“It became known, that the conditions in the POW camps in the American Zone were identical everywhere. We could therefore safely conclude, that it was by intent and by orders from higher ups to starve the German POW’s and we blamed General Eisenhower for it. He, who was of German descent could not discern the evildoers during the Nazi time from our decent people. We held that neglect of knowledge and understanding severely against him.”
– diary entry from an unknown German soldier at Rhine Meadows –
It is estimated that during World War II, Germany lost approximately 7 million people, military and civillians combined, but may have lost TWICE AS MUCH, from the period of 1945-1953, after the war. Allied “liberation” was anything but a relief for the war weary Germans. For example, in 1945, when Allied soldiers were returning to their home towns, families and loved ones, German soldiers, men and women, were being systematically rounded up and placed in prison camps that were nothing more than cages not even fit for animals. The purpose of these cages was to exterminate as many German soldiers as possible through starvation, disease and exhaustion. Anywhere from 1.5 million to 1.7 million soldiers died horrible deaths in these camps. Remarkably, most of us have never heard of this deliberate act of genocide, and sadly no Allied country has come forward and admitted guilt, nor has anyone responsible from the Allied countries, ever been brought to justice.
If that is not bad enough, many historians still deny the existence of these actual death camps, and label those historians, like James Bacque, as “conspiracy theorists”. Recently, I enountered this historical ignorance on a website called quora.com. It is similar to yahoo answers, but with a greater focus on academic subject matter. I found several answers on the site to the question, “What evidence is there about the Allies’ and Eisenhower’s death camps and starvation of the Germans after World War II?” The majority of the answers ranged from complete denial to maybe, but not enough evidence. Many of the “experts” who posted, referred to the fact that historian Stephen Ambrose rejected James Bacque’s book, “Other Losses”, which investigates the Rhine Meadows camps, as historically inaccurate. Apparently Ambrose convened a conference in 1990 to debunk Bacque as a conspiracy theorist, and invited other historians to “join in”. Of course, Ambrose never invited Bacque, so he was unable to defend his position. After the conference, Wikipedia updated Bacque’s entry to reflect this “new evidence”. However, Bacque had this to say on the matter:
“Wikipedia quotes Stephen E. Ambrose as saying that Other Losses is “… spectacularly flawed …” without saying that Ambrose also wrote that “You have made a major historical discovery which will … span the oceans and have reverberations for decades, yea centuries to come. You have the goods on these guys …”
Wikipedia does not say that Ambrose changed his mind only after he was retained by the US Army to lecture at the War College in Pennsylvania. Nor does Wikipedia mention that in his attack on me in the New York Times, he admitted that he had not done the necessary research to reach the conclusions that he published in that same article. Wikipedia fails to mention that the Ambrose it cites as an authority admitted that he had plagiarized several other authors. Wikipedia does not concern itself with the accusations that Ambrose stole work from a graduate student which he published as his own.”
This will not be the first time Ambrose will be accused of being a liar. In 2010, another historian accused him of lying about his alleged research and conversations with Eisenhower. Of course, none of this was mentioned in the “expert” answers. And then I read this comment by someone named John Geare, in regards to eyewitness testimony:
“We find plenty of Jewish holocaust survivors with personal testimony, and thousands of detainee graves were discovered after the cessation of hostilities.
But no equivalent evidence has yet been introduced to support the idea that the allies (not counting the Russians, mind you) committed mass killings. Surely, by now, survivors of such an extermination effort, or their family members, would have come forth.”
He does make a good point about holocaust eyewitnesses, there are thousands of them. Stephen Spielberg documented thousands of hours of testimony for his “Last Days” documentary. Strange though, Holocaust exterminationists always talk about “German efficiency” to explain how they were able to systematically murder 6 million Jews while fighting a two-front war, yet, if they were so efficient, how come so many survivors? According to some estimates, there are approximately 6,000,000 claims for Holocaust reparations TO DATE!
Perhaps what happened in the Rhine Meadows was the real holocaust, hence the lack of eyewitnesses? Isn’t that more realistic? According to Bacque, most of the victims were mass buried in unmarked graves, their dog tags were melted down, and the Allies kept no records of who was in the camps. Now that is how you commit genocide and cover it up, and this clearly demonstrates that the Germans did not have a genocidal program for Jews, because they would have done the same thing as the allies. Or, they would have murdered the Jews Soviet style, as in the forests of Katyn, where over 20,000 Polish officers, intellectuals and other military personnel were murdered. No witnesses to this mass slaughter, yet do historians say, “Surely, by now, survivors of such an extermination effort, or their family members, would have come forth.” and therefore say it must not have happened?
There were survivors and eyewitnesses that have come forward, despite the efficiency of the Allies in attempting to murder as many Germans as possible. The following is a brief sampling of first hand accounts of what happened, and what it was like to live through this absolute hell on earth. This is by no means a complete collection, as I am sure there is much more testimony that has been given, especially in German that has not yet been translated, or has been suppressed. Because when it comes to Allied atrocities, the mantra for all in the media and academia who want to keep their jobs is not “never forget” but instead, “never remember”.
Eyewitness #1: The first account is from the Red Cross, which was NOT ALLOWED to stay in the camps and tend to the prisoners, nor were they able to bring in much needed food and medical supplies. In fact, there were thousands of pounds of food stacked along the fence perimeter. Eisenhower declared the German POW’s to really be DEF (Disarmed Enemy Forces) so that he could get around the Geneva convention. Here is one volunteer’s report:
“The prisoners were on an empty field like animals. There was no housing at all. During the first weeks there was no housing for the wounded either. The whole sector had been a wheat field which had been destroyed by the prisoners. They were in the mud up to the calves. With tins they dug holes into the ground. These were pits for living. There were no rain flies, no blankets. And there was rain every day. The holes had the disadvantage that they converted into bathtubs when the rain started. In these cases the whole camp was marching with it’s wet clothes in long queues for hours in the camp. The conditions were catastrophic. There was nothing for the prisoners. No water tube, no toilet, not one single little roof but only barbed wire in several rows. The inmates of the “Rhine meadow camps” where also the camp of Bad Kreuznach / Bretzenheim was one of them was hitting the capitulation with full strength.”
“Health of the newcomers was according to the conditions. Only during the weeks the lack of food, water and housing was very remarkable. The undernourishment and the nights without housing (rain fly and no blankets, bad clothes) on the clay ground were provoking heavy damages of health with pneumonia, edema, dysentery, sephritis, rheumatism, sciatica, bad legs, and with heart and circulation troubles causing a high death rate. Also missing of any sanitarian and hygienic facilities (there was no protection from any infections) was supporting the loss of any health in masses. The Americans did not treat the ill prisoners but later they were only separating the badly ill people transporting them to military hospitals. For the ill persons of the about 120,000 prisoners of war a school was arranged. The facilities were absolutely insufficient and without any equipment. There were no medicaments and there was no sanitarian material. The population was giving beds, bedclothes and clothes for the prisoners of war who came partly in their night dress when they had been taken prisoner in the night.”
Eyewitness #2: The following account was submitted by Werner Wilhelm Laska, a German POW who reports on the the treatment he and his fellow soldiers received when they were transferred to American prison camps:
“The American guards who arrive with the truck were nasty and cruel from the start. I was forced in with kicks and punches to my back. Other German soldiers were already on board. After a drive of an hour or two we arrived at an open field on which many servicement were already assembled, in rank and file. As we got off the truck, a large group of Americans awaited us. They received us with shouts and yells such as: “You Hitler, you Nazi, etc…” We got beaten, kicked and pushed; one of thse gangsters brutally tore my watch from my wrist. Each of these bandits already posessed 10 or 20 watches, rings and other things. The beating continued until I reached the line where my comrades stood. Most of our water-bottles (canteens), rucksacks etc. were cut off, and even overcoats had to be left on the ground. More and more prisoners arrived, including even boys and old men. After a few hours, big trailer-trucks — usually used for transporting cattle — lined up for loading with human cattle.”
Eyewitness #3: Here is an anonymous soldier’s account of what the food was like, if you can call it that:
“… all I can say to you and your readers that I reached that stage of the of starvation as a POW under Eisenhower within 10 days after receiving no food or water, according to his orders to all Allied Forces (Montgomery did not follow these instructions after consultation with Churchill). All I received was one pint of watery soup with dried onions in them. My weight was down to 50 kg(112lbs) and I could no longer walk, thus became a Muselmann, but was slowly nourished back to reasonable health at (German) Army Field Hospital. My average weight at the height of 1,82 m has always been steady at 80 kg (182lbs).”
Eyewitness #4: This is a comment posted on a blog devoted to WWII by someone, apparently a German citizen, who claimed that their father went through the horrors at the camp. He also states that his uncle was beaten to death by the Soviets:
“I know these “Rheinwiesen” camps existed, as my father was in one of them. As a Captain he surrendered with his troops to the Americans, when he and his men received a brutal beating that put him in a field hospital for a few weeks. Then he went to the camp. He was 6’1” tall and when he finally made his getaway, his weight was down to just 120 lbs from 190 lbs.”
“Here are some of the things he witnessed: Food was brought in the form of a thin watery soup in oil barrels, and the prisoners had to ladle it out with their mess kits. One soldier was so weak from starvation that he fell head first into the soup and drowned. Nobody was strong enough to pull the corpse out of the barrel, so the others just scooped their soup trying to get around him.”
“The camp consisted of a huge square of grassland, surrounded by barbed wire. There was no shelter whatsoever, and tens of thousands of freezing, starving people were exposed to the very inclement weather, ( the spring of ’45 was exceptionally frigid and wet) in their uniforms only. Thousands died of exposure, dysentery and starvation.”
“The American guards were incredibly cruel. One of their favorite games was to snip long cigarette butts into the compound and watch the prisoners fight, often to death, over the butt. Tobacco is a very effective remedy for severe hunger pangs, and prisoners often preferred them over the water soup, because they curb their gnawing hunger for a couple of hours. German women trying to smuggle food to the men were shot on sight. I could go on for several pages, but it is very painful for me.”
“My uncle , a Lieutenant, surrendered with his men to the Russians, and was promptly beaten to death with re-bars by a mob of drunken soldiers.”
Eyewitness #5 and #6: The next testimonies are featured in the excellent documentary called: “Eisenhower’s Rhine Meadows Death Camps – A Deliberate Policy of Extermination”. The documentary is in German, but Wayne from justice4germans.wordpress.com has come out with a version that he dubbed, along with some other supplemental material.
“We lay in our little camp – there were several camps – many thousands were on the acre, without housing, without tents, mostly without coats, day and night in the mud, totally with lice. You had to wait in line for water for 14 hours, water logged and with wrinkled flesh waiting in the mud and rain for one tin of water. Some who fell over in line, or sank into the mud were left to die, since we were too tired to help them.”
“There was only one thing: the will to survive to make it home or to perish.”
Prof. Dr. Richard M. Müller:
“There was only mud. There was no dry place, there was only mud, and during the night one was going on walking around but sometimes you had to sleep, and then I closed my coat and one could form trousers with this coat and then I was sinking into the mud and I hoped that I could sleep some hours without frostbite on my feet.”
Eyewitness #7: This last testimony is from Johannes Heising, formerly the abbot of a monastery on the Rhine, who published a book in the 1990’s about his experiences in the U.S. camp at Remagen. This shocking moment was conveyed to him by his friend, and fellow prisoner, Franz-Josef Plemper:
“One night in April 1945, I was startled out of my stupor in the rain and mud by piercing screams and loud groans. I jumped up and saw in the distance (about 30-50 meters) the searchlight of a bulldozer. Then I saw this bulldozer moving forward through the crowd of prisoners who lay there. In the front it had a blade making a pathway. How many of the prisoners were buried alive in their earth holes I do not know. It was not longer possible to ascertain. I heard clearly cries of, ‘You murderer'”
Unlike Holocaust eyewitnesses, who usually are never on the same page with each other about what happened to them, and are notorious for conconting stories that defy the laws of nature and physics, these Rhine Meadow victims are remarkably rational and consistent, which strengthens their case that this event actually did occur, just as these men describe. Even these few accounts above, are enough to show and prove to anyone, that the Allies deliberately exterminated thousands of German POWs and this is a tremendous war atrocity and crime against the German people that requires justice to be served. I am sure there are more survivors out there, and hopefully they will come forward and be heard. Maybe when they do, they can finally have peace, along with those who never returned home.
* Please read the excellent updated edition of James Bacque’s “Other Losses” which details Stephen Ambrose’s 180 degree shift from supporting Bacque’s work, and then conducting a smear campaign against him. He also includes new evidence from KGB files that were released after 1990.