Joseph Hansen

British Documents, Long Withheld from the Public,
Show German People First Victims of Atrocities

(5 May 1945)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 18, 5 May 1945, p. 5.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2018 by Einde O’Callaghan.
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The propaganda campaign unleashed by the Allies over atrocities in the Nazi concentration camps is in strange contrast to their former official attitude. Although they were fully informed about these atrocities, they at first maintained a conspiracy of silence. They did not find it expedient to disclose the facts – because then the atrocities were committed almost exclusively against the German people. Later in the opening stage of the war they blamed the atrocities on the Nazi regime; not, as they do now, on the victims of that regime.

This is revealed by the Papers Concerning the Treatment of German Nationals in Germany, an official publication issued by the British Government in 1939.

In the introduction to these official documents, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs declares:

“These documents were not written for publication, and, indeed, so long as there was the slightest prospect of reaching any settlement with the German Government it would have been wrong to do anything to embitter relations between the two countries. Even after the outbreak of war His Majesty’s Government felt reluctant to take action which might have the effect of inspiring hatred.”

Here out of their own mouths the British imperialists admit that they had no serious objection to the savage regime of Hitler so long as it did not intrude on British prerogatives!

Pre-War Reports

The capitalist press is now filled with pictures showing the bodies of victims of Buchenwald. The British Consulate at Dresden, filed a report dated February 2, 1939, describing this camp according to eyewitness accounts. Here are some excerpts:

“He was taken to a concentration camp (Buchenwald, near Weimar) where there were about 10,000 Jews confined ... There was not even enough water to drink, and there were only twenty lavatories for 10,000 men ... Herr V. said that to the people in charge of this camp there were two classes of people, alive or dead, and that no consideration was paid to people who were old or sick.”

These victims were Germans.

Another report filed February 18, 1939, declares:

“In present-day Germany no word strikes greater terror in people’s hearts than the name of Buchenwald ... In Buchenwald the number of deaths, both of Jews and of Aryans, was far greater than in any of the other camps.”

These victims were Germans.

The prisoners at Buchenwald “included first of all the ‘politicals’ ....” That is, the political opponents of the Nazi regime. Another important category “were many poor devils at Buchenwald accused of having spoken abusively of the sacred person of the Fuhrer.”

In this official British government pamphlet, the blame for the savagery of the Nazi regime is not at all placed with the German people.

Bell, Consul-General at Cologne, on November 14, 1938, sent two anonymous letters to his superior in the belief that “the writers have so well stated the views of many Germans that I think them worth transmission.”

“The German folk have had nothing whatever to do with these riots and incendiarism,” declares the anonymous writer referring to a Nazi pogrom.

“The population of Cologne had absolutely nothing to do with this murderous arson and condemns it, as does also the whole German nation. These actions were ordered by the Government in Berlin ... Please take information amongst the Cologne people, and you will convince yourself that the German nation had nothing to do with these crimes and dissociates itself from this action of their Government.”

The British Consul-General at Frankfort-on-Main, Smallbones, reported December 14, 1938:

“I am persuaded that, if the Government of Germany depended on the suffrage of the people, those in power and responsible for these outrages would be swept away by a storm of indignation if not put up against a wall and shot.”

Thus as long ago as 1938 the British Government admitted that the German people were prepared to handle Hitler in the same way the Italian people handled Mussolini and his gang last week.


Last updated on: 7 November 2018