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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/bacque.james/bacque.003

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Gerhard Weinberg on Bacque's "Other Losses"

Archive/File: people/b/bacque.james bacque.003
Last-Modified: 1994/07/01

In the July 7, 1991 issue of the Washington Post Book World, on page 4, 
Gerhard L. Weinberg, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of History at the 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of numerous 
books and articles on World War II reviewed the second edition of 
Bacque's "Other Losses."  Here are some excerpts from the review:

          "If the book is unconvincing, it is because it so obviously 
     flies in the face of reality.  The decision to treat German 
     prisoners as a new category originated with the British, not the 
     Americans, out of a concern over the anticipated desperate need to 
     feed millions of refugees, displaced persons, and hungry civilians 
     in a Europe wracked by almost six years of war.  Although the new 
     epilogue does refer to 'the widespread food shortages of 1946,' in 
     the original text these shortages had miraculously vanished.  The 
     disruption of Europe's economy, with whose results Eisenhower had 
     to cope, can hardly be blamed on him.

          "When he repeatedly pleaded for more food shipments to cope 
     with the terrible food situation in the Europe of the spring and 
     summer of 1945, Eisenhower faced two further, related problems of 
     which Bacque appears unaware.  There still was a war going on, and 
     much shipping was engaged in the redeployment of forces to the 
     Pacific theatre....  Shipping in turn had been reduced by the 
     German effort to starve out Britain; the ships sunk earlier did not 
     rise back to the surface after V-E day to carry food from the United 
     States and Canada to those who had sent them to the bottom.

          "Bacque's statistical extrapolations raise several questions 
     the book makes no effort to answer.  Where are the hundreds of 
     thousands of bodies and why have they not turned up...?  Why have 
     the relatives of the missing millions not applied for and received 
     the death certificates that are so essential for German families 
     for purposes of inheritance, pension, remarriage, etc.?"

Weinberg does not deny that there was suffering on the part of German 
POWs, and episodes of brutality on the part of their captors.  However, 
his conclusion on Bacque is: 

          "When researchers after the original appearance of Bacque's 
     book found that he had put words in the mouth of an elderly key 
     witness who has since repudiated his testimony, Bacque in the new 
     epilogue denounces them.  When they pointed to a 1945 report that 
     showed the bulk of the "other losses" were members of the 
     *Volksturm* or people's militia - schoolboys and the elderly - who 
     had been released without formal discharges, he declares in his new 
     Appendix 11 that this was a bit of fakery concocted by Eisenhower 
     to conceal the deaths.  As a true believer in his own fables, 
     Bacque cannot be convinced by evidence."

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