- File Size: 9213 KB
- Print Length: 392 pages
- Publication Date: September 2, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00N9RDQ3E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947 Kindle Edition
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Allied decisions for "resettlement" are considered in Chapter Four. Although the 1941 "Atlantic Charter" proclaimed by Roosevelt and Churchill expressly rejected territorial changes that did not meet the desires of the affected people, this did not discourage the British and American leaders from victims of this relatively unknown holocaust have later supporting the forcible mass expulsion of ethnic Germans from Eastern and Central Europe. As early as August 1942, the Allied leaders accepted the principle of forcible expulsion, which they reaffirmed at the Teheran Conference in 1943. At the February 1945 Yalta Conference, Churchill and Roosevelt further agreed to permit Stalin to use Germans as slave labor after the war, a practice that the diplomats dubbed "reparations in kind." An estimated 874.000 German civilians were abducted to Soviet ~ Russia, of whom 45 percent perished in captivity.
The expulsion and deportation of millions of ethnic German civilians from Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia is detailed by the author, who remarks that "hitherto it would seem that the blackout on this period of history had been complete." While the Allied leaders at the Potsdam Conference called for the "orderly" and "humane" resettlement of the hapless Germans, in practice it was anything but.
As de Zayas further points out, mass deportations were designated as "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" by the Nuremberg Tribunal. But even as the Allied court was sentencing Germany's wartime political and military leaders to death for such acts, millions of Germans were being brutally driven from their homes.
The German Expellees is a well-written, concise introduction to a chapter of what James J. Martin has characterized as "inconvenient history." These horrific events were not haphazard or spontaneous. Rather, this mass "ethnic cleansing" of German civilians was official Allie policy. For too long, the victims of this relatively unknown holocaust have remained largely forgotten and un-mourned.
Years ago, I wrote a term paper during my senior year in college (US Merchant Marine Academy; 1986). In a nutshell, the main subject of my paper dealt with how Roosevelt “was suckered” by both Stalin and Churchill at Yalta in 1945, there-by setting the stage for what was to follow politically. The main point of my paper regarding Stalin was that he couldn’t be trusted; regarding Churchill was that he wanted to keep the British Empire alive. This was back in the day when footnotes and a bibliography had to be included.
Interestingly, my professor (who retired at the end of my senior year) was a survivor of the Holocaust. He did not have any hatred towards the German People, but obviously against the Nazi Regime. This was discussed many times during our classroom sessions.
In the book, the point is stressed how the average German did not bear any malice towards the “enemies” of the Third Reich. But how does one “survive” in their homeland if under certain conditions; could we, as Americans, be thinking along the same lines in today’s political atmosphere?
In HELLSTORM, the political ramifications are discussed and well-presented. The “after the war” plan, The Morgenthau Plan, left me speechless. Again, being a history buff, I am embarrassed to admit I did not know the extent of The Plan. I can’t comment (because I don’t know) if the War was dragged on purposely or not by Eisenhower (as mentioned in the book). But remember, during his IKE’s presidency (1953), the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh was carried out by the CIA. This being done because when he was elected Prime Minister in 1951, one of his goals was to nationalize oil production in the country -- a move that would have been a serious blow to the United States and Britain and a win for the Soviet Union.
On a personal note, my parents’ best friends (1974-current) were both children who lived in Germany during WWII. Mr. “K” (born 1935) lost his father at the Battle of Stalingrad; Mrs. “K” (born 1942) and her family survived the Dresden fire bombings. Growing up, Mr. “K” told me many ways he had to survive and keep food on the table for his family both during the War and when Germany had surrendered to the Allies. “Luckily”, the family home, although damaged, was in relatively good shape and his family occupied the bottom floor while the upstairs was a brothel. As a result, he was able to provide for his mother and sisters. This being realized, I can understand how “The Plan” forced many German civilians to survive by any means.
In any war, regardless of the participants, there will always be “good” and “bad” soldiers. In this respect, the reason for my rating of four stars was that the characterization of most allied soldiers was likened to that of being nothing more than a Neanderthal with a rifle (particularly the Americans). My criticism of HELLSTORM is the downplaying of “Willie and Joe’s” (Bill Mauldin’s famous WWII cartoon characters) role during the course of the entire war. One only has to view the numerous grave-sites at The Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer to appreciate the true character of the American sacrifice.