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183 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."
An extraordinary book. It tells two of the most extraordinary stories of the 20th century simultaneously. Neither has been told before. One is the story of a great hero - Herbert Hoover, not J. Edgar the FBI boss, but a multimillionaire humanitarian whose courage, outspokenness, persistence and dedication saved literally tens of millions of people from starvation after...
Published on September 3, 2002 by G. Miller

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How Many Died and Why. A Question That Calls for an Answer
In this highly controversial work author James Bacque continues his indictment of allied leaders for occupation policies he contends resulted in the deaths of over 1,000,000 Germans from 1944 to 1950. In doing so he produces reams of statistics he contends prove his thesis thus consigning "Ike," French President Charles DE Gaulle and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry...
Published 8 months ago by Harold Y. Grooms


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183 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.", September 3, 2002
By 
G. Miller (Berlin Deutschland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An extraordinary book. It tells two of the most extraordinary stories of the 20th century simultaneously. Neither has been told before. One is the story of a great hero - Herbert Hoover, not J. Edgar the FBI boss, but a multimillionaire humanitarian whose courage, outspokenness, persistence and dedication saved literally tens of millions of people from starvation after the first world war and then after the second. And it's the story of why we never hear about this. General Eisenhower, war "hero" and later US president, of whom we have all heard, persued a deliberate policy of preventing available food aid into Germany between 1945-49. Laws preventing emigration turned the country into a prison. As Bacque revealed in earlier book OTHER LOSSES, millions of disarmed soldiers died in prison camps; further more, Bacque tells the story of the suffering of civilians, dying from starvation. It is a part of living memory that times were extraordinarily hard, but Bacque's research has enabled an estimate of the scale for the first time: at least 9 million. He has found the documents which trace the decisions leading to this second holocaust, leading back to Eisenhower and his advisors. It is a courageous act for a man aged more than 70 accuse a war hero and president of being commiting atrocities. Bacques thoughts on collective are thought provocing. It's a sign of the times that a book like this is out of print. By it before it becomes a historical document in itself. Read it and tell people. It's relevant to today.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Book, October 13, 2004
In this powerful new book, Canadian historian James Bacque presents detailed evidence, much of it newly uncovered, to show that some nine million Germans died as a result of Allied starvation and expulsion policies in the first five years after the Second World War -- a total far greater than the long-accepted figures. These deaths are still being concealed and denied, writes Bacque, especially by American and British authorities. Crimes and Mercies -- a handsome hardcover work, illustrated and well-referenced -- is a devastating indictment of Allied, and especially American, occupation policy in defeated postwar Germany. Nearly 15 million Germans fled or were brutally expelled in the greatest act of "ethnic cleansing" in history, a human catastrophe in which some two million were killed or otherwise perished. Then, under the notorious "Morgenthau Plan" and its successor policies, the Allies carried out a massive looting of Germany, and even prevented German civilians from growing enough food to feed themselves. Bacque shows, for example, that General Eisenhower, in violation of the Geneva Convention, in May 1945 forbade German civilians to take food to prisoners starving to death in American camps. He threatened the death penalty for anyone feeding prisoners. Bacque also describes the terrors of the postwar camps in Poland where children and other German civilians lost their lives. Written with fervor, compassion and humanity, and making use of never-before cited records in Moscow archives, James Bacque exposes a little-known but important chapter of 20th century history. He builds upon the revelations of his startling 1989 study, Other Losses, which presented evidence to show that hundreds of thousands of German prisoners of war died as a result of cruel and illegal mistreatment by American, British and French authorities. American historian Alfred M. de Zayas, author of Nemesis at Potsdam and The German Expellees, provides a valuable foreword
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213 of 237 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Bad Some "Top Reviewers" are Filled With Hate!, December 30, 2003
By A Customer
If historical facts truely cause some "readers to write trash" so be it. I have read my copy of this book and in my opinion should be required reading by everyone.
Many Germans civilians were killed and their properties stolen from them because of this war. My family lost our farm that we had for over two hundred and fifty years in East Prussia. But I guess accordingly to "The Top Reviewer" we had it coming to us because our German government, at the time, was evil.
I was only a young boy at the time, but we survived. Because we lost our farm in the real eastern Germany, we came to this country.
And I grew up and became an Electronic/Electrical Engineer. By the way. One last special note to "Mr. Top Reviewer", and people like him, when you look up at the moon at night, remember this.
A young German boy survived your bad wishes and was a proud member of the team that helped design and build all of the first unmaned Spacecrafts that landed the moon. This Spacecrafts series were called the Rangers. And they are still there, all of them that went.
Don't forget, never.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, May 28, 2004
By 
Erik Knoedler (Southern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My Grandparents were expelled from their home because of the Potsdam treaty. My grandfather's sister was sent to a Soviet work camp. I have other relatives that were not so lucky. When WWII history is discussed, all we hear about is the holocaust. The holocaust should never be forgotten, but if nobody reads this book, what happened to the Germans will never be remembered. This book will provide an eye opening account of what happened to German civilians after WWII, a subject that is obvlivious to the majority of the American population.
As far as the "top reader" Seth is concerned. If you complain about feeling like a "villan" while reading this book, now you know how all Germans and German-Americans feel when a new holocaust book, tv movie, or film is relased and the blame is placed squarely on the shoulders of the German people, not the Nazi government. I cannot express the anger I felt while reading his review. I really feel sorry for somebody that callous and ignorant. So, hey Seth, there's my name and address, look me up, and we'll have a little chat.
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99 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn about the US Occupation of Germany, December 7, 1998
By A Customer
This is a first rate book, well researched, well documented and well indexed (which is often the best proof of godo research).
The USA, as part of our policy, starved 1M German POWs and 10M German civilians after WWII. But Truman reversed the policies of FDR and Morgenthau. So, by 1946, the USA, under Hoover (yes, the former president and the one who lead the food aid to the Beligans during WWI), was attempting to reverse the horrors of FDR and Ike's policies.
The numbers are sound. Backed up by our own occupation government census numbers.
Americans did object. Ambassador Murphy, a number of senators. As was pointed out by one US officer: "the only difference between the US and the Nazis was the color of the uniform."
How many GIs will admit today what they did? Have you heard one?
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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one, single group has a monopoly on Evil or Madness, September 19, 2004
Excellent book. Extremely well researched. I have always been interested in East Prussia from having read a lot on the Teutonic Knights. Suddenly in 1945 a 700-year-old German land ceased to exist -- what happened to all of it's people? And what happened to the vanquished men and women that Hitler so cruelly led down the dark path of death and destruction? Bacque sheds some very important light in this work and provides a good starting point to find out more.

I must say, Seth's statements below in his review are very disturbing, almost as disturbing as many of Hitler's statements in "Mein Kampf". People like Seth would do well to imagine this scenario, no matter how unlikely: The war in Iraq has a reversal of fortune and the Americans are driven out...an Iraqi paratroop battalion lands in Tuscon and goes to his home, they seize his family and prepare to kill them, calling it "justice" and "due revenge"...what does he do? Does he say, "go ahead and kill them,they should get what they deserve"? NO. He says something like "hey I didn't vote for the current President and even if I did that doesn't mean I agree with the war in Iraq, my leaders didn't ask me personally, so don't take revenge on me and my family." There were many Germans that despised the Nazi government, but fear of retribution in a police state like that kept them from acting. The famous close-call bomb plot to kill Hitler was planned and carried out by, guess who?...a German, and lots of other Germans along with him. When that smoke cleared Hitler had put to death about 1000 Germans (soldiers and citizens alike) he believed to be involved.

Make no mistake, the Holocaust was the most heinous collective act ever carried out against a civilian population and heads a long list that includes the Crusades, the Hundred Years War, and the "Trail of Tears". We should NEVER forget, but not to the exclusion of remembering so many countless others that were victims of the evil men do to men.

Read a book on the Holocaust and shed a tear for little 9-year-old Lena Weitzman who died in a gas chamber..then read this book and shed a tear for little 9-year-old Anna Richter who was shot in the head by a vengeful Soviet soldier. If you can shed a tear for one but not the other, then the humanity you were born with has deserted you -- and has left you an empty, bitter, waste of a life. Hate destroys from the inside out as well.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evil is as Evil does, December 11, 2003
By 
D. Liston "Dale the Iconoclast" (Kansas City, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read with absolute disgust the so-called non-review of this book by Seth Frantzman. He sounds just like the Nazi's he condemns. This was not a review but the ravings of a homicidal,evil,racist human being. How did the holocaust happen? Because people and attitudes like Mr. Frantzman unfortunately exist. How could Amazon print this disgusting piece of trash by this pathetic little Hitler who's sole complaint is that there was not enough murder going on in WWII to satisfy him....This man never even read the book. The cure for evil in the world is the cold light of truth not lies and this book does justice in uncovering a dirty secret that the ends do not justify the means. Just because the Nazi's murdered civilians and terror bombed cities does not mean we can, That's why we are the good guys. Acts are evil no matter who is committing them or what excuse is made for doing them.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Difficult Read For Many Reasons, August 8, 2009
By 
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This review is from: Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944–1950 (Paperback)
Crimes and Mercies is a very difficult book to read as well as review. Bacque is an excellent writer. If you believe what Bacque has written, you get the feeling that everything you thought you knew about the Allied occupation of Germany has been turned on its head. Bacque's basic premise is that casualty figures reported by the allies in post-war Germany are greatly under-reported, that the Allied occupation was brutal, and that these facts are still being covered up by the government, historians and the media. This may sound like conspiracy theory to some people, but is it? Bacque cites published British statistics showing the death rate in their zone of occupation during the Allied-imposed famine of 1947 was the same as the German death rate in 1939. The British figures are of course, completely ridiculous. Bacque also details American records that are missing, destroyed, or still classified. The American authorities should make these documents accessible (as did the Russians) to clear up any doubts about Bacque's claims. Bacque contrasts Soviet occupation policy to that in the western zones. Bacque verifies what Victor Gollancz wrote, that the Soviets in spite of their brutality (including mass rape and imprisonments),in some ways got life in the DDR back to normal a whole lot quicker than the Americans, Brits & French did. The Soviets put Germans back to work, fed them etc. This was true at least until 1948-1949 when Truman fired Morgenthau. However, in the Soviet-occupied territories east of the Oder-Neisse life was pure hell, the German population murdered, imprisoned, enslaved, tortured, and the survivors finally ethnically cleansed.

For those who question of the western allies plundering Germany, they may want to do some research into the Qudelinburg Art Treasures. I personally remember being in Heidelberg castle in 1970, and viewing the empty display cases in the museum - which had a note that the contents were stolen by British soldiers.

For the most part, Crimes and Mercies is very depressing, but there are elements of humor. On page 164, Bacque describes George Marshall going ballistic on Molotov in 1947 because Molotov had insisted that the Americans were taking reparations without reporting them. Who would have thought that the Americans were as good at stealing as the Soviets, also that we were double-crossing the Russians, and getting indignant with them when they asked us to adhere to agreements? I'm certain this would have upset FDR greatly, being the faithful friend and ally to Stalin that he was. Also humorous was the French occupation authorities sending Edith Piaf and lecturers to Germany to entertain the populace, and being surprised that very few people turned out to see them. This occurred at a time where the Germans were on starvation rations and thus more interested in attending to their own survival rather than drinking in the joys of French "culture".

As other reviewers have mentioned, there are flaws in this book. Bacque appears a bit paranoid at times. I don't believe Bacque is a communist, yet, sometimes he paints too rosy a picture of the Soviet prison camps. For example, Bacque writes that when German prisoners received care packages from home, they often shared the contents with their Soviet guards. I would find it more believable that the Soviet guards confiscated their packages and if they felt like it, gave the prisoners some of the remains. However, I may be wrong about this, but I can't say I've ever come across claims such as these made by Bacque. Anyone I've ever heard of who returned from a Soviet prison camp returned in pretty rough shape.

Several passages in Crimes and Mercies stand out in particular. From page 27 "The Morgenthau Plan has three remarkable aspects: that it was devised, that it was implemented after it had been cancelled, and that it has since been covered up so well. Now it has shrunk from sight in the West. The basic idea of the plan was to wreck or confiscate all important German industry, converting the country into a huge farm, while at the same time destroying the fertilizer plants on which German agriculture depended. It would also cut Germany into pieces, and allot a huge piece of territory to the Poles and Soviets. On Page 44, there was something I wish I hadn't read: "The most gruesome killing was witnessed by the prisoner Hanns Scharf, formerly of California, who was watching as a German woman with her two children came towards an American guard in the camp at Bad Kreuznach, carrying a wine bottle. She asked the guard to give the bottle to her husband who was just inside the wire. The guard opended the bottle into his own mouth, and when it was empty, threw it on the ground and killed the prisoner with five shots. " Bacque goes on to state " In months of work in the Washington archives of the army, no court martial of this or similar incidents has ever turned up,."

The heroes and villains of this book are apparent. Herbert Hoover was a genuine humanitarian, and I credit his religion (Quakers) as being one Christian sect that actually stands up for what is right and just. Crimes and Mercies gave me renewed admiration for Harry Truman, although I wish he would have been faster and gone farther in reversing the insane policies of FDR. Of the villains, it is difficult to find anything to admire about Morgenthau. He was a vile apparachik whose intent was to starve millions to death. Eisenhower also does not come off well in this book, not at all. Crimes and Mercies is inconvenient history, and is not perfect, but it is an important book that should be read.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this is just 10% true then, January 18, 2010
By 
Bill Hensler (Holt, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944–1950 (Paperback)
Most of what you've been told about post WWII history is wrong. Consider these two true stories not in the book.

This reviewer was listening to two WWII vets talk about their service (time: 2004, place: Camp Custer NCO club, Michigan). The German was in his early 80s and still was in complete control of his mental abilties. He told of the fight in Normandy all the way until the fall of Germany. The American was about the same age but in more frail mental condition. The American said "we captured some German POWs and shot them." The old German just glared at him (this reviewer thought me was going to fly across the table). Then the German cooly replied, "if vee knew you vould be like zee Russians ve vould have fought you much harder."

When American transportation units were moving supplies through Normandy, France the units of the allied armies went on a raping spree that would put the Soviets to shame. The local French government stated that Normandy would have been better off under German than American occupation. Finally the American cracked down on their raping soldiers. The bottom line of this story is the American could be as degenerate and barbaric as the Soviets. We just had better press.

This book is like that story from the American soldier of WWII. While every American was a hero the fact of the matter is many Americans got rich looting Germany. The time of the absolute occupation of Germany, 1945 until 1950, was the best time ever to be an American. All the Americans had girlfriends who lived off the good will of the GIs and their ration books.

The primary villians in this book is Henry Morgenthau, General Eisenhower, and to a lessor extent, Churchill. Margenthau engineered the programs that kept food relief from reaching Germany from 1945 until mid-1949. In some ways the Americans were more brutal to the Germans than the Soviets. When the Soviets extracted their revenge on the Germans it was Stalin's policy to remould then into Communists. Indeed, if given a choice between living in the east or the west it was fairly even that both areas were terrible for Germans.

I am just shocked to read how the Americans treated captured German soldiers. A person who read those garbage "Time-Life" books about WWII sees this junk on how well run and well fed the American prisons for German soldiers were in WWII. Then you find out the truth that the American run prison camps were just fine from 1942 until early 1945. Then General Eisenhower directs that the German POW camps are to be run just like the way the NAZIs ran the death camps. The result is more German soldiers starve to death in Allied camps than are killed by fighting in WWII.

Also, this book reveals that it was the full intent of the Allies to do Germany great harm after the Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin meetings in 1943. The crime against the Jews just gave the Allies excuse to wage a war of extermination against Germans via starvation. But the bottom line is Germany was going to pay for starting wars in 1870, 1914, and 1939.

The bottom line in this book is the Germans were fully logical in their observation "Enjoy the war for the peace will be terrible."

This book makes no excuse for the Nazi's war against Jews and other peoples. But the fact is the Nazis who did those crimes were make to pay for those crimes. They were all either killed in the war or tied for their crimes. Never in the history of man had ever a group of people been held accountable for the crimes of others. Millions of German children, old people, and women starved to death under allied and Soviet occupation.

This reviewer knew fully well that German lost all patents when the war was done. But this was extended to nearly everything of German manufacture. Then Germany was stripped of almost all heavy equipment. It's a fact that Israel had so much ex-German heavy equipment that there was serious talk in Israel during the 1950s of reopening the Panther tank production lines because Israel had been given nearly all the machine tools needed to produce Panzer tanks. But this book takes the theft of German assets further. Electric power plans, complete assembly lines, and all other items were shipped to the winning nations. What struck me was German manufacturing level in 1947 was 3% (!) of 1939. The nation was starving to death because it was not allowed to return to work.

Herbert Hoover is a very heroic figure in this book. The book says that his relief actions saved millions from starvation. Hoover was tireless in work and, to President Truman's credit, helped raise German back into the standing of a regular nation. Also, Hoover was shocked at the rather indifferent way the Americans treated the Germans. Indeed, the American would frequently stop food shipment to relieve the famine in Germany while the typical American of the post-WWII period enjoyed a diet of 3300 calories per day, back then a fattening diet.

An Average American reader will come away with a realization that the USA has always had an anti-German foreign policy and does anything to hurt Germany. The USA supported the blockaid of Germany in 1919 where millions of Germans died of starvation. The USA blocked aid to starving Germans in the post-WWII period.

Even the much talked about Marshall plan is a fraud. Billions of dollars of German equipment, gold, and finances are seized after WWII. Indeed, German coal miners work in slave conditions and receive starvation rations. Their coal is seized by the Allies. Then Germany receives less than 1 Billion dollars of aid in 1948 and by 1949 the economy is allowed to recover. This recovery has less to do with the rather pathetic Marshall plan than the fact that the Allies finally allow the German people to restablish a working government and currency.

Yes, this book has some minor problems. The Appendices goes into some detail that may be disputed by other authors and reduce the credibility of the book.

Now, this trueism exists for all Master's degree students. In the area of every American POW camp in the USA may have a mass grave yard of German soldiers. If these grave yards can be discovered, escavated, and then the lies of the USA to the German people can be shown to the world.

Most of the post WWII history book of Germany are a lie. This book is the truth.

Last, this reader will leave the average reader with a true story. Former President Hoover lived until a ripe old age in his 90s and passed away during the 1960s. Somebody asked him what was the best thing he ever had in his life. He smiled and said, "I outlived my critics."

May God Bless Former President Hoover in saving Germany from Starvation.
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47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crimes and Mercies by James Bacque, December 21, 2000
By 
Franz Ritter (Santa Maria Ca.) - See all my reviews
Exelent book for joung people!to learn something about the great United States and their crimes.My family and I lived through it, in Bad-Kreuznach Rhld.Pfalz.Germany.
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Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944–1950
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