German tragedy of destiny

Death by starvation and cold

 

<-- HOME | <-- UNDER OCCUPATION

 

 

The starved

 

Until the last days of the war the food supply was guaranteed, to some extent.

With the occupation of the western part of the country and the arrival of the Red Army the supplement of the population with agricultural commodities changed suddenly.

 

The farmers and landowners from East Prussia, West Prussia, Pomerania, East Brandenburg and Silesia had fled or were expelled. The fields were not tilled, the remaining cattle were starving in the stables in agony. What was still alive was confiscated by the occupiers and slaughtered.

 

The Allies had turned the center of all major German cities in ruins. It was virtually everything destroyed. Mills, dairies, bakeries, slaughterhouses, food processing plants, all wholesale and retail businesses - everything was razed to the ground. The professionals of the food industry, the butchers, the bakers, the traders were in prison camps, had been killed or were missing.

 

While the food became less and less available, the population grew by additional millions of refugees and displaced persons from the Eastern territories.

 

Before the humanitarian ideas of George Marshall gathered ground, the occupiers were dominated by the hatred and prejudice of Henry Morgenthau who wanted Germany virtually wiped out completely as an industrial nation. This attitude meant that the U.S. Military Governor, Clay, refused the Red Cross to distribute two large food supplies for German civilians. His original comment: "The Germans should suffer!"

 

The Canadian historian James Bacque came to the conclusion, based on analysis of the Moscow NKVD files and Allied sources, that five million German civilians were killed after the war in the Allied occupation zones due to malnutrition.

 

 

 

The frozen

 

By their attacks the Allies not only crippled the food supply but they destroyed the entire energy supply and infrastructure of the country.

 

Roads, canals, railways, bridges, stations, switchyards, locomotives, wagons, trucks and ships, everything was bombed.

 

Dams, water plants, heating plants, power plants, substations, transmission lines, power lines, transformer stations were methodically destroyed.

 

The people huddled in shacks, tin huts, ruins and draughty cellar holes. And then came a very cold winter with Siberian temperatures.

 

While the people starved and froze, all important raw materials and fuels, such as iron, wood and coal were transported abroad and the factories were looted. The remaining, still working, machinery was removed and carried away.

 

In the ruins there was practically nothing more combustible, the fire storms had charred everything. The hospitals in the inner cities were bombed, likewise the drug companies and pharmacies. The people - especially the elderly, sick and weak - died from malnutrition, dehydration, hypothermia and deficiency diseases. Due to lack of medication, depressing overcrowding and insufficient hygiene facilities tuberculosis, typhoid fever, rickets and diphteria took their toll. People were infested with parasites such as worms, lice and itch mite.

 

Especially many old or ill people suffered a vicious death from freezing. Worn down, hungry and exhausted, they fell asleep in their unheated, cold homes - and never woke up.

 

 

5,700,000 dead