Hellstorm • epilogue

In almost any war one side can be dishonestly demonized even by a truthful enumeration of its crimes, if the crimes of its adversaries are suppressed. —Irmin Vinson


Excerpted from Thomas Goodrich’s 2010 book

Hellstorm:
The Death of Nazi Germany
(1944-1947)



Epilogue

As Hans Woltersdorf observed, and as Allied occupation troops would later attest, the one element almost totally lacking in the German heart during the post-war years was, surprisingly, the spirit of hatred and revenge.

Paradoxically, while the defeated had neither the time nor the inclination to look back, the victors did. Continuing the process begun before the war, the Western propaganda offensive against Germany proceeded with renewed vigor following the war. In thousands of books, articles, and movies, the world was reminded over and over again that the Nazi Party in particular, and all Germans in general, were solely responsible for the war; that they and they alone had committed beastly atrocities; that only the German people and their leaders were war criminals; that German guilt was somehow something “unique.” Curiously, many who argued this thesis and were often its most violent proponents were also those who had been furthest removed from the actual fighting itself.

Among those closest to the fight, however, post-war propaganda had negligible results. Indeed, far from being filled with hatred as they were expected to be, many maturing Allied soldiers and airmen—those who actually fought on the ground or bombed from the air—were some of the least vindictive and some of the most forgiving. After boarding with Germans, dining with Germans, drinking with Germans, and sometimes, after courting and falling in love with Germans, many Allied troops ultimately began to understand and identify with Germans. Too late, most came to the shocking realization that in no appreciable way was their former enemy different from themselves. Ashamed by the sadistic, blood-thirsty propaganda they had swallowed so eagerly and obeyed so blindly, many young men—Americans, British, French, and even Russians—knew all too well from experience that neither Nazis or Germans had a corner on crime and that there was nothing “unique” about guilt or evil.

One of the most outspoken opponents of singular war guilt was the intrepid American journalist, Freda Utley. “An atrocity ceases to be one when committed in a ‘good cause,’ that is, our own,” wrote the hard-hitting author in her 1949 book, The High Cost of Vengeance.

I thought it was high time we stopped talking about German guilt, since there was no crime the Nazis had committed, which we or our allies had not also committed. I had referred to our obliteration bombing, the mass deportation and expulsion from their homes of twelve million Germans on account of their race; the starving of the Germans during the first years of the occupation; the use of prisoners as slave laborers; the Russian concentration camps, and the looting perpetrated by Americans as well as Russians… Compared with the rape and murder and looting engaged in by the Russian armies at the war’s end, the terror and slavery and hunger and robbery in the East zone today, and the genocide practiced by the Poles and Czechs, the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Germans condemned at Nuremberg to death or lifelong imprisonment appeared as minor in extent if not in degree.

J.F.C. Fuller agreed. “For fifty or a hundred years, and possibly more,” announced the British major general, “the ruined cities of Germany will stand as monuments to the barbarism of their conquerors.”

Another backward-looking Briton, an RAF crewman, expressed in simple, yet profound, terms a thought that thousands of other Allied soldiers and airmen no doubt pondered for the rest of their lives: “Had the Germans won the war, should we or ought we to have been tried as war criminals?… The thoughts live with me to this day.”

For the most part though, such reflections were kept strictly private.

We had turned the evil of our enemies back upon them a hundredfold, and, in so doing, something of our integrity had been shattered, had been irrevocably lost. All, all, were one, all were the ghastly horror of what we had known, of what we had helped to do… Face it when you close this book.


____________________________

Educate yourself about the Holocaust perpetrated on the German people by the Allied forces that the mainstream media has covered up for nearly seventy years.

Hellstorm is still available from the publisher.

Hellstorm • chapter 11

In almost any war one side can be dishonestly demonized even by a truthful enumeration of its crimes, if the crimes of its adversaries are suppressed. —Irmin Vinson


Excerpted from Thomas Goodrich’s 2010 book

Hellstorm:
The Death of Nazi Germany
(1944-1947)



Crime of the Age

Under agreements articulated at Yalta and codified at Potsdam, Russia would receive vast stretches of German and Polish territory in the east and, in recompense, Poland would absorb large tracts of the Former Reich in the west, including much of Prussia, Pomerania and the extremely rich, industrialized province of Silesia. What such an action implied was chillingly revealed by Winston Churchill. When a Polish official expressed doubt that such a massive uprooting of people could be carried out, the British prime minister wavered all concerns aside: “Don’t mind the five or more million Germans, Stalin will see to them. You will have no trouble with them: they will cease to exist.”

When horrifying accounts such as the above [the genocidal implementation of the Potsdam agreements described by Goodrich in seventeen pages] began circulating in the US and Britain, readers were shocked and sickened. Vengeful and bloody-minded as many in the West had been during the war, with peace most no longer had a stomach for the cold and calculated slaughter of a fallen foe.

“An apparently deliberate attempt is being made to exterminate many millions of Germans by depriving them of their homes and of food, leaving them to die by slow agonizing starvation,” influential British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, warned in the London Times. “This is not done as an act of war, but as part of a deliberate policy of ‘peace’.”

“The scale of this resettlement and the conditions in which it takes place are without precedents in history,” added Anne O’Hare McCormick in the New York Times. “No one seeing its horrors firsthand can doubt that it is a crime against humanity.”

Wrote an equally outraged American academic, Austin J. App:

Cannot each of us write a letter to President Truman and another to each of our senators begging them not to make the United States a partner to the greatest mass atrocity so far recorded in history? Calling it the greatest mass atrocity so far recorded in history is not rhetoric. It is not ignorance of history. It is sober truth.

To slice three or four ancient provinces from a country, then loot and plunder nine million people of their houses, farms, cattle, furniture, and even clothes, and then expel them from the land they have inhabited for 700 years with no distinction between the innocent and the guilty, to drive them like unwanted beasts on foot to far-off provinces, unprotected, shelterless, and starving is an atrocity so vast that history records none vaster.

Fortunately, these voices of protest and the pressure they exerted on Western leaders were welcome signs that the physical torment of Germany was nearing an end. Unfortunately, by the time the horror became common knowledge, the deed was all but done. Of the roughly eleven million expellees hurled from their homes in Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia, an estimated two million, mostly women and children, perished. Equally as horrifying, though less well known, were the nearly one million Germans who died during a similar expulsion in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. Additionally, an estimated four million more ethnic Germans were sent east to Russia and elsewhere where their odds of surviving as slaves were worse than as refugees.

While Western leaders such as Winston Churchill expressed astonishment at the tragedy they had wrought in eastern Germany, little was said about the deliberate starvation of the rest of the Reich, and utter silence prevailed concerning the Allied torture chambers in Germany and Poland, the on-the-spot massacre of Nazi Party members and SS troops, or the death camps run by Eisenhower. Indeed, taken as a whole, it is not improbable that far more Germans died during the first two years of “peace” than died during the previous six years of war. It was truly, as Time magazine had earlier termed it, “history’s most terrifying peace.”

None of the major, or minor, Allied war crimes ran any risk of being called to account for their acts. Far from it. At the lower levels, those who actually committed the atrocities at Dachau, Nemmersdorf and the thousands other points on the map, were quietly forgiven while at the upper end, US generals became American presidents and English prime ministers became British knights.

Meanwhile, as the voices of conscience were drowned in a flood of Allied adulation and celebration, much of the world’s attention was riveted on Nuremberg. There, the victors sat in judgment over the vanquished. There, the accused German leaders were tried, they were convicted, and they were dutifully hung, for planning aggressive war… for waging criminal war… for crimes against peace and humanity… for crimes planned… for crimes against… And all this, it may be presumed spoken slowly, solemnly, and with a straight face.

From afar, Austin J. App watched the ongoing charade in Nuremberg with mounting indignation. Like a good many others, the American academic had followed closely the course of the war and he, for one, was appalled and outraged by the utter hypocrisy displayed:

Germans still have much to feel guilty of before God. But they have nothing to feel guilty of before the Big Three. Any German who still feels guilty before the Allies is a fool.


____________________________

Educate yourself about the Holocaust perpetrated on the German people by the Allied forces that the mainstream media has covered up for nearly seventy years.

Hellstorm is still available from the publisher.

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