Rhine meadow camps

Rhine meadow camps

On April 18, 1945, the Ruhr group of the Wehrmacht surrendered, surrounded by the Allies. According to various data, from 317 to 325 thousand soldiers and officers, led by generals Model, Bush and Kesselring, surrendered to captivity. To accommodate such a large number of prisoners off the Rhine, several camps were created, which received the romantic name of the Rhine Meadow Camps - "Rhine Meadow Camps".20
As the German units and formations were further captured, the number of these camps increased to 19, and the number of prisoners in them, as of June 2, increased to two million 870 thousand. In other camps in France and West Germany, there were still more than a million German prisoners of war. In each camp there were over 100 thousand people, and the conditions of their maintenance are clearly visible in the photographs.
In such circumstances, millions of people were a few months, until mid-autumn. We can definitely say that the allies treated the German prisoners of war no better than the Nazis - the Soviet, whom they considered "Untermensch".And much worse than the Germans treated the captive Americans and the British.
There were no buildings in the camps, all their equipment was barbed wire fences. Prisoners who had blankets or cloak-tents, hid under them, the rest - dug holes in the ground. Because of the wild lack of sanitation in the camps, mass epidemics soon erupted, which no one fought.
Medical care was completely absent, and food was such that by mid-summer prisoners ate all the grass in the "meadows". According to a report published in 1969 by Lieutenant-General of the US Army Leonard Heaton, the nutritional standards were "clearly insufficient" and led to extensive malnutrition. It is clear that under this euphemism there was an elementary famine. At the same time, food parcels were not allowed to be received, and the local population was informed that the guards would stop the attempts to transfer food to prisoners or to transfer it through the wire by shooting to kill. It is not surprising that until September the camps were completely closed for representatives of the Red Cross and any other humanitarian organizations, as well as for international observers.21
However, according to official American data, out of almost three million Germans who fell into the "meadow camps", only three thousand people died from April to September 1945, that is, the death rate in terms of the average annual value was less than 0.2%. This is much lower than the average mortality rate of adult men during normal life, in normal sanitary conditions, with normal nutrition and medicine. As far as you can trust the American statistics, decide for yourself.
Meanwhile, the Canadian historian James Buck, the American colonel Ernest Fisher and several other authors are confident that the number of victims of the "meadow camps" is immeasurably greater and amounts to hundreds of thousands. In particular, Buck, in his book Other Losses (Other Losses), claims that only in the camps controlled by the Americans, 790,000 Germans and their allies died of starvation and disease (almost twice as much as the total losses of the United States during World War II ), and another 250 thousand did not survive the imprisonment in the British and French camps. Moreover, these were mostly not Nazis and not regular military personnel, but older reservists, Volkssturm men or people with poor health who fell under the last wave of total mobilization.
Many reviewers in the West, especially in the USA, consider the figures of James Buck to be greatly overestimated, but few of them deny that the attitude of Americans to prisoners of war after World War II was far from humanity and humanity.22
Circular American Occupation Command in German, dated May 9, 1945. It says about the need to notify the population that the supply of prisoners of war with food is quite sufficient, and that the camp guards are ordered to shoot without warning at those who try to give them food.
P.S. Over the years of the Second World War, 3 million Germans went missing. Including 1,5 million after its termination and in these "meadow camps".
German soldiers were called Disarmed Enemy Forces (Disarmed Enemy Forces) in order to remove them from the Geneva Convention on the Rights of Prisoners of War and bring them to death from starvation and disease. The soldiers were the object of genocide and the Red Cross doctors were not allowed to them, the soldiers were kept under the open sky.
And in order to cover the tracks in the fall of 1945, the Americans destroyed all the lists of prisoners of war held in the "meadow camps".

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  • Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

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    Rhine meadow camps

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    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps

    Rhine meadow camps