[Benton Bradberry’s 2012 book, “The Myth of German Villainy” is a superb, must-read, revisionist look at how the German people have been systematically, relentlessly and most importantly, unjustly vilified as the arch criminal of the 20th century. Bradberry sets out, cooly and calmly as befits a former US-Navy officer and pilot, to show why and how the German people have been falsely accused of massive crimes and that their chief accuser and tormenter, organized jewry is in fact the real party guilty of monstrous crimes against Germans and the rest of the world — KATANA.]
NOTE: The author has very generously given me permission to reproduce the material here — KATANA.
The Myth of
Benton L. Bradberry
Front and Back Cover Text
Neither Kaiser Wilhelm nor Adolf Hitler wanted war. Both WWI and WWII were thrust upon Germany by the Allied powers. Germany’s great sin was emerging too late as a consolidated nation-state and upsetting the long established balance of power scheme in Europe. The already established great powers, Britain, France and Russia, joined together in 1914 to destroy this new rival. When Germany rose phoenix-like from the ashes of WWI to again become a great power, they finished. the job with World War II. The deliberate destruction of Germany during the Second World-War can only be compared to the Roman destruction of ancient Carthage, and it was done for the same reason — to destroy a commercial rival. The “official” history of World Wars I & II, the story we learned in school, is a myth.
As the title “The Myth of German Villainy” indicates, this book is about the mischaracterization of Germany as history’s ultimate “villain“. The “official” story of Western Civilization in the twentieth century casts Germany as the disturber of the peace in Europe, and the cause of both World War I and World War II, though the facts don’t bear that out.
During both wars, fantastic atrocity stories were invented by Allied propaganda to create hatred of the German people for the purpose of bringing public opinion around to support the wars. The “Holocaust” propaganda which emerged after World War II further solidified this image of Germany as history’s ultimate villain. But how true is this “official” story? Was Germany really history’s ultimate villain? In this book, the author paints a different picture. He explains that Germany was not the perpetrator of World War I nor World War II, but instead, was the victim of Allied aggression in both wars. The instability wrought by World War I made the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia possible, which brought world Communism into existence. Hitler and Germany recognized world Communism, with its base in the Soviet Union, as an existential threat to Western, Christian Civilization, and he dedicated himself and Germany to a death struggle against it. Far from being the disturber of European peace, Germany served as a bulwark which prevented Communist revolution from sweeping over Europe. The pity was that the United States and Britain did not see Communist Russia in the same light, ultimately with disastrous consequences for Western Civilization. The author believes that Britain and the United States joined the wrong side in the war.
About the Author
Benton L. Bradberry served as an officer and aviator in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1977, from near the beginning of the Cold War to near its end. His generation was inundated with anti-German propaganda and “Holocaust” lore. Then, in his role as a naval officer and pilot, he was immersed in anti-Communist propaganda and the war psychosis of the Cold War era. He has had a life-long fascination with the history of this period and has read deeply into all aspects of it. He also saw much of Europe during his Navy years and has travelled widely in Europe since. A natural skeptic, he long ago began to doubt that the “propaganda” told the whole story. He has spent years researching “the other side of the story” and has now written a book about it. The author is a graduate of the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California with a degree in Political Science and International Relations.
Chapter 1 – The Myth of Germany as an Evil Nation
Chapter 2 – Aftermath of the War in Germany
Chapter 3 – The Jewish Factor in the War
Chapter 4 – The Russian Revolution of 1917
Chapter 5 – The Red Terror
Chapter 6 – The Bolshevik Revolution Spreads throughout Europe
Chapter 7 – The Nation of Israel
Chapter 8 – Jews in Weimar Germany
Chapter 9 – Hitler & National Socialists Rise to Power
Chapter 10 – National Socialism vs. Communism
Chapter 11 – Jews Declare War on Nazi Germany
Chapter 12 – The Nazis and the Zionists actually work together for Jewish Emigration out of Germany
Chapter 13 – Life in Germany under Hitler
Chapter 14 – Hitler Begins Reclamation of German Territory
Chapter 15 – The 1936 Olympics
Chapter 16 – “Anschluss.” The unification of Austria and Germany
Chapter 17 – Germany annexes the Sudetenland
Chapter 18 – War with Poland
Chapter 19 – The Phony War
Chapter 20 – Germany invades France through the Low Countries. The Phony War Ends.
Chapter 21 – The Allied Goal? Destruction of Germany!
Chapter 22 – Germany as Victim
Chapter 23 – Winners and Losers
I served in the United States Navy from 1955 until 1977, mostly as a Navy pilot, and saw a lot of the world as a result. Aircraft carriers on which I served regularly visited European ports, as well as other ports around the world. I have also traveled extensively in the years since leaving the Navy.
After traveling around most of Europe, Germany emerges as my favorite country. During our visits there we found the German people to be pleasant, industrious, disciplined and civilized with many similarities to traditional Americans. They in no way resemble the stereotypes depicted in all the anti-Nazi movies, books and articles we have been subjected to over the years.
I was born in 1937, my generation grew up virtually inundated with anti-German propaganda. We were taught, quite literally, to hate the Germans as a people. Yet, Germans I have met or befriended through the years seem no different from other Europeans, or even Americans, and they seem no more inclined to violence and militarism than anyone else; if anything, less. I have never detected anything that might be considered intrinsically “wrong” with the German character. They are a highly cultured, highly civilized people in every respect. When studied objectively, even Germany’s leaders of the 1930s and 40s were essentially no different from other European leaders. They were only made out to be different by the relentless hate propaganda directed against them.
Germany suffered more than any other country by far as a result of World War II. Some 160 of her largest cities and towns were completely destroyed by the Allied bombing campaign and more than 21 million Germans lost their lives as a result of the war. Yet, no one wants to hear their tales of suffering, and no sympathy has been allowed the defeated and disgraced Germans. The anti-German propaganda has cultivated the general feeling that they got what they deserved.
The entire responsibility for starting both World War I and World War II, and for all the death and destruction resulting from them has been assigned to the Germans (though the facts don’t bear that out). Because they were the losers of both wars, they were never permitted to present their case before the world court, nor to tell their side of the story through any medium. The winners of wars, after all, write the history books. Neither did the true story of what happened during the war come out in the Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trials were nothing more than Soviet style show trials which violated every standard of traditional British and American justice. Their purpose was not to discover guilt or innocence, but to spread a legal gloss over a decision which had already been made to execute Germany’s leaders. The entire Nuremberg circus was a sham and a travesty.
The anti-German propaganda, used to create the climate of hatred that made the massive destruction and the mass slaughter of German civilians possible, continued relentlessly long after the war was over when it would seem natural for sober minded historians to begin to moderate their extreme views about Germany. The fantastic atrocity stories continue even today. One needs only to tune in to the History Channel to see them repeated again and again. In contrast, World War I was not long over before the atrocity stories attributed to the Germans during that war were exposed as the deliberate lies they were. Responsible men conducted thorough investigations and found that none of it was true. All the lurid stories were deliberately fabricated to win British public support for the war against Germany and also to bring America into the war.
But a different factor was in play after World War II to keep the phony horror stories alive which did not exist after World War I. After WWII, the Jews exploited the anti-German world sentiment, which they themselves had largely created with their propaganda, to justify the creation of their long sought after state of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. These manufactured horror stories also served to disarm critics of Jews as they set about to regain power and control in Europe.
Through manipulation of the international information media, the Jews won worldwide sympathy for themselves with their sensational stories of unique Jewish suffering at the hands of the cruel Germans. They claimed that Germany had followed a systematic plan to exterminate all of Europe’s Jews and that by war’s end had managed to kill 6 million of them. The alleged method was to round the Jews up from all over Europe, haul them in sealed trains to so-called “death camps” where they were herded into gas chambers and killed, and their bodies then burned in giant crematoria, with, conveniently, no forensic evidence of what had happened left behind. In the absence of forensic evidence, eye witness testimony, no matter how bizarre, sufficed to convict Germany and to make her the pariah of civilized nations.
The judges at the Nuremberg Trials were themselves not immune to the torrents of anti-German hate propaganda, and were already predisposed before the trials ever began to believe any horror story, no matter how fantastic, about the Germans. Another factor which preordained the outcome of the trials was that the accusers also served as investigators, prosecutors and final judges. Moreover, the trials were also permeated throughout with an atmosphere of Jewish vengeance seeking. Just behind the Gentile front men, most of the lawyers, prosecutors, and investigators were Jews. Hundreds of Jews who could barely speak English disported themselves in American Army officer uniforms. Two of the eight Nuremberg judges were Jews, Robert Falco of France, and Lt. Col. A.F. Volchkov (real name Berkman) of the Soviet Union. The General Prosecutor for the “High Court” was Dr. Jakob Meistner, a Jew. Their dominance and control of the trials was blatant. Even the hangman for the 10 Nazi leaders sentenced to death, Master Sergeant John C. Woods, was a Jew. As a demonstration of just how blatant their dominance was, they scheduled the hangings to take place on October 16, 1946, the Jewish holiday of “Purim.” In the Book of Esther, the 10 sons of Haman, an enemy of the Jews, were hanged on Purim day. On Purim day in 1946, 10 German leaders were hanged. This was obviously not a coincidence.
According to Louis Marschalko, a wartime Hungarian journalist who wrote about the trials:
“Out of 3,000 people employed on the staff at the Nuremberg Courts, 2,400 were Jews.”
The Holocaust story that we all know so well today was developed during the Nuremberg Trials.
By skillfully cultivating and propagating this Holocaust story, the Jews have been able to extort hundreds of billions of dollars out of Germany, as well as the United States, much of which was used to fund the new state of Israel. The claim that the Jews in Israel “made the desert bloom” was true. They did it with German and American money. They are now hard at work extorting more billions out of other European countries in what has been contemptuously but correctly called “the Holocaust industry.”
Even today, 70 years after the war, more than half a million so-called “Holocaust survivors” living mainly in Israel and the United States receive lifetime pensions from the German government. And what is a “Holocaust survivor?” Any Jew who lived anywhere in German controlled territory at any time during the war, whether living in a concentration camp or in the lap of luxury, is a Holocaust survivor and therefore eligible for a German pension. Moreover, any Jew who was forced to leave Europe during the Nazi era (even if he is a Hollywood producer) is a Holocaust survivor, and also eligible for a German pension. Some 4.39 million Jews were originally designated “Holocaust survivors.” Christian survivors of the war, no matter how horrific their experience are not eligible for pensions. “Shoah” is the Hebrew word for Holocaust. It has been joked around that “there’s no business like shoah business.” The entire Holocaust racket has become nothing so much as a vast shakedown of European countries, especially Germany. The Holocaust story has other uses as well. It is routinely invoked to disarm the general public from defending itself against Jewish predations. Prime Minister Netanyahu regularly invokes the Holocaust to justify Israeli attacks upon its neighbors, and the confiscation of its neighbors’ lands.
Keeping this gravy train moving requires the continued legitimization of Jews as history’s ultimate victim group, which, in turn, requires an ultimate victimizer of the Jews, and Germany has been designated to fill that role in perpetuity. The Jewish controlled History Channel, or the “Hitler Channel,” as it is sometimes derisively called, owes its success to endlessly repeating these anti-German propaganda programs. Any modification or revision of this carefully cultivated image of Germany as the evil monster of history, and particularly as the evil victimizer of the Jews, would threaten the entire Holocaust story. Therefore this image is jealously and carefully guarded by the Jewish controlled press and information media, and woe upon anyone who dares to question it. Anyone who does so is immediately attacked and smeared as a deranged anti-Semite. As a result of Jewish pressure, some 17 countries have made questioning, or even investigating, the Holocaust a crime which can get one a prison sentence.
The Jews are also unwilling to relinquish or even to moderate their quest for revenge. Old men who have suffered all their lives as fugitives, are still being tracked down as “war criminals,” and either “brought to justice,” or summarily murdered on the spot. (The MOSSAD, Israel’s equivalent of our CIA, is an assassination organization.) The only crime these old men may be guilty of was being an officer or soldier in the German army during the war.
But, why, one might ask, amidst all the carnage, death and destruction that occurred during World War II, has the so-called Holocaust emerged as the central atrocity story? Approximately 55 million people died during the war, only a tiny percentage of them Jews ― surely only a fraction of the 6 million claimed. All other combatant nationalities have long since put the war behind them and have tried to make peace with their former enemies, but not the Jews! More than two thirds of a century has gone by, but the Jews are still nourishing their grievances, still building Holocaust museums and memorials (not at their own expense, but at the expense of host governments), and still investigating new ways to extort money out of various countries as “compensation.” But why should only the Jews be compensated? Scores of millions of other people across Europe lost everything in the war.
The “Holocaust” has evolved over the years to become the national myth of the Jewish people with all the characteristics of a religion, complete with its very own Satan ― Hitler. The Holocaust myth is the glue that holds the Jewish people together as a distinct nationality, and because of that they carefully guard and protect it. As a consequence, the poor Germans are consigned in perpetuity to the role of history’s evil monster, regardless of what the actual facts may be.
But even if all the stories of German atrocities during WWII were true in every detail (which they are not), they would still not compare in their inhumanity to the atrocities committed against the Germans. The indiscriminate saturation bombing of German cities, the brutal expulsion of entire German populations after the war, the Allied imposed postwar deprivations, the Soviet massacres and political liquidations, simply dwarf the Holocaust in their destruction of human life and their destruction of the accumulated works of human civilization. Any final accounting and balancing of the conduct of all combatants during WWII could only result in the exculpation of Germany as “uniquely” barbarous in her methods of waging war, or in her treatment of subject populations.
The German people were devastated by the war, to a greater extent than any other participant, including the Jews, while at the same time they have been stigmatized as the evil, predatory perpetrators of the war. They have been made to pay a terrible price for atrocities during World War II which very probably never occurred, or at least, never occurred to the extent alleged. It is becoming clearer as time goes by that the Germans were the real victims of both World Wars I and II, and continue to be.
The Myth of Germany as an Evil Nation
As the result of losing two apocalyptic world wars, Germany has acquired a reputation as the evil nation of Europe, and, perhaps the evil nation of all time. Just mentioning the word “German” still brings forth an image in the mind’s eye of robotic, goose-stepping storm troopers, under the command of stiff-necked Prussian officers, ready to march off to inflict gratuitous murder and destruction upon their peace loving neighbors. We have been brainwashed by relentless propaganda to regard the Germans as intrinsically militaristic, aggressive, brutish, racist and anti-Semitic, with a predilection for blind obedience to authority figures. Hundreds of Hollywood movies, relentless Holocaust propaganda, and countless books and magazine articles have permanently reinforced this negative image of Germany in the popular mind. Rational motives for the inexplicable horrors Germans are accused of having routinely committed are not required. It is axiomatic that their evil nature explains it all.
Consider the movie, “Schindler’s List,” by the Jewish director, Stephen Spielberg, for example. The Nazi commandant of the concentration camp (supposedly the Plaszow camp outside of Krakow, not far from Auschwitz), is standing shirtless on the balcony of his house with a hunting rifle over his bare shoulders. The rifle is equipped with a telescopic sight. In the movie, the house is located on a hill above the camp so that he can look down on the throngs of prisoners milling around in the compound below. He lifts the rifle to his shoulder and through the telescope begins casually scanning from one prisoner to another. The image through the telescope now fills the movie screen. The crosshairs of the scope stop on a randomly selected prisoner. He pulls the trigger and the prisoner drops to the ground, dead.
[Image — The actor Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth in the fictional story Schindler’s List, picking off camp inmates from his balcony.]
The screen then cuts back to the Nazi commandant to show bored insouciance as he actuates the bolt of his rifle and casually raises it back to his shoulder. He fires again, and again a prisoner drops to the ground, dead. Bored with his “target practice,” he turns his attention to the beautiful, sexy, naked woman lying on a bed just inside the house from the balcony. The woman is purportedly one of his Jewish housemaids selected from the camp, who also apparently serves as his sex slave. His face expresses disdainful, though lackadaisical, cynicism.
The point of the shootings, as well as bringing in the naked, Jewish housemaid, is to show the Nazi officer as totally depraved, without conscience, morality, or empathy for other humans; in short, a psychopath. It is presumed, of course, that the murdered prisoners were all Jews. Two popular Jewish themes are combined here: Nazi evil and Jewish persecution.
This episode is entirely fictional, based on a novel by Thomas Keneally, an Australian, who only visited the concentration camps once in 1980. No such actual event as described above has ever been recorded, yet the vast majority of movie goers swallow it whole and accept it as actual history.
The real Plaszow camp was located on the other side of a hill from the commandant’s house, and completely out of sight from the commandant’s balcony. It would have been impossible for him to shoot down into the compound as shown in the movie even if he had been inclined to do so, which is highly unlikely. The actual commandant of Plaszow, Amon Goeth, on which the character in the movie was based, lived in the house with his fiancé Ruth Kalder, with whom he had a child. Ruth said that they intended to marry but were unable to do so due to the chaos at the end of the war. She had her name and the child’s name changed to Goeth after the war with the help of Amon Goeth’s father. Amon Goeth was hanged after the war by the Polish government primarily for being a member of the Nazi party and a member of the Waffen-SS, not for shooting prisoners. Ruth described Amon Goeth as a cultured man who had a beautiful singing voice. Goeth did, indeed, have two Jewish housemaids, selected from the camp while he was commandant, but there is no information that he had untoward relations with them. That story was only included to add spice to the movie.
Another example is the movie, “Sophie’s Choice,” by another Jewish director, Alan J. Pakula, in which “Sophie” and her two small children are sent to Auschwitz (Auschwitz is the holy temple of Holocaust lore). During the “selection” process (the “selection” is now one of the “stations of the cross” of the Holocaust religion) immediately after their arrival, Sophie is told by a stereotypically evil Nazi officer (supposedly Dr. Joseph Mengele of Auschwitz notoriety) that she can only keep one of her children and that the other must go to the gas chamber. She is forced to choose which one to keep and which one to be sent to the gas chamber, hence, “Sophie’s choice.” The evil Nazi officer provides no reason or explanation for requiring one child to die or for forcing her to make this heart rending choice. That he is an “evil” Nazi is presumed to be explanation enough. This preposterous movie was based on a novel by the American Southern writer William Styron, who had no firsthand knowledge of the camps. Auschwitz was simply used as the setting for a tale which came out of his imagination. Nothing of the sort ever happened in real life. Yet, evil Nazi stories such as these have long been a staple in Hollywood. The movie-going public has been so conditioned by this poppycock that fiction has become fact in the public mind. We have all been brainwashed to accept such absurdities without skepticism. Germans are “evil,” so they do “evil” things. No further explanation needed.
Yet, Germany was not always seen in this light. The image of Germany as a sinister, predatory, warlike nation only took root in the twentieth century. Nineteenth century Germany, by contrast, was seen as a place of peace and enlightenment. The English historian, Frederic William Maitland, described the way the English people saw the Germans during the nineteenth century:
“…it was usual and plausible to paint the German as an unpractical, dreamy, sentimental being, looking out with mild blue eyes into a cloud of music and metaphysics and tobacco smoke.”
The highly influential French writer and Salon matron, Madame de Stael, portrayed the Germans during the period of the Napoleonic Wars as a nation of;
“poets and thinkers, a race of kindly, impractical, other-worldly dreamers without national prejudices and disinclined to war.”
The Americans also held a benign opinion of the Germans prior to the twentieth century. The American historian, Henry Cord Meyer, wrote,
“…whether seen in their newly united nation [Germany was united into one nation in 1871] or in this country [German immigrants in the United States], the Germans were generally regarded as methodical and energetic people who were models of progress, while in their devotion to music, education, science, and technology they aroused the admiration and emulation of Americans.”
In 1905 Andrew Dickson White, a noted American historian, educator, and United States Ambassador to Germany, wrote just nine years before the outbreak of World War I:
“Germany, from a great confused mass of warriors and thinkers and workers, militant at cross-purposes, wearing themselves out in vain struggles, and preyed upon by malevolent neighbors, has become [after consolidation] a great power in arms, in art, in science, in literature; a fortress of high thought; a guardian of civilization; the natural ally of every nation which seeks the better development of humanity.”
The German people have historically made great contributions in every sphere of cultural, intellectual, and scientific achievement. In the field of music, there were such eighteenth century geniuses as Bach, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann, to name a few. This musical genius continued in the nineteenth century with the Strausses, Mahler and Richard Wagner. There were the literary contributions of Goethe and Schiller; the historical works of Ranke and Niebuhr; the philosophical studies of Kant and Hegel; and the great scientific contributions of Alexander von Humboldt and William Conrad Roentgen. These are only a few examples of a very long list. The Prussian system of higher education and the cultural flowering which characterized Prussia during the years following the Napoleonic wars greatly influenced both Europe and America. The American public school system as well as our university system was deliberately modeled after the Prussian public school system and university system. Germany was admired by the world as a center of learning, for its high culture and for its achievements in every field; but also for its culture of honesty, hard work, orderliness and thrift, which existed even at the lowest level of society.
British scholars and journalists had been very favorably disposed toward all things German, including their history, culture, and institutions throughout the nineteenth century. The highly respected Cambridge historian Herbert Butterfield commented extensively on Britain’s high regard for Germany.
“In England the view once prevailed that German history was particularly the history of freedom, for it was a story that comprised federation, parliament, autonomous cities, Protestantism, and a law of liberty carried by German colonies to the Slavonic east. In those days it was the Latin States which were considered to be congenial to authoritarianism, clinging to the Papacy in Italy, the Inquisition in Spain and the Bonapartist dictatorships in militaristic France. The reversal of this view in the twentieth century, and its replacement by a common opinion that Germany had been the aggressor and enemy of freedom throughout all the ages, will no doubt be the subject of historical research itself someday, especially as it seems to have coincided so closely with a change in British foreign policy … Up to the early 1900’s when historical scholarship in England came to its peak in men like Acton and Maitland, words can hardly describe the admiration for Germany ― and the confessed discipleship ― which existed amongst English historians.”
And then British author Thomas Arnold (June 13, 1795 – June 12, 1842) saw Germany not as a nation with a unique predisposition toward authoritarianism and regimentation, but rather as a “cradle of law, virtue, and freedom,” and considered it a “distinction of the first rank” that the English belonged to the Germanic family of peoples. The following photos and drawings represent the way in which the world saw Germany during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, right up to the beginning of World War I. Pre-WWI Germany was seen as a peaceful land of fairy tales and dreamy castles, and of industrious, law abiding, disciplined people.
Germany’s positive image changes over night
This view of Germany was to change almost overnight with the outbreak of World War I. After the war began in 1914 a grotesque image of a rapacious, bloodthirsty and uniquely aggressive Germany quickly took form and became the stereotypical image of Germany in Europe and America. This new image of Germany was the direct result of a virulent anti-German propaganda campaign conducted by the British government and later joined by the United States government in which deliberate and systematic lies, distortions and false atrocity stories were disseminated to the British and American publics. The emotions of both the British and American publics were deliberately whipped up to a fever pitch of hatred for the “Hun.” A pathological hostility towards all things German, which later became such a familiar and integral part of Western thinking about Germany, had its birth in this skillful propaganda campaign. After World War Two, historian Harry Paxton Howard examined this transformation of Germany’s reputation which began immediately after the start of WWI.
It was made out, he said, that Germany was not only evil but had always been that way, and that Germany, contrary to the facts, had always been the historical enemy of Europe and America. He wrote:
“Actually, in the literal sense of the word, the biggest job of revising history was done during the First World War when our ‘histories’ were completely revised to show that Germany had always been our enemy, that Germany had started the war in 1914, that Germany had even started the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and that in the Revolutionary War we had not been fighting the British but the Hessians ― not to mention such things as the Germans cutting the hands off Belgian babies, instead of the Belgians cutting off the hands of Congolese. This was a real revision of our histories which has distorted the American mind for more than forty years.” Harry Paxton Howard.
All belligerents, of course, including Germany, used propaganda against their enemies, as all belligerents have done in all wars throughout history, but the propaganda efforts of Germany and the Central Powers were amateurish and ineffectual compared to the British. In their propaganda efforts, the Germans tended to appeal to reason instead of to the emotions.
They never portrayed their enemies as bloodthirsty, inhuman beasts. The Allies, Great Britain in particular, by contrast, proved themselves masters at adroitly manipulating world opinion by widespread propagation of fantastic tales of German villainy. From the beginning of the war, stories of German atrocities filled British and American newspapers. (American newspapers depended at that time on British news services for most of their news stories about Europe, which came across undersea cables controlled by Britain. The Germans had no access to the American media. Great Britain made sure of that by cutting Germany’s six trans-Atlantic cables to America.)
The first atrocity stories came out of the German march through Belgium at the beginning of the war. Germany’s purpose was not to attack Belgium, per se, but to pass through Belgium in order to outflank French defenses and then make a drive toward Paris. This strategy was known as the Schlieffen Plan, which the Germans believed was the only way to achieve a quick victory over France.
Germany’s “violation” of neutral Belgium served as Britain’s pretext for going to war against Germany, though the decision to go to war for other reasons (mainly economic) had already been made. Belgium was only a pretext. To enter the war, it was necessary to win public support, and the propaganda opportunities resulting from Germany’s invasion of Belgium, as well as the fabricated stories of German atrocities in Belgium served that purpose. “Eyewitnesses” were found who described hairy knuckled Huns in Pickelhaube helmets tossing Belgian babies in the air and catching them on their bayonets as they marched along, singing war songs. Stories of German soldiers amputating the hands of Belgian boys were widely reported (reputedly to prevent them from firing rifles). Tales of women with their breasts cut off multiplied even faster. There were also tales of crucifixions of Allied soldiers. Europeans and Americans were more religious then than they are today and the crucifixion stories aroused outrage. (It should be mentioned that of all forms of evidence accepted in modern courts of law, eyewitness testimony is considered the least reliable.)
But rape stories were the favorite of all atrocity tales. One “eyewitness” described how the Germans dragged twenty young women out of their houses in a captured Belgian town and stretched them on tables in the village square, where each was raped by at least twelve “Huns” while the rest of the soldiers watched and cheered.
After being fed a steady diet of this kind of propaganda, the British public veritably demanded revenge against the loathsome Hun. A group of Belgians toured the United States (at British government expense) telling these stories to Americans. (Britain wanted to draw the United States into the war.) President Woodrow Wilson solemnly received the group in the White House.
The propaganda portrayed Britain as “a knight on a white horse” coming to the defense of violated, neutral Belgium. This was cynical manipulation of public opinion, of course, because if Germany had not violated Belgian neutrality, Britain would have done so without a second thought.
Germany angrily denied all of these stories. So did American reporters who were with the German army and knew that they were lies. But these denials did not find their way into American newspapers. The British controlled what went into American papers and it was the British who were generating the atrocity stories. To enhance the credibility of these fantastic atrocity stories, the British government asked Viscount Bryce early in 1915 to head a royal commission to conduct an investigation. The British government, of course, intended that Bryce would support this false propaganda, which he obediently did. Bryce was a well known historian with a good reputation in America. He not only had served as the British ambassador in Washington, but had written several complimentary books about the American government. The British knew that he was highly respected and admired in America, and that he had a reputation for rectitude and honesty. America would believe whatever he said. Bryce was also intensely loyal to his own country and therefore perfect for the job.
False anti-German propaganda poster of World War I
The propaganda poster shown at left [above] and in the following pages are examples of the way in which the British portrayed their German foes — always as brutish, barbaric murderers of women and children.
Following these British propaganda posters are German propaganda posters against the British, French and Russians. Note the different styles. The Germans do not portray their foes as barbaric murderers.
An innocent Belgian girl about to be raped by a Hun.
Following are German propaganda posters directed against the British, French and Russians. Note that the Germans use ridicule against their enemies but do not portray them as inhuman beast.
The cartoon characters represent (L to R): Great Britain, France and Russia, and far right, Germany.
[Patience! You all will get it!]
[Beloved fatherland, relax!]
Bryce and his six fellow commissioners, all lawyers, historians and legal scholars, “analyzed,” if you can call it that, 1,200 depositions of “eyewitnesses” who claimed to have seen these German atrocities first hand. Almost all of the eyewitness accounts came from Belgians who had left Belgium for England as refugees, though some accounts also came from British soldiers in France. The commission never interrogated a single one of these eyewitnesses, but relied on their written statements instead (shades of the Nuremberg Trials after the next war). Since there was a war on, there were no “on site” investigations of any reported atrocity. Not a single witness was identified by name, including the soldiers who had provided written accounts. Yet, the commission officially confirmed that all the atrocity stories, no matter how fantastic, were true. This bogus investigation was just another part of Britain’s anti-German propaganda campaign.
[Image — The Bryce Report and its author, James Bryce.]
The “Bryce Report” was released on May 13, 1915, and the British government made sure it went to every newspaper in America. The impact was phenomenal, especially coming just after the torpedoing of the British liner Lusitania which caused the deaths of 135 Americans.
Americans from coast to coast were outraged. A wave of revulsion for all things German swept the country. Hatred of Germans reached fever pitch. Suddenly the American public was clamoring for war. (There is well founded suspicion that the Lusitania was set up as a decoy by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, deliberately exposing it to a German submarine attack for the purpose of bringing America into the war).
But there were skeptics of the Bryce Report. In England, Sir Roger Casement called the report a lie, and wrote a report of his own refuting it, though no one paid much attention to it. The American lawyer, Clearance Darrow, was so skeptical that he travelled to France in 1915 and searched in vain for a single eyewitness who could confirm even one of the Bryce stories. Increasingly dubious, Darrow announced that he would pay $1,000, equivalent to around $25,000 today, to anyone who could produce a Belgian boy whose hands had been amputated by a German soldier, or any other Belgian or French victim who had been mutilated by German troops. None were found.
The “proofs” provided by the Bryce Committee in its investigation, as well as the methods employed in gathering them, violated every elementary rule of evidence. Careful scholars have long since demonstrated that the entire report was made up of nothing more than distortions and outright falsehoods. But Britain was determined to pull the United States into the war and Bryce and his colleagues were willing accomplices in that effort. They justified their lies and exaggerations because it served the higher cause of Mother England. After the war most historians dismissed 99 percent of Bryce’s atrocities as fabrications. One called the report “in itself one of the worst atrocities of the war.” “After the war,” recounts Thomas Fleming in his book Illusion of Victory;
“historians who sought to examine the documentation for Bryce’s stories were told that the files had mysteriously disappeared.”
[Image — Kaiser (to a 1917 recruit). “And don’t forget that your Kaiser will find a use for you—alive or dead.” Punch, 25 April 1917.]
As the war drew on, another fabricated story was widely circulated. It was reported that the Germans were operating a “corpse factory” where the bodies of both German and Allied soldiers killed in battle were supposedly melted down for fats and other products useful to the German war effort. The Germans were accused of making soap out of human fat. Human skins were used to make fine leather goods such as lampshades, driving gloves and riding breeches. The bones of these corpses were said to have been ground up and used as fertilizer on German farms.
A detailed account of this so-called “corpse factory” appeared in the highly respected British newspaper, The Times, on April 17, 1917.
According to the story, trains full of corpses arrived at a large factory. The bodies were attached to hooks connected to an endless chain. The article carefully described the process inside the corpse factory.
“The bodies are transported on this endless chain into a long, narrow compartment, where they pass through a bath which disinfects them. They then go through a drying chamber, and finally are automatically carried into a digester or great cauldron, in which they are dropped by an apparatus which detaches from the chain. In the digester they remain from six to eight hours, and are treated by steam, which breaks them up while they are slowly stirred by the machinery. From this treatment result several products. The fats are broken up into stearin, a form of tallow, and oils, which require to be redistilled before they can be used. The process of distillation is carried out by boiling the oil with carbonate of soda, and some of the by-products resulting from this are used by German soap makers. The oil distillery and refinery lie in the south-eastern corner of the works. The refined oil is sent out in small casks like those used for petroleum, and is of a yellowish brown color.” Note the meticulous detail.
The story was a total fabrication, but it was a “plausible” story, especially with all the detail, and it was not possible for the Germans to completely refute it while the war was still going on. After the war, of course, the story was exposed as the lie it was. No such corpse factory existed. It is interesting that the story of making soap out of bodies emerged again during World War II when the Germans supposedly made soap out of Jewish corpses. That lie is still widely believed and remains a staple of Jewish Holocaust propaganda. The “lampshades out of human skin” story also had its origin in World War I and emerged again during World War II when Germans were supposedly making lampshades out of Jewish skin. There was nothing to it, yet it also remains a staple of Jewish Holocaust propaganda.
“The purpose of war propaganda,” historian Thomas Fleming, in his book “The Illusion of Victory,” observes;
“as peddled by both the Anglo and American elite, was to create a widespread public image of Germans as ‘monsters capable of appalling sadism’ ― thereby coating an appeal to murderous collective hatred with a lacquer of sanctimony.”
“The trick,” said Fleming, “is to leave the target audience at once shivering in horror at a spectacle of sub-human depravity, panting with a visceral desire for vengeance, and rapturously self-righteous about the purity of its humane motives. People who succumb to it are easily subsumed into a hive mind of officially sanctioned hatred, and prepared to perpetrate crimes even more hideous than those that they believe typify the enemy.”
[Image — The Illusion of Victory by Thomas Fleming (2003)]
The Bryce Report as well as all the other anti-German propaganda unquestionably helped England win the war. It convinced millions of Americans and other neutrals that the Germans were beasts in human form, and this, as much as anything else, helped bring America into the war. But there were adverse consequences to this lurid atrocity propaganda campaign. It poisoned public opinion against the Germans to such an extent that it could not be undone. It was an obvious factor, for example, in the British decision to maintain the total blockade of Germany for seven months after the war was over, which, incidentally, was a violation of international law. The blockade caused a million German civilians to starve to death, and unbearable suffering of millions more. The blockade itself was far and away the greatest atrocity of World War I, though it receives very little publicity, and it was done, not by the evil Germans, but by the saintly British.
By creating blind hatred of Germany, the anti-German propaganda campaign also contributed to the harsh peace terms imposed on Germany at the end of the war, which then sowed the seeds of World War II. Though historians and other scholars have exposed these German atrocity stories as nonsense, the image of German villainy has remained fixed.
The benign world opinion of Germany which existed right up to 1914 was replaced overnight by the myth of unique German savagery which left a permanent residue of Germanophobia deep in Western minds. This explains why “our boys” were so willing to obliterate whole German cities and kill hundreds of thousands of German civilians with air bombardments during the Second World War. This hate propaganda, as false as it was, also had the effect of totally demoralizing the German people.
[END of Part 01]
Version 1: Oct 1, 2016 — Created post.