German Remembrance Badge: Erinnerung Abzeichen- Vergesst Uns Nicht

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German Remembrance Badge: Erinnerung Abzeichen- Vergesst Uns Nicht

German government records list 4.3 million dead and missing military personnel. Civilian deaths during the war include air raid deaths, estimates of German civilians killed only by Allied strategic bombing have ranged from around 350,000 to 500,000.

A summary of World War I casualties, compiled by the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, lists 1,773,700 German war dead, 4,216,058 wounded, 1,152,800 prisoners, for a total of 7,142,558 casualties, 54.6 % of the 13,000,000 soldiers Germany mobilized for the war.
War Losses (Germany) | International Encyclopedia of the First World ...

After the Reich: From the Liberation of Vienna to the Berlin Airlift

by Giles MacDonogh

MacDonogh tells that the months tafter May 1945 brought suffering to German civillians even worse than the destruction from the war. Vengeance was inevitable, but the appalling bestialities that MacDonogh documents went far beyond that. The first 200 pages of his book are an almost unbearable chronicle of human suffering.

His best estimate is that three million Germans died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. A million soldiers vanished before they could creep back to their homes. The majority of them died in Soviet captivity (of the 90,000 who surrendered at Stalingrad, only 5,000 eventually came home). Many thousands perished as prisoners of the Anglo-Americans. Herded into cages along the Rhine, with no shelter and very little food, they died like flies. Others, more fortunate, toiled as slave labour in a score of Allied countries, often for years. Incredibly, some Germans were still being held in Russia as late as 1979.

The two million German civilians who died were largely the old, women and children: victims of disease, cold, hunger, suicide - and mass murder.

Apart from the well-known repeated rape of virtually every girl and woman unlucky enough to be in the Soviet occupation zones, perhaps the most shocking outrage recorded by MacDonogh - for the first time in English - is the slaughter of a quarter of a million Sudeten Germans by their vengeful Czech compatriots. The survivors of this ethnic cleansing, naked and shivering, were pitched across the border, never to return to their homes. Similar scenes were seen across Poland, Silesia and East Prussia as age-old German communities were brutally expunged.

It may be asked why the western Allies did not stop this venting of long-dammed-up rage on the German population. MacDonogh's answer is that it could have been even worse. The US Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, favoured turning Germany into a gigantic farm, and there were genocidal schemes afoot to starve, sterilise or deport the population of what was left of the bombed-out cities.

MacDonogh has written a gruelling but important book. This unhappy story has long been cloaked in silence. Giles MacDonogh has told a very inconvenient truth.   

"Vergesst Uns Nicht"

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