Suppressed, and/or little known history
“In war, truth is the first casualty.”
Aeschylus, Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC – 456 BC)
“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”
Hiram Johnson, US Senator from California (1866 – 1945)
“A multi-polar world is a very humbling prospect to Americans.”
That one is ours. As well, the custom of old, stubborn, joyless (possibly impotent) men sending young men to fight and die in avoidable wars is deeply troubling to us.
The below pic is from Lucy the shopper and homemaker.
Dear readers: here we present a somewhat challenging and controversial essay. It is offered as food for thought. A healthy skepticism of arguments for war is necessary to maintain the peace. Not everyone will be interested in its contents. Future essays will take up other subjects, so please do not despair of this blog. Thank you. As well, this is one of those “all or none” type essays (for when you have time to read it as it is quite long). If you do not finish it, you will not derive the full intended meaning of it. We may be trying to cover too much in just one essay. (This lengthy essay is more easily read on a full screen personal computer than on a hand held device.) References to various works are scattered throughout this essay.
On some historical topics (especially political and military ones), we only get a rather narrow, tunnel vision type view in the western world. Inconvenient or politically incorrect facts are often ignored or swept under the rug. This has clearly been true of mainstream (or generally accepted) history since at least the late 1930s, if not since World War I times. (Some may argue that this selective recording of history goes back to the 1860s Civil War in the USA, or even further into the past.)
Human affairs and human interactions are often more complex than first meets the eye. Simplistic, one-sided accounts of history fail to explain why various individuals or groups acted the way they did prior to and during conflicts. As well, the selective editing of historical accounts, or historiography, allows the writers of history to conceal (hide) or downplay the misdeeds (provocations, atrocities, injustices) of the various participants in that history. The victors in wartime get to write the history of their war.
We assert that for history to be as instructive as possible to future generations – in the hopes of building a more just world where war is avoided (as far as is humanly possible) – the official recorded history needs to be comprehensive, objective and balanced. Such recorded history must conform to the facts and not suppress inconvenient facts or else it will be just (self-serving) propaganda. And, despite war time propaganda, the fact is that no group of people on the earth are wholly virtuous and holy, and similarly, no group of people on the earth are wholly, completely evil. (Beware extremist thinking.)
Let’s briefly discuss some inconvenient facts about World War II and the several years prior to it. (We view the dates of the world war as 1941 – 1945, not 1939 – 1945, as prior to the US entry into the conflicts in Europe and in Asia, it was not a true world war. There were 2 significant, concurrent regional wars.)
As we can already hear the epithets (and maybe curses?) coming our way because of the contents of this essay, we offer this honest disclaimer.
Disclaimer: We are not pro-fascist. We are not apologists for either Imperial Japan or for National Socialist (Nazi) Germany. (We did not really care much for Mussolini’s shaved head.) We are not “neo-Nazi”. We do not demean the service men of Allied armed forces during World War II – but we do take serious issue with Allied political and military leaders and their decisions and actions. (end of disclaimer)
One thing to ponder from the outset is why do we still obsess on Axis war crimes? Why is so much space devoted in the written literature (and in movies and TV documentaries) about the Second World War to the Holocaust and other Axis war crimes? Is this to divert our attention away from very significant (and undeniable) Allied war crimes (atrocities)? Is it also to downplay the US’ wartime alliance with Stalin’s Soviet Union (a murderous regime diametrically opposed to Western civilization)? By way of context, if one reads the indictments (and the definition of war crimes) of the Nuremberg trials in 1946, one can clearly see that all the prosecuting countries (possibly excluding France, but the French did commit post war outrages against the Germans in their zone of occupation) ought to have been in the (defendants’) dock alongside the Germans.
The outcome of the war had some pretty dramatic consequences for most of the world. Besides destroying most of continental Europe and Japan, the result of WWII was to make large areas of the world safe for communism. The sad fact is that the only force in China to prevent a communist takeover was Imperial Japan. Nationalist Chinese forces were too weak and far too corrupt (and far too mercenary to various Chinese warlords) to forestall an eventual communist victory in China. Similarly, Stalin’s Soviet Union possessed the largest army in the world prior to WWII. Stalin was no peace loving gentleman. (1939: USSR takes eastern Poland; 1939-1940: USSR has war with Finland to take territory; 1940: USSR seizes the Baltic states, and also grabs some of NE Romania) Absent a military power in continental Europe (Germany), the USSR could not have been prevented from conquering most of Europe by the force and weight of its arms. (Do not overlook or trivialize the long proclaimed international communist goal of “worldwide revolution”.)
But, what about the outbreak of that cataclysmic war? Germany and Japan are universally condemned as solely and exclusively culpable for causing the war. Is this the whole truth?
A growing number of students and researchers of 20th century history (and myself) say this is not the whole truth.
An interesting and hard to find work discusses many causes and contributing factors to the outbreak of the war, and was published shortly after the end of the war (1947). It is Uncovering The Forces For War, by Conrad K. Grieb. This small paperback of a little more than 100 pages contains much little known or neglected information. I have a couple of copies of this book and have thoroughly highlighted one of those copies. This book is not politically correct as it paints a bad portrait of such notables as Winston Churchill, a war monger to be sure. We will quote from it liberally. I do not believe it to be a work of fiction as Grieb makes use of many verifiable sources. Here is a link to it on Amazon.
First off, how did Adolf Hitler rise to power? He did not come to power in a vacuum. The German people did not one day wake up and on a collective whim elect him and his fellow National Socialists (Nazis) to power. He opportunistically rose to power amidst the economic chaos, the social and political turmoil, and grave suffering in Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s. Let’s try go give some context to Hitler’s rise to power.
Americans have no conception of the suffering in Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Germans suffered more privation at war’s end and in the 1920s than the Americans did in their “Great Depression” of the 1930s. The blockade after WW I lasted several months and prevented the importation of foodstuffs into defeated Germany causing hunger among the civilian population. Unemployment was high, inflation was high and became hyper-inflation, homes were lost, businesses failed, the middle class’ savings were wiped out. Germany, at Versailles, had been literally dismembered, losing much territory to surrounding countries. Germany was saddled with outrageously ridiculous war reparations that it could never hope to repay. Cannot place the source now, but from memory I recall seeing something that indicated that Germany was to pay World War I reparations to the victors until 1978 – a full 60 years after the end of that war!! This unjust peace proved not to be a lasting peace.
The war guilt clause placing full culpability for the war on Germany was insult heaped on injury to the Germans. As I pointed out in the essay from early September (link at bottom), Nicholas II mobilised Russian armed forces after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand. This needlessly escalated tensions greatly and made war much more likely than if he had not done so. His rash actions also served to help the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia and thus eventually led to the brutal murders of his family and himself. But, with all the secret alliances in Europe prior to World War I and all the diplomatic duplicity, it is simplistic to blame one nation only for the outbreak of the war.
There were running street battles in German cities between the Communists and the Nationalists (Nazis and others (non-Nazi)). There was much violence and uncertainty and anxiety within German society. This was a people who had been demoralized by their defeat and the ensuing severe economic hardship they endured throughout the 1920s.
Finally, in January 1933, many industrialists, understandably fearing a communist victory, backed Hitler’s bid to become Chancellor, with the aged Paul von Hindenburg as President.
One thing to be aware of is that prior to Hitler’s rise to power, Germany had sought (at various international conferences – late 1920s and early 1930s) disarmament for the countries of Europe. No nation agreed. Yet, Germany, disarmed by the victors after WWI, had legitimate national defense concerns. With universal disarmament, all nations would be secure. The only other realistic option is for all nations to be armed (as a deterrent to aggression – sadly this deterrent is not always successful).
Here, we wish to provide some lengthy quotes from Conrad Grieb’s book, that address the economic forces and motives for war. These quotes are worth thinking about.
From p. 79:
In 1937 Hitler had said:
“Germany will enter into no more obligations to pay for her goods imports than she is capable of fulfilling. The German Government thus takes the standpoint of the respectable merchant, who keeps his orders in harmony with his power to pay.”
“We laugh at the time when our national economists held the view that the value of a currency is regulated by the gold and securities lying in the vaults of a State bank; and more especially we laugh at the theory that its value was guaranteed thereby. We have instead come to learn that the value of a currency lies in the productive capacity of a nation.”
The world financial monopoly stood aghast. If Germany succeeded in her plan of economic penetration, other nations might follow her example. (Rebellion can be contagious. lzb) The whole world would then exchange goods for goods on a basis of equality and good fellowship! No one would want to borrow, and the financial pyramid of debt, from the apex of which Almighty Finance ruled the world, would collapse! Humanity would be well fed, but the financiers would lose their power.
My handwritten remark at the bottom of this page was “This was indeed revolutionary – and more threatening than Bolshevism.”
Germany’s barter system of international trade, if it spread to more countries, would deprive the international financiers of some (much) of their profits. Indeed, one possible outcome of Hitler’s economic policies could have been the creation of a continent wide trading block that, at that time, would have been the economic superpower of the world.
From p. 82, Grieb is speaking to us, and he is not referring to Germany:
Behind the alleged motives of dictators, national pride and honour, racial and religious antipathies, external dangers, and the sedulous fostering in consequence of human pugnacity and quarrelsomeness which produce war, economic causes of a much more humble and sordid nature are always at work. But the people are led to believe that they fight to preserve national honour. Yet what honour can any nation possess when its very life depends on a ruthless economic expansion where all decent human values and the well being of the peoples of other nations are forgotten?
Let us now look beyond Germany.
One rarely sees anything in “mainstream” history texts about Polish attacks (murders, destruction of homes and businesses) on ethnic Germans within formerly German territory forcibly ceded to a newly independent Poland after WW I. These increased in 1938 -39, and contributed to Germany’s decision to invade on September 1, 1939. (One rarely hears of Hitler’s 1934 non-aggression pact with Poland which among many things gave the Poles most favored nation status for their exports to Germany.) As well, the Poles once they had been given British “guarantees” for their national security (in early 1939) adopted a very unrealistic, arrogant, and hostile attitude in negotiations with Germany over various pressing issues (mainly an overland route for the Germans to East Prussia). Also, William C. Bullitt Jr, American ambassador to France, was urging Polish authorities not to negotiate with Hitler and even to provoke him over Danzig. His “assurances” of a British and French victory in the West (being supplied by the US) would allow Poland to grab German territory in the East. (But, the incessantly repeated mantra for 70 years now is Hitler was bent on ruling the world, and he is wholly and solely responsible for the war in Europe. So much for simplistic, abridged official history.)
From Conrad Grieb’s book on p. 57 we read this:
Of this fateful spring, Karl von Weigand wrote:
“On April 25, 1939, four months before the German invasion of Poland Ambassador William Christian Bullitt called me to the American Embassy in Paris to tell me:
” ‘War in Europe has been decided upon.’
” ‘Poland,’ he said, ‘had the assurance of the support of Britain and France, and would yield to no demands from Germany.’
” ‘America,’ he predicted, ‘would be in the war after Britain and France entered it.’ ” (Chicago Herald-American, Oct. 8, 1944.)
Here is a Polish war crime. From Sept 3 to Sept 5, 1939, Poles (including Polish Jews and Bolshevik Poles), with the protection of Polish soldiers, attacked the small German town of Bromberg and killed (actually the correct term is murdered) 5,500 civilians. But, German official reports of such atrocities against ethnic Germans are ignored by mainstream historians even when those reports had Red Cross and other neutral contributors to them. (Cognitive dissonance yet, dear readers? We said above these were “inconvenient” facts. Recall how outraged many Americans (myself included) were when just 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi on Sept 11 this year.)
But let us now turn (at length) to 2 of the victors who have been given a free pass as to culpability for the outbreak of World War II.
Britain’s (European) Balance of Power doctrine (seems to have originated with the 1815 Congress of Vienna, but English interference in the Continent goes back much further) was a major driver of England going to war in September, 1939. Basically, this doctrine was to not allow any continental nation to become too powerful nor be hegemonic on the continent. Perhaps, as Wehrmacht general Erich von Manstein in his memoirs (Lost Victories) suggested, the Brits ought to have thought in terms of a “global” balance of power, and not been so quick to fight with Germany as a larger, more vicious enemy of freedom lay to the east (USSR). Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. Germany had invaded Poland 2 days prior to this, but had not declared war on England nor France. (Hitler may have wanted a free hand in the East, but he did not really want a 2 front war.)
As noted in the recent essay on the British Empire (link at bottom), the British seemed to conduct themselves under the ego-centric principle or rule of England first, and nobody else second. One possible source of British animosity towards Germany may have been the fact that German products were known for quality and the British could not compete successfully in international markets with German manufactured products. (This was true even before World War I.) Why work harder and/or smarter, if you can simply destroy your leading competitor through warfare? Far fetched you say? Perhaps not.
Among similar quotes, from p. 13 of Grieb’s book, we read referring to World War I:
T. St. John Gaffney, American Consul General at Munich at the outbreak of war in 1914, writes:
“For twenty years previous to the war, I had been an annual visitor to England, where I also had a large acquaintance with all classes of the people. I was both astonished and amused at the growth of hostility to Germany, and my English friends did not hesitate to declare to me with perfect frankness and customary English bumptuousness that it was necessary to destroy Germany or England would lose her commercial predominance in the world’s market. The question with them was purely one of trade supremacy and with English arrogance they spoke as if they required no allies to accomplish their purpose. I used to laugh at their fears and their boasts and assured them that no spirit of hostility outside trade rivalry prevailed in Germany, but my views were not taken seriously and they one and all declared that in the interest of British trade Germany must be destroyed. Little did I dream at that time of the conspiracy that England had woven to mobilize the world against the Germanic people and how she would succeed in using the blood and treasure of other nations to accomplish her criminal ambition.” —BREAKING THE SILENCE (p. 11).
Sadly, this ability to get other nations to help fight her wars was once again demonstrated in World War II, and contributed to the destruction of much of continental Europe.
Also Conrad Grieb’s book addresses the Balfour Declaration by the British which was an important factor in the eventual creation of the modern state of Israel. This declaration also played a role in bringing the US into World War I. (This is beyond the scope of this essay.) Some readers already know the details of this declaration and can understand why it is too hot an issue to be undertaken in this blog, and why this book is condemned in some circles.
However, bringing America into the First World War is crucial to consider. Without American involvement in that war, there would very likely not have been the vindictive, punitive and unjust peace of Versailles, and very possibly no second European war a mere 21 years later.
From p. 16 of Grieb’s work we read:
Again quoting Kirby Page in NATIONAL DEFENSE (p. 135):
“If the Allies had been sure that they could not count upon the eventual support of America, they would in all probability have been compelled to enter into peace negotiations by the end of 1916 or early 1917.”
And, again on p. 16, here is a very telling quote from Winston Churchill (in August, 1936 to William Griffin, editor and publisher of the New York Enquirer).
“America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn’t entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, then all those “isms” wouldn’t today be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government, and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, American and other lives.”
A Pyrrhic victory, eh, Mr. Churchill?!
From my handwritten notes at the bottom of the page from many years ago: “But, then Mr. Churchill why the British obduracy to seeking peace?! Is Britain’s pride + arrogance more important than world peace + stability?”
Before moving on, here is one more quote worth thinking about. From p. 46 of Conrad Grieb’s book (Grieb himself is speaking to us):
“Liberal democratic imperialists — liberal with the territory of any country they conquer by an aggression masked in the idealism of a crusade — set up themselves as the arbiters of the frontiers of the world, not with justice, but by force of arms.”
Might makes right?
United States’ President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), took office in March, 1933 during the “Great Depression”. He implemented a so-called “New Deal” in an attempt to get the US economy growing again and thereby creating jobs for the many unemployed Americans. FDR’s New Deal by any rational and objective measure was an abysmal failure. (FDR’s saddling business with so much uncertainty and regulations, and new government interference in the economy stifled any possible business expansion. Obama is doing the same.) While the 1936 Berlin Olympics showcased a resurgent and confident Germany, the USA was still mired in nonexistent, or at best anemic, economic growth (with continuing very high unemployment). Be aware, that in December, 1941, the US still had very high unemployment and this was nearly 9 years into Roosevelt’s time in power.
Back Door To War, The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933 – 1941, by Charles Callan Tansill (1952, Regnery, 5th printing 1971) chronicles and analyzes all the sordid machinations of Roosevelt and his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull. (We have read this hardback tome of 600 + pages.) Tansill was a professor of American Diplomatic History at Georgetown University. His book is thoroughly documented, and is based on state department correspondence and other government records of the period, and includes much official correspondence received by the US from Japanese diplomats. As well, the author was a university professor during this pre-war period and saw what was going on.
The failure of his New Deal (apparent by 1936) led FDR to a series of policy decisions and actions aimed at provoking both Japan and Germany. He expended more effort at provoking Japan than Germany, and he eventually succeeded with Japan. (By the way, the US claim of neutrality in the European war was transparently a fraud as the US was lend-leasing Britain anything and everything it wanted.) Japan only decided to attack the US after the US cut off Japan’s supplies of crucial raw materials. Japan had been paying for US oil and raw materials in the 1930s. (This cutoff of crucial materials led Japan to quickly seize the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) for its oil and minerals, and British Malaya (now Malaysia) for its rubber, in the days following Pearl Harbor.)
Here is another quote from Conrad Grieb’s book to ponder. (This war ultimatum is also discussed in Professor Tansill’s book.)
In US congressional hearings in 1946 (after the death of FDR), we read this on page 70:
“Mr. Stimson (former Secretary of War) openly states that the note sent by Secretary of State Hull on November 26, 1941, ten days before Pearl Harbor, was a war ultimatum to Japan. This is the main fact that the Democratic members of the committee sought so strenuously to keep out of the record, and actually denounced it as sheer politics and lies. This directly vindicates every statement made by non-interventionists prior to Pearl Harbor, who for years have been villified and smeared by paid agents for telling the truth. ….” (New York Daily News, March 26, 1946.)
Sound familiar? Anyone questioning the 2003 US invasion of Iraq risked being smeared as well.
One overlooked and rarely read historical document from this period is Hitler’s address to the Reichstag on December 11, 1941. Hitler was not obligated to declare war on the USA after Pearl Harbor. Treaty commitments called for Germany to come to the aid of Japan if Japan were attacked. Be that as it may, Hitler declared war on the USA to the painful surprise of his generals. In this address to the Reichstag, Hitler quite incisively places the blame for the new world war on Franklin Roosevelt, who behind the scenes had been doing much to provoke a wider war. Even back in 1939, FDR was telling France and Britain that the US would not be involved in the beginning of a European war, but would be in such a war at the end. Hitler saw Roosevelt as the villain for turning the wars in Europe and in Asia into a larger world war.
From another WordPress blogger we have the text of the address:
This text matches what I have found in other sources. Definitely a document worth reading for the student of history to gain needed context.
(When you get down many paragraphs (scroll down several screens worth), you find the paragraph that starts “And now let me speak about another world, one that is represented by a man [President Franklin Roosevelt] who likes to chat nicely at the fireside while nations and their soldiers fight in snow and ice: above all, the man who is primarily responsible for this war.”)
People may choose not to believe that Franklin Roosevelt had some, perhaps much, culpability for the world war, but the little known facts do suggest a pattern of provocative behavior on his part geared to getting the US into the war. Hitler, at one point in his speech, says that Roosevelt’s interference in European affairs given his ignorance of the realities of the situation in Europe, would be like he (Hitler) intervening in a dispute between the various states of the US. Of course, that would be inappropriate and not constructive. By the way, it also baffling that many people will say that FDR got the US through the Depression. His very flawed policies prolonged the Depression for years!
Here is another quote, from Grieb, p.53, about FDR’s behavior before the war broke out in Europe. This is after the agreement reached in Munich (September, 1938).
“President Roosevelt was first in the field to give expression to this hatred of Fascism. He had a two-fold purpose in mind: firstly, he wanted to divert American public opinion from difficult and complicated domestic problems, particularly, however, from the struggle that was going on between Capital and Labour. Secondly, by creating a war-panic and rumors of a European crisis, he wanted to induce Americans to endorse his huge program of armaments, as that program was in excess of normal American requirements. …..” Part of a letter quoted at length from Jerzy Potocki, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland (to the US), to his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in Warsaw, January 12, 1939.
Let us now consider some of the Allied atrocities committed during and after the war.
During the war, the decision was made early in 1942 in Britain to target civilian population centers. Of course the RAF would claim that it was trying to knock out military and industrial plants in Germany, but as they flew their missions at night they could not accurately locate and hit such targets with their bombs. Their bombing campaign was largely one of terror and destruction aimed at civilians living in German cities. The blood thirsty campaign is adequately described in A. C. Grayling’s book, Among the Dead Cities (2006). See one of our earliest essays for more on this (link below).
Grayling, a contemporary British philosopher and author, points out that this bombing campaign did not shorten the war as its proponents claimed that it would. This was known during the war as Germany’s industrial output actually rose in the years 1942 and 1943.
When you bomb women, children, and the aged, you are committing war crimes. (Read the indictments at Nuremberg and check their definition of war crimes.) Some may object and say that Germany did the same earlier in the war to English cities. The scale of “payback” here was outrageous and not justifiable. The British campaign under Air Marshall Arthur (“bomber”) Harris quickly became one of wanton killing and destruction. The official estimated casualty figures for such atrocities as Dresden (2/14/45), when the end of the war was clearly in sight, are absurdly low and are contradicted by eyewitnesses on the ground there (some were American POWs in German custody).
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August, 1945 were horrific in scale and in severity of death and misery inflicted upon civilians. But, “war is war” you say. My thinking has evolved over many years on these bombings. I no longer try to justify them by thinking that they may have saved many lives (on all sides) that would have been lost in an American invasion of the Japanese home islands. Do we have the right to trade some innocent lives for other innocent and/or not so innocent lives?
The plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki on 9 august 1945 was roughly 50 per cent more powerful than the uranium bomb dropped 3 days prior on Hiroshima (22.5 est. kilotons versus 15 kilotons of TNT). There is some controversy as to whether Nagasaki truly was a secondary or tertiary target that was hit because of bad weather and poor visibility over other target cities. It may have been the primary target for the plutonium bomb. Be that as it may, Nagasaki was home to much of the small Christian (Catholic) minority in Japan. School children, housewives, civilian workers, and old people were mercilessly incinerated at once, or died a horrible, painful death in the days that followed. The “lucky” ones died of various cancers over the next several years.
This was – and it needs to be said! – out of all proportion to the bombing of navy ships and airfields at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. An analogy might run like this, someone slaps (not punches) me in the face, and my response is to pull out a gun and literally blow their brains out.
This book we have not read but has been recommended to us. A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai, by Paul Glynn, Ignatius Press (San Francisco), 2009. Here is a link to it on Amazon and you can click on the customer reviews and read them.
In the final months of the war in Europe, the Red Army (USSR) went on a mass orgy of rapine the likes of which were not even seen in the days of Chingis Khan or his descendants (Batu, Hulegu, etc.). German women and girls, and other nationalities too (Austrian and Hungarian), were violently raped wherever they were found. Many women were murdered, or committed suicide in shame after being attacked. Have you heard of that? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Red Army soldier at the time, mentions this in his writings, and actually admits taking part.
Austin App (American) wrote of this shortly after the end of the war. Austin App’s disclosures on these mass rapes are all on revisionist sites. so do your own Google searches if you are interested. Why does one have to check “revisionist” sources? Do we have a choice in our quest for truth and understanding? Mainstream historians seem to go through their careers with blinders on. They are also under pressure not to dig for or reveal inconvenient facts.
After the war, the German civilians and military POWs were purposely allowed not much more than a starvation diet. Unlike in Japan, where Douglas MacArthur told Washington to give him bread (to feed the defeated Japanese) or else they had better give him bullets (to suppress an uprising based on hunger), in Germany, the policy was to punish the German civilians. (One can do research on the Morgenthau Plan.)
As well, there were rapes, assaults, and robberies committed against Germans by the “chivalrous” Americans in their zone of occupation.
Crimes and Mercies, The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944 – 1950, by James Bacque (1997, Warner Books, paperback). Have read this book and it is an eye opener. This deals with malnutrition and starving of the German population after the war and by charitable and humanitarian attempts to relieve it. (Former US president Herbert Hoover was involved in such efforts.) You can see the reviews for it on Amazon.
Other Losses (1989) also by James Bacque. Did not read this book, but it deals with the deaths of German soldiers in camps in the occupations zones of the Americans and the French after the end of hostilities. You can learn more about it at this link, and can click on the reviews to read through them.
Another relevant work:
http://www.amazon.com/Gruesome-Harvest-Ralph-Franklin-Keeling/product-reviews/1593640080 – have not read this book, but you could peruse the customer reviews.
Ethnic Germans were expelled from all the territories conquered, and occupied or controlled by the Soviets (excluding the new “East Germany”). Germans had lived in some of these territories (East Prussia, Poland (Pomerania, Silesia), Czechoslovakia, and parts of Russia itself) for hundreds of years. The forcible expulsion resulted in many lives lost. Estimates vary, but as many as 16 or 17 million Germans fled, were killed, or expelled, during the final months of the war and continuing in the early postwar years. Perhaps as many as 3 million civilians lost their lives. (Germany was dismembered for the second time in a quarter of a century.)
Did you know of the looting of German patents and intellectual property (and Reichsbank gold) by the victorious US after the war? If George W. Bush’s US military had acted similarly, the US forces would have pumped much of Iraq’s oil on to oil tankers bound for US sea ports.
Some may scoff at these atrocities and say that is what happens during wartime. But innocent non-combatants being wantonly killed (or raped or robbed and/or expelled from their homes) is a war crime even when committed by virtuous (holier than thou) British and Americans. Might does not make right.
Conclusion: There was much culpability for the outbreak of World War II. Germany and Japan are not solely at fault here. The Allies committed terrible immoral atrocities that many readers were either not aware of, or had not given serious thought to. As discussed in the earlier essay below on war crimes, the prosecution of a “just” war does not give those fighting it the “right” to use immoral means in their conduct of the war.
Here are some links to essays on this blog you may be interested in. Be sociable and share this essay with those you know who may be interested in it.
Here is one of our earliest essays:
And, here is the essay on Russia from September.
Thanks for reading. We think we are done with writing such long essays.