July 17, 2011

General Patton’s Experiences in Occupied Germany

The famous American four-star General Patton was in charge of American forces in north Africa, where Germany had allocated forces to aid the Italians against the British. Patton had been very gung-ho about the war in the beginning, but when he became military governor of occupied Bavaria, his views changed.

General George S. Patton, together with German General Erwin Rommel recognized as the most brilliant tank commander in history
Patton had already bitterly opposed Roosevelt’s orders that the U.S. Army hold back and allow the Soviet Union to take German, Czech, Romanian, Hungarian and Yugoslav territory. Just before the German capitulation in May 1945 he was alarmed by Roosevelt’s plan to partially demobilize the U.S. Army, even as the Soviet Union was advancing. He told U.S. Secretary of War Robert Patterson: 
“Let's not give them [the Soviets] time to build up their supplies. If we do, then . . .  we have had a victory over the Germans and disarmed them, but we have failed in the liberation of Europe; we have lost the war!”
Once in Germany, General Patton became disgusted with the Soviet commissars. He wrote in his diary on May 14: 
I have never seen in any army at any time, including the German Imperial Army of 1912, as severe discipline as exists in the Russian army. The officers, with few exceptions, give the appearance of recently civilized Mongolian bandits.” He told his wife: “If we have to fight them, now is the time. From now on we will get weaker and they stronger.”
Patton’s aide, General Hobart Gay, likewise noted: “Everything they [the Russians] did impressed one with the idea of virility and cruelty.”

At this time the Jews came flooding back into Germany, riding with the U.S. Army and with the Soviets. They were called Displaced Persons, and the Americans built camps for them. Patton was shocked by their behavior:
“These people do not understand toilets and refuse to use them except as repositories for tin cans, garbage, and refuse . . . They decline, where practicable, to use latrines, preferring to relieve themselves on the floor.”
He described in his diary one DP camp: 
“where, although room existed, the Jews were crowded together to an appalling extent, and in practically every room there was a pile of garbage in one corner which was also used as a latrine. The Jews were only forced to desist from their nastiness and clean up the mess by the threat of the butt ends of rifles. Of course, I know the expression ‘lost tribes of Israel’ applied to the tribes which disappeared – not to the tribe of Judah from which the current sons of bitches are descended. However, it is my personal opinion that this too is a lost tribe – lost to all decency.”
Patton had to attend a Jewish religious service at General Eisenhower’s insistence. He wrote in his diary on September 17, 1945:
“This happened to be the feast of Yom Kippur, so they were all collected in a large, wooden building, which they called a synagogue. It behooved General Eisenhower to make a speech to them. We entered the synagogue, which was packed with the greatest stinking bunch of humanity I have ever seen. When we got about halfway up, the head rabbi, who was dressed in a fur hat similar to that worn by Henry VIII of England and in a surplice heavily embroidered and very filthy, came down and met the General . . . The smell was so terrible that I almost fainted and actually about three hours later lost my lunch as the result of remembering it.”
Orders came down that the American army throw out more Germans from their homes and give them to Jews. Patton wrote in September:
“Evidently the virus started by Morgenthau and Baruch of a Semitic revenge against all Germans is still working. Harrison [a U.S. State Department official] and his associates indicate that they feel German civilians should be removed from houses for the purpose of housing Displaced Persons. There are two errors in this assumption. First, when we remove an individual German we punish an individual German, while the punishment is – not intended for the individual but for the race. Furthermore, it is against my Anglo-Saxon conscience to remove a person from a house, which is a punishment, without due process of law. In the second place, Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews, who are lower than animals.”
Evidently the virus started by Morgenthau and Baruch of a Semitic revenge against all Germans is still working.
Patton also refused to treat SS soldiers worse than other war prisoners. When he told a journalist so in confidence, asking for it not to be printed, the journalist published it anyway, and the media seized on this to howl their rage at Patton. Others were more eager to carry out the wishes of those in power. Brigadier General Philip S. Gage wrote to Patton:
Of course, I know that even your extensive powers are limited, but I do hope that wherever and whenever you can you will do what you can to make the German populace suffer. For God's sake, please don't ever go soft in regard to them. Nothing could ever be too bad for them.
Patton still tried to do what he thought was right, but his hands were tied. Roosevelt forced him to throw out more than a million Germans from their homes and give them to Jewish Displaced Persons (who had apparently survived the killing of the Six Million). But Patton objected strongly when he was asked to blow up German factories, as part of the Morgenthau Plan to destroy Germany’s economic basis forever. He wrote in his diary:
“I doubted the expediency of blowing up factories, because the ends for which the factories are being blown up – that is, preventing Germany from preparing for war – can be equally well attained through the destruction of their machinery, while the buildings can be used to house thousands of homeless persons.”
Meanwhile, it should be noted, British soldiers took all the German machinery they could get their hands on for shipment back to Britain. In the east, the Soviets did the same.

General Patton was also troubled by the persecution of all former members of the NSDAP, more than seven percent of the German people. He wrote to his wife:
“I am frankly opposed to this war-criminal stuff. It is not cricket and is Semitic. I am also opposed to sending POWs to work as slaves in foreign lands, where many will be starved to death.”

Patton still followed orders, but he tried to soften them. He wrote again to his wife:

“I have been at Frankfurt for a civil government conference. If what we are doing [to the Germans] is ‘Liberty’, then give me death. I can’t see how Americans can sink so low. It is Semitic, and I am sure of it.”
“I can’t see how Americans can sink so low. It is Semitic, and I am sure of it.”

Patton wrote about German slaves in his diary:
“Today we received orders . . . in which we were told to give the Jews special accommodations. If for Jews, why not Catholics, Mormons, etc? . . . We are also turning over to the French several hundred thousand prisoners of war to be used as slave labor in France. It is amusing to recall that we fought the Revolution in defense of the rights of man and the Civil War to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles.”
General Patton visited all parts of Germany, and compared the Germans he met to the French, the Belgians, the Italians and the British. He became convinced that the war had been fought against the wrong people. After a visit to Berlin, he wrote to his wife on July 21, 1945:
“Berlin gave me the blues. We have destroyed what could have been a good race, and we are about to replace them with Mongolian savages. And all Europe will be communist. It’s said that for the first week after they took it [Berlin], all women who ran were shot and those who did not were raped. I could have taken it [instead of the Soviets] had I been allowed.”
His conviction grew in the following weeks. During a dinner with French General Alphonse Juin, he was surprised to find that they agreed. He quoted General Juin in his diary on August 18:
“It is indeed unfortunate, mon General, that the English and the Americans have destroyed in Europe the only sound country – and I do not mean France. Therefore, the road is now open for the advent of Russian communism.”
He wrote again to his wife on August 31:
“Actually, the Germans are the only decent people left in Europe. It’s a choice between them and the Russians. I prefer the Germans.” And on September 2: “What we are doing is to destroy the only semi-modern state in Europe, so that Russia can swallow the whole.”
The press and the pro-Soviet American politicans now became increasingly hostile against Patton for his reluctance to “make the Germans suffer.” They called him “soft on Nazis,” and kept repeating an incident two years earlier when he had slapped a soldier who had been shirking his duty during the invasion of Italy. The media printed the false claim that he had called the soldier, who was Jewish, “a yellow-bellied Jew.”

“There is a very apparent Semitic influence in the press. They are trying to do two things: first, implement communism, and second, see that all businessmen of German ancestry and non-Jewish antecedents are thrown out of their jobs.
The media kept printing a quote by Patton, when he had been asked why he was not persecuting NSDAP members more: “The Nazi thing is just like a Democrat-Republican fight.” The New York Times turned this into a headline, and other newspapers picked it up. General Patton finally wrote in his diary about the Jewish nature of the media:
“There is a very apparent Semitic influence in the press. They are trying to do two things: first, implement communism, and second, see that all businessmen of German ancestry and non-Jewish antecedents are thrown out of their jobs. They have utterly lost the Anglo-Saxon conception of justice and feel that a man can be kicked out because somebody else says he is a Nazi. They were evidently quite shocked when I told them I would kick nobody out without the successful proof of guilt before a court of law . . . Another point which the press harped on was the fact that we were doing too much for the Germans to the detriment of the DP’s, most of whom are Jews. I could not give the answer to that one, because the answer is that, in my opinion and that of most nonpolitical officers, it is vitally necessary for us to build Germany up now as a buffer state against Russia. In fact, I am afraid we have waited too long.”
He wrote to his wife the same day:
“I will probably be in the headlines before you get this, as the press is trying to quote me as being more interested in restoring order in Germany than in catching Nazis. I can’t tell them the truth that unless we restore Germany we will insure that communism takes America.”
In response to the media campaign against Patton, Eisenhower, commander of all U.S. forces in Europe, fired Patton from his position as military governor. He “kicked him upstairs”, making him the commander of the Fifteenth Army. Patton wrote to his wife that he was not entirely unhappy about this, because “I would like it much better than being a sort of executioner to the best race in Europe.”

“I have been just as furious as you at the compilation of lies which the communist and Semitic elements of our government have leveled against me and practically every other commander.
He continued to write in his diary that the U.S. Army was being politicized. He expressed his views to his friends, or those he thought were his friends. In a long letter to Major General James Harbord, who was back in the U.S., he condemned the Morgenthau policy, Eisenhower’s willingness to accommodate Jewish demands, the media’s pro-Soviet writings, the politization and corruption of the U.S. Army. He continued:
“I have been just as furious as you at the compilation of lies which the communist and Semitic elements of our government have leveled against me and practically every other commander. In my opinion it is a deliberate attempt to alienate the soldier vote from the commanders, because the communists know that soldiers are not communistic, and they fear what eleven million votes [of veterans] would do.
“All the general officers in the higher brackets receive each morning from the War Department a set of American [newspaper] headlines, and, with the sole exception of myself, they guide themselves during the ensuing day by what they have read in the papers.”
In his letter to Harbord, Patton vowed to fight those who were destroying the morale of the army and giving in to the Soviet Union:
“It is my present thought . . . that when I finish this job, which will be around the first of the year, I shall resign, not retire, because if I retire I will still have a gag in my mouth . . . I should not start a limited counterattack, which would be contrary to my military theories, but should wait until I can start an all-out offensive. . .”
Two months later, on December 23, 1945, General George S. Patton was killed when a 2.5-ton U.S. truck forced his car off the road. An accident, the media said. Today Patton is described as having become “increasingly erratic”. He is said to have been angered over not being allowed to fight in the Pacific (a sea war, not a tank war). In Patton: A Genius for War, the author Carlo d'Este writes that “it seems virtually inevitable ... that Patton experienced some type of brain damage from too many head injuries.” His observations from the occupation of Germany are never mentioned.