War Crimes of the Liberators Restricted R18


hazards and catastrophes


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they liberated Europe from Nazi tyranny millions of American soldiers put their lives on the line for freedom democracy and human rights ultimately even the Germans came to see them as liberators yet beyond the heroism and the glory there was also a dark and ugly side djay sexy on d-day war crimes were being committed almost as soon as the fighting started off like the s and cakes for painful atrocities were uncontrolled acts of revenge in the heat of combat most of them never prosecuted let alone punished and what murder remains murder both sides are willing to shoot POWs Germans and Americans the violence was directed against women too many soldiers saw them as legitimate booty not only on the eastern front in the West as well my estimate amounts to eight hundred and sixty thousand cases of rape in the final stages of the war The Tempest the Germans had unleashed had turned against them with all you cannot wait guilt against guilt we must never forget it was Germany that started the war house in the wake of the liberating armies thousands of Germans became victims of atrocities that were cloaked in silence for decades [Music] d-day June 6 1944 Americans and allied troops hit the beaches of Normandy it's the greatest amphibious operation ever and the beginning of the end for the Nazis terror regime in Western Europe and to this day a glorious chapter in the history books of Britain's Canadians and Americans yet victory comes at a price the Germans put up a ferocious defense in hand-to-hand fighting no quarter is given a u.s. veteran recalls we worked our way up the bluff and headed for the west side of Eire view soon we came under automatic gunfire from a nest of five German soldiers one of our fighters got hit in the neck and died quickly after about one hour the skirmish was over and we had prevailed I know I nailed one of the enemy three of the enemy tried to surrender but my guys were in no mood to take prisoners a ranger comrade in a fit of anger had emptied his submachine gun into them it's kill or be killed yet what if the other guys surrenders there are hints that the shooting of prisoners was no isolated event it takes hours of desperate fighting to cover the few yards from the beaches up to the high ground it'swell afternoon before us officers report the first prisoner taken the count throughout that day on Omaha Beach rises up to 130 a surprisingly low number Omaha Beach was the largest assault zone of Operation Overlord a six mile stretch which became the battleground for some 40,000 Americans and 7800 German defenders when the longest day had ended roll calls tally only 3,600 Germans still alive all others are presumed killed or missing in action yet the beachhead POWs collecting points were ominously empty the d-day bikini day begins in the early hours of June 6 1944 and almost at once war crimes are being committed Omaha Beach on that first day at Omaha Beach there were reports of some 130 German POWs over all the fun common yet just about 60 of that number were delivered to the collection points the greater part by then had been shot somewhere along the way Olson the shooting of prisoners is a clear breach of international conventions a war crime triggered by military expedience thanks behind obstruct the troops must get inland quickly the actual landing is the most dangerous moment of any seaborne invasion once we were established ashore the Germans can't beat us that has been drummed into the soldiers minds the Allies and their media had emphasized again and again that d-day would be the decisive battle that just had to be won given that prisoners ramier endurance and of winning the Battlement breaking the Geneva Convention well and so be it the end justifies the means further inland some 13,000 Allied airborne troops are literally thrown into the battle landing by glider or by parachute many of them descend directly into the fire of the German guns as the paratroopers advanced the sight of dead comrades becomes grueling ly commonplace their survivors are out for revenge don't you guys dare take any prisoners shoot the bastards war turns ordinary men into frenzied killers a US paratrooper recalls I asked him where he got the red gloves from and he reached down in his jump pants and pulled out a whole string of ears he had been ear hunting all night and had them all sewn on an old bootlace while their uncontrolled acts of violence by individual American soldiers some German units resort a systematic murder on explicit orders of the commanding officers in the church at grania men of the waffen-ss execute 20 wounded US paratroopers and then burned the village down yet as the fighting continues observers also record a mounting ruthlessness among GIS a war correspondent with the 82nd Airborne Division notes those were great soldiers but then they started to enjoy killing one young blue-eyed lieutenant with a baby face killed more than 50 he preferred to slit their throats does war automatically loosen all inhibitions is confession no one is immune against the lure of a situation where they may act with impunity and do things which are not condoned in civilized and basically in war too I can connect ABBA Takashi to save my figure in DC affair don't can either comment on kana or him but war is a great catalyst you tend to go along with what others do to let off steam or to prove your manliness it would be another effective on the other hand your peers show restraint you will behave accordingly Mahanta sneaked on we are much more affected by what those around us do or refrain from doing then we commonly think that's Phyllis command in cloud German troops have been violating international law since day one of the war committing war crimes against millions of soldiers and civilians in occupied countries American British and Canadian soldiers had crossed the channel to crush Hitler's murders grip on Europe it along the way they too would occasionally dispense with the code of proper military procedure if isn't fun I inferred we know of all five US assault divisions that in some units there were no prisoner orders the same applies to the Canadians the Germans even captured the Canadian document stating explicitly that no prisoners were supposed to be taken if they slowed down the advance marshland by 1944 the Allies air offensive is in full swing thousands of American and British bombers bring the war back home to Hitler's Germany the land of the aggressor city after city is razed to the ground hundreds of thousands die men and women all people and infants for some indiscriminate area bombing amounts to a war crime historians take a more selective view hairy frog anoxic separation and some homemade Italian dog tank of the issue of war crimes in conjunction with allied area bombings is anything but simple but some crime is a term would imply that there is a legal status along but there was no binding convention about aerial warfare this upcoming film 1939 to 1941 there was a tacit agreement between the Germans and their British counterparts that the civilian population was not to be targeted specifically meaning subjected to so-called terror attacks this attitude gradually change until in 1942 the British Bomber Command was directed to fly area attacks specifically the population as a whole yet again since there was no convention legality is not the yardstick you could say that it was not legitimate and interestingly enough this view is also quite common in Britain to Santa isin Z&D pocket in the saw sailors all the British doctrine of area bombing aimed at forcing the Germans to surrender yet they fight on right to the bitter end so was the war against the cities a wasted effort as I conceive dank of a variety the idea behind these attacks was to break German morale if we burn down their cities and kill about 900,000 civilians they just have to surrender will spare us a second front and shorten the war pieces Steve is in itself failed spectacularly if a feared after unknowns item hot on the other hand the air offensive at night was a massive contribution to final victory because it forced Germany to build an immense aerial defense tying down ten thousands of anti-aircraft guns and their crews how wasn't the flock of shots and what's more it forced you ever need to appropriate an enormous amount of our industrial resources to wage a high-tech war in the night skies well done high technique that compared to a tank a night fighter is an enormous ly expensive weapon this is a Billiken confetti bomb as absurd as it sounds by killing hundreds of thousands from the air the Bombers saved countless lives on the battlefields in the cities and in the concentration camps in France the Allies breakout from Normandy gathers ever more speed their spear heads liberate one french town after another but losses are high in that summer of 44 the roads to Paris are lined with burning tanks many GIS just don't get it why do the Germans fight on their overall situation is hopeless yet their resistance often borders on the fanatical the ethics of war are eroding on both sides [Music] German prisoners become targets for revenge 1gi recalls they were hollering don't shoot don't shoot but by this time we were in an infuriated rage the crewmen were lined up on their knees and an angry soldier walked along behind them and shot each in the back of the head the last to die was a young blond headed teenager who was rocking back and forth on his knees he had pictures of his family spread on the ground before him nevertheless he was shot in the back of the head killed by American soldiers men grown up in a free democratic country a nation of law and liberty of the assembly freedom and minun at first sight you might tend to blame this on individual deficiencies of characters on sign people who act like that have to be sick deranged decisis cunnin daunting for individual cases that may apply the inside sinus Creek as some of these men might have ended up his violent criminals anyways and yet I think they were a tiny minority Lukasiak a loss for the great mass of these men we must assume another explanation they had been turned into soldiers their minds had been focused on combat on beating the enemy justice see and that frame of mind seems to have provided some with an inner justification to extend war to a personal levels with the so to speak I think so few historians can only guess how many German POWs may have become victims of deliberate killings [Music] essentially Hulett affair must have been several hundred of these incidents it's impossible to produce reliable figures however we can describe the framework within which acts of violence were committed and decade even from the treatment of prisoners range from very good to cold-blooded murder this who stood side I think after seventy years it's time not to condemn everything the Americans did with a view to repaint their picture in a revisionist black but to evaluate the gray area and this is where the shootings of prisoners from the vemma where the buffin SS happened finally unlink a fragment of immortal devil Francis pep talks are a common means for commanders to inject their troops with an aggressive spirit General George S Patton minced no words in his efforts to turn his men into fighters when we meet the enemy we will kill him we will show no mercy if you company officers in leading your men against the enemy he was just a surrender oh no that bastard will die you will kill him stick him between the third and fourth ribs you will tell your men that they must have the killer instinct we will get the names of killers and killers are immortal in Sicily some of his men took the general at his word Patton son father patent speech led to a massacre where several dozen Italian and German POWs were shot dead the five were rigorously hooked the incident was investigated and tried by a court martial where the defendants as well as all witnesses referred to Patton's speech as the reason why they felt more or less encouraged to shoot prisoners dasya Merriman wounded would kick ski [ __ ] were seasoned John fake from the 11th Armored Division recalls a similar incident during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium as we were going up the hill out of town I know some of our boys were lining up German prisoners in the fields on both sides of the road there must have been 25 or 30 German boys in each group machine guns were being set up these boys were to be machine gunned and mer we were committing the same crimes we were now accusing the Japs and Germans of doing us military justice very rarely followed up on such incidents 3.5 million GI saw service in Europe during the war during this period jag the US Army Judge Advocate General filed but two proceedings dealing with killing prisoners of war in both cases the defendants were acquitted Allied supreme commander General Dwight D eisenhower however is intent on probing the rumors about prisoners being shot he orders an investigation that covers all US units in Europe of the 75 division sized units questioned only three report incidents of note the proceedings have to begin with the commanding general of that unit when that begins the commanding general is basically indirectly in diding himself because by open by opening up an inquiry he's admitting that his units somehow messed up did not have the proper military protocols they're gonna be reluctant to do that there's no prosecutor that's outside of the military unit in which it occurred that was no independent prosecutor in the court-martial system its prosecuting oneself and again I think that's that's not functional besides regular German army units the Americans face ever more formations of the waffen-ss their men are notorious for their cruelty on the battlefield and for outrageous massacres among the civil population like a NORAD or a French village where members of the SS Division Das Reich had murdered more than 600 old men women and children when TX since the waffen-ss with the worst of enemies ferocious and brutal so that's how the Americans experienced early on if you were up against the buff in SS you'd face indoctrinated with fanatical fighters who wouldn't yield ground so American soldiers came to see them as the principal enemy without them they felt that their Mac would crack that much faster columns of German prisoners have screened deliberately from members of the waffen-ss once picked out they're often targeted for harsh treatment much more than their Regular Army comrades many of them are veterans of the Eastern Front a battleground where violations of the rules of war were common practice in 1944 the dimension of atrocities of the war in the east was still beyond the imagination of most GIS fighting in France for three years since June 1941 fighting had raged out of all proportion the death toll among Soviet citizens would rise to 20 million declared subhuman by the Germans more than 2.5 million Red Army soldiers died as POWs under the eyes of their captors Hitler's regime condones or even orders murder on the Eastern Front you may loot rape or kill at will without having to face a court-martial it's a war of extinction with no-holds-barred combat in the West runs along more civilised lines but for some it is the licence to indulge their baser instincts liberation at last in Paris American troops are being cheered by grateful crowds for years of German occupation are finally over flowers for the liberators are the symbolism joyous reception [Music] yet some soldiers view the girls and women along the roads of victory as their fair share in the spoils of war [Music] the rapes did begin only 14 days or so after the invasion in in France the number of rapes that were reported in order to stick with that of a procedure where only 182 that were reported it's the age-old attitude of the Conqueror and it doesn't matter if the woman is French or German most of the victims keep silent about what happened to them out of fear shame or just to be able to go on in the struggle to survive many of them confide their experiences to their Diaries but the trauma will stay by them throughout their lives especially since they have no one to turn to the family must not know there was no such thing as psychological support you had to cope with it all by yourself well they say the Americans liberated us but at whose expense for most of the Allied soldiers preparing for the invasion be the Americans Britons or Canadians the continent is a land of high expectations the French were famous for their eroticism French more or less equal sex which foot sue haben unfit easy and in the minds of the troops there was this fantasy that they were now about to enter this world of erotic promised desertion of France's Asia a jota Chevelles tile soon Amon the Stars and Stripes the American forces daily newspaper even offered some helpful lines in French you are a beautiful girl or more directly may I take you home if this didn't work some would resort to violence when Minh Nick Miller fell on this desk a fact that rapes were committed early on in France on an Allied soil points to a general erosion of decency and moral standards even at the start of the campaign that is the sea of Korus that so were sexual assaults on civilians isolated incidents where a mass phenomenon dauphinois eat any man any woman could become a victim he demanded I deflower confessing in April 1945 American troops entered Bavaria the parish reports give a detailed picture of their advance and for once provide reliable figures concerning rapes each local parish priest was obliged to submit a summing up to its diocese about what had happened after the Army's the Yanks in colloquial German had come to American soldiers raped a very respectable girl they forced their way into the house at night on the pretense of having orders to search the premises actually they had been looking for girls on April 30th 1945 American units reached Munich the city is in chaos a young woman is assaulted by a GI in broad daylight and then I was raped by one of them he dragged me into an old tavern what could I have done he had a pistol so woe to me if I'd struggle or scream this was in the daytime they would just grab a girl drag her somewhere and that was that [Music] hundreds of thousands of Germans are on the move who is Allah hare king a 33 year old actress is trekking from Prague to her hometown in Bavaria in her autobiography published in 1973 she related how she was raped by three American soldiers the first one took me a few yards away from the road the others watched it took four minutes I had been looking at my watch then the next one came I thought goodness me I hope I don't get pregnant goodness me I hope I don't catch venereal disease please no no then I marched on if the victims get pregnant there's no way of hiding the disgrace from family or husband rape is anything but a trivial offence in US military law once an incident has been reported the accused are tried by a court martial [Music] there were two major sentences that a soldier could receive one could be a death sentence and one could be a life sentence or for an F or a sentence for a number of years the rate of convictions is particularly high among afro-american soldiers verdicts of guilty against Caucasian GIS are few and far between back then the American judiciary at home tended to rate a sexual assault by a black man's on a white woman as particularly outrageous scandalous uncas in stories of evermore cases of rape reached the home front Time magazine quotes a GI to the effect that in the eyes of their allies the US Army had become an army of rapists the fact that Red Army soldiers raped countless German women was widely reported especially in post-war Germany hit the topic of sexual violence committed by Americans was largely avoided so as not to embarrass the new ally of the Cold War a survey of jag files amounts to comparatively few cases 182 rapes in France 552 in Germany get these files merely cover incidents that were brought to trial bang cops about felon there was an attitude among woman including my own grandmother to accept these things except to keep in the slits to this can be summed up as I'm the ultimate victim of war because we are the vanquishes and as such we have to put up with what usually follows defeat meaning acts of sexual violence songs hinted at written sinned for the first time a historian has tried to estimate the number of rapes based on the number of war children registered in the occupation zones of all four former allies as a minor and conservative on 460 cassettes on get from Octonauts my estimate and it's conservative sums up to about eight hundred and sixty thousand cases of rape fund in Thailand my approach was to collate the number of war children known to have been conceived by forced sexual intercourse and to multiply that figure by 100 it's generally assumed that every hundredth rape has led to a pregnancy in photo biotech online content done is according to Miriam gephardt's estimate there would have been 45,000 rapes committed by British soldiers 50,000 by French troops 190,000 by GIS and four hundred thirty thousand by Red Army soldiers [Music] men in uniform and the women of the vanquished an aspect of World War two which had long been passed over in silence and more or less ignored by historians we have in-depth studies of many things be it the Holocaust or war crimes of all kinds but sexual violence has been for whatever reason it's very rarely dealt with recent research shows that in all armies of World War two sexual violence was much more commonplace than we thought that goes for the veil mach-2 in the Vermont SS chief Heinrich Himmler estimated the number of children sired by German soldiers on the Eastern Front at about 1 million and issued orders to abduct these children to the right the advance of the Red Army and the ensuing collapse of German logistics and wanton destruction while retreating prevented the order from being carried out sexual assaults by Soviet soldiers became a recurring theme in post-war West Germany similar acts by their Western counterparts received little coverage and a foe digas act as a woman who told of a rape by a Red Army soldier could expect some degree of acceptance or empathy empathy Lenin as an ephod Xactware as a woman who said she'd been raped by a GI was fairly often labeled as one of those who would throw themselves willingly at the Western occupiers driv least invested in desert sand and in house give off Nam Munich April 30th 1945 the 34 year old widow of a German soldier is supposed to have been raped by a US Army officer at the trial the perpetrator states in his defense that that afternoon he had gone to Dachau concentration camp and witnessed the full amount of German atrocities and in light of this pleads guilty on a minor charge she also had a husband who was in the Army and the SS for the German army he hit was dead she was degraded for being a German woman and married to an officer he used in his defense of what he actually described is that there's a actually something whimsical and foolish is that he thought it'd be kind of good before this woman to be humiliated in view of what he had seen it at at Dachau Dachau the gi's get a first-hand look at the extent of the crimes committed by Germans against political opponents Jews Soviet POWs and Nationals from occupied countries among the heaps of bodies some 30,000 survivors many of them little more than walking corpses when the first infantry patrols reached the camp SS guards opened fire in a token effort of resistance the GIS are in no mood to stick to the rules take no prisoners here let's kill every one of these bastards don't take any SS alive take no prisoners here when the brief firefight is over the full horror of the camp becomes apparent DP file and is liberating a concentration camp is an experience that radically differs from ordinary combat brutalizing as it is which might serve to explain the atrocities that followed in a festive imagine entering a camp like that and seeing things that not even your worst nightmares could have prepared you for and us mentioned this is not a prison camp but a site of torture and systematic murder out of all proportion Chantal Lewis that might trigger a shock so severe that it sets aside all rules or inhibitions in an individual at least three feminists beside Iligan surviving SS men are lined up against a camp wall when the machine guns fall silent about 30 of them lie dead where they stood strictly speaking it's a war crime even the accessories to annihilation on an unheard-of scale are entitled to legal procedures yet camp inmates as well as the US Army top brass sympathized with the soldiers act of self justice the skinny on shooting POWs without a proper verdict can't be tolerated or Toyotas eyes from staff to us the legal point of view is clear above us the shooter when it comes to judging individual skills or determining what can be expected of an individual in terms of restraint or deference to behavioral social norms on Tomas VAD was a most grave and extremely difficult question against country of Haagen on orders of General Patton by then appointed military governor of Bavaria charges against the men involved were dismissed there was no need to kill the camp guards they could have just as easily been taken captive and brought to trial for fun so few interestingly enough that's what happened when the British Army was confronted with similar circumstances put in plea in April of forty five British troops liberate the concentration camp in Bergen Belsen and her face with the same horrifying views as the Americans at Dachau images that outstretch any imagination [Music] the guards are rounded up just like a taco yet there's no self-administered justice three SS men are shot trying to escape all others are taken prisoner and forced to help bury the masses of corpses three and a half months later 45 of them were put on trial as war criminals CEPS men and women see unshod food if we look at how the British troops acted especially after the liberation of bergen-belsen considering what the British soldiers had to see there the masses of dead those vicious crimes all those horrible sights we have to state that even this did not lead to acts of spontaneous violence liked the UM economy when compared with the way the Americans dealt with captured guards at Dachau I find the difference between the two armies conquered astonishing dosia choppy and yet what could have caused such different attitudes Salaam people eaten Cindy to think the British were more civilized than the Americans anyway would be rather simplistic security we'd be better off looking at the different attitudes and examples set by officers and commanders oh stop stop what was permissible stop the Americans showed a tendency to let themselves get carried away the British showed the more restrained approach so heightened there were also differences in the way that hundreds of thousands of German POWs were treated after surrendering to the Western Allies during the final weeks of the war in the recollection some US veterans speak quite freely of having shot German POWs there is no equivalent in British war memoirs it's why I believe there are two possible explanations either it didn't happen or the Brits just talk differently about the war be few thoughts occur fine many simply don't know how many German POWs were killed by British soldiers I skipped over and yet there are hints that there were significantly less incidents of that kind than on the American fronts and if ur n't attitudes and traditions of warfare especially those of the British officer corps we may assume that there was less a regular violence in the treatment of POWs than in the US Army as disparity was Almeida funds as the war draws to a close there is a mounting conviction among the US military that the Germans deserve wholesale punishment for their crimes a harsh treatment of POWs is considered to be an appropriate means to purge their minds from the demons of Nazi ideology in all 19 camps are set up on the meadows along the Rhine outdoors with no shelters there are no installations to wash no blankets behind the barbed wire of the so-called temporary enclosures over a million German soldiers now termed disarmed enemy forces are waiting to be released [Music] among them Rudolph Rankin a master sergeant of the Luftwaffe the German air force when his unit surrenders to the Americans the men are surprised that the GIS seem to have a penchant for depriving the Germans of their valuables Rue de frança recalls I was spent on keeping my wedding ring come what may most guys were trade theirs against some bread but not me I hid it in my handkerchief and shake as they might it didn't budge [Music] a few months before war broke out franca had married his childhood sweetheart Martha back home in a small town near Dresden now like thousands of others in his camp he hopes that he will be allowed to head home soon their US Army guards have problems of their own you have to understand between us and them was only this chicken wire fence and there were more coming in each day we had to guard them and deliver the K rations to the compounds we did what we could but we were too few in these first couple of weeks conditions in the camps are abysmal there's no sanitation and hardly any medical care international law states that POWs are entitled to the same provisions as their captors inside the Rhine meadow camps it's a far cry from that there's 1 K ration for every four prisoners by the victors simply overwhelmed by the enormous number of POWs Emily Khanna huh he wasn't a supply problem in the proper sense if the Americans had wanted to provide more provisions they could have done that to keep that home how about zero and vinegar however the idea was to let them swallow a bit of their own medicine of the view of achieving a reeducation all of that seems effect and so could death soon takes its toll thousands fall victim to starvation diseases were the bullets of a guard [Music] there was this kid who tried to get out under the fence and got stuck and that American I'll never forget the image he takes his gun aims the kid just cried out mama then he was dead - shooter died he was nearly dead anyway unthinkable [Music] usually incidents like this generally were passed over without any investigation [Music] and for sport they sometimes would fire at night at about waist height because of our propaganda that all Germans are Nazis all Germans are anti-semites all Germans are bad people and short and they deserve whatever punishment they get that was the attitude violations of international conventions concerning the treatment of POWs would occur on all sides get the scale of overall statistics are tipped heavily to one side 21,000 German soldiers died in British captivity 22,000 in American enclosures more than 350,000 in Soviet camps the figure of Red Army soldiers who perished in German captivity surpasses 2.5 million compared to the German policy of deliberate extermination individual acts of violence and revenge by American GIs are akin to marginal episodes they fought what has been termed the last good war but even good wars have their dark moments in September 1945 the Rhine meadow camps opened their gates millions of German POWs can return home to a country that had yet to learn to view the victors as liberators a decade on the vanquished had turned into a friend and an ally and would prefer not to have that image tarnished as if Deng Curtis is long at site and Tomatis for a long time this was a topic even we as historians would rather not touch for fear of fueling revisionist views on German responsibility concerning the war and the Holocaust Holocaust by Japan yet apart from that mimosa phone and we must spence with the idea that a democratic army won't commit any war crimes World War 2 was the most total and one of the most ideological Wars ever mentioned it would be naive to think that in a war like this any one side could come away clean and insulting the ancient Romans said in times of war laws fall silent [Music] seventy years and several wars on the USA is still reluctant to let their soldiers be judged according to international laws and conventions [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] you