Written by Vladimir Moss



     The long-expected sea-borne invasion of Western Europe by the Western Allied powers took place on June 6, 1944, ”D-Day”. Its success – against a formidable and well-prepared enemy - was by no means a foregone conclusion. After all, the only comparable sea-borne invasion in history – Kublai Khan’s invasion of Japan in 1280 - had ended in failure. After the Allies landed and consolidated their position, however, there was no longer any question about it: the Germans were going to lose the war, fighting as they now were on two fronts against vastly superior forces. Nevertheless, they fought on, partly out of professional pride and ingrained discipline, partly because their fanatical leader, in whom many of them still believed, ordered them to, and partly out of fear of falling into the hands of the barbarous Soviets, from whom they could expect no mercy. They fought well; and this fact, combined with Allied mistakes (for example, the attempt to take the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem), meant that the war continued much longer than expected, well into 1945. The result was a bloodbath, especially in the east, where the Soviets took Budapest and Berlin in scenes of apocalyptic horror, while the Anglo-Saxon powers stopped at the Elbe, as had been agreed.  And so “one third-of all German losses in the east took place in the last months of the war, when their sacrifice could serve no purpose save that of fulfilling the Nazi leadership’s commitment to self-immolation”.[1]

     The Red Army in its passage through Eastern Germany left behind an unparalleled trail of murder and rape. Soviet road signs pointed the way: “Soldier, you are in Germany; take revenge on the Hitlerites.”[2] As Richard Evans writes: “Women and girls were subjected to serial rape wherever they were encountered. Rape was often accompanied by torture and mutilation and frequently ended in the victim being shot or bludgeoned to death. The raging violence was undiscriminating. Often, especially in Berlin, women were deliberately raped in the presence of their menfolk, to underline the humiliation. The men were usually killed if they tried to intervene. In East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia it is thought that around 1,400,000 women were raped, a good number of them several times. Gang-rapes were the norm rather than the exception. The two largest Berlin hospitals estimated that at least 100,000 women had been raped in the German capital. Many caught a sexually transmitted disease, and not a few fell pregnant; the vast majority of the latter obtained an abortion, or, if they did give birth, abandoned their baby in hospital. The sexual violence went on for many weeks, even after the war formally came to an end. German women learned to hide, especially after dark; or, if they were young, to take a Soviet soldier, preferably an officer, as a lover and protector…”[3]

     On April 12 the German Philharmonic Orchestra gave its last concert, ending, appropriately, with Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. The twilight of the real-life gods of the Third Reich began on April 16 when Zhukov hurled 2.5 million men, 6,250 armoured vehicules and 7,500 aircraft at Berlin. They were opposed by some 45,000 SS and Wehrmacht troops with 40,000 Volkssturm and 60 tanks. Hitler committed suicide in his bunker, with only a portrait of Frederick the Great on the wall, hoping in vain for a repetition of Frederick’s “Brandernburg miracle”, when he was saved from Russian invasion by the death of Tsaristsa Elizabeth.

     Hastings sums up the sequel well: “Germany’s leaders had conducted a long love affair with death: in Berlin in April 1945, this achieved a final consummation.

     `’On 28 April Benito Mussolini was captured and shot by partisans while attempting to escape from northern Italy. On the afternoon of the 30th, as Russian troops stormed the Reichstag building four hundred yards from Hitler’s bunker, the leader of the Third Reich killed himself and his wife…

     “Most Germans received the news of Hitler’s death with numbed indifference… In the capital sporadic fighting persisted for two more days, until Berlin’s commandant Lt. Gen. Karl Wiedling surrendered on 2 May. 

     “A terrible quiet, the quiet of the dead and damned, fell upon the city…

     “Everywhere the Soviet victors held sway, they embarked upon an orgy of celebration, rape and destruction on a scale such as Europe had not witnessed since the seventeenth century.

     “Stalin was untroubled by the behaviour of his soldier towards the Germans – or to their supposedly liberated slaves. The Soviets saw no shame, such as burdens Western societies, about the concept of revenge. The war had been fought chiefly on Russian soil. The Russian people had endured sufferings incomparably greater than those of the Americans and British. As conquerors, the Germans had behaved barbarously, their conduct rendered the more base because they spoke so much of honour, and professed adherence to civilised values. Now the Soviet Union exacted a terrible punishment. The German nation had brought misery on the world, and in 1945 it paid. The price of having started and lost a war against a tyranny as ruthless as Stalin’s was that vengeance was exacted almost as mercilessly as those Hitler’s minions had imposed on Europe since 1939…”[4]


     However, vengefulness was not exclusively a characteristic of Stalin and the Soviets. It would also be a not inaccurate description of the policy of “unconditional surrender” that was agreed on by all the Allies at Yalta and which probably contributed more than any other single factor to the prolongation of the war. This policy, reminiscent of pagan Rome at its most savage, had first been floated by Roosevelt – and balked at by Churchill - at Casablanca in 1943; it became known as “the Morgenthau plan” after Roosevelt’s Jewish Secretary to Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, who, with his deputy, Harry Dexter White (a Soviet spy), formulated it in detail. 

     Count Leo de Poncins writes that, according to Dr. Anthony Kubek, the editor of the Morgenthau Diaries, “the objective of the Morgenthau Plan was to de-industrialize Germany and diminish its people to a pastoral existence once the war was won. If this could be accomplished, the militaristic Germans would never rise again to threaten the peace of the world. This was the justification of all the planning, but another motive lurked behind the obvious one. The hidden motive was unmasked in a syndicated column in the New York Herald Tribune in September 1946, more than a year after the collapse of the Germans. The real goal of the proposed condemnation of ‘all of Germany to a permanent diet of potatoes’ was the Communization of the defeated nation. ‘The best way for the German people to be driven into the arms of the Soviet Union,’ it was pointed out, ‘was for the United States to stand forth as the champion of indiscriminate and harsh misery in Germany’ (issue of 5th September 1946). And so it then seemed, for in a recent speech Foreign Minister Molotov had declared the hope of the Soviet Union to ‘transform’ Germany into a ‘democratic and peace-loving State which, besides its agriculture, will have its own industry and foreign trade’ (10th July 1946). Did Russia really plan on becoming the saviour of the prostrate Germans from the vengeful fate which the United States had concocted for them? If this was indeed a hidden motive in the Morgenthau Plan, what can be said of the principal planner? Was this the motive of Harry Dexter White? Was White acting as a Communist but without specific instructions? Was he acting as a Soviet agent when he drafted the plan? There is no confession in the Morgenthau Diaries in which White admits that he was either ideologically a Communist or actively a Soviet agent. But it is possible, given an understanding of Soviet aims in Europe, to reconstruct from the Diaries how White and certain of his associates in the Treasury worked assiduously to further those aims. From the Diaries, therefore, it is possible to add significant evidence to the testimonies of J. Edgar Hoover [head of the CIA] and Attorney General Herbert Brownell that Harry Dexter White was ideologically a Communist and actively a Soviet agent from the day he entered the service of the United States Government.”[5]

     The State Department had a very different plan, which was that there was to be no “large-scale and permanent impairment of all German industry”; instead it called for “eventual integration of Germany into the world economy”.[6] On hearing of it, Morgenthau flew to England in August, 1944 and managed to get General Eisenhower on his side. Finally, after strong opposition from State and War, Roosevelt came down on the side of Morgenthau, and at the Quebec Conference in September, an initially angry Churchill (he did not want to be “chained to a dead Germany”) was won over with the promise of a $6.5 billion loan…

     Foreign Secretary Hull wrote in his Memoirs: “The whole development at Quebec, I believe, angered me as much as anything else that had happened during my career as Secretary of State. If the Morgenthau Plan leaked out, as it inevitably would – and shortly did – it might well mean a bitter German resistance that could cause the loss of thousands of American lives.

     “… I still feel that the course proposed by the Treasury would in the long run certainly defeat what we hope to attain by a complete military victory, that is, the peace of the world, and the assurance of social, economic and political stability in the world… I cannot believe that they (the Treasury proposals) will make for a lasting peace. In spirit and in emphasis they are punitive, not, in my judgement, corrective or constructive. They will tend through bitterness and suffering to breed another war, not to make another war undesired by the Germans or impossible in fact… the question is not whether we want Germans to suffer for their sins. Many of us would like to see them suffer the tortures they have inflicted on others. The only question is whether over the years a group of seventy million educated, efficient and imaginative people can be kept within bounds on such a low level of subsistence as the Treasury proposals contemplate. I do not believe that is humanly possible… Enforced poverty… destroys the spirit not only of the victim but debases the victor… it would be a crime against civilization itself.”[7]

     Fortunately, the Morgenthau Plan was never fully realized; and after the war the generous Marshall Plan helped to place Western Europe back on its feet and prevent it from going Communist…[8] However, the Plan was leaked, and “as a result German resistance was strengthened. The Nazi radio was shouting day and night that the Germans would become starving peasants if they surrendered. General Marshall complained to Morgenthau that the leakage to the press was disastrous to the war effort, for nothing could have been greater in its psychological impact upon Germany than the news of Morgenthau’s coup at Quebec in September 1944. Until then there was a fair chance, according to intelligence reports, that the Germans might discontinue resistance to American and British forces while holding the Russians at bay in the east in order to avoid the frightful fate of a Soviet occupation. This could have shortened the war by months and could have averted the spawning of a malignant Communism in East Germany which has plagued Europe for the past twenty years. According to Lt.-Col. Boettiger, the President’s son-in-law, the Morgenthau Plan was worth ‘thirty divisions to the Germans’.”[9]

     The decisions of the Yalta Conference, with Morgenthau in attendance, turned out to be quite compatible with his Plan. However, there was still strong resistance from the Departments of State and War. And so, on March 21, the Jews wheeled in their biggest gun – the New York financier and close friend of the President, Bernard Baruch. 

     In a meeting with the War Cabinet, he “was asked where he stood on the German problem. According to Morgenthau’s report to his staff, Baruch replied that his recent trip to Europe had made him much stronger for the decentralization of Germany than when he left. The Treasury Plan was much too soft, Baruch said, and its author practically ‘a sissy’. He would ‘cut his (Clayton’s) heart out if he doesn’t behave himself’, the financial wizard declared, adding ominously: ‘he won’t be able to stay around Washington after I get through with him.’ Clayton had either to get ‘right’ on this German ‘thing’ or ‘leave town’. Baruch was adamant. ‘All I have got to live for now,’ he said, ‘is to see that Germany is de-industrialized and that it’s done the right way, and I won’t let anybody get in my way’. He became so emotional that tears came to his eyes. ‘I have never heard a man talk so strongly as he did,’ exulted Morgenthau, adding that he ‘got the feeling from Baruch that he realizes the importance of being friendly with Russia…’”[10]

     Indeed, the Jews around Roosevelt were now working hand-in-glove with the Soviets (and their numerous spies in the administration), determined to dismember, deindustrialize and communize Germany, extract huge reparations and make her workforce virtual slaves of the victors. This was a Carthaginian peace to make the “Carthaginian peace” of 1918 look like a picnic… However, in April Roosevelt died, and the new president, though a 33-degree Mason, did not like the Jewish plan. When Morgenthau asked to be joined to the delegation to Potsdam, and threatened to resign if he was not, Truman accepted his resignation. Jewish vengeance stalled…

     However, there were still 140 of “Morgenthau’s boys” from the Treasury in the military government in Germany, and during the surrender negotiations in May, the Allied Commander Eisenhower showed where his true sympathies lay …[11]

     Admiral Doenitz, Hitler’s successor, was desperate that as many Germans soldiers and civilians as possible should escape to the British and American zones of occupation – he knew about the Morgenthau Plan, but still considered the Anglo-Saxons a safer bet than the rampaging Bolsheviks in the east. However, the Morgenthau-influenced order of Joint Chiefs of Staff JCS 1067 ordered Eisenhower to stop at the Elbe, leaving the whole area to the east, including Berlin and Prague [where Vlasov’s Russian Army of Liberation was forced to surrender], to the Red Army. Doenitz’s conclusion, as he proclaimed on the radio on May 1, was that “as from this moment, the British and the Americans are no longer fighting for their own countries, but for the extension of Bolshevism in Europe”.

     It is hard to quarrel with this conclusion – though this was certainly not the conscious intention of any British or American commander on the ground.

     In his Memoirs Doenitz explained that “the latest operations which [Eisenhower] had ordered showed that he was not in the least aware of the turn taken by world politics at that moment. After his troops had crossed the Rhine at Remagen, America had achieved her strategic object of conquering Germany. From this moment the paramount objective should have become political, namely, the occupation of the largest possible area of Germany before the arrival of the Russians. Thus it would have been judicious for the American commander to have pushed rapidly east in order to be the first to seize Berlin. But Eisenhower did not do this. He kept to the military plan which had been drawn up for the destruction of Germany and its occupation in collaboration with the Red Army, and so he stopped at the Elbe. Thus the Russians were enabled to take Berlin and conquer whatever they could of eastern Germany. Perhaps this policy had been dictated by Washington, but he did not understand how radically the world situation was to be transformed from this moment…”[12]

     On May 5 Doenitz succeeded in negotiating a partial capitulation with the British General Montgomery. However, when his envoy flew on to see Eisenhower, the latter demanded immediate, unconditional surrender on all fronts, including the Russian. But the Germans were terrified to fall into Russian captivity, and Doenitz knew that his men would simply refuse to do it. Fortunately, however, General Jodl found a more understanding attitude in General Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, who extracted a delay of 48 hours. And so “between 5th of May, the date of the armistice concluded with the British, and 9th May, the date of the general capitulation, Admiral Doenitz, by means of all the resources at his disposal, succeeded in rescuing three million German soldiers and civilians, who thus escaped Russian slavery owing to the understanding of Field-Marshal Montgomery.”[13]

     But many were left behind to be captured. And so “obviously,” wrote Eisenhower in his Memoirs, “the Germans sought to gain time in order to bring back into and behind our lines the maximum number of men who were still fighting in the East. I began to have had enough. I ordered Bedell Smith to tell Jodl that if he did not immediately stop dragging out the negotiations, we would go so far as to use force in order to prevent the refugees from crossing.”[14] “This,” writes De Poncins, “in fact is just what the Americans did. Thus by his obstinate intransigeance, Eisenhower handed over hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even millions, of innocent Germans to the appalling Bolshevik tyranny – which, for the majority, meant either death or the concentration camps and, for the women, the prospect of certain violation.”[15] 


     Why did the Allies win? One can point to major strategic mistakes on Hitler’s part: his failure to finish off Britain in 1940, his declaration of war on the United States in 1941, his disdaining to ask his Japanese allies to invade the Soviet Union through Siberia, above all his invasion of the Soviet Union in 1942. But in the end it was the superior numbers of the Red Army on the eastern front, and the huge material and financial resources of the United States on the western front. According to Richard Overy in Why the Allies Won, the Second World War was decided by the Allies’ superior technology in the air, resulting in their air supremacy over Germany. Some technological innovations were important, such as the British invention of radar and the Soviet T-40 tank. But others, such as the German V-2 rockets and the American atomic bomb, came too late to influence the war’s outcome.

     Civilians were the biggest losers. Hastings writes: “Combatants fared better than civilians: around three-quarters of all those who perished were unarmed victims rather than active participants in the struggle.”[16] The millions killed by the Germans are well recorded. Well known, but not yet officially acknowledged by the states involved, are the hundreds of thousands of German civilians killed by the British and American bombers’ attacks on Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities, and the thousands of anti-Bolshevik Russians handed over to certain death at Stalin’s hands by the British and Americans at Lientz and other places. Not since Genghis Khan had civilians suffered so much by comparison with warriors.

     “What all this reminds us,” writes Ferguson, “is that in order to defeat an enemy they routinely denounced as barbarian the Western powers had made common cause with an ally that was morally little better [in fact worse] – but ultimately more effective at waging total war. ‘The choice before human beings,’ George Orwell observed in 1941, ‘is not… between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world: that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war, which is also evil… Whichever you choose, you will not come out with clean hands.’ Orwell’s Animal Farm is nowadays revered as a critique of the Russian Revolution’s descent into Stalinism; people forget that it was written during the Second World War and turned down by no fewer than four publishers (including T.S. Eliot, on behalf of Faber & Faber) for its anti-Soviet sentiments. Nothing better symbolized the blind eye that the Western powers now turned to Stalin’s crimes than the American Vice-President Henry Wallace’s visit to the Kolyma Gulag in May 1944. ‘No other two countries are more alike than the Soviet Union and the United States,’ he told his hosts. ‘The vast expanses of your country, her virgin forests, wide rivers and large lakes, all kinds of climate – from tropical to polar – her inexhaustible wealth, [all] remind me of my homeland… Both the Russians and the Americans, in their different ways, are groping for a way of life that will enable the common man everywhere in the world to get the most good out of modern technology. There is nothing irreconcilable in our aims and purposes.’ All were now totalitarians…”[17]

     This most evil of all wars defiled everybody involved in it at anything other than the lowest level. Perhaps the worst of all its evil consequences was he fact that the Soviets were able enormously to extend their utterly evil empire at the expense especially of God’s people, the peoples of the Orthodox Church – Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Serbian, Romanian and Bulgarian. Thus was fulfilled the Scripture: “So I looked and behold, a pale horse [khloros, “pale”, better translated as “flesh-coloured”]. And the name of him who sat on him was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given the over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sowrd, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6.8). The western democracies, which came into the war to fight the undoubted evil of Nazism, were defiled by their alliance with the still greater evil of Communism and imitated the God-haters in their evil. They forgot the apostolic word: “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6.14). And they forgot the last recorded words of Tsar Nicholas II, whose murder by his own people was the ultimate cause of this catastrophe, that evil is not overcome by evil, but only by good…


April 25 / May 8, 2020.

St. Mark the Evangelist.

75-th Anniversary of VE Day.


[1] Hastings, op. cit., p. 597.

[2] Daniel Goldhagen, Worse than War, London: Abacus, 2012, p. 443.

[3] Evans, The Third Reich at War, London: Penguin Books, 2009, pp. 710-711. It was not only the Germans who suffered this kind of treatment. After the Soviets conquered Budapest, “a large proportion of Budapest’s surviving women, of all ages from ten to ninety and including pregnant mothers, were raped by Red soldiers. The plight of the victims was worsened by the fact that many of the perpetrators were diseased…” (Hastings, op. cit., p. 604) “The American and British armies looted energetically and raped occasionally, but few men sought explicit revenge. The French, however, saw many scores to be paid” (op. cit., p.631).

[4] Hastings, op. cit., pp. 626, 627, 629.

[5] Kubek, in de Poncins, op. cit., p. 100.

[6] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 104.

[7] Hull, in De Poncins, op. cit., pp. 113, 114.

[8] See Jan Fleischhauer, “The Thirty Years’ War: How Peace Kept WW1 Alive”, Spiegel Online International, February 7, 2014.

[9] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 115.

[10] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 123.

[11] It should not be thought that Morgenthau’s boys were the only people to hold such Germanophobic sentiments. During the Blitz the diplomat Rober Vansitartt published Black Record, in which he described Germany as irredeemably evil and called for it to be destroyed and a fundamentally new country established in its place (Kirk Graham, “A Good Germany?” History Today, July, 2017, p. 8-11)

[12] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 69.

[13] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 72.

[14] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 72.

[15] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 72.

[16] Hastings, op. cit., p. 670.

[17] Ferguson, op. cit., pp. 532-533.

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