calmly ignored everything Huber said in his letter. Huber was forced to return the food to its original donors because the Army refused to distribute it. There was so much food to return that it took thousands of train cars to return the food to its sources in Paris and Brussels. Huber apologized for clogging the rail system in France with this unnecessary work. Huber also had to obtain extra trucks beyond the 500 belonging to the ICRC in Geneva to return over 30,000 tons of food to the original donors.[69]Ibid., p. 73.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

Relief agencies such as the YMCA, the Unitarians, the American Friends Service Committee (the Quakers), and various other church groups were also attempting to send aid into Germany. For the crucial months until November 1945, while Eisenhower was military governor of the U.S. zone of Germany, the Army made it difficult if not impossible for welfare from relief agencies to reach Germans. For example, the American Quakers were ordered to keep out of the U.S. zone. Also, the YMCA was refused permission by the U.S. Army to feed German prisoners in U.S. camps in France even though the YMCA offered to pay for all goods received from the army. The general attitude of the U.S. Army towards civilian relief agencies is clear from the opinion expressed by Stephen Cary, European commissioner of the American Friends Service Committee, who said, “We were very unhappy with their heavy-handed and restrictive treatment.”[70]Ibid., pp. 68, 73, 75-76.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The Quartermaster Progress Reports from April through June 1945 also confirm that there was a huge surplus of food in the U.S. Army. Every month shows a vast surplus amounting to more than 100 days on hand for the whole Army. This food surplus existed even though there was mass starvation in the U.S. POW camps.[71]Ibid., pp. 54, 274 (footnote 32).
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The U.S. Army also had plenty of tents, barbed wire, medical and other supplies for the German prisoners. These items were scarce in the camps not because the Army lacked supplies, but because requests for supplies were denied. Gen. Everett S. Hughes said on March 19, 1945, after he visited the huge supply dumps at Naples and Marseille: “[Marseille is] Naples all over again. More stocks than we can ever use. Stretch as far as eye can see.”[72]Ibid., p. 28.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

Gen. Robert Littlejohn, who as quartermaster of USFET was in charge of Eisenhower’s supplies, tried to get agreement on how to dispose of the Army’s surplus subsistence. Littlejohn wrote to Eisenhower on Oct. 10, 1945: “There is in this theater a substantial excess of subsistence in certain items due to the rapid discharge of prisoners of war after VE day, the accelerated deployment of U.S. military, the sharp decrease in employment by U.S. forces of Allied liberated nationals and the ending of the supply responsibilities of the French army….”[73]Ibid., pp. 17, 97.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The rations the U.S. Army had accumulated in October 1945 amounted to a 139-day supply of food in the European Theater of Operations. This was 39-days more than the 100-day supply of food the Army liked to keep on hand. The surplus in the United States was so great that Gen. Littlejohn noted that “we have been invited to increase our rations of fruit juices and have been advised that our requirements for fresh eggs, fresh fruits, potatoes and butter can and should be met from U.S. sources.” Littlejohn’s letter goes on to discuss a policy on how to get rid of the surplus, which some officers wanted to send to the United States. Despite this surplus, the German prisoners in U.S. camps kept on starving.[74]Ibid., p. 97.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The evidence also suggests that France had enough food to feed their German POWs. The total number of prisoners on hand in France at its peak of about 800,000 represented about 2% of France’s total population of about 40 million in 1945. If, as many German prisoners contend, their ration was about half the minimum to sustain life, then just 1% of the total food consumed in France would have saved them all from starvation. This food could have turned the German prisoners into productive workers contributing to the French economic recovery.[75]Ibid., p. 110.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The failure of the Red Cross and other relief agencies to supply the German POWs with food stands in stark contrast to the success of the Red Cross during the war. As the French, American, British and Canadian prisoners left German captivity at the end of World War II, the Red Cross was there to welcome them with food parcels drawn from the millions in storage in their warehouses in Switzerland. The returning prisoners had received about 1,500 calories per day from the Germans. Another life-saving 2,000 calories per day had arrived by mail, mainly from France, Canada and the United States.

The effectiveness of the Red Cross care was demonstrated by the fact that, according to a news release of the American Red Cross in May 1945, over 98% of the Allied prisoners were coming home safe. The released prisoners were in good health not only because of the food, but also because of clothing and medicine which had arrived safely by mail.[76]Ibid., pp. 67-68.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The Soviet, British and Canadian Prisoner of War Camps

The opening of the KGB archives after the fall of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union provided accurate and detailed information of how many Germans died in the Soviet camps. German soldiers captured by the Soviets between June 22, 1941, and Sept. 9, 1945, totaled 2,389,560, of which 450,587 died in Soviet captivity. Of the 450,587 who died, 356,687 died in rear camps run by the NKVD, and 93,900 died between capture at the front and arrival in the rear camps. An additional 271,672 German civilians were imprisoned, of which 66,481 died. The total number of German prisoners who died in Soviet captivity, both civilian and military, is therefore 517,068.[77]Ibid., pp. xlii, lx.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The KGB generated millions of pages of detailed records of their prisoners. A personal dossier was kept for each prisoner, recording his name, unit, serial number, dates of capture and release, medical and legal history. The dossiers average around 20 pages per prisoner. The Soviet archives prove beyond a doubt that the Soviets committed enormous crimes against their surrendered prisoners. Soviet prisoners died under conditions that were contrary to the rules of war, against the Geneva Convention, against the Soviet constitution and even against Soviet self-interest. The skills and labor of these prisoners, who could have contributed to the rebuilding of a ruined Russia after the war, were sacrificed for nothing.[78]Ibid., pp. xliii, xliv.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The Soviet prisoners slaved in a vast system of 6,000 camps spread across the U.S.S.R. The camps were located from Minsk in the west, to Karaganda in the south-center, to Vorkuta in the north, and to Magadan in the northeast. The general impression in the West is that life in the gulag for prisoners consisted of unvaried suffering under a relentless cruelty. While this is mostly true, the Soviets did sometimes take measures to improve camp conditions.

For example, between Jan. 10 and Feb. 22, 1943, at Stalingrad, the Red Army took 91,545 German prisoners of war. Most of these prisoners were taken to Beketovka, where conditions were so bad that within a few weeks 42,000 out of 55,000 prisoners died. The Soviets conducted an investigation into the conditions at Beketovka between March 22 and 25, 1943. The doctors reported that 71% of the prisoners were sick, many infested with lice and with inadequate clothing. The Soviets soon provided more food and better accommodations for their German prisoners, and by the end of the war the camp had its own vegetable gardens.[79]Ibid., pp. xlvi-xlvii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

By contrast to the other Allies, the British and Canadians responsibly took care of their POWs. Soon after VE day, the total prisoners under British and Canadian control came to over 2 million. At first the British and Canadians were short of food and shelter for their German prisoners. However, with the exception of the British camp at Overijsche, the British and Canadian camps soon provided enough food and shelter for the prisoners to survive in fair health. The British members of the Combined Chiefs of Staff also refused to adopt the American designation of DEF status for their German prisoners. They instead used the term “surrendered enemy personnel” (SEP) to distinguish their POWs who they could not treat according to the letter of the Geneva Convention. [80]Ibid., pp. 23-24, 128.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

The experience of German prisoner Werner Heyne is typical of the treatment POWs received in British and Canadian camps. Heyne was in a camp near Dieppe where there were “many thousands of men crowded into the cages built in the fields.” The prisoners were immediately fed, given enough to drink, and got tents within a few days. There were no deaths in this camp, and after a month the German POWs were shipped to better camps in England.[81]Ibid., pp. 127-128.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)
Probably less than 10,000 German POWs died in British and Canadian captivity.[82]Ibid., p. lxi.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)

How Could Such Atrocities be Concealed?

After the Allies defeated Germany in 1945, the press in Germany was directly licensed and censured by the victors. Eisenhower or his deputies ran everything inside Germany, so censorship was extremely easy to maintain. The Allies established a client government in which journalists, writers, artists, and academics all supported “the West.”[83]Ibid., pp. 142, 177.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.)
Both the German and Allied press refused to publish anything concerning Allied atrocities, while stories about German atrocities were frequently published.

For example, Gens. George Patton, Omar Bradley, and Dwight Eisenhower toured the German concentration camp at Ohrdruf on April 12, 1945. They saw more than 3,200 naked, emaciated dead bodies flung into shallow graves, with many more dead bodies lying in the streets where they had fallen. Soon after seeing Ohrdruf, Eisenhower ordered every unit nearby that was not in the front lines to tour the camp. Eisenhower stated: “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against.”

Eisenhower also cabled London and Washington, urging delegations of officials and newsmen to be eyewitnesses to the camps. Eisenhower’s message to Washington read: “We are constantly finding German camps in which they have placed political prisoners where unspeakable conditions exist. From my own personal observation, I can state unequivocally that all written statements up to now do not paint the full horrors.”[84]Abzug, Robert H., Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 27, 30.

The tour of liberated concentration camps became a ritual in the occupied Germany of late April and early May. American officers forced local citizens and German POWs to view the camps. German civilians were paraded against their will in front of the sickening piles of dead bodies found in the German camps.

A long string of official visitors also began to answer Eisenhower’s call for witnesses to the horrors in the camps. Congress chose a bipartisan joint committee to tour the sites of the camps, and the congressmen were all shocked at the conditions in the camps. In addition to the congressional tour, Eisenhower arranged for a committee of distinguished American journalists to make a similar inspection of the camps. The American journalists all dutifully reported the horrors they had witnessed at the camps.[85]Ibid., pp. 69, 128-132.
(Abzug, Robert H., Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 27, 30.)

Joseph Pulitzer, a German-American in the heavily German-American city of St. Louis, was so incensed by what he saw at the camps that he launched a campaign of public education. Pulitzer wanted to dispel the belief in America that this talk of German atrocities is mostly propaganda. In cooperation with the federal government, Pulitzer’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch conducted an exhibition of life-size photomurals made from the Signal Corps photographs of the camps. The photo exhibit was coupled with the showing of an hour-long motion picture documentary on the camps produced by the Signal Corps.[86]Ibid., p. 134.
(Abzug, Robert H., Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 27, 30.)
Soon virtually everyone in the civilized world had seen pictures of the horrific conditions in the German concentration camps.

Dwight Eisenhower could have authorized the same public exposure of the DEF camps he ran in Germany. For obvious reasons he chose not to. The censorship by SHAEF under Eisenhower’s command was stricter than it had been during the actual fighting. The New York Times argued vigorously against this policy in a front-page news story on May 27, 1945: “The American people are being deprived of information to which they are entitled….It seems almost as though now that there is no enemy to fight, high Army officers are spending a large part of their time writing directives to circumscribe the movements and activities of war correspondents.”[87]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.

The U.S. Army kept close watch over what the press was saying. Eisenhower and his staff carefully monitored and controlled how their reputations were being treated by the press. Eisenhower even told a meeting of American newspaper editors, “I have always considered as quasi-staff officers, correspondents accredited to my headquarters.” According to Gen. Patton, Eisenhower expected complete loyalty and solidarity in the event any of them were called before a congressional committee. Why was Eisenhower so wary of public opinion? Gen. Patton suggests an answer: because Eisenhower was using “practically Gestapo methods” against Germany.[88]Ibid., pp. 62, 142-143. The “practically Gestapo methods” quote is from Blumenson, Martin, (ed.), The Patton Papers, 1940-1945, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1974, p. 742.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

The United States government also refused to allow the ICRC to visit the German POWs in direct defiance of American obligations under the Geneva Convention. The ICRC under the Geneva Convention was supposed to visit the POWs in the camps and then report in secret to the holding power and the protecting power. On May 8, 1945, VE day, the U.S. State Department informed the Swiss government that its role as protecting power for the disintegrated German government was abolished. With this done, the U.S. State Department informed the ICRC that there was no need to continue visits in Germany as the protecting power had been abolished. While ignoring the requirements of the Geneva Convention, the U.S. State Department informed the Swiss that the U.S. would continue to treat the prisoners “in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention.”[89]Ibid., pp. 63-64.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

The elimination of the ICRC and the Swiss government had disastrous consequences for the German POWs. The German POWs lost the right to tell impartial observers in private what was happening to them. The right to send and receive mail also disappeared with the Swiss. The U.S. War Department imposed the most damaging ban of all, covering all the U.S. camps, when it disallowed the mailing of Red Cross parcels to the prisoners. This eliminated the ability of German POWs to get sufficient food as well as to send news of their treatment to others and to receive news from home. No news from the camps would leak out to impartial observers. This allowed the treatment of the German POWs to be conducted for many years in a secrecy that was maintained against all but the victims.[90]Ibid., pp. 57, 64.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King of Canada made the only important protest on the Allied side against the removal of the ICRC from Germany. King’s protest was quickly squelched by the British, who pointed out that the other Allies had all agreed that the German government was to be extinguished, and that to leave provisional representation of POW interests by the Swiss might be dangerous. Of course, what it would be dangerous to were the French and American governments. The mass murder of German POWs could not have continued if the ICRC had been allowed to visit the Allied POW camps.[91]Ibid., pp. 64-65.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

Germans have been permitted to dig up mass graves of prisoners at former Russian camps, but the German government has sometimes prevented the uncovering of evidence from the French and American POW camps. For example, Otto Tullius, a German prisoner who survived Bretzenheim, was a farmer who owned some of the land where he was imprisoned. After the camp was closed, the land was returned to Tullius, and he began farming there again. As Tullius plowed the land, he kept turning up cast-offs from the prisoners in the camp such as flasks, belt buckles, and tin dishes. In the 1980s, Otto Schmitt began to excavate on the land beside the Tullius house, searching for more artifacts or even bodies from the camp. Schmitt was forced to stop his excavation work when the police threatened him with a fine of 250,000 DM.[92]Ibid., p. xxxv.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

At Rheinberg, German construction crews in the 1950s and gravediggers in the 1980s discovered human remains with German army World War II dog tags. These human remains were jumbled closely together in common graves with no sign of coffin or grave marker.[93]Ibid., p. 41.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.)

Other evidence of mass graves of German POWs at American-run camps has been found at Lambach in Austria in early 1996. Horst Littmann, an expert recommended by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, concluded that the bodies were from American POW camps at Hofau, Grueberfeld, and Kuhweide.[94]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 45. However, this evidence of mass death of German POWs was not reported to the public by the media.

Another example of Allied censorship is when Jean-Pierre Pradervand of the ICRC gave Gen. Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s chief of staff, pictures of starved, dying German prisoners at Thorée les Pins. These prisoners had recently been transferred from the Americans to the French. Pradervand’s photographs disappeared into Eisenhower’s office, not to be seen again until they reappeared as evidence of atrocities in French POW camps. Then the photographs disappeared forever. They are not preserved among the many photographs in the Smith collection at Abilene. The world press issued a story exonerating the U.S. Army, and the German POWs kept on dying.[95]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 96, 243-244.

How Many German POWs Died in U.S. & French Camps?

The families of the dead German POWs eventually influenced government officials to look into the fate of their missing family members. The (West German) Government Ministry of Refugees, under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, had the Germans complete a survey. The survey was about 94% complete in the three Western zones, but only about 30% complete in the Soviet zone. The survey announced on March 31, 1950, that there were still missing, their fate unknown, about 1,407,000 persons. There were believed to be 69,000 ex-soldiers still in prison, 1,148,000 soldiers reported missing, and 190,000 missing civilians.[96]Ibid., pp. xli, 148.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 96, 243-244.)
If everyone had completed the survey, it is estimated that the missing POWs would total about 1.7 million.[97]Ibid., p. 293 (footnote 26).
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 96, 243-244.)

Since the Soviet archives prove that approximately 517,000 German POWs died in Soviet captivity, we can get a reasonable approximation of the German POW deaths in French and U.S. camps. If we subtract the 517,000 German prisoners who died in Soviet captivity from the 1,407,000 total German prisoners missing in the survey, we have a total missing prisoner amount of 890,000. If we then subtract 100,000 from this total to account for the estimated number of German POWs who died in Yugoslavia, Poland, and other countries, the German POW deaths in American and French captivity amount to 790,000. If the more realistic total of 1.7 million is used as the estimate of total German POW deaths, the total deaths of German POWs in French and American captivity would be 1,083,000. These amounts confirm James Bacque’s original estimate of German POW deaths in 1989 before the Soviets opened their archives.

Most historians still dispute that such large numbers of German POWs died in the American and French POW camps. Some historians use the official figures of the Maschke Commission to refute Bacque’s estimates. The Maschke Commission, which was set up by the German government to investigate the fate of German POWs, officially completed its work at the end of 1972. A modest amount of its series of 22 books was sold, mainly to universities and research libraries.

Willy Brandt has admitted that the books edited by Dr. Erich Maschke were financed and censored by the West German Foreign Office in order to serve German foreign policy. Dr. Maschke’s figures are demonstrably wrong. For example, the Maschke U.S. wartime capture figure of 3,761,431 is more than 2,000,000 lower than the true U.S. total capture in north Africa, Italy and northern Europe.[98]Ibid., pp. xxiv, lvi-lvii, 149-150, 177.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 96, 243-244.)
The Maschke Commission estimate of 1,094,250 German POW deaths in Soviet camps is also far higher than the amount recorded in Soviet archives.[99]The amount of 1,094,250 German POW deaths from the Maschke Commission is shown by Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, p. 122.

Other historians say that Bacque misinterpreted the words “Other Losses” in the Weekly Prisoner of War and Disarmed Enemy Forces Reports. They claim that this category includes far more than deaths and escapes. Col. Philip S. Lauben told James Bacque in 1987 that the heading Other Losses means deaths and escapes, with the escapes being only a very minor amount. Lauben was the head of the German Affairs Branch of SHAEF. He was the officer in charge of repatriations and transfers who helped prepare the weekly forms that used the term Other Losses.

Lauben gave Bacque permission to tape their interview and signed a transcript of his statement to Bacque that Other Losses means deaths and escapes. More than a month later, and knowing that Col. Ernest F. Fisher had been an Army historian, Lauben also told Fisher that Other Losses means deaths and escapes. Since Lauben worked regularly with these documents, he was in a position to know what Other Losses meant.[100]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 181-183.

Until someone can find errors in the German survey under Adenauer or in the released Soviet archives, Bacque’s estimate of German POWs who died in American and French captivity appears to be reasonable. Bacque states: “Among all of the many editors, writers, TV producers and professors all over Europe and North America who have furiously denounced the author of Other Losses since 1989, not one has ever commented on his subsequent amazing discoveries in the Soviet archives.”[101]Ibid., pp. lxii-lxiii.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 181-183.)

Closing Remarks on Other Losses

One critic of Other Losses has asked: “How could the bodies disappear without one soldier’s coming forward in nearly 50 years to relieve his conscience?”[102]Bischof, Guenter, “Bacque and Historical Evidence,” in Bischof, Guenter and Ambrose, Stephen E., (eds.), Eisenhower and the German POWs: Facts Against Falsehood, Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1992, p. 201. The answer to this question is that numerous American soldiers and officers have come forth to witness the atrocious death rate in the American and French POW camps. From low-ranking soldiers such as Martin Brech, Daniel McConnell, and Merrill W. Campbell, through middle-rank officers such as Ben H. Jackson, Frederick Siegfriedt, and Lee Berwick, to high-ranking officers such as Richard Steinbach, Henry W. Allard, James B. Mason, Charles H. Beasley, Mark Clark, and Herbert Pollack, Americans have described the lethal conditions in the American and French POW camps. All of the American eyewitness reports are extended and confirmed by the thousands of Germans who have written letters, books, and articles showing beyond reasonable doubt a high death rate in the Allied POW camps.

Gen. Eisenhower had deplored the Germans’ useless defense at the end of World War II because of the waste of life. However, the Germans died faster in the French and American POW camps after they surrendered than they had during the war. By one estimate, 10 times as many Germans died in the French and American POW camps as were killed in all combat on the Western Front in northwest Europe from June 1941 to April 1945.[103]Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 59.

James Bacque ends his outstanding book with an appeal for openmindedness and understanding. Bacque states: “Surely it is time for the guesswork and the lying to stop. Surely it is time to take seriously what the eyewitnesses on both sides are trying to tell us about our history. All over the Western world, savage atrocities against the Armenians, the Ukrainians and the Jews are known. Only the atrocities against the Germans are denied. Are Germans not people in our eyes?”[104]Ibid., p. 196.
(Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 59.)

Whenever a historian denies that the Western Allies mass murdered German POWs, I recall a conversation I had with an elderly German couple in the late 1990s. After the wife told me she had been in Berlin when the Red Army captured the city, I asked them the following question: Do you know that the Western Allies, led by the United States of America, intentionally starved to death approximately 1 million German prisoners of war after the war was over?

An agonizing look of pain overtook the husband as they both said “Yes.” The agonizing look of pain on the husband’s face did not result from his merely reading a book. His pain was caused by something he had lived through. Unfortunately, since he is German, most historians could care less about his pain and suffering.

Footnotes

[1] Terkel, Studs, The Good War, New York: Pantheon, 1984, p. vi.

[2] Gruettner, Maria, “Real Death Camps of World War II,” THE BARNES REVIEW, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, July/August 2012, pp. 28-29.

[3] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xv-xvii.

[4] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. xiii.

[5] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. lxv-lxvi.

[6] Ibid., pp. lxvi-lxvii.

[7] Brech, Martin, “In ‘Eisenhower’s Death Camps’: A U.S. Prison Guard’s Story,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1990, pp. 161-166.

[8] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 41, 44.

[9] Ibid., pp. 45-46.

[10] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xx.

[11] Ibid., pp. xx-xxi.

[12] Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.

[13] Ibid., pp. xix-xx.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid., p. 190. See also Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 29.

[16] Ibid., p. 100.

[17] Ibid., p. 31.

[18] Ibid., p. 194.

[19] Dos Passos, John, Tour of Duty, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1945, pp. 251-252.

[20] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 184-185.

[21] Ibid., p. 184.

[22] Ibid., pp. 191-192.

[23] Ibid., pp. 192-193.

[24] Ibid., p. 193.

[25] Ibid., p. 192.

[26] Ibid., p. 194.

[27] Ibid., p. 18.

[28] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 40-43.

[29] Ibid., pp. 49-50.

[30] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxi.

[31] The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, July/August 1994, p. 48.

[32] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 186-187.

[33] Ibid., p. xxxix.

[34] Ibid., pp. 97-98.

[35] Ibid., pp. 87-88.

[36] Ibid., p. 89.

[37] Ibid., p. 91.

[38] Clair, Louis, The Progressive, Jan. 14, 1946, p. 4. Quoted in Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War Against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, pp. 22-23.

[39] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 107.

[40] Ibid., pp. 85-86.

[41] Ibid., pp. 81-83.

[42] Ibid., pp. 144-145.

[43] Laska, Werner Wilhelm, “In a U.S. Death Camp—1945,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1990, pp. 169-170.

[44] Ibid., p. 175.

[45] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxiii.

[46] Ibid., p. xxii.

[47] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 49-50.

[48] Ibid., pp. 50-51, 53.

[49] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. xxxiv-xxxv.

[50] Ibid., p. lxiii.

[51] Ibid., p. 130.

[52] Ibid., pp. 40-41.

[53] Ibid., pp. 37, 39.

[54] Ibid., p. 41.

[55] Ibid., pp. 33-34.

[56] Ibid., p. 34.

[57] Ibid., p. 36.

[58] Ibid., pp. 128-130.

[59] Ibid., pp. xxxiv, 239.

[60] Ibid., pp. xxxii-xxxiv.

[61] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 46.

[62] Ibid., p. 88.

[63] Ibid., pp. 91, 231 (footnote 13).

[64] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. xxxvii.

[65] Ibid., pp. xxxi, xxxvi-xxxvii.

[66] Ibid., p. 102.

[67] Ibid., p. 69.

[68] Ibid., pp. 69-71.

[69] Ibid., p. 73.

[70] Ibid., pp. 68, 73, 75-76.

[71] Ibid., pp. 54, 274 (footnote 32).

[72] Ibid., p. 28.

[73] Ibid., pp. 17, 97.

[74] Ibid., p. 97.

[75] Ibid., p. 110.

[76] Ibid., pp. 67-68.

[77] Ibid., pp. xlii, lx.

[78] Ibid., pp. xliii, xliv.

[79] Ibid., pp. xlvi-xlvii.

[80] Ibid., pp. 23-24, 128.

[81] Ibid., pp. 127-128.

[82] Ibid., p. lxi.

[83] Ibid., pp. 142, 177.

[84] Abzug, Robert H., Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 27, 30.

[85] Ibid., pp. 69, 128-132.

[86] Ibid., p. 134.

[87] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 62.

[88] Ibid., pp. 62, 142-143. The “practically Gestapo methods” quote is from Blumenson, Martin, (ed.), The Patton Papers, 1940-1945, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1974, p. 742.

[89] Ibid., pp. 63-64.

[90] Ibid., pp. 57, 64.

[91] Ibid., pp. 64-65.

[92] Ibid., p. xxxv.

[93] Ibid., p. 41.

[94] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 45.

[95] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 96, 243-244.

[96] Ibid., pp. xli, 148.

[97] Ibid., p. 293 (footnote 26).

[98] Ibid., pp. xxiv, lvi-lvii, 149-150, 177.

[99] The amount of 1,094,250 German POW deaths from the Maschke Commission is shown by Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, p. 122.

[100] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, pp. 181-183.

[101] Ibid., pp. lxii-lxiii.

[102] Bischof, Guenter, “Bacque and Historical Evidence,” in Bischof, Guenter and Ambrose, Stephen E., (eds.), Eisenhower and the German POWs: Facts Against Falsehood, Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1992, p. 201.

[103] Bacque, James, Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, 3rd edition, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2011, p. 59.

[104] Ibid., p. 196.

Chapter Six • The German Expellees • 14,200 Words

One of the great tragedies of the 20th century was the forced expulsion of ethnic Germans from their homes after the end of World War II. The Allies carried out the largest forced population transfer—and perhaps the greatest single movement of people—in human history. A minimum of 12 million and possibly as many as 18.1 million Germans were driven from their homes because of their ethnic background. Probably 2.1 million or more of these German expellees, mostly women and children, died in what was supposed to be an “orderly and humane” expulsion.[1]Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

One estimate of the Germans expelled runs to 16.5 million: 9.3 million within the 1937 Reich borders and 7.2 million outside. The Germans within the 1937 Reich borders include 2,382,000 East Prussians, 1,822,000 East Pomeranians, 614,000 in Brandenburg east of the Oder, and 4,469,000 Silesians. The Germans outside the 1937 Reich borders include 240,000 in Memel and the Baltic states, 373,000 in Danzig, 1,293,000 in Poland, 3,493,000 in Czechoslovakia, 601,000 in Hungary, 509,000 in Yugoslavia, and 785,000 in Romania. The Russians did not expel many of their 1.8 million Volga Germans; instead, the Volga Germans were predominantly resettled within the Soviet Union.[2]MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 162.

Historical and Legal Basis for German Expulsions

The mass expulsion of entire populations at the end of armed conflicts was not in the European tradition. With the exception of the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923, which sanctioned mutual expulsions after the Greek-Turkish war of 1921-1922, European nations did not contemplate or carry out resettlement schemes prior to World War II. The Poles and Czechs, however, were determined to forcibly relocate their minority populations under the auspices of international organizations. These two governments-in-exile, located in London during most of the war, were eager to gain acceptance from the Allies for the forced expulsion of their German minorities.[3]Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 108.

The Polish and Czechoslovak governments-in-exile found that the Allies were in complete agreement that the Germans should be expelled from both postwar Poland and the former Sudetenland. Documents from the Russian archives make it clear that Stalin and Molotov were fully informed about the Polish and Czech plans to deport their Germans. The Soviet leaders told the Czechs and Poles that they not only had no objection in principle to the deportations, but that they also thought positively about them.

Stalin unambiguously endorsed the expulsions in a June 28, 1945, conversation with the Czechoslovak prime minister and deputy foreign minister: “We won’t disturb you. Throw them out. Now they will learn themselves what it means to rule over someone else.” Stalin gave the Polish Communist leader Wladyslaw Gomulka advice on how to get the Germans to leave: “You should create such conditions for the Germans that they want to escape themselves.”[4]Ibid., pp. 108-109.
(Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 108.)

Some provisional decisions concerning the expulsion of Germans had been made at the Tehran Conference in December 1943. Stalin wanted to keep the eastern half of Poland which he had acquired pursuant to the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact made with Germany. In order to compensate Poland for her lost territory, East Prussia and perhaps Upper Silesia would be ceded to Poland. Poland would gain back in the west the same amount of territory she lost in the east. Churchill demonstrated to Stalin his thoughts on a Poland shifted westward with three matchsticks. Stalin was pleased with Churchill’s demonstration.[5]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 83.

Edvard Benes, the president of the Czechoslovak government, justifiably claimed that he had received the blessings of Roosevelt and Churchill for the transfers. Both the American and British governments were sympathetic to the Czechoslovak and Polish cases for expulsion of the Germans and, like the Soviets, had no objection in principle.

Churchill was especially callous on the subject of German expulsions. On Oct. 9, 1944, Churchill remarked to Stalin that 7 million Germans would be killed in the war, thus leaving plenty of room for Germans driven out of Silesia and East Prussia to move into rump Germany. On Feb. 23, 1945, Churchill dismissed the difficulties involved in transferring the German population to the west. Churchill insisted that the transfers would be easy to make since most of the Germans in the territories now taken by the Russians had already left.[6]Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, pp. 109-110.

The question is: What moral or legal basis would allow the Allies to expel the ethnic Germans from their homes? The forced expulsion of millions of Germans was a clear violation of the Atlantic Charter signed by the United States and Great Britain in August 1941. The Atlantic Charter had promised in point two that there would be no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned. However, the Sudetenland Germans, East Prussians and Silesians were not asked if they wanted to stay in their 700-year-old homelands. They were thrown out against their will.[7]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

British statesmen decided to repudiate the noble principles of the Atlantic Charter. In March 1944, the Earl of Mansfield stated before the British House of Lords: “The Atlantic Charter will not apply to Germany, and therefore there is no reason whatever why we should not contemplate, if not with equanimity, at least without consternation, any unavoidable sufferings that may be inflicted on German minorities in the course of their transference.”[8]Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 145.

Other British statesmen including Churchill made similar statements that the Atlantic Charter did not apply to Germany. During a debate in the House of Commons on Feb. 23, 1944, Anthony Eden expressed his view of the Atlantic Charter: “There are certain parts of the Atlantic Charter which refer in set terms to victor and vanquished alike. Article four does so. But we cannot admit that Germany can claim, as a matter of right on her part, whatever our obligation, that any part of the Charter applies to her.”

A British Labour MP later acknowledged on March 1, 1945, before the House of Commons: “We started this war with great motives and high ideals. We published the Atlantic Charter and then spat on it, stomped on it and burnt it, as it were, at the stake, and now nothing is left of it.”[9]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

The expulsion of ethnic Germans can be viewed in the United States as both a repudiation of the Atlantic Charter and the adoption of the Morgenthau Plan. Section Two of the Morgenthau Plan, which dealt with the “New Boundaries of Germany,” states: “Poland should get that part of East Prussia which doesn’t go to the USSR and the southern portion of Silesia.” However, the drastic territorial changes finalized at the Potsdam Conference on Aug. 2, 1945, went beyond what even Morgenthau had envisioned. It was agreed at the Potsdam Conference that all German land east of the Oder-Neisse rivers that was not under Soviet administration “shall be under the administration of the Polish state.”[10]Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

The Potsdam Conference was held from July 17 to Aug. 2, 1945, to decide how to administer Germany after her unconditional surrender to the Allies. The goals of the conference included the establishment of postwar order, peace treaty issues, and countering the effects of the war. Participants were the United States represented by President Harry S. Truman, the Soviet Union represented by Josef Stalin, and Great Britain represented by Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee. In a bitter blow to French pride, France was not invited to the Potsdam Conference. Although the Allies had independently agreed on the need to move the Germans out of Eastern Europe, the discussions at Potsdam indicated that the Americans and British had second thoughts on the expulsion of the Germans.[11]Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 110.

President Truman at Potsdam expressed his concerns about where 9 million Germans would go. Stalin reassured Truman that most of the Germans had already left. Stalin later noted that the Poles had retained some Germans to work in the fields, but that the Poles would expel them once the harvest was in.

Churchill also stated somewhat disingenuously that “I have grave moral scruples regarding great movements and transfers of populations.” Churchill then added that perhaps the Germans who had left Silesia should be allowed to go back. Stalin told Churchill that the Poles would hang the Germans if they returned. Stalin also said that the Germans had already been driven out of Czechoslovakia, and that there was no need to contact President Benes about the German expulsion.[12]Ibid., pp. 110-111.
(Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 110.)

Despite the reservations of the Western Allies, at the conclusion of the Potsdam Conference all parties agreed to the transfer of the eastern Germans. The Western Allies could have said no, but they wanted to avoid any breach with the Soviets. Sir Denis Allen, a member of the British delegation, recalls:

We were then all too well aware—and to a degree hard to picture in retrospect—of our ignorance of what was really happening in Eastern Europe and still more of our inability to influence events there.

If experience of the Nazi era and of war had engendered a certain numbness and indifference to human suffering, it had also bred new hope that, against all the odds, the wartime alliance might be consolidated into a workable system of post-war collaboration in Europe and in the world at large. So there was a widely shared determination not to press concern over events in the East that we could not prevent, to the point where it might maim at birth the Control Council and the United Nations; if hopes were to be frustrated, let it be the Russians and not ourselves who were seen to be responsible.[13]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.

The Potsdam Conference adopted Article IX of the Potsdam Protocol regarding the German-Polish border and Article XIII regarding the transfer of the Eastern Germans to what was left of Germany. The first paragraph of Article XIII reads: “The three governments having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.”[14]Ibid., p. 87.
(De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.)

Article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol was intended to bring the then on-going expulsions under a regulated procedure. According to paragraphs two and three of Article XIII, the Allied Control Council in Berlin was to determine how many Germans were to be resettled. Until then a moratorium on expulsion of the Germans was to be in effect. However, the moratorium was ignored, and the expulsions continued just as before, and during the conference itself.[15]Ibid.
(De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.)

In Nuremberg the mass deportations perpetrated by the Nazis were included as part of the crimes allegedly committed by the National Socialist government of Germany. On Nov. 20, 1945, Pierre Mounier, assistant prosecutor for France, reproached the accused for having ordered the mass deportations. Mounier stated: “These deportations were contrary to the international conventions, in particular to Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6(b) of the charter.” France’s chief prosecutor at Nuremberg also denounced the mass deportations perpetrated by the Nazis as “one of the horrors of our century.”[16]Ibid., p. 35.
(De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.)

The Nuremberg court was of the opinion that even in a total war, when a country must fight for its very existence, civil rights and in particular The Hague Convention and its Regulations on Land Warfare place restraints upon those waging war. The mass deportations perpetrated by National Socialist Germany were held to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity. The irony is that while the Nuremberg trials were in progress, the mass deportation of millions of Germans was occurring under the sanction of the same powers whose prosecutors and judges were condemning the mass deportations perpetrated by the Germans.[17]Ibid., p. 37.
(De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.)

Bertrand Russell criticized the expulsion of the Germans in a letter to the London Times:

In Eastern Europe now mass deportations are being carried out by our allies on an unprecedented scale, and an apparently deliberate attempt is being made to exterminate many millions of Germans, not by gas, but by depriving them of their homes and of food, leaving them to die by slow and agonizing starvation. This is done not as an act of war, but as part of a deliberate policy of “peace.”

…Are mass deportations crimes when committed by our enemies during war and justifiable measures of social adjustment when carried out by our allies in time of peace? Is it more humane to turn out old women and children to die at a distance than to asphyxiate Jews in gas chambers? Can those responsible for the deaths of those who die after expulsion be regarded as less guilty because they do not see or hear the agonies of their victims? Are the future laws of war to justify the killing of enemy nationals after enemy resistance has ceased?[18]Russell, Bertrand, The London Times, Oct. 23, 1945, p. 5.

American historian Ralph Franklin Keeling has commented on the hypocrisy of the Potsdam Agreement:

Potsdam calls for annulment of all Nazi laws which established discrimination on grounds of race and declares: “No such discrimination, whether legal, administrative or otherwise, shall be tolerated.” Yet these forced migrations of German populations are predicated squarely on rank racial discrimination. The people affected are mostly wives and children of simple peasants, workers, and artisans whose families have lived for centuries in the homes from which they have now been ejected, and whose only offense is their German blood. How “orderly and humane” their banishment has been is now a matter of record.[19]Keeling, Ralph F., Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 13.

The Early German Expulsions

For more than three months prior to the Potsdam Agreement, the Polish government was expelling German citizens from what it now called the “Recovered Territories”—a reference to the fact that Poland once ruled Silesia and Pomerania under the Piast dynasty 600 years earlier. Czechoslovakia had been expelling German civilians since mid-May 1945. Although Yugoslavia and Romania had neither asked for nor received permission from the Allies to expel their German citizens, both of these countries soon began large-scale deportations of their German population. While the expulsions of the Germans were crude and disorganized, they were neither spontaneous nor accidental. Instead, the expulsions were carried out according to a premeditated strategy devised by each of the governments concerned well before the end of the war.[20]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 93.

The expelling nations relied almost exclusively on the use of terror to transport their German minorities across the frontiers. Except in a very few instances, deportations as a result of mob actions did not cause the German expulsions. Rather, the so-called “wild expulsions” were carried out primarily by troops, police, and militia acting under orders and policies originating at the highest levels of the expelling governments. So chaotic was the process of expelling the German minorities that many foreign observers, and even many people in the expelling countries themselves, mistook the violent events of the late spring and summer of [1945] as a spontaneous process from below. The expelling governments were more than happy to allow the myth of the “wild expulsions” to grow, since this myth enabled them to disclaim responsibility for the atrocities that were essential components of the expulsions.[21]Ibid., pp. 94-95.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 93.)

The worst of the violence in Poland occurred between mid-June and mid-July 1945, particularly in the districts bordering the Oder-Neisse demarcation line, which were designated by the Polish Army Command as a military settlement area. The commander of the Polish Second Army expressed on June 24, 1945, the Polish position on the rapid transfer of the Germans:

We are transferring the Germans out of Polish territory and we are acting thereby in accordance with directives from Moscow. We are behaving with the Germans as they behaved with us. Many already have forgotten how they treated our children, women and old people. The Czechs knew how to act so that the Germans fled from their territory of their own volition.

One must perform one’s tasks in such a harsh and decisive manner that the Germanic vermin do not hide in their houses but rather will flee from us of their own volition and then [once] in their own land will thank God that they were lucky enough to save their heads. We do not forget Germans always will be Germans.[22]Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 214-215.

The Germans who were forced to resettle were usually allowed to take only 20 kilograms of baggage with them, and were escorted to the border by squads of Polish soldiers. In late June 1945 at least 40,000 Germans were expelled within a few days. One commentator describes what this meant to the Germans living near the Oder-Neisse line:

The evacuation of individual localities usually began in the early morning hours. The population, torn from their sleep, had scarcely 15 to 20 minutes to snatch the most necessary belongings, or else they were driven directly onto the street without any ceremony. Smaller localities and villages were evacuated at gunpoint by small numbers of soldiers, frequently only a squad or a platoon. Due to the proximity of the border, for the sake of simplicity the Germans were marched on foot to the nearest bridge over the river, driven over to the Soviet side [i.e., into the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany] and there left to their own fate.[23]Ibid., p. 215.
(Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 214-215.)

The German expellees were frequently robbed by members of the Polish militia and military units that carried out the expulsions. Food supply became an acute problem, and the uprooted Germans were often destitute and exhausted when they arrived in the Soviet Occupation Zone. The German expellees became easy prey for Soviet occupation troops, who often stole the few belongings the Germans had brought with them. Some Germans were beaten and raped, forced to perform humiliating acts, and some were randomly killed.[24]Ibid., pp. 216-217.
(Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 214-215.)

Not all of the cross-border traffic of Germans was in a single direction. At the end of the war, many hundreds of thousands of Germans from the Recovered Territories who had fled the Red Army’s advance to the west now returned to their homes. The returning Germans did not understand that there was not going to be a return home. The alarming spectacle of the population in the Recovered Territories of Poland actually increasing in the weeks after V-E Day was one of the factors spurring local authorities to quickly proceed with “wild expulsions” of the Germans. Polish soldiers and government officials used aggressive and often violent measures to prevent the unwanted Germans from returning to their homes.[25]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 103.

However great the hazards and miseries of life on the road were for the German expellees, they were usually preferable to the expulsion trains the Polish authorities began to operate. Taking up to two weeks to reach Berlin, the trains were typically not provisioned and lacked the most basic amenities. As a result the death rate on the trains soared. One passenger writes:

In our freight wagon there were about 98 people, and it is no exaggeration to say that we were squeezed against each other like sardines in a can. When we reached Allenstein people started to die, and had to be deposited along the side of the rails. One or more dead bodies greeted us every morning of our journey after that; they just had to be abandoned on the embankments. There must have been many, many bodies left lying along the track….

The train spent more time stopping than moving. It took us more than 14 days to reach the Russian occupation zone. We rarely traveled at night….After a few days we had no more to eat. Sometimes, by begging the Polish driver, we were able to get a little warm water drawn from the engine….The nights were unbearable because of the overcrowding. We could neither keep upright nor sit down, much less lie down. We were so tightly squeezed together that it was impossible not to jostle each other occasionally. Recriminations and quarrels erupted, even attempts to exchange blows in the middle of this human scrum. The very sick suffered the worst. Typhus was widespread throughout the entire transport and the number of deaths grew with each passing day. You can well imagine the state of hygiene that prevailed in the wagon.[26]Ibid., pp. 109-110.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 103.)

A German priest who witnessed the arrival of German expellees at the border described what he saw:

The people, men, women, and children all mixed together, were tightly packed in the railway cars, these cattle wagons themselves being locked from the outside. For days on end, the people were transported like this, and in Goerlitz the wagons were opened for the first time. I have seen with my own eyes that out of one wagon alone 10 corpses were taken and thrown into coffins which had been kept on hand. I noted further that several persons had become deranged….The people were covered in excrement, which led me to believe that they were squeezed together so tightly that there was no longer any possibility for them to relieve themselves at a designated place.[27]Davies, Norman and Moorhouse, Roger, Microcosm, London: Pimlico, 2003, p. 422.

The worst of the violence appears to have been taken against the German minority in Czechoslovakia. A brief but intense outbreak of revenge-taking occurred across Czechoslovakia in May and June 1945 in response to the determination of German forces to continue fighting up to, and even after, V-E Day. Foreign observers and some Czechs themselves were shocked by the scale, the intensity and the lack of discrimination of the reprisals against German civilians. One writer states:

The end of the occupation was the beginning of the expulsion of German civilians, if they had survived the first hours and days of brutality. Retaliation was blind. An old woman was defenestrated; a member of a visiting German orchestra was beaten to death in the street because he could not speak Czech; others, not all of them Gestapo members, were hanged, doused with gas and lit, as living torches. Enraged mobs roamed through hospitals to find easy victims there. One [of those murdered] was a Czech patient, who happened to be the father of the writer Michael Mares, but his papers listed a Sudeten birthplace. From May until mid-October official statistics listed 3,795 suicides of Germans in Bohemia.[28]Demetz, Peter, Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-1945, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008, p. 235.

The Ministry of Education, the Military Prison, the Riding School, the Sports Stadium, and the Labor Exchange in Prague were set aside as prisons for German civilians. The Scharnhorst School was the scene of a massacre in which groups of 10 Germans were led down to the courtyard and shot. In Strahov as many as 10,000 to 15,000 Germans were herded into the football stadium. Here the Czechs forced 5,000 prisoners to run for their lives as guards fired on them with machine guns. Some Germans were shot in the latrines. As a general rule all SS men were shot, either by a shot in the back of the neck or to the stomach. Even after May 16, 1945, when order was meant to be restored, 12 to 20 Germans died daily at the Strahov Stadium. Most of the victims had been tortured first.[29]MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 134.

The worst atrocities during this period in Czechoslovakia were perpetrated by troops, police, and others acting under color of authority. In a compound at Postoloprty in northern Bohemia, parties of up to 250 Germans at a time were removed and shot by Czechoslovak soldiers on June 5 and 6. The precise number of Germans killed range from a low of 763 (the number of bodies unearthed in 1947) to a high of 2,000. In a similar incident at Kaunitz College in Brno a Czechoslovak investigation found that at least 300 Germans died as a result of torture, shooting, or hanging in May and June 1945.

On June 18, 1945, Czechoslovak troops shot 265 German civilians in the back of the neck and buried them in a mass grave the Germans had first been forced to dig beside a railway station. At Lanskroun, a two-day “People’s Tribunal” conducted by a prominent member of Benes’s party resulted in 20 people being shot; two hanged; others tortured; and others drowned in the town’s fire pool. In the city of Chomutov on the morning of June 9, up to a dozen Germans were tortured to death in a “cleansing operation” conducted by Staff Capt. Karel Prásil on a sports field in full view of sickened Czech passersby.[30]Douglas, R.M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 96.

On May 30, 1945, under threat from a trade union headed by the Communist activist Josef Kapoun, the mayor of Brno agreed to an expulsion action against German civilians that same evening. The first column of expellees was marched off in the general direction of the Austrian frontier. A second group of German expellees, rounded up from neighboring villages and towns, followed them a few hours later. The German expellees, who by now numbered some 28,000, were denied permission to cross into Austria by the Allied occupation authorities. Rather than allowing the Germans to return home, the Brno activists responsible for the expulsion confined them in a collection of impromptu camps in the border village of Pohorelice. Lacking food, water, or sanitary facilities, 1,700 Germans are estimated to have died in the camps.[31]Ibid., pp. 98-99. See also MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.
(Douglas, R.M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 96.)
A Red Cross nurse estimates that an additional 1,000 expellees died on the march to the camps.[32]MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.

In light of the euphemistically styled “excesses” of May and June, some Czechoslovak policymakers and Western correspondents began to criticize the Czech actions. For example, F.A. Voigt, longtime diplomatic correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, wrote that the Czechs themselves were adopting “a racial doctrine akin to Hitler’s…and methods that are hardly distinguishable from those of Fascism. They have, in fact, become Slav National Socialists.”[33]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 97

The Czechoslovak government, however, never seriously attempted to rein in the agencies over which it exercised control. Czech leaders realized that nothing but the application of force on a massive scale could rid Czechoslovakia of its German population. Too much terror might result in at worst some embarrassment abroad; too little terror would prevent the success of the operation. Benes implicitly acknowledged as much in a speech broadcast on Radio Prague: “We are accused of simply imitating the Nazis and their cruel and uncivilized methods. Even if these reproaches should be true in individual cases, I state categorically: Our Germans must go to the Reich, and they will go there in any circumstances.”[34]Ibid., pp. 97-98.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 97)

The Czechoslovak government introduced numerous measures discriminating against their German minority. Germans could go out only at certain times of day; they were forced to wear white armbands, sometimes emblazoned with an “N” for Nemec or German; they were forbidden from using public transportation or walking on the pavement; they could not send letters or go to the cinema, theater, or pub; and they could not own jewelry, gold, silver, precious stones and other items. They were issued with ration cards, but were not allowed meat, eggs, milk, cheese or fruit, and had restricted times for buying food. The Germans were also sometimes forced to work as slaves on farms, in industry, or in the mines.[35]MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 131.

For many Germans an aspect of the expulsions was blatant theft. Czech president Edvard Benes is quoted as saying: “Take everything from the Germans. Leave them only a handkerchief to sob into.”[36]Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, p. 241. Benes declared all Germans and Hungarians to be politically unreliable and their possessions were therefore to fall to the Czech state.[37]MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 128.

The Czech partisans frequently took anything that appealed to them, and sometimes simply moved into a German’s house, adopting the former owner’s possessions. In 1945 there were many instances of farmworkers appropriating German farms, junior doctors taking over German medical practices, and junior managers taking over German businesses. There were cases of pure opportunism: Czechs who had formerly moved in German circles suddenly became the apostles of Czech nationalism and hunted down former German acquaintances. Once the wilder days were over, the new Czech Republic moved to regulate the plunder of German property so that the booty came to the state.[38]Ibid., pp. 126-127, 131.
(MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 128.)

Throughout the summer of 1945, trains of German expellees continued to pour into Berlin and other German and Austrian cities. The Western journalists who had traveled to Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference were aghast at the scenes they encountered at the railroad stations, with dead and dying littering the platforms. Charles Bray, German correspondent of the London Daily Herald, described finding four dead Germans on a visit to Stettin Station, with “another five or six… lying alongside them, given up as hopeless by the doctor, and just being allowed to die.” Bray discovered the suffering of the German expellees “gave me no satisfaction, although for years I have hoped that the Germans would reap the seeds they had sown.”[39]London Daily Herald, Aug. 24, 1945.

Several observers compared the fate of the German expellees to the victims of the German concentration camps. Maj. Stephen Terrell of the Parachute Regiment stated: “Even a cursory visit to the hospitals in Berlin, where some of these people have dragged themselves, is an experience which would make the sights in the concentration camps appear normal.”[40]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.

Adrian Kanaar, a British military doctor working in a Berlin medical facility, reported on an expellee train from Poland in which 75 had died on the journey due to overcrowding. Although Kanaar had just completed a stint as a medical officer at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, what he witnessed of the expellees’ plight so distressed him that he declared his willingness to face a court-martial if necessary for making the facts known to the press. Kanaar declared that he had not “spent six years in the army to see a tyranny established which is as bad as the Nazis.”[41]Ibid., pp. 117-118.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.)

Gerald Gardiner, later to become lord chancellor of Great Britain, had been a member of a volunteer ambulance unit working with concentration camp survivors. Gardiner stated in regard to the expellee trains arriving in the late summer and autumn of 1945 from the Recovered Territories, “The removal of the dead in carts from the railway stations was a grim reminder of what I saw in early days in Belsen.”[42]Ibid., p. 118.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.)

Robert Murphy, a career diplomat who had served as Gen. Eisenhower’s political advisor and was now the State Department’s senior representative in Germany with the rank of ambassador, became concerned about the Allied mistreatment of the German expellees. Murphy states in regard to the German expellees:

In viewing the distress and despair of these wretches, in smelling the odor of their filthy condition, the mind reverts instantly to Dachau and Buchenwald. Here is retribution on a large scale, but practiced not on the Parteibonzen [party leaders], but on women and children, the poor, the infirm. The vast majority are women and children….

Our psychology adjusts itself somehow to the idea that suffering is part of the soldier’s contract….That psychology loses some of its elasticity, however, in viewing the stupid tragedy now befalling thousands of innocent children, and women and old people….The mind reverts to other recent mass deportations which horrified the world and brought upon the Nazis the odium which they so deserved. Those mass deportations engineered by the Nazis provided part of the moral basis on which we waged the war and which gave strength to our cause.

Now the situation is reversed. We find ourselves in the invidious position of being partners in this German enterprise and as partners inevitably sharing the responsibility.[43]Ibid., pp. 118-119.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.)

An eyewitness report of the arrival in Berlin of a train which had left Poland with 1,000 German expellees aboard reads:

Nine hundred and nine men, women, and children dragged themselves and their luggage from a Russian railway train at Leherte station today, after 11 days traveling 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 interment in a pit near a concentration camp.

The refugee train was like a macabre Noah’s ark. Every car was jammed with Germans…the families carry all their earthly belongings in sacks, bags, and tin trunks…Nursing infants suffer the most, as their mothers are unable to feed them, and frequently go insane as they watch their offspring slowly die before their eyes. Today four screaming, violently insane mothers were bound with rope to prevent them from clawing other passengers.

“Many women try to carry off their dead babies with them,” a Russian railway official said. “We search the bundles whenever we discover a weeping woman, to make sure she is not carrying an infant corpse with her.”[44]Wales, Henry, Chicago Tribune Press Service, Nov. 18, 1945.

The stated rationale during the war for the transfers had been to remove a cohort of dangerous Germans—above all, fit men of military age—who might threaten the security of the countries in which they lived. Instead, it had been women, children, and old men who had been deported, while the fit men had been held back for slave labor.

Earl Ziemke wrote of the expelled Germans: “Only 12% could be classified as fully employable; 65% needed relief. Contrary to agreements made before the movement to keep families together, the countries expelling Germans were holding back the young, able-bodied men. Of the arrivals 54% were women, 21% were children under 14 years, and only 25% men, many of them old or incapacitated.”[45]Ziemke, Earl, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1975, p. 435.

The period of the “wild expulsions” had involved massive state-sponsored programs of violence, resulting in a death toll of many hundreds of thousands of Germans. Yet it was an episode that escaped the notice of many Europeans and virtually all Americans. Now the Allies would attempt to administer the expulsions in the orderly and humane manner specified by the Potsdam Agreement. As we shall see, the so-called organized expulsions were hardly more orderly and humane than the “wild expulsions” had been.

The Organized German Expulsions

International public opinion was generally relieved by the announcement at Potsdam that the Allies were proposing to assume control of the expulsion process. However, many people were taken aback by the number of Germans proposed to be transferred in such a short period of time.

A New York Times editorial noted that the number of Germans who were to be removed from their homes in seven months was “roughly equal to the number of immigrants arriving in the United States during the last 40 years.”[46]New York Times, Dec. 16, 1945. Transfers of this nature had never been attempted in human history.

Negotiations to determine when, how many, and to which destinations expellees would be removed were conducted between representatives of the Polish and Chechoslovak governments and the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. A final agreement was approved on Nov. 20, 1945, by the Allied Control Council (ACC), the occupying countries’ temporary governing body for Germany. The so-called ACC agreement, a skeletal accord less than two pages in length, specified the approximate timing of the expulsions and the number of expellees to be sent to each zone of occupation. The ACC agreement did not create any international machinery for carrying out the transfers or for supervising their execution. In truth, the ACC agreement was an almost meaningless document.[47]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 124-125.

A serious attempt to come to grips with the expulsion problem would be expected to include the appointment of an executive body to conduct and oversee the operation; a description of the means to be used; and the assignment of responsibility for making the necessary preparations for assembly, embarkation, reception, and assimilation of the German expellees. The ACC agreement contained none of these provisions. The primary purpose of the ACC agreement was to reassure an increasingly anxious public that the Allies were finally addressing the expulsion problem, and to deflect further public and media criticism. In this regard, the ACC agreement prevented Robert Murphy from generating an official U.S. protest over the means by which the Poles in particular had been clearing the Recovered Territories of their German population.[48]Ibid., pp. 125-127.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 124-125.)

The ACC did set up an agency called the Combined Repatriation Executive (CRX) on Oct. 1, 1945. The CRX was designed to impose order on the expulsion process, and it became the closest thing to an international apparatus to cope with the enormous transport challenges the expulsions would involve. The CRX ran into problems when it attempted to determine the start dates for the organized expulsions and the minimum welfare standards to be maintained throughout the operation. The interests of the expelling and receiving countries diverged in both respects, with the expelling countries desiring to both begin the expulsions as soon as possible and retain as much German expellee property as possible.

The organized expulsions rapidly degenerated into a race against time. The expelling governments sought to rid themselves of as many unwanted Germans as possible before the receiving countries called a halt to further transfers. Given the minimal resources dedicated to the expulsion operations, the breakneck pace at which they were conducted, and the expelling countries’ ambivalence over whether the efficient removal of the expellees should take precedence over their collective punishment, it could hardly have been expected that the expulsion process would be “orderly and humane.”[49]Ibid., pp. 159-161.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 124-125.)

Numerous journalists, military, and government leaders continued to report problems with the expulsion process. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower telegraphed Washington, D.C. on Oct. 18, 1945, to warn of the dangers of the German expulsions:

In Silesia, Polish administration and methods are causing a mass exodus westward of German inhabitants. Germans are being ordered out of their homes and to evacuate New Poland. Many unable to move are placed in camps on meager rations and under poor sanitary conditions. Death and disease rates in camps [are] extremely high….Methods used by Poles definitely do not conform to Potsdam agreement….Breslau death rate increased tenfold and death rate reported to be 75% of all births. Typhoid, typhus, dysentery, and diphtheria are spreading.

Total number potentially involved in westward movement to Russian zone of Germany from Poland and Czechoslovakia in range of 10 million….No coordinated measures yet taken to direct stream of refugees into specific regions or provide food and shelter….[There exists] serious danger of epidemic of such great proportion as to menace all Europe, including our troops, and probability of mass starvation [on an] unprecedented scale.[50]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 115.

Eisenhower’s primary concern in sending this telegraph was probably the danger of epidemics in such great proportion as to menace all of Europe, including the Allied troops. Eisenhower had repeatedly stated that he hated the Germans and wanted to be extremely hard on them after the war.[51]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 25-26.

Donald Mackenzie, a New York Daily News correspondent, reports from Berlin:

In the windswept courtyard of the Stettiner Bahnhof, a cohort of German refugees, part of 12,000,000 to 19,000,000 dispossessed in East Prussia and Silesia, sat in groups under a driving rain and told the story of their miserable pilgrimage, during which more than 25% died by the roadside and the remainder were so starved they scarcely had strength to walk.

Filthy, emaciated, and carrying their few remaining possessions wrapped in bits of cloth, they shrank away crouching when one approached them in the railway terminal, expecting to be beaten or robbed or worse. That is what they have become accustomed to expect.

A nurse from Stettin, a young, good-looking blonde, 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.[52]Congressional Record, Dec. 4, 1945, p. 11554, and New York Daily News, Oct. 8, 1945.

Robert Greer, a Canadian lieutenant, writes of his visit to Berlin in late 1945:

…In driving about [Berlin] on Sunday morning, we came to the Stettiner Bahnhof. It’s a complete wreck of course, the great arched glassway broken and twisted. I went down to the ground level and looked. There were people. Sitting on bundles of clothes, crouched by handcarts and little wagons were people…they were all exhausted and starved and miserable. You’d see a child sitting on a roll of blankets, a girl of perhaps four or five, and her eyes would be only half open and her head would loll occasionally and her eyes blink slowly as though she were only half alive. Beside her, her mother apparently, a woman with her head on her outstretched arm in the most terrible picture of despair and exhaustion and collapse I’ve seen. You could see in the line of her body all the misery that was possible for her to feel…no home, no husband, no food, no place to go, no one to care, nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing but a piece of the floor of the Stettiner Bahnhof and a night of weary hunger. In another place, another woman, sitting with her head in her hands…my God, how often have I sat like that with my stomach sick within me and felt miserable and helpless and hopeless…yet always I had someone to help, or a bed to rest on and a meal to eat and a place to go. For her there was nothing. Even when you see it it’s impossible to believe. What can you do when you have nothing? Where can you go, what can you do, when you have no strength left and hunger is a sickness in your belly? God it was terrible.[53]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 94-95.

Greer saw no men, only women and children. The people Greer described had survived the expulsions in their eastern homelands, where conditions were often even worse. They were wasted, half-dead people.[54]Ibid., p. 95.
(Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 94-95.)

Anne O’Hare McCormick, special correspondent to The New York Times, reported from Germany on Feb. 4, 1946: “[I]t was also agreed at Potsdam that the forced migration should be carried out ‘in a humane and orderly manner.’ Actually, as everyone knows who has seen the awful sights at the reception centers in Berlin and Munich, the exodus takes place under nightmarish conditions, without any international supervision or any pretense of humane treatment. We share responsibility for horrors only comparable to Nazi cruelties….”[55]New York Times, Monday, Feb. 4, 1946, “Abroad: As UNO Prepares to Settle in this Neighborhood.”

On Dec. 8, 1945, Bertrand Russell, writing in the New Leader, protested the German expulsions again:

It was agreed at Potsdam that these expulsions should take place “in a humane and orderly manner,” but this provision has been flouted. At a moment’s notice, women and children are herded into trains, with only one suitcase each, and they are usually robbed on the way of its contents. The journey to Berlin takes many days, during which no food is provided. Many are dead when they reach Berlin; children who die on the way are thrown out of the window. A member of the Friends’ Ambulance Unit describes the Berlin station at which these trains arrive as “Belsen over again—carts taking the dead from the platform, etc.” A large proportion of those ejected from their homes are not put into trains, but are left to make their way westward on foot. Exact statistics of the numbers thus expelled are not available, since only the Russians could provide them. Ernest Bevin’s estimate is 9,000,000. According to a British office now in Berlin, populations are dying, and Berlin hospitals “make the sights of the concentration camps appear normal.”[56]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, p. 109.

In Czechoslovakia and Poland, foreign diplomats and media representatives were invited to witness the staged conditions of the initial organized expulsions. The Czechoslovak government was most successful in arranging a suitably reassuring spectacle for the observers. The foreign dignitaries who were present at the initial organized expulsion on Jan. 25, 1946, marveled at the effort Czechoslovak authorities took to ensure the safe passage of the German expellees. A week’s ration of food was immediately issued to each expellee, with an additional three days’ supply of food held in reserve. All passengers were first medically examined by a medical doctor, and the train included a “Red Cross” compartment staffed by German nurses. The Czech commandant overseeing the proceedings confirmed that none of the expellees’ possessions had been confiscated, and those who arrived lacking adequate clothing were provided with what they needed by the Czechoslovaks themselves. A British journalist who witnessed another staged Czechoslovak transport found the scene “more like the end of a village garden-party than part of a great transfer of population.”[57]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.

The reality of the organized expulsions from Czechoslovakia was not nearly as favorable as the staged transports indicated. A very large number of German expellees were transported while suffering from infectious diseases contracted in the camps. The Red Army repeatedly complained that the trains from Czechoslovakia were consistently dispatched with insufficient food rations for the journey. The trains were often supplied with unusable, incompatible, or obsolete wagons, making it impossible to transport expellees’ baggage. Official reports spoke of systematic pillage of expellees by both military and civilian personnel, and local authorities continued unauthorized expulsions under the guise of “voluntary transfers.” Productive individuals were also held in Czechoslovakia in violation of the requirement that families not be separated. The number of able-bodied and skilled workers included in the expulsions was extremely low.[58]Ibid., pp. 188-189.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

Poland was not nearly as successful in convincing foreign observers that her organized expulsions were orderly and humane. Expulsions from the Recovered Territories in Poland to the British zone of Germany had been given the designation of “Operation Swallow.” A correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, who met a transport from Poland on March 3, 1946, found that 250 of the expellees were so seriously ill as to require immediate hospitalization; two of the expellees were dead on arrival. He stated, “In later transports the figures have been higher.”

A considerable portion of the expellees from Poland had eaten no food for up to a week. The women bore marks of systematic maltreatment over a long period, with the scars of physical and sexual abuse much in evidence. A British medical officer who examined the German expellees determined that “most of the women had been violated, among them a girl of 10 and another of 16.”[59]Ibid., pp. 167-168.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

Reports of systematic maltreatment of the German expellees from Poland began to flood in from Allied reception centers. Of 4,100 expellees on three Swallow trains, 524 were admitted directly to the hospital. The camp commandant reported that most of the women in these transports were multiple rape victims, as were some of the children.

A British army colonel who met a Polish expellee train in April 1946 reported that nearly all the passengers had been “severely ill treated,” exhibiting “deep scars in the skull bone, fingers crippled by ill treatment, fractures of the ribs which were more or less healed, and partly large [sic] bloodshot spots on their backs and their legs. The latter was also seen with women.” The British also reported that the Polish authorities consistently failed to provide rations for the expellees during their journey or for the day of their arrival in Germany, as their agreement with CRX obligated them to do.[60]Ibid., pp. 168-169.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

After only two months of the Polish organized expulsions, the operation had become so chaotic that officials in the reception areas had begun to press for its immediate suspension. Officials in London noted the deplorable condition in which the expellees were arriving was an observable fact with which British authorities in the reception areas were struggling to cope. However, British representatives on CRX did not seek to restrict the intake of expellees to a level that could be accommodated, since such a policy would have prolonged the transfer operation into the indefinite future. Instead, CRX officials agreed to a Polish request at the end of April 1946 to increase the daily rate of transfers from 5,000 to 8,000. This decision eliminated the prospect of imposing a degree of control over the conditions under which the expulsions took place. The result was a perpetual crisis atmosphere, with increased suffering and higher mortality among the German expellees from the Recovered Territories.[61]Ibid., pp. 171, 174.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

The problem of overcrowding of the camps, the trains, and the reception areas was prevalent throughout Operation Swallow’s year-long existence. The expulsions from Poland hardly ever followed an orderly pattern. Soviet and Polish employers were often reluctant to part with their cheap or free German labor, and would often hide their German workers so that they would not be expelled according to plan. A more common problem was Germans who showed up at assembly camps ahead of schedule. Sometimes these Germans were forced to the camps by local Polish authorities or militia units who took matters into their own hands and cleared their districts of Germans. Other Germans, lacking ration cards or means of support, showed up at assembly camps as their only alternative to starvation. Just as often, though, Germans who had already resigned themselves to leaving Poland decided that the sooner they arrived in postwar Germany the better.[62]Ibid., pp. 174-176.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

The assembly camps themselves were no safe haven for the German expellees. The British ambassador who visited an assembly camp at Szczecin in October 1946 stated, “Since I have been promoted to ambassador I have smelt many nasty smells, but nothing to equal the immense and over-powering stench of this camp.” The ambassador advised the camp commandant that this assembly camp at Szczecin should be closed down, fumigated, and repaired.[63]Ibid., pp. 178-179.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

The assembly camps became centers of hunger and disease, and the resulting mortality was on a significant scale. During the month of January 1947 alone, 52 inmates at the Gumience camp in Szczecin died “mainly through undernourishment but [in] one or two cases…also through frost-bite.” Ninety-five inmates died of disease in one month at the Dantesque facility at Swidwin, which lacked water, heat, bedding, intact roofs, and medical supplies. Nearly 3,500 cases of illness were reported in this camp during the same month.[64]Ibid., p. 179.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

Expulsions from Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia

Since Hungary was an ex-enemy state, the ACC issued directives concerning expulsions rather than engaging in discussions with the interim Budapest government. The first expulsion of Germans from Hungary, the so-called Swabians, was ordered to be made on Dec. 15, 1945, to the American zone. Contrary to the government’s plans, the first group of deportees from Hungary had in some cases been given no more than 10 minutes notice of their removal. The system of medical screening prior to departure broke down and was abandoned, and the train took nearly three days to cover the 160 miles between Budapest and its initial stop in Vienna. Since no food had been provided for the journey, the passengers were seriously affected by hunger. Taking all the various breaches into account, inspectors who met the train in the U.S. zone concluded that the transport had taken place under inhumane conditions.[65]Ibid., pp. 166-167.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

The expulsion operations from Hungary continued in a disorganized and inhumane manner. The promised transit camps were never built; instead, villages were designated as assembly areas from which expellees could be sent. Trains were routinely dispatched without food for the passengers, and no notice of any kind was provided before the appearance of many transports in the U.S. zone. Only 15 trains, many of which were in deplorable condition, were available for the operation. Gen. Lucius Clay said that “a majority of Swabians arriving in the U.S. Zone are for all intents and purposes destitute and penniless.” In a March 1990 resolution, the Hungarian Parliament admitted that the expulsion of the Swabians from Hungary was an “unjust action.”[66]Ibid., pp. 210-211, 356.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

For the two smallest expelling countries, Romania and Yugoslavia, all removals of Germans were by definition “wild expulsions” since the Allies never asked these nations to expel their ethnic Germans into occupied Germany or Austria. Uniquely, the Romanian government never formally demanded expulsion nor issued an expulsion decree against its German minority. In fact, the Romanian government in January 1945 formally protested the first move by the Soviet military authorities to expel Romania’s ethnic Germans.

However, the Soviet military required the Romanian government to round up all ethnic German males between the ages of 18 and 45, and females between 18 and 30, for transportation to the Soviet Union as slave laborers. In the predawn hours of Jan. 11, 1945, combined Soviet and Romanian patrols began roundups requiring deportees to be ready within 15 minutes with sufficient food and clothing for 10 days. Up to 75,000 Germans were removed from Romania by these means. Other Germans were taken into internment camps to facilitate the redistribution of their property.[67]Ibid., pp. 110-112.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

After the Soviets took control of the Romanian government in March 1945, a pair of decrees forfeited ethnic Germans’ real property to the state and stripped most ethnic Germans of their Romanian citizenship. The new Romanian government denied the Red Cross the right to extend charitable assistance to the Germans “on the ground that these people had lost Romanian nationality.” Romania’s Germans were officially classified as illegal immigrants, and ethnic Romanians began living in the Germans’ former homes.

The ICRC reported that returning German deportees “generally camp out in the open air or in cellars and sometimes they have nothing to eat but what they can grow in the fields.” The ICRC also reported that the Germans who had escaped deportation “have literally been put out into the street….Usually, their houses were given to Gypsies who, often, employ the former owners as domestic servants.” Deprived of the means of existence, the Germans were in the position of having been constructively expelled from Romania. By August 1945, substantial numbers of Germans from Romania had made their way to Germany and Austria, most having arrived in a very poor state of health.[68]Ibid., pp. 112-113.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

Romania was the first expelling country to intern her German minority. By June 1946, so many Germans had been expelled that Romania reported to the Red Cross that all of Romania’s internment camps had been closed. The expulsion of the Germans had an adverse effect on Romania’s agricultural production. An Allied officer who toured the Romanian countryside where the Germans had been deported found “large areas of valuable agricultural land…just lying idle. Glasshouses producing tomatoes, lettuces and other crops were likewise in a state of abandonment and in some cases would need quite a fair amount of capital to renew and repair the damages caused by the winter frosts.”

A Reuters journalist who interviewed the native Romanians of the region in 1946 reported: “[A]ll said that they sympathized with the Saxons [Germans] and were sorry that they had their land property confiscated under agrarian reform, since this land had been given to Gypsies to purchase support for the government, and the Gypsies were very lazy and left the land uncultivated.”[69]Ibid., pp. 153, 278-279.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.)

The Germans in Yugoslavia were subject to exceptionally brutal treatment and expulsions. They were dispossessed of all their property by law. The internment camps erected for Germans by the Tito government in Yugoslavia were decidedly not mere assembly points for group expulsion; rather, they were consciously and officially recognized as extermination centers for many thousands of ethnic Germans. There was little or no food or medical care in the internment camps, and internees were left to starve to death or perish from rampant disease. The primary purpose of these internment camps appears to have been to inflict misery and death on as many ethnic Germans as possible.[70]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, pp. 99-100.

The Tito regime in November 1944 issued an edict that provided for the internment of all Yugoslav Germans except those who had played an active part in the struggle against Nazi occupation. The internment camps in Yugoslavia for Germans are widely considered to be the worst of all the expelling nations. The British Embassy in Belgrade, which secured the release of a Canadian woman with dual nationality in the summer of 1946, reported that her food ration at the Ridica labor camp “consisted of watery soup, and 200 grams of maize bread, of so rock-like a consistency that it had to be soaked in water to be edible….At the end of January, [she] was transferred to the internment camp at Krusevlje, where work was not compulsory and where consequently the food consisted of two wooden spoonfuls of maize porridge a day and nothing else. In this camp there was a mortality rate, especially among children, as high as 200 a day.” The embassy noted that this account was consistent with other reports it had received from various sources concerning the Yugoslav internment camps for Germans.[71]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 136, 145.

In a dispatch that was circulated to Attlee’s cabinet, the British Embassy in Belgrade reported in 1946 that “conditions in which Germans in Yugoslavia exist seem well down to Dachau standards.” The embassy staff added that there was little to be lost by placing these facts before the public “as it will hardly be possible for the position of those that are left in camps to deteriorate thereby.” The British Embassy further stated that the “indiscriminate annihilation and starvation” of the Yugoslav Volksdeutsche “must surely be considered an offense to humanity” and warned that “if they have to undergo another winter here, very few will be left.”[72]Ibid., p. 151.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 136, 145.)

Yugoslavia had to dissolve several camps—notably Backi Jarak, Sekic, and Filipovo—because their mortality rates were so excessive as to render them no longer viable. The Yugoslav government took initial steps to wind down its internment operations early in 1947. In the process, the Yugoslav government began forcing its remaining German inmates to pay the Yugoslav government money to obtain their release from the camps.

According to British intelligence officers, some German inmates bought their way out of Yugoslav camps by using the services of humantrafficking networks which would pay off the camp authorities. Other German inmates paid the higher price of 1,000 dinars per person to the camp staff, who would conduct groups of about 60 inmates at night to the border. In the summer of 1947, these operations caused the number of Yugoslav Germans illegally crossing into Austria via Hungary to more than double. Rudolfsgnad, the last remaining camp for ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia, closed in March 1948, although many former inmates still had to perform slave labor in state “enterprises” or farms.[73]Ibid., pp. 153-154.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 136, 145.)

The expulsion of Yugoslavia’s ethnic Germans had a long-term adverse effect on Yugoslavia’s economy. Tito’s vice premier, Edvard Kardelj, later observed to Milovan Djilas that in expelling its ethnic Germans, Yugoslavia had deprived itself of “our most productive inhabitants.”[74]Djilas, Milovan, Wartime, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977, p. 423.

Fate of German Children in Eastern Europe

German children in Eastern Europe suffered major hardships and deprivations prior to and during the expulsion process. From August 1945, the Czech government allocated to German children under the age of six only half the allowance of milk, and less than half the allowance of barley, allocated to their Czech counterparts. German children received no meat, eggs, jam or fruit syrup at all, these being allocated entirely to children of the Czech majority.

One example of the prevailing mood in Czechoslovakia toward German children was expressed by the Prague newspaper Mladá Fronta, which ran a ferocious campaign against British proposals to provide a temporary haven for thousands of starving German children during the winter of 1945-1946. When an announcement was made that the scheme would not go ahead, the newspaper’s headline read: “British Will Not Feed Little Hitlerites: Our Initiative Crowned With Success.”[75]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.

In the Recovered Territories, food ration cards were progressively withdrawn from the entire German population. Like their parents, German children found that they were entitled to no rations at all. The head of the Szczecin-Stolczyn Commissariat thus proudly reported that since the end of November 1945, even German children under the age of two had their milk allocation withdrawn from them.

Polish laws designed to protect German children were typically never enforced. For example, a directive issued in April 1945 by the Polish Ministry of Public Security specifying that nobody under the age of 13 was to be detained was never followed. More than two years later, the Polish Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare was complaining that the regulations against imprisoning children in camps continued to be “completely ignored.” German children were illegally detained in Polish internment camps as late as August 1949.[76]Ibid., pp. 234, 236.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.)

German children experienced the worst conditions in the detention centers. Premsyl Pitter, a social worker from Prague, quickly found as he visited the Chechoslovak detention centers that the overwhelming majority of those who needed his aid were ethnic Germans. At a makeshift internment camp in Prague, Pitter discovered at the end of July 1945 “a hell of which passers-by hadn’t the faintest notion.” More than a thousand Germans, the great majority women and children, were “crowded together in an indescribable tangle. As we brought emaciated and apathetic children out and laid them on the grass, I believed that few would survive. Our physician, Dr. E. Vogl, himself a Jew who had gone through the hell of Auschwitz and Mauthausen, almost wept when he saw these little bodies. ‘And here we Czechs have done this in two and a half months!’ he exclaimed.” Red Cross officials found that the conditions at other Prague camps were no better.[77]Ibid., pp. 234-235.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.)

The youngest German children were most vulnerable to the conditions in the detention centers. Their undeveloped immune systems and lack of physical reserves left them particularly vulnerable to starvation and its attendant diseases. A credible account by a female detainee at Potulice in Poland recorded that of 110 children born in the camp between the beginning of 1945 and her eventual expulsion in December 1946, only 11 children were still alive by the later date. A high rate of infant mortality in the camps was also caused by numerous cases in which German children were denied medical care because of their ethnicity.

Investigations by the ICRC found high rates of infant mortality attributable to malnutrition to be widespread in Czechoslovakia. When the ICRC visited a detention center in Bratislava at the end of 1945, it found that every one of the emaciated infants and children was “suffering from hideous skin eruptions” and that conditions were “in general so desperate that it is difficult to find words” with which to comfort the detainees. A journalist from Obzory, who visited one of the Prague detention centers in the autumn of 1945, acknowledged that “mortality has increased to a horrifying degree” among the children. The journalist attributed the high mortality among the infants to the complete absence of infant formula and the fact that the majority of nursing mothers were too emaciated to breastfeed their newborns.[78]Ibid., pp. 234, 238-239.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.)

Authorities generally did little to shield children from the harsher aspects of camp life. Germans in Czechoslovakia typically became forced laborers on their 14th birthday, with some districts requiring labor services of those aged 10 or above. At Mirosov, in Czechoslovakia, the definition of “adult” for forced labor consisted of all inmates above six years of age. Children of 10 years of age and above were also routinely used as forced laborers in Yugoslavia. In September 1945, the ICRC complained that in the Czechoslovak camps the young male guards treated detainees with “the utmost cruelty,” with widespread beatings of children as well as adults. Many children were also subject to psychological abuse, and some children were compelled—as at Krusevlje in Yugoslavia—to witness their parents’ torture or execution at the hands of camp guards.[79]Ibid., pp. 234, 236-238.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.)

The Western Allies did not intervene to help ethnic German children in Eastern Europe since they regarded all Germans as perpetrators of World War II. The policies of the Western Allies and the expelling nations were a violation of their subscription in 1926 to the International Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which stipulated that children were to “be the first to receive relief in times of distress” without taking into account “considerations of race, nationality or creed.”

German children were also denied aid from international relief agencies like UNRRA and the International Refugee Organization (IRO) as a matter of policy. Even the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) maintained a discriminatory stance against German children, assigning priority to the children of “victims of aggression” in the provision of aid. The plight of children in the expelling countries was additionally worsened by the expropriation of German religious and charitable organizations, which caused German children in orphanages and facilities for handicapped children to lose their homes. In the long run, the only hope for most German children in the expelling countries was their expeditious removal to Germany.[80]Ibid., pp. 240-241, 244.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.)

The Resettlement of Expelled Germans in Germany

The surviving expelled Germans continued to face unimaginable hardships and suffering in Germany. The devastation of Germany by total warfare had demolished its life-sustaining resources. Industrial production in the American zone after the war had gradually risen until it reached a high of about 12% of the old normal. However, with a cut in food rations, the industrial production index had begun to decline again. On May 4, 1946, Brig. Gen. William H. Draper, Jr., the Allied Military Government director of economics, reported that industrial output in the American zone was “far below that necessary to maintain the minimum standard of living.”[81]Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 84.

By August 1945, the daily death rate in Berlin had risen from a prewar amount of 150 to 4,000, even though Berlin’s population in August [1945] was significantly smaller than before the war. In the U.S. sector of Berlin, the mortality rate for infants born in the summer of 1945 was 95%. Germany also faced an acute shortage of housing after the war. Even where houses existed, the inadequacy of water or drainage facilities in them was giving rise to the grave danger of epidemics. Because of the high proportion of sick, abused, or infirm expellees, the hospitals and asylums in Germany were full to overflowing. This was the environment into which the Allies proposed to transfer another 7 million to 8 million people.[82]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.

By September 1945, 45 makeshift reception camps had been set up in Berlin, employing barracks, schools, and any other building not already being used for other purposes. The number of expellees seeking admission to these camps greatly exceeded the spaces available. Thousands of expellees never left the station at which they had arrived, while thousands more set up improvised tent villages in city parks or woods on the outskirts of Berlin. Many expellees died of hypothermia as the weather turned colder, and the sight of corpses of people who had spent their last night outdoors became a common spectacle during the first peacetime winter in Germany. By the end of 1945, 625 camps of various kinds with a total population of more than 480,000 had been established in eastern Germany. The number of camps in the Western zones of Germany ran into the thousands.[83]Ibid., pp. 303-304, 309.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.)

Conditions in most of the expellee camps were extremely grim. The records of the occupying authorities and humanitarian bodies are replete with descriptions of overcrowded, unheated, disease-ridden, and even roofless facilities in which expellees languished for months or years. Unemployment was also a problem for the expellees. When German expellees could find work at all, it tended to be poorly paid if not positively exploitative.

As 1946 began drawing to a close, Germany continued to feel the strain of the so-called organized expulsions. Col. Ralph Thicknesse, a senior officer administering Operation Swallow, warned: “At present, we tend to regard occupied Germany as a waste-paper basket with a limitless capacity for the unwanted waste of the world. We are not convinced that this attitude is correct, either economically or politically.”[84]Ibid., pp. 185, 192, 310-312.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.)

The Western democracies generally disavowed any responsibility for the suffering that resulted from the German expulsions, which they claimed was entirely the concern of the expelling states or of the Germans themselves. Some officers attached to the Allied Military Government in Germany even stated that mass deaths among expellees were a matter of no great significance compared to the overriding objective of not offending the Soviet Union. For example, Goronwy Rees stated on Nov. 2, 1945:

It is inevitable that millions of Germans must die in the coming winter. It is inevitable that millions of the nomads who wander aimlessly in all directions across Germany should find no resting place but the grave….These facts could only be altered, if at all, by a universal effort of philanthropy which would reverse the result of the war….

The real danger of Germany at the moment is not that millions of Germans must starve, freeze and die during the winter; it is that out of their misery the Germans should create an opportunity for destroying the unity of the Allies who defeated them.[85]Ibid., pp. 286-287.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.)

While not in the majority, views like these were far from unusual.

Although most of the German expellees were Catholic, the Vatican conspicuously refrained from protesting their mass expulsion. While individual priests and bishops in the United States and central Europe vigorously condemned mass expulsions as inconsistent with the laws of God, the pope never publicly did so. Nor did the governing body of any other Christian denomination protest the mass deportations of ethnic Germans. The Christian churches were only prepared to give small-scale assistance to the expellees out of existing funds. To mount a larger appeal on behalf of the expelled Germans would have required at least a public announcement on their behalf, and this was something that none of the Christian churches was prepared to do.[86]Ibid., p. 297.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.)

Those individuals and nongovernmental organizations that sought to mitigate the ill effects of the German expulsions could make little headway. The Allies insisted that the German expellees be excluded from any form of international protection or assistance. As a result, humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross were frequently prevented from extending even minimal assistance to the German expellees.

In addition to denying food, clothing, and shelter to the German expellees, Allied policy prevented any organization from representing the expellees to the expelling states or the Allied governments in Germany. Nor was there any agency or organization to which German expellees subject to inhumane treatment could appeal. Because of this Allied policy, advocates for the expellees could do little more than attempt to raise public awareness. While advocates for the expellees enjoyed limited success in this regard, it was never enough to make a difference in the way in which the expulsions were conducted. None of the expelling or receiving governments was ever compelled by the pressure of public opinion to abandon or modify a policy on which they had previously decided.[87]Ibid., p. 286.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.)

Freda Utley describes the treatment of the German expellees in Germany:

Many of the old, the young, and the sick died of hunger or cold or exposure on the long march into what remained of Germany, or perished of hunger and thirst and disease in the crowded cattle cars in which some of the refugees were transported. Those who survived the journey were thrust upon the slender resources of starving occupied Germany. No one of German race was allowed any help by the United Nations. The displaced-persons camps were closed to them and first the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and then the International Refugee Organization (IRO) [were] forbidden to succor them. The new untouchables were thrown into Germany to die, or survive as paupers in the miserable accommodations which the bombedout cities of Germany could provide for those even more wretched than their original inhabitants.

How many were killed or died will never be known. Out of a total of 12 million to 13 million people who had committed the crime of belonging to the German race, 4 million or 5 million are unaccounted for. But no one knows how many are dead and how many are slave laborers….

The estimate of the number of German expellees, or Flüchtlinge as the Germans call them, in rump Germany is now 8 million or 9 million. The International Refugee Organization (IRO) takes no account of them, and was expressly forbidden by act of Congress to give them any aid. It is obviously impossible for densely overcrowded West Germany to provide for them. A few have been absorbed into industry or are working on German farms, but for the most part they are living in subhuman conditions without hope of acquiring homes or jobs.[88]Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, pp. 202-203.

American aid in the form of the Marshall Plan eventually helped to improve conditions in Germany. The famous “economic miracle” made possible by the Marshall Plan achieved two important goals: rapid economic recovery and the integration of millions of expellees into the German economy. The expellees had many years of pain behind them; now they could rebuild their lives and have a chance to begin anew. Unfortunately, even in 1949 many of the German expellees still had to live in group housing.[89]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 130.

Freda Utley writes of the discrimination expellees faced in obtaining adequate housing:

Although the number of displaced persons in Germany is continually diminishing and many of the camps are half empty, the Germans are not allowed either to regain possession of the many houses, barracks, and other buildings occupied by the DP’s, or to place their own refugees in them. Exact information is not available since the German authorities are not allowed to enter the DP camps but, according to the estimate of the Bavarian Minister for Refugees, between 24,000 and 28,000 beds are now unoccupied. While this accommodation is wasted the German refugees are crowded into unsanitary huts and other accommodation unprovided with the most elementary comforts and decencies, and frequently have to sleep on the floor.

In the Dachau camp near Munich I found 50 or more people—men, women and children—to each wooden hut 26 x 65 feet in size. There were no partitions, but the inmates were using some of their precious blankets to screen off their cubicles. The huts were cold and damp. It was raining and one woman with a little girl suffering from a bad cold showed me the wall behind their bed where the rain seeped through.

Four hundred people at Dachau shared one washroom and one outdoor latrine and there was no hot water. No one had any linen or sheets, and some had neither shoes nor overcoats.[90]Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, pp. 203-204.

One positive result of the expulsions is that within an incredibly few years, the German expellees had become effectively integrated into the larger society in both West and East Germany. Instead of becoming terrorists in order to force the return of their homelands, the expellees preferred to take the path of peace and reconstruction. They renounced revenge and retaliation and made a decisive contribution to the West German economic miracle by means of hard work and sacrifice. It should be noted that the expellees’ public expression against revenge did not merely stem from a condition of weakness. It has been maintained ever since, and remains as Germany has become a respected political and economic power.[91]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, pp. 135-137.

The hard work and sacrifice of the German expellees was duplicated by Germans already living in Germany. With an incredible will and energy, Germans set out to rebuild their country. Admiring the hard work of German women, one American exclaimed: “Did you ever see anything like it! Aren’t those German women wonderful?” Another American said: “I used to think that it was only in China you could see women working like that; I never imagined white people could do it. I admire their guts.”[92]Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, p. 37.

However, the fact that the German expellees quickly integrated into German society should not be viewed as a kind of retrospective vindication of Allied policy. The costs of the expulsions were all too apparent. Many hundreds of thousands of German expellees, most of whom were women and children, had lost their lives. Millions more of the expellees were impoverished, without the assets they had lost in the expelling countries necessarily enriching those who took possession of them. The economies of entire regions were disrupted, and the surviving expellees suffered tremendous hardships both during and after the expulsions. Tens of thousands of German women who had been repeatedly raped had to bear the physical and psychological scars for their entire life. The legacy of bitterness, recrimination, and mutual distrust between Germany and her neighbors from the expulsions still lingers to this day.[93]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 302, 364.

Closing Thoughts on German Expulsions

Since the German expulsions were not given adequate press coverage, most people in the United States and Great Britain did not know there were any expulsions at all. However, it was undoubtedly AngloAmerican adherence to the principle of population transfers that made the catastrophe of the German expulsions possible. The Allies had knowingly pursued a policy that would cause great suffering to the expellees, so as to generate an “educational” effect upon the defeated German population. Late in 1947, the ACC asked U.S. officials who had administered the transfers how these transfers might be better managed in the future. The U.S. officials stated that on the basis of their experience with mass expulsions:

We recommend that the Control Council declare its opposition to all future compulsory population transfers, particularly the forcible removal of persons from places which have been their homes for generations, and that the Control Council refuse, in the future, to accept into Germany any persons so transferred, excepting only repatriated German prisoners of war and persons who were formerly domiciled in Germany.

In formulating this recommendation…we have considered the moral and humanitarian aspect of the injustices done to masses of people when an element of a population is forcibly uprooted from long-established homes, has its property expropriated without redress, and is superimposed upon another population already suffering from hunger, insufficient shelter, lack of productive employment and want of social, medical and educational institutions. We have considered that any course of action other than that recommended above would be to invite just condemnation on grounds of economic, social and religious injustices to the persons being transferred, to the present population of Germany and to the populations of nations surrounding Germany.[94]Ibid., p. 363.
(Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 302, 364.)

Albert Schweitzer also expressed strong opposition to the German expulsions. Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Nov. 4, 1954, he made an appeal to the conscience of mankind to repudiate the crime of mass expulsions:

The most grievous violation of the right based on historical evolution and of any human right in general is to deprive populations of their right to occupy the country where they live by compelling them to settle elsewhere. The fact that the victorious powers decided at the end of World War II to impose this fate on hundreds of thousands of human beings and, what is more, in a most cruel manner, shows how little they were aware of the challenge facing them, namely, to reestablish prosperity and, as far as possible, the rule of law.[95]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 149.

The fate of the German expellees has been ignored in most universities and high schools. The extreme hardships and suffering the expellees experienced have been pushed aside, if not totally forgotten. People have thus been deprived of an important history lesson: mass expulsions are almost invariably unjust and inhumane. Historian R.M. Douglas states:

The most important lesson of the expulsion of the Germans, then, is that if these operations cannot be carried out under circumstances in which brutality, injustice, and needless suffering are inevitable, they cannot be carried out at all. A firm appreciation of this truth, and a determination to be guided by it at all times and in every situation, however enticing the alternative may momentarily seem, is the most appropriate memorial that can be erected to this tragic, unnecessary, and, we must resolve, never to be repeated episode in Europe’s and the world’s recent history.[96]Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 374.

Footnotes

[1] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

[2] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 162.

[3] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 108.

[4] Ibid., pp. 108-109.

[5] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 83.

[6] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, pp. 109-110.

[7] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

[8] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 145.

[9] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

[10] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

[11] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 110.

[12] Ibid., pp. 110-111.

[13] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.

[14] Ibid., p. 87.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., p. 35.

[17] Ibid., p. 37.

[18] Russell, Bertrand, The London Times, Oct. 23, 1945, p. 5.

[19] Keeling, Ralph F., Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 13.

[20] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 93.

[21] Ibid., pp. 94-95.

[22] Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 214-215.

[23] Ibid., p. 215.

[24] Ibid., pp. 216-217.

[25] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 103.

[26] Ibid., pp. 109-110.

[27] Davies, Norman and Moorhouse, Roger, Microcosm, London: Pimlico, 2003, p. 422.

[28] Demetz, Peter, Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-1945, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008, p. 235.

[29] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 134.

[30] Douglas, R.M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 96.

[31] Ibid., pp. 98-99. See also MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.

[32] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.

[33] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 97

[34] Ibid., pp. 97-98.

[35] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 131.

[36] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, p. 241.

[37] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 128.

[38] Ibid., pp. 126-127, 131.

[39] London Daily Herald, Aug. 24, 1945.

[40] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.

[41] Ibid., pp. 117-118.

[42] Ibid., p. 118.

[43] Ibid., pp. 118-119.

[44] Wales, Henry, Chicago Tribune Press Service, Nov. 18, 1945.

[45] Ziemke, Earl, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1975, p. 435.

[46] New York Times, Dec. 16, 1945.

[47] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 124-125.

[48] Ibid., pp. 125-127.

[49] Ibid., pp. 159-161.

[50] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 115.

[51] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 25-26.

[52] Congressional Record, Dec. 4, 1945, p. 11554, and New York Daily News, Oct. 8, 1945.

[53] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 94-95.

[54] Ibid., p. 95.

[55] New York Times, Monday, Feb. 4, 1946, “Abroad: As UNO Prepares to Settle in this Neighborhood.”

[56] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, p. 109.

[57] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 166-167.

[58] Ibid., pp. 188-189.

[59] Ibid., pp. 167-168.

[60] Ibid., pp. 168-169.

[61] Ibid., pp. 171, 174.

[62] Ibid., pp. 174-176.

[63] Ibid., pp. 178-179.

[64] Ibid., p. 179.

[65] Ibid., pp. 166-167.

[66] Ibid., pp. 210-211, 356.

[67] Ibid., pp. 110-112.

[68] Ibid., pp. 112-113.

[69] Ibid., pp. 153, 278-279.

[70] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, pp. 99-100.

[71] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 136, 145.

[72] Ibid., p. 151.

[73] Ibid., pp. 153-154.

[74] Djilas, Milovan, Wartime, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977, p. 423.

[75] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 233-234.

[76] Ibid., pp. 234, 236.

[77] Ibid., pp. 234-235.

[78] Ibid., pp. 234, 238-239.

[79] Ibid., pp. 234, 236-238.

[80] Ibid., pp. 240-241, 244.

[81] Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 84.

[82] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 198, 303.

[83] Ibid., pp. 303-304, 309.

[84] Ibid., pp. 185, 192, 310-312.

[85] Ibid., pp. 286-287.

[86] Ibid., p. 297.

[87] Ibid., p. 286.

[88] Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, pp. 202-203.

[89] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 130.

[90] Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, pp. 203-204.

[91] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, pp. 135-137.

[92] Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regnery, 1949, p. 37.

[93] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 302, 364.

[94] Ibid., p. 363.

[95] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 149.

[96] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 374.

Chapter Seven • History’s Most Terrifying Peace • 15,500 Words

Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies marked the end of a long nightmare for German citizens and the beginning of an uncertain future. Most Germans assumed that as bad as the coming weeks and months might be, the worst of their death and suffering was behind them. However, although World War II was history’s most catastrophic and destructive war, the death and suffering of Germans increased after the end of the war. What lay ahead for Germany was, as Time magazine later phrased it, “history’s most terrifying peace.”[1]Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. XII.

Allies Warn Germany of Terrifying Peace

Numerous writers had warned of the terrible consequences that Germans would face if Germany lost the war. In his widely read book Germany Must Perish, Theodore Kaufman wrote:

This time Germany has forced a total war upon the world. As a result, she must be prepared to pay a total penalty. And there is one, and only one, such total penalty: Germany must perish forever! In fact—not in fancy!…The goal of world-dominion must be removed from the reach of the German and the only way to accomplish that is to remove the German from the world….There remains then but one mode of ridding the world forever of Germanism—and that is to stem the source from which issue those war-lusted souls, by preventing the people of Germany from ever again reproducing their kind.[2]Kaufman, Theodore N., Germany Must Perish! Newark, NJ: Argyle Press, 1941, pp. 6-7, 28, 86.

Kaufman concluded that all German men and women should be sterilized to eliminate Germanism and its carriers.[3]Ibid., pp. 88-89.
(Kaufman, Theodore N., Germany Must Perish! Newark, NJ: Argyle Press, 1941, pp. 6-7, 28, 86.)
Many leading American journals such as Time magazine and The Washington Post expressed strong support for this genocidal concept.[4]Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, pp. 7-8.

At the Quebec Conference in September 1944 between Roosevelt and Churchill, the Allied leaders announced the adoption of the Morgenthau Plan. Named after the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, the objective of the Morgenthau Plan was to de-industrialize Germany and diminish its people to a pastoral existence once the war was won. The Morgenthau Plan was designed to reduce the military-industrial strength of Germans forever, so that never again could Germany threaten the peace.[5]Morgenthau, Henry C., Germany Is Our Problem, New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1945. As many proponents of the Morgenthau Plan knew, adoption of this plan would result in the starvation of many millions of the German population.

The leak of the Morgenthau Plan provided Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, with strong arguments for a bitter resistance by the Germans. The horrible prospects of eternal slavery, de-industrialization, exile to Siberia, starvation, the break-up of Germany and even sterilization were portrayed to the German people by their leaders. The fear of the consequence of unconditional surrender greatly bolstered German resistance. The Germans fought even when their country had been cut in half and they had no realistic prospect of winning the war.[6]Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 28.

Until the announcement of the Morgenthau Plan, there was a reasonable possibility that Germany might surrender to American and British forces while holding the Russians at bay in the East. This could have shortened the war by months and could have averted the takeover of East Germany by Communist forces. One commentator has noted that a hidden motive behind the Morgenthau Plan was the potential communization of the defeated nation. The best way to drive the German people into the arms of the Soviet Union was for the United States and Great Britain to stand forth as champions of death and misery in Germany.[7]Kubek, Anthony, “The Morgenthau Plan and the Problem of Policy Perversion,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 1989, pp. 289, 294.

The genocidal policy promulgated by the Morgenthau Plan was also the policy of the Soviet Union. Because of the massive death and destruction caused by Germany in the Soviet Union, Germans were guaranteed to receive no mercy should the Red Army win the war. Ilya Ehrenburg, the Soviet chief propagandist, urged the Soviet soldiers to adopt a policy of total and complete extermination. Ehrenburg stated:

The Germans are not human beings….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 you kill one German, kill another—there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days. …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.[8]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, pp. 65-66.

Ehrenburg remained true to his uncompromising line of hatred and revenge as Soviet troops flooded into Germany. On Jan. 30, 1945, Ehrenburg wrote: “The soldiers who are now storming German cities will not forget how the mothers of Leningrad pulled their dead children on sledges….Berlin has not yet paid for the sufferings of Leningrad.”[9]Quoted in Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 151.

Ehrenburg’s calls for revenge were echoed by Soviet generals in orders to their troops as they prepared for the final onslaught on Germany. When Marshal Zhukov issued his orders on the eve of the Soviet offensive in January 1945, he wrote that “we will get our terrible revenge for everything.” The statement issued by Soviet Gen. Ivan Chernyakhovsky to his troops was even more explicit: “There will be no mercy—for no one, just as no mercy was given for us. It is unnecessary to expect that the soldiers of the Red Army will exercise mercy….The land of the fascists must be made into a desert, just like our land that they devastated. The fascists must die, like our soldiers have died.”[10]Ibid.
(Quoted in Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 151.)

National Socialist propaganda had repeatedly warned of the dire consequences of unconditional surrender to the Allies. As discussed in the previous two chapters, the fate of the German prisoners of war in the West and the German expellees in the East was even worse than what most Germans had expected. Another instance in which National Socialist propaganda had underestimated the threat of unconditional surrender was the treatment of German women by Allied soldiers.

The Rape of German Women

Stalin sought to ease the fears of the Western Allies concerning Soviet atrocities against the German people by issuing the following order to his troops: “Occasionally there is talk that the goal of the Red Army is to annihilate the German people….It would be foolish to equate the German people and the German state with the Hitler clique. The lessons of history tell us that Hitlers come and go, but the German people, the German state, they shall remain.”[11]De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006,