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Thread: Germany's Forgotten Victims - Allied Atrocities Against the Germans (WWII)

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    Germany's Forgotten Victims - Allied Atrocities Against the Germans (WWII)

    Germany's forgotten victims

    Luke Harding explains why a new book on the allied bombing of German cities in the 1940s has created controversy.


    More than half a century on, the allied bombing of Germany's cities during the second world war remains a controversial topic.

    On Wednesday, Britain's ambassador to Germany, Sir Peter Torry, travelled to the city of Kassel to mark the 60th anniversary of its destruction by British warplanes. Around 10,000 people died on the night of October 22 1943, when an immense firestorm swept the city.

    "In the peaceful Europe which we live in today, it is hard for those who did not experience the second world war to understand the bitter emotions to which it gave rise," the ambassador said.

    There is nothing new about senior British officials touring German cities that were destroyed by British bombs: the Queen and Prince Charles have visited Dresden and Hamburg in recent years.

    However, Sir Peter's speech comes at a time when the role of the RAF during the second world war is being debated afresh.

    Last week, one of Germany's most controversial historians, Jörg Friedrich, published a new photo book about the issue. Called Brandstätten, or Fire Sites, it contains some of the most grisly images from the war ever to be published. None of them have been seen before.

    The victims are not Jewish, but German. The charred, mutilated bodies of women, children and babies are all civilians who perished during the allies' bombing campaign against Germany's cities.

    In his book, Friedrich argues that the RAF's relentless campaign against Germany during the final months of the war served no military purpose. Instead, he says that Winston Churchill's decision to drop more bombs on a shattered Germany between January and May 1945, most of them on small German towns of little strategic value, was a war crime.

    "The bombing left an entire generation traumatised. But it was never discussed. There are Germans whose first recollections are of being hidden by their mothers. They remember cellars and burning human remains," Friedrich told the Guardian in an interview in Berlin last week.

    "It is only now that they are coming to terms with what happened." Around 600,000 German civilians died during the allies' wartime raids on Germany, including 76,000 German children, Friedrich says. In July 1943, during a single night in Hamburg, 45,000 people perished in a vast firestorm.

    But in the immediate post-war period, the German victims of British bombing were scarcely mentioned, being overshadowed by the far greater evil of the Holocaust.

    Friedrich believes that most Germans refused to discuss what had happened because they regarded the British destruction of their cities as a sort of retribution for the crimes of the Nazi era.

    The same point is made by writer WG Sebald in On the History of Natural Destruction, an elegant philosophical meditation on why the bombing occupies so little space in Germany's cultural imagination.

    "The Second World War is traditionally portrayed as a struggle between good and evil. Bombers were the weapons of the winners. But what actually happened on the ground wasn't very heroic," Friedrich said last week.

    The historian's previous book, Der Brand, or The Fire, published last year, created a storm of publicity in both Britain and Germany. In it, he came close to accusing Churchill of being a war criminal just weeks after a BBC poll had voted the wartime prime minister the greatest-ever Briton.

    Reaction to Friedrich's latest book has been critical, and one reviewer, for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, even suggested that it should be thrown in the bin. Friedrich is unrepentant. "Churchill was the greatest child-slaughterer of all time. He slaughtered 76,000 children," he said.

    Most of the photos in Fire Sites had lain undiscovered in the archives of German towns for more than half a century before Friedrich found them. They offer a grim insight into what happened on the ground, revealing that many of the civilians who died in allied raids were asphyxiated in their cellars.

    In Dresden, SS workers from a nearby concentration camp were called in to dispose of large heaps of bodies. The photos include the petrified corpse of mother and child collected in a bathtub, and the bleached skeleton of a baby killed during an air raid on Leipzig.

    There are also pictures of dead animals - an elephant and a giraffe - killed by a British air raid on Berlin zoo. Friedrich, who is now 59, grew up in Essen, in the Ruhr, a part of Germany's industrial heartland that comprehensively pulverised during the war years. An allied bomb flattened the house next door.

    "I asked my mother what happened to the neighbours. She said she didn't know. She said everybody looked after themselves," he recalled. During the sixties, Friedrich moved to Berlin, took part in the '68 movement, and became a Trotskyite radical. Like many young Germans, he interrogated his parents about their past, concluding that his father, a teacher, had no Nazi leanings.

    Later, he became a writer and broadcaster, before turning to history. In the 80s, he wrote a book about the Holocaust ("I argued that the railway was its essential weapon") and the German army's war crimes on the eastern front, before turning his attention to the allied bombing of Germany.

    This last project made him notorious. Der Brand was serialised by Germany's mass-selling Bild tabloid, and left-wing students tried to storm his book signings, accusing him of revisionism for using the word "crematoria" to describe cellars incinerated by allied bombs.

    Friedrich admits he is a revisionist, but says he is not interested in making moral judgements, merely in what happened. He is reluctant, though, to discuss what alternatives Churchill had. "If you destroy a landscape of 160 cities, most of medieval origin, you do something to the cultural identity of a people. All I do is describe it," he said.

    His book recognises that Germany initiated the air war in the autumn of 1940, when 14,000 British civilians died in German raids launched from the French and Belgian coasts. It was only in the summer of 1943 that Britain's air marshal Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris was able to respond. At first, RAF bombers were sent out in daylight to attack military targets, but a loss of aircraft forced a change in tactics.

    The RAF began to bomb German cities during the night, an indiscriminate strategy causing huge civilian casualties. The attack on Hamburg, however terrible, could be justified on the grounds that the city was the centre of German submarine production, Friedrich concedes.

    But, he argues, other raids on smaller, provincial towns could not. On February 16 1945, British bombers attacked the tiny town of Pforzheim, killing one-third of its 63,000 inhabitants. In the official British history of the air war, Pforzheim merits only a footnote, despite the epic scale of the slaughter. "The RAF had run out of targets. The raid was most cruel," Friedrich says.

    Earlier this year, he attempted to get hold of pictures of British victims of German bombing from the public record office in Kew, but was told that they could not be published because of censorship rules.

    As a result, Brandstätten concentrates almost exclusively on German victims. Der Brand has so far sold 185,000 copies, and been translated into six languages, but has failed to find a British publisher. "One British editor told me my book would 'estrange' readers," Friedrich said. Colombia university will bring out an English edition next year.

    Friedrich has supporters inside Germany, including the country's former chancellor, Helmut Kohl, whose home town, Ludwigshafen, was bombed by British planes during his boyhood, and whose late wife was bombed at Leipzig. He has offered editorial advice, and has praised the historian's work.

    Friedrich is not the first writer to tackle the tricky issue of German bombing victims. But Fire Sites is part of a new trend in Germany where, after more than half a century of collective silence, and the death of most survivors from the war generation, what happened to Germans during the Nazi era is being openly discussed.

    "Germans in their seventies and eighties have not forgotten. Their memories are still vivid. People stand up in my public lectures and describe what befell their families," Friedrich said. "They have tears in their eyes and they can't breathe.

    "The main fact is that the British bombing of German cities wasn't very heroic. This was no heroic victory."


    Source:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,1068437,00.html
    And all my youth passed by sad-hearted,
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    Autumn blows through me dread of parting,
    and my heart dreams and longs to die.

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    Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.

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    Defending Against the Allied Bombing Campaign: Air Raid Shelters and Gas Protection in Germany

    Defending Against the Allied Bombing Campaign: Air Raid Shelters and Gas Protection in Germany, 1939-1945

    by Samuel Crowell

    http://www.codoh.com/incon/inconabr.html















    Unremembered and unmourned: except for a curious and ironic artifact. If you travel to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, you will find many reminders of the terrible ordeal of the Jewish people in the course of their persecution by the German National Socialists. These objects serve as memorials to the many Jews who suffered, died, and were killed in what has come to be known as the Holocaust. But in another part of the building, alone, and dimly lit, we find a silent sentinel, who, by its presence, serves as an admonishment to those who insist on the most narrow interpretation of history, an Eulenspiegel-ish reminder that remembrance is irrepressible, and a memorial to those German women and children who perished in the gas and flames of the air war holocaust: a steel door, with handles, a peephole, with a perforated steel cover -- a German bomb shelter door.




    vs.



    Top: USHMM replica displayed as "gas chamber" door.

    Bottom: German ad for bomb shelter doors.

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Such is punishment...

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Punishment for what, though?

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog
    Punishment for what, though?
    The criminal arrogance of Germany.

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blond Beast
    The criminal arrogance of Germany.
    How can you say that the civillian deaths in, for instance, Dresden or Hamburg, are in any was justified by any act of the German government? The is no excuse for bombing civillian targets. In high school, two of my teachers were bomber crewmen who bombed Germany in B-17s. One admitted bombing Hamburg (we had an exchange student from Hamburg in the class). The bombing the Americans, and to a lesser extent the British, did in Germany to the civillian population was not comparable to what the Germans did to London. The Americans had large formations of four engine bombers, bombs and tactics designed to kill people in these cities. The Germans, at their worse, adapted two engine bombers, designed for tactical use, to redeploy bombing English cities. They never had real fighter protection as the Me-109s were not long-distance fighters as was the P-51 Mustang. The German bombing and the American bombing were done at two different points in the war and, with ever changing technology, on two different levels of lethality. Further, the Americans, especially Gen. Curtis LeMay, wanted to kill large numbers of German civillians. The Germans really never wanted to exterminate the British.

    The only possible comparison between the intent of the Germans and the Americans is not in the air war but in the German campaign against the Soviets.

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    Senior Member Stríbog's Avatar
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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blond Beast
    The criminal arrogance of Germany.
    a) Britain's criminal arrogance was historically far greater. Britain and France declared war on Germany, not vice versa.

    b) The real German crimes occurred primarily on the Eastern Front; Britain and America were punishing Germany for perceived "crimes" against the Jews which had nothing to do with Germany's Slav policy.

    c) Incinerating civilians is not "just retribution" or "punishment." It's inhuman cruelty and one of the many Allied war crimes that went unpunished.

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog
    a) Britain's criminal arrogance was historically far greater. Britain and France declared war on Germany, not vice versa.
    So Germany's invasion of Poland was justified insofar as it did not evolve into a continental/world conflict? German revanchism and Hitler's temerity initiated the unnecessary conflict Germany so zealously wanted.

    Even before the Great War, Germany, much like a child raging due to the lack of respect attributed to it by its neighbours, sought its "place in the sun" and in many instances did its utmost to meddle and provoke (i.e. Morocco). Germany learned nothing from the First World War, its arrogance and its tendency and lust toward violence far outpacing any other European nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog
    b) The real German crimes occurred primarily on the Eastern Front; Britain and America were punishing Germany for perceived "crimes" against the Jews which had nothing to do with Germany's Slav policy.
    For the hundreds of razed villages of Belarus and Russia proper, and the millions of victims of indiscriminate German barbarism, it interests me not whether the USSR exacted retribution or the Allies did it for them, insofar as the German population experienced the terror of an undeserved death, a death its sons, fathers, and uncles had distributed so readily across Europe.

    If there were any concept of justice in the world, Germany would not have had 11 figureheads of the regime hang at Nuremburg, but instead, its victims would have reciprocated by exacting from Germany the same civilian tallies German so readily allotted them. After all, Hitler declared that the Second World War was being fought according to the principle of "an eye for an eye". Apparently, Germans can readily dispense terror, yet pine like true cowards when it is visited on them.

    It's apparent that Germany got off with frightening ease...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog
    c) Incinerating civilians is not "just retribution" or "punishment." It's inhuman cruelty and one of the many Allied war crimes that went unpunished.
    Infinitely more disgusting and contrary to decency is the fact that Bach-Zelewski, Karl Wolff, and Joseph Mengele didn't meet their ends at the end of a rope, and that Germany has been more than happy to ignore the crimes of its past.

    Hell, the number of civilians that were bombed and starved to death during the siege of Leningrand -- but one Russian city that Hitler attempted to rape -- was greater than the total number of German civilian deaths sustained throughout the war. And the Boche declare themselves victims of cruelty? Talk about chutzpah...

    Germany simply couldn't handle a "dose of its own medicine":

    22 August 1939

    Meeting with the Führer (Obersalzberg, 12 a.m.)

    Present were army group leaders and army commanders of the German army, navy and air force.

    The Führer demands of the military leaders:

    3. The victor is never asked the question whether his reasons were justified. It does not matter whether we have the law on our side, the only thing that matters is victory.
    Last edited by The Blond Beast; Wednesday, August 18th, 2004 at 09:17 AM.

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    Hi TheBlondBeast,

    this is my first post here and i'm very happy to have found such a big forum of nationalists from all over the world.

    IMO you confuse cause and effect and you compare apples with pears and you seed hate.

    1. cause and effect is confused, when you forget the reasons that led to the German-Polish war.
    And btw, you shouldn't forget, that the USSR invaded Poland, too.
    You should also take into account, what Rudolf Hess offered to the western Plutocraties (immediately retreat from Poland, restitution of an independent polish state).

    2. You compare apples with bears, if you sacrifice the terror-bombing of the plutocrats with the german measures taken in the occupied east.
    You mentioned Leningrad: yes, in opposite to you, i have compassion with the civilians, but don't you know who didn't allow the civilians to leave?
    Don't blame our german soldiers, what the Communists are responsible for.

    And where in the hell is the connection - of whatever happened on the eastern-front-, to the terror-bombing of the USA?
    You mean it was revenge for us 'evil Germans'?
    Well then you maybe also believe, that Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq today are only bombed and invaded, because of 'liberation' and 'freedom'?

    And if you talk about revenge, where in the world, were german soldiers allowed, yes even were instigated, to mass-rape slavic women?

    3. And you confuse cause and effect, if you ignore, what happened on the eastern front from the first day since Barbarossa started.
    I.e. have you heard about the 'red glove', investigated and documented by the International Red Cross? Here the hand of the victim is put into boiling water and with a cut around the wrist, skin and flesh was quite easily teared down.
    This happened already on the first(!) day, when the german soldiers already had fought against the French and Brits and nowhere such things happened.

    And if you sacrifice the (sneaky but effectful) strategy of the Communists, to provoke the Germans and their alliies, with all the well known measures, you're nothing more than staining the honorable and brave russian soldier and defending jewish bolshewism and it's propaganda, to make them hate the germans.

    IMO it was one of the biggest tragedies in history, that we Germans and the Russians had to fight each other in WWII, but if you, as a proud nationalist, even today, where we can see everywhere, how Communism just opened the doors for Capitalism (especially in Russia, where the jews control already more than in Germany and Putin tries to reduce their power), can't see, WHO was mislead and which side fought for a surviving white Europe of independent nations.

    I can even less understand you point of view, if you look at the situation of the russian nation today. The slavs will face in a few decades, their biggest biological threat ever: the asian population is spreading more and more. No place torwards the south and so already today, millions are settling down in siberia, every year already.
    And you still repeat the story of the evil Germans?
    You have understood nothing, what Germany really fought for.

    I reach you my hand like to everyone, if you have the honest wish, to preserve the white nations and cultures.

    But if you sacrifice some of the most awful and biggest crimes, then you're obviously not penetrated with the wish to reach the hands between our nations, but more to seed hate.
    We European nations in our history have led so many useless wars, and always others have had the profit from it.
    It is high the time to see, that we don't have the time anymore, to search for the dividing.
    It is high the time to look into a common future. But this future is only possible, if everyone of us is willing to forgive and forget.
    We German national-socialists, were always, like Rudolf Hess prooved, and are ready.
    But if someone comes the way and sacrifices crimes, with no more effect than creating hate, instead of of cohesion, then he has to be seen as an enemy of the nations.

    Hail white race!

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    Post Re: The REAL Holocaust (*WARNING*: Disturbing Images)

    No group of civilians should have to pay for the commandments of a goverment, but sadly, the civilians and the innocent are the ones that always pay the highest in wars.
    Just because they where Germans dosn't mean they deserved death. They where still made out of flesh and bone and had a mind of their own. I am interested in national socialism as a political idea, but it dosn't mean that I agree with all the things Germany did.
    Personally, What the Communists did was way worse than what the axis did. The axis atleast fought for a proper cause, the interest of the people of Europe, while the communists where just destroying everything that was German,Hungarian,Romanian,Italian,etc in Europe.
    Just close your eyes...can you remember
    The generations not so long ago
    I feel the shameless urge that we must restore
    Our former king to his rightful throne
    And with me lords and maidens
    We wait for the chosen son's return

    I come alive
    It's a time for celebration
    Our will to restore
    Make our past become the futre once more

    Still he lives! 2000 years have passed
    And still we're yearning for his return
    We fulfill a wishful prohecy
    And so the chanting begins
    Hail Caesar...Hail Caesar...we render unto you
    What is still yours

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