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Anne McLellan   Letter 22   18-Jan-2000   American-French atrocities following WW II
"Among those concerning whom a file could be opened is Henry Kissinger who held a senior post in the American occupation forces in order to determine the appropriateness of denying him entry should he attempt to visit Canada." Lubomyr Prytulak
The primary source for the arguments made below is James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991.  Also quoted from is James Bacque, Crimes and mercies: The fate of German civilians under allied occupation 1944-1950, Little, Brown and Company, Toronto, 1997.  Both books can be purchased from Internet booksellers such as www.amazon.com.  Canadian purchasers may find that they can avoid postal surcharges for collecting GST by buying from www.barnesandnoble.com or www.chapters.com, although selection may be more limited than at Amazon.

January 18, 2000

The Honourable Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Room 360, Justice Building
239 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

E-mail: [email protected]

Anne McLellan:


The Germans preferred to be captured by the Western Allies rather than by the Soviets:

Below are two photos illustrating the German policy of preferring to be captured by the Western Allies rather than by the Soviets around the end of WW II, a policy adopted not only by the German military, but by German civilians as well, as illustrated in the right photograph below by the two figures seated in the bow appearing to be women.


Two Germans cross the Elbe from Russian to American side.
Photograph and caption are from Mass surrender: Germans give up by the millions, LIFE, 14May1945, p. 30.

To escape Russians, Germans paddle across Elbe River to be interned by the Allies.  Many made their own crude boats and rafts, others swam to west bank.
Photograph and caption are from Mass surrender: Germans give up by the millions, LIFE, 14May1945, p. 30.


Millions of these captured Germans ended up in camps:

Perhaps the Germans were surprised by the camps that they ended up in, an unidentified one of which is shown below, which as the prisoners are said to be setting up "pup tents" might be one of the better camps, and perhaps viewed in this particular photograph during an interval of non-rainy weather.


GERMAN PRISONERS, 160,000 of them, have been concentrated in this huge area "somewhere in Germany" by the U.S. Army.  Since no other temporary housing is available on this bombed-out tableland, small canvas pup tents have been issued and the prisoners are in the process of setting them up in the picture.  The wooden structures (right, background) are barracks for the U.S. Military Police who guard the gigantic encampment.  By last week the Allies alone held 4,000,000 prisoners, captured since D-day.  More than half of these were taken between May 1 and May 5.
Photograph fragment and caption are from Mass surrender: Germans give up by the millions, LIFE, 14May1945, pp. 30-31.


However, many of the captured Germans were surprised to discover that the Americans and French had slated them for extermination:

The gravamen of the charge against the American and French administrations is captured in the following quotation from the forward to James Bacque's Other Losses (the German strategy referred to is that of preferring to surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets):


From the German point of view this strategy delivered millions of German soldiers to what they believed would be the more merciful hands of the Western Allies under supreme military commander General Dwight Eisenhower.  However, given General Eisenhower's fierce and obsessive hatred not only of the Nazi regime, but indeed of all things German, this belief was at best a desperate gamble.  More than five million German soldiers in the American and French zones were crowded into barbed wire cages, many of them literally shoulder to shoulder.  The ground beneath them soon became a quagmire of filth and disease.  Open to the weather, lacking even primitive sanitary facilities, underfed, the prisoners soon began dying of starvation and disease.  Starting April 1945, the United States Army and the French army casually annihilated about one million men, most of them in American camps.  Not since the horrors of the Confederate-administered prison at Andersonville during the American Civil War had such cruelties taken place under the American military control.  For more than four decades this unprecedented tragedy lay hidden in Allied archives.
Dr. Ernest F. Fisher Jr., Colonel, Army of the United States (retired), writing in the forward to James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. xvii.


The American-French policy originated from the very top of the chain of command:


Marshal Josef Stalin said at the dinner table that he wanted to round up fifty thousand German officers after the war and shoot them.  Winston Churchill was violently angry.  "I would rather be taken out in the garden here and now to be shot myself than sully my country's honor by such infamy," he said vehemently.  Franklin Roosevelt, seeing the animosity rise between these two former enemies, fatuously suggested a compromise of 49,000 prisoners to be shot.  Stalin, the host for this critical meeting with his two powerful allies, diplomatically took a poll of the nine men at the table.  The president's son, Elliott Roosevelt, a brigadier-general in the United States Army, responded with a toast to the deaths of "not only those fifty thousand ... but many hundreds of thousands more Nazis as well."  Churchill, astounded, heard him add, "and I am sure the United States Army will support it."  Delighted, Stalin embraced young Roosevelt, proposing that they drink to the deaths of the Germans.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 5.

We have got to be tough with Germany and I mean the German people, not just the Nazis.  We either have to castrate the German people, or you have got to treat them in such a manner that they can't just go on reproducing people who want to continue the way they have in the past.
President Roosevelt speaking to Henry Morgenthau, author of the infamous Morgenthau Plan for Germany, quoted in James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 8.


Samples of the American-French atrocities committed against German prisoners:

The writer below is POW Charles von Luttichau, half-German and half-American, describing camp Kripp near Remagen on the Rhine.

The latrines were just logs flung over ditches next to the barbed wire fences.  To sleep, all we could do was to dig out a hole in the ground with our hands, then cling together in the hole.  We were crowded very close together.  Because of illness, the men had to defecate on the ground.  Soon, many of us were too weak to take off our trousers first.  So our clothing was infected, and so was the mud where we had to walk and sit and lie down.  There was no water at all at first, except the rain, then after a couple of weeks we could get a little water from a standpipe.  But most of us had nothing to carry it in, so we could get only a few mouthfuls after hours of lining up, sometimes even through the night.  We had to walk along between the holes on soft earth thrown up by the digging, so it was easy to fall into a hole, but hard to climb out.  The rain was almost constant along that part of the Rhine that spring.  More than half the days we had rain.  More than half the days we had no food at all.  On the rest, we got a little K ration.  I could see from the package that they were giving us one tenth of the rations that they issued to their own men.  So in the end we got perhaps five percent of a normal U.S. Army ration.  I complained to the American camp commander that he was breaking the Geneva Convention, but he just said, "Forget the Convention.  You haven't any rights."

Within a few days, some of the men who had gone healthy into the camp were dead.  I saw our men dragging many dead bodies to the gate of the camp, where they were thrown loose on top of each other onto trucks, which took them away.
Charles von Luttichau quoted in James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 38.

The American-French atrocities were not limited to the creation of inanition and disease, but sometimes included unlawful execution.

One 17-year-old boy who could see his village in the distance used to stand weeping near the barbed wire fence.  One morning the prisoners found him shot at the foot of the fence.  His body was strung up and left hanging on the wire by the guards as a warning.  The prisoners were forced to walk by the body.  Many cried out "Moerder, moerder [murderer, murderer]!"  In retaliation, the camp commander withheld the prisoners' meager rations for three days.  "For us who were already starving and could hardly move because of weakness, it was frightful; for many it meant death."  This was not the only time when the commander withheld rations to punish prisoners.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, pp. 38-39.

The American-French atrocities were not inflicted merely on suspected Nazis, or even restricted to former belligerents, but were inflicted upon civilians as well.

Children as young as six years of age, pregnant women, men over 60, were among the prisoners in these camps.  Because no records were made in the DEF [Disarmed Enemy Forces] camps, and most of the POW records were destroyed in the 1950s no one knows how many civilians were imprisoned, but French reports show that among [one batch of] about 100,000 people the Americans turned over to them supposedly for labor, there were 32,640 women, children and old men.  Lt. Colonel Valentine Barnes, making his report on Bad Kreuznach, noted on April 22 that "a female infant was born to a female prisoner of war in enclosure A-3."
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 40.


The German fatalities cannot be blamed on general conditions:

No comparable fatalities were observed in camps run by the British or the Canadians.

That it was possible to keep millions of prisoners alive in Germany in 1945 was shown by the British and Canadian experience.  No peacetime atrocity has ever been alleged against the British or Canadians, except for the apparently inadvertent starvation of about 200-400 prisoners on the British camp in Overijsche, Belgium, in 1945-6.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 164.

And some U.S. generals deviated from the Roosevelt-Eisenhower campaign of annihilation, as for example General Mark Clark.

That it was possible for commanders in the U.S. Army in Europe in 1945 to keep prisoners alive without "spoiling" them was shown by the experience of the 291,000 prisoners in the hands of the U.S. Army under General Mark Clark in Italy.  No mistreatment of these prisoners has ever been alleged by anyone.  When these prisoners were weighed in a U.S. camp in Germany soon after their return from Italy, none was underweight, whereas of those kept in Germany "all were below standard."
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 164.

And the treatment of prisoners under the command of U.S. General George Patton contrasts sharply with Eisenhower's who summed up with "it is a pity that we could not have killed more."

A general who knew Eisenhower well wrote in 1945 that Eisenhower was using "practically Gestapo methods" against the Germans.  His name was George S. Patton.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 143.

This reason for Eisenhower's dislike of Patton is one that you will not find in the movie of the same name.

Not only the Congress had to be deceived.  Certain officers may have presented a security risk as well for instance, General Patton.  For all his prejudices, Patton represented to a high degree the honor of the army and the basic generosity of the American people.  He made this very plain in a reply to a question put to him by the army's Theater Judge Advocate: "In all these talks [to the troops] I emphasized the necessity for the proper treatment of prisoners of war, both as to their lives and property.  My usual statement was ... 'Kill all the Germans you can but do not put them up against a wall and kill them.  Do your killing while they are still fighting.  After a man has surrendered, he should be treated exactly in accordance with the Rules of Land Warfare, and just as you would hope to be treated if you were foolish enough to surrender.  Americans do not kick people in the teeth after they are down.'"  He openly deplored Eisenhower's anti-German policies: "What we are doing is to utterly destroy the only semi-modern state in Europe so that Russia can swallow the whole."
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, pp. 148-149.

Many other Americans did not go along with the Roosevelt-Eisenhower policy of annihilation, as for example the civilian advisor, Robert Murphy, described below, and perhaps also U.S. General Lucius Clay.

Civilian governors who believed in freedom of the press and democracy, instead of censorship and authoritarian rule, took a different line towards the beaten Germans.  Robert Murphy, who was the civilian political advisor to Eisenhower while he served for a few months as Military Governor, "was startled to see," on a visit to one camp, "that our [German] prisoners were almost as weak and emaciated as those I had observed in Nazi prison camps.  The youthful commandant calmly told us that he had deliberately kept the inmates on starvation diet, explaining 'These Nazis are getting a dose of their own medicine.'  He so obviously believed that he was behaving correctly that we did not discuss the matter with him.  After we left, the medical director asked me, 'Does the camp represent American policy in Germany?' I replied that of course it was contrary to our policy, and the situation would be quickly corrected.  When I described the camp's condition to [General Lucius] Clay, he quietly transferred the grim young officer."
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, pp. 149-150.


The German fatalities must be blamed on active American-French measures calculated to produce death:

As soon as Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, the American Military Governor, General Eisenhower, sent out an 'urgent courier' throughout the huge area that he commanded, making it a crime punishable by death for German civilians to feed prisoners.  It was even a death-penalty crime to gather food together in one place to take it to prisoners.
James Bacque, Crimes and mercies: The fate of German civilians under allied occupation 1944-1950, Little, Brown and Company, Toronto, 1997, p. 41.

One US Army officer who read the posted order in May 1945 has written that it was 'the intention of Army command regarding the German POW camps in the US Zone from May 1945 through the end of 1947 to exterminate as many POWs as the traffic would bear without international scrutiny'.
James Bacque, Crimes and mercies: The fate of German civilians under allied occupation 1944-1950, Little, Brown and Company, Toronto, 1997, p. 44.

Civilian women and teenage girls were shot, shot at, and imprisoned for trying to take food to the camps, although the Eisenhower order had purportedly given individual camp commanders a chance to exempt family members trying to feed relatives through the wire.  The prisoner Paul Schmitt was shot in the American camp at Bretzenheim after coming close to the wire to see his wife and young son who were bringing him a basket of food.  The French followed suit: Agnes Spira was shot by French guards at Dietersheim in July 1945 for taking food to prisoners.  [...]  Martin Brech watched in amazement as one officer at Andernach stood on a hillside firing shots towards German women running away from him in the valley below.

The most gruesome killing was witnessed by the prisoner Hanns Scharf, formerly of California, who was watching as a German woman with her two children came towards an American guard in the camp at Bad Kreuznach, carrying a wine bottle.  She asked the guard to give the bottle to her husband, who was just inside the wire.  The guard upended the bottle into his own mouth, and when it was empty, threw it on the ground and killed the prisoner with five shots.  The other prisoners howled, which brought round US Army Lieutenant Holtsman of Seattle, who said, 'This is awful.  I'll make sure there is a stiff court martial.'  In months of work in the Washington archives of the army, no court martial of this or similar incidents has ever turned up.  Captain Lee Berwick, who was in command of the guard towers at Bretzenheim nearby, has said that he was never aware of any court martial for shootings at Bretzenheim or at Bad Kreuznach.
James Bacque, Crimes and mercies: The fate of German civilians under allied occupation 1944-1950, Little, Brown and Company, Toronto, 1997, pp. 45-46.


The truth about American-French atrocities has been suppressed with the cooperation of a manipulable press:

Without the Big Number of deaths in the camps, there could be no history of the camps.  All the Americans and French had to do was to suppress the Big Number to prevent the knowledge of their crime from spreading and becoming history.  This was easy to do because they were the only ones who knew the Big Number.  This was done.

Having suppressed the Big Number, the Americans and French then had to supply some other number, because it was not credible that no one had died or that there had been no count unless there was a strong reason for there not to have been a count, which could only have been the monstrous number that must not leave the caul.  Therefore, they supplied the Small Number.  This number was so small that no one with elementary arithmetic and knowledge of comparative death rates could believe it for a moment.  For men Buisson [French General in charge of the French camps] had said were starving, he announced a death rate that was below the death rate among well-fed soldiers in peacetime.  The Americans supplied to the town authorities of Rheinberg the number 614 for the dead in the camp, less than one thirtieth the total their own secret Other Losses figures implied.  The Germans accepted the Small Number because they felt guilt about their camps, or about the war, or because the Small Number reduced the evidence of their humiliation.  Also, the Germans did not want to offend the conqueror, especially after he had become their ally.  One of the many ways to accommodate him was to accept his lies about something that in any case could not be changed, although this argument would of course not be allowed to absolve the Germans of responsibility for the Nazi concentration camps.  Within a few years, to doubt the Small Number had become an implied treachery, for any good German who doubted the Americans was ipso facto an enemy of both states.  So the Americans were in effect forgiven without even being accused.

Many Germans believed that there was a Big Number, but didn't know it; they knew the Small Number but did not believe it.  This ambivalence that destroys belief is typical of much German thinking today.  Not to be able to speak the truth about the American atrocity is an eerie echo of not knowing about the Nazi camps.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, pp. 142-143.

Whoever controls the press proclaims that it is free.  Those to whom this freedom is denied have no means to deny it.  In Russia for many years the editors proclaimed the press to be free.  Only through the underground press, samiszdat, did we know it was not free at all.  This is bound to be the way as long as the press is run for only some of the people in the society it nominally serves.  True freedom of the press is not owned.  It is not divisible.  It is not deniable.  It belongs to all of us.
James Bacque, Other losses: An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II, General Paperbacks, Toronto, 1991, p. 175.


What can we believe today:

In view of the fact that American and French personnel may be responsible for the murder of some one million German prisoners of war, and in view of the fact that the Americans and the French have suppressed information concerning their crime, and rather have blanketed the media with disinformation, then any evidence concerning WW II camps originating from the United States or from France may well be suspected of being fabricated or misrepresented.  For example, in view of all that has been said above, it cannot be illegitimate to wonder whether the photograph on the left below may not in reality be a photograph of a German POW starved to death by the Americans, or whether the photograph on the right below may not be a photograph of German rings that the Americans removed from the bodies of their German victims.


Ecce homo!  Concentration camp victims of the Nazis as photographed by the American liberators.
Photograph and caption are from Stefan Lorant, Sieg Heil! An illustrated history of Germany from Bismarck to Hitler, Norton, New York, 1974, p. 332.

The golden wedding rings, torn from the fingers of the exterminated victims, were later changed into money by the S.S.
Photograph and caption are from Stefan Lorant, Sieg Heil! An illustrated history of Germany from Bismarck to Hitler, Norton, New York, 1974, p. 333.


What you should do:

As a large number of American and French personnel were involved in these post WW II atrocities, and as some of these American and French personnel have possibly emigrated to Canada, there is a good chance that Canada harbors American or French war criminals against whom substantive evidence of serious war criminality can be gathered.  In order to demonstrate to the Canadian public that you have not placed Canada's Department of Justice at the service of one ethnic group in its vindictive rampage against another, you should instruct your war crimes unit to divert some of its resources from prosecuting Ukrainians and other East Europeans for half-century-old immigration infractions some of these no more than conjectured and instead initiate the prosecution of real war criminals without regard to their nationality or ethnicity or creed.

Among those concerning whom a file could be opened is Henry Kissinger who held a senior post in the American occupation forces in order to determine the appropriateness of denying him entry should he attempt to visit Canada.

Of course along with Henry Kissinger's role in post-war Europe should be explored his role in the U.S. devastation of Viet Nam, and his role in U.S. support of the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, as suggested in the Guardian (UK) article of 09Jan2000 appearing on the Guardian web site at:

http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/observer/international/story/0,3879,120365,00.html.



Lubomyr Prytulak


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