Friday, January 14, 2011

Fake Pictures Of German Brutality In Russia

The Germans acted brutally in Russia during WW2. No doubt about that. But some of the pictures of Germans shown as totally inhuman and as monsters were fakes manufactured by the Soviet propaganda machine. Given below are a few such images.

The fake

The real picture

This one is a big fake. The couple seem to be Soviet actors.

The fake

The real picture

One of our readers, who preferred to remain anonymous, writes....

Dear Sirs,
On the page of alleged "German Brutality" the photo of Dora-Mittelbau shows 1700 bodies KILLED BY US AIR ATTACKS the day before the US troops arrived. Other photos on that page show hanged partisans they do not mention the brutality of the partisans captured a German Hospital and impaled all the captured nurses through their vaginas on wooden paling fences. Or the captured soldiers the Partisans put meathooks through their jaws and hanged them , alive, in a tree, or the captured German soldiers they roasted alive like pigs over a fire....How do I know ? MY FATHER was in an SS Div on that front. He also told me how, after he was captured, how the Russians filmed & photographed one FAKE horror scene after the other using the German POWs as actors...they had no other choice
mit freundlichen Gruessen,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nazi Germany's Toughest Fighters: SS Totenkopf Division

SS. The name sends shivers down one's spine. The term is associated with brutality and mass killings. This is a mistaken presumption. There were killers in the SS (Allgemeine SS), but the Waffen SS men were warriors. Though some of the SS divisions did commit massacres, there were some divisions like the Nord, Nordland  which were clean.

Not so clean was the Totenkopf Division. It was initially made up of men who were guards at concentration camps (SS Totenkpfverbande). The men  were some of the most dedicated and fierce soldiers of the Third Reich. When things got desperate, the SS men were called in to do near impossible tasks. The fact that  Germany survived for so many years after the hiding its armies got in Russia was because of the tough men of the Waffen SS.  SS Totenkopf topped the list. We will talk about the other elite SS Divisions later. We start with the Totenkopf.

Totenkopf soldiers fire a 88mm mortar shell


Having missed the Polish campaign, Totenkopf was initially held in reserve during the assault into France and the Low Countries in May 1940. They were committed on 16 May to the Front in Belgium. The Totenkopf soldiers fought fanatically, suffering heavy losses.

Within a week of this initial commitment the division's first war crime had already been committed. At Le Paradis 4th Kompanie, I Abteilung, commanded by SS-Obersturmführer Fritz Knöchlein, machine-gunned 97 out of 99 British officers and members of the Royal Norfolk Regiment after they had surrendered to them; two survived. After the war, Knöchlein was tried by a British Court and convicted for war crimes in 1948. He was sentenced to death and hanged.


The division moves in the Soviet Union in 1941


During Autumn and Winter of 1941, the Soviets launched a number of operations against the German lines in the Northern sector of the Front. During one of these operations, the Division was encircled for several months near Demjansk in what would come to be known as the Demjansk Pocket. During these kessel battles, Totenkopf suffered so greatly that, due to its reduced size, it was re-designated Kampfgruppe Eicke. The division was involved in ferocious fighting to hold the pocket. SS-Hauptsturmführer Erwin Meierdress of the Sturmgeschütze-Batterie (Assault Gun) Totenkopf formed a Kampfgruppe of about 120 soldiers and held the strategic town of Bjakowo despite repeated determined enemy attempts to capture the town. During these battles, Meierdress personally destroyed several enemy tanks in his StuG III. He was awarded the Iron Cross for his actions during this period. In April 1942, the division broke out of the pocket and managed to reach friendly lines.

In action in France. 1940

In Early February 1943 Totenkopf was transferred back to the Eastern Front as part of Erich von Manstein's Army Group South. The division, as a part of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser's SS-Panzerkorps, took part in the Third Battle of Kharkov, blunting the Soviet General Konev's offensive. During this campaign, Theodor Eicke was killed when his Fieseler Storch spotter aircraft was shot down while on final approach to a front line unit. The division mounted an assault to secure the crash site and recover their commander's body, and thereafter Eicke's body was buried with full military honours. Hermann Priess succeeded Eicke as commander.

Soldiers of the SS Division Totenkopf with their commander Theodor Eicke during the advance on Demjansk (23 September 1941)



By the end of 1942 the division had experienced virtually a complete turnover in personnel. The high casualty rates meant by late 1943 virtually none of the original cadre were left. However, while the division's record in the brutal Eastern Front fighting to follow is quite clean, its reputation lingered. The Totenkopf division didn't want to be captured by the Soviets, so they attacked the American 11th Armored Division. The Americans, who suffered heavy losses, were angered by this. When the Totenkopf surrendered (to the Americans) they were turned over to the Soviets Linz in 1945. Those who were wounded or simply too exhausted to make it to Pregarten were executed by the Americans along the way (some 80 in all suffered this fate). Another story in the aforementioned book states, "A convoy of ambulances drove by and picked up the dead and wounded behind the last tank of the long caterpiller. Apparently, the wounded comrades weren't handed over to the Russians. The ambulances turned around and headed back to Linz at high speed,' . The senior officers were executed by the NKVD, others were also executed as they were shipped to Siberia. Only a few of them survived captivity to return to Germany.

In a huddle in Kursk


Directing traffic in Paris, Totenkopf style


Taking a breather

 Himmler inspects in Russia

 A junior officer in the Totenkopf

In Russia


The men during Kursk atop a tank


SS Totenkopf men move in Poland past a burning T-34 tank. (Picture by Grenart. Taken on Aug. 18, 1944) 

Anti-tank unit of the Totenkopf. Russia. September 1941

Soldiers of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf break for a meal beside the wreck of a Soviet T-34 somewhere in Romania, 1944.
Grenadiers of the 3rd SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf take cover from incoming artillery. Hungary, March 1945.

 Motorcyclists (German: Kradschützen) from the SS Division Totenkopf during the invasion of Russia in September 1941.

Prisoners from the Totenkopf in France in 1944



To date, no one else has done an exhaustive photographic record of the 3rd SS until this book came along. There are other books on the Totenkopf which provide lots of history on the division, but for any historian, this book is outstanding. I've never seen a better collection of 3rd SS photos gathered in one place before, and better yet, almost all of these are not seen in other books on the Waffen SS.

For the money you can't beat it, and I've spent hours looking over the photos picking out a lot of details you're just not going to find anywhere else.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

History Bestsellers: 'BLOODLANDS: Europe Between Hitler And Stalin'

“For over a decade in the middle of twentieth century, the lands between Russia and Germany were the killing fields of Europe. Tens of millions of civilians from Poland to Ukraine, Lithuania to Belarus were starved, beaten, shot and gassed to death by the authorities and armies of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Bloodlands – impeccably researched and appropriately sensitive to its volatile material – is the most important book to appear on this subject for decades and will surely become the reference in its field.”

“Nearly seventy years after VE-Day, World War Two continues to be perceived through a narrow Western perspective, and many basic problems about the war of 1939-45 remain unresolved. In Bloodlands – which refers to the huge belt of territory between Germany and Russia – Timothy Snyder examines the little known tract of the European continent that was scourged by Stalin as well as Hitler, and reaches some disturbing conclusions.

“A chillingly systematic study of the mass murder mutually perpetrated by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany…. A significant work of staggering figures and scholarship.”

Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin forces a dramatic shift in these perceptions…. Among his other goals in Bloodlands, Mr. Snyder attempts to put the Holocaust in context—to restore it, in a sense, to the history of the wider European conflict. This is a task that no historian can attempt without risking controversy. Yet far from minimizing Jewish suffering, Bloodlands gives a fuller picture of the Nazi killing machine.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Massacres By Russian Soldiers During WW2

The eastern front was a hard place to be in. If the SS and gestapo did evil things in Russia, the Russian soldiers were no angels too. Here are some instances where German soldiers were massacred by the Russians. The Russians killed soldiers of other nations too. And we do not mention here the mass rapes in Berlin which started in April 1945.


KATYN FOREST (Smolensk, 1939-40)

In 1939, during the Russian invasion of Poland, some 14,500 Polish officers were captured and interned in three P.O.W. camps in the Soviet Union. The next time the world heard of these prisoners was a news broadcast on April 13, 1943, from Radio Berlin. It stated that the German Army had discovered mass graves at Katyn, 18 kilometres north-west of Smolensk, near the village of Gneizdovo and containing the bodies of Polish officers. Eight graves were opened and 4,253 bodies exhumed.



All were dressed in Polish uniforms, with badges of rank and medals intact. No watches or rings were found on the corpses. It was established that the bodies were of Polish officers from the camp at Kozielsk, situated in the grounds of a former Monastery, near Orel. Two other camps, at Starobielsk (3,891 men) and at Ostashkov (6,311 men) were wound up and closed in the first days of April, 1940. Whatever happened to these 10,000 odd officers has never been established. They were never seen alive again. From evidence obtained after the war, all prisoners of Kozielsk camp were shot by Stalin's NKVD.

On April 13, 1990, fifty years after the massacre, the USSR for the first time admitted its responsibility for the murders. The whole controversy was finally laid to rest when Boris Yeltsin, handed over the secret files on Katyn to the Polish president, Lech Walesa, on October 14, 1992. In May 1992, in a wood near Kharkov, a Russian private investigation team discovered a mass grave containing 3,891 bodies of Polish officers from the camp at Starobielsk in the Ukraine. In June of that year, Soviet authorities discovered 30 mass graves at Miednoje, one hundred miles north-west of Moscow. They contained the remains of 6,287 Polish prisoners from the Ostashkov island camp on Lake Seliguer. Before the massacre, 245 officers from Kozielsk, 79 from Starobielsk and 124 from the camp at Ostashkor , were transferred, for no apparent reason, to a camp at Pavlishchev Bor, a hundred miles north-west of the Kozielsk camp. These 448 officers proved to be the only survivors of the Katyn massacre. KGB files state that 21,857 Poles were shot as a result of Stalin's order. In other parts of the Katyn Forest, other graves were discovered containing the bodies of Russian political prisoners who were executed in pre-war days by the NKVD. It seems that the Katyn Forest was the main execution site for Stalin’s secret police. (Not to be confused with the Khatyn murder site near Minsk) All mention of the Katyn atrocity has been removed from Soviet history textbooks.



On July 1st 1941, around 180 German soldiers of the 2nd and 6th Infantry Regiments and the 5th Artillery Regiment were taken prisoner by the Red Army in the town of Broniki. Most were suffering from battle wounds. Next day, the 2nd of July, advancing Wehrmacht troops discovered 153 bodies in a clover field near the town. All had been brutally murdered. According to the twelve survivors of the massacre, they were taken to the field just off the main road and forced to undress. All valuables such as money, rings, watches as well as their uniforms, shirts and shoes were stolen. Standing there naked, the prisoners were then fired upon by machine guns and automatic rifles. A few managed to escape by fleeing to the nearby woods. Similar reports from other regiments gave rise to the suspicion that the Soviets, in the early stages of the war, were not taking any prisoners. There was a division order, according to which every Russian soldier who shoots twenty German soldiers, received a three day leave pass to go home. He also was decorated and raised in rank.


THE GRISCHINO MASSACRE (February 18, 1943)

The area of Grischino lies to the north-west of Stalino (now Donets) an important industrial region in the Ukraine. Occupied by German forces, it was recaptured by a Soviet armored division and again recaptured by the German 7th Armored Division during a counteroffensive in February, 1943. What they found was the bodies of 406 German soldiers, (POWs) 58 were members of the Todt Organization, 89 Italian soldiers, 9 Romanian soldiers, 4 Hungarian soldiers and some civilian workers, Ukrainian volunteers and German nurses. A total of 596 souls had been killed. Most were shot after being dragged from their hiding places in cellars. Many of the bodies were horribly mutilated, ears and noses cut off and genital organs amputated and stuffed into their mouths. Breasts of some of the nurses were cut off, the women being brutally raped. In the cellar of the main train station around 120 Germans were herded into a large storage room and then mowed down with machine guns. It was realized that the Russians had killed every single German they had found there. As with most massacres, there were survivors and in this case, civilian witnesses.

During the week of 22/29 June, 1941, thousands of Ukrainian and Polish political prisoners were murdered in their cells by the Soviet NKVD (KGB). The Soviets' hurried retreat had tragic consequences for all political prisoners in the jails of Western Ukraine. Soon after the German attack on the Soviet Union, the retreating Soviets had no time to care for their prisoners locked up in prisons in the Ukraine, so they were simply killed. In some cities the whole prison was set on fire and the helpless prisoners burned to death. In Lutsk, 2,800 out of the 4000 inmates in the NKVD prison, were murdered. When the German 49th Army Corps occupied the Polish-Ukrainian city of Lvov, (now Limberg) around 2,400 dead bodies were found by German troops in the NKVD prison. Some were killed by hand-grenades thrown into their cells, most were killed by a shot in the neck. In the cellars of the Brygidky Prison on Palczymska Street, 423 bodies were recovered. Hundreds more were piled up in the courtyard. In the military prison at Samarstinov, which had been set on fire, 460 charred bodies were found, many showing signs of brutal torture. In the cellars, bodies were piled up layer upon layer almost to the ceiling. Owing to the stench of the decomposing corpses, the German commander of Lvov ordered all doors to the cellars bricked up after the bodies were covered with lime. On June 26-27, 1941, some 520 Ukrainians were shot at Sambor, and at Zlochev, another 700, including the entire local intelligentsia, were arrested and shot on July 16, 1941. At Kremenets, between 100 and 150 were killed and when the bodies were recovered some bodies were without skin, having been thrown into boiling water.

Altogether, in the Ukraine, around 10,000 Ukrainian and Polish political prisoners were killed in their prisons. It is a sad fact that many members of the NKVD execution squads in the Ukraine, were Jewish collaborators. These collaborators were hated by other Jews more than the German SS. (A memorial plaque at the former headquarters of the NKVD/KGB in Simferpol, Ukraine, is engraved with the names of thirty NKVD agents who gave their lives in the Great Patriotic War (the Soviet name for World War II). The amazing thing is that all thirty names are Jewish! About half a million Jews served in the Red Army and approximately 200,000 were killed. A total of 160,000 Jewish soldiers were decorated with Soviet awards, 145 receiving the highest Soviet award, 'Hero of the Soviet Union'. Two Jewish women were also awarded this honour. (Many Soviet soldiers, after capture, joined the Waffen SS. The 30th SS Division was composed of such troops)

ATROCITY AT FEODOSIA (December 29, 1941)

On the shores of the Black Sea, on the Crimean Peninsula, stands the port city of Feodosia. On the 3rd of November the city was captured by the German 46th and 170th Infantry Divisions. As the attack on Sevastopol was about to take place, most of the German forces were withdrawn to concentrate on the forthcoming battle. Left behind in the city were a small detachment of troops and all the wounded soldiers convalescing in the city's hospitals. On the afternoon of December 29, the city was bombarded by the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and a landing was made by Soviet marines followed by infantry. On the 18th of January, 1942, after their failure to capture Sevastopol, the German Wehrmacht was able to return and recapture Feodosia. They found that most of the German military personnel had been murdered. Wounded soldiers had been thrown out of the windows of the hospital to make room for Russian wounded. Water was then poured on the near dead bodies and then left to freeze. On the beach, piles of bodies were found where they were thrown from a wall several metres high after being beaten and mutilated, their bodies left in the surf so that the sea water froze and covered them with a sheet of ice. There were some twelve survivors who had hidden in cellars when the Russian troops arrived. Their testimony before a German court of inquiry confirmed that some 160 wounded soldiers were liquidated this way.

THE KORSUN SLAUGHTER (February 16-17, 1944)

During the freezing cold night of February 16, five divisions of General Hube's 1st SS Panzer Army, (54,000 men) including the 5th SS Division Viking and the Belgian Volunteer Brigade Wallonie, made a last desperate bid to break out of the Russian encirclement around the towns of Korsun and Shandrerovka in the lower Dnieper south-west of Kiev (Kyiv). At 4am, elements of the 8th Army formed up into two marching columns of around 14,000 men each and flocked into two parallel ravines in the surrounding countryside, and where the two ravines met, the troops, now in complete disorder, then emerged into open country and headed out towards the town of Lysyanka.

There, disaster struck as troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, under General Konev, were waiting. Soon after 6am, the slaughter began. Soviet tanks drove into the two German columns crushing hundreds under their tracks. Fleeing in panic, the troops were then bombed and shelled before being confronted by units of Cossack cavalry who started hacking them to pieces with their sabres, There was no time to take prisoners and in the short space of three hours around 20,000 German soldiers lay dead, their bodies later dumped in holes dug in the ground. The hundreds of wounded and medical personnel left behind were butchered by the Cossacks. Only a few officers survived, most had fled the scene by plane some days before. (Russian sources put the number of dead during the two weeks of fighting at over 70,000) To reach Lysyanka the troops had first to cross the raging Gniloy-Tikich river. Reaching the opposite side many were transformed into blocks of ice their uniforms frozen to their bodies. About eight thousand others, who had fled the scene and were hiding in the woods, were rounded up during the next few days and taken prisoner. For this great victory, General Konev was awarded the title 'Marshal of the Soviet Union'.

During the fighting in Norway and Finland, the SS Gebirgsdivision 'Nord', was opposing the Russian forces. Very few SS men were taken prisoners by the Red Army, most were shot immediately. A report on Operation No 11 from the Soviet 26th Division states: 'The enemy left approximately 400 dead on the battlefield. Some 80 Germans had surrendered and were executed'.

In the notes found on a Soviet doctor after he was captured, he had written: 'All POWs who belonged to the German Army were executed during the operations near Odessa'.

Soviet archives reveal the following: 'July 7, 1943, the enemy suffered great losses...we did not take any prisoners, they were all liquidated'.

Monday, January 3, 2011

When Americans And British (And Other Allies) Went 'Bad' During WW2

If you believe that the Allied soldiers, American and British soldiers were angels compared to the evil German and Russian soldiers; you are mistaken. (I do not talk of the cruel nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nor of the terror bombing of Dresden in 1944)) World War Two did weird things to all the fighters of all nations. They too had the blood lust. Even the American and British soldiers. Below are instances when the 'good' Allied soldiers went bad. One hardly hears of them. But to be a impartial student of history one has to be single-minded in the devotion to fairness. Other wise it would not be history, but mere western propaganda.


NAHRENDORF (Near Hamburg, 1945)

A week after the discovery of the Belsen Concentration Camp, a rumour reached the British Army's 'Desert Rats' that the 18th SS Training Regiment of the Hitler Jugend Division, had shot their prisoners at the nearby village of Rather. The 'Rats' were engaged in a fierce battle with the SS defenders in the village of Nahrendorf. Slowly, and in groups, the SS began to surrender. As the noise of battle died away the villagers emerged from their cellars and found the bodies of 42 SS soldiers lying in a shallow grave. The bodies were then interned on a hilltop cemetery near the village. Each year, hundreds of SS veterans visit the cemetery to pay tribute to their fallen comrades whom, they say, were shot in cold blood on the orders of a ‘crazed blood-thirsty British NCO’. (Perpetrators are honoured, victims are forgotten)

The "London Cage", a MI19 prisoner of war facility in the UK during and immediately after the war, was subject to allegations of torture.


* The Dachau massacre: killing of German prisoners of war and surrendering SS soldiers at the Dachau concentration camp.
* In the Biscari massacre, which consist of two instances of mass murders, U.S. troops of the 45th Infantry Division killed roughly 75 prisoners of war, mostly Italian.
* Operation Teardrop: Eight of the surviving, captured crewmen from the sunk German submarine U-546 are tortured by US military personnel. Historian Philip K. Lundeberg has written that the beating and torture of U-546's survivors was a singular atrocity motivated by the interrogators' need to quickly get information on what the US believed were potential missile attacks on the continental US by German submarines.

 American soldiers killing SS guards at Dachau

In the aftermath of the Malmedy massacre a written order from the HQ of the 328th US Army Infantry Regiment, dated December 21, 1944, stated: No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoner but will be shot on sight. Major-General Raymond Hufft (U.S. Army) gave instructions to his troops not to take prisoners when they crossed the Rhine in 1945. "After the war, when he reflected on the war crimes he authorized, he admitted, 'if the Germans had won, I would have been on trial at Nuremberg instead of them.'" Stephen Ambrose related: "I've interviewed well over 1000 combat veterans. Only one of them said he shot a prisoner... Perhaps as many as one-third of the veterans...however, related incidents in which they saw other GIs shooting unarmed German prisoners who had their hands up."

Near the French village of Audouville-la-Hubert 30 German Wehrmacht prisoners were massacred by U.S. paratroopers.


Historian Peter Lieb has found that many US and Canadian units were ordered to not take prisoners during the D-Day landings in Normandy. If this view is correct it may explain the fate of 64 German prisoners (out of 130 captured) who did not make it to the POW collecting point on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

According to an article in Der Spiegel by Klaus Wiegrefe, many personal memoirs of Allied soldiers have been willfully ignored by historians until now because they were at odds with the "Greatest Generation" mythology surrounding WWII, but this has recently started to change with books such as "The Day of Battle" by Rick Atkinson where he describes Allied war crimes in Italy, and "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy," by Anthony Beevor. Beevor's latest work is currently discussed by scholars, and should some of them be proven right that means that Allied war crimes in Normandy were much more extensive "than was previously realized".


American soldiers in the Pacific often deliberately killed Japanese soldiers who had surrendered. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war. Dower states that in "many instances ... Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds." According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners. This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson, who also says that, in 1943, "a secret [U. S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would ... induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese."

Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress "take no prisoners" attitudes, among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among U. S. troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.

Ulrich Straus, a U.S. Japanologist, suggests that frontline troops intensely hated Japanese military personnel and were "not easily persuaded" to take or protect prisoners, as they believed that Allied personnel who surrendered, got "no mercy" from the Japanese. Allied soldiers believed that Japanese soldiers were inclined to feign surrender, in order to make surprise attacks. Therefore, according to Straus, "[s]enior officers opposed the taking of prisoners[,] on the grounds that it needlessly exposed American troops to risks..." When prisoners nevertheless were taken at Gualdacanal, interrogator Army Captain Burden noted that many times these were shot during transport because "it was too much bother to take him in".

Ferguson suggests that "it was not only the fear of disciplinary action or of dishonor that deterred German and Japanese soldiers from surrendering. More important for most soldiers was the perception that prisoners would be killed by the enemy anyway, and so one might as well fight on."

U. S. historian James J. Weingartner attributes the very low number of Japanese in U.S. POW compounds to two important factors, a Japanese reluctance to surrender and a widespread American "conviction that the Japanese were "animals" or "subhuman'" and unworthy of the normal treatment accorded to POWs. The latter reason is supported by Ferguson, who says that "Allied troops often saw the Japanese in the same way that Germans regarded Russians—as Untermenschen."



After the capture of the Remagen Bridge, the US Army hastily erected around 19 Prisoner of War cages around the bridge-head to hold an estimated one million prisoners. The camps were simply open fields surrounded by concertina wire. Those at the Rhine Meadows were situated at Remagen, Bad Kreuznach, Andernach, Buderich, Rheinbach and Sinzig. The German prisoners were hopeful of good treatment from the GIs but in this they were sadly disappointed. Herded into the open spaces like cattle, some were beaten and mistreated. No tents or toilets were supplied. The camps became huge latrines, a sea of urine from one end to the other. They had to sleep in holes in the ground which they dug with their bare hands. In the Bad Kreuznach cage, 560,000 men were interned in an area that could only comfortably hold 45,000. Denied enough food and water, they were forced to eat the grass under their feet and the camps soon became a sea of mud. After the concentration camps were discovered, their treatment became worse as the GIs vented their rage on the hapless prisoners.

In the five camps around Bretzenheim, prisoners had to survive on 600-850 calories per day. With bloated bellies and teeth falling out, they died by the thousands. During the two and a half months (April-May, 1945) when the camps were under American control, a total of 18,100 prisoners died from malnutrition, disease and exposure. This extremely harsh treatment at the hands of the Americans resulted in the deaths of over 50,000 German prisoners-of-war in the Rhine Meadows camps alone in the months just before and after the war ended.



Some Allied soldiers collected Japanese body parts. The incidence of this by American personnel occurred on "a scale large enough to concern the Allied military authorities throughout the conflict and was widely reported and commented on in the American and Japanese wartime press."

The collection of Japanese body parts began quite early in the war, prompting a September 1942 order for disciplinary action against such souvenir taking. Harrison concludes that, since this was the first real opportunity to take such items (the Battle of Guadalcanal), "[c]learly, the collection of body parts on a scale large enough to concern the military authorities had started as soon as the first living or dead Japanese bodies were encountered."

When Japanese remains were repatriated from the Mariana Islands after the war, roughly 60 percent were missing their skulls.

In a memorandum dated June 13, 1944, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) asserted that "such atrocious and brutal policies," in addition to being repugnant, were violations of the laws of war, and recommended the distribution to all commanders of a directive pointing out that "the maltreatment of enemy war dead was a blatant violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on the sick and wounded, which provided that: After every engagement, the belligerent who remains in possession of the field shall take measures to search for wounded and the dead and to protect them from robbery and ill treatment."

 American sailor with a Japanese skull

These practises were in addition also in violation of the unwritten customary rules of land warfare and could lead to the death penalty. The U.S. Navy JAG mirrored that opinion one week later, and also added that "the atrocious conduct of which some US personnel were guilty could lead to retaliation by the Japanese which would be justified under international law".


The Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich, was liberated by US forces on the 29th. of April, 1945. First to enter the camp and confront the horror within was Private First Class John Degro, the lead scout of Company 1, 3rd Battalion, 157 Infantry Regiment, 45th Division of the US 7th Army. Prior to entering the camp, the troops had come upon a train of thirty nine cattle trucks parked just outside the camp. The train had come from Auschwitz in Poland after a journey of thirty days. The trucks were filled with the corpses of 2,310 Hungarian and Polish Jews who had died from hunger and thirst. Enraged, the Americans rounded up most of the SS guard complement of 560 men, hundreds of whom had already deserted. Included in the round-up was a detachment from the 5th SS Panzer 'Viking' Division sent to Dachau earlier to maintain security and replace those who had deserted. Guarded by angry GIs, one group of guards were lined up against a wall to await the appearance of their commander, SS Obersturmfüher Heindrich Skodzensky.

When he appeared, dressed immaculately with polished boots, and giving the military salute, which was ignored by the US company commander, Lt. William Jackson, who ordered "Line this piece of shit up with the rest of 'em over there". The GIs lost control and began shouting 'Kill em, kill em'. Filled with murderous rage and with tears streaming down his face, one GI of the 15th Infantry Regiment, opened fire with his machine-gun. After three bursts of raking fire, a total of 122 SS men lay dead or dying along the base of the wall. A few of the camp inmates, dressed in the familiar striped clothing and armed with .45 caliber pistols, then walked along the line of dead and dying guards and administrated the coup de grace to those still alive. Forty other guards were killed by revengeful inmates, some having their arms and legs torn apart. At another site near the SS hospital, hundreds of German guards were machine gunned to death on the orders of the executive officer of Company 1, 3rd Battalion. Altogether, a total of 520 persons, acting as camp and tower guards, including many Hungarians in German uniforms and recently returned from the Eastern Front, were killed that day. The sad fact is that many of these guards were new arrivals at the camp and were not the real culprits, the truly guilty had already fled. (Controversy rages to this day over just how many camp guards were killed at Dachau and different units of the US Army are still claiming the title 'First Liberators')


On the same day that the Dachau Concentration Camp was discovered, a massacre took place in the little hamlet of Webling about ten kilometres from the camp. A Waffen-SS unit had arrived at the hamlet, which consisted of about half a dozen farm houses, barns and the Chapel of St. Leonhard, to take up defensive positions in trenches dug around the farms by French P.O.W. workers. Their orders were to delay the advance of American tanks of the 20th Armoured Division and infantry units of the 7th US Army which was approaching Dachau. 
The farms, mostly run by women (whose husbands were either dead, prisoners of war or still fighting) with the help of French POWs, came under fire on the morning of 29th April causing all inhabitants to rush for the cellars. One soldier of Company F of the US 222nd Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Rainbow Division, was killed as they entered the hamlet under fire from the Waffen-SS unit. The first German to emerge from the cellar was the owner of the farm, Herr Furtmayer. Informed by the French POWs that only civilians, not SS, were in hiding in the cellers, the GIs proceeded to round up the men of the SS unit. 
First to surrender was an officer, Freiherr von Truchsess, heading a detachment of seventeen men. The officer was immediately struck with a trenching tool splitting his head open. The other seventeen were lined up in the farmyard and shot. On a slight rise behind the hamlet, another group of eight SS were shot. Their bodies were found lying in a straight line with their weapons and ammunition belts neatly laid on the ground. This would suggest that the men were shot after they surrendered. Altogether, one SS officer and forty one men lay dead as the infantry regiment proceeded on their way towards Dachau. Next day the local people, with the help of the French POWs, buried the bodies in a field to be later exhumed by the German War Graves Commission and returned to their families.

DRESDEN (February 13/14, 1945)

This city of culture is situated on both sides of the Elbe river. Of no tactical or strategic value to the German war effort it was considered 'safe' from destruction by air attacks. By 1945 it became a shelter for some 350,000 refugees fleeing from the approaching Red Army. At the Yalta conference Stalin requested more action against cities such as Berlin, Leipzig and Chemnitz. No mention was made of Dresden. The fact that Dresden was chosen was because the Russians at that time were only fifty kilometres away from the city, much nearer to Dresden than than they were to Berlin, Leipzig or Chemnitz. No doubt Churchill was eager to impress the Soviet leader, Stalin. RAF and USAAF bombers devastated the city in the most concentrated incendiary attack of the war in Europe (Operation Thunderclap) In all, 733 British bombers dropped 1,478 tons of high explosive bombs and 1,182 tons of incendiary bombs and 311 US Flying Fortresses dropped 771 tons of bombs on the city. Around 35,000 persons were reported as 'missing' after the fire-storm which engulfed the city and destroyed eleven square miles of its center including 14,000 houses, 22 hospitals, 72 schools and 31 department stores. By the 10th of March, 18,375 dead and 2,212 seriously injured were accounted for. The final death toll was expected to reach 25,000.

 In one of the city squares 6,865 bodies were cremated. Thousands of British and American prisoners-of-war were on work detail in the city from the large POW camp Stalag IVb at nearby Muehlberg. Casualties among the prisoners were fewer than a hundred. Around 200,000 refugees from the east were camped in the city's 'Grosser Garten'. It was estimated that about 1,300,000 people were in the city as the raid started. The toll would have been much higher had not some bomber crews, knowing that thousands of refugees were in the city, deliberately jettisoned their bomb loads wide of the mark. It is doubtful that the air attack on Dresden shortened the war by even one day. At this point of the war, Germany was on the brink of collapse so why give the still twitching corpse this one final brutal kick? Churchill was later to say "The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing". In 1956, Dresden in Germany and Coventry in England, (1,236 deaths) entered a twin-town relationship. (In 1956, the German Statistical Office estimated that German civilian dead, due to air raids throughout the war, to be around 410,000)



The merciless revenge perpetrated on the entire German civilian population of Eastern Europe during the closing stages of the war, and for many months after, took the lives of over 2,100,000 ethnic German men, women and children. For generations these Germans had lived and toiled in areas that today are part of central and Eastern Europe. Around fifteen million of these Volksdeutsche were driven from their homes and ancestral lands in Poland, East Prussia, Silesia, Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia and forced back into the Allied occupied zones of Germany.

This was the greatest forcible evacuation of people in European history. It is estimated that of the eight million Germans expelled from Poland around 1,600,000 died in the process. In Czechoslovakia, memories of the Lidice massacre inspired acts of revenge against German soldiers and civilians. Soldiers were disarmed, tied to stakes, doused with petrol and set alight. Wounded German soldiers in hospital were shot in their beds, others were hung up on lamposts in Wenzell Square and fires were lit beneath them so that they died the gruesome death of being roasted alive. These ethnic Germans lived in fear of the Russians but no one thought that the dreadful fate which awaited them would not even emanate from the Soviets at all but from their own neighbours, the Czechs!

Thousands of innocent German residents were murdered in their homes by the Czechs, others were forced into interment camps where they were beaten and maltreated before being expelled. Bishop Beranek of Prague declared: 'If a Czech comes to me and confesses to having killed a German, I absolve him immediately'. The Americans, utterly blind to the political consequences of allowing the Soviets to liberate Czechoslovakia, halted at the Karlsbad-Pilsen-Budweis line. The Sudeten Germans now had no protection from the torrent of bestiality vented on them by the Czechs. In Brno, 25,000 German civilians were forced marched at gun-point to the Austrian border. There, the Austrian guards refused them entry, the Czech guards refused to re-admit them. Herded into an open field they died by the hundreds from hunger and cold before being rescued by the US 16th Tank Division on May 8th 1945. In the Russian occupied zones of Eastern Europe and in Germany, hundreds of thousands of civilian men and women, Poles, Czechs, Romanians and Germans, were transported to the Urals in the Soviet Union and used as slave labourers until released in the late 40s. Mostly ignored by the world's press, the unimaginable suffering experienced by the expellees is largely unknown outside Germany, yet it was systematically carried out in a brutal fashion as official Allied policy in accordance with the decisions formulated at Yalta and Potsdam.


Monte Cassino fell to the Allies on May 18, 1944. After a four month struggle and the abbey bombed into ruins by the US Air Force, Polish troops of the 12th Lancers, 3rd Carpathian Division, raised their regimental flag over the ruins of the 6th century Benedictine Monastery situated high in the Apennines of central Italy. The next night thousands of French Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian and Senegalese troops, attached to the French Expeditionary Corps, swarmed over the slopes of the hills surrounding Monte Cassino and in the villages of Ciociaria and Esperia, which is in the region of Lazio, raped every woman and girl that came within their sight. Over 2,000 women, ranging in age from 11 years to 86 years suffered at the hands of these gang-raping soldiers as village after village was entered. Menfolk who tried to protect their wives and daughters were murdered without mercy, around 800 of them died. Two sisters aged 15 and 18 were raped by dozens of soldiers each. One died from the abuse, the other was still in a mental hospital in 1997, 53 years after the event. Most of the dwellings in the villages were destroyed and everything of value was stolen.

Later in the war, these same troops raped around 500 women in the Black Forrest town of Freudenstadt, on April 17, 1945, after its capture. In Stuttgart, colonial French troops, mostly African, but under the command of General Eisenhower, rounded up around 2,000 women and herded them into the underground subways to be raped. In one week more women were raped in Stuttgart than in the whole of France during the four year German occupation. 


Allied troops, as well as Axis troops, committed terrible atrocities during the war. Some years after the war a mass grave was discovered just west of the city of Nuremberg. In it were the bodies of some 200 SS soldiers. It was not until 1976 that one of the bodies was positively identified. It was the body of SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Kukula, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 38th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Autopsies on the other bodies showed that most had been shot at close range, the others beaten to death by the rifle butts of the US Seventh Army GIs. In the village of Eberstetten, 17 German soldiers of the 'Gotz von Berlichingen' Division were shot after they surrendered to US troops.

On April 8, 1945, fourteen members of the 116th Panzer Division were marched through the streets of Budberg to the command post of the US 95th Infantry Division. There, they were lined up and shot. Three were wounded but managed to escape.

On April 13, 1945, tanks of the US 97th or 78th Infantry Division were approaching the village of Spitze about fifteen miles east of Cologne. They came under fire from a 8.8 anti-tank gun which disabled one of the tanks. That night, the village was pounded by tank and artillery fire and at daybreak the US forces entered the village. All the inhabitants, about eighty, were gathered together in front of the church. Included in the eighty were twenty German soldiers, members of an anti-aircraft unit stationed in the village. They were separated from the civilians and marched several hundred yards to a field just outside the village. There, they were lined up and mowed down by machine-gun fire. Next day the US Army ordered the civilians to dig graves and bury the dead. On April 14, 1995, a memorial for the twenty victims was built near the spot.


At the village of Chenogne in Belgium a group of twenty-one German soldiers emerged from a burning building carrying a Red Cross flag. Their intention was to surrender to the US forces but as they exited the doorway they were shot down by machine-gun and small arms fire. This happened soon after the Malmedy Massacre on December 17, 1944.


During the Allied assault on Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, (July, 1943) a dozen unarmed civilians, including some children, were apprehended by US troops after the town of Canicatti surrendered. The civilians were reported to be looting after they had entered a bombed out soap and food factory and were filling buckets with liquid soap that had spilled on the ground. At around 6pm, when an American officer, a lieutenant-colonel, and a group Military Police, accompanied by three interpreters, entered the factory the officer fired a series of shots from his automatic Colt-45 point blank into the crowd. He reloaded and fired again. Eight of the civilians, including an eleven year old girl, died. The officer and soldiers then drove off. Fearing reprisals from the residents of the town, the incident was hushed up for over sixty years. Due to the efforts of Dr. Joseph S. Salemi of New York University, this atrocity was brought to light. The perpetrator of this crime, Lieutenant Colonel McCaffery, died in 1954.


During the fighting at Leonforte in July 1943, according to Mitcham and von Stauffenberg in the book The Battle of Sicily, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment killed captured German prisoners.

Kurt Meyer, of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, accused Canadian forces of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during the 1944 Normandy campaign of breaching the Hague Conventions. He claims that on 7 June notes were found that ordered no prisoners to be taken, information confirmed by Canadian infantry under interrogation; that prisoners were not to be taken if they hindered operations. Hubert Meyer also confirms this story; he states that on 8 June a Canadian notebook was found that contained orders to not take prisoners if they impeded the attacking force. Kurt Meyer also calls upon evidence from Bernhard Siebken’s war crimes trial during which the allegation was made that Canadian infantry shot, on at least one occasion, German soldiers who had surrendered during the campaign.

C.P. Stacey, the Canadian official campaign historian, reports that on 14 April 1945 rumours had been spread that the commanding officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada had been killed by a civilian sniper; this resulted in the highlanders setting fire to civilian property within the town of Friesoythe in a case of reprisal. Stacey later wrote that the highlanders first removed German civilians from their property before setting the houses on fire, he commented that he was "glad to say that [he] never heard of another such case".




When the Totenkopf surrendered (to the Americans) they were turned over to the Soviets Linz in 1945. Those who were wounded or simply too exhausted to make it to Pregarten were executed by the Americans along the way (some 80 in all suffered this fate).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

German Brutality During WW2: Part 2: Russia

A word of caution. This article has a few images that may seem distressing. But we still carry them as we feel shrinking from our past hardly seems sensible.

Killing had become a science in Nazi Germany with German chemists, architects and toxicologists, mechanics and doctors. putting their joint effort for 'best' results.....

SOME FIGURES (Number of soviet people killed by Germans during WW2)
* The Cambridge History of Russia by Dominic C. B. Lieven, Maureen Perrie, Ronald Grigor Suny, p.226
o Premature deaths under German occupation: 13.7M, including
+ "killed in hot or cold blood": 7.4M, incl.
+ "taken to Germany and worked to death": 2.2M
+ "died of overwork, hunger and disease": 4.1M

Nazi killers were taught in schools and giving training on how to efficiently kill millions....


Due to partisan activity around the village Kortelisy in Ukraine, its entire population of 2,892 men, women and children were put to death by SS and SD execution squads helped by local pro-German Ukrainian police. The village was then razed and burned to the ground, the fires of which blazed for four days. All over Ukraine around 459 villages were destroyed with all or part of their population massacred. In the Volhynia province, villages suffered the same fate and in the Zhitomir province 32 villages were destroyed. There were at least 27 villages, in which every man, woman and child was killed and their houses completely destroyed. Most of the SS and SD units operating in the Ukraine consisted of locally recruited pro-German Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Estonians and White Russians. In all of central Russia there were only two regiments of German security police. The village of Bajki, in Belarus, whose inhabitants had originally welcomed the German troops as liberators from communist oppression, was burned to the ground when the Nazis retreated on January 22, 1944. Of the 1,011 inhabitants of the village, 987 were shot and the 120 houses of the village set on fire. (About one and a quarter million Jews perished in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation)

Janowski camp commandant, Obersturmfiihrer Vilgauz, for sport and the pleasure of his wife and daughter fired a machine gun from the balcony of the Office of the camp on inmates who worked in shops, then handed the machine gun to his wife, and she also fired. Sometimes, to please his nine-year daughter Vilgauz had two - four year olds thrown up into the air and shot at them. The daughter applauded and shouted: "Daddy, more!" - And he fired......


Within two weeks of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on August 1, 1940, almost the entire intelligentsia of these countries had been liquidated. The German attack on these provinces forced the withdrawal of the Soviet troops and paved the way for Hitler's Einsatzgruppen to start their roundup of all resident Jews. About 3,000 had already fled with the retreating Red Army but the 57,000 left behind in Vilna, faced a terrifying future. Einsatzgruppen 'A' operated in the Baltic Provinces under the command of SS Major General Stahlecker who, after five months, reported to Himmler (Document 2273-PS) that 229,052 Jews had been shot. Thousands more were housed in ghettos as they were urgently needed for slave labour. In Duenaburg, on November 9, 1941, a total of 11,034 Jews were executed. At Libau, two weeks later, another 2,350 fell victim to SS bullets. In Lithuania, under the Nazi's, 136,421 Jews were put to death in numerous single actions by Lithuanian mercenaries with the help of the German police squads. In this total were 55,556 women and 34,464 children all shot to death in a deep moat surrounding the 19th century Tsarist Ninth Fort outside Kovno. In the White Russian Settlement Area, around 41,000 executions had taken place. In Vilna, around 32,000 Jews were murdered during the first six months of German occupation. When Vilna was liberated by the Red Army on July 13, 1944, a few hundred Jews who had been hiding in the surrounding forests suddenly appeared in the city square. Altogether, between three and four thousand Jews out of the original 57,000, survived in the concentration camps in Germany. (The Einsatzgruppen, which followed behind the four German armies, consisted of 3,000 men. Their orders were to hunt down and kill Russia's five million Jews. The Wehrmacht could not intervene as these murderers were under the control of Himmler. By the end of the 1941-42 winter the SS had reported that 481,887 Jews had been liquidated in Russia) Pre-war Vilnius had 105 Synagogues and houses of prayer. Today, only one survives, it was used by the SS as a medical store. Ninety percent of Vilnuis Jews were murdered, only 24,000 survived.

Witnesses at a Soviet Inquiry held after the war said children were torn apart in front of their mothers....

BABI YAR (September 29-31, 1941)

A picturesque ravine situated in the Syrets suburb of the city of Kiev (Kyiv). It was about three kilometres long, over fifty metres deep and separated from the residential area by the local Jewish cemetery and a civilian prison. Soon after the German takeover a series of horrific explosions rocked the city demolishing a number of buildings that housed the German administration and the army hierarchy. On September 26, the military governor, Major General Friedrich Georg Eberhardt, decided that in retaliation for the atrocity all the Jews in Kiev were to be put to death. There, on September 29, the SS Einsatzgruppe C, with the help of the Ukrainian police, herded the whole Jewish population of Kiev and the surrounding area into the ravine and systematically began to slaughter the entire 33,771 souls. The killings took two whole days and nights the victims being machine-gunned and their bodies hurled into the ravine. A layer of sand then covered the corpses before the next batch of naked victims were brought in.

In the months that followed, thousands of Gypsies and Russian POWs were slaughtered here. In August, 1943, as the Soviet Army began its march westwards the decision was taken to erase all evidence of the mass killings, in fact to efface it from history. Russian prisoners and 327 men, including 100 Jews, from the nearby slave camp at Syretsk began the task of digging up the bodies and cremating them. The remains were then burned in pyres, built on slab gravestones taken from the Jewish cemetery, each pyre containing around 2,000 corpses. This gruesome task ended on September 19, 1943. Only fourteen of the 327 slave labourers survived by escaping from Babi Yar. Later, the SS brought in excavators and bulldozers and the ravine was again filled in. In early October, Moscow informed the outside world of the discovery of the mass graves. The West, mistrustful of the Russians, dismissed the news as 'products of the Slavic imagination'. During the 778 days of the German occupation of Kiev, many thousands of Russian POWs, Ukrainians, Gypsies and other nationalities, were murdered at Babi Yar. Of a total population of around 900,000, only 180,000 were living in Kiev at the end of the German occupation. Nobody was ever brought to trial specifically for this atrocity. In 1976, a 15 metre high bronze memorial 'To the victims of Fascism' was unveiled on the site to commemorate the Russian POWs and the 'People of Kiev' who were killed there. However, no reference is made to the Jews or number of Jewish dead.


At Babi Yar hundreds of thousands of Russians were killed and buried

At Kerch in 1942, the Russians Army discovered a kilometer in length, 4 meters wide, 2 meters deep, which was filled with the corpses of women, children, elderly and adolescents. Near the moat were frozen puddles of blood. They were also littered with children's hats, toys, ribbons, cut off the buttons, gloves, bottle nipples, boots, galoshes with stumps of arms and legs and other body parts. All this was spattered with blood and brains. The killers shot a defenseless population with explosive bullets.


When we were brought to the antitank ditch and lined up, we still thought that we were brought here in order to get to sleep there or for digging new trenches. We did not believe that we were brought to be executed. . But when the first shot came at us from the automatic rifles, I realized that they were going to shoot us. I immediately rushed into the pit and crouched between the two corpses. . Unscathed I lay faint and dizzy almost until the evening. Lying in a pit, I heard some of the wounded screaming and the Germans shooting them: . Then, when the Germans went for lunch, one of our fellow villager from the pit shouted: "Get up, who are alive." I got up, and we both began to spread the dead, pull out survivors. I was covered in blood. Above the moat was a light mist and steam from the cooling pile of bodies, blood, and the last breath of dying. We pulled Naumenko Theodore and my father, but his father had been killed instantly by an explosive bullet in the heart. Late at night I got to my friends in the village Bagerovo and there waited for the arrival of the Red Army.

Russian children were poisoned by carbon monoxide in German cars - "gas chambers".

In December 1942 on the orders of the Gestapo chief of Mikoyan-Shahar lieutenant Otto Weber was organized the killing of patients with bone tuberculosis; Soviet children who were undergoing treatment in sanatorium at Teberda. Witnesses said: "On December 22, 1942 the first squad drove a German car into the resort. German soldiers pulled out of the sanatorium critically ill children aged three years, put them in piles into the car - these were kids who could not move, so they were not forced into the car, but stacked in tiers, then the door was shut and the gas (carbon monoxide) released into it, and left the resort.All of the children died, they were killed by the Germans and thrown into the gorge near Teberdskoe Gunachgira".

A doctor from the city of Vilnius, testified: "In early 1943, from the camp at Birkenau were selected 164 boys and taken to a hospital, where with carbolic acid injections into the heart, all of them were killed."

In Bikernekskom woods on the outskirts of Riga, the Germans shot 46 500 civilians.

Eyewitness Stabulnek M., who lives near the forest, said: "On Friday and Saturday before Easter in 1942 buses with people carried all day and night people from the city to the woods. I counted 41 buses on Friday morning before noon near my house. Many residents, including myself, went into the woods to the place of executions. We saw there a large open pit, where women and children were shot. Some were naked some in underwear. The corpses of women and children had signs of torture and abuse - blood stains on their faces, bruises on their heads, some severed hands, fingers, eyes knocked out ... "

Many people were buried alive.......


"November 3, 1943.18,400 people WERE MURDERED IN THE CAMP. From the camp 8,400 people were taken and 10,000 people were driven from the city and from other camps ... The shooting began in the morning and ended late at night. The people were stripped naked. The SS men made groups of 50 and 100 people, took them to the trenches, laid them on the bottom of the ditch, face down and shot them with automatic weapons. More were shot on the corpses And this went on till the trenches were not filled ... "

Said the witness Matthew F. Seidel - we were forced to dig up and burn the corpses. Thus, at each fire, we laid about 3 thousands of corpses, sprinkled them with oil, put firebombs and torched them. Burning of corpses continued from late 1943 until June 1944. During this period 100,000 dead people were burned.

At the Danzig Anatomical Institute trials were done of semi-industrial scale experiments for making soap from human bodies and how the tanning industry could use human skin


Second only to the extermination of the Jews, the massacre of Russian prisoners of war must rank as the greatest of tragedies of World War II. During the first seven months of the Russian campaign, over three million Soviet soldiers were captured. By February, 1942, only 1,020,531 were still alive.

Some two million had died of starvation and cold during their forced march to the rear (up to 400 kilometres). Out in the open, day and night, they fell by the wayside in their thousands. When finally they reached their POW enclosures and given their first real meal, they 'simply collapsed and lay dead on the floor'. Starved to death in their POW cages, they died in the open, having eaten the last blade of grass. Many were reduced to a state of cannibalism after begging for a scrap of food or a cigarette. In one camp a German guard was killed and eaten and a dead dog, thrown over the wire fence, was pounced upon and torn to shreds with their bare hands, so desperate were the prisoners for food.

Thousands were tortured and then shot in concentration camps, or, as slave labourers, worked till they dropped in quarries and in factories. Of the 9,000 prisoners sent to the Buchenwald camp only 800 were alive when US troops liberated the camp in 1945. In the notorious Dachau camp, of the 10,000 Russian POWs who arrived there in 1941, only 150 were alive by mid-1942. By 1944, it is estimated that around 3,299,000 Russian prisoners of war were disposed of in this way. At the end of May, 1944, there were a total of 5,160,000 Soviet soldiers in German custody. Of these, only 1,053,000 survived the war.

Some of the pictures in which the Germans appear totally inhuman were in fact fakes fabricated by the Russians. This is one such picture.

This is the real picture


Brutal Germans During WW2 :Part 1