New book recounts Soviet genocide of two million East Germans in 1945
Modern genocides are rooted in past cover-ups. Author cites 1945 slaughter of German women and children as evidence. Editor.
In 10 countries, men, women and children are being killed as part of systematic “genocide, ‘politicide’ or mass atrocities,” according to Genocide Watch’s recently updated list.
In Syria, pro-democracy protesters and civilian bystanders are being bombed, shot and starved by their government’s security forces. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three to five million civilians, mostly women and girls, have been raped and murdered and in North Korea, labor camps house 500,000 domestic and political prisoners, and non-party members are starved and undergo forced abortions.
“Many people don’t realize that genocide is occurring every day all over the world,” says Renata Reinhart, author of In the Course of My Life, an account of the little-known Soviet genocide of two million Eastern Germans in 1945, committed with the complicity of England and the United States.
“It’s something we should all be deeply concerned about – any of us can become the next victims,” Reinhart says.
One hallmark of genocide is that the perpetrators deny it, says Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and the International Association of Genocide Scholars. They use tactics such as questioning and minimizing the statistics; blaming renegade forces; claiming self-defense; and/or claiming deaths were inadvertent and not intentional.
Allowing the killers to deny the massacres ensures future slaughters, Stanton says.
“Studies by genocide scholars prove that the single best predictor of future genocide is denial of a past genocide coupled with impunity for its perpetrators,” he says. “Genocide deniers are three times more likely to commit genocide again than other governments.”
In the case of the 1945 ethnic cleansing of Eastern Germany, Russian soldiers were given license to launch a “Revenge without Mercy” on the civilian populations of East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania and other parts of Eastern Europe, Reinhart says.
“It’s documented; it’s just been ignored, concealed and forgotten,” she says, noting Nobel Prize-winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a captain in the Red Army who witnessed the atrocities and recounted them in his poem, “Prussian Nights.”
A survivor of the slaughter, Margot Serowy, tells her story in paintings at MargotSoweryFineArt.com.
Anticipating Germany’s defeat in World War II, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin considered the territories he would eventually claim and decided they should be cleared of all Germans, Reinhart says. Soldiers in the Red Army were encouraged to burn, loot, pillage, rape and kill to drive the Germans out of those areas beginning in January 1945.
“England’s prime minister, Winston Churchill, was informed of the plan and referred to it – approvingly – in 1944 as ‘these population tranferences,’ ’’ Reinhart says.
“Churchill personally ordered the massive bombing and destruction of East Prussia’s capital Konigsberg for no justifiable strategic reason and a few months later, the British bombed and leveled Dresden, killing 30,000 to 40,000 civilians. These attacks helped pave the way for Stalin’s genocide.”
The “revenge” soldiers, she added, were supplied with food, trucks, Jeeps and other vehicles by the United States.
“Because the victims were German, it was all right to rape children and murder women. No one tried to stop it,” Reinhart says. “And, apparently, it’s all right to kill men, women and children in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma – the rest of the countries on the Genocide Watch list.
“We need to hold the perpetrators accountable. That’s the first step to stopping these atrocities.”
About Renata Reinhart: Renata Reinhart is the pen name of the author, a scholar of World War II history who spent years researching the Red Army’s march across Eastern Europe in 1945.