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Germany's wartime food supply



  • The thread “What if Canada had stayed out of the war” got off-topic, and Imperious Leader stated that we should start a new thread. So here it is.

    In that earlier thread, I’d made several statements. Prior to WWII, Hitler had attempted to solve the so-called “Jewish problem” by resettling Jews outside of Germany. A program had been put in place to resettle German Jews in Palestine. 10% of the prewar German Jewish population emigrated to Palestine via that program; with many more German Jews emigrating elsewhere. Hitler had also envisioned resettling Jews in Madagascar.

    During WWII, Britain imposed a food blockade on Germany. That blockade meant the German government did not have the food with which to feed everyone. The Nazi government responded by placing the Jews at the bottom of the food priority list. They were to receive no calories, and were to be starved or otherwise exterminated. Next-lowest were unskilled workers in occupied territories such as Poland and the western Soviet Union; who would either live or starve based on the luck of the harvest. Residents of other occupied territories–such as France–also received very low rations, though not so low as to necessarily imply outright starvation. I supported the aforementioned statements here, and my understanding is that they are not under dispute.

    However, there is disagreement about the moral framework into which the above data should be placed. Below are my own thoughts about the moral questions at hand.

    1. Given that the British (and later American) food blockade caused a severe food shortfall, was it ethical for the Nazis to single out the Jews to bear the very worst consequences of that shortfall? In my opinion, the singling out of the Jews was the Nazi government’s single most immoral act. For food allocation purposes, German Jews should have been treated like German Gentiles, Polish Jews like Polish Gentiles, and so forth.

    2. Starving or otherwise exterminating the Jews was in itself not enough to solve Germany’s food problems. Millions of Poles and other Slavs died as well. Was it ethical for the German government to make more of an effort to avoid starvation among its own citizens than among residents of occupied territories? Throughout human history, governments typically make a greater effort to prevent suffering among their own citizens than among the non-citizen residents of territories they occupy. If the United States was subjected to famine conditions while occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, there can be little doubt that feeding Americans would take higher priority than would feeding Iraqis or Afghanis.

    3. Which nation bears the blame for the British (and later American) government’s decision to use food as a weapon? During a time of war, the deliberate targeting of enemy civilians is a war crime. A food blockade directed against an entire nation can have no possible target except civilians. The fact that Germany was the initial aggressor does not justify this effort to starve civilians, any more than an American invasion of Iraq would justify subsequent Iraqi attacks against American women and children. The laws of war do not apply to aggressor nations only: all participants in any given conflict are subject to them.

    4. The argument was made that the German government should have ended the food crisis by surrendering. But FDR had demanded that the Germans unconditionally surrender to all the Allies, including the Soviet Union. Prior to WWII, the Soviet Union had engaged in tens of millions of mass murders. No government could ethically put its own citizens at the mercy of the Soviet Union if it had any other choice.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    1. Which nation bears the blame for the British (and later American) government’s decision to use food as a weapon? During a time of war, the deliberate targeting of enemy civilians is a war crime. A food blockade directed against an entire nation can have no possible target except civilians.

    What was the aim of the unrestricted sinking of all ships going to the UK?



  • In that earlier thread, I’d made several statements. Prior to WWII, Hitler had attempted to solve the so-called “Jewish problem” by resettling Jews outside of Germany. A program had been put in place to resettle German Jews in Palestine. 10% of the prewar German Jewish population emigrated to Palestine via that program; with many more German Jews emigrating elsewhere. Hitler had also envisioned resettling Jews in Madagascar.

    Ok, is this just a fun fact you’re throwing out there or are you saying this was a noble gesture by Hitler? This is the third or fourth time you’ve mentioned this, and this is the third or fourth time I’ve had to tell you, this plan doesn’t excuse Nazi depravities. Forcing a group of people to move to some underdeveloped sub-tropical island with only the clothes on their back doesn’t really compare to just leaving that group of people alone. You keep saying Hitler tried to “solve” the “Jewish problem.” The Jews weren’t some mathematical equation that just needed to be solved, there were a group of living, breathing people, women, men children and old people.

    I supported the aforementioned statements here, and my understanding is that they are not under dispute.

    No, you threw out some various quotes from a book that illustrated the Nazi perspective behind the Holocaust and other killings (and not everyone shares Tooze’s views of that perspective - many believe, with lots of evidence, that the Jews et al were killed because the Nazis just didn’t like them). Tooze is certainly no Holocaust revisionist, and his book does nothing to support your claim that the “proximate cause” for the extermination of the Jews and millions of others was the food blockade, or that all of the “illegal killing” would have stopped if the blockade had ended. Did you even read my last post, or, as I’m beginning to believe, are you just  trying to get a rise out of someone (if so, I hate to say it definitely worked)?

    The thing we’re arguing here is your misguided theories as to why the Germans were “forced” to kill so many innocent people. If you factor in the death of Soviet civilians, the Germans killed approximately 17 million people, most of them women, children and old people. This number does not take into account the number of Allied soldiers killed during the war. You blame those deaths on the Allies because of the food blockade and because the Allies wouldn’t find homes for Europe’s Jews. You really think those deaths had nothing to do with Hitler’s insistence on cleansing the “master race” of its “undesirables”? It had nothing to do with Nazi eugenic programs, or just the pure hatred the Nazis held for anyone not of German Teutonic stock? You believe the Germans were justified in killing millions? You would have to be a blind fool to believe such things.

    1. Which nation bears the blame for the British (and later American) government’s decision to use food as a weapon? During a time of war, the deliberate targeting of enemy civilians is a war crime. A food blockade directed against an entire nation can have no possible target except civilians.

    Which country bears the blame? Which country?!?! Are you daft? Germany you burke! They started that war and if they couldn’t handle what the Allies threw at them in response, too f***ing bad. They are the ones who chose to start the war, they are the ones who chose to indiscriminately bomb European cities and murder civilians and gas Jews and slaughter Ukrainians and sink civilian ships and kill Roma children and chose to perform many more similar acts. The German people are just as much to blame for leading their country to war as the Nazi leaders through their complacency and outright dedication to the Nazi effort, and many (including me) would argue the German people reaped what they sowed. It should have forced them to seek a change in government like the blockade did in 1918.  No, you can’t shift the indiscriminate killings of millions of people to the Allies. I can’t even believe I’m arguing this…

    You seem to think the Nazis were decent people who were forced to do horrific things because of the Allies. You base your claims off of one book which doesn’t even come close to supporting some of the claims you’re making, and a few wikipedia articles you twist in order to support your claim that the blood of millions of innocent people lays at the Allies’ feet (White Paper, Madagascar plan). In other words, you are trying to feed us pure BS.



  • Levity:

    Search for this on Youtube

    Lambeth Walk: Nazi Style - by Charles A. Ridley (1941)



  • War Crimes are strictly defined.
    The bombing of Dresden was not a War Crime.
    The food blockade was not on either.

    Anyone who reads Hitler’s book or listened to his speeches  knows what he was going to do to the Jews and no amount of excuse making can hide the fact.
    Even if there was a fatted cow for every person in Europe daily for 10 years those Jews were going to die.



  • @Gargantua:

    Kurt Godel isn’t trying to make excuses for anyone, there are none.  He’s trying to explain the strategic thinking and sentiment behind the decisions that were made, so people understand them - thus not to repeat them.

    I would disagree with your statement when he argues that “Most or all of the illegal killing within Germany would likely have ended once the British food blockade had been lifted” and “That a proximate cause of the decision to exterminate the Jews was the desire to reduce pressure on the food supply.” Proximate cause does not mean it was one of many causes, it means it was a sufficient enough of a cause to be the primary one. Then he suggests Britain is partly responsible for the extermination of Europe’s Jews because the English wouldn’t let them all move in. Gar, have you even been keeping up with this discussion? I’m sorry if Kurt’s one source isn’t enough to convince me that the Nazi’s killed millions because of food shortages. You claim to be a skeptical individual, but you’ll accept these arguments just like that?

    He may be explaining the strategic thinking and sentiment about those decisions, but it doesn’t mean he’s right. I’m sorry if I can’t believe that Germany only built concentration camps and gas chambers to reduce pressure on the food supply. The death of up to 17 million people goes much deeper and, if it’s even possible, is more sinister than that.

    But what Kurt’s really trying to push, is that sometimes with the “grey” decisions we make, like blocking food, starving people out, etc, that we need to learn the lesson, that perhaps that makes a person unconciously a monster in disguise as well.

    Interesting point, but you fail to mention that Nazi Germany was a monster long before the blockade. Everything Hitler lead Germany to do before and during WWII he more or less mentioned back in 1923 in Mein Kampf. He had a plan to do these things, he didn’t need the excuse of an Allied food blockade to wage war against millions of people and systematically exterminate millions of others.

    Yes, the Western Allies had their share of depravities and no one’s going to argue that Stalin was a saint. But we’re talking about what Germany did and why it did it, and I’m having trouble buying some of those arguments.



  • @Zhukov_2011:

    In that earlier thread, I’d made several statements. Prior to WWII, Hitler had attempted to solve the so-called “Jewish problem” by resettling Jews outside of Germany. A program had been put in place to resettle German Jews in Palestine. 10% of the prewar German Jewish population emigrated to Palestine via that program; with many more German Jews emigrating elsewhere. Hitler had also envisioned resettling Jews in Madagascar.

    Ok, is this just a fun fact you’re throwing out there or are you saying this was a noble gesture by Hitler? This is the third or fourth time you’ve mentioned this, and this is the third or fourth time I’ve had to tell you, this plan doesn’t excuse Nazi depravities. Forcing a group of people to move to some underdeveloped sub-tropical island with only the clothes on their back doesn’t really compare to just leaving that group of people alone. You keep saying Hitler tried to “solve” the “Jewish problem.” The Jews weren’t some mathematical equation that just needed to be solved, there were a group of living, breathing people, women, men children and old people.

    I supported the aforementioned statements here, and my understanding is that they are not under dispute.

    No, you threw out some various quotes from a book that illustrated the Nazi perspective behind the Holocaust and other killings (and not everyone shares Tooze’s views of that perspective - many believe, with lots of evidence, that the Jews et al were killed because the Nazis just didn’t like them). Tooze is certainly no Holocaust revisionist, and his book does nothing to support your ridiculous claim that the “proximate cause” for the extermination of the Jews and millions of others was the food blockade, or that all of the “illegal killing” would have stopped if the blockade had ended. Did you even read my last post, or, as I’m beginning to believe, are you just  trying to get a rise out of someone (if so, I hate to say it definitely worked)?

    The thing we’re arguing here is your misguided theories as to why the Germans were “forced” to kill so many innocent people. If you factor in the death of Soviet civilians, the Germans killed approximately 17 million people, most of them women, children and old people. This number does not take into account the number of Allied soldiers killed during the war. You blame those deaths on the Allies because of the food blockade and because the Allies wouldn’t find homes for Europe’s Jews. You really think those deaths had nothing to do with Hitler’s insistence on cleansing the “master race” of its “undesirables”? It had nothing to do with Nazi eugenic programs, or just the pure hatred the Nazis held for anyone not of German Teutonic stock? You believe the Germans were justified in killing millions? You would have to be a blind fool to believe such things.

    1. Which nation bears the blame for the British (and later American) government’s decision to use food as a weapon? During a time of war, the deliberate targeting of enemy civilians is a war crime. A food blockade directed against an entire nation can have no possible target except civilians.

    Which country bears the blame? Which country?!?! Are you daft? Germany you burke! They started that war and if they couldn’t handle what the Allies threw at them in response, too f***ing bad. They are the ones who chose to start the war, they are the ones who chose to indiscriminately bomb European cities and murder civilians and gas Jews and slaughter Ukrainians and sink civilian ships and kill Roma children and chose to perform many more similar acts. The German people are just as much to blame for leading their country to war as the Nazi leaders through their complacency and outright dedication to the Nazi effort, and many (including me) would argue the German people reaped what they sowed. It should have forced them to seek a change in government like the blockade did in 1918.  No, you can’t shift the indiscriminate killings of millions of people to the Allies. I can’t even believe I’m arguing this…

    You seem to think the Nazis were decent people who were forced to do horrific things because of the Allies. You base your claims off of one book which doesn’t even come close to supporting some of the claims you’re making, and a few wikipedia articles you twist in order to support your claim that the blood of millions of innocent people lays at the Allies’ feet (White Paper, Madagascar plan). In other words, you are trying to feed us pure BS.

    You have made a number of surprising assertions in your post. I will attempt to address them here.

    1. “Ok, is this just a fun fact you’re throwing out there or are you saying this was a noble gesture by Hitler?” [The text in question refers to the Nazis’ prewar plans–which had been partially implemented–to solve the so-called “Jewish problem” through emigration to places outside Europe.] I did not describe this plan either as a “fun fact” or as some kind of “noble gesture” on Hitler’s part. Nor did I claim that Hitler was somehow justified in singling out a specific group of people for forced emigration. I simply stated a fact which I felt was relevant to the discussion; without trying to put any particular labels like “fun” or “noble” on that fact. If you feel the Nazi government’s pre-war plans for solving the so-called “Jewish problem” are somehow irrelevant to this discussion, please explain why.

    2. “(and not everyone shares Tooze’s views of that perspective - many believe, with lots of evidence, that the Jews et al were killed because the Nazis just didn’t like them).” The Nazis’ prewar solution to the so-called “Jewish problem” had been emigration. Once Germany was no longer in a position to feed everyone within its borders, that policy changed to one of extermination. There can be no reasonable dispute about the fact that Germany’s food situation was such that millions would starve or otherwise die no matter what the government did. (Short of outright surrender to the Allies, that is.) Your argument here, if I understand it correctly, is that Germany would have changed its policy to one of extermination even if no food shortage had existed. That argument is speculation. I am not prepared to start handing out guilty verdicts on the basis of your speculation or your gut feelings about what might have happened.

    3. “Tooze is certainly no Holocaust revisionist, and his book does nothing to support your ridiculous claim that the ‘proximate cause’ for the extermination of the Jews and millions of others was the food blockade, or that all of the ‘illegal killing’ would have stopped if the blockade had ended.”

    Your first claim is correct: Tooze is no Holocaust revisionist. Your second claim is false: the quotes I provided from Tooze’s book clearly illustrate that Germany was facing a very severe food crisis, and that the Nazis responded to that food crisis in part by attempting to reduce Jewish caloric consumption to zero. In your third claim, you implied that I’d definitively stated that the Nazis would have ended their illegal killing once the food crisis had ended. I do not recall having speculated about this point. However, it’s worth looking at the documentary records of the Nazis’ plans. (As Tooze did in his book.) Tooze noted the existence of a Nazi plan to force between 30 - 50 million Poles to migrate eastward after the war. The vacated lands would then have been resettled by Germans. If Germany’s food situation had remained dire, the deaths of large numbers of those Poles along the way would have been seen as an acceptable way to reduce the number of mouths that needed to be fed. The implication was that, had Germany’s food crisis been solved, large-scale deaths among the migrating Poles would not have been envisioned.

    You blame those deaths on the Allies because of the food blockade and because
    the Allies wouldn’t find homes for Europe’s Jews. You really think those deaths
    had nothing to do with Hitler’s insistence on cleansing the “master race” of its
    “undesirables”? It had nothing to do with Nazi eugenic programs, or just the pure
    hatred the Nazis held for anyone not of German Teutonic stock?

    Germany’s food situation meant that millions of people could die. Those deaths are the inevitable result of a simple mathematical equation involving the quantity of food available and the number of mouths that needed to be fed. It was up to Hitler to decide which millions would die; and his choices in that matter were clearly influenced by both his Nazi ideology and by Germany’s military needs. In a non-Nazi nation faced with a similar food crisis, the millions of deaths might have occurred among those too poor to buy increasingly expensive food, or among those who lacked the right connections; or those who were out of favor for some other reason. But any nation faced with Germany’s food situation would have been forced to find some mechanism for deciding which people would eat and live, and which would starve and die.

    Which country bears the blame? Which country?!?! Are you daft? Germany you
    burke! They started that war and if they couldn’t handle what the Allies threw at
    them in response, too f***ing bad.

    This argument is illogical on a number of levels. For one thing, it implies that only aggressor nations must adhere to the laws of the war. However, the Geneva Conventions are binding on both aggressor and non-aggressor nations.

    Further, Britain and France declared war on Germany, which then caused Germany to declare war on Britain and France. The Anglo-French justification for their war on Germany was that they were protecting the Polish. The food crisis created by the British food blockade caused millions of Poles to starve. That action cannot possibly be justified on the basis of “protecting” the Poles. Nor is there justification for the French government’s decision to lie to Poland before the war; thus putting the Polish government in a false position.

    Hitler’s reason for going to war against Poland was his belief that the German territories under Polish rule should instead be under German rule. If the United States had been subjected to a military defeat, and if Texas and California were consequently placed under Mexican rule, New England under Canadian rule, Alaska under Soviet rule, and Hawaii under Japanese rule, would the United States be justified in (if necessary) going to war to reclaim its lost territory?

    The German people are just as much to blame for leading their country to war
    as the Nazi leaders through their complacency and outright dedication to the Nazi
    effort, and many (including me) would argue the German people reaped what they sowed.

    That argument has been used to justify a host of atrocities committed against the German people during and after the war. “Civilians were run over by tanks, shot, or otherwise murdered. Women and young girls were raped and left to die. . . . In addition, fighter bombers of the Soviet air force penetrated far behind the front lines and often attacked columns of evacuees.[48][49]” “Although mass executions of civilians by the Red Army were seldom publicly reported, there is a known incident in Treuenbrietzen, where at least 88 male inhabitants were rounded up and shot on May 1, 1945. The incident took place after a victory celebration at which numerous girls from Treuenbrietzen were raped and a Red Army lieutenant-colonel was shot by an unknown assailant. Some sources claim as many as 1,000 civilians may have been executed during the incident.[notes 1][51][52]” “Following the Red Army’s capture of Berlin in 1945, one of the largest incidents of mass rape took place. Soviet troops raped German women and girls as young as 8 years old.”

    There are some who feel the above events are justice. Some might feel that it was perfectly fitting for husbands and fathers to watch, helplessly, as their wives and daughters were raped and murdered by Soviet soldiers. Or for entire German families to commit suicide to avoid the dishonor of this fate. There are those who would feel comfortable explaining to the eight year old girls being raped why they “had it coming to them,” and why these rape-murders were perfectly reasonable and justified. I take a different view: Soviet actions in postwar Germany were evil, twisted, sadistic, and sick. Nor were such actions anything new for the Soviets, or directed exclusively against the Germans. This was the same government which had cynically murdered tens of millions of its own citizens, which had inflicted a reign of murder and terror in Poland, the Baltic States, the portion of Finland it had conquered, and elsewhere. Even in northern Manchuria, Soviet soldiers quickly developed a reputation for wanton rape, looting, and vandalizing. The Soviet Union was evil, and that evil was the ultimate cause of its cruelty, rape, and mass murder in wartime and postwar Germany.

    One last thing before I end this post. In the thread originally about what would have happened if Canada hadn’t entered the war, Imperious Leader stated, “No more posts about whatever this topic became.” It is not clear how your subsequent, petty personal attacks against Private Ryan contribute to an understanding of that thread’s original subject. While I would argue that personal attacks represent an unwelcome change to the usual atmosphere of these boards, I am not a moderator and cannot stop you from making them. But at very least, I ask that you confine such attacks to this thread, instead of further derailing the Canada thread.



  • Can we have a link for the 1000 deaths at Treuenbrietzen.

    Did you know 127 Italian POW’s were  killed there by……



  • @KurtGodel7:

    Further, Britain and France declared war on Germany, which then caused Germany to declare war on Britain and France. The Anglo-French justification for their war on Germany was that they were protecting the Polish.

    Parallel universe here.

    Germany knew Poland had a treaty and that an invasion would resuly in war.
    Germany invade and thus entirely by her own actions started the war.

    If you tell a potential burglar that if he breaks in to your house you will attack him then the same burglar can not claim you attacked him for no good reason if you catch him in your kitchen.


  • '12

    In Canada, if you attack a burglar in your own home and injure him/her, the burglar can sue the homeowner, and the homeowner could very well be charged with assault.  Well I would be charged with attempted murder but I digress.

    The bombing of Dresden was a War Crime.  The allies committed many war crimes.  All things considered in war however, they did behave relatively pretty darn good.

    Either all of the Germans should have starved or they should have surrendered.  Killing off the Jews and other minorities in order to feed  who, the more human, the better blooded?  If they had starved old and crippled Germans as well as Jews I might have more…nah, it would make more logical sense in a coldblooded inhuman way.  But no, they starved able bodied Jews so that old useless (in terms of war output) Germans cold live.  Stupid and Evil.  And Kurt, you are sounding more and more like a douche.  Pity, you seem intelligent, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.



  • @Lazarus:

    Can we have a link for the 1000 deaths at Treuenbrietzen.

    Did you know 127 Italian POW’s were  killed there by……

    Here is a link for 1000 deaths at  Treuenbrietzen. Here is another.

    The events at Treuenbrietzen were but a few drops in a vast ocean. Following is a quote from After the Reich by Giles MacDonogh. According to the Sunday Telegraph “MacDonogh has written a grueling but important book. This unhappy story has long been cloaked in silence since telling it suited no one.” MacDonogh has written regularly for the Financial Times, and has also written for The Times, The Guardian, and Evening Standard.

    pp. 100 - 101


    In a frightful twist in the gallows humor of the time, Berlin children used to play the ‘Frau komm mit!’ game, with the boys taking the part of the soldiers and the girls their victims. In normal times the children had mimicked ‘Zurucktreten, Zug faht ab’’ (Stand back! The train is leaving!), a line they heard every time they took the U- or S-Bahn, Berlin’s metro system. . . .

    Very few escaped the rapine, although the Swiss Max Schnetzer reported areas that were spared ‘like a hailstorm that only destroys part of the harvest.’ One acquaintance of Margret Boveri’s who refused was shot. . . .

    Men didn’t help much. In some instances they told women to go quietly so as not to put their own lives in jeopardy. Some gallantly but bootlessly tried to come between the rapists and their women, like an Aryan man who had protected his Jewish wife throughout the war, and who bled to death while his wife was raped. There was a trade in stars of David, which sold for up to RM500, but in the end the Russians couldn’t care less if the woman was Jewish or the house they plundered had a Jewish owner. They had not gone to war to protect the Jews after all. . . .

    Men receive a bad press in contemporary accounts, but it must have been an emasculating experience for a man to see or hear his loved one violently raped and be unable to stop it. One man, who had witnessed his wife laughing and drinking and sleeping with the Russians, killed her before shooting himself. Others tortured themselves with reproaches about their passivity at the crucial time. The women complained that their men spurned them after the experience, but conversely many women became frigid after being raped and rejected their husbands and lovers. The fact that the victims discussed their experiences with other women within their husbands’ earshot cannot have made it easier.


    p. 103


    By the time Ursula von Kardoff returned in September, she called Berlin ‘A city without Eros.’ ‘Women over thirty look old, frustrated, and sad. Make-up covers so little. “Frau komm”, the cry that rang through the city as the victor called for his rights to rape, plunder, and shoot, rings still in every ear’. . . . She heard her fair share of rape stories: . . . of a friend in Zehlendorf who hid behind a coal dump from the Russians but was given away by another woman who sought to protect her own daughter. She was raped by twenty-three soldiers and had to be sewn up afterwards. She could not imagine having sex with a man ever again. Ursula heard another story, of a girl who had found a lover in an English soldier. One day she had pointed to a German soldier in rags, called him a ‘prolonger of the war’, and slapped him. The English soldier gave the man cigarettes and abandoned the girl on the spot.


    p. 57


    The [Soviet] soldiers raped every female they found; one twelve-year-old girl complained of the terrible tearing they had caused her. On another occasion when all the surviving Steinauer were taking refuge in a cellar and the women were once again threatened with gang rape, [a] mother gave her children coffee that had been laced with poison. But the dose was not strong enough to do them any harm. She thought she was doing the right thing then: ‘I can only assure people that a mother never believes herself more holy than at that moment.’


    p. 55


    In Danzig it was open season for the Russian soldiers once again. They raped, murdered, and pillaged. Women between the ages of twelve and seventy-five were raped; boys who sought to rescue their mothers were pitilessly shot. The Russians defiled the ancient Cathedral of Oliva and raped the Sisters of Mercy. Later they put the building to the torch. In the hospitals both nurses and female doctors were subjected to the same outrages after the soldiers drank surgical spirit. Nurses were raped over the bodies of unconscious patients in the operating theatres together with the women in the maternity ward. Doctors who tried to stop this were simply gunned down. The Poles behaved as badly as the Russians. Many Danzigers took their own lives. The men were rounded up, beaten, and thrown into the concentration camp at Matzkau. From there 800 to 1,000 were dispatched to Russia twice daily.




  • The book (After the Reich)  is online but I am not allowed to post links

    All the book  sources are secondary and no original documentation is used.

    The author read 400 books and wrote book 401!

    This book is a mainstay of revisionist and anti-Jewish hate sites.
    It is dear to the heart of all  those who think Germany was the victim in WW2.
    This  from one site where all the favorable reviews are quoted in full but any that  do not toe the party line as treated like this:

    There was also a review in the Washington Post, but it was to say that Germans don’t compare to Jews; I believe it was written by a Jew, like 50% of this rag.

    Note that all the links on the claimed dead at Treuenbrietzen come back to  the account of one man and the numbers vary widely



  • @Lazarus:

    The book (After the Reich)  is online but I am not allowed to post links

    All the book  sources are secondary and no original documentation is used.

    The author read 400 books and wrote book 401!

    This book is a mainstay of revisionist and anti-Jewish hate sites.
    It is dear to the heart of all  those who think Germany was the victim in WW2.
    This  from one site where all the favorable reviews are quoted in full but any that  do not toe the party line as treated like this:

    There was also a review in the Washington Post, but it was to say that Germans don’t compare to Jews; I believe it was written by a Jew, like 50% of this rag.

    Note that all the links on the claimed dead at Treuenbrietzen come back to  the account of one man and the numbers vary widely

    The exact number of civilians murdered at Treuenbrietzen does not materially affect the larger debate. The civilians murdered there are only a small subset of the total. The Soviets generally did not keep good records of their atrocities in postwar Germany, making an argument about exact numbers futile.

    You attempt to portray After the Reich as a revisionist and non-credible source. In addition to being wrong on both counts, you are also in error to suppose the book’s main conclusions can be seriously disputed. Historian Antony Beevor described the Soviet invasion of Germany as “the greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history.”

    Alexandr Solzhenitsyn served in the Red Army during WWII, and was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He described the Soviet occupation of Germany in the following words:


    The little daughter’s on the mattress,
    Dead. How many have been on it
    A platoon, a company perhaps?
    A girl’s been turned into a woman,
    A woman turned into a corpse.


    The historical facts are clear: the Soviet Union had a consistent track record of mass murder, especially under Lenin and Stalin. The Soviets’ treatment of the Germans was among the most shameful chapters in that government’s sick and twisted history. It is not clear to me why anyone would seek to downplay, explain away, justify, ignore, or deny the Soviet government’s atrocities.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    The exact number of civilians murdered at Treuenbrietzen does not materially affect the larger debate.

    The actual ‘murders’ have yet to be proved.
    As you must know every story is based on one mans conclusions and he has no data other than ‘reports’ that are completely undocumented.

    @KurtGodel7:

    You attempt to portray After the Reich as a revisionist and non-credible source. In addition to being wrong on both counts, you are also in error to suppose the book’s main conclusions can be seriously disputed. Historian Antony Beevor  the Soviet invasion of Germany as “the greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history.”

    Ah yes Beevor. Tha man who can not read Russian but conducts extensive ‘research’ into original Soviet documents.
    You do know his rape figure is a based on a tiny sample and the belief only 1 in 10 rapes is reported. In effect he plucked the number from thin air.
    Still you can not deny all the revisionists are in raptures over After The Reich. They (and you) use it to try and claim the poor Germans were the real victims of WW2.
    Quite simply rubbish



  • @Lazarus:

    @KurtGodel7:

    The exact number of civilians murdered at Treuenbrietzen does not materially affect the larger debate.

    The actual ‘murders’ have yet to be proved.
    As you must know every story is based on one mans conclusions and he has no data other than ‘reports’ that are completely undocumented.

    @KurtGodel7:

    You attempt to portray After the Reich as a revisionist and non-credible source. In addition to being wrong on both counts, you are also in error to suppose the book’s main conclusions can be seriously disputed. Historian Antony Beevor  the Soviet invasion of Germany as “the greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history.”

    Ah yes Beevor. Tha man who can not read Russian but conducts extensive ‘research’ into original Soviet documents.
    You do know his rape figure is a based on a tiny sample and the belief only 1 in 10 rapes is reported. In effect he plucked the number from thin air.
    Still you can not deny all the revisionists are in raptures over After The Reich. They (and you) use it to try and claim the poor Germans were the real victims of WW2.
    Quite simply rubbish

    So now you’ve added Antony Beevor to the list of historians you’re trying to discredit, even though he’s received the Runciman Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Wolfson History Prize, the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, the Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award, and the La Vanguardia Prize for Non-Fiction. In addition, his conclusions about Soviet wartime and postwar atrocities have been defended by Richard Overy. Please don’t tell me you intend to add Overy to the list of historians you’re attempting to discredit.

    Now that I’ve covered Beevor, I’ll further address your effort to discredit After the Reich. That book has been praised by Boston Globe, Washington Post Book World, Sunday Times (London), Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, ALA Booklist, and Contemporary Review. Please explain why the book received praise from so many credible sources if it’s the “rubbish” you describe it as.

    You state that “all the revisionists are in raptures over After The Reich” as though this alone was enough to falsify its conclusions. That is clearly a logical error.

    To illustrate, consider the mass murder of the Polish officer corps; which occurred in Katyn Forest. The Nazi government blamed the Soviets, and the Soviets blamed the Nazis. There are three possible ways of viewing the massacre. 1) To assume that everything advocated by the Nazis or their sympathizers is automatically a lie. Someone using this approach would conclude the Nazis were responsible. 2) To assume everything advocated by communists and communist sympathizers is a lie. Someone using this approach would conclude the massacre had been committed by the Soviets. 3) To examine the actual evidence before drawing a conclusion.

    When the Nazis had physical control over the Katyn Forest, they allowed a team of international investigators unimpeded access to the site. The investigators concluded the Soviets were guilty of the massacre. After the Soviets regained control, they conducted their own, tightly controlled investigation, with no international investigators allowed. The Soviet investigation concluded that the Nazis were to blame for the massacre.

    The Nazi government used the Katyn massacre for propaganda purposes. "Goebbels wrote in his diary on 14 April 1943: ‘We are now using the discovery of 12,000 Polish officers, murdered by the GPU, for anti-Bolshevik propaganda on a grand style.’ " If one were to employ the same logical process you’d used to try to discredit After the Reich, any claim made by Goebbels and his propaganda ministry must be assumed to be equally false. The problem with that is that nearly all mainstream historians believe the Soviets committed the massacre. That consensus is based on powerful forensic and documentary evidence.

    The Soviet Union was guilty of countless atrocities and acts of mass murder. A significant portion of that monstrous track record found its way into Nazi propaganda. The Nazis didn’t need to lie about the Soviet atrocities for a very simple reason: Soviet atrocities were real. The events which occurred in Germany during and after the war were a subset of a much longer track record of Soviet mass murder.



  • I note none of the reviews you used are from specialist military historians/publications.
    His Amazon reviews are much more balanced. Granted the whiney ‘we wuz robbed’ Nazi lovers  are all  praising this fiction but others have much more telling comments about the authors reaearch methods and faulty conclusions.
    As I said the whole book is available online for those who like this type of porn.



  • @Lazarus:

    I note none of the reviews you used are from specialist military historians/publications.
    His Amazon reviews are much more balanced. Granted the whiney ‘we wuz robbed’ Nazi lovers  are all  praising this fiction but others have much more telling comments about the authors reaearch methods and faulty conclusions.
    As I said the whole book is available online for those who like this type of porn.

    You created the impression that the Amazon reviews were balanced between “Nazi lovers” highly praising the book while others complained about its research methods. To determine whether that description bore any relation to reality, I read each of the five star reviews the book received. Not one was written by anyone who expressed love for the Nazis or agreement with their ideology. Authors of the longer five star reviews generally acknowledged that the Nazi government committed crimes, while distancing themselves from the sick and evil notion that the Nazi government’s crimes meant that “the Germans had it coming.” One of the five star reviews was written by a former member of the U.S. military. Another was written by someone who wrote, “I was assigned to an Army Military, counter intelligence unit, in Germany in 1963 as a young draftee and was surprised that there were still DP’s in Germany at that time.”

    I also read a large number of the non-five star reviews. Some complained about the fact the book’s material was not presented in chronological order, or that most of the material had been presented before in other history books. The concern there was that MacDonogh was breaking relatively little new ground, and was simply repeating things which were already known. Another non-five star reviewer complained that MacDonogh gave as much space to small events (such as minor thefts) as he did to much larger ones (such as large-scale rapes and mass murders). Other reviews complained about the quality of the book’s writing. A one star reviewer called the book “misogynistic” on the basis of a passage I’d already quoted: a passage which described the effect of the rapes from German men’s perspective. The passage noted that women became frigid after being raped, rejected their husbands and lovers, and discussed their experiences with others, within earshot of their husbands. The reviewer claimed, “This is not only blaming the actual rape victims, but it shifts the focus on who is harmed from the actual victims to their men.” I do not share that perspective. MacDonogh does not assign blame in that passage; he merely states facts. While it is true that the focus of those facts in that particular passage is on German men, we are talking about a 546 page book. Plenty of space has been devoted to presenting things from the perspective of women and girls. (Such as the mother who gave her children poisoned coffee to spare them from the Soviets; and the woman who noted that “make-up covers so little.”)

    A person who gave the book a three star rating wrote the following:


    I was in Munich several years ago when I met an older gentleman who shared his story with me. He was a German P.O.W. in the United States.At the end of the war, they were sent to NC and put on a ship for France. He assumed he would [soon] be released. Imagine his surprise when he discovered the US government turned him over to France and he would stay a P.O.W. for the next 3 years working manual labor.


    That particular reviewer didn’t explain his reasons for not rating the book higher. Another three star reviewer didn’t rank the book higher because it focused on the millions of Germans who had had tragic things happen to them, without devoting much space to the many other Germans who doubtless had not had very bad things happen to them. The reviewer found this approach unbalanced.

    The author of a two star review agreed with most of MacDonogh’s book, but said it had been written badly. The reviewer also claimed that MacDonogh failed to “sell his case” that the Western democracies deliberately starved Germany after the war. The reviewer seemed to feel that any food shortages in postwar Germany were the result of a larger-scale food shortage. There is no reasonable doubt that the Western democracies deliberately inflicted starvation on postwar Germany. The Morgenthau Plan and JCS 1067 are dealt with in more detail elsewhere than in MacDonogh’s book. The Hoover Report–basically a series of reports written by former U.S. president Herbert Hoover–is among the most authoritative documents about the Western Allies’ postwar food policy. The subset of the Hoover Report from March 1947 stated, “There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a ‘pastoral state’. It can not be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it.” That report helped put an end to the FDR/Truman postwar policy of starvation and extermination, and paved the way for the Marshall Plan.

    None of the reviews I saw were prepared to join you in dismissing the book in its entirety as “fiction.” Only a relatively small percentage of the reviews I saw disputed the factual accuracy of even a subset of MacDonogh’s claims. The factual disputes I saw were based on a mistaken view of history. (For example, the reviewer who disputed MacDonogh’s statements about the Western democracies’ food policy in postwar Germany.)



  • I agree with Gar on the war crimes deal. How do you explain the thousands of skulls missing from japanese corpses in the pacific? Did they just get up and walk away? Maybe frosty the snowman took them?



  • The Morgenthau Plan was just that. A plan that was REJECTED.
    The usual  mob (excuse makers, fan-boys and rabid anti-semites) keep mentioning it as if it was implimented because they need a reason to shift the blame on to the Allies for the devastation in Europe.



  • @Lazarus:

    The Morgenthau Plan was just that. A plan that was REJECTED.
    The usual  mob (excuse makers, fan-boys and rabid anti-semites) keep mentioning it as if it was implimented because they need a reason to shift the blame on to the Allies for the devastation in Europe.

    It is correct to say that FDR publicly disavowed the plan, and told the American people it would not be implemented. While some people are inclined to take him at his word, others believe that the public statements made by politicians should be investigated before being accepted. A somewhat scaled-back version of the original Morgenthau Plan was put in place; and that the modified version of the plan (JCS 1067) resulted in widespread starvation and suffering in postwar Germany. On this page of the Hoover report, Hoover notes that the Morgenthau Plan’s original concept of turning Germany into a “pastoral state” by dismantling its industrial capacity and restricting its production was partially implemented in JSC 1067.

    On pages 9 and 10 of the Hoover Report from March of 1947, Hoover writes the following:

    pp. 9 - 10


    Germany in 1936 was, by most intensive cultivation, able to produce about 85% of her food supply. This 85% has been reduced by about 25% through the Russian and Polish annexations, or is down to about 64% because an even larger population is to be concentrated in the New Germany.

    Her production, however, was greatly dependent on intensive use of fertilizers. The New Germany will require at least 500,000 metric tons of nitrogen and 650,000 tons of phosphoric anhydride, she having sufficient potash.

    Under the level of industry agreement, domestic production of nitrogen eventually will be reduced under 200,000 tons; the production of phosphoric anhydride would be reduced to about 200,000 tons. . . . If we persist with these policies, Germany’s food production is likely to drop under 60% of her requirements even with an austere diet.

    New Germany, if there is to be a will to work, to maintain order and aspire to peace, must have an average food supply of 2600 calories per person per day, with adequate fats and protein content. (The British average being 2800 - 2900 calories at present and the prewar Germany about 3000 calories.) . . .

    Therefore, through the fertilizer reduction, Germany not only loses in her own food production but her export potential to pay for food, and the crops elsewhere in Europe are reduced. [due to a lack of fertilizer]


    From pages 11 and 12.

    pp. 11 - 12


    [Germany’s] exports during peace from now-restricted “heavy industries” comprised between 60 - 70% of total exports. . . . Under the “level of industry” most of that 60 - 70% is to be abolished, and Germany must pay for most of her imports from exports of “light industry.” . . . Due to the prohibitions [on manufacturing nitrogen, synthetic oil, etc. Germany] must import all of her oil and rubber, and considerable nitrogen for fertilizers. . . .

    As I have said, the assumption is that exports from the German “light industry,” from coal and native raw materials, such as potash, can pay for her imports of food and other necessities. There are two reasons for believing this assumption to be completely invalid.

    Had there been no loss of “light industry” plants by annexation, had there been no destruction of them by war, had there been no removals for reparations, they could not have produced enough exports to pay the food bill alone. And the situation is made doubly impossible by the restrictions placed on what “light industry” is left, as, for instance, on textiles. . . .

    There is the illusion that the new Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a “pastoral state.” It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it.


    Due to the partial implementation of the Morgenthau Plan, postwar Germany was subjected to widespread hunger and starvation. In October of 1945, U.S. General Lucius Clay stated,


    undoubtedly a large number of refugees have already died of starvation, exposure and disease…. The death rate in many places has increased several fold, and infant mortality is approaching 65 percent in many places. By the spring of 1946, German observers expect that epidemics and malnutrition will claim 2.5 to 3 million victims between the Oder and Elbe.[13]


    JCS 1067 remained in place until July of 1947, resulting in untold suffering and deaths through hunger-related causes throughout the U.S. zones of occupied Germany. Conditions in the French and Soviet zones were also appalling, and even the British zone was a very harsh place.



  • @KurtGodel7:

    It is correct to say that FDR publicly disavowed the plan, and told the American people it would not be implemented. While some people are inclined to take him at his word, others believe that the public statements made by politicians should be investigated before being accepted.

    So what you are saying is you know the plan was not impemented but will continue  to claim it was  because you ‘do not believe public staements by politicians’.
    Very convincing argument!

    Rationing went on until 1954 in Britain



  • Due to the Cold War and the fact that Europe was ravaged by a World War.



  • @Lazarus:

    @KurtGodel7:

    It is correct to say that FDR publicly disavowed the plan, and told the American people it would not be implemented. While some people are inclined to take him at his word, others believe that the public statements made by politicians should be investigated before being accepted.

    So what you are saying is you know the plan was not impemented but will continue  to claim it was  because you ‘do not believe public staements by politicians’.
    Very convincing argument!

    Rationing went on until 1954 in Britain

    Your representation of my statements bears no relation at all to anything I’d written. The idea that the Morgenthau Plan was never implemented is your position, not mine. Proposals for government programs and policies are often modified before being implemented. The original version of Obama’s heath care plan, for example, received substantial modification before being passed by Congress. It would be highly misleading at best to use the existence of such modifications as the basis for claiming that “the Obama health care plan never passed.” You seem to be using the modifications made to the original Morgenthau Plan as the sole basis for your claim that it was never implemented.

    JSC 1067 was intended to create starvation in Germany, exactly as the original version of the Morgenthau Plan had been. As statements from General Clay and other sources make clear, JSC 1067 succeeded in that objective. The argument could be made that the extent of the starvation and death toll would have been even greater had no modifications to the original Morgenthau Plan been made. However, Morgenthau’s reaction to JSC 1067 is telling:


    On May 10, 1945 Truman signed the JCS 1067.[45] Morgenthau told his staff that it was a big day for the Treasury, and that he hoped that “someone doesn’t recognize it as the Morgenthau Plan.”[6]


    You mentioned that rationing continued in Britain after the war; with the implication being that the Allies did not have the food with which to feed Germany during the postwar era. That rationing argument has been discredited.


    However later research has revealed that the bread rationing in the UK was not necessary, it was in fact “not primarily for economic reasons – in order to save wheat – but for psychological and political reasons” as a political ploy in order to get US support in reconstruction funds and US wheat. Rationing did not reduce the level of food consumption in the UK.[64] In fact, the UK rationing let the UK “retain its privileged position as the only food importing country which did not suffer a significant reduction in calorie consumption.”[64] The Germans in the UK zone were receiving half the UK ration.[64]


    In one of my earlier posts, I quoted sections of Herbert Hoover’s report. You will recall that Hoover noted that Allied postwar policy placed sharp restrictions on German production of fertilizer. Those restrictions greatly reduced food production in both Germany and in European nations which had hitherto imported German fertilizer. Despite this artificially induced, significant reduction in Europe’s food supply, Germany’s neighbors returned to pre-war normal food conditions by 1947. Germany’s food situation was even worse in 1947 than it had been in '45 or '46. In 1947, the U.S. Congress warned that continuation of the then-present postwar occupation policy:


    …can only mean one of two things, (a) That a considerable part of the German population must be “liquidated” through diseases, malnutrition, and slow starvation for a period of years to come, with the resultant dangers to the rest of Europe from pestilence and the spread of plagues that know no boundaries; or (b) the continuation both of large occupying forces to hold down “unrest” and the affording of relief mainly drawn from the United States to prevent actual starvation.[52]


    The Morgenthau Plan did not harm only Germans. It also cost a number of British and American soldiers their lives, by strengthening Germany’s will to fight. To illustrate the effect the Morgenthau Plan had on Germany’s will to fight, William Donovan, head of the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA), sent FDR the following excerpt from an article in a Swiss newspaper.


    So far, the Allies have not offered the [anti-Nazi] opposition any serious encouragement. On the contrary, they have again and again welded together the people and the Nazis by statements published, either out of indifference or with a purpose. To take a recent example, the Morgenthau plan gave Dr. Goebbels the best possible chance. He was able to prove to his countrymen, in black and white, that the enemy planned the enslavement of Germany. The conviction that Germany had nothing to expect from defeat but oppression and exploitation still prevails, and that accounts for the fact that the Germans continue to fight. It is not a question of a regime, but of the homeland itself, and to save that, every German is bound to obey the call, whether he be Nazi or member of the opposition. [1]


    In The Wages of Destruction, Adam Tooze wrote,

    pp. 672 - 674


    Until 1948, however, the food supply in all four zones of occupation fell well short of what was required. . . . the evidence of serious malnutrition was unmistakable. Mortality rates increased as did the incidence of hunger-related diseases. The birth weight of babies fell drastically. Even the most intrepid statisticians hesitate to plumb the depths to which Germany had fallen by the end of 1945. . . .

    Nor should we underestimate the intensity of hatred felt towards Germany by its neighbors and former enemies.  . . . Germany’s former enemies thought it better to forget the sense of rage which clearly motivated much of Allied policy in the immediate aftermath of the war. . . .

    The initial post-war period thus went a long way toward confirming Hitler’s apocalyptic view of politics.




  • This is the way Germany treated the Poles in 1940-41

    T. Tsarota, Warschau unter dem Hakenkreuz, Paderborn: 1985, p. 113,
    1940

    1st Quarter Poles 609 calories; Jews 503 calories
    2nd Quarter Poles 704 calories; Jews 449 calories
    3rd Quarter Poles 698 calories; Jews 331 calories
    4th Quarter Poles 938 calories; Jews 369 calories
    Yearly average Poles 737 calories; Jews 413 calories

    1941

    1st Quarter Poles 611 calories; Jews 237 calories
    2nd Quarter Poles 553 calories; Jews 219 calories
    3rd Quarter Poles 531 calories; Jews 198 calories
    4th Quarter Poles 981 calories; Jews 360 calories
    Yearly average Poles 669 calories; Jews 253 calories

    and you are whining because some Germans ‘only’ got 1,500 calories in the worst period!



  • A demolition of the claim it was a blockade that killed the jews

    I am not allowed to post links so dont think I am deliberately trying to steal anothers work.

    _It is, however, important, to separate the so-called “Jewish question” from the availability or lack of food in the Third Reich. Plans for the expulsion, ghettoisation and annihilation of the Jews were, for the most part, in place long before any effects of an embargo could have affected food supplies for the German civilian population:

    A circular order issued by Reinhard Heydrich on the 3rd of September, 1939, addressed to all senior principals in the SD, the Security Police the Gestapo and the border police specified:

    …the most Draconian measures against anyone even suspected of hostility to the Reich and the war effort. The key paragraph ordered the referral of all information on arrested suspects to Heydrich’s office for decision. 1
    The following is emphasized in the original circular:

    …because on the basis of higher authority the brutal liquidation of such elements will follow. 2

    Furthermore:

    On March 9, 1940, Himmler issued the blanket order forbidding the wartime release of Jews held in concentration camps. 3

    The mechanism for extermination was in place long before any effective blockade or embargo could have taken place.

    Whatever embargo the British or French naval fleets might have attempted during that time would not have been enormously successful. In reality, the British were suffering considerably from the German blockade with severe food rationing in place long before the United States entered the war. Such rationing did not take place on the same scale in Germany even during the closing months of the war. One reason for any apparent food shortage in Germany is lamely explained in the following excerpt:

    On December 14, 1940, Herbert Backe, the State Secretary who was the driving force in the Food and Agriculture Ministry, released a confidential report on the European food situation which caused a stir at the top level of the Reich Government. Citing critical shortages in the first wartime continental harvest, Backe drafted far-reaching plans for German rationing and for the wholesale confiscation of foodstuffs from occupied Europe. The goal was to take enough from elsewhere to offset what otherwise would be disastrous shortages in meat and grains available to the German population. Backe further concluded that the longer-term food shortages could only be solved through an attack on the Soviet Union, followed by wholesale confiscations of Russian foodstuffs and livestock. Even if all the Russian food and agricultural resources became available to Germany and her allies, Backe concluded, the only way to guarantee a blockade-proof Nazi Europe would be to kill off millions of Russians by liquidations, starvation, or deportation. 4

    Backe’s report did not take into account the Nazi policies that had led to the decline of German agriculture from 1933 onward. His statement could well have attempted to cover up those Nazi policies that led to a decline of farm production:

    Between 1933 and 1939 the agricultural population of Germany within the boundaries of 1937 declined from 20.8 percent to 18 percent of the total population and workers in agriculture and forestry decreased from 28.9 percent to 26 percent. At least 700,000 people migrated from the country to the cities. […] Until 1935 farm income increased , but thereafter stagnated , while the national income continued to rise by 6 to 12 percent annually. Farm income amounted to 8.7 percent of the national income in 1933, but only 8.3 percent in 1937. And in order to make a living, the farmer, and particularly the small farmer, had to put in more and more hours of work. 5

    As early as 1914, Germany had produced about 80 percent of her food. It is unlikely that the populace would have suffered any great threat of starvation early in the Second World War, more so that huge shipments of food confiscated from Poland, the Ukraine and other Eastern European nations flowed into the Reich. By the time that food was becoming scarce in late 1944 and early 1945, most of the victims of the Holocaust were dead.

    Even that scarcity was relative. When the British captured the infamous Bergen-Belsen camp on April 15, 1945:

    [They]…discovered the conditions which were to astonish and horrify the world a day or so later. Briefly, these were that in a camp of the approximate dimensions of 1500 by 350 metres were confined about 40,000 men and women in the most extreme state of starvation and emaciation, many of them suffering from typhus; that there were, in addition, 13,000 unburied corpses, and that for the living there was little food… 6

    There was, however, a great sufficiency of food within and in the vicinity of the camp:

    Major A. L. Berney, sworn. examined by Col. Backhouse - I am with 817 Military Government Detachment. On 15th April I was sent by Headquarters 8 Corps to Colonel Taylor of the Occupying Forces of Belsen Camp. On the next day I was asked to find the nearest food store which I did at the north of the Panzer Troop School about three kilometers from the camp. I found the Hauptmann in charge of the store who informed me that he was responsible for sending some food from his store to the camp - potatoes and turnips. He did not give me any reason as to why it was the only stuff furnished. I obtained a list of food in the store from him, and remember there were 600 tons of potatoes, 120 tons of tinned milk, 30 tons of sugar, upwards of 20 tons of powdered milk; cocoa, grain, wheat and other foodstuffs. […] There is a very large bakery there with a capacity, I was told, of 60,000 loaves a day, which was fully staffed. It appeared to me that there was a very vast quantity of all the necessary materials for making bread. The bakery is still working now [20th September 1945 -HWM] and most of the staff 7

    The infamous Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, who witnessed gassings in Auschwitz and survived the war, wrote in his diary while in Munster, on March 31, 1945:

    […] At last I was able to get the tinned meat I wanted (a layer of lard on top and pork underneath). … I therefore got 8 heavy tins for myself and Mrs. Glaser. … The neighbors finally came with plenty of beef which had been distributed before and so at Eastertide 1945 nobody had to endure hunger in Munster.

    and on April 1, 1945:

    We had a magnificent dinner today. Delicious beef broth with noodles, beans with bacon, potatoes, apple sauce and red whortleberries. For breakfast we had cold ham, bread and butter with real coffee and plenty of whole milk. At 4 P.M. _told that all sorts of fine things could be had free from the magazine of the military barracks in the ‘Univ-Sportzplatz’ such as peas, biscuits, noodles etc. I got to work filling …two big air-raid shelter paper bags which I had brought… 8

    Photographs of the civilian population of Germany taken immediately after capitulation do not show a people ravaged by starvation. On the contrary, most civilians appear to be well-fed and well-dressed.

    Finally, it might be useful to review the assessment made by the Bombing Research Analysts of the Medical Branch of the United States War Department:

    The health of the German people was the basic factor upon which depended the ability of Germany to wage war. The continuity and nutritional adequacy of Germany’s food supply constituted the foundation of their health.

    Although Germany’s agricultural economy was incapable of feeding her own population without imports, she was able to withstand prolonged blockade by war. The effect of blockade was in large measure circumvented by the operation of the German system of supply control which in turn assured the continuity of Germany’s ultimate source of productive capacity. In consequence, the extent to which the Allied bomber offensive capacity interfered with the German food supply system is a measure of its contribution to the defeat of Germany.

    Since Germany could not raise within her own boundaries sufficient food to supply her population adequately, self-sufficiency was a question of serious national consequence long before the war. Even prior to the advent of totalitarian rule many national officials labored on the problem of increasing the degree of self-sufficiency in Germany. With the inception of the Nazi regime, the measures invoked to achieve this end became progressively harsher.

    By the beginning of the war, Germany’s over-all self-sufficiency in food had reached a level of approximately 83 percent, on the peacetime basis of 2200-2400 calories per day, according to Hans-Joachim Riecke, State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

    The country could be fed at a reduced level by the produce raised within its own boundaries if food were perfectly controlled and evenly distributed. […] Consequently, it is clear that all German civilians could be fed at a uniform level of adequacy during a war only by control of the country’s food supply at the national level and by continued operation of the transportation network of the country. 9

    The main thrust of the bombing offensive was against heavy industry and chemical production. The damage caused to grain mills involved in the production of rye was 9 percent whereas to wheat it was 35 percent. It appears that damage to food processing industries was only incidental to attacks on other industrial targets or area bombing.

    I hope that this brief essay - which does not pretend to do more than offer a few examples - will serve as a guide to other reading material on the subject.

    Harry W. Mazal OBE

    –------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notes

    Berenbaum, Michael & Peck, Abraham J. (editors) “The Holocaust and History,” 1998, Indiana University Press, Essay: pp. 160-186 “Executive Instinct” by Charles W. Sydnor, Jr.

    Krausnik, Helmut, “Anatomie des SS Staates” vol. 2, pp. 98-115, 1965, Freiberg Verlag.

    Berenbaum, Michael & Peck, Abraham J. (editors), opus cit., p. 169

    Ibid, pp. 173-174.

    Holborn, Hajo. “A History of Modern Germany 1840-1945,” 1969, Princeton University Press. p. 758

    Phillips, Raymond (Editor). “Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty- Four Others,” 1949, William Hodge and Co., Ltd. p. xxiii.

    Ibid, pp. 54-55.

    Bezwinska, Jadwigs and Czech, Danuta (editors). “KL Auschwitz Seen by the SS,” 1994, Howard Fertig, pp. 268-270.

    War Department (Washington D. C.) “The Effect of Bombing on Health and Medical Care in Germany”, Oct. 30, 1945, Chapter Eleven, “Food Supply and Nutrition” by Major Henry J. Rugo, Quartermaster Corps, AUS., pp 264-293.__


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