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Eisenhower and the German Pows: Facts Against Falsehood (Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace) Hardcover – November 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr (November 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807117587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807117583
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a 1989 study entitled Other Losses , novelist James Bacque contended that Gen. Eisenhower, commander of the American occupation forces in Germany, starved to death a million German prisoners of war in 1945 as an act of revenge. In 1990 the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans invited historians to a conference to examine these charges; this volume contains essays by eight who attended, including Ambrose and Bischof (the Center's director and associate director, respectively). The conferees concluded that there was widespread mistreatment of German prisoners by Allies in 1945, but that it was not the result of a directive from Eisenhower, although he had expressed his hatred of the Germans throughout the war. The texts published here effectively refute Bacque's arguments and dismiss his book as the work of a sloppy amateur who wrenched material out of context and misquoted eyewitnesses. Illustrations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his New York Times best-sellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage.He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words: "As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next." Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.

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#33 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
Then I would be willing to agree with Bischof's opinion if few remains were found.
Dennis Anderson
Ambrose in his refutation of Baque's allegation that prisoners were starved claims they were not starved but transferred "mostly to be used as labor (p. 23)."
John Dietrich
The Soviet archives thus reveal that Tolstoy was not guilty of libel against Lord Aldington.
John Wear

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Donauschwab on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My ancestors left Germany in the mid 1700's to settle in eastern parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Through wars, Mongol and Turkish attacks we hung on.

In 1945 we were fleeing ahead of the Russian armies as they destroyed everything in their path, until meeting the American armies heading east. Many in our village were shot or hauled off to Siberia as slave labor. As a youngster, I experienced the poverty and lack of food millions of refugees suffered.

Readers should be aware of the inherent bias of both Ambrose and Bischof as they are employees of the Eisenhower Center. In a subsequent book, CRIMES AND MERCIES, Drawing on newly released secret Soviet documents,Bacque refutes many of Bishop and Ambrose's objections.This is a must read as it completes the picture of the destruction and rebuild of Germany.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Wear on June 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Eisenhower and the German POWs" is an attempt by historians Stephen Ambrose, Günter Bischof, Brian Loring Villa, Albert Cowdrey, James Tent, Rüdiger Overmans, Rolf Steininger, and Thomas Barker to debunk the book "Other Losses" by James Bacque. The editors in the Preface state that these historians "responded to our invitation to meet for a two-day symposium at the Eisenhower Center in December, 1990." In my opinion their presentations leave much to be desired and fail miserably in their intended effect.

Günter Bischof states on page 201 that the use of common sense provides one of the best ways to refute Bacque's claim that the Western Allies mass murdered approximately one million German prisoners of war (POWs). Bischof asks: "How could the bodies disappear without one soldier's coming forward in nearly fifty years to relieve his conscience?" Bischof then contradicts himself on page 224 by saying that American soldier Martin Brech has come forward to bear witness to the intentional starvation of German POWs. Today numerous American soldiers and officers have testified to the mass murder of Germans in the American and French POW camps. From low-ranking soldiers such as Martin Brech, Daniel McConnell, and Merrill W. Campbell, through middle-rank officers such as Ben H. Jackson, Frederick Siegfriedt, and Lee Berwick, to high-ranking officers such as Richard Steinbach, Henry W. Allard, James B. Mason, Charles H. Beasley, Mark Clark, and Herbert Pollack, Americans have described the lethal conditions in the American and French POW camps.

On page 232 Bischof says: "Bacque begs common sense, as Stephen E. Ambrose has pointed out; if one million German POWs died in American camps, how could the bodies disappear without a trace?
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Dietrich on September 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eisenhower and the German POWs
Steven Ambrose and the Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace have compiled a critique of James Bacque subtitled "Facts Against Falsehood." Two pages of acknowledgements show that they did not lack for resources. Eight "professional" historians dispute Bacque's claim that approximately 1 million POWs perished while in custody of the Western allies. There objective is not only to discredit Bacque, but to maintain the progressive fairytale that U.S. postwar policy was largely humanitarian. In the process they inadvertently provide ammunition to critics of this policy. They do not appear to have coordinated their story and the book contains some glaring contradictions.
The authors provide numerous warnings about amateur historians. Revisionists like James Bacque and Nikolai Tolstoy cannot be relied upon because the "awareness of the ineluctable quality of historical evidence is less present in the mind of the untrained." Yet many of the accusations lodged against Bacque can be applied to the authors of this book. All thinking people have a perspective that determines what they will emphasize and what they will ignore. Even "objective" reporters must rely on the information they have access to. Eyewitnesses to an accident or a crime render entirely different accounts of what took place. When the witnesses have an agenda they want to further the report is further distorted. The authors provide several examples of potential distortions.
Ambrose claims, "The available evidence, however, clearly does not support such a conclusion (of mass deaths)" (p. 13). How reliable is the "available evidence," and how eager are the professional historians to recognize inconsistencies in this evidence? We can refer to participant's memoirs.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Anderson on July 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find that the author is QUITE an Eisenhower fan. The other opinion, "Other Loses" stands in sharp contrast to this book. IT is my opinion that German POW's were starved and treated inhumanly. The POW camps remind me of the Andersonville POW's taken during the civil war. They too were savagely treated and abused. I feel it is Absolutely Necessary that all the immediate territory surrounding the POW camps be examined and searched for human remains of German soldiers. Then I would be willing to agree with Bischof's opinion if few remains were found.
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