Scrapbookpages Blog

January 19, 2016

German soldiers were treated as war criminals by the Allies after World War II

I am answering a comment, made by one of the readers of my blog, with a new blog post.

The following quote is from the comment directed at a Jew who had made a comment:

“…you get on the sins of other people; yet you forget the sins of the Jews. For instance, you say nothing about the Sonderkommando [Jews] who supposedly worked in the gas chambers, inviting their own people into those gas chambers. So their sins are forgiven: Jews can kill Jews to save their own lives, but that’s okay.  They were only following orders because they would be killed [if they didn’t].  Right? But its a different story when the German soldiers get hung, after the Nuremberg trials, for following their orders too.”

German soldiers were treated quite differently after they had surrendered in World War II.

The U.S. Third Army and the U.S. Seventh Army remained in Germany after World War II ended on May 8, 1945, and their War Crimes Detachments immediately began arresting suspected German war criminals; 400 to 700 persons were arrested each day until well over 100,000 Germans had been incarcerated by December 1945, according to Harold Marcuse who wrote a book entitled “Legacies of Dachau.”

The former Dachau concentration camp already held 1,000 German soldiers, accused of war crimes, by the end of June 1945. They were put to work cleaning up the barracks.

In July 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first military governor of the American Zone of Occupation in Germany. The accused Germans could expect no mercy from Eisenhower who had written in a letter to his wife, Mamie: “God, I hate the Germans.”

The authority for charging the defeated Germans with war crimes came from the London Agreement, signed after the war on August 8, 1945 by the four winning countries: Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the USA.

The basis for the charges against the accused German war criminals was Law Order No. 10, issued by the Allied Control Council, the governing body for Germany after World War II ended.

Law Order No. 10 defined Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity. A fourth crime category was membership in any organization, such as the Nazi party or the SS, that was declared to be criminal by the Allies. The war crimes contained in Law Order No. 10 were new crimes, created specifically for the defeated Germans, not crimes against existing international laws. Any acts committed by the winning Allies which were covered under Law Order No. 10 were not considered war crimes.

The German prisoners at Dachau were not treated as Prisoners of War under the Geneva convention because they had become “war criminals” at the moment that they committed their alleged war crimes. Every member of the elite SS volunteer Army was automatically a war criminal because the SS was designated by the Allies as a criminal organization even before anyone was put on trial. Any member of the Nazi political party, who had any official job within the party, was likewise automatically a war criminal regardless of what they had personally done.

Under the Allied concept of participating in a “common plan” to commit war crimes, it was not necessary for a Nazi or a member of the SS to have committed an atrocity themselves; all were automatically guilty under the concept of co-responsibility for any atrocity that might have occurred.

The only good German was a traitor to his country; the German SS soldiers imprisoned at Dachau had volunteered to fight for their country; therefore they were war criminals and did not deserve to be treated as POWs under the Geneva Convention of 1929.

The basis for the “common plan” theory of guilt was Article II, paragraph 2 of Law Order No. 10 which stated as follows:

2. Any person without regard to nationality or the capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime or (f) with reference to paragraph 1 (a), if he held a high political, civil or military (including General Staff) position in Germany or in one of its Allies, co-belligerents or satellites or held high position in the financial, industrial or economic life of any such country.

Waffen-SS soldiers in the prestigious Liebstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Division, known as the LAH, were separated from the other Waffen-SS POWs and brought to the War Crimes Enclosure at Dachau where they were interrogated by a special team that was investigating the “Malmedy Massacre.” This resulted in a scandal that was investigated by the U.S. Congress after accusations by the LAH soldiers that they had been tortured at Dachau by the Jewish interrogators to make them confess to crimes which they claimed they didn’t commit.

The Soviet Union set up 10 Special Camps for German soldiers.

The former Buchenwald concentration camp became Special Camp No. 2 while the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp became Special Camp No. 7. Both of these camps were in the Soviet Zone of Occupation, behind the “Iron Curtain” and were run by the Soviet secret service, the NKVD.

The British also set up a number of camps: the former Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg became No. 6 Civil Internment Camp and KZ Esterwagen became No. 9 Civil Internment Camp. The British camp at Bad Nenndorf was a particularly brutal place where former German soldiers were tortured between 1945 and 1947.

News commentator Bill O’Reilly commented on the brutality of the Bad Nenndorf camp on his show a couple of years ago.

German soldiers, that were rounded up by the War Crimes Detachment of the U.S. Seventh Army, were put into Civilian Internment Enclosure No. 78 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. In March 1946, the U.S. Seventh Army left Germany and their German prisoners were transferred to Dachau.

You can read what an American soldier wrote about Eisenhower’s German POW camps, which were set up after World War II at http://www.rense.com/general19/camps.htm