A major criticism of the German population was that they claimed they were not aware of the atrocities committed by their government. Senator Alben Barkley (D-KY) claimed, "It would tax the incredulity [sic] of any normal intelligent human being, to ask him or her to believe that these things existed without widespread knowledge among the German people themselves." Germans lived under a totalitarian regime where an unguarded comment might result in dire consequences. Yet in spite of this many people did know and those who didn't, didn't know because they did not want to know. A “free” society would react differently. However, R.M. Douglas points out in his manuscript, Orderly and Humane, the consequences of the Morgenthau Plan and the postwar settlement are almost completely unknown. He gives the example of Mary Fulbrooks’ History of Germany 1918-2008 in which she “disposes of the episode (the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe) in a single uninformative paragraph.” He further states, “The Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany is typical in not according the expulsions a single mention.” * The following manuscript chronicles events that should be commonly known but are not. Many of these events were and are denied by academics and professional historian who live in a free society. I will provide examples of comments made by professional historians that reveal either profound ignorance or malignant mendacity. I have attempted to provide an honest account of these events. I am aware of the importance of an author’s credibility. A sure method an author uses that will damage his credibility is to provide exact numbers for various casualties. No one can possibly determine with any accuracy how many people perished in a particular incident. Because of the passion aroused by this subject authors are prone to provide specific numbers. I have attempted to provide the high and low estimates. As an example, the bombing of Dresden by the RAF and USAAF is reported to have caused from 22,700 to 500,000 fatalities. The population of the city was estimated at 350,000 inhabitants at the time. It was swollen with an unknown number of refugees fleeing the Soviets. The RAF and USAAF reportedly dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosives and incendiary devices on the city causing a firestorm reducing it to a pile of rubble. It is unlikely that either figure approaches the actual casualty count.
I have used a wide variety of sources for this manuscript. I have attempted to avoid obviously extremist sources. I have relied primarily on biographies, autobiographies, Foreign Service publications and the works of respected historians. I advise the reader to check these sources carefully and be very skeptical about what is recorded. Even government documents have been sanitized and in many cases have disappeared completely. Autobiographies understandably have an agenda and biographers frequently have a vested interest in embellishing the reputations of their subjects.
*R. M. Douglas, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), p. 2.