Mr Wear returns yet again to one of his favourite themes: the hardships of post war Germany and the alleged mass murder of ordinary Germans by those “evil” Allied countries.
“Gruesome Harvest by Ralph Franklin Keeling was originally published in 1947 by the Institute of American Economics in Chicago.”
It appears that the Institute of American Economics was simply a small group of men headed by Keeling himself. It was not a recognised academic group as such and had close ties to antisemitism, isolationism and Nazism.
The book itself was published in 1947 at the high point of German post war suffering and as such ignores the German recovery starting in 1947 due in main to the Marshall Plan.
“What lay ahead for Germany after the war was, as Time magazine later phrased it, “history’s most terrifying peace.””
From an immediate post war perspective, I would imagine what lay ahead for Germany would have been seen to have been bleak. The same, however could be said for most European countries affected by the war. As it turned out, certainly West Germany made huge improvements after a relatively short period of time. East Germany under Soviet control was a different issue of course.
“Gruesome Harvest documents in graphic detail the rape of German women after the war.”
The rape of German women by Soviet soldiers is well known. Neither Keeling nor Mr Wear are telling us anything new.
“Gruesome Harvest also documents the intentional starvation of the German people after World War II. “
There was no INTENTIONAL starvation of the German people after WW2…regardless the beliefs of the likes of Senator Homer E. Capehart. Germans, like other Europeans went through a period of hunger and rationing at a time when the infrastructure of Europe was in a ruined state brought on by an event called World War 2.
“The devastation of Germany by total warfare cast serious doubt on Germany’s postwar ability to survive.”
Indeed it did. Fortunately (West) Germany did survive due in main to the massive amount of aid supplied by the US in the form of the Marshall Plan.
“The German people put up a brave struggle for existence despite the harsh conditions.”
Quite true. Again, nothing new here Mr Wear.
“However, despite the best efforts of German farmers, the food situation became critical and then catastrophic.”
The food situation in Europe and especially in Germany was critical…but it never became catastrophic. There were no mass deaths in Germany due to starvation. The situation was serious, but enough food got through to prevent mass starvation.
“Millions of Germans were also sent to the Soviet Union to be used as slave labor.”
These were in the main German POWs. Most were released by the early 1950s.
“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. “
Mr Wear seems to love the word “slave”. German POWs used as labour in France were there because France had lost the bulk of her man power to Germany during the war. Most were still being repatriated and many were not in a fit state to work. German POWs were used to help with agriculture and to help with the clearance of mine fields. The men were used to find mines. French demolition experts actually cleared them.
“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.”
All POWs were repatriated by the end of 1948 after their use by the relevant countries to help clear up the mess their country had been responsible for and to make up for the men who had been ripped from their families and forced to work in Germany to help the German war machine.
“Keeling was highly critical of the Allied denazification program after the war.”
I have no idea why. The denatzification program was not a great success as many prominent Nazis had no problem entering key positions in post war German society.
“Potsdam permanently dissolved the National Socialist party and its affiliated organizations and institutions.”
Mr Wear seems to be of the naive opinion that the national Socialist ideology should be allowed to remain. Even today, in a democratic country like Germany the National Socialist ideology is banned.
“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 after the war.”
You don’t say, Mr Wear….
…well at least until 1948 when things improved.
“Many of the surviving expellees died in Germany after the war.”
No doubt some did. The majority didn’t.
“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.”
The only system to blame is the National Socialist one. The Nazis looted the whole of Europe and either ethnically cleansed or murdered millions of eastern European peoples. To expect no retribution from those countries is a tad naive of Mr Wear.
“Gruesome War” seems to be a collection of newspaper comments put into a short compendium designed to make the Allies look like the criminals and the Germans as the innocent victims of WW2. For a far better analysis of post war Germany the book “Orderly and Humane” by R.M.Douglas is far more accurate. Mr Wear tends to ignore certain parts though:
“It is appropriate at the outset to state explicitly that no legitimate comparison can be drawn between post war expulsions and the appalling record of German offensives against Jews and other innocent victims between 1939 and 1945. The extent of Nazi criminality and barbarity in central and eastern Europe is on a scale and of a degree that is almost impossible to overstate. In the entire span of human history, nothing can be found to surpass it, nor, with the possible exception of current revelations about Mao’s China, to equal it. Germany’s neighbours suffered most grievously and unjustifiably at her hands, and were profoundly traumatised as a result. Whatever occurred after the war cannot possibly be equated to the atrocities perpetrated by the Germans during it, and suggestions to the contrary – including those made by the expellees themselves- are both deeply offensive and historically illiterate. Nothing I have written in the book should be taken otherwise.”
It’s not difficult to see why.