german civilians


GERMANY. November 1989. Fall of the Berlin Wall. People take pictures of the Wall (1), sometimes in their best outfit (3), chip away pieces as souvenirs (1 & 4) or cross it for the first time in their life (last picture). [Part 2]

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

Famine - The wolf at the door

In 1916 German workers were putting in fourteen-hour days and, according to official German counting, 121,114 Germans had starved to death, up from 88,232 in 1915 – deaths the Germans attributed to the British blockade.

But it was also the result of a decline in Germany’s farm production because men and horses had been taken from farms for the war effort. During 1916, food riots had occurred in approximately thirty German cities. And premature frosts came that killed the potato harvest.

The winter of 16/17 would be known as the Turnip Winter. And short of coal like the French, German civilians were shivering in their homes.

Cartoon from the Western Mail - 29 December 1916
[National Library of Australia]

9 November 1938 -
A violent riot inciting persecution (and murder) of a minority happens in Nazi Germany. It is carried out by SS officers who ‘deport’ the Jews, and smash up their properties. The German civilians allow it to happen. We learn about it in school (“Kristallnacht”; Crystal Night), and we say we will never let it happen again.

9 November 2016 -
A president gets elected in the United States, who says illegal immigrants should be deported and persecuted. He says there will be a special deportation force to get rid of the Mexicans, and make sure the Muslims don’t get in. Riots ensue. The American people allowed this election result to happen.
A few decades from now, our children will learn about this in school (“Donald Trump’s presidency”), and we’ll say we thought it would never happen again.

December 22, 1916 - Ludendorff Urges Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Pictured - The U-boats are out!

There would be no peace in 1916. Allied victories on the Western Front had been balanced by German triumphs in the East, and the Entente powers had resoundingly rejected Germany’s proposals of peace. If anything, the conflict would intensify in 1917, in no small part because on December 22 General Ludendorff advocated to the German government the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare.

Admiral von Holtzendorf wrote a letter to the Kaiser calling for Ludendorff’s plan, explaining that submarines, unrestricted by the rules of war, could cut England off from its food supplies and starve it out of the war. What he did not mention was that it would also mean almost certain American entry into the war, but the German leadership calculated that they could knock England out of the war before the Americans joined. It was going to become a battle for time. Nevertheless, the German civilian government had little room to protest the increasingly dictatorial rule of the generals.

Tito’s communist partisans photographed after captured by Prinz Eugen Division in Croatia in the summer of 1943. The Germans referred to them as “terrorists” and “bandits” engaged in guerrilla warfare, and they only goal was to terrorize and murder Germans and its Allies, civilians, collaborators and anyone believed of supporting the occupying power, as well as destroying everything that they can reach. They were financed, supplied and assisted by the Soviet Union, UK and U.S. Nonetheless, all partisans captured in enemy uniform or civilian clothing or surrendering during combat were treated in principle as prisoners of war.


GERMANY. Nordhausen. April 1945. Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. A series of posts for all the Nazi apologists and Holocaust revisionists/negationists. [Part 1 of 5]

(1) (2) (3) Hundreds of bodies clad in grey and white striped prison uniforms are laid out in rows at Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. This is what US troops found after they took control of the camp.

(4) Dying prisoners.

(5) A Polish boy and his father bury the corpse of the boy’s grandmother who died at Nordhausen.

(6) National Archives description: “These two staring, emaciated men are liberated inmates of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. The camp had from 3,000 to 4,000 inmates. All were maltreated, beaten and starved”. April 12, 1945.  

(7) (8) (9) Supervised by American soldiers, German civilians from the town of Nordhausen bury the corpses of prisoners found at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in mass graves. The Allies insisted that the male citizens of Nordhausen bury the dead. Although the German civilians denied knowledge of the conditions in the camps, the Allies suspected they were fully aware of the situation. The camps and tunnels were less than two miles from the town of Nordhausen.

Photographs: United States Army Signal Corps/Library of Congress/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Mittelbau-Dora (aka Dora-Mittelbau, Nordhausen and Nordhausen-Dora) was a German Nazi concentration camp located near Nordhausen in Germany. It was established in late summer 1943 as a subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp, supplying labour for extending the nearby tunnels in the Kohnstein and for manufacturing the V-2 rocket and the V-1 flying bomb. In the summer of 1944, Mittelbau became an independent concentration camp with numerous subcamps of its own.

There were no sanitary facilities except for barrels that served as latrines. Inmates (the majority of them from the Soviet Union, Poland or France) died from hunger, thirst, cold and overwork. The prisoners were subject to extreme cruelty. As a result they often suffered injuries, including permanent disability and disfigurement, and death. Severe beatings were routine, as was deliberate starvation, torture and summary executions. Common causes of death also included tuberculosis, pneumonia, starvation, dysentery, and trauma.

In early April 1945, as US troops were advancing, the SS decided to evacuate most of the Mittelbau camps. In great haste and with considerable brutality, the inmates were forced to board box cars. Several trains, each with thousands of prisoners, left the area through 6 April for Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück (other concentration camps). Others were forced to walk through the Harz hills towards the northeast. Those unable to keep up with these death marches were summarily shot by the guards. The worst atrocity occurred at Gardelegen, known as the Gardelegen massacre. More than 1,000 prisoners from Mittelbau and Neuengamme subcamps were murdered in a barn that was set on fire. Those who were not burned alive were shot by SS, Wehrmacht and men of the Volkssturm.

Overall, although no reliable statistics on the number of deaths on these transports exist, estimates put the number of prisoners killed at up to 8,000.

As most of the camps of the Mittelbau system were completely evacuated, there were not many prisoners left alive to be liberated by the Allies. Only some small subcamps, mostly containing Italian POWs were not evacuated. The SS also left several hundred sick prisoners at Dora and in the Boelcke-Kaserne. They were freed when US troops reached Nordhausen on 11 April 1945. There were also around 1,300 dead prisoners at the barracks.

War correspondents took pictures and made films of the dead and dying prisoners at Dora. Like the documentation of Nazi atrocities at Bergen-Belsen, these were published around the globe and became some of the best-known testimonies of Nazi crimes.

The protective-custody camp leader, SS-Obersturmfuhrer Hans Karl Moeser, was sentenced to death by hanging. In his trial statement he said:

“The same way, with the same pleasure, as you shoot deer, I shoot a human being. When I came to the SS and had to shoot the first three persons, my food didn’t taste good for three days, but today it is a pleasure. It is a joy for me.”

In total, even conservative estimates put the number of people who did not survive being sent to Mittelbau-Dora at over 20,000. Thus, around one in three of those confined here did not survive.

Today, the site hosts a memorial and museum.


GERMANY. November 1989. Fall of the Berlin Wall. West German soldiers atop the Wall (picture 1). Berliners manifest their joy (pictures 3 & 4). East Berliners, visiting the West, arrive at the border sector between East and West Berlin (last picture). [Part 1]

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos


Fox News just doubled down on Ben Carson’s Holocaust-gun control argument

Ben Carson amped up the gun rights rhetoric this week by saying if German civilians were better armed, Adolf Hitler’s chances to pull off genocide “would have been greatly diminished.” Now, Keith Ablow, a Carson booster and regular Fox News contributor, has taken Carson’s views even further. Blow portrays the Jewish population in Europe as passive at best and complicit in their own destruction at worst.

One big issue though? The Jewish people of Europe did resist, often with the same ferocity he seems to think they lacked. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has on record over 100 separate armed rebellions. In almost every occasion, the survivors were liquidated.

“A French man and woman fight with captured German weapons as both civilians and members of the French Forces of the Interior took the fight to the Germans, in Paris in August of 1944, prior to the surrender of German forces and the Liberation of Paris on August 25.”


“Lt. Col. Ed Seiller of Louisville, Kentucky, stands amid a pile of Holocaust victims as he speaks to 200 German civilians who were forced to see the grim conditions at the Landsberg concentration camp, on May 15, 1945.”