In the judeo communist realms, the conditions that German POWs, many just kids, endured on the Eastern Front were beyond grim and did not follow any accepted protocol for treatment of captured soldiers. Under the provisions of the Yalta Agreement, the U.S. and U.K. had agreed to the use of German POWs in the Soviet Gulag as “reparations-in-kind,” but comparatively few Germans were taken alive before Stalingrad. Most were shot and many were mutilated alive. Out of the 90,000 Germans who marched into Soviet captivity at Stalingrad, only 5,000 ever returned: 40,000 did not survive the march to the Beketovka camp, where another 42,000 perished of hunger and disease. Those POWs that made it alive to separate camps in Siberia and elsewhere in the western Soviet Union were forced into slave labor and endured frequent beatings, brutal torture, poisoning and execution. Thousands more captured soldiers were executed on the spot and thrown into mass graves. Food and water were always scarce, living barely primitive. The result was an unacceptable rate of death.
The jewish gulag’s daily food ration was padded with 400 to 800 grams of bread, more than half of the prisoner’s daily 1200-1300 calories. The most productive workers received a modest food bonus (ironically, the Morgenthau Plan for occupied Germany suggested the same allotment of 1300 calories a day per German, while the suggested minimum requirements for heavy labor are from 3,100-4,000 calories per day). In the gulags, the prisoner’s food ration was linked to his production. Realizing that the most productive work done by prisoners is in the first three months of captivity, after which they were too debilitated to perform well, the exhausted prisoners were simply killed off and replaced with fresh blood, ensuring a constant flow of new labor.
Because the German POWs had been conveniently redefined as “disarmed enemy forces,” jewish led Allied captors did whatever they wanted with their German captives and even bartered them away to others for use as slaves. In fact, in a “Re-education” bulletin distributed by the “Special Service Division, Army Service Forces” of the U.S.Army in 1945, tacit approval is given for the intentional transfer of German POWs from Allied hands to the genocidal jewish Red Army ala Morgenthau’s genocidal plan:
“Many German prisoners will remain in Russia after the end of war, not voluntarily, but because the Russians need them as workers. That is not only perfectly legal, but also prevents the danger of the returning prisoners of war becoming the core of a new national movement. If we ourselves do not want to keep the German prisoners after the war, we should send them nonetheless to Russia.”
Long columns of German prisoners were marched on foot hundreds of tortuous miles toward their doom in Stalingrad, Kiev, Kharkov, Moscow and Minsk where most were starved and worked to death. Very few ever saw home again. Although it was always strongly denied, the jew Morgenthau himself said his plan was implemented. In the New York Post for Nov. 24, 1947, he wrote, “The Morgenthau Plan for Germany… became part of the Potsdam Agreement, a solemn declaration of policy and undertaking for action…. signed by the United States of America, Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”
The fates of thousands upon thousands of German soldiers, many just kids, surrendered to both the Allies and especially the Soviets have never been accounted for and any attempts to uncover the truth of their disappearance have been halted. Between 1941 and 1952, millions of German POWs died in the Gulag. The last surviving 10,000 of them were not released from the Soviet Union until 1955, after a decade of forced labor. About 1.5 million German soldiers are still listed as missing in action and join the ranks of those who vanished while under Soviet captivity.
The jewish Red Terror was let loose on surrendered German POWs in eastern Europe from Czechoslovakia to Poland and beyond. Many were simply shot and thrown into mass graves, others were tortured and mutilated first, and these retributions extended even to young boys. German POWs who fell into the hands of the Yugoslav hordes suffered horrible fates. After 1986, a report appeared showing that out of about 194,000 prisoners, up to 100,000 died from gruesome torture, murder, horrible conditions, disease and intentional starvation.
Around 93,000 ethnic Germans who lived in the Danube basin from 1939 to 1941 served in Hungarian, Croatian and Romanian armies, and they remained citizens of those countries during the war (many of these ethnic Germans served in the “Prinz Eugen” Waffen SS division of about 10,000, which automatically gave them German citizenship). 26,000 of these soldiers died, over half after the end of the war in Yugoslav camps. When most of the “Prinz Eugen” division surrendered after May 8, 1945, over 1,700 of them were murdered in a village near the Croat-Slovenian border and the other half was worked to death in Yugoslav zinc mines near the town of Bor, in Serbia.
Aside from these Danube German soldiers, over 70,000 Germans who had served in regular Wehrmacht died in Yugoslav captivity from revenge murders or as slave laborers in dangerous work. These were mostly troops of “Army Group E” who surrendered to British in southern Austria on May 8, 1945 only to have the British turn about 150,000 of them over to vengeance fueled judeo Communist Yugoslav partisans who dealt with them brutally.
The fates of the remaining captured German troops in Yugoslavia was murder, both fast and slow. First, up to 10,000 died in jewish Communist-organized “atonement marches” (Suhnemärsche) which stretched 800 miles from the southern border of Austria to the northern border of Greece. In most instances, the prisoners were all tied together and forced to walk barefoot with no food or water. As some dropped off one by one on these death marches, others were executed or tied together in smaller groups and thrown into rivers where they were all shot for sport and drowned.
On November 1, 1944, the Council for the Liberation of Yugoslavia declared all Germans “open prey” and less than half of the German POWs and ethnic German civilians survived the partisans’ genocide during this time. Then, later in the summer of 1945, many more German POWs were murdered in mass executions or thrown alive into large karst pits along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. For the next 10 years, from 1945 to 1955, as was the case in the Soviet Union and other judeo communist countries, 50,000 more German prisoners died from being worked to death as slaves and from the results of disease, starvation or exhaustion.
Thousands of German and Croat soldiers captured in the final days of the War were coldly executed and buried in mass graves found in western Croatia. As of October 2007, 540 secret mass graves had been registered across Slovenia, believed to be holding up to 100,000 bodies. Since that time, many more have been unearthed.
A site recently uncovered at Harmica, 50 kilometres north-west of Zagreb, holds the bodies of 4,500 soldiers, including 450 German officers, executed by the communist partisans. The bones were found in six separate caves and laid in trenches upon discovery. The victims were troops of the 392 Infantry Division, set up by the German command in Croatia in August 1943 led by Lt. General Hans Mickl. In other caves, POWs were herded in and were gassed to death after the entrances were sealed. In previous discoveries of mass graves of both civilians and military, the remains wore no clothing and had been mutilated, burned, beaten, dismembered or suffered other atrocities. In 2009, “hundreds” of mummified corpses shot by Tito’s Partisans were found near Lasko in Slovenia. Croatia’s Interior Minister said there could be as many as 840 mass graves in Croatia alone and estimated another 600 in neighbouring Slovenia and around 90 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
When approximately 6,000 German Army officers were released by the judeo Western Allies in the first half of 1945, they were then re-arrested by the judeo Soviets and held in Zone II at Sachsenhausen Prison Camp which had formerly held the Communist political prisoners of the NS. Later, Special Camp No. 7 was filled with German prisoners who had been sentenced by a Soviet military tribunal to 15 years of hard labor. By the end of 1945, it held 12,000 to 16,000 prisoners, among them 2,000 female prisoners, but the population grew by epic proportions.
There was inadequate food and deplorable sanitary conditions. Prisoners could have no clothing other than what they were wearing when arrested. Disease and epidemics ran through the barracks where the prisoners had to sleep on the bare wood frames with only a block of wood for a pillow for two years until blankets and bags of straw were finally distributed in 1947. They were not allowed any activities, and even singing was prohibited. The windows of the overcrowded barracks were blacked out and the prisoners were kept in almost total darkness. A total of approximately 60,000 German prisoners were held in Special Camp No. 7 after World War II ended, and 12,000 were buried in unmarked mass graves. None were released by the Soviets until 1948, and most prisoners remained there until 1950, and some were sent on to the Soviet “jewlags” or handed over to the East German Communist government for even more punishment.
In eleven Soviet camps set up within the GDR such as Muehlberg, Saxonia or Oranienburg, many thousands also lost their lives. Between 1945 and 1950 there were 122,671 interned, from which 42,889 died of diseases and 756 were executed. However in Muehlberg at 7,000 to 9,000 out of 22,000 perished painfully from hunger, malnutrition and epidemics and were then thrown into mass graves. Prisoners here as young as fifteen were completely isolated and not allowed to write or receive any letters. Most were kept for years without ever knowing why they were arrested, since in those camps there were no prominent national socialists. There were eleven silent or secret camps as well “Five Oaks” at New Brandenburg where about 6500 prisoners died.
Established in April, 1945, near the village of Ketschendorf in Furstenwalde south-east of Berlin, the judeo Soviet occupation forces ran a camp named ‘Special Camp Number 5.’ which housed internees. At first the prisoners were primarily members NS and members of the SS. But then the Soviets began including many German teenagers who were arrested without reason or kidnapped, taken away by the Russian military forces and simply “disappeared.” Months later, in November, 1945, there were still 9,395 persons interned in Camp Ketschendorf. During this time it is believed that over 5,000 internees died due to the catastrophic conditions under which they were forced to live. During 1952 and 1953 many mass graves were discovered. Around 4,500 bodies were exhumed and reburied in a mass grave at Halbe. Another camp ‘Special Camp Number 2’ was set up in the former concentration camp at Buchenwald which held 28,000 internees, 7,000 of whom died from neglect and hunger. These camps were unknown to the outside world until years after the war.
The Hermann Helfta POW camp near Eisleben
Eisleben, Saxony (Lutherstadt Eisleben) is one of the oldest towns between the Harz mountains and the river Elbe. Here, Martin Luther was born and died. Eisleben was first officially recorded in 994 AD and was granted a town charter in the 12th century. The town grew in importance in the 15th and 16th centuries, mainly due to the copper mining and smelting industry in the territories of the once powerful Counts of Mansfeld. The district of Neustadt, a settlement for miners where St. Anne’s Church and the adjacent Augustinian Friars’ monastery are located, was established in the town’s heyday. As the local curate, Martin Luther often used to stay there.
The Cistercian convent of St Mary of Helfta is located outside Eisleben. It was founded in 1229 below Mansfeld Castle and in 1258 the nuns moved to Helfta. It went on to become a major European religious and cultural center. Three women represent the influence of the convent on German mysticism and literature in the 13th century: Getrud the Great, Mechthild of Magdeburg and Mechthild of Hackeborn.
Eisleben, a city with about 24,000 inhabitants in 1945, was attacked with artillery fire and low-flying attacks, and while no major physical damage was caused to the city itself, surrounding mining and industrial enterprises were greatly impacted. Three firefighters and fourteen people were killed in the shelling of the town. By the end, in April 1945, every major school, several restaurants and the city hospital was being used as a hospital for casualties from the surrounding area.
The jewish led Americans took control of the city, which surrendered without a fight after futile resistance from some young boys and old men. All privately owned weapons, binoculars, cameras, radios had to be delivered and all citizens had to undergo a registration. In addition, a curfew was imposed. A large wave of arrests by American military police against office-holders of the Third Reich followed.
The Americans set up a “refugee camp” to keep their many prisoners of war as well as to detain certain civilians on the north and east side of the mine shaft at the Hermann Helfta, but it was not a “real” camp. It was rather a field hastily fenced with barbed wire without any barracks or housing. The prisoners had to sleep on the bare ground and there was hardly any food. Water was provided only once a day from a toxic former agricultural water truck which had carried pesticides. Numerous ex-inmates testified that while bread was being sent to them, the US guards let it mold outside of the fences in view of the starving inmates. They describe having to sleep in the open under pouring rain and in storms, with their mouths open trying to get drops of fluid, of some people having barely any clothing to cover themselves and of the rampant physical abuse and torment they endured. Below: former site of the “camp.”
The hygienic conditions were as miserable as the water supply. Prisoners began dropping like flies, but anyone attempting an attempt to escape was immediately shot. The number of prisoners was increasing and conditions became more unbearable. There was almost no space left available for a prisoner to lie down. When a couple of prisoners complained at last, a group of them was herded onto a truck by the Americans and taken to the liberated Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar to see the “atrocity exhibits” which had been recently been polished up by the Americans for use as learning tools for their German “re-education” policy. On their return, the prisoners had to describe the scene and recite alleged German atrocities to their fellow prisoners in the Helfta camp who were gathered together for the “show.” Thus, each protest was suppressed at once.
By the end of May, it became increasingly difficult to manage Helfta and it was disbanded, with some of the prisoners were moved by trucks to Naumburg on the Saale. By then, 80,000 to 90,000 prisoners had been interned in Helfta (a number now being “downsized” by “modern historians” to a mere 22,000). The death toll in any case is considered to be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000.
After the Americans handed over the entire area to the judeo communists as previously agreed, the subject was officially taboo to speak of, and this was the policy of the former German Democratic Republic. Since reunification, a monumental stone has finally been erected to the immense suffering of the inmates of the POW camp Helfta, donated by former German prisoners of war and the Folk Society Helfta. Much of the former camp was divided into small land parcels with homes built over another part. Not a single reference exists to this wretched piece of German history exists today.
Some German POWs returned home after eight or more years in captivity as penniless, homeless old men and receiving charity to live, as Henry Morganthau desired, “as a dog is dependent on its master” for survival.
Two Wrongs Make Right
Thanks to the jewish Allied insistence that surrendered, disarmed German soldiers were not POW’s but “disarmed forces who had surrendered unconditionally,” treaties guarding against abuse could be ignored and were. One of the worst examples of this policy was the use of captives for slave labor performing deadly tasks, in the case here, clearing land of mines.
In Norway, German protests that forcing POWs to clear mines was against international law, article 32 of the Geneva conventions, were rejected with the assertion that the Germans were not POW’s but “disarmed forces who had surrendered unconditionally.”
After the German capitulation in Norway on May 8, 1945, over 5,000 German prisoners of war were forced by the British, under the command of General Sir Andrew Thorn, to undertake clearance of land mines in clear violation of the Geneva Convention of 1928. The POWs had to walk arm-in-arm through mine fields already cleared of mines in hopes of triggering off land mines that were not found previously. Mine clearance reports received by the Allied Forces Head Quarter state: June 21, 1945 lists 199 dead and 163 wounded Germans. The registration from August 29, 1945 lists 275 dead and 392 Germans. Neither Thorn nor anyone else was ever held accountable for war crimes.
It happened in Denmark as well, and a Danish historian documented the killing of German POWs during such clearance of land mines. It is assumed that about 250 German POWs met their deaths in this way in Denmark when forced to perform this diabolical task. On the morning of July 22, 1945, seven Germans were blown into the air as 450 land mines detonated. The other German POWs had to then collect the body parts of their friends without using gloves or other protection.
At the end of the war, mines had been laid on more than 500,000 hectares of land in France. The French had asked the Americans and the British to hand German POWs over to them for use in mine-clearing operations. London and Washington agreed, and the French forced tens of thousands of German prisoners of war to clear minefields between mid-1945 and the end of 1947, regardless of whether the mines had been laid by German army engineers or by the French army against German forces. Possibly as many as 50,000 German POWs may have been used for this high-risk form of forced labor. An estimated 1,800 of them died. Some of the survivors are asking for compensation.
German prisoners of war being used as mine clearers although they should have been protected under the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. Article 32 unequivocally states that: “It is forbidden to use prisoners of war at unhealthful or dangerous work.”
There seemed to be a grim jewish satisfaction in having German prisoners “clean up” the mess of war and the thought of exacting retribution from those unable to defend themselves made titillating news. Many were forced to perform “clean up” operations such as those illustrated above in a 1946 British magazine where the German prisoners were vindictively fanned out and made to sweep clean Dunkirk beach of “hazardous materials.”
It was not only male POWs who suffered the grim consequences of revenge. As shown on another page of this site, female German military personnel also paid the price.
On April 15, 1945, the Belsen prison camp was occupied by British troops who found thousands of decaying corpses scattered about the grounds. In the final, chaotic months of the war, trains had brought to Belsen thousands of new inmates from other camps in the east which had experienced catastrophic conditions during the final months of the war when food and medical transports were being destroyed on the roads and railways by Allied bombers. This made the conditions at Belsen even worse, and the ensuing shortage of food, water and medicines together with overcrowding and an uncontrollable outbreak of typhus had caused the deaths of thousands of inmates.
A few weeks after the British takeover, another 13,000 died, some 2,000 of them after eating the rich food given to them by the British. On May 2, some 95 medical students from London’s teaching hospitals were flown to Belsen to help treat the sick prisoners. It was acknowledged that there was no deliberate intention by the Germans to starve the prisoners to death at Belsen. There were no gas chambers and the “crematorium” consisted of only one furnace in which to dispose of the dead.
All the same, the jewish led British executed the camp’s commandant and his chief physician at the ‘Belsen War Crimes Trial’ in spite of valiant efforts they had made to remedy the horrible situation. They had quarantined the camp and done everything in their power to prevent the catastrophe, even begging the surrounding population to donate vegetables and food. Of a total of 86 staff members captured at Belsen, 28 were women. By June 17, twenty had died, most from digging graves to bury the dead inmates which the British forced them to do. By the end of the month the whole camp had to be burned down (also covered elsewhere).
After the End: Who Put the Bad in Bad Kreuznach?
There was no “peace treaty” in place at the end of the jewish instigated War. German POWs were labelled “disarmed enemy forces” (DEF) rather than “prisoners of war” in order to skirt provisions of the Hague Land Warfare Convention which mandated humane treatment, including that which stated: “After the peace treaty, prisoners of war should be dismissed into their homeland within shortest period.” By this manipulation of justice, German POWS could be taken to the lands of their former enemies and used as slave labor for extended periods, often at the cost of their lives due to grim hardships encountered before, during and after transit. Furthermore, a German soldier designated as DEF had no right to any food, water or shelter, and could, as many thousands did, die within days.
There were no impartial observers to witness the treatment of POWs held by the U.S. Army. From the date Germany unconditionally surrendered, May 8, 1945, Switzerland was dismissed as the official Protecting Power for German prisoners and the International Red Cross was informed that with no Protecting Power to report to, there was no need for them to send delegates to the camps.
Half of the German POWs in the West were imprisoned by the US forces, half by the British. The number of prisoners reached such a huge proportion that the British could not accept any more, and the US consequently established the Rheinwiesenlager from April to September of 1945 where they quickly built a series of “cages” in open meadows and enclosed them with razor wire. One such notorious field was located at Bad Kreuznach where the German prisoners were herded into the open spaces with no toilets, tents or shelters. They had to burrow sleeping spaces into the ground with their bare hands and in some, there was barely enough room to lay down.
In the Bad Kreuznach cage, up to 560,000 men were interned in a congested area and denied adequate food, water, shelter or sanitary facilities and they died like flies of disease, exposure and illness after surviving on less than 700 calories a day. There are 1,000 official graves in Bad Kreuznach, but it is claimed there are mass graves which have remained off limits to investigation.
Only by the autumn of 1945, after most camps had closed or were in the process of closing, was the Red Cross granted permission to send delegations to visit camps in the French and UK occupation zones and to finally provide minuscule amounts of relief, and it was not until February 4, 1946, that the Red Cross was allowed to send even token relief to others in the U.S. occupation zone. The death rate for prisoners in these U.S. camps was at that point 30% per year, according to a U.S. medical survey, but nearly all the surviving records of the Rhineland death camps were destroyed.
There were also numerous accidents in transport. A few weeks after the war officially ended, on July 16, 1945, a US military freight train carrying tanks near Munich was signalled to proceed by an American signalman despite the track ahead being blocked by a train carrying German POWs which had stopped due to an engine breakdown. It slammed into it and killed 96 German soldiers.
At the end of June, 1945 the first camps in Remagen, Böhl-Ingelheim and Büderich were dissolved. SHAEF offered the camps to the French, who wanted 1.75 million prisoners of war for use as jewish slave labor. In July, Sinzig, Andernach, Siershahn, Bretzenheim, Dietersheim, Koblenz, Hechtzheim and Dietz, all containing thousands of prisoners, were given to France. In the British Zone, prisoners of war who were able to work were transferred to France and the rest were released. At the end of September, 1945 all the initial camps were dissolved.
At one point, 80,000 prisoners of war a month were supposed to have to been returned from USA captivity and discharged into the Allied zones of Germany as part of the 1.3 million allotted to France for “rehabilitation work” (slave labor), but after the Red Cross reported that 200,000 of the prisoners already in French hands were so undernourished they were unfit for labor and likely to die over the winter, the USA stopped all transfers of prisoners to French custody until the French would maintain them in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
By winter 1947, it was estimated by the International Red Cross that 4,160,000 German POWs were still held in ‘work camps’ outside Germany: 750,000 in France, 30,000 in Italy, 460,000 in Britain, 48,000 in Belgium, 4,000 in Luxembourg and 1,300 in Holland (as discussed later, the Soviet Union started with between four and five million, Yugoslavia had 80,000 and Czechoslovakia 45,000) as well as the USA’s 140,000 in the US Occupation Zone with 100,000 more later also held in France.
It is estimated that 700,000 to a million men may have died within the period they spent incarcerated in American and French camps alone from 1945 to 1948. There are much higher estimates, however, and attempts to uncover the truth regarding these camps in modern times, as well as excavation of reported mass grave sites, have been vigilantly thwarted by, among others, the German government. It is unknown how many perished under British captors but recently declassified documents indicate widespread torture and abuse. Under all of them, many of the prisoners were used to do dangerous work such as working with hazardous materials and mine sweeping in complete disregard of the law.
In total, 5,025 German men and women were convicted of war crimes between 1945 and 1949 in the American, British and French zones by Allied War Crimes Trials. Over 500 were sentenced to death and the majority were executed, among them 21 women.
In Cold Blood
Many German soldiers at the end of the fighting desperately tried to get to a place where they could be taken captive by the Americans rather than the Russians. Some swam, ran or crawled to safety. Others resorted to stealing US jeeps or donning US uniforms to accomplish this and when caught were usually treated as spies and executed.
If captured in small groups, the jewish led US Army unofficial policy was to slaughter the prisoners where they stood if they were SS. The largest (currently acknowledged) massacres at the hands of the Americans were the murder of 700 troops of the surrendered 8th SS Mountain Division, atrocities carried out against the surrendered SS Westphalia Brigade where most of the German captives were shot through the back of the head, and the machine gunning of 300 surrendered camp guards at Dachau. There was also an alleged mass murder of as many as 48 surrendered German prisoners who were captured on April 15, 1945 at Jungholzhausen. An eye-witness stated: “The Americans forced the Germans to walk in front of them with raised hands in groups of four. Then they shot the prisoners in their heads from behind.” The bodies were loaded onto a truck and taken away. The matter is still “under investigation”! There were other incidents of lawlessness and outright murder.
A mass grave outside of Nürnberg discovered after the war contained the bodies of some 200 SS soldiers. Autopsies revealed that most had been shot at close range or beaten to death by US Seventh Army rifle butts. In the village of Eberstetten, 17 German soldiers of the ‘Gotz von Berlichingen’ Division were shot after they surrendered to US troops. 14 members of the 116th Panzer Division were marched through the streets of Budberg on April 8, 1945 to the US 95th Infantry Division command post where they were lined up and shot. Three were wounded and managed to escape.
On April 13, 1945, the US Infantry entered the village of Spitze near Cologne and made the village inhabitants gather in front of the church. 20 German soldiers among them, members of an anti-aircraft unit stationed in the village, were separated and marched several hundred yards to a field just outside the village where they were lined up and mowed down by machine-gun fire. The US Army ordered the civilians to dig graves and bury the dead. A memorial for the victims was built in 1995.
Several dozen unarmed German prisoners of war were murdered in cold blood by American forces near the village of Chenogne, Belgium on January 1, 1945. Accounts of the massacre indicate it was a revenge killing for the incident called the “Malmedy massacre” which had taken place a couple weeks before elsewhere. One American unit is said to have issued orders that, “No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoners but will be shot on sight.”
Author Martin Sorge writes: “It was in the wake of the Malmedy incident at Chegnogne that on New Year’s Day 1945 some 60 German POWs were shot in cold blood by their American guards. The guilty went unpunished. It was felt that the basis for their action was orders that no prisoners were to be taken.” An official history published by the United States government denies this.
An eyewitness account by John Fague of B Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion (of the 11th Armored Division), near Chenogne describes the murder of German prisoners by American soldiers: “After a rest of an hour we received orders to go back through the town and join our vehicles on the other side of the town. We formed into the semblance of columns and trudged back. As we were going up the hill out of town, I know some of our boys were lining up German prisoners in the fields on both sides of the road. They must have been 25 or 30 German boys in each group. Machine guns were being set up. These boys were to be machine gunned and murdered. We were committing the same crimes we were now accusing the Japs and Germans of doing. The terrible significance of what was going on did not occur to me at the time. After the killing and confusion of that morning the idea of killing some more Krauts didn’t particularly bother me. I didn’t want any share in the killing. My chief worry was that Germans hiding in the woods would see this massacre and we would receive similar treatment if we were captured. I turned my back on the scene and walked on up the hill.”
In another case, poisoned bread was fed to German prisoners in one camp. There are differing accounts of the story, but the official American version was that a bakery worker who supplied bread to American prison camps claimed he received arsenic in bottles from Paris and poisoned 3,000 loaves of bread. It sickened over two thousand men and the death toll was anywhere from 200 to 700 German veterans. This criminal act was never prosecuted.
In 1945, thousands of German POWs were jammed into US Army vehicles going through towns such as Nürnberg and Emskirchen (below). They often traveled for hundreds of miles without being able to sit and with no food, rest or relief stops. Hundreds of German prisoners were confined in makeshift US camps. Some were sent to fields, mudholes, quarries and other hell-holes. The photos below show the magnitude of the situation.
Below top to bottom: 1945 German POWs at their new home in Verdun, France; POWs captured in France; About 250,000 Germans (including most of the Afrika Korps) and Italians who surrendered in Tunis in May 1943 taken as prisoners of war where they sweltered in large pens in the desert heat (many survivors were later sent to Egypt and campsin the US and elsewhere). Captured POWs being abused by mob. Lastly, “poison bread incident” wire photo. The New York Times reported: “NUREMBERG, Germany, April 22 (AP) U S Army authorities said tonight that additional German prisoners of war have been stricken with arsenic poisoning, bringing to 2,283 the number taken ill in a mysterious plot against 15,000 former Nazi Elite Guard men confined in a camp near Nuremberg.”And on April 23, 1946, it stated: “POISON PLOT TOLL OF NAZIS AT 2,283; Arsenic Bottles Found by U.S. Agents in Nuremberg Bakery That Served Prison Camp.”
Many of the German POWs were mere boys when they were captured and were therefore better able to survive the brutal conditions of slave labor under the communists. When they finally came “home,” many had no living family, no homeland and no thanks for their sacrifice since it is politically incorrect to honor Germany’s soldiers. In 1955, in West Germany at Friedland camp, the last (official) surviving German prisoners of war were finally released from the Soviet Union after 10 long, hard years of slavery.
Other Odds and Ends; Internment; Brain Washing; Camps on Home Soil
As for German POWs kept on American soil from 1942-1945, most were shipped to and detained in about 500 camps in rural areas across the USA, mainly in the South and Southwest but also in the Great Plains and Midwest (12,000 POWs were held in camps in Nebraska alone). In spite of the Geneva Convention, specially trained prison officials set about molding the minds of the 380,000 German prisoners who filled numerous US camps from 1943 onward. Prisoners were expected to turn them into “US-style democrats” using coercion, brainwashing and threats.
Behavioral scientists at the Pentagon directed a “re-education” program using liberal arts professors who entered over 500 camps nationwide imposed a program that stressed only positive aspects of American society. German POW collaborators and American educators censored popular books and films as they feverishly promoted democratic humanism and condemned German “wartime heroics.”
Those who didn’t comply were sent mainly to Camp Alva in Oklahoma, a maximum-security camp for those the military deemed “hardcore Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.” At least forty-six captives died while in custody there.
More than 7,000 German prisoners of war were brought to twelve different camps in Utah where hundreds of German prisoners had also been held during World War One, in fact, more than 500 German seamen captured on board the German cruiser SMS Cormoran at Guam and the SMS Geier at Hawaii when America declared war on Germany were interned at Fort Douglas between June 1917 and March 1918. Fort Douglas was also the prison for “enemy aliens,” conscientious objectors, and others arrested for violations of wartime legislation.
On May 7, 1945, there were 250 German prisoners of war still housed at a camp that had been set up at the end of Main Street in Salina, Utah awaiting repatriation back to their homeland. They were housed in 43 tents scattered across the camp grounds with guards towers looming above. On July 8, 1945, Private Clarence Bertucci began his midnight shift and soon took his .30-caliber machine gun and aimed at the tents where the prisoners were sleeping, methodically firing 250 rounds. He hit thirty tents in a fifteen-second rampage. He killed six prisoners and wounded twenty-two (of which three later died) before a corporal managed to disarm him.
Bertucci had bragged in advance of what he intended and was completely unrepentant after the massacre. He was briefly placed in a hospital for a psychiatric assessment, and despite the absence of any evidence of mental impairment, Bertucci was declared insane by a military panel and sent to a New York mental hospital. There is little information available about how long he spent there, but he lived until 1969. His victims were buried at Fort Douglas Cemetery clad in U.S. military uniforms.
In 1988, the German Air Force funded the refurbishment of the memorial statue at Fort Douglas Cemetery created by German-born stone carver and immigrant to Utah, Arlo Steineke in honor of 21 German prisoners from World War One who died there. Representatives from Germany rededicated the statue in honor of all the deceased prisoners, and included the phrase: “and all victims of despotic governments around the world.” Of the tens of thousands of Germans POWs in the United States during World War II, only 2,222, less than 1 percent, tried to escape, By 1946, all prisoners had been returned to their homes… if they had one left.
The story of America’s civilian German Alien Internees during the war remains overshadowed by that of the Japanese. However, 11,000 persons, including many American-born children, were interned by the end of war by simple virtue of their German ancestry, leaving behind a legacy of ruined lives, lost fortunes, shattered families and even suicide. At least 53 military and INS facilities were used to house these mostly innocent civilian internees. Many were completely stunned by a home invasion by three to seven gun-slinging FBI agents, sometimes taking place in the middle of the night. The personal property left behind by some individuals was lost or stolen.
Dragged off to various camps and a hasty hearing at a special Hearing Board, aliens deemed “potentially dangerous to the public peace and safety of the United States” were typically sent in a sealed off train with all windows shuttered to various camps. These civilians were viewed as Prisoners of War and forced to wear government issue uniforms.
They were initially housed in tents or crude cabins with inadequate washing and toilet facilities and surrounded by barbed wire, warning signs and machine guns. Some were later sent on to family camps like Crystal City or Seagoville in Texas. Beginning in early 1942 and ending in May of 1945, there was also wholesale internment in the U.S. of thousands of Latin American Germans who were kidnapped from their homes and shipped in dark holds of ships to the USA, all under the guise of hemispherical security, and these unfortunate aliens were subsequently charged with illegal entry once the war was concluded! There was continued internment of a large group of internees until 1948 for no valid reason.
In Merry Old…
At least most were not spat upon in England. A small number of German prisoners were sent to British POW camps from 1939 to mid 1943, but it was not until their defeat in North Africa that the camps in Britain took in large numbers. Italian as well as German prisoners were interned in camps across England, Scotland and Wales. After 1942, most were shipped directly to New York and approximately 25,000 were sent on to two large camps in Canada. The British did not want large numbers of German POWs on their soil, and sent most elsewhere, some to distant parts of the British Empire. They did run camps in Great Britain, however, over 600 in all.
In general the treatment of the average POW was decent. It was not good for those prisoners who were considered “hard core Nazis” and they were treated roughly, segregated from others and kept longer, often in the wilds of Scotland and other remote areas. There have also been cases of torture brought to light in recent years as well. German airmen were brutally interrogated in some cases to extract information. All were subjected to “re-education” before release.
An organization called the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC), a division of the British War Office, ran a secret prison at Bad Nenndorf following the British occupation of north-west Germany in 1945. One of their most notorious centers elsewhere was known as the London Cage, located in an exclusive neighbourhood of London. Official documents recently revealed that the London Cage was a secret torture centre where German prisoners who had been concealed from the Red Cross were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with execution or with “unnecessary surgery.” However, conditions at Bad Nenndorf, a small, once-elegant resort near Hanover, was far worse. Secret records recently opened and disclosed horrific torture and suffering of many of the 372 men and 44 women who passed through the center during the 22 months it operated before its closure in July 1947, not only former NS party members, but private German citizens. Several local citizens claimed that one could hear the prisoners’ screams at night.
Although it makes for uncomfortable reading, the concept of concentration camps was not a German invention and was a well-established system throughout the world long before wars with Germany. Just a scant few of British-run camps elsewhere are mentioned below.
German, Italian and Japanese civilians were interned in camps Motuihe and Somes Islands in World War II, the same camps where German civilians living in New Zealand were interned in World War I.
In British-India, British interned enemy nationals (mostly Germans) during both wars, including Germans who had acquired British citizenship in India. There were at least 11 interment facilities here in World War II. Most internees were then deported in late 1946. Germans shipped to Hamburg were sent to the former Neuengamme concentration camp for “de-Nazification.”
In 1940, German combatant prisoners were sent to Canada at the request of Britain. Between 1940 and 1944, over 40,000 German POW were kept on Canadian soil behind Canadian barbed wire in places like Kananaskis-Seebe, Lethbridge & Medicine Hat, Alberta and Kitchener, Bowmanville, Kingston & Gravenhurst, Ontario.
850 German Canadian civilians were accused of being spies for the Nazis, as well as subversives and saboteurs during WW Two. Many German Canadians interned in Camp Petawawa were from a nineteenth-century migration in 1876 who founded a farm village called Germanicus in Ontario. Their original farm homesteads were expropriated by the federal government with no compensation and they were imprisoned behind barbed wire in the camp. The Foymount Air Force Base near Cormac and Eganville was built on this expropriated land. Notable was that not one of these homesteaders from 1876 or their grandchildren had ever visited Germany again after 1876, yet they were accused of being “German Nazi agents.” 756 German sailors, mostly captured in East Asia, were also sent from Indian camps to Canada in June, 1941.
Isle of Man: During World War II, about 8,000 people were interned in Britain, many being held in camps at Knockaloe and Douglas on the Isle of Man where the British had also interred Germans during WW One. The internees included enemy aliens from the Axis Powers, principally Germany and Italy. The British government rounded up 74,000 German, Austrian and Italian aliens. Within 6 months the 112 alien tribunals had individually summoned and examined 64,000 aliens, and the majority were released, having been found to be “friendly aliens” (mostly non-Germans). Eventually only 2,000 of the remainder were interned. Initially they were shipped overseas. The last internees were released late in 1945, though many were released in 1942. In Britain, internees were housed in camps and prisons. Some camps had tents rather than buildings with internees sleeping directly on the ground. Men and women were separated and most contact with the outside world was denied, conditions which drew criticism from a variety of sources.
France certainly had its share of camps, most with horrible conditions as previously mentioned. Even the Netherlands did! Under Operation Black Tulip in the Netherlands, a plan to evict all Germans from the Netherlands, on September 10, 1946 Germans and their families in Amsterdam were pulled from their homes in the middle of the night and given one hour to collect fifty kilogrammes of luggage. They were allowed to take only one hundred Guilders. The rest of their possessions were confiscated by the state. They were taken to concentration camps near the German border, the biggest of which was Mariënbosch near Nijmegen. The operation ended in 1948 after 3,691 Germans (15% of German residents) were deported.
In post-war Belgium, a tribunal until October, 1946 dealt with “war criminals” which included Belgian collaborators; They were sent to places such as Breendonk Concentration Camp. 4.357 were sentenced to death, with 111 executed. Collaborators were deprived of their right to vote and over 322,000 Belgians were affected.
Belgium also took in Baltic soldiers who had understandably fought on the side of the Germans to protect their homeland from the communists. Nearly 25,000 Latvians, for example, were interned in Allied POW camps, initially those run by the British in Germany. In the fall of 1945 most of them, about 12,000, were transferred to POW Camp 2227 at the Zedelgem camp in Belgium (Camp 2226 was used for Germans). However, the Allies also transported the Baltic refugees to Swedish ports where they were shoved aboard freighters and deported together along with several hundred former German soldiers to the USSR, where they spend their lives in slave labor in Communist hellholes. In both situations, they often received beatings, and occasionally were even used for live target practice by the guards. They were released from Allied camps during 1946 when the Western Allies concurred that the Latvians were not Nazis despite their SS uniforms.
When released, the Latvians had no home to return to, and they left Displaced Persons camps and forged new homes in Australia, Europe, Canada, South America, and the US. Their self-help organization (which was and still is denounced by the Soviets as a Nazi front), Daugavas Vanagi, went with them.
A similar situation played out in Sweden. In June 1945 the Swedish government, at the insistence of the US and Britain, signed an agreement with the Soviet Union to give them the approximately 3,000 German soldiers who were interned in Sweden at the time of German capitulation. The agreement was implemented (after a delay) on January 23, 1946, even though most of the Swedish press and public protested the inhumane decision of the Swedish government.
Included with the German POWs were a number of Balts who had joined the German forces out of fear and hatred of the Soviets. The Lithuanians and other Baltic refugees present in Sweden reacted to this decision with despair, knowing the POWs would in many cases meet sudden death and most would not be seen or heard from again. But the US pressed the case, and in early 1946, an US military official published the following statement in German newspapers: “most of the refugees from the Baltic States have fled to Germany only because of their sympathy for National Socialism. In addition, the refugees from the Baltic lands are most responsible for the crimes committed, which create hardships for the refugees of other nationalities as well, and cause disturbances among the inhabitants.” The New York Times echoed this sentiment and presented Baltic refugees to the American public as “pro-Nazi collaborators” who had fled their lands willingly. In January 1946, Sweden handed over 146 Baltic and 2,364 German soldiers who had been interned in Swedish prison camps to the Soviet Union.
Many preferred death to the horrible fate which awaited them at the hands of the vengeful communists and there was an attempted mass suicide. At least seven of the internees died during the process, but the number was possibly much higher and blocked by censorship.