Eisenhowers guilt?

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Eisenhowers guilt?

Post by POW » 31 Oct 2002 17:40

Is it Eisenhower to blame for the bad circumstances in the US POW-camps in Europe? What do you think?

Further I like to hear your opinion about this:
I knew that I was a soldier of an Army, which was deeply involved in car crimes. I didn't expect they ask for guilt or non guild of the single soldier. I expected that we become part of reparations, that we become the object of revenge and anger of the victor.
But I never expected, that the American victor allow, to let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses.
The end of the war is a long time ago. In the meantime the German Chancellor, the French and the Amerikan President shaked their hands over war-graves in the presence of Officers of the last war. War graves which don't remind on the stench and dirt of a POW camp."

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Re: Eisenhowers guilt?

Post by Caldric » 31 Oct 2002 18:38

POW wrote:Is it Eisenhower to blame for the bad circumstances in the US POW-camps in Europe? What do you think?

Further I like to hear your opinion about this:
I knew that I was a soldier of an Army, which was deeply involved in car crimes. I didn't expect they ask for guilt or non guild of the single soldier. I expected that we become part of reparations, that we become the object of revenge and anger of the victor.
But I never expected, that the American victor allow, to let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses.
The end of the war is a long time ago. In the meantime the German Chancellor, the French and the Amerikan President shaked their hands over war-graves in the presence of Officers of the last war. War graves which don't remind on the stench and dirt of a POW camp."


So did they have Children in POW camps? Could you be more specific as to what the US Command allowed? I know some of the camps were in a shape to be considered criminal, but in truth was it intentional or uncontrollable logistics nightmare... That would be the key to knowing how much guilt should lay on Ike, although is idiotic starvation order should bare enough guilt to last a lifetime. Fortunately most did not follow the order in the US command.

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Re: Eisenhowers guilt?

Post by Roberto » 31 Oct 2002 19:27

POW wrote:Is it Eisenhower to blame for the bad circumstances in the US POW-camps in Europe?

What do you think?


I have already stated my opinion on another thread. He didn't have much of a choice, but his decision to deprive POWs of their status was still a violation of the Geneva Convention.

The fact is that in 1945 there was a worldwide shortage of food and that the transportation system in Europe was largely destroyed. Already on 14 February Eisenhower had called the attention of the Allied governments to the fact that he feared a severe shortage of food throughout Europe at the war's end. He even feared that there would be famine - and he had no food reserves to feed the Germans, the "displaced persons" and the Allied civilian population. He "urgently" requested immediate food supplies from Great Britain - this at a time when in Great Britain food was still rationed.


I translated the above from an article by German historian Rolf Steininger in: Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, 12th edition 2002 by dtv Munich, page 128.

POW wrote:Further I like to hear your opinion about this:
I knew that I was a soldier of an Army, which was deeply involved in car crimes. I didn't expect they ask for guilt or non guild of the single soldier. I expected that we become part of reparations, that we become the object of revenge and anger of the victor.
But I never expected, that the American victor allow, to let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses.
The end of the war is a long time ago. In the meantime the German Chancellor, the French and the Amerikan President shaked their hands over war-graves in the presence of Officers of the last war. War graves which don't remind on the stench and dirt of a POW camp."


I think there's a spelling error in the first sentence: it should be "war crimes" instead of "car crimes".

As to my opinion on the contents, I would first like to know who wrote the above and what instances where the Americans "let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses" the author is referring to.

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Post by POW » 31 Oct 2002 20:30

Roberto,
of course I know your opinion on this thread.

He didn't have much of a choice, but his decision to deprive POWs of their status was still a violation of the Geneva Convention.

I don't agree.

translated the above from an article by German historian Rolf Steininger in: Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, 12th edition 2002 by dtv Munich, page 128.

Yes, food was a considerable problem. But that problem was known earlier and no preventive measures were taken. After masses of German surrendered it was too late.

I think there's a spelling error in the first sentence: it should be "war crimes" instead of "car crimes".

I made a fault indeed. I'm sorry.

As to my opinion on the contents, I would first like to know who wrote the above

A former POW of Remagen-Sinzig

what instances where the Americans "let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses" the author is referring to.

The experience of the person I mentioned above.

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Post by Roberto » 31 Oct 2002 23:15

POW wrote:Roberto,
of course I know your opinion on this thread.

He didn't have much of a choice, but his decision to deprive POWs of their status was still a violation of the Geneva Convention.

I don't agree.


Das ist Ihr gutes Recht.

POW wrote:
translated the above from an article by German historian Rolf Steininger in: Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, 12th edition 2002 by dtv Munich, page 128.

Yes, food was a considerable problem. But that problem was known earlier and no preventive measures were taken.


An interesting contention.

Is there any documentary evidence that the US High Command foresaw this problem at a time when it could have taken measures to avoid it, yet failed to do so?

POW wrote:
what instances where the Americans "let children and cripples die agonizingly by hunger, cold and illnesses" the author is referring to.

The experience of the person I mentioned above.


If the author was a former POW who narrated his experiences at the Remagen-Sinzig camp, I presume that by "children and cripples" he meant POWs below the age of 18 and such who were badly wounded.

The conditions that initially prevailed at these camps along the Rhine, as I pointed out on the other thread, were an unexcusable American war crime, in my opinion.

While Eisenhower could have justified his later breach of the Geneva Convention by depriving POWs of their status with the need to secure food supplies for the civilian population, there is no justification for what happened at these camps.

[...]However, the papers do show that some of the camps, particularly the transit camps that became known as the Rheinwiesenlager,7 were initially lethal, with thousands of German POWs dying, and that these deaths were the responsibility of the American government. While the final toll of the American transit camps was far from that alleged by Bacque, it still could have reached 56,000 dead (lines 232 and 233). Detailed statistical studies by the German Maschke Commission set up to determine the fate of German POWs arrived at a figure of 4,537 dead for the most deadly Rheinwiesenlager camps (line 229). Other estimates in this range are also available (lines 228, 230 to 231).[...]


Source of quote:

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rummel/SOD.CHAP13.HTM

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Post by POW » 01 Nov 2002 13:27

Roberto,
yesterday time didn't allow a long reply. So I like to explain today why I said: "I don't agree".

It must be said again, that he American forces didn't came to Germany to liberate the people but to conquer Nazi-Germany. Not just the Nazi organizations and Waffen-SS, but the whole German Army was considered as Nazi-Wehrmacht. That explains the bad feelings of the GI's toward the German prisoners of war. The bad feelings increased through propaganda, infringement against US soldiers (like Malmedy) and when the Concentration Camps were liberated. That caused these actions like in Remagen-Sinzig:
The former guard Captain Martin Elias B. stated:
"Major Cohen drove with his jeep on the main street through the camp. In his right hand he had a microphone and the speakers, which were mounted in the rear of the car, were switched on. "Are you hungry?", Major Cohen cried into the microphone. He paid no attention to the pitiful echo -"Yes"- out of some cages but cried immediately his answer: "You can be happy. Very soon you are not hungry anymore. Because you kick the bucket. And this is what I wish to you Nazi assholes." I was shocked."
Of course many good deeds of GI's are reported by former prisoners as well. The attitude of the single soldier caused actions of indifference and violence or humanity. This must be taken in consideration when we like to paint a picture about the Rheinwiesenlager. Just to sum up: The former prisoners were treated very bad by their US guards. Most sympathy they got from the black US soldiers.

The high command knew that they will get a lot of German prisoners. Why no preventive measures were taken? Indifference again? A victory over Nazi-Germany was important. The fate of the Nazi-Army wasn't important. General Dwight D. Eisenhower declared in Washington, that he will be hard on the Germans. But none knew what to do with the defeated Wehrmacht. This helplessness didn't count for Eisenhower only. The European Advisory Commission did nothing at all - much to the disappointment of Henry Morgenthau. He had very concrete ideas on how to treat the Germans. Roosevelt agreed: "We have to be hard on the Germans and I mean the German people and not just the Nazis. Either we have to castrate the German people or we have to treat them in some way that they will stop to give birth to people who act like in the past." Eisenhower didn't care. That were politics and he was a soldier. He was interested in how to defeat the German Army. The German prisoners? Well, when the remains of Germany will become a agrarian state in which maximal 60% of the Germans will survive, whether the prisoners die or survive is makes no difference. In February 1945, about 2 million soldiers of the western Allies were in German captivity. Eisenhower said to his friend General S. Hughes: "We have to look out. Our boys are hostages in Hitler's hands. After we liberated them we can treat the Krauts in a different way."

The problem of captivity was already known in 1943 after the capitulation of the Afrika-Korps. Eisenhower disliked the idea to take care for about 300.000 prisoners. The prisoners slow down his plans cause they needed guards and supply. He complained that he don't know what to do with the prisoners. They don't teach that at the academy. In a letter to George C. Marshall he wrote: "What a pity we didn't kill more."

A former German POW stated: "I think Eisenhower and his criminal stupidity is guilty on the death of thousands of prisoners. You will not hear much of the prisoners who survived his camps because they died some years later due to the hardship. Until today German Generals get accused because they were not in the position to think political. The same counts for Eisenhower. The other way was shown by Patton. Of my unit, the Heeress-Artillerie Abt. mot. 736 (21 cm Mörser), most were at home some weeks after the war ended thanks to General Patton."
Why didn't Eisenhower act like Patton? Patton solved the problem his own way. Germans without weapons were not interesting to him. He wanted to reach as fast as possible the heart of Germany and disliked to leave guards behind. So he destroyed the weapons and let the disarmed Germans go. With this he acted against official orders - not the first time in his career.

Eisenhower was very different. He liked to "reside" and for this the castles in France were just good enough. From Africa he ordered oranges for breakfast and Whisky from the States. From time to time he flew from his headquarter in Reims to Cannes. No relaxing-trip to the Cote d'Azur without his love Kate Summersby. While sharing his bed with Kate Summersby, it wasn't an obstacle to write love letters to his wife he called "Mammie".

Altogether we have judge Eisenhower different. He was not just the US-hero of the 2. World War. The son of a farmer was a democrat, convinced, due to his views of justice, that dictatorships must be destroyed. Same to Stalin, Bulganin and Chruschtschow. After J.F.Kennedy became President of the USA, Eisenhower said in his last speech to the Congress: "As the strongest, most influential and most productive country of the world we have to use our leadership always in the interest of world peace."

Conclusion: The reason why I don't agree to your statement: "He didn't have much of a choice" is, he had a choice. He was indifferent toward German POW's.
The reason why I disagree to the second part of your statement: "but his decision to deprive POWs of their status was still a violation of the Geneva Convention." is, he is not the only one to blame for it. The DEF and SEP status was introduced after it was too late to take care for the prisoners. The decision to deprive POWs of their status was the final act not to - I don't know a translation for this German phrase which matches perfect - "das Gesicht verlieren".

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Post by walterkaschner » 01 Nov 2002 20:33

POW wrote:

The decision to deprive POWs of their status was the final act not to - I don't know a translation for this German phrase which matches perfect - "das Gesicht verlieren".


The English expression is literally the same as the German - "to lose face."

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by POW » 01 Nov 2002 20:47

Thank you very much Mr. Kaschner. I didn't know if that phrase can be used in English also.

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Eisenhower's Crimes

Post by Kaisertreue » 01 Nov 2002 20:49

Eisenhower's crimes have already been documented to death by James Bacque, in his excellent books: "Other Losses" and "Crimes and Mercies".
Eisenhower was under orders from Roosevelt, Morgenthau and other unnamed individuals in the US socio-political hierarchy to 'punish' the Germans for what they did to the Jews; a task he carried out with relish.
How many died is clearly unknown, but suffice it to say that there were 73 million Germans in 1939 (excluding Austrians) and around 60 million in 1950 - do the maths.

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Re: Eisenhower's Crimes

Post by Charles Bunch » 01 Nov 2002 20:58

Der Alte wrote:Eisenhower's crimes have already been documented to death by James Bacque, in his excellent books: "Other Losses" and "Crimes and Mercies".
Eisenhower was under orders from Roosevelt, Morgenthau and other unnamed individuals in the US socio-political hierarchy to 'punish' the Germans for what they did to the Jews; a task he carried out with relish.
How many died is clearly unknown, but suffice it to say that there were 73 million Germans in 1939 (excluding Austrians) and around 60 million in 1950 - do the maths.


And Bacque's errors have been exposed by a group of scholars who examined his claims.

THe percentage of German POWs who died under US supervision was nearly identical to the percentage of US troops who died under Nazi supervision.

This has all been covered exhaustively in this forum.

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Re: Eisenhower's Crimes

Post by Caldric » 01 Nov 2002 21:00

Der Alte wrote:Eisenhower's crimes have already been documented to death by James Bacque, in his excellent books: "Other Losses" and "Crimes and Mercies".
Eisenhower was under orders from Roosevelt, Morgenthau and other unnamed individuals in the US socio-political hierarchy to 'punish' the Germans for what they did to the Jews; a task he carried out with relish.
How many died is clearly unknown, but suffice it to say that there were 73 million Germans in 1939 (excluding Austrians) and around 60 million in 1950 - do the maths.


Bacque is a liar and one of the worse historians of the era. The Germans themselves have studied the events as Roberto makes mention above, I recommend you take a look at the German commission before putting any weight into Bacque.
Last edited by Caldric on 01 Nov 2002 21:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Caldric » 01 Nov 2002 21:08

Also wondering where the children come from in a POW camp, unless the Children are the ones Hitler and the Nazi leadership sent into battle as practical cannon fodder for a lost war.

Unfortunately they put on a uniform and at that point were no longer children but soldiers. That is not the Allied Armies fought but the guilt is with the Germans and Nazi leadership for continuing a hopeless war and even sending their very children to die for a long dead war.

Although they could be seperated and sent the hell home, if they would.
Last edited by Caldric on 01 Nov 2002 21:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by POW » 01 Nov 2002 21:08

Please let the book "Other Losses" out of this thread. Bacques statements about approx. 1 million casualties hold no historical survey. I think Mr. Bacque can hardly believe his own numbers and stories about mass graves. Or for what reason he posted this ad?:
Wer kann aus erster Hand Angaben machen über die Gräber der toten Kriegsgefangenen in amerikanischen Lagern in Deutschland 1945? Bitte schreiben Sie an: James Bacque, c/o Stoddart Publishing, 34 Lesmill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B2T6

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Post by POW » 01 Nov 2002 21:28

I notice people are wondering where the children came from. All people wearing a uniform were send to a camp. Stationmaster, pathfinder, Flakhelfer, Hitlerjunge, Rot-Kreuz-Schwestern, Wehrmachtshelferinnen etc.
If you had bad luck and your occupation was crane operator (Kranführer), mountain guide (Berg führer) or something similar you were send to a camp for war criminals. All Führer in Germany were dangerous. Today it sounds funny but it wasn't fun that time.

And when you had the bad luck to become a soldier with 16 years in the last weeks of the war, it is OK to act against the Haague Land War Convention and the Genevea Convention as well. You have to keep these dangerous boys for some month until they nearly die and the guilt is with the Germans and Nazi leadership.

Warning: Some sarcasm in this message.

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Post by Caldric » 01 Nov 2002 21:38

Which provisions of the Hauge or Geneva convention were violated POW? Doubt you will answer but honestly want to know.

Where they lined up and shot? Was the starvation from lack of food, or was food withheld on purpose by the camp guards? Where they worked to death?

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