German POWs

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Charles Bunch
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German POWs

Post by Charles Bunch » 12 Mar 2002 21:28

Picking up some responses from this thread in the other group:

Julian wrote:

>Charles, I don't know if you are aware of this, but Ambrose is head of the Eisenhower Center which is dedicated towards the memory and foundation of Eisenhower, I imagine it would be the same as asking the head of the Adelaide Institute whether he thinks the Holocaust is a hoax.

Well, you imagine wrong, since there is a difference between an historian, and a denier who is a known liar. Furthermore, you deliberately ignore the fact that the conference included a number of other experts, American, Canadian, and German.

>I cannot judge if such a travesty occurred.

Then neither can you judge whether Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June of 1941, since the facts of history are established in both cases. It must be intellectually claustrophobic only being able to judge a matter when not required to rely on the learning of others.

>Given Eisenhower's fine tuned political instincts I would suppose not, but I certainly wouldn't deign to accept the Head of the Eisenhower Center's word as the be all and end all on the General's complicity in a war crime, or a investigation sanctioned by the said center.

The case wasn't presented as resting on Ambrose's word, a fact you are well aware of. What does that say about your position?

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Re: German POWs

Post by Charles Bunch » 12 Mar 2002 21:43

More responses from the other board:

"Koolkiller" wrote:

>Nice try, but I'm going to take the Holocaustians side here. Those killed due to the illegal policies of Eisenhower or his Superiors, after all he was the man in Europe in charge of those camps, somewhat like Himmler was in charge of the Concentration Camps, are guilty of not only war crimes, but murder.

Eisenhower's policies were not illegal. Himmler's death camps were erected for the express purpose of murdering Jews, and succeeded in murdering millions.

>There were laws and/or orders made to strip those POW's of there status, somewhat like striping the Jews of their citizenship,

Another specious, and rather mindless comparison. The POWs status was changed to ensure an equitable distribution of food to all under the Western Allies control in Germany. Jews were stripped of citizenship, their belongings, their professions, and eventually their lives, because they were Jews and National Socialism was antisemitic to the core.

>and they were forced to live in these camps and in conditions far below the status afforded to POW's far after the war was over.

They lived in conditions, with respect to food, comparable to millions of others in Germany, and many millions more in Europe. Only someone interested in proposing a falacious argument of moral equivalency would fail to note this basic fact. The Geneva Convention rules with respect to POWs intended to ensure that POWs were not singled out for mistreatment. In a situation of significant food shortage, redesignating POWs so that they didn't receive_ better_ treatment than millions of others is hardly illegal or immoral.

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Charles, I am troubled...

Post by julian » 13 Mar 2002 08:36

I was intending to take a break from the posting trail, but when I cast my eye over your excellent post I did not feel that I could deprive myself of such pleasure. I have rarely had the privilege of discovering such a fine example of the superior intellect at work, I mean Charles, what a stroke of genius to compare my admitted lack of judgement in not instantly agreeing to your view, with the dening of Operation Barbarossa, fantastic, but I am sure that you deprived yourself of the pleasure of adding a few more choice analogies, such as 'dening the sun coming up', 'dening the fact that Timbuctoo has two o's, 'dening the fact David letterman is a better host than jay leno', it could go on forever, and I'm sure with your wit it would. And I do most humbly apologise for being so in error that I would think you had relied upon Ambrose's opinion, after all I merely assumed that this exerpt :


As noted by Ambrose:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/...ities.html
"In fact, as Albert Cowdrey of the Department of the Army's Center of Military History reported to the conference, the overall death rate among German prisoners was 1 percent. Mr. Cowdrey's conclusion, strongly supported by another conference participant, Maj. Ruediger Overmans of the German Office of Military History in Freiburg (who is writing the final volume of the official German history of the war), is that the total death by all causes of German prisoners in American hands could not have been greater than 56,000."

1% was also the rate of American POW deaths in German camps during the war.

Yet another example of "revisionist" history!

was in fact relevant to your posting, very foolish I know, but I realise now that it was in fact merely window dressing, a bookend to your copius and unctuous 'stream of consciousness' ramblings, to provide the reader with some respite after the glare of brillance from your script. However I am I confess puzzled, I had assumed that the addition of :

or a investigation sanctioned by the said center

in my previous posting would have indicated I was including the conference of experts in my humble opinion, but of course therein lies my mistake, I have used 'investigation' instead of 'conference' and that is sure to put even someone of your calibre off the beaten track. I will in future take proper care to avoid further ambiguities in my postings as they concern you, as I realise that a dictionary is hard to come by, that is also known as a word - meaning book. I also hereby faithfully promise to petition Marcus to apply a new rule concerning those mendacious individuals who dare to defame Eisenhower or question your judgement, I'm sure a few loving strokes of the bastinado will prevent further outbreaks of non conformist riff raff

Yours in copius sympathy
Julian

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Post by Charles Bunch » 13 Mar 2002 17:28

>I was intending to take a break from the posting trail, but when I cast my eye over your excellent post I did not feel that I could deprive myself of such pleasure. I have rarely had the privilege of discovering such a fine example of the superior intellect at work, I mean Charles, what a stroke of genius to compare my admitted lack of judgement in not instantly agreeing to your view, with the dening of Operation Barbarossa,

Yet another example of your poor reasoning ability. It matters not whether you agree with me, what matters is whether your pronouncements agree with the facts of history, or represent biases clearly in conflict with them. To date, virtually everything you've claimed about the POW issue is contradicted by the facts, or is a deliberate distortion of them.

> And I do most humbly apologise for being so in error that I would think you had relied upon Ambrose's opinion, after all I merely assumed that this exerpt :


>>As noted by Ambrose:

>>www.nytimes.com/books/98/...ities.html
"In fact, as Albert Cowdrey of the Department of the Army's Center of Military History reported to the conference, the overall death rate among German prisoners was 1 percent. Mr. Cowdrey's conclusion, strongly supported by another conference participant, Maj. Ruediger Overmans of the German Office of Military History in Freiburg (who is writing the final volume of the official German history of the war), is that the total death by all causes of German prisoners in American hands could not have been greater than 56,000."

>>1% was also the rate of American POW deaths in German camps during the war.

>>Yet another example of "revisionist" history!

>was in fact relevant to your posting, very foolish I know, but I realise now that it was in fact merely window dressing, a bookend to your copius and unctuous 'stream of consciousness' ramblings, to provide the reader with some respite after the glare of brillance from your script.

Thank you for demonstrating that it was the opinion of Albert Cowdrey, a military historian, which was mentioned, not Ambrose's. The issue is not whether Ambrose is relevant, but whether your reply "Given Eisenhower's fine tuned political instincts I would suppose not, but I certainly wouldn't deign to accept the Head of the Eisenhower Center's word as the be all and end all on the General's complicity in a war crime, or a investigation sanctioned by the said center", misrepresented the argument, which made no single appeal to Ambrose.

Furthermore, either gentlemen's opinion carries more weight than yours, since they are professional historians who base their views on facts.

The refutation of Bacque's lies, which you traffic with no concern for truth, was provided by the list of experts listed in the original post. You're attempt to pretend that this is merely an argument from Ambrose is just more dishonesty.

But what is most missing in your reply is your inability to deal with the argument which exposes your original claims for what they are.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 13 Mar 2002 20:39

The following is my translation from a feature about prisoners of war in World War II on the website of the German Historical Museum, Berlin. The original text can be found under the following link:

http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/wk2/kriegsv ... index.html

The basis for the treatment of prisoners of war was to be the Hague Convention of 1907, according to which prisoners were to be treated humanely and "in regard to food, accommodation and clothing in the same way as the troops of the government that has taken them prisoner". The Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War of 1929 contained further provisions about a humane treatment of prisoners including the prohibition “to use them for harsh and dangerous work”. Except in Japan and in the Soviet Union these conventions were valid in all nations taking part in the Second World War.
The German command did not accord the protection of international laws of war to the 400,000 Polish soldiers who became prisoners after the assault on Poland. It took away the status of prisoners of war from the soldiers on ground that a no longer existing Polish state could not have armed forces. The prisoners could be declared civilians and used as forced laborers in the German industry and agriculture. The strictest provisions applied to them: infractions were generally punished by murder or internment in a concentration camp. The same fate awaited the about 100,000 Serbian prisoners after the conclusion of the Balkans campaign, who as so-called “Südostgefangene” (south eastern prisoners) were also used in the German economy under the worst conditions.
The conventions were generally complied with, on the other hand, in the western theaters of war. Norwegian, Danish, Belgian, Dutch and Greek soldiers were released from captivity soon after the end of hostilities. About 15,000 heavily wounded Allied soldiers were exchanged via Sweden, Spain or Switzerland against an equal number of heavily wounded Germans. About 1.6 million of the French soldiers taken prisoner during the German offensive in the West in 1940 had to do remunerated labor service in the German Reich.
After the beginning of the German assault on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht took prisoner about 3.35 million Soviet soldiers in gigantic encirclement battles until the end of the year. Until the end of the war about 5.7 million Red Army soldiers went into German captivity, which 3.3 million of them did not survive. In the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union the German command considered that it didn’t have to show any consideration to Soviet prisoners. Jews and Communist functionaries (the latter within the scope of the “Commissar Order”) were systematically singled out and murdered. With the coming of cold in the autumn of 1941 mortality soared and about 2 million Soviet prisoners of war froze to death in the improvised camps without housing or died due to inhumane treatment. The “death by hunger” taken into account by the NS regime was omnipresent, many prisoners tried to avoid it through cannibalism. Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Soviets lost their lives on transports to forced labor in Germany or succumbed to epidemics in gathering camps. About 930,000 Soviet prisoners of war survived the war in Germany. A million men had been previously released by the Germans, many of them as "Hilfswillige" in the service of the Wehrmacht, which itself was losing huge numbers of German prisoners since 1943. Until the end of the war about 11 million German soldiers were in captivity.
With the capitulation of 91.000 soldiers of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad in February 1943 and of about 130,000 soldiers of the German Africa Corps in Tunis three months later huge Wehrmacht units went into captivity for the first time. Until then there were about 100.000 soldiers in Soviet and a few thousand men in British captivity, mostly members of the navy and pilots shot down. At the end of July 1943 the “Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland (NKFD)” came into being near Moscow as an anti-National Socialist organization of German Communists in exile and Wehrmacht prisoners of war. Their attempts to induce German front line soldiers to surrender through loud speaker addresses and leaflets met with little success, however. The Western Allies also intended to encourage German soldiers to surrender, after the Allied invasion in Normandy in June 1944, with millions of red passage bills distributed from the air and containing the assurance that surrendering soldiers would be treated according to the rules of the Hague and Geneva conventions.
After the liberation of France by the Western Allies the number of Germans taken prisoner by the Anglo-Americans jumped from 200,000 in the summer of 1944 to more than a million men in the spring of 1945. Thanks to food packages of the American and the International Red Cross the German prisoners of war in prison camps in Western Europe and North America had sufficient food and their bare necessities covered otherwise. Only the mass of about 7,5 million German prisoners of war after the capitulation in May 1945 led to grievous supply difficulties. Especially in the "Rheinwiesenlager" such as Remagen thousands of German prisoners of war died of hunger and exhaustion in makeshift dugouts or in the open field.
The about 3.3 million German prisoners in Soviet captivity fared much worse. The masses of illustrated leaflets distributed from the air by the Soviets with pictures of satisfied Wehrmacht soldiers did not nearly reflect the conditions in the Siberian prison camps, in which until 1944 only one in every ten prisoners survived. After forced labor, hunger and disease about two million prisoners from the Soviet Union returned to Germany, the last of them in January 1956.

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German vs. Soviet POWs

Post by Ovidius » 13 Mar 2002 21:05

After the beginning of the German assault on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht took prisoner about 3.35 million Soviet soldiers in gigantic encirclement battles until the end of the year. Until the end of the war about 5.7 million Red Army soldiers went into German captivity, which 3.3 million of them did not survive. In the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union the German command considered that it didn’t have to show any consideration to Soviet prisoners. Jews and Communist functionaries (the latter within the scope of the “Commissar Order”) were systematically singled out and murdered. With the coming of cold in the autumn of 1941 mortality soared and about 2 million Soviet prisoners of war froze to death in the improvised camps without housing or died due to inhumane treatment. The “death by hunger” taken into account by the NS regime was omnipresent, many prisoners tried to avoid it through cannibalism. Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Soviets lost their lives on transports to forced labor in Germany or succumbed to epidemics in gathering camps. About 930,000 Soviet prisoners of war survived the war in Germany. A million men had been previously released by the Germans, many of them as "Hilfswillige" in the service of the Wehrmacht


The about 3.3 million German prisoners in Soviet captivity fared much worse. The masses of illustrated leaflets distributed from the air by the Soviets with pictures of satisfied Wehrmacht soldiers did not nearly reflect the conditions in the Siberian prison camps, in which until 1944 only one in every ten prisoners survived. After forced labor, hunger and disease about two million prisoners from the Soviet Union returned to Germany, the last of them in January 1956.


As we know, according to the customs of warfare, the treatment of one side's enemy POWs secures the treatment of own POWs in enemy's hands.

More than 3 million Soviets died of hunger and ill treatment in German captivity. More than 1 million Germans(not to mention other Axis POWs) died in the hands of the Soviets. Racial issue or not, as long as the Soviets did not compel to Geneva Convention's rules, I see no reason from them to whine about how the Germans didn't compel either. A cheater can't accuse another cheater of cheating. But, of course, in Medorjurgen/Roberto Muehlenkamp's opinion, the German side was 'more' guilty. Brilliant!

~Ovidius

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Another quote

Post by Ovidius » 13 Mar 2002 21:45

A pistol is also a last defence against capture, and soldiers of the Waffen-SS in Russia became well aware that a bullet was generally preferable to the latter fate.


Source:

http://reitersturm.tripod.com/blackguard/id18.html

~Ovidius

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 13 Mar 2002 21:51

More than 3 million Soviets died of hunger and ill treatment in German captivity. More than 1 million Germans(not to mention other Axis POWs) died in the hands of the Soviets. Racial issue or not, as long as the Soviets did not compel to Geneva Convention's rules, I see no reason from them to whine about how the Germans didn't compel either. A cheater can't accuse another cheater of cheating. But, of course, in Medorjurgen/Roberto Muehlenkamp's opinion, the German side was 'more' guilty. Brilliant!


Cool down, Ovidius. The idea of this quote was not to make more/less guilty comparisons. I posted it because I considered that the German Historical Museum had provided a concise, informative and balanced overview on the treatment of prisoners of war on all sides during World War II in Europe, and because of the passages about German prisoners in American captivity which are the subject of this thread. But as you brought it up, I think that

1. Both the treatment of Soviet prisoners by the Germans and the treatment of German prisoners by the Soviets were criminal.

2. The German crime compares unfavorably to the Soviet one in several respects:

i) The death rate: almost 60 % of all Soviet prisoners in German captivity died, more than 60 % of all German prisoners in Soviet captivity survived.

ii) The number of out-of-hand killings: about 600,000 of the Soviet prisoners who died were executed in a number of ways, mostly by Wehrmacht units.

iii) The top-level planning of the whole thing: the Nazi government and the German high command condemned millions of Soviet prisoners of war to death before the war started, within the scope of the so-called Hungerplan that envisaged the starvation death of 30 million people in the occupied Soviet territories as the “price” for feeding the Wehrmacht out of the land and granting the home front a quasi-peacetime living standard to bolster up morale.

iv) The possibilities that the Germans had of avoiding such an enormous mortality, had they wanted to. Most of the Soviet deaths by starvation and exposure occurred at a time when the Wehrmacht was at the top of its glory. The Soviet Union that had to feed 3.3 million prisoners of war, on the other hand, was a country devastated by war, where tens of millions of civilians were still living in holes in the earth years after the end of hostilities. There are even documented cases of Soviet civilians having begged food from German prisoners after the war. In comparison with other inmates of the Soviet Gulag, including but not limited to Soviet prisoners of war who had survived German captivity only to be branded as traitors, German POWs were actually somewhat better off.

As you know, I am no friend of either regime. I consider both to have been equally horrendous. But I’m a friend of making the necessary distinctions where I think they ought to be made, instead of throwing everything into one big stew.

By the way, Stalin was so scared of the Germans’ ferocity that he proposed a bilateral adhesion to the Geneva Convention in July 1941. His proposal never received a response, obviously because the Nazis saw that with such an adhesion the policies they were applying would have looked even worse than they did anyway. How an adhesion would have benefited German prisoners in Soviet captivity was a consideration that obviously did not cross the Führer’s mind.

Cheers,

Roberto

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Re: Another quote

Post by Roberto » 13 Mar 2002 22:08

Ovidius wrote:
A pistol is also a last defence against capture, and soldiers of the Waffen-SS in Russia became well aware that a bullet was generally preferable to the latter fate.


Source:

http://reitersturm.tripod.com/blackguard/id18.html

~Ovidius



Nice quote. Here’s one of my favorites:

“A natural consequence of this politically and militarily unwise treatment was not only a paralyzing of the will to desert, but a plain deadly fear to get into German captivity.”

From Rosenberg’s letter to Keitel of 28 February 1942, translation available under

http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/pow2.htm

Nothing like deadly fear of enemy captivity to make the troops fight like hell, right?

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re

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 13 Mar 2002 22:16

Soviet Union signed early Hague (1907 ) convention and officially stated it is going to treat prisoners in accordance with it. POWs were not responsibilities of GULAG -they were under jurisdiction of Main Directorate of Prisoners of War and Repatriates – entirely different organizations with totally different set of rules. In total it consisted of 12 sub directorates, 2456 POWs camps, 168 labor battalions, 169 hospitals. Soldiers and NCOs were made to work,; officers must give their own consent before starting working. POWs were subject to the Soviet Labor Code – exactly the same set of rules that was applied to the Soviet Citizens (payments, working hours, holydays etc)
Roberto is right in regards to POW feeding – cases of local population being worse of in terms of food are well documented – in Yroslav region for instance. Moreover, Soviet soldiers in Germany complained that population on occupied territories was fed better than their families back home.

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are you writing to me Charles?

Post by julian » 14 Mar 2002 00:26

I am further confused, is there perhaps another nefarious individual called Julian? I have never read Bacques, or heard of him until two days ago, so the notion that I'm propagating his lies is strange indeed, unless of course I am Bacques and suffering from delusion. I assumed I did write that I found the allegation very unbeliveable, as per my reply to Roberto. I am however sympathetic to the plight of those who, when the blood rushes, are confronted with a plethora of opponents instead of one and as such I would be churlish to deprive you of your pleasure in jousting with imaginary foes, and I hope that such will provide you with much satisfaction in your declining years. Perchance in response to your pedantic 'professional historians know more' I may direct your attention to Schliemann, as your grasp of history is boundless I'm sure the name rings a bell, but I shall elucidate, Schliemann was an amateur historian/archeologist who over the scorn of professional historians of the day was able to demostrate through the practical and theoritical, that the existence and legend of Troy was in fact based on historical fact, fortunately he was able, to use the term 'to think outside the square' , and thankfully for the world of archaeology he was not constrained by a mental subjugation to an elitist outlook. And one little tip for your interest in professional history, if you quote a source, that as such is your source, not the secondary one referred to within, this is why if I quote David Chandler who quotes the Marshe de Saxe, I footnote David Chandler's work. Quotation are taken within a context and in many cases necessarily abbreviated. Of course for the lazy and fraudulent to quote by proxy has much appeal.

Regards

Julian

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Re: are you writing to me Charles?

Post by Charles Bunch » 14 Mar 2002 06:01

>Perchance in response to your pedantic 'professional historians know more' I may direct your attention to Schliemann, as your grasp of history is boundless I'm sure the name rings a bell, but I shall elucidate, Schliemann was an amateur historian/archeologist who over the scorn of professional historians of the day was able to demostrate through the practical and theoritical, that the existence and legend of Troy was in fact based on historical fact, fortunately he was able, to use the term 'to think outside the square' , and thankfully for the world of archaeology he was not constrained by a mental subjugation to an elitist outlook.

Ah, so the known denier who runs the Adelaide Institute is merely an intrepid Schliemann!

Of course I said nothing about professional historians knowing more, so my alleged pedantry is actually your dishonesty. What I said was the opinions of the two historians in question, Ambrose and Cowdrey, carried more weight since they were based on facts.

>And one little tip for your interest in professional history, if you quote a source, that as such is your source, not the secondary one referred to within,

Well taking instruction on quoting from someone who invents them is rather more slack than I'm willing to give.

The source of the information was Cowdrey, and no one but a confirmed conspiracist would dismiss the evidence of experts merely because they were convened by an institute associated with Eisenhower. Apparently you've never been to a conference, if you feel the opinions offered are so readily controlled.

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Go the Paranoia!

Post by julian » 14 Mar 2002 07:09

Most humourous, now Charles are you just having a lend of me, or are you serious? I'm almost afraid to ask. When you read something that you are unable to comprehend does your system shut down, abort, suffer data fatigue? What happened to the 'propagating of Bacques'? Oh thats right it metamorphised into
'known denier who runs the Adelaide Institute is merely an intrepid Schliemann'
Who runs the Institute? Is it me? How long have I been running it for? This is terrible, what else have I been unconsciously doing, well at least I know why I have been so listless lately. But your technique is magnificient, you must not be selfish, think of all the people who dream of writing like a lunatic, with neither ryhme nor reason, finally there is hope, do tell us your methods. Do you use some program which inverts every statement and weeds out anything remotely resembling the subject at hand? And have I been inventing quotes, which ones? do you think you could crank up your impossibility generator and churn out another side splitting Bunch special for my entertainment? And of course, how silly of me, to assume that what you wrote:

Furthermore, either gentlemen's opinion carries more weight than yours, since they are professional historians

was written in acordance with the standards of the English language, no, its obvious, there is a 'Bunch' language, which follows the precept of the opposite is true, so Charles, what alternate Universe is this language from, do they have day trips, or do you live there on a permanent basis. But feel free to add more humour to my day,you are a comedian(at least I hope so) :D

Regards

Julian

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You wacky guy Charles

Post by julian » 14 Mar 2002 09:25

Just to make sure I cover all the bases, though I am sure you will rise to the challenge and astound,
Was the denier who runs the Adelaide Institute:
a/ Schliemann
b/ a guy like Schliemann
c/ Me
d/ a mysterious Mr X

Was the person inventing quotes:
a/ Schliemann
b/ a guy like Schliemann
c/ Me
d/ a mysterious Mr X

I hope I have covered all eventualities, but being the wacky guy you are, I guess there is no telling what will come next.

Regards

Julian

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Scott Smith
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POWs

Post by Scott Smith » 14 Mar 2002 11:04

Medojurgen wrote:

iv) The possibilities that the Germans had of avoiding such an enormous mortality, had they wanted to. Most of the Soviet deaths by starvation and exposure occurred at a time when the Wehrmacht was at the top of its glory.


That's because the Russian campaign had been expected to be short and sweet and the General Staff failed to plan properly. As General Bradley observed, logistics is the last thing any general wants to do. And POWs are always the last priority in wartime--save for reciprocity, as Ovidius insightfully notes.

The Soviet Union that had to feed 3.3 million prisoners of war, on the other hand, was a country devastated by war, where tens of millions of civilians were still living in holes in the earth years after the end of hostilities.


During the war the Communists had access to the American breadbasket. But obviously POWs have some value to their captors; they were cheaper labor than even unskilled proles after the war, if they could be kept alive.

As you know, I am no friend of either regime. I consider both to have been equally horrendous. But I’m a friend of making the necessary distinctions where I think they ought to be made, instead of throwing everything into one big stew.


It seems to me quite the opposite, that you are loathe to make historical comparisons. Who cares whether Stalin or Hitler treated their POWs worse. Either way it is a lesson in what NOT to do next time, not who is to blame. With Apple Pie and Eisenhower the winner, of course. We would not, could not, have done such things if the circumstances were similar. No, of course not!

By the way, Stalin was so scared of the Germans’ ferocity that he proposed a bilateral adhesion to the Geneva Convention in July 1941.


That's because he was in the wringer right then.

His proposal never received a response,


That's because the Germans were winning, expected a quick victory, and did not want to be bothered by boring details, as I noted above.

obviously because the Nazis saw that with such an adhesion the policies they were applying would have looked even worse than they did anyway.


Nonsense. What did the Nazis care how bad they "looked" when dealing with Bolshevism? That was the problem. They were supposed to look like the exterminator scheduling a visit in an infested barn. Anything short of bellicose hyperbole would have been seen as nothing less than an act of weakness during an unpopular war.

How an adhesion would have benefited German prisoners in Soviet captivity was a consideration that obviously did not cross the Führer’s mind.


That's because the Germans were winning then and the Führer's crystal ball was broken. Had the Russian not been tardy signing the convention before the war then things would have been different because reciprocity would have been a factor.

I do agree that the treatment accorded to POWs of both sides was horrendous and should not be repeated the next time around. But I have little faith in international conventions to dissuade leaders of Holy Crusades that their enemies are human beings instead of mere evildoers. We should think twice about the problem during the present War on "Terrorists." The masses are no less easy to manipulate by elites today. Sticking it to the enemy plays well.

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