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Old 05-30-2019, 08:26 AM
 
9,137 posts, read 9,217,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I vagually recall this being discussed in this forum years ago. I suspect the book quoted is "Other Losses" by James Bacque, a Canadian writer who claimed Eisenhower caused the death of a million POW's intentionally via starvation or disease.

Like many "histories" written by a "historian" (yes I purposely use quotes here, because in my opinion they writer is a hack, not a historian) that starts with a premise, and then writes a book collecting disjointed second hand and unverified account to prove the premise (another example is "Kill Anything that Moves")- the book is garbage.

Almost every reputable historian on the planet has dismissed the book, with the following condemnations that the author:
-misuses documents
-misreads documents
-ignores contrary evidence
-employs a statistical methodology that is hopelessly compromised
-made no attempt to see the evidence he has gathered in relation to the broader situation
-made no attempt to perform any comparative context
-puts words into the mouths of the subjects of his oral history
-ignores a readily available and absolutely critical source that decisively dealt with his central accusation
The above list was taken from Wikipedia quoting a panel of eight historians that investigated the book at the time.
Thanks.

I'm glad to hear this refutation of what is indeed nonsense.

I can't speak to all the German prisoners held everywhere. However, there were German prisoners of war held here in Utah, near what used to be the old Defense Depot in Ogden. They were treated unusually well. Many were given weekend passes from the camp to go into town on weekends. Several met American girls in this process and--after the war--married them and stayed in the United States. From the accounts I read in the newspaper they were treated well indeed.

When American troops were surrounded by the Germans in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent these troops a written message calling on them to surrender. One of the statements caught my attention. The German commander calling on them to surrender referred to the fact that it was well known by Germans that Americans treated POW's humanely.

Every time I see this sort of thing I suspect we are dealing with a Nazi sympathizer. I don't think there are a lot of these people, but they do come to the History Forum occasionally and try to post mis-information about World War II that is sympathetic to nazi Germany.

 
Old 05-30-2019, 09:43 AM
 
5,362 posts, read 6,492,706 times
Reputation: 10355
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhowie View Post
I have just read a book on events at the surrender of German soldiers in 1945. It is my second one and that publication was the second and brought up to date one. It was bad enough what happened to the defeated army captured by the Soviets and a horrible persecution and death. However I did not know or expect the same by the Western Allies. The Free French were involved but the large death rate in POW camps was by the USA. It ran into hundreds of thousands not only stuck uncovered but not getting the right level of food support and often virtually noting. General Eisenhower was responsible for these terrible horrors and restrictions and the deaths ran into not a few thousand but hundreds of thousands. He even issued orders that if any local people came up to the barbed wire fences they should be warned they would be shot!

The Free French were also involved but the US military was way ahead of them and the more I have dipped into this the more shocking and a disgrace on the West. Even if an occasional US officer was concerned at the state of health and the starving he was well warned and militarily threatened. It wasn't just SS troops but the ordinary German soldiers who suffered. These massive deaths also existed outwith camps when millions were forced to move but the military attitude for u here in the West supposed to be more principled. Even large numbers of the Wermacht who fled to surrender to the Western Allies rather than be treated horribly by the Soviets were to find they were to starve, become seriously ill and die in mass numbers. Yet all thathas been a quiet ignore thing.
OP, I lived in Germany and knew too many Germans to believe a word of what you found in this book. In fact as I understand it, it was the opposite.

And remember there were two famines in the 1930s and of course one immediately after WWII. England was even still on rations so it wasn't limited to Germany. The calorie count was low in Germany and there was hunger and starvation (given the destruction with two world wars two recessions and a depression in 40 years) hence we initiated the Marshall Plan.

OP suggest that when reading history, read multiple sources.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Texas
35,064 posts, read 19,171,984 times
Reputation: 20653
hmmm...

Seems the OP doesn't want to return to his thread.

 
Old 05-30-2019, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,746 posts, read 53,880,773 times
Reputation: 30010
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhowie View Post
I have just read a book on events at the surrender of German soldiers in 1945. It is my second one and that publication was the second and brought up to date one. It was bad enough what happened to the defeated army captured by the Soviets and a horrible persecution and death. However I did not know or expect the same by the Western Allies. The Free French were involved but the large death rate in POW camps was by the USA. It ran into hundreds of thousands not only stuck uncovered but not getting the right level of food support and often virtually noting. General Eisenhower was responsible for these terrible horrors and restrictions and the deaths ran into not a few thousand but hundreds of thousands. He even issued orders that if any local people came up to the barbed wire fences they should be warned they would be shot!

The Free French were also involved but the US military was way ahead of them and the more I have dipped into this the more shocking and a disgrace on the West. Even if an occasional US officer was concerned at the state of health and the starving he was well warned and militarily threatened. It wasn't just SS troops but the ordinary German soldiers who suffered. These massive deaths also existed outwith camps when millions were forced to move but the military attitude for u here in the West supposed to be more principled. Even large numbers of the Wermacht who fled to surrender to the Western Allies rather than be treated horribly by the Soviets were to find they were to starve, become seriously ill and die in mass numbers. Yet all thathas been a quiet ignore thing.
First, I applaud you for taking the time and effort to read a book with a P.O.V. that challenges commonly held assumptions. Such material can have nuggets of otherwise glossed over events, which can round out a more global view. Many people simply say "history is written by the victors" and leave it at that. Factual and complete history often has to wait two or three generations to overcome the glow of victory and hushing of realities. By examining a variety of material you take a first step.

By reading the other posts here, you likely have realized that you made the same stumble along the path that most of us make at some point. A convincing author with a decent facility with language can make the impossible seem not only probable, but fact. A couple of notable examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_von_D%C3%A4niken - Highly entertaining and provocative, his narratives make "what if?" speculation seem like history. Millions agreed with him enough to make his famous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki_expedition This took a supposition, proved a possibility, but did not prove history, which was found to be different.

Historians are ANAL about citing sources and cross-verification. Loosely, there is a peer pressure for veracity, and a drive for a strong net of reliability. If the cites are weak, the peer reviews are poor, then the author hasn't done his homework or has an agenda or is simply out to make a buck off the gullible. They don't teach this in school these days, but back in the middle of the last century there were courses on "how to read a book" and critical thinking that were part of standard curricula.

You now have had an initiation of sorts. Learn from the experience and look for external verification - OUTSIDE of individuals who might think along the same lines as an author or pundit. Such variety of opinion is more than a little enlightening.

On the subject of starvation back then - food resources in Europe were highly stressed. You may have seen "Wartime Farm" which told of the British privations and how food was grown. Remember that Germany had even worse crop disruptions and was forced to incorporating sawdust in bread as a bulking agent. The massacres of many meant more food for those alive. When the war ended, crops didn't suddenly appear fully harvested and ready to eat. It was work or starve, just like on any impoverished ruined farm.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 11:18 AM
 
564 posts, read 151,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Yeah, it amazes me that people would make (any) bold statements without checking the facts and having at least some knowledge about the events.
They do it all the time! Have you watched TV recently?
 
Old 05-30-2019, 12:20 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
4,767 posts, read 3,338,328 times
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Pretty much refuted by mainstream historians. There were some deaths but nowhere in the hundreds of thousands. Chaos reigned. Thousands of German soldiers flowing west to avoid Russian capture. Initially kept in open areas with fencing and guard towers.


Battled wounded and on short rations. Some died. Many were deliberately killed by angry locals in the occupied territories who were looking for revenge. The lot that received harshest treatment were turncoat Soviet troops who were turned over to the Russians by the Allies. They didn't survive.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 01:44 PM
 
5,360 posts, read 2,238,576 times
Reputation: 16133
This is the 'vaccines cause autism' analog of the World War II History forum.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 03:12 PM
 
595 posts, read 117,677 times
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One of the books is "Crime and Mercies" by James Bacque published here in Gt Britain but the other thick paperback I must find where I put it for safe keeping because it was printed twice and in the USA. It's details are very impressive.

I noticed one answer here stating that the US treatment of prisoners was good -eh? Hundreds of thousands dying of especially starvation apart from bad treatment. Even the content of any food was below medical levels. How can hundreds of dashed thousands die under a democratic country- unexpected in the evil USSR. General Eisenhower was well known to hate the Germans and he knew fine well how poorly the prisoners were being treated and the hard fact that he issued instructions to shoot civilians going near the fences with food is also something that should not have happened. We in the West were meant to be principled. German prisoners who were moved to Britain had good treatment . The French were a negative lot but very much in the reduced stats compared to the American military. German soldiers fleeing away from the East thought would be better treated and what happened is shocking and that book I am trying to find details the horror the vast numbers starved to death and/or health allowed to kill them.

There is also a side issue to this horror in that millions of Germans were foreced to move and larg nubers died s well as health matters. What happened to massive numbers of Germans in those camps was hardly any more principled than that dictatorship lot in the USSR.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,091 posts, read 2,824,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
This is the 'vaccines cause autism' analog of the World War II History forum.
Nah, that would be how Hitler really survived in Argentina.
 
Old 05-30-2019, 04:09 PM
 
582 posts, read 123,693 times
Reputation: 1945
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhowie View Post
One of the books is "Crime and Mercies" by James Bacque published here in Gt Britain but the other thick paperback I must find where I put it for safe keeping because it was printed twice and in the USA. It's details are very impressive.

I noticed one answer here stating that the US treatment of prisoners was good -eh? Hundreds of thousands dying of especially starvation apart from bad treatment. Even the content of any food was below medical levels. How can hundreds of dashed thousands die under a democratic country- unexpected in the evil USSR. General Eisenhower was well known to hate the Germans and he knew fine well how poorly the prisoners were being treated and the hard fact that he issued instructions to shoot civilians going near the fences with food is also something that should not have happened. We in the West were meant to be principled. German prisoners who were moved to Britain had good treatment . The French were a negative lot but very much in the reduced stats compared to the American military. German soldiers fleeing away from the East thought would be better treated and what happened is shocking and that book I am trying to find details the horror the vast numbers starved to death and/or health allowed to kill them.
I see you've simply decided to ignore the fact, presented to you in some detail, that Bacque's work is a special combination of faulty and deceptive. Historians - both American and, critically, German - hold that deaths in U.S. camps totaled ~67,000, or roughly 1%. This is not particularly high, considering that the average stay in the camps was over a year, that many of the prisoners were suffering from war wounds of various degrees, and that the task of feeding them was Herculean.

You can keep repeating that 'hundreds of thousands' died. That doesn't make it so. You can pretend that, for no explicable reason, Germany is complicit in covering up the American abuse of Germans. In reality, Europe after the war was devastated. Farms ravaged, workers dead, the supply chain non-existent. And priority was given to feeding the populaces of non-aggressor states, and then to German civilians. There's nothing wrong with that.

Also, aside from the fact that your 'hundreds of thousands' claim is simply false, so too is your claim that the deaths were due to 'especially starvation'. You can't even properly cite your own nonsensical source: Other Losses claims that a mere 15% of the deaths were from combined starvation/dehydration, with most of the rest from disease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhowie View Post
There is also a side issue to this horror in that millions of Germans were foreced to move and larg nubers died s well as health matters. What happened to massive numbers of Germans in those camps was hardly any more principled than that dictatorship lot in the USSR.
The expulsion of the Germans was from Eastern Europe. That was done by the USSR. Do you hold to the delusional notion that the western Allies had some sort of obligation to stop Stalin from doing what was certainly cruel (it is believed by historians - real historians, not novelists with fanboys - that about two millions Germans died in these forced relocations)? They didn't. More importantly, there was no practical way for the western Allies to do so. It was a tragedy, it was a moral abomination, and it lies solely at the feet of Stalin and his minions.
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