Eisenhowers guilt?

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viriato
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Post by viriato » 14 Nov 2002 13:30

Roberto quoted:
[According to Christof Srauss]..., between May and December 1945 some 300,000 POWs passed through the Heilbronn PWTEs, and death lists show that only 283 of them died.
283 of 300000 is less than 0.1% for a period of three quarters of an year. Annualized it would mean a 0.12% death rate. I find this number highly unreasonable and Christof Strauss should explain better why was this number incredible low (apparently) or we should have serious doubts about his research.

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Scott Smith
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n/t

Post by Scott Smith » 14 Nov 2002 14:21

test

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 14 Nov 2002 14:22

Caldric wrote:I really think it has been debated into the ground right here in this thread. :|
That's why I asked Homer if he was serious about requesting another endless debate. :D

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 14 Nov 2002 14:36

viriato wrote:Roberto quoted:
[According to Christof Srauss]..., between May and December 1945 some 300,000 POWs passed through the Heilbronn PWTEs, and death lists show that only 283 of them died.
283 of 300000 is less than 0.1% for a period of three quarters of an year. Annualized it would mean a 0.12% death rate. I find this number highly unreasonable
You may be right, but why do you find this number highly unreasonable?
viriato wrote:and Christof Strauss should explain better why was this number incredible low (apparently) or we should have serious doubts about his research.
The first thing to ask him should be where (official US records?) he got this figure from. Strauss seems to be a professor of history at Heidelberg University. I'll see if I can get in touch with him.

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Post by POW » 14 Nov 2002 16:04

You may be right, but why do you find this number highly unreasonable?
This number seems to be highly unreasonable cause that would mean, the deathrate of the prisoners was lower than of the civilians. Remembering the conditions in the camp that's very doubtful.

Beside that, the "Maschke Commission" stated, official records mention 324 death in Heilbronn. You know very well, the deathrate of the Rheinwiesenlager is estimated very low by the "Maschke Commission". Other reliable historians estimate a much higher number.
The first thing to ask him should be where (official US records?) he got this figure from. Strauss seems to be a professor of history at Heidelberg University. I'll see if I can get in touch with him.
Please keep us informed.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 14 Nov 2002 17:56

POW wrote:Marcus, since it is not possible to sign away from this board, you would do me a favour when you ban me. Thanks in advance.
So you are asking me to ban you?

/Marcus

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Post by POW » 14 Nov 2002 18:04

Marcus Wendel wrote:
POW wrote:Marcus, since it is not possible to sign away from this board, you would do me a favour when you ban me. Thanks in advance.
So you are asking me to ban you?

/Marcus
Was I unclear? Since it's your forum and I'm not welcome...yes, please ban me.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 14 Nov 2002 18:34

POW wrote:please ban me.
If you insist.

/Marcus

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 14 Nov 2002 19:26

We sure would miss your knowledge of German POW's. Your web sites are some of the best I ever seen. As Dan said I think it is just an issue of translation, I am the last that should be asking you to stay because I know what you think of me but it is an honest request. And the language barrier I think is the issue not attitudes.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 14 Nov 2002 19:29

POW wrote:You know very well, the deathrate of the Rheinwiesenlager is estimated very low by the "Maschke Commission".
Is it?

Heinsohn's Lexikon der Völkermorde (page 118) tells me that US authorities admitted to 3,053 deaths at those camps, while the surrounding communities established 4,537 corpses. It was the latter number, IIRC, that the Maschke Commission included in its report. I could be wrong, though.
POW wrote:Other reliable historians estimate a much higher number.
Guido Knopp, in his 1998 book Unser Jahrhundert -Deutsche Schicksalstage, spoke of ca. 8,000 deaths, if I well remember. The highest plausible estimate for the total of deaths in all American camps seems to be 56,000 (Albert Cowdrey of the Department of the Army's Center of Military History, cited by Ambrose and Rummel).

What other sources do you have?
POW wrote:
The first thing to ask him should be where (official US records?) he got this figure from. Strauss seems to be a professor of history at Heidelberg University. I'll see if I can get in touch with him.
Please keep us informed.
I will.

P.S.

It seems you have been banned, which I very much regret. We may nevertheless continue our conversation by e-mail, if you are interested. The address where you can reach me most of the time is:

robert.muehlenkamp@siemens.com

Best regards, and keep up the good work!

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Post by viriato » 15 Nov 2002 13:31

Roberto I tried to look for death rate tables of the time of WW2 but I didn't find any. So we have to compare to what I could gather. The example is from France and the year is 1987. In that year the male death rates for the most important groups of age (the same as the 300,000 POW's referred by Christof Strauss might had) are:

15/20 years: 0.43%
20/25 years: 0.73%
25/30 years: 0.74%
30/35 years: 0.84%
35/40 years: 1.09%
40/45 years: 1.62%
45/50 years: 2.43%

As you can see France in 1987, a developed country in the affluent post-war Europe and living in a peace envirornment with no shortage of food or medicine had death rates well above those quoted by Christof Staruss. I hope this might help you with
...but why do you find this number highly unreasonable?

Homer martin
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Death rates...

Post by Homer martin » 15 Nov 2002 22:20

viriato,
I also have been looking into the death rates and haven't so far found anything on the civil death rate for may 1945-dec 1945. But just looking into the death rates of US personal pow vs the German pows numbers posted here, and found that its almost 2-3 times more likely for a US pow to have dead than a German POW. Haven't looked at the rates in depth, but so far these death rates tend to look in the normal rates for natural causes given the time, place and cirumstances.

Here is the US national archives page on POWs

http://www.archives.gov/research_room/r ... cards.html

Given 95,016 pows taken by the Germans, there where 2523 deaths for a rate of 2.65 % which is maybe in line with the natural death rate at the time.

But these numbers are for a pow poplution with a lower age avg. than the pow age avg that the allies had taken into captivity at the end of the war; so the pow camps that where set up at the end of the war should have a higher death rate just based on the avg. age being higher.

What has to be looked into is casue of death in the camps, and age to see if the numbers fall into the natural death rate.

viriato
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Post by viriato » 16 Nov 2002 14:11

Hello homer martin,

Although I am almost sure that the death rate of the US POW's of 2,65% is above the normal (in time of peace) male death rate for the epoch I do understand that in almost every cases of war this was more or less the "rule". POW are psycologically feeble (if I may use this word), some were captured wounded, they are not as well treated as it might be expected compared to a "normal" person, etc. This too happens in a normal prision in peace time by the way. However a death rate of 2,65% I think we could have more or less "expected" if there was no serious problems of feeding the POW's and giving them appropriate medical assistance and housing.

Another poin to make is that we should perhaps annualized the death rate so we can better compare it with the one claimed by Christof Strauss. Am I erring to much if the medium time of incarceration of an US POW would have been of 18 months? If so the above quoted death rate would be in annualized terms some 1,8%.

You stated:
But these numbers are for a pow poplution with a lower age avg. than the pow age avg that the allies had taken into captivity at the end of the war; so the pow camps that where set up at the end of the war should have a higher death rate just based on the avg. age being higher.
I agree with you. So even if these POW's were well feed and had good medical assistence we should expect an higher death rate. More so if there was a problem of feeding them or housing them or giving them appropriate medical assistance as has been claimed.

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Post by Homer martin » 16 Nov 2002 15:27

viriato,

You are correct about:

Am I erring to much if the medium time of incarceration of an US POW would have been of 18 months? If so the above quoted death rate would be in annualized terms some 1,8%.

The records of the American pow camps in Germany are hidden somewhere in the National Archives, but they haven't been posted to the web; that i could find. These records would clear up a lot info about this topic. But finding hidden records in the archives are like finding needle in a haystack. Just in the pass 10 years they found some Civil War records they didn't know they had up there in DC.

If this subject is look into in depth and the records correlated; the math will tell if there is an anomaly.

The charts will have to brake down the age, cause of death and month of death.

So far just with a cursory look at the numbers I haven't seen an anomaly that stands out.

Also looking into the numbers of deaths in these camps one needs to make a chart of with the number of deaths from the day the camp opened to the day it closed based on the time a person entered the camp until the time of death, so one could tell if more deaths occured when the camp first opened when the problems of getting the item to the camp would have been the hardest.

It takes time to set up a good supply line, they just don't start over night.

This problem that is being discussed here is more of a problem for a statistician than for a historian.

/HGM

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