on May 7, 2008
Gruesome Harvest was shocking and depressing as it described in shocking detail of the tragic reports and stories about the post war conditions in Germany in 1945 and 1946. The treatment of civilians, women and girls in particular, was horrific. It is dificult to imagine now that the powers of Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States could look the other way when things got so bad in Germany's effort to deal with starvation and a hopeless decline in civil control. Chaos was rampant and it is a miracle that they recovered from a total breakdown of society. It is an historical document which should be more widely
distributed and publicized.
on July 28, 2013
The crimes committed by Germany were atrocious. Yet the crimes committed against the German people were even worse. Why? Young children, babies, women, and old people were viciously murdered, driven from their homes, and starved. Who was the author of these crimes? It was Churchill, Roosevelt, and the grand master of all evil, Stalin. These three were responsible for planning and allowing German to lose a large portion of their country, an force millions of defenseless people out of their homes, ancestral lands that in some instances had been in their family for centuries, and did not care if they starved or not. I have no respect for these 3 "leaders." Both Churchill and Roosevelt came from a civilized nation which taught Christian values as forgive thy neighbor and dod good to those that hate you and despise you... Yet, they failed and became worse than Stalin, the greatest murderer in all of history. Instead of being a good and kind example to the world, England and the United States fell deeply into the abyss of tyranny.
on April 2, 2008
The book Gruesome Harvest, should be on the mandatory highschool and college reading list for history and sociology. It is one of the few books that are available in English that address the murder of millions of non-combatant German civilians and German prisoners of war from 1944 to 1950 as a matter of deliberate allied policy not inefficient logistics as it is most often presented in school text books. It is important because this book was written as it was still happening and includes comments from eye witnesses in the same time period. The book is not politically correct and shocked me because it speaks in a such a predudicial fashion about persons of the black race. That however in this point makes it useful to sociologist and historians because it correctly reflects widely held opinion at the time within U.S. society.
As to the correct observation that allied policy was to reduce the German population through, murder in multiple forms, slave labor, and starvation, and destroy the fabric of the society through mass rape of the female population, other authors are critized for saying the same thing but only decades later. Fact is there is a great effort to keep this information from the public because it shows that the victors of WWII incorporated not only military strategy and tactics but also the NAZI ideology of racial hatred and a policy of extermination and discrimination for one people. 4 million persons perished because of the ethnic cleansing carried out by, Russians, Poles, Czechs, and Serbs according to the former German Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer, 5 million Germans starved to death in occupied Germany according to estimates by the Canadian James Bacque, and 2 million German Soldiers died in allied captivity often while performing slave labor in Auschwitz like conditions. General Eisenhower prohibited the German Public from sharing their own meager rations with detained German soldiers on pain of death. Hence from 1944 until 1948 a U.S. and Russian Holocaust for the Germans was on going. For more information on this topic see books by the following authors: James Bacque (Other Losses)(Crimes and Mercies), Alfred M. de Zayas (Die Wehrmacht-Untersuchungstelle)and(The Nemisis of Potsdam), Guido Knopp (Die Gefangenen), Erich Kern and Karl Balzer (Allierte Verbrechen and Deutschen). A similarly important historical document is the book titled (Alliierte Kriegsverbrechen) which translates to "Allied War Crimes". It is a collection of historical information of eyewitness experiences of hundreds of Allied war crimes. This information was written down in 1946 by German Soldiers held prisoner in Camp 91 in Darmstadt by U.S. forces. Lawyers for the defense hoped to bring some of this information as evidence and perhaps for mitigation to the Nüremberg Tribunal but the it was not permitted. In fact the Commander of Camp 91 attempted to collect and destroy all copies of this book. That is why it is important that as many people read the afore mentioned books as possible. They need to be translated into English and widely read so that the fairy tale of WWII as the last "Good War" can finally be put to rest.
on September 3, 2004
For those interested in knowing all of world war 2 history, and not just the rosy view from the perspective of the victor, this book is a must read. My mother's side of the family are ethnic German expellees from Yugoslavia and this book aided in explaining why my family went hungry in the American zone.
All too often the rhetoric we hear is the sufferings, both real and alleged, caused by those we defeat in war. We never hear about the atrocities that our side commits. This book exposes the atrocities the Allies committed willfully against civilians, leaving the reader asking why does our country claim the moral high ground?
This certainly qualifies to be called a "holocaust" against the German people, yet in our politically biased atmosphere it is unknown. For those of you interested in the human rights of all peoples, not just those we support in wars, this is a must for you. It will make you wonder what is wrong with your history books.
on September 15, 2014
Gruesome Harvest by Ralph Franklin Keeling was originally published in 1947 by the Institute of American Economics in Chicago. Although World War II was history's most catastrophic and destructive war, this book documents that the death and suffering of Germans increased after the end of the war. What lay ahead for Germany after the war was, as Time magazine later phrased it, "history's most terrifying peace."
The book documents in graphic detail the rape of German women after the war. For example, a letter written by a priest smuggled out of Breslau, Germany on Sept. 3, 1945, states: "In unending succession were girls, women and nuns violated...Not merely in secret, in hidden corners, but in the sight of everybody, even in churches, in the streets and in public places were nuns, women and even eight-year-old girls attacked again and again. Mothers were violated before the eyes of their children; girls in the presence of their brothers; nuns, in the sight of pupils, were outraged again and again to their very death and even as corpses."
Gruesome Harvest also documents the intentional starvation of the German people after World War II. Keeling quotes Senator Homer E. Capehart of Indiana, Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, Senator Albert W. Hawkes of New Jersey, American journalist and radio broadcaster Dorothy Thompson, British publisher Victor Gollancz, and other sources to support his claim.
Millions of Germans were also sent to the Soviet Union to be used as slave labor. According to the International Red Cross (ICRC), France also had 680,000 former German soldiers slaving for her in August 1946. Of this number, 475,000 had been captured by the United States and turned over to the French for forced labor. After 320,000 German prisoners had been delivered, the French returned 2,474 of them to the United States because they were severely malnourished and unfit for work. Associated press photographer Henry Griffin, who had taken pictures of the corpses piled in Buchenwald and Dachau, said of these returned Germans: "The only difference I can see between these men and those corpses is that here they are still breathing."
The ICRC also reported that in August 1946 Great Britain was using 460,000 Germans as slave laborers; the United States 284,000; Yugoslavia 80,000; Belgium 48,000; Czechoslovakia 45,000; Luxembourg 4,000; and Holland 1,300. Keeping such large numbers of Germans away from their families was a direct attack against the German home and family.
Keeling is highly critical of the Allied denazification program after the war. The Allied program of denazification set out to ruin the lives of millions of Germans simply because the Allies thought that Germans who joined the National Socialist party had made a political mistake. The denazification decrees authorized in the Potsdam Agreement were inconsistent with the Potsdam declaration that "discrimination on the grounds of...political opinion shall be abolished." Potsdam permanently dissolved the National Socialist party and its affiliated organizations and institutions. The Potsdam Agreement commanded that "Nazi leaders, influential Nazi supporters and high officials of Nazi organizations and institutions...shall be arrested and interned" and that all lesser Nazis "shall be removed from public and semi-public office and former positions of responsibility in private undertakings."
Gruesome Harvest also discusses the mass expulsion of German expellees after the war. The surviving expelled Germans continued to face unimaginable hardships and suffering in Germany because, as Brig. Gen. William H. Draper, Jr. reported, the industrial output in the American and other zones was "far below that necessary to maintain the minimum standard of living." Many of the surviving expellees died in Germany after the war. Millions more of the expellees were impoverished, without the assets they had lost in the expelling countries necessarily enriching those who took possession of them.
I recommend Gruesome Harvest to anyone wanting to learn more about the brutal postwar treatment of Germans after World War II. Along with books by Alfred de Zayas, James Bacque, and the book "Orderly and Humane" by R. M. Douglas, Gruesome Harvest is an important book that documents the inhumane Allied postwar treatment of the German people.