American & French (post) War Crimes

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Brannik
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American & French (post) War Crimes

Post by Brannik » 28 Sep 2002 17:45

I am holding a book by a certain James Bacque entitled "Other Losses".
The author deals with the death of about a million German POW's in American and French camps.Using quite a variety of archival and bibliographycal sources,he seems to prove the intentional nature of this act.Furthermore, he traces it all to one man: Eisenhower.
How is it that I hadn't heard of this up until I accidentally checked out the book?(this one was rhetorical,I think I know why)
Also,have ANY of YOU heard or read about it?
Does anyone have further information on this subject in the form of books or published articles?
Regards

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Marcus
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Re: American & French (post) War Crimes

Post by Marcus » 28 Sep 2002 17:52

I have not read his books, but if I recall correctly his claims have been discussed here a few times.

Brannik wrote:The author deals with the death of about a million German POW's in American and French camps.


That should read: "the allegded deaths about a million German POW's", as far as I know his claims have not been proven to be correct.

Brannik wrote:How is it that I hadn't heard of this up until I accidentally checked out the book?(this one was rhetorical,I think I know why)


I don't know why you have not heard about his claims before, I have seen many discussions about them and I've also seen his book in many bookstores (including the one at the Imperial War Museum in London btw), so I see no evidence of his book being ignored or surpressed.

/Marcus

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Brannik
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Post by Brannik » 28 Sep 2002 18:20

"That should read: "the allegded deaths about a million German POW's", as far as I know his claims have not been proven to be correct."

Agreed


"I don't know why you have not heard about his claims before, I have seen many discussions about them and I've also seen his book in many bookstores (including the one at the Imperial War Museum in London btw), so I see no evidence of his book being ignored or surpressed."

I am sure you have seen it in bookstores,but since buying books is well beyond my financial capabilities,I stick to libraries.Neither I have had the luck of visiting the Imperial war museum.I am also new to this forum and foruming as a whole.Judging by what you have written,I will agree that the subject hasn't been suppressed,but as far as books go,it has certainly been ignored.As I said before,I have never encountered ANY mention.And although not on the scale that some of you in the forum have archieved, I claim to have read my good share of WW books.Thus my surprise.
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Alexander Gurovski

Charles Bunch
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Re: American & French (post) War Crimes

Post by Charles Bunch » 28 Sep 2002 18:28

Brannik wrote:I am holding a book by a certain James Bacque entitled "Other Losses".
The author deals with the death of about a million German POW's in American and French camps.Using quite a variety of archival and bibliographycal sources,he seems to prove the intentional nature of this act.Furthermore, he traces it all to one man: Eisenhower.
How is it that I hadn't heard of this up until I accidentally checked out the book?(this one was rhetorical,I think I know why)
Also,have ANY of YOU heard or read about it?
Does anyone have further information on this subject in the form of books or published articles?
Regards


http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/ft ... mbrose.001

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Brannik
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Post by Brannik » 28 Sep 2002 18:38

http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/ft ... mbrose.001


My mistake.I reacted prematurely.Thanks for the link,I am looking forward to the further exploration of the subject.
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Brannik
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Post by Brannik » 28 Sep 2002 18:48

"...how are readers who are not experts to judge a work that makes
new, startling, indeed outrageious, claims?"
source:
http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/ft ... mbrose.001

That should teach me to do my homework :?
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Alexx
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Post by Alexx » 29 Sep 2002 06:10

This book shows that there are to many hidden sceletons for me to not dig deeper into it. It seems like it's been a long night of lies.
Unfortunatly I haven't read this book yet, but I certainly will.

I have read his book "Crimes and Mercies" The fate of German civilians under occupation 1944-50. This book shows that more than 9 million German soldiers and civilians died as a result of allied starvation and expulsion policies, deaths which are still being concealed and denied by Western Governments.

But back to this book. The changing of the status of the surrended German soldiers from prisoners of war to disarmed enemy forces. And thus not having to fulfill the Geneva Convention regarding treatment,feading and medical aid. Is highly suspicious and a absolut scandal. More information about this affair is needed.

But why not let James Bacque respond. Here is an URL:http://www.corax.org/revisionism/misc/bacque_letter.html

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Post by Charles Bunch » 29 Sep 2002 15:52

Alexx wrote:This book shows that there are to many hidden sceletons for me to not dig deeper into it. It seems like it's been a long night of lies.
Unfortunatly I haven't read this book yet, but I certainly will.


The main points of the book, that the US killed over 1 million German POWs, has been shown by scholars to be a lie, and the mistakes he made with documentary evidence on the matter demonstrated.

I have read his book "Crimes and Mercies" The fate of German civilians under occupation 1944-50. This book shows that more than 9 million German soldiers and civilians died as a result of allied starvation and expulsion policies, deaths which are still being concealed and denied by Western Governments.


A charge similar to one in _Other Losses_. It is utter crap.

But back to this book. The changing of the status of the surrended German soldiers from prisoners of war to disarmed enemy forces. And thus not having to fulfill the Geneva Convention regarding treatment,feading and medical aid. Is highly suspicious and a absolut scandal. More information about this affair is needed.


There is nothing suspicious about it, since it was explained at the time. There was insufficient food to feed all the millions under the allies care at the level the Geneva Convention mandated for POWs. The decision was made to distribute scarce food on an equal basis, rather than
favor the POWs at the expense of German civilians and millions of other displaced persons who needed care. Not wanting this technical, but obviously fair, violation of the Geneva Convention to be seen as an act of disrespect for the Convention, the status was changed. All of this was done openly.

But why not let James Bacque respond. Here is an URL:http://www.corax.org/revisionism/misc/bacque_letter.html


Yes, and Bacque chose to offer more outrageous charges rather than accept the corrections to his work offered by scholars. What could have been excused as the sloppiness of a neophyte became a desperate attempt to salvage a debunked conspiracy theory.

The following posting to the H-German list touches on some of this.

From: H-GERMAN EDITOR Dan Rogers <drogers@jaguar1.usouthal.edu>
List Editor: H-GERMAN EDITOR Dan Rogers
rogers@jaguar1.usouthal.edu>
Editor's Subject: German POWs
Author's Subject: German POWs
Date Written: Wed, 24 May 1995 19:39:28 -0500
Date Posted: Wed, 24 May 1995 19:39:28 -0500

Submitted by: Douglas Peifer <dcp6966@email.unc.edu>

My note to H-German members suggesting that they familiarize themselves with the conference volume _Eisenhower and the German POWs: Fact Against Falsehood_ (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1992) before taking Mr. Bacque's comments at face value seems well justified in light of Mr. Bacque's most recent contribution to the forum.

Bacque, for those unaware of his background, charges that Eisenhower
starved around one million German POWs to death, a deed made inexcusable in the light of an abundant food supply in Europe in 1945. This deed, according to Bacque, was successfully covered up by American authorities, and ignored by German historians, veterans, and the German public at large until Bacque forced the issue to the fore.

It saddens me that historians must spend so much time countering various
conspiracy theories, but perhaps it is our duty to prevent public
acceptence of this and similar conspiracy theories. In any case, Stephen
Ambrose, Albert Cowdrey, James Tent, Ruediger Overmans, Guenter Bischof and others have carefully analyzed Bacque's charges point by point, and refuted them in the above work. I will not subject forum members to a repetition. Suffice it to say that Bacque ignores their careful analysis concerning his misuse of the term "Other Losses," the food shortage in Europe in 1945, etc., etc., etc., and prefers to present new, sensational evidence that he has found. In regards to this evidence (the KGB CSSA archival find which purportedly indicates that 421,000 Germans prisoners died in Soviet captivity during the period 1941-1955), Bacque is again either withholding elements of the relevant document, misunderstanding a foreign source, or being misled. Between 3,155,000 and 3,460,000 Germans became Soviet POWs during the course of the war, most during the final period (first figure based on Soviet claims, second compiled from Heimkehrer reports). Around 1,960,000 returned to Germany between 1945 and 1957. No matter how he attempts to manipulate these figures, Mr. Bacque will find it mathematically impossible to come up with a figure of less than 1,190,000 German POWs who died or disappeared during the interval (rather than the 421,000 his new source reveals). It is not coincidental that the number of Germans who died or disappeared under Soviet captivity (between 1,195,000 and 1,500,000) is close to the number of German POWs who never returned to Germany (1,400,000), a figure which Bacque somehow uses to back his thesis.

I certainly hope this forum does not degenerate into endless debates with
conspiracy theorists, and I will leave further comments regarding Bacque's
lost million to others.

(end quote)

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Post by Roberto » 30 Sep 2002 16:46

Alexx wrote:This book shows that there are to many hidden sceletons for me to not dig deeper into it. It seems like it's been a long night of lies.


An instructive statement.

One of the cornerstones of “Revisionist” faith is the pious or ostensible belief in a “long night of lies”, in the conspiracy of sinister powers to distort and misrepresent historical facts in support of a political or ideological agenda.

A conspiracy to do what “Revisionists” try to do all the time, in other words.

Alexx wrote:I have read his book "Crimes and Mercies" The fate of German civilians under occupation 1944-50. This book shows that more than 9 million German soldiers and civilians died as a result of allied starvation and expulsion policies, deaths which are still being concealed and denied by Western Governments.


It shows that to someone who is uncritical enough to piously believe everything Mr. Bacque writes, without asking himself a few elementary questions such as why such a monumental catastrophe would have left no traces

i) In German official records: the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany, which tried to record wartime and postwar civilian casualties as best as they could in the 1950’s and 1960’s, concluded on ca. 500,000 civilians killed due to bombs and slightly over 2,000,000 who perished during wartime flight and postwar expulsion from the former Eastern territories and East European countries. The latter figure has recently been challenged by historians as well above the mark.

ii) In German written history: Although German historians have extensively written on the fate of prisoners of war, refugees and expellees, not one of them has concluded on a catastrophe of even remotely the magnitude alleged by Bacque. Were they all accomplices of the fantastic conspiracy that brought us this “long night of lies”?

iii) In German oral history: A famine of the dimensions alleged by Bacque would have led to scenes reminiscent of the Ukrainian man-made famine of the 1930s or the siege of Leningrad in 1941 and 1942: Walking skeletons everywhere, cemeteries no longer able to cope with the flow of corpses, mass graves dynamited into the earth to take the bodies of thousands upon thousands of people, city streets and yards littered with corpses often piled high on top of each other, people hiding the death of relatives in order to use their ration cards, some even resorting to cannibalism – why are there no elder Germans who lived through the war and postwar years on the present-day territory of Germany recalling such horrors?

I know several such Germans, and I know they are everything other than reluctant to talk about their wartime and postwar experiences. Yet none of them ever told me anything in this direction. My maternal grandmother, for instance, lived in Essen, one of the bombed-out cities of the Ruhr area where the food situation was most critical after the war. Yet her only recollection of famine related not to the post-World War II period but to the First World War, particularly the Kohlrübenwinter of 1916/17.

Alexx wrote:But back to this book. The changing of the status of the surrended German soldiers from prisoners of war to disarmed enemy forces. And thus not having to fulfill the Geneva Convention regarding treatment,feading and medical aid. Is highly suspicious and a absolut scandal. More information about this affair is needed.


This is actually the only one of Bacque’s findings that his critics more or less agree with.

It doesn’t change the fact, however, that his death toll allegations are simply ridiculous.

Alexx wrote:But why not let James Bacque respond. Here is an URL:http://www.corax.org/revisionism/misc/bacque_letter.html


Why, has Bacque sunk so low that he needs a “Revisionist” forum to make himself heard?

Basically, his response amounts to nothing other than a short summary of the nonsense contained in his book Other Losses, which I have read. I would like to point out the following paragraph, which is symptomatic of Bacque’s intellectual dishonesty and the shoddiness of his research:

Bacque wrote:In the same book so admired by Keegan is a gross error made by Rudiger Overmanns, who does not even know the number of prisoners taken by the Americans. This was not 3.8 million as he says, but over 6 million, according to US Army records in Suitland, Maryland. Of course, this error, conveniently for Ambrose and Keegan, apparently diminishes the number of lives for which the Americans were responsible.


The US Army records invoked by Bacque can only refer to the total number of prisoners of war held by Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) at a given time and therefore have nothing to do with Overmans’ figure, which refers solely to POWs in the custody of the US Army (including such that were later handed over to the French, the Soviets and others).

On the Codoh discussion forum, one of Bacque’s admirers once wrote the following:

Dubhghall wrote:Continuing my earlier comments, Overmans, the preferred authority for the critic of my posting, is an employee of the German government, a government which fines and imprisons people for thinking wrong thoughts about "the Holocaust". On principle, I prefer Bacque, thank you.
Overmans is wildly inaccurate in his claims and simply scanning the many lines posted quoting him reveals that they have little to do with my points and Bacque's. Just as a starter, Overmans claims that the Americans took only 3.8 million German prisoners when Eisenhower's own official reports showed millions more, mostly German, in northwest Europe alone. The historical division of the U.S. Army in Europe reported that "on VE day, 7,005,732 German PW's were held by SHAEF". Quite a difference from Overmans and Co. All Volksturm? Lots more on this in Bacque's book which I again urge objective readers to view, particularly the 1999 edition which contains new evidence.
As to why Overmans, Ambrose and the German government continue in this kind of denial one can only speculate. It's pretty sick, IMO.


To which I replied:

Cortagravatas wrote:1. The contention that Overmans is not reliable because he works for the German government (does he?) is a rather silly one. Even if the German government were the Great Satan, that would not affect the fact that Overmans is an internationally acknowledged, meticulous and objective military historian. I can see no possible – let alone a proven – connection between the German government’s misguided policy of implementing hate speech laws and Overmans’ work about German military casualties in World War II.
2. If the poster calls Overmans “wildly inaccurate”, I dare say that he hasn’t even looked at the translation from Overmans’ book that I provided but instead blindly relied on another of Bacque’s attempts to fool his readers. Actually the figure provided by the historical division of the US Army in Europe for VE day is by no means in contradiction with Overmans’ figures because it refers to German POW’s “held by SHAEF”. SHAEF was the abbreviation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, the supreme command of all Allied forces – American, British and French - in Europe. This means that the figure refers to the total of prisoners held by all Allied forces, not only to those held by the US Army. Overmans’ figures for POW’s held by the three Allied nations:

France 940,000
Great Britain 3,640,000
USA 3,100,000


add up to 7,680,000 and are thus quite in line with the report of the historical division of the U.S. Army in Europe.
3. As I sold Bacque’s screed to a second hand bookstore shortly after reading it and don’t intend to acquire a replacement copy of his nonsense, I would suggest that the poster provide Bacque’s transcription of Adenauer’s statements so that we may see in what terms Adenauer assessed the issue of prisoners of war in American captivity.
4. The poster’s unsubstantiated assertions that there is a conspiracy among Stephen Ambrose and German historians to deny the suffering and dying of hundreds of thousands of German prisoners of war – in striking contrast to the efforts of the same German historians to thoroughly document the plight of German prisoners in Soviet captivity – defies all experience, logic and common sense. So does his equally implicit assertion that the German survivors of Bacque’s alleged death camps chose to keep their story to themselves – again in striking contrast to those who managed to return from the Soviet Gulag -, that the German public witnessed none of the dying that supposedly occurred on German soil after the war or didn’t give a damn about it – again in striking contrast to the interest manifested in the fate of German soldiers missing in action in the East or in Soviet captivity – and that all German organizations from the Red Cross over institutions of the churches to the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, who invested a lot of time, money and effort into establishing the fate of German soldiers reported missing at the end of World War II, simply failed to notice or glossed over the monumental catastrophe that Bacque pretends occurred.


The whole discussion can be read under the link

http://www.codoh.org/dcforum/DCForumID9/164.html

Another German source gives the following breakdown of German soldiers who became prisoners of war in World War II:

Ingesamt gerieten im Zweiten Weltkrieg 11 094 000 Wehrmachtsangehörige in Kriegsgefangenschaft, von diesen 3 349 000 im Osten, 7 745 000 im Westen. Im Gewahrsam der Sowjetunion waren 3 155 000 (davon
25 000 an die Tschechoslowakei, 70 000 an Polen übergeben), in Jugoslawien 194 000, in Gewahrsam der USA: 3 800 000 (davon 667 000 an Frankreich, 135 000 an Rußland, 31 000 an Belgien, 5 000 an Luxemburg übergeben. 379 000 lebten in den USA, die anderen in amerikanischen Lagern in Europa), im Gewahrsam von Großbritannien 3 700 000 (davon 25 000 an Frankreich, 33 000 an Belgien, 7000 an die Niederlande übergeben. 385 000 lebten auf den britischen Inseln, 103 000 im Nahen Osten, 1 600 in Australien, 34 000 in Kanada,
46 000 in Nordafrika, die übrigen auf dem europäischen Kontinent) und schließlich in Frankreich einschließlich Nordafrika 245 000 selbst eingebrachte und 692 000 Übernommene, zusammen 937 000 Mann.
Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen insgesamt haben über fünf Milliarden Gefangenschaftstage erlebt, davon 43,7 % im Osten, 56,3 % im Westen. Zwischen 1941 und 1956 wurden von ihnen rund 2 Milliarden Arbeitstage geleistet. Im Westen gab es nach amtlichen Unterlagen mindestens 178 000 Fluchtversuche, die meisten waren erfolglos. Entsprechende Angaben für den Osten liegen nicht vor. Mindestens 1,2 Millionen deutsche Soldaten starben in der Gefangenschaft.


Source of quote:

Heribert Schwan/Rolf Steininger, Besiegt, besetzt, geteilt. 1979 Stalling Verlag GmbH, Oldenburg - München - Hamburg, S. 116/117.

My translation:

A total of 11 094 000 members of the Wehrmacht went into captivity in World War II, thereof 3, 349,000 in the East and 7 745 000 in the West. In Soviet custody there were 3 155 000 (thereof 25 000 handed over to Czechoslovakia and 70 000 handed over to Polan), in Yugoslavia 194 000, in the custody of the USA: 3 800 000 (thereof 667 000 handed over to France, 135 000 to Russia, 31 000 to Belgum and 5 000 to Luxembourg;
379 000 lived in the USA, the others in American camps in Europe), in the custody of Great Britain 3 700 000 (thereof 25 000 handed over to France, 33 000 to Belgium and 7000 to the Netherlands. 385 000 lived on the British Isles, 103 000 in the Near East, 1 600 in Australia, 34 000 in Canada, 46 000 in North Africa, the rest on the European continent) and in France including North -Africa 245 000 prisoners taken and 692 000 taken over, together 937 000 men.
German prisoners of war lived through a total of 5 billion days of captivity, thereof 43,7 % in the East, 56,3 % in the West. Between 1941 and 1956 they provided about 2 million working days. In the West there were at least 178 000 escape attempts according to official documents, most of which were without success. There are no corresponding data for the East. At least 1.2 million German soldiers died in captivity.


How Bacque marries this breakdown with his contention that there were 6 million German prisoners of war (or even more) in the hands of the US Army at any given time remains his mystery.

Schwan/Steininger’s figures on the death toll are based on the data of the Maschke Commission, a body that investigated the fate of German prisoners of war for over a decade and submitted its report in 1974. Its results, according to Overmans’ Deutsche Militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg, were the following:

Deaths in captivity according to Maschke Commission
France 25,000
Great Britain 1,300
USA 5,000
Yugoslavia 80,000
Other States 13.000
USSR 1,090,000
Sum 1,214,300


The results of Overmans’ study are somewhat different:

Deaths in captivity according to present study
France 34,000
Great Britain 21,000
USA 22,000
Yugoslavia 11,000
Other States 8.000
USSR 363,000
Sum 459,000


Overmans explains the difference as follows (my translation from chapter 4.2.5.3 of his a.m. book):

When comparing the data about deaths related to the various custodian states, hardly a case of coincidence can be observed. The figures do, however, show a similar trend – custodian states with high death rates according to the data of the Maschke Commission also show an above average death rate in the present study. The same goes for states with low death rates. The question how the nevertheless existing differences in the absolute values can be explained will be examined in the following.

First it should be pointed out that – except in case of the Soviet Union – the losses in captivity in all custodian states are but fractions of percentages of the total losses and are thus in an order of magnitude that cannot be evaluated accurately even with the present, relatively large sample. Furthermore the methods of establishing the figures vary. The data of the Maschke Kommission are based on files of the custodian state and numerous testimonials of German prisoners of war. In matters of content they refer, in what concerns to the Western Allies, to those who died in Allied custody in a narrower sense. The compilation techniques of the present study, however, mandate the inclusion in the category “captivity” also of such cases that formally fall under that category but for which the respective custodian state was not responsible in material terms. This applies especially to the differences in the data related to Great Britain, the USA and the “other countries”.

Things are different in the case of France, where the numbers of the Maschke Commission are based on the official French data and there are substantial indications for the assumption that, of the ca. 180,000 missing in the West, a great number died indeed in French custody – or as mercenaries in Indochina. Even more difficult is the situation regarding deaths in Yugoslavian custody – apart from rather contradictory German testimonials on the one hand and the documented cases underlying the present study on the other there is no examination that could contribute to the clarification of the question.

Given this unsatisfactory state of research the question arises how reliable data about the deaths in captivity could be obtained. Not by means of an empiric compilation analogous to the present one, given that the information deficits pointed out are not caused by methodological deficiencies of the study – the study only demonstrates the fact that the information available to the German authorities is insufficient. Only the evaluation of reports presently coming in from the former Soviet Union, the recovery of unburied dead presently under way both in the former USSR and in Eastern Germany as well as the registration of graves in the Soviet Union by the VDK will lead to an improvement of the state of information in the next years or decades.

But independently of what the number of deaths in captivity actually is, the differences – at least in what concerns the Western Allies – are so small that they cannot significantly affect the results of this study so far.

This does not apply in regard to Yugoslavia let alone for the Soviet Union –here the difference between 300,000 or a million deaths is so huge that it influences the distribution of the variables. It will thus be attempted in the following to localize the differences more closely.

Table 66: Deaths in Soviet custody by years

Deaths in Soviet captivity according to present study
1941/42 5,000
1943 21,000
1944 41,000
1945 178,000
1946 and after 118,000
Sum 363,000

Missing according to present study*
1941/42 134,000
1943 283,000
1944 719,000
1945 ca. 400,000
1946 and after -
Sum 1,536,000

* The number of missing in 1945 was estimated for the present study on the basis of the established fact that about two thirds of deaths during the Final Battles occurred in the East of Germany.

Deaths in Soviet captivity according to Maschke Commission
1941/42 166,000
1945 154,000
1946 224,000
1945 550,000
1946 and after included in 1945
Sum 1,094,000

Table 66, which differentiates the number of deaths by years, shows first the number of prisoners of war in Soviet custody and the missing on the Eastern Front, followed by the data of the Maschke Commission. According to the present study a total of ca. 363,000 German soldiers died in Soviet captivity – the sum of individually documented deaths. The approach of the Maschke Commission was another: they established, on the basis of various sources, the number of soldiers taken prisoner as well as the percentage of those who died every year. Although it is an estimate, it can be considered as well founded. When comparing the number of the missing established in the present study, ca. 1.5 million, with the difference in deaths considered by the present study on the one hand and the Maschke Commission on the other, it becomes visible that the difference, ca. 700,000 deaths, corresponds to about half of the number of missing. And it seems altogether plausible, although it cannot be proven, that half of those missing were killed in battle and the other half actually died in Soviet custody . Parting from this consideration the question arises how these ca. 700,000 cases are distributed temporarily. For this it is necessary to recall the conduction of military operations. In the first year, i.e. until ca. the middle of 1943, when the German armies were attacking, they were usually in conditions to recover their own dead in the conquered areas. This means that, at the beginning, the overwhelming majority of missing were taken prisoner and died in Soviet custody – out of the Germans taken prisoner at Stalingrad alone ca. 90,000 died rather soon in captivity. The more the initiative went over to the Soviet side and the more often large units were destroyed and taken prisoner, the greater the number of men killed in battle among those missing is likely to have been.

In relation to the above data this plausible if not provable consideration has the consequence that the results of the present study should be modified. Presumably the number of missing in the years 1941/42 must be almost wholly added to the deaths in captivity, whereas in the following years an ever growing part must be added to those killed on the German side. If the numbers of the present study are nevertheless used for the further assessment, this is only because the above considerations, while plausible, are not based on documented individual fates like the remaining results of the present study. As already mentioned, it must be left to a complementary study to evaluate the information arriving from the former Soviet Union at present and in the future, in order to obtain more accurate results in what concerns captivity.

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Dan W.
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Post by Dan W. » 30 Sep 2002 22:07

Here is a quick take found in the beginning of Chapter 2 (page 25)

The danger was visible in the rations allotted. for German civilians, the maximum food from all sources "will be approximately 1,500 calories per head per day." The minimum to maintain life for adults lying down, doing no work but self care, varies from 1,800 to 2,250 calories per day, according to various experts.


Yes, right. Suppose Bacque never looked into the "allotted rations" of the Concentration Camps, where overwork was part of the program and rations were a couple hundred calories a day.

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Post by Xanthro » 30 Sep 2002 23:53

The decision was made to distribute scarce food on an equal basis, rather than favor the POWs at the expense of German civilians and millions of other displaced persons who needed care. Not wanting this technical, but obviously fair, violation of the Geneva Convention to be seen as an act of disrespect for the Convention, the status was changed. All of this was done openly.


Charles Bunch is exactly right in the above. The designation from POW was not as a form of punishment, it was a way of dealing with the reality of feeding 17 million unexpected people.

By the Geneva Convention, POWs must receive the same allotment of food as your own soldiers. This was done when the numbers were reasonable.

The US ended up with 5 million POWs, it not possible to feed these numbers at the level required and still feed the civilian population.

The US had the choice of allowing German citizens starve and uphold the letter of the Convention, or find a way to allot some of the food that would normally go to the POWs to the civilian population.

The Allies chose the latter.

There was hunger in the camps, no question about that, but there was hunger in almost all of Europe at the time.

Somehow the allies managed to distribute enough food to keep the vast majority alive, and reasonably healthy, but my wife has relatives that were starving at the end of the war.

Xanthro

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Post by tonyh » 01 Oct 2002 11:06

Baque's figures may or may not be off and I am not convinced either way, but I have no problem believing that many German soldiers and personnell died in the Allied camps after the war was over. Food was scarce and deliberately made scare by the Allies who had plenty of food to ship in. I have personally talked to one woman who was in the Luftwaffe. She used to plot the British bombers course to Germany. After the war she was held in an barbed wire enclosed field open to the elements, somewhere West of Berlin. She said she saw quite a few people keel over from starvation rations, some were her friends. Some days there were no rations at all. When there was food, it was barely enough. She had an unteroffizier to personally watch over her, as there was the continuous threat of rape from some of the American guards, who, by the way, never wanted for food.

Her situation was made far better when a British Officer toured the camp looking for an interpreter. She was picked and shipped to Oberhausen.

Tony

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 11:45

tonyh wrote:Baque's figures may or may not be off and I am not convinced either way,


Well, I have no doubt that they are way off the mark – as all contentions based on shoddy research and implausible theories about sinister conspiracies (the “long night of lies”) are.

tonyh wrote: but I have no problem believing that many German soldiers and personnell died in the Allied camps after the war was over.


Neither have I. 77,000 dead in French, British or American captivity (Overmans’ figures) are a lot of people.

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Post by Ebusitanus » 01 Oct 2002 14:31

My grandfather was with a Luftwaffe Flak regiment and the war finally caught up with him at the Ruhr also. As a Oberfeldwebel he was thrown into action till the orders came to break ranks and try to reach home. He just told me how they got rid of everything looking military and dressed up (him and a friend) as priests. Walking by night and sleeping at day they were making good progress towards the south when they got cozy and began walking during day time too. Soon enough they got caught by some GIs on a Jeep and sent to one of the big prisoner camps along the Rhine. He saw thousands die of hunger there as he explained me how their daily ration was of three hard spagetti and three raw chicken peas a day, plus hourlong wait in line to get a mouthful of water at the only spiggot in camp. Nearby German civil population tried to throw food over the barbed fences only to get shot by the watchful G.Is.
The french came then asking for "volunteers" to rebuild their nation as a way of getting home quicker and with more nutrition. Some of his collegues did volunteer, from them only one came back. After years he told him how they were sent to work in mines instead of rebuilding and how they died in droves there too.
My grandfather got lucky in that he was a mason by trade before the war and thus useful for the Americans, after some work with them he was finally released to go home.
My grandmother still tells me how he was pure skin and bones at his return. Thats what you get for being cozy!

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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 15:00

The camps along the Rhine were the so-called Rheinwiesenlager:

Basque's statistics, arguments, and documentation were subjected to careful and detailed study by a conference of historians (including Germans) organized by Stephen Ambrose, the director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans. Papers from the conference have been published6 and show that Basque misread, misinterpreted, or ignored the relevant documents and that his mortality statistics are simply impossible. 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). As a result of all this, I ignore Bacque's estimates and consolidate the others as shown (line 237).


Source of quote:

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP13.HTM

Emphasis is mine.

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