An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II By James Bacque. Other Losses caused. James Bacque. Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II. Other Losses has 67 ratings and 8 reviews. Other Losses: An Investigation Into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of James Bacque.
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General Dwight Eisenhower intentionally caused the deaths by starvation or exposure of around a million German prisoners of war held in Western internment camps briefly after the Second World War. Other Losses charges that hundreds of thousands of German prisoners that had fled the Eastern front were designated as ” Disarmed Enemy Forces ” in order to avoid recognition under The Geneva Conventionfor the purpose of carrying out their deaths through disease or slow starvation.
Other Losses cites documents in the U. National Archives and interviews with people who stated they witnessed the events. The book claims that there was a “method of genocide” in the banning of Red Cross inspectors, the returning of food aid, the policy regarding shelter building, and soldier ration policy.
Stephen Ambrosea historian Bacqur had enlisted in his efforts to preserve his legacy and counteract criticisms of ajmes presidency, and seven other historians examined the book soon after its publication and came to the conclusion that it was inaccurate and the product of bacqje theory. Fisher, who was involved in the investigations into the allegations of misconduct by U.
The title of Other Losses derives bacquw a column of figures in weekly U.
Army reports that Bacque states actually reflects a body count of German prisoners that died of slow starvation or diseases. This is supported by a US Army document lodged in the US National Archives which “plainly states” that the “Other Losses” category of prisoners was for deaths and escapes. Furthermore, there is no separate column in which deaths hames recorded. The book bacwue to the Army Chief Historians report that was published in ; in the 20 pages dealing with the capture, transfer and discharge of prisoners, the report makes no mention of releasing prisoners without formal discharge.
Other Losses states that Eisenhower sought to sidestep the requirements of the Geneva Convention through the designation of these prisoners as Disarmed Enemy Forces DEFspecifically stating that “in March, as Jamed was being othsr The book cites orders from Eisenhower which stipulated that the Germans would be solely responsible for feeding and maintaining the DEFs, however, he then prevented any aid from reaching them.
Their deaths were knowingly caused by army officers who had sufficient resources to keep the prisoners alive.
Medical Corps reported death rates far higher than they had ever seen before. The book further states that Eisenhower’s staff was complicit in the scheme. Other Losses claims that the U. No agencies were allowed to visit the camps or provide any assistance to the prisoners,  including delegates from ICRC International Committee of the Red Crosswhich was a violation of the Geneva Convention. Bacque states that the press was also prevented from visiting the camps, and therefore was unable to report on the state of the camps and the condition of the prisoners.
The book states that many of the U. In these camps prisoners were forced to sleep on the ground in the open, though it claims that the U. Army had plenty of surplus tents which could have been issued.
In a letter, General Everett Hughes stated that bacaue were “more stocks than we can ever use; stretch as far as eye can see. The book quotes Dr Konrad Adenauer later Chancellor of Germany stating that “The German prisoners have been penned up for weeks without any protection from the weather, without drinking water, without otheg care. They are being held in a manner contrary to all humanitarian principles and flagrantly contrary to the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
Other Losses – Wikipedia
The book claims that the U. Army employed a number of methods to reduce the number of prisoners officially on hand. One method was to accuse the Russians of taking far more prisoners than they reported.
The book claims that a “Missing Million” prisoners exist in the difference in totals between two U. Army was reporting 3. Other Losses states that, three years later, in the ICRC formally requested documents confirming the total number of prisoners in the U.
Zone and was eventually told that 3. Other Losses explicates the — German food crisis to support the claims for a high mortality rate. Other Losses concludes that the food crisis in Europe was contrived by Allied forces by the use of restrictive food import policy, including restrictions on Red Cross food deliveries, and other means.
Army sent the trains back, saying their own warehouses were full. He said, “Our responsibility for the proper use of relief supplies placed in our care is incompatible with a restriction to the fulfilment of orders which render us powerless to furnish relief which we ourselves judge necessary.
Other Losses by James Bacque
Army warehouses had After the publication of Bacque’s book, a panel of eight historians gathered for a symposium in the Eisenhower Center for American Studies  at the University of New Orleans from December 7—8, to review Bacque’s work. Ambrose noted that Bacque is a Canadian novelist with no previous historical research or writing experience.
His introduction concludes that ” Other Losses is seriously—nay, spectacularly—flawed in its most fundamental aspects. The historians conclude that, among its many problems, Other Losses: As a consequence of those and other shortcomings, the book “makes charges that are demonstrably absurd.
Mr Bacque is wrong on every major charge and nearly all his minor ones. Eisenhower was not a Hitler, he did not run death camps, German prisoners did not die by the hundreds of thousands, there was a severe food shortage inthere was nothing sinister or secret about the “disarmed enemy forces” designation or about the column “other losses.
Eisenhower’s calculations as to how many people he would be required to feed in occupied Germany in were too low and he had been asking for more food shipments since February He had badly underestimated the number of German soldiers surrendering to the Western Allies; more than five million, instead of the anticipated three million as German soldiers crossed the Elbe River to escape the Russians.
So too with German civilians—about 13 million altogether crossing the Elbe to escape the Russians, and the number of slave laborers and displaced persons liberated was almost 8 million instead of the 5 million expected. In short, Eisenhower faced shortages even before he learned that there were at least 17 million more people to feed in Germany than he had expected not to mention all of the other countries in war-ravaged Europe, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan.
All Europe went on rations for the next three years, including Britainuntil the food crisis was over. Historians Gunter Bischof and Brian Loring Villa stated that a research report from the panel “soundly refuted the charges of Other Lossesespecially Bacque’s fanciful handling of statistics. It is not necessary to review here Bacque’s extravagant statistical claims which are the heart of his conspiracy theory.
Facts against Falsehood refuted Bacque’s wily misinterpretations of statistics and oral history evidence in detail. Numerous reviews of the book written by the top talent in the military history profession such as John Keegan and Russel Weigley were persuaded by the findings of the book. These findings have since been further solidified by detailed case studies on individual American POW camps in Germany hastily built at the end of the warlike Christof Strauss’s exhaustive Heidelberg dissertation on the POW and internment in the Heilbronn camp.
The mountain of evidence has been building that Bacque’s charge of the “missing million” supposedly perishing in the American and French POW camps in Germany and France is based on completely faulty interpretation of statistical data.
Army llsses suffered egregiously in these camps in the first weeks after the end of the war. That the chaos of the war’s end would also produce lodses mismatches and errors in record keeping should surprise no one either.
No question about it, there were individual American camp guards who took revenge on German POWs based on their hatred of the Nazis. The New Orleans panel’s book introduction concluded “[t]hat Bacque is wrong on nearly every major and nearly all his minor charges seem to us to be overwhelmingly obvious.
Eisenhower was not a Hitler, he did not run death bacqhe, German prisoners did not die by the hundreds of thousands, there was indeed a severe world food shortage inthere was nothing sinister or secret about DEF designation or about the Other Losses column. Villa states that “James Bacque’s Other Losses illustrates what happens when the context surrounding historical persons and important events is lost.
The effect to give known facts a twist that seems dramatically new in important ways, but this is means the appearance of originality is a little deceptive. For the most part, Bacque’s book is not very original at all. When it seems so, the price is purchased at the price of accuracy. It has long been known that German kther of war suffered terribly at the end of World War II, that they died by the othed after hostilities ceased in the European theater, and posses many were required bacuqe work as forced laborers for the victors.
Bischoff concludes that just the application of common sense alone refutes many of the most “fantastical charges” of Bacque, such as asking the question “How could a single man order one million men killed without being caught in the heinous act? How could the bodies disappear without one soldier’s coming forward in nearly fifty years to relieve his conscience? How could the Americans almost one-third of whom are by ethnic background Nacque conspire for so long to loses up such a vast crime?
In a Time Magazine book review, Ambrose did, however, apart from his criticisms of the book, concede that “We as Americans can’t duck the fact that terrible things happened.
And they happened at the end of a war we fought for decency and freedom, and they are not excusable. Other Losses claimed that “The victims undoubtedly number over , almost certainly overand quite likely over a million. There was not even a missing one. The title of ” Other Losses ” derives from the heading of a column in weekly reports of the U.
Army’s theater provost marshal, which Other Losses states is actually a “body count” of dead prisoners. The introduction to the book publishing many of the New Orleans panel papers also noted that Bacque ignored the greatest source of for the “other losses” column, an August Report of the Military Governor that states “An additional group ofare lists as ‘other losses’consisting largely of members of the Volkssturm [People’s Militia] released without a formal charge.
Regarding prisoners in French custody, historian Rudiger Overmans states that, while the total number of prisoners dying in French custody might have exceeded the official statistic of 21, no evidence exists that it was hundreds of thousands of deaths higher than that figure, as Bacque claims. In addition, Overmans states that Bacque’s claim that theto 1, missing prisoners were originally German soldiers that fled from the east into western hands contradicts Soviet POW evidence “well established that we can exclude the idea of an extra million hiding somewhere in the figures.
Postwar Soviet POW evidence was discredited when the KGB opened its archives in the s and an additionalGerman soldiers and 93, civilians previously recorded as missing were found to be listed as dying in the Soviet camps. Overmans also states that, did they as Bacque claims, flee to the American Rheinwiesenlager camps, they could have easily had contact with their relatives and that it is “quite inconceivable that these prisoners would not have been reported as missing by their relatives.
So much for Bacque’s careful use of sources. Overmans states that, comporting with the most basic matters of common sense, “if indeedsoldiers had died in the American camps Bacque’s number excluding those who supposedly died in French custody or after dischargewhat became of the bodies?
Yet despite the widespread construction work carried out after the war, not a single one of these legions of dead was found. Villa states that, by Bacque’s reasoning, George C. Marshallwho gave SHAEF as much or more attention to detail than did Eisenhower, would be similarly guilty, perhaps more so under his reasoning, though “Bacque” who cares little for exploring the context, does not even raise the question.
Other Losses explains that Eisenhower’s staff must have been implicated, charging “[t]he squalor of the camps came from the moral squalor polluting the higher levels of the army. Although in his vast indictment, Bacque has included virtually Eisenhower’s entire staff, all the doctors and personnel running the camps, the press who failed to uncover the monstrous crime and a whole generation of knowing but silent Germans, he has included not a single Briton.
Bacque, one understands, wants a villain in the piece. A complicated modern military bureaucracy such as SHAEF, is a tedious subject to study, unlikely to yield the insidious conspiracy apparently sought by this ex-publisher.
Regarding jame impossibility of a conspiracy on the scale purported by Bacque, Villa states that “[i]n truth, had Eisenhower committed the crimes Bacque alleges, someone surely would have gossiped, ratted, leaked, or even just hinted. Not even Field Marshal Montgomery. Certainly, if there had been a holocaust, it could never have been covered up.
Examining the situation as of May 8,jamse his murderous policy is said to have gone into full gear, no responsible historian could ignore the many limitations on Eisenhower’s authority that made it impossible for him to carry out an independent policy in Germany. Cowdrey stated that Bacque’s methodology for determining just the “Other Losses” figures was also “slipshod”, with Bacque filling gaps in the records where no “other lossee were recorded by “comput[ing] the number of deaths by applying the death rate given in Army statistics for another period to the known number of prisoners at hand.
One turns from them feeling only embarrassment for the author who naively grounds his thesis upon them.
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Historian Rolf Steininger stated that Bacque’s claim that the failure to publish the s and s German Maschke Commission finding death figures to be a “cover up” contradicts that the entire 22 volume series was actually published in without any restrictions, to which only an oblique reference is made in an Other Losses endnote. Bischoff said that while “most scholarly reviewers of Bacque’s book have pointed out that Bacque fails to establish the proper historical context”, “worse, the historical records bacquf Bacque did use are amateurishly misrepresented and often misleading or wrong.
Once Bacque’s endnotes are checked, frequent misreadings of documents are easily discernible. Regarding jmes histories, Bischoff concludes that “Bacque abuses the process through his highly selective presentation of oral histories and memoir bafque.