The Act of Killing — Die Rheinwiesenlager 1945

 Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures (PWTE)
Judge Robert H. Jackson, Chief U.S. prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials, told U.S. President Harry S. Truman that the Allies themselves: have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it. Dr. Richard Dominic Wiggers argued that the Allies violated international law regarding the feeding of enemy civilians, they both directly and indirectly caused the unnecessary suffering and death of large numbers of civilians and POW's in occupied Germany, guided partly by a spirit of postwar vengeance when creating the circumstances that contributed to their deaths and by strict orders to U.S. military personnel to destroy or otherwise render inedible their own leftover surplus so as to ensure it could not be eaten by German civilians. The Americans also prevented locals from bringing prisoners food under threat of being shot. The International Red Cross was prevented from visiting German Prisoners of War. Only in the autumn of 1945 the Red Cross was granted permission to send delegations to visit camps in the French and U.K. occupation zones, and to provide - very small - amounts of relief. On February 4 1946 the Red Cross was allowed to send relief also to those in the U.S. run occupation zone. During their visits, the delegates observed that German Prisoners of War were often detained in appalling conditions. According to American historian and Professor Edward N. Peterson the U.S. chose to hand over another hundred of thousands German Prisoners of War to the Soviet Union in May 1945 as a "gesture of friendship”.
Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht POWs
According to Official Russian sources some 450,000 German Prisoners of War died in Soviet labor camps of harsh conditions, beating and starvation during World War II and in the years that followed. The destiny of another 440,000 missing in action in the Soviet Union remains unclear. Probably killed on the spot and therefore not counted as Prisoners of War. Officially 77,000 German Prisoners of War died in Western custody. According to the section of the German Red Cross dealing with tracing the captives, the ultimate fate of 1,300,000 German Prisoners of War is still unknown and officially listed as missing. They entered captivity and effectively disappeared from the historical record. It is a story that has been kept quiet. Source: Wikipedia. Images: Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht prisoners of war. Public domain.


  1. Anonymous13/3/18

    A war crime on a large scale.

  2. Dr S. R. W.2/5/18

    Hans Post, a Waffen SS veteran claims in the extraordinary autobiography One Man In His Time that SS POWs were victimised by the French. Starvation and lack of health care lead to excessive mortality rates in the SS compound at Thoree-les-Pins in 1945/46. Post claims that of the 3,600 Waffen SS soldiers held there only 1,300 survived the ordea. Post contributes his own survival as only due to a passing US Army medical convoy spying the starving SS soldiers and taking the news to higher authorities.