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April 26, 2017

Eisenhower’s Remagen death camp for German soldiers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:51 pm

I have just learned that some of my readers, who are well informed about the Holocaust, do not know about how General Eisenhower treated the German soldiers who had surrendered to the Americans.

400px-reemagen_enclosure.jpeg

The photo above shows an American soldier guarding German soldiers in the Remagen POW camp.

I wrote about this on my scrapbookpages.com website. I am quoting it in full here:

Begin quote

Gotha, Germany – “Eisenhower’s Death Camp”

The city of Gotha is mostly known to Americans, if at all, as the first headquarters of the American Army in Germany, set up by General Dwight D. Eisenhower in April 1945, and as the site of one of the Prisoner of War camps where captured German soldiers were treated in a barbaric fashion with total disregard to the rules of civilized warfare, according to an American guard at the camp.

General Eisenhower mentioned Gotha in his book “Crusade in Europe,” as the nearest city to the “horror camp” at Ohrdruf-Nord, the first concentration camp to be discovered in Germany by American soldiers on April 4, 1945, but he failed to mention his own notorious POW camp located near Gotha.

On March 10, 1945 as World War II was coming to an end, General Eisenhower signed an order creating the status of Disarmed Enemy Forces for the German Prisoners of War who would soon be surrendering to the Americans. This order was a violation of the Geneva Convention because it allowed Eisenhower to disregard the rules for the treatment of Prisoners of War. It allowed him to starve the German POWs, deny them the right to send and receive letters, and to receive Red Cross packages and packages from German civilians. All of these rights were enjoyed by the prisoners in the Nazi POW camps and even in the notorious concentration camps. Eisenhower signed this order before he had even seen the horrors of the concentration camps, which so affected him.

In his book entitled “Other Losses,” James Bacque wrote the following:

There were no tents in the Gotha DEF camp, only the usual barbed wire fences round a field soon churned to mud. On the first day, they received a small ration of food, which was then cut in half. In order to get it, they were forced to run a gauntlet. Hunched over, they ran between lines of guards who hit them with sticks as they scurried towards their food. On April 27, they were transferred to the U.S. camp at Heidesheim further west where there was no food at all for days, then very little.

On May 7, 1945, the German army surrendered to General Eisenhower, who refused to shake hands with the German General, as is customary. The neutral country of Switzerland was removed as the Protecting Power for German prisoners, which was another violation of the Geneva Convention. General George S. Patton quickly released the prisoners who had surrendered to his Third Army, but General Eisenhower held his POWs until the end of 1946, forcing them to live on starvation rations. Red Cross packages sent to the German POW camps were returned. The POW camps had no barracks or tents.

POWcamp.jpeg

The German prisoners were forced to dig holes in the ground for shelter. Even though the American army had plenty of tents, the prisoners lived for months in their holes. When it rained, the holes collapsed and the prisoners died.

After 1947, most of the records of the POW camps were destroyed by the U.S. government, according to James Bacque, the author of a book entitled “Other Losses.” Bacque wrote that the Germans claimed that 1,700,000 soldiers, who were alive at the end of the war and had surrendered to the Allies, never returned home. All of the Allied countries denied responsibility, and the families were never told what had happened to their loved ones.

The following quote by Lieutenant Ernest Fisher, of the 101st Airborne Division and former Senior Historian of the United States Army is from the book “Other Losses”:

Starting in April 1945, the United States Army and the French Army casually annihilated about one million men, most of them in American camps.

Eisenhower’s hatred, passed through the lens of a compliant military bureaucracy, produced the horror of death camps unequaled by anything in American military history…

Stephen Ambrose, a noted World War II historian, disputes the claims made by James Bacque. His review of Bacque’s book can be read at this web site:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/b/bacque-james/ambrose-001.html

For another opinion, go to this web site:

http://www.rense.com/general46/germ.htm

Ironically, Gotha also holds a place in history as the birthplace of the Socialist Worker’s Party of Germany in 1875. The very house, called the Haus am Tivoli, where August Bebel and others got together to form this new leftist political party, is at the intersection of Cosmartstrasse, but it is closed to tourists. A plaque was placed outside the house by the Communist East German government, commemorating this as the place where a “glorious moment in the history of the German working class” took place.

Karl Marx wrote a scathing paper called “Critique of the Gotha Programme” in which he criticized the new party as a sell-out of the proletariat and the Communist party, which he had popularized in 1848 with his “Communist Manifesto.” In 1890, the name of the party was changed to the Social Democratic Party; it is still one of the largest political parties in Germany today.

It was the Social Democrats who declared a Republic in Germany on November 9, 1918, forced the Kaiser to abdicate, and then signed the Armistice which ended World War I two days later. The Nazis referred to the Social Democrats as the “November Criminals” and called their actions “der Dolchstoss” (Stab in the Back). The claim that Germany had lost World War I on the battlefield was called “The Big Lie” by Hitler in his book, “Mein Kampf.” The harsh Treaty of Versailles, signed by the Social Democrats in June 1919, insured that another war would soon follow.

End quote

When I lived in Germany for 20 months after the war, I met a young man who claimed that he had been a prisoner in Eisenhower’s death camp, but he escaped with the help of some German citizens who were camping outside Eisenower’s prison camp, and sneaking food into the camp.

That’s all she wrote, and she rubbed that out.

17 Comments »

  1. The entire situation bears a close resemblance to the situation the Germans faced in the immediate aftermath of their invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, something as to which they are excoriated ON TOP OF the demonization they face regarding that Holocaust (Jews).

    Be it noted, the Soviet Union was NOT a signatory of the Geneva Convention. Too bad for their 1.2 million captured soldiers who, I am convinced, received better treatment on average than did Germans at the hands of the Soviets (a similar number, by the end).

    Comment by Jett Rucker — May 5, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

  2. My quote:
    From “Excorcising Hitler”
    Chapter 7 “The Price”
    Frederick Taylor points out that the change of status for the German POWs from Prisoners of War to Disarmed Enemy Forces by the US and Surrendered Enemy Personnel by the British was, to a large extent, a pragmatic one. The Geneva Convention stipulated that POWs had to be fed to the same level as British and US troops…and paid for the work they did.
    Before April 1945 German POWs were shipped back to the United States. The US fed and paid those prisoners to the level required by the Geneva Convention. The problem after April 1945 was the sheer number of POWs, over 5 million by the end of the month. The JCS, not Eisenhower, ordered the change in status of these POWs so that they could feed these POWs at a more realistic level due to the food supplies available in Europe at that time.
    Taylor does make a point that these POWs were initially housed in horrible conditions and that the death toll ranges wildly, from 8,000 to hundreds of thousands (though Taylor points out that the political orientation of the estimator directly correlates to the estimated dead).

    I’m of the opinion that the number is probably between 56,000-78,000, based upon official numbers. While the numbers of German POWs taken in the Spring of 1945 actually exceeded the number of Sovier POWs taken during the Summer of 1941 and the Spring of 1942, the death toll was much lower due to the fact that the US was not genocidal in its outlook and the war was very close to completion.

    The POWs did not have an easy time. A German POW named Fritz Mann relayed his after his capture his captors stripped him of his blanket and his rucksack. His captors placed him with 300,000 other prisoners at Gummersbach. He slept out in the open without receiving any water for four days and food for five days. His guards also abused prisoners.

    There were two underlying issues at work:
    One-lack of food supplies,
    Two-lack of guards

    At one point there were 2,400 US soldiers guarding 300,000 POWs. As a consequence the US Army drafted Displaced Persons as guards, among them Jews and Poles that understandably behaved harshly towards the Germans (I’m not condoning this behavior, I’m simply saying I understand it).

    After a few weeks at the camp Mann relayed how rations improved to the point that the US set up bread ovens. On May 23rd, 1945 Eisenhower actually ordered the release of certain categories of prisoners. Pressure by the French caused these releases to cease and the French took over certain of the Rhineland Camps….but the US agreed to keep supplying these camps with rations, this continued until 1946.

    Comment by brycesdaddy1105 — April 27, 2017 @ 7:17 am

    • The fact remains that Eisenhower had an inherent hatred for all that was German!
      He had the order that stipulated to treat German POW’s within the European Theater as Disarmed Enemy Forces, without food or shelter or medical care. Under the tern as a DEF, members of the Geneva Convention were denied excess to any camp to improve its conditions.
      Eisenhower was that much cautious (or a coward) that he withheld this order in his drawer at his Paris Headquarters, until he was certain of German defeat after US Troops had crossed the Rhine at Remagen, as he correctly assumed that the Germans would immediately retaliate.

      The claim of food shortages for these camps, is in the Land of Fantasy. I have seen and worked in K-Ration Food Dumps in unbelievable proportion, yet if in any way you chewed on somethigg, you were beaten by the guards.

      As a side issue even Lucius D Clay, Deputy to Eisenhower issued orders in 19r47, that German maids in American household should not be given any food, rather any surplus to be destroyed! So much for otherwise American generosity. Yet he made a 360 degree turn when Uncle Joe isolated Berlin.

      Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 27, 2017 @ 9:21 pm

      • “The fact remains that Eisenhower had an inherent hatred for all that was German!”

        This is based upon a single letter to his wife? In 1944?

        “He had the order that stipulated to treat German POW’s within the European Theater as Disarmed Enemy Forces, without food or shelter or medical care. Under the tern as a DEF, members of the Geneva Convention were denied excess to any camp to improve its conditions.
        Eisenhower was that much cautious (or a coward) that he withheld this order in his drawer at his Paris Headquarters, until he was certain of German defeat after US Troops had crossed the Rhine at Remagen, as he correctly assumed that the Germans would immediately retaliate.”

        He didn’t have that power. The JCS issued that order, not Eisenhower.
        Also, that order was not given until April of 1945. German POWs until that time were treated according to the Geneva Convention and shipped to POW camps in the US Canada.
        Did Eisenhower only start hating Germans that badly in April of 1945?

        “The claim of food shortages for these camps, is in the Land of Fantasy. I have seen and worked in K-Ration Food Dumps in unbelievable proportion, yet if in any way you chewed on somethigg, you were beaten by the guards.”

        Europe faces food shortages. The British continued to ration until (I believe) 1954.
        I’m not saying that German POWs didn’t have a rough time, didn’t face starvation, were not mistreated. I’m saying that Eisenhower didn’t run “death camps.” The conditions did improve, I also mentioned in my post at Skeptics that German POWs began receiving “K” rations and bread at the camps.

        “As a side issue even Lucius D Clay, Deputy to Eisenhower issued orders in 19r47, that German maids in American household should not be given any food, rather any surplus to be destroyed! So much for otherwise American generosity. Yet he made a 360 degree turn when Uncle Joe isolated Berlin.”

        I don’t know anything about that. I also fully admit that the Allies ( not just the US) mistreated the German population, especially the Soviet Army.

        Again, I say all of the above with all due respect. I apologize for the way you were mistreated and that treatment is a stain on American honor.

        Comment by brycesdaddy1105 — April 27, 2017 @ 9:56 pm

        • brycesdaddy1105

          There is no need to apologize, in 1945 we accepted stoically our lot as a beaten nation, as you mentioned improvements were made and those POW’s mainly from the north of Germany (as this came under Polish administration or had their home in the Russian Zone) stayed on and worked, like myself for the US Armed Forces.

          Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 27, 2017 @ 10:47 pm

  3. There is no doubt that the Germans suffered way more then the Jews. Tens of millions of Germans were killed, displaced and forced to live like dogs.
    The Jews on the other hand had a place to live work and survive to tell their story. Most of the rich Jews were gone by the start of the war. The ones that stayed were the ones who couldn’t be convinced by the Zionist to leave and go to Israel.
    Living in the camps wasn’t the day in the Taj Mahal or like living in the Ritz for them but it was definitely better then the alternative which was being causalities of war.

    JR

    Comment by Jim Rizoli — April 26, 2017 @ 3:24 pm

    • Eisenhower’s holocaust and his slaughter of 1.7 million Germans

      “God, I hate the Germans…” (Dwight David Eisenhower in a letter to his wife in September, 1944) http://www.rense.com/general46/germ.htm

      First, I want you to picture something in your mind. You are a German soldier who survived through the battles of World II. You were not really politically involved, and your parents were also indifferent to politics, but suddenly your education was interrupted and you were drafted into the German army and told where to fight. Now, in the Spring of 1945, you see that your country has been demolished by the Allies, your cities lie in ruins, and half of your family has been killed or is missing. Now, your unit is being surrounded, and it is finally time to surrender. The fact is, there is no other choice.
      The Death Camp I was in and (I was 17 years old) reached starvation level was Sonndorf and have written about those condition in one of my blogs ‘My own surrender to the third US Army.

      Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 27, 2017 @ 1:22 am

      • Hallo Herr Stolpmann,

        schauen Sie mal hier: Herbys-Fundgrube — Camp Sonndorf

        Comment by eah — April 27, 2017 @ 2:30 am

        • eah
          Ich bin sehr darüber erstaunt, dass jemand anderer über Sonndorf etwas gerschrieben hat. Es kann nur jemand sein, der dort gewesen war.
          Ich selbnst wurde zum Strassenbau nach Grafenau für kurze Zeit gfebracht, aber immer noch zu schwach um zu arbeiten. Dann gigng es nach Regensburg wo wir zuerst im Morast lebten und später in Baracken. Von dort aus wurde das Lager aufgelößt, ich kam nach Hohenbrunn, andere nach Belgien, Frankreich und Holland.
          Da ich einer der Jüngsten war, wurde ich im Januar1945 aus der Gefangenschaft entlassen, aber die bayrische Zivilbevölkerung nahmen mich nicht mit offenen Armen auf!
          Es gab nattürlich Aussnahmen, nun lebe ich über 60 Jahre in Neuseeland
          Nochmals vielen Dank über Sonndorf, ich war tatsächlich darüber ersyaunt, dass jemand etwas jbericchten ürde

          Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 27, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

      • “Eisenhower’s holocaust and his slaughter of 1.7 million Germans”

        Mr. Stolpmann:
        Sir, you have my apologies for the conditions you were held under. This is a black stain on the history of the United States Military and I’m glad that this issue has come to light.

        As you can see we had a discussion about this here:

        http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=27306

        Unfortunately, sir, I cannot support the idea that Eisenhower ran “death camps” for German POWs. I’ve researched this issue and nothing I’ve found supports this.
        This does not minimize the treatment you and these other men received. More should have been done to prevent any unnecessary deaths amongst the POWs and German civilians at that time, however, I only look back in hindsight. The reality is that due to war food supplies were low everywhere and everyone was under rationing.
        In any case, as always, you have my respect.

        Jeff

        Comment by brycesdaddy1105 — April 27, 2017 @ 7:09 am

  4. I’ve posted a link to your article on Skeptics:

    http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=27306

    Comment by brycesdaddy1105 — April 26, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

    • You wrote: “I’ve posted a link to your article on Skeptics”

      It is impossible for me to read the Skeptics forum. I have tried, but I always fall asleep before I get to the end of a thread. The Skeptics forum has no organization, nor form. As I write this, I remember that I have told you this before.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 26, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

      • “It is impossible for me to read the Skeptics forum. I have tried, but I always fall asleep before I get to the end of a thread. The Skeptics forum has no organization, nor form. As I write this, I remember that I have told you this before.”

        I just wanted you to know I posted this so the others can read what you say.

        Comment by brycesdaddy1105 — April 26, 2017 @ 6:13 pm

      • It’s an online forum, it won’t have much organization. Forums hardly ever do.

        Comment by Denying-History — May 4, 2017 @ 5:05 pm

        • You wrote: “t’s an online forum, it won’t have much organization. Forums hardly ever do.”

          I do not like online forums. I don’t want to spend time on a forum.

          Comment by furtherglory — May 5, 2017 @ 7:16 am

          • Thats fine… not really sure what this has to do with my comment though.

            Comment by Denying-History — May 5, 2017 @ 8:50 am

          • “do not like online forums. I don’t want to spend time on a forum.”

            Who asked you to spend time on the forum? Last time I checked we only invited Jim and Tal.

            Comment by Denying-History — May 22, 2017 @ 7:42 am


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