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

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr; First edition (November 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807117587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807117583
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,630,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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The "missing million POWs" is one of the claims revisionists particularly like to sneer about. But however those folks don't like facts, it is clearly revealed that there can be no such thing as millions of missing German POWs whose graves remain, even today, undiscovered.

Some revisionist folks are spinning every wheel to recast Germany and the total war of annihilation it waged across the European continent--to recast Germany as the victims--and the allies as having created a German Holocaust that was even worse than the Jewish holocaust... that the allied nations are every bit as morally tainted as Germany. I see some of them on this website.

"Eisenhower and the German POWs" is a common sense and historically factual refutation of Bacque's claims. One of the best of a number of books refuting Bacque's book as not worth the paper it was written on.

The excellent writer and WWII historian, Keith Lowe, writes that the German people and Germany of today are heartily and sincerely sorry about their actions in bringing on WWII. This reviewer can only hope that Mr. Lowe is correct in his assessment.

Facts against hooey and hatred.
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A recent comment on another website: "... I came across some articles in the German press as well as some US sites about the German War Graves Commission. Apparently these guys started to look for the missing German soldiers in 1990. So far they have found more than 700,000 bodies from mass graves (50+) in Russia, other eastern European countries and the former GDR. They are currently finding 40,000 bodies a year. See the article in Der Spiegel.
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