In the war of 1914-18 the British people were whipped up into a hideous frenzy of hatred,
they were fed on preposterous lies about crucified Belgian babies
and German factories where corpses were made into margarine...
a four years' orgy of lying and hatred.
POSTWAR ATROCITIES TO GERMANY
I am not happy with schemes to partition Germany,
enrol millions of Germans in forced-labour gangs and
impose reparations which will make the Versailles reparations
look like bus fare.
AS I PLEASE, by George Orwell
Tribune, March 31, 1944
"...This whole business of taking vengeance on traitors and captured enemies raises questions which are strategic as well as moral. The point is that if we shoot too many of the small rats now we may have no stomach for dealing with the big ones when the time comes. It is difficult to believe that the Fascist régimes can be thoroughly crushed without the killing of the responsible individuals, to the number of some hundreds or even thousands in each country. But it could well happen that all the truly guilty people will escape in the end, simply because public opinion has been sickened beforehand by hypocritical trials and cold-blooded executions.
In effect this was what happened in the last war. Who that was alive in those years does not remember the maniacal hatred of the Kaiser that was fostered in this country? Like Hitler in this war, he was supposed to be the cause of all our ills. No one doubted that he would be executed as soon as caught, and the only question was what method would be adopted. Magazine articles were written in which the rival merits of boiling in oil, drawing and quartering and breaking on the wheel were carefully examined. The Royal Academy exhibitions were full of allegorical pictures of incredible vulgarity, showing the Kaiser being thrown into Hell. And what came of it in the end? The Kaiser retired to Holland and (though he had been 'dying of cancer' in 1915) lived another twenty-two years, one of the richest men in Europe....
Whether we do or don't shoot the Fascists and quislings who happen to fall into our hands is probably not very important in itself. What is important is that revenge and 'punishment' should have no part in our policy or even in our day-dreams. Up to date, one of the mitigating features of this war is that in this country there has been very little hatred. There has been none of the nonsensical racialism that there was last time — no pretence that all Germans have faces like pigs, for instance. Even the word 'Hun' has not really popularized itself. The Germans in this country, mostly refugees, have not been well treated, but they have not been meanly persecuted as they were last time. In the last war it would have been very unsafe, for instance, to speak German in a London street. Wretched little German bakers and hairdressers had their shops sacked by the mob, German music fell out of favour, even the breed of dachshunds almost disappeared because no one wanted to have a ''German dog'. And the weak British attitude in the early period of German rearmament had a direct connexion with those follies of the war years.
Hatred is an impossible basis for policy, and curiously enough it can lead to over-softness as well as to over-toughness. In the war of 1914-18 the British people were whipped up into a hideous frenzy of hatred, they were fed on preposterous lies about crucified Belgian babies and German factories where corpses were made into margarine: and then as soon as the war stopped they suffered the natural revulsion, which was all the stronger because the troops came home, as British troops usually do, with a warm admiration for the enemy. The result was an exaggerated pro-German reaction which set in about 1920 and lasted till Hitler was well in the saddle. Throughout those years all 'enlightened' opinion (see any number of the Daily Herald before 1929, for instance) held it as an article of faith that Germany bore no responsibility for the war. Treitschke, Bernhardi, the Pan-Germans, the 'nordic' myth, the open boasts about 'Der Tag' which the Germans had been making from 1900 onwards — all this went for nothing. The Versailles Treaty was the greatest infamy the world has ever seen: few people had even heard of Brest-Litovsk. All this was the price of that four years' orgy of lying and hatred.
Anyone who tried to awaken public opinion during the years of Fascist aggression from 1933 onwards knows what the aftereffects of that hate propaganda were like. 'Atrocities' had come to be looked on as synonymous with 'lies'. But the stories about the German concentration camps were atrocity stories: therefore they were lies — so reasoned the average man. The left-wingers who tried to make the public see that Fascism was an unspeakable horror were fighting against their own propaganda of the past fifteen years.
That is why...I am not happy when I see trials of 'war criminals', especially when they are very petty criminals and when witnesses are allowed to make inflammatory political speeches. Still less am I happy to see the Left associating itself with schemes to partition Germany, enrol millions of Germans in forced-labour gangs and impose reparations which will make the Versailles reparations look like a bus fare. All these vindictive day-dreams, like those of 1914-18, will simply make it harder to have a realistic post-war policy. If you think now in terms of 'making Germany pay', you will quite likely find yourself praising Hitler in 1950. Results are what matter, and one of the results we want from this war is to be quite sure that Germany will not make war again. Whether this is best achieved by ruthlessness or generosity I am not certain: but I am quite certain that either of these will be more difficult if we allow ourselves to be influenced by hatred.
AS I PLEASE, by George Orwell
Tribune, January 17, 1947
"...I hope everyone who can get access to a copy will take at least a glance at Victor Gollancz's recently published book, In Darkest Germany. It is not a literary book, but a piece of brilliant journalism intended to shock the public of this country into some kind of consciousness of the hunger, disease, chaos and lunatic mismanagement prevailing in the British Zone. This business of making people conscious of what is happening outside their own small circle is one of the major problems of our time, and a new literary technique will have to be evolved to meet it. Considering that the people of this country are not having a very comfortable time, you can't, perhaps, blame them for being somewhat callous about suffering elsewhere, but the remarkable thing is the extent to which they manage to remain unaware of it. Tales of starvation, ruined cities, concentration camps, mass deportations, homeless refugees, persecuted Jews — all this is received with a sort of incurious surprise, as though such things had never been heard of before but at the same time were not particularly interesting. The now-familiar photographs of skeleton-like children make very little impression. As time goes on and the horrors pile up, the mind seems to secrete a sort of self-protecting ignorance which needs a harder and harder shock to pierce it, just as the body will become immunized to a drug and require bigger and bigger doses....
Half of Victor Gollancz's book consists of photographs, and he has taken the wise precaution of including himself in a good many of them. This at least proves that the photographs are genuine and cuts out the routine charge that they have been obtained from an agency and are 'all propaganda'....
Churchill's most heionous, barbaric war crime, from Michael Walsh, Witness to History, Historical Review Press 1996, photographs from Victor Gollancz, In Darkest Germany, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London 1947
WAR ATROCITIES SPECTACLE and NUREMBERG HANGINGS UNCIVILIZED and ORWELL'S TRIBUNE WAR WRITINGS
Orwell reviews Hitler's Mein Kampf 1940 (wants it put on record never able to dislike Hitler). Spectator, May 28, 2012
watch THE REAL GEORGE ORWELL (documentary by biographer DJ Taylor), YouTube
Austria arrests British Holocaust denier (said Auschwitz gas chambers a hoax; Jews died from typhus not gas) & David Irving an acclaimed historian (accused of anti-semitism for saying Jews are enemies of free speech). CBC/BBC, Nov 23, 2005
German Propaganda Archive, Calvin College
HOLOCAUST DENIER DEPORTED
NOT JUST GERMANY GUILTY and DARK SIDE OF RED ARMY'S LIBERATION OF GERMANY
CRIMES AND MERCIES, by James Bacque
...He shows us the dreadful statistics of the calamities inflicted by the victors on the Germans after the Second World War...
Expulsion of Germans After WWII, by Wikipedia Encyclopedia
The expulsion of Germans after World War II was the mass deportation of people considered Germans from Soviet-occupied areas outside the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, and is a major part of the German exodus from Eastern Europe after World War II. The process, which aimed to ethnically homogenize nation states, began before the Potsdam Conference, which would call for it to be conducted in an "orderly and humane manner". Due to the postwar atmosphere of chaos, famine, disease and killing casualties were high. The estimated number varies by source, from circa 500,000 to over 2 million. The German deportation and migration affected up to 16.5 million Germans and was the largest of several similar post-World War II migrations orchestrated by the victorious Western Allies and the Soviet Union, which included the resettlements and expulsions of millions of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews.
German citizens remaining after the war, some of whom had become German citizens during the war, and people considered ethnic Germans were expelled from areas in present-day Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia (Vojvodina region), the German province of Eastern Prussia, the later Kaliningrad Oblast, and other East European countries, whose borders — as well as those of Germany itself — were changed after the war, sometimes drastically and with little input from any government, as was the case of Poland. Many German citizens fled in fear of the Soviet Red Army. Some were persecuted because of their activities during the war; others were persecuted solely because of their ethnicity....
Up to 12.4 million Germans of the postwar population were forced to leave....In line with nationalisation made towards all citizens in communist countries property in the affected territory that belonged to Germany and Germans was confiscated and redistributed.
The Potsdam Agreement called for equal distribution of the transferred Germans between American, British, French and Soviet occupation zones in Germany. In actuality, twice as many expelled Germans found refuge in the occupation zones that later formed "West Germany" than in "East Germany", and large numbers went to other countries of the world, many to the United States.
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