Eisenhower’s Death Camps

Eisenhower’s Death Camps via Paul Craig Roberts

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Eisenhower’s Death Camps

Germany’s War by John Wear, Chapter 5: Allied POW Camps https://www.amazon.com/GERMANYS-WAR-Origins-Aftermath-Atrocities/dp/0982344899/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1CODKQLIYA3ZW&keywords=john+wear+germany%27s+war&qid=1578315223&s=books&sprefix=John+Wear%2Caps%2C169&sr=1-1

World War II is often referred to as the “Good War,” a morally clear-cut conflict between good and evil.1 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

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Over most of the Western Front in late April 1945, the thunder of artillery had been replaced by the shuffling of millions of pairs of boots as columns of disarmed German soldiers marched wearily towards Allied barbed wire enclosures.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 Admiral 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 General Dwight Eisenhower. However, given General 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 Colonel 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

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

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.

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.