Written by Vladimir Moss



     Every year the Allied victories over Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II are celebrated in both East and West (VE Day, significantly, is on a different day in Russia). But how good and how real were those victories? And to what extent was justice done?

     Wars are to be judged by their aims, by the resources expended in human lives and suffering in order to attain those aims, and by their results. Let us apply these criteria to the Second World War.

     The war aims of the western victor nations were largely good: they were to crush three undoubtedly evil regimes – those of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Hirohito’s Japan – and liberate the populations enslaved by them. The resources they expended were, of course, great – but proportionately not greater than those expended in other wars, such as the First World War (for Britain and France) or the American Civil War (for the United States). But the results were very mixed. In Europe, Fascism was crushed and Western Europe saved. But Poland was not liberated – although this had been the casus belli for Britain and France. Moreover the whole of Eastern Europe except Greece was deprived of their Orthodox rulers and came under totalitarian rule. In Asia, the liberation of the Pacific was accomplished; but China soon (in 1949) came under the power of Mao…

     The war aim of the Soviets, if we count the war as starting from 1939, was undoubtedly evil: to divide up Poland with Hitler and take over the Baltic States and Finland. Their aim was largely achieved, with the addition of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina; only Finland slipped from their grasp (although she was attacked again in June, 1941). 50,000 prisoners from the Polish elite were killed by them at Katyn – a fact admitted only many decades later. Moreover, they acted with an unprecedented savagery even against their own people. Thus the NKVD killed many Gulag prisoners as they retreated in June, 1941; they executed 157,000 of their own soldiers (the figures for the Wehrmacht were 15-20,000[1]) and arrested almost a million more.[2] From June, 1941, when the Nazis invaded, the Soviet war aim changed to a defensive one and was therefore morally less dubious. (However, the former GRU agent Suvorov has argued that Stalin was about to launch a western offensive when Hitler anticipated him a few weeks earlier.[3]} The further Soviet war aims of subduing Germany with the utmost savagery, pillaging its wealth to the maximum and bringing as much of Europe as possible under communist rule, were undoubtedly evil.

     In 1945, the Red Army conquered Eastern Germany and Berlin, leaving behind an unparalleled path of murder and rape. 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…”[4]

     The Soviets justified themselves on the grounds of their right “to have a bit of fun”, as Stalin put it, at the expense of the Germans, who had been so cruel to them both on their own territory (about three million Russian POWs died in Nazi labour camps) and in the Soviet Union (where most of the twenty seven million who died were civilians killed by one side or the other).[5] But if vengeance has to be the law, then it can only be against the guilty, not against the innocent, and not against innocent women and children. However, the Soviet beast, being a hater of all men, spared nobody…

     The main result of the Soviet victory, therefore, apart from the crushing of Fascism, was unequivocally evil: to bring an enormous area from Berlin and Belgrade in the West to Vladivostok and Peking in the East under the power of communist totalitarianism, a Eurasian empire that exceeded all its historical predecessors in cruelty against man and blasphemy against the Most High God…


     The post-war division of Germany largely reflected what had been agreed at the Yalta Conference in February, 1945. As Bernard Simms writes: “Germany was divided into four occupation zones: Soviet, American, British and French. She was to pay extensive reparations, mainly in kind of such items as ‘equipment, machine tools, ships, rolling stock… these removals to be carried out chiefly for the purpose of destroying the war potential of Germany’. The British, Americans and Russians promised to ‘take such steps, including the complete disarmament, demilitarization and dismemberment of Germany as they deem[ed] requisite for future peace and security’. A joint Allied Control Council of Germany would administer the country after victory had been achieved.”[6]

     The terms dictated to Germany, unconditional surrender, were tough (Churchill was unpleasantly taken aback by them when Roosevelt first mentioned it in Morocco in 1943). In 1919 justice had not really been done: Germany had not really paid for starting the First World War, for invading neutral countries, for inventing the killing of civilians by aerial bombardment (from zeppelins), for wiping out whole nations (the Herero of South-West Africa), above all for destroying Orthodox Russia and releasing the revolution. After all, although Germany had lost millions of men, her own territory had not been touched… And, most importantly, she had not repented of her sins, but insisted, on the contrary, that a great injustice had been done to her… But in 1945 it was a different matter: after still greater sins, including the murder of “six million Jews (two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe), 3 million Russians, 3 million non-Jewish Poles, 750,000 Slavs, 500,000 Gypsies, 100,000 of the mentally ill, 100,000 Freemasons, 15,000 homosexuals and 5000 Jehovah’s Witnesses”[7], the German homeland was devastated, much of it occupied by the most barbarian army in history – that of the Soviet Union. This time it seemed that justice had been done.

     But did the Germans repent? At the beginning (in fact, until the 1960s) – hardly. In May, 1945 there were eight million Nazi Party members, and if all top Nazis had been put on trial and purged, as the Allies wanted, the whole country would have ground to a halt. Moreover, the Allies simply did not have the personnel to conduct a thorough denazification. So most former Nazis were removed from their posts for a short while and then returned to them. Moreover, many scientists and engineers were whisked away to America where they lived a good life working for the American military. This manifest injustice caused resentment and mockery among the Germans themselves, which did not encourage repentance.

     As Max Hastings writes: “Among Germans in the summer of 1945, self-pity was a much more prevalent sensation than contrition: one in three of their male children born between 1915 and 1924 were dead, two in five of those born between 1920 and 1925. In the vast refugee migrations that preceded and followed VE-day, over fourteen million ethnic Germans left homes in the east, or were driven from them. At least half a million – modern estimates vary widely – perished during their subsequent odysseys; the historic problem of Central Europe’s German minorities was solved in the most abrupt fashion, by ethnic cleansing.”[8]

     Tony Judt writes that “throughout the years 1945-49 a consistent majority of Germans questioned in a survey of the American zone took the view that ‘Nazism was a good idea badly implemented’. In November 1946, 37 per cent of Germans questioned in a survey of the American zone took the view that the extermination of the Jews and Poles and other non-Aryans was necessary for the security of Germans’.

     “In the same poll of November 1946, one German in three agreed with the proposition that ‘Jews should not have the same rights as those belonging to the Aryan race.’ This is not especially surprising, given that respondents had just emerged from twelve years under an authoritarian government committed to this view. What does surprise is a poll taken six years later in which a slightly higher percentage of West Germans – 37 percent – affirmed that it was better for Germany to have no Jews on its territory. But then in that same year (1952) 25 percent of West Germans admitted to having a ‘good opinion’ of Hitler…”[9]

     Nevertheless, however imperfect the process of denazification was, in the longer term it – and/or the experience of living under a very different regime - had a good effect. Later generations of Germans, even though they were born only during or after the war, felt a certain collective guilt for the sins of their fathers. And the extraordinary success story that is Germany since the war surely witnesses to the fact that they had learned their lesson and that God had withdrawn His chastening hand…

     The Nuremburg war trials have been condemned as “victors’ justice”. If this is taken to mean that the legal process was often unwieldy, that it proved difficult for the victors to obtain completely convincing evidence in all cases, that they invented new crimes unknown to jurisprudence, and that they applied these definitions retrospectively to deeds committed before the definitions had been made, then this is true, but relatively trivial. After all, nobody doubts that the accused were guilty as charged, and that trials of this kind, however impromptu their juridical basis, were far better than no justice at all or the summary execution of 50,000 of Germany’s elite that Stalin had once demanded. As A.T. Williams writes, although the justice obtained at Nuremburg may have been “symbolic, shambolic, illusory… it was essential for all that.”[10]

     The Germans, not unnaturally, were in general punished more severely than collaborators of other nationalities in the occupied territories[11], where the process of justice varied greatly from country to country and involved many compromises. As Judt points out, “such compromises were probably inevitable. The very scale of destruction and moral collapse in 1945 meant that whatever was left in place was likely to be needed as a building block for the future. The provisional government of the liberation months were almost helpless. The unconditional (and grateful) cooperation of the economic, financial and industrial elites seemed vital if food, clothing and food were to be supplied to a helpless and starving population. Economic purges could be counter-productive, even crippling. But a price for this was paid in political cynicism and a sharp falling away from the illusions and hopes of the liberation…”[12] 

     It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the justice applied by the Allied powers applied was hypocritical and suggested the need for a future trial of their evil deeds… 


     “In 1945,” writes Protodeacon Christopher Birchall, “there were some 4 million Russians in the former territory of the Third Reich. About 6 million Russian prisoners of war fell into German hands, most of them soon after the invasion of Russia in 1941. The Russian prisoners of war were kept in appalling conditions; some were simply herded into open fields in the winter and left to die of exposure. This treatment, so different from that accorded to British prisoners by the Germans, was explained largely by the fact that Joseph Stalin had renounced them, stating that anyone who allowed himself to be taken captive, rather than die fighting, was a traitor. As a result, most Russian prisoners died and only about 1 million survived by May 1945. Understandably most of these ‘traitors’ were terrified at the prospect of returning to the Soviet Union. In addition, there were the Ostarbeiter (“workers from the east”) – Russians who were brought to Germany to work in the war industries. Some had volunteered but most were conscripts. They were treated poorly and humiliated by the Nazis, who regarded them as Untermenschen (“subhumans”), close to the bottom of the racial hierarchy they devised. Whenever outside the camps, these workers were required to wear a badge with the OST (EAST) written on it to display their origin.

     “When the war ended, there were some 3 million Ostarbeiter in Germany. These formed the majority of the vast numbers of Russians liberated by the Allies in 1945. In addition, there were refugees who had decided to leave Soviet territory with the retreating German armies. Some were terrified of Soviet reprisals meted out to anyone ‘contaminated’ by contact with the invaders; others, especially those in areas where the Germans had behaved with a degree of restraint, simply seized the opportunity to escape from communist rule. The populations of entire districts, particularly Cossacks from the Caucasus, piled their possessions into wagons and evacuated to the west. Finally, there were those who agreed to fight with the Germans in the hope of overthrowing communism in Russia, approximately 800,000 in all. The largest group was the Russian Army of Liberation (ROA – Russkaya Osvoboditel’naya Armiya), nominally led by General Andrey Vlasov, who was taken from a prisoner of war camp by the Germans and made head of this organisation. However, the ROA existed more on paper than in the field because Vlasov had very little control over the units, most of which had German officers. The Germans distrusted these brigades of Slavic Untermenschen and sent many to the western front after the Normandy invasions. In addition to the ROA, Cossack units were formed under the German General Helmuth von Pannwitz.

     “At the infamous Yalta Conference of February 1945, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt reached an agreement with Stalin to hand over any ‘Soviet Nationals’ who fell into British or American hands. A Soviet National was defined as anyone who had lived in Soviet territory before September 1, 1939. Thus excluded were the old émigrés as well as inhabitants of western parts of Russia and Ukraine, which had been annexed to Poland during the Civil War. On arrival in the Soviet Union, the displaced persons were either shot or sent directly to labour camps, most in the Far North of Siberia. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described graphically the fate of many such people in his book The Gulag Archipelago. 

     “One might wonder why the Soviet authorities were so determined to secure the return of these people. The explanation largely lies in the personal paranoia of Stalin, which infected the rest of the Soviet power apparatus. Another significant factor was the Soviets’ genuine fear of the existence of a strong, anti-Soviet emigration or even scattered groups of exiles. As one Soviet leaders observed, ‘That’s the way we got our start!’ Only thirty years previously, the émigré Russians were not ‘White’ Russian exiles but rather various groups of Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, and anarchists who were plotting the overthrow of Imperial Russia…”[13]

     Shortly after D-day, large numbers of Russian soldiers in German uniform began to be captured by the Allies. Of these, some had put on German uniform involuntarily, forced to it by the threat of death or the terrible conditions in the German POW camps. Others, the “Vlasovites”, had volunteered to fight in the German army, not out of love of Nazism, but simply in order to help in the destruction of the hated Soviet regime. Among the Vlasovites, some had been Soviet citizens, but others were former White soldiers who had fled from Russia after the Civil War and had never been Soviet.[14] Most of them did not want to be repatriated, but pleaded to stay in the West. 

     This created a major problem for the British government. Lord Selborne, Minister for Economic Warfare, who was also in charge of secret espionage and sabotage (SOE), argued passionately that they should be allowed to stay because they had not voluntarily donned German uniforms, they had suffered terribly already, and would probably be shot if returned to Russia. Churchill was for a time inclined to listen to Selborne, but the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, who had already made a verbal agreement with Molotov, argued that they had to return the prisoners if Stalin insisted on it, that to anger the Soviets would be dangerous for the war effort, that the British had “no legal or moral right” to interfere in the way they were treated in Russia, and that if they did not accede to Soviet demands British and American prisoners liberated from German camps by Soviet forces might not be repatriated to the West. Unfortunately, by September, Eden had won the argument, and thousands of Russians began to be deported from Britain to Murmansk and Odessa, in accordance with the Yalta Conference agreement.

     However, well into 1945, writes S.M. Plokhy, the State Department “continued to resist Soviet requests for the extradition of those Soviet citizens who had been captured in German uniform and claimed the protection of the Geneva Convention until the end of hostilities in Europe. But then the department’s position suddenly changed. As Joseph Grew explained in a a letter to Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, he did not object to extradition ‘now that Germany has unconditionally surrendered, that all American prisoners of war held by the German armed forces have been liberated and that therefore there no longer exists any danger that the German authorities will take reprisals against American prisoners of war.’

     “On June 29, after learning of the decision to extradite them to the USSR, 154 Soviet prisoners of war in Fort Dix, New Jersey, shut themselves in their barracks and attempted to commit mass suicide. The American guards fired tear-gas grenades into the building, forcing the prisoners to break out of their quarters. Seven POWs were gunned down by the guards as they rushed at them. In the barracks they found three men hanging from the rafters next to fifteen nooses prepared for the next group. News of the revolt of Soviet prisoners who preferred death to extradition leaked out to the press, aborting the next attempt to ship POWs to the USSR. In August, however, James Byrnes, who succeeded Stettinius as secretary of state, authorized extradition ‘in conformity with commitments taken at Yalta’…”[15]


     A particularly tragic case of mass repatriation took place in May-June, 1945, in Lienz in Austria, when “the English occupying authorities handed over to Stalin to certain death some tens of thousands of Cossacks who had fought in the last months of the war on the side of Germany. Eye-witnesses of this drama recall that the hand-over began right during the time of the final liturgy, which Smersh did not allow to finish. Many Cossacks tried to hurl themselves into the abyss so as not to be delivered to the communists, and the first shots were heard from the Soviet occupational zone already a few minutes after the hand-over.”[16] Many of the British soldiers involved in the handover had come to like the Cossacks and were deeply distressed that they had to lie to them about the handover and that they had to use force against them. Some confessed that they had been wrong; but most justified themselves on the grounds that they were following orders. It is interesting to note, however, that in the Nuremburg trials this excuse, in the mouth of Nazi defendants, was not considered sufficient… Another aspect of the tragedy is that among the Cossacks handed over were men who had never been Soviet citizens, including the famous White Generals Krasnov and Shkuro (who were hanged in Moscow in 1947). So the British “over-fulfilled” their “duty” according to the Yalta agreement, which specified only “Soviet nationals”…[17]

     The British were also involved in the handover of thousands of Croats and Slovenes to Tito’s Partisans. At Kocevje and Maribor in Slovenia between 50 and 65,000 were shot by the Partisans without any kind of trial.[18]

     Plokhy summarises the difference between the western and Soviet attitudes to prisoners of war: “There was no higher priority for soldiers of the Western democracies at the end of the conflict than to save their prisoners of war. There was no greater crime in the Soviet code than that of falling into enemy hands…”[19]

     Alexander Soldatov writes: “The memory of the ‘Vlasovites’ is dear to many children of the Russian Church Abroad (ROCOR)… In the memorial cemetery of ROCOR in Novo Diveyevo near New York there stands an obelisk which perpetuates the memory of all the officers and soldiers of the Russian Army of Liberation, who perished ‘in the name of the idea of a Russia free from communism and fascism’...”[20] The slogan, “Russia free from communism and fascism” is as relevant now as it was in 1945… 

      And so “from 1945 to 1947, 2,272,000 people were handed over by the Allies to the USSR. Of these more than 600,000 had served in the ‘eastern forces’ of the German army. About 200,000 managed to remain in the West.”[21] 

     According to Sergius Shumilo, however, “more than 6 million ‘Soviet’ prisoners of war, ‘Osty’ workers, refugees and émigrés were forcibly repatriated to the U.S.S.R. up to 1948. The majority of them perished within the walls of Stalin’s NKVD.”[22]

     Protopriest Michael Ardov writes: “I remember quite well the years right after the war, 1945, 1946, and how Moscow was literally flooded with cripples, soldiers who were missing arms and legs, returning from the war, and then, suddenly, they all disappeared. Only later did I learn that they were all picked up and packed off to die on the island of Valaam, in order not to spoil the view in the capital. There was no monastery there then. You can just imagine for yourselves the conditions that they had to endure there while living out their last days. They were so poor, and were reduced to begging in order to survive. This is how they were treated, just so that the capital should not be spoiled by their presence! This I remember quite well. Besides this, as we all know that, because of Stalin and his military leaders, an enormous number of Soviet citizens were taken out of the country as prisoners. The government immediately disowned them; they were immediately branded traitors. And the consequences of this were that when they, for some reason or another, came back to our country, most of them were whisked off to Stalin’s labour camps. This is how they treated the veterans then…

     “Under the pretext of restoring ‘socialist legality’ whole families, and even settlements, were sent to Siberia, mainly from Western Ukraine, Belorussia and the Baltic region. By the end of the 40s, Soviet Marshal Zhukov had ordered the forcible removal from Western Ukraine to Siberia, Kazakhstan and other regions of more than 600,000 people.”[23]

     Sister Tatiana (Spektor) writes: “With the help of the English and American military authorities, by January 1, 1953 5 million, 457 thousand and 856 Soviet and ‘equated’ with them citizens had been repatriated. Of these 2 million 272 thousand were prisoners of war and their families. The cruellest of these repatriations were the handovers of the Cossack camp in Lienz (24 thousand military and civilians), the Caucasians in Oberdrauburg (4 thousand 800) and the Cossack cavalry corpus in Feldkirchen (about 35 thousand). All these people had been given the status of prisoners of war and were assured that the English would not hand them over to certain death. But their hopes were not realized.

     “What was their fate in the homeland? 20% of the prisoners of war returned to the USSR received the death penalty or 25 years in the camps; 15-20% - 5-10 years in the camps; 10% were exiled to distant regions of Siberia for a minimum of 6 years; 15% were sent to forced labour in regions destroyed by war, of whom only 15-20% returned to the places of their birth after their labour. Of the remaining 15-20%, some were killed or died on the road, while others fled…”[24]


     Norman Davies writes: “The Strategic Bombing Offensive, which killed perhaps half a million civilians, has long been the subject for charges of ‘excessive force’, and if the German raid on Coventry, which killed 380 persons, is judged a crime, it is hard to see why the British raids on Cologne, Hamburg, Kassel, Berlin and Dresden should not be classed in the same way. In morality, two wrongs do not make a right, and pleas of justified response do not wash. If a criminal kills another man’s brother, the injured party is not entitled, even in the middle of a just war, to go off and kill all the criminal’s neighbours and relatives. And there are further matters to be examined. One of them would be the forcible and large-scale repatriation of Soviet citizens in 1945 to near-certain death at the hands of Stalin’s security organs. Another would the joint decision that was reached at Potsdam to expel by force several million German civilians from lands newly allotted to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. To contemporary sensitivities, the Potsdam decision put into motion a campaign that looks suspiciously like ‘ethnic cleansing’.”[25]

     The Allies condemned the Germans for bombing civilians at Guernica in the Spanish Civil War and Coventry in 1940, and the Japanese for bombing the Chinese in 1937. However, Churchill himself had ordered such bombing in the Iraqi rebellion in 1920.[26] And already from May, 1940 the British began drawing up plans to send bombers to targets that could not be called military. Thus in October, Churchill declared: “The civilian population around the target areas must be made to feel the weight of war.” Throughout 1941 he “repeatedly emphasized the need for Bomber Command to target the morale of ordinary Germans.”[27] In March, 1942 it was decided to adopt the plan of the government’s scientific advisor Lindemann to bomb working-class German homes with the final aim of destroying 50 percent of all houses in the larger cities.[28] With the Americans in full agreement, this paved the way for the horrific Allied bombings of Hamburg (45,000 killed, 250,000 homes destroyed in July, 1943), Lubeck, Cologne, Berlin and, finally, Dresden (35,000 killed, 95,000 homes destroyed in February, 1945). 

     In all, writes Hastings, “between 1940 and 1942, only 11,228 Germans were killed by Allied bombing. From January 1943 [the month in which Roosevelt declared the “unconditional surrender” policy in Casablanca] to May 1945, a further 350,000 perished, along with unnumbered tens of thousands of foreign PoWs and slave labourers. This compares with 60,595 British people killed by all forms of German air bombardment including V-weapons between 1939 and 1945.”[29]

     Of course, military targets were also hit, together with munitions factories; by the spring of 1943 this forced 70 per-cent of the German fighter force to be diverted from the east to the west, thereby helping the Soviet advance. And by D-Day most of those had been shot down, thereby helping the Anglo-American advance. Speer called the air war “the greatest lost battle on the German side”.[30] However, the killing of soldiers and military equipment was not the main aim of the bombing campaign: it was civilian casualties that were seen, not as inevitable, albeit regrettable “collateral damage”, but as essential to the main purpose of the bombing, which was, in Churchill’s words, “the progressive destruction and undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened”.[31] But, as Bishop George Bell of Chichester said in 1943: “To bomb cities as cities, deliberately to attack civilians, quite irrespective of whether they are actively contributing to the war effort, is a wrong deed, whether done by the Nazis or by ourselves.”[32] Notwithstanding, on February 16, 1945, just after the Dresden bombing, the Allies announced that the new plan was to “bomb large population centres and then to attempt to prevent relief supplies from reaching and refugees from leaving them – all part of a programme to bring about the collapse of the German economy”…[33]

     After Dresden, even Churchill began to have doubts: “The moment has come when the question of the bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror… should be revised… The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing.” However, Sir Arthur Harris, the head of Bomber Command, “remained impertinent and uncomprehending. ‘In Bomber Command we have always worked on the assumption that bombing anything in Germany is better than bombing nothing.’…”[34]

     “The crux of the case at Nuremburg,” writes Niall Ferguson, “as agreed by the victorious powers in London in the summer of 1945, was that the leaders of Germany and Japan had premeditated and unleashed ‘aggressive war’ and ‘set in motion evils which [had left] no home in the world untouched’. They were accused, firstly, of the ‘planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of aggression, or war in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing’. Yet whose side had the Soviet Union been on in 1939?”[35] 


     The American policy of “unconditional surrender” probably contributed more to the prolongation of the war in the west - as in the east - than any other single factor. This policy in relation to Germany became known as “the Morgenthau plan” after Roosevelt’s Jewish Secretary to Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, who, with his deputy, Harry Dexter White, 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.”[36]

     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”.[37] 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.”[38]

     Fortunately, the Morgenthau Plan was never fully realised; and after the war the generous Marshall Plan helped to place Western Europe back on its feet and prevent it from going Communist…[39] 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’.”[40]

     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…’”[41]

     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 …

     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, 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 – even 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…”[42]

     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.”[43]

     But many were left behind to be captured by the Russians… And so “obviously,” Eisenhower was to write 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.”[44]

     “This,” writes De Poncins, “in fact is just what the Americans did. [Most of Schroeder’s army, for example, were not allowed to cross the American lines.]  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.”[45]

     Civilians were the biggest losers in the war. 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.”[46]And so, as St. Cyprian of Carthage put it in the third century: “The whole world is wet with mutual blood. And murder, which in the case of an individual is admitted to be a crime, is called a virtue when it is committed wholesale. Impunity is claimed for the wicked deeds, not on the plea that they are guiltless, but because the cruelty is perpetrated on a grand scale.”[47]

     “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…”[48]

     What all this demonstrates is that this, the most evil of all wars, defiled everybody who was involved in it at the political level and very, very many who were involved in it at other levels. Apart from the well-documented atrocities of the Axis powers, the Soviets enormously extended 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. Even the western democracies, which came into the war in order to defend themselves against 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 (passed on through his daughter, Grand-Duchess Olga), that evil is not overcome by evil, but only by good…


     The other Axis power that was mightily punished in 1945 was, of course, Japan, whose appalling treatment especially of the Chinese, who suffered fifteen million dead[49], but also of Allied prisoners of war and Korean women, merited severe punishment. And they got it… But their repentance was more superficial than that of the Germans, perhaps because they lacked the Germans’ Christian heritage.

     “In the aftermath of the war,” wrote Japanese writer Kazutoshi Hando in 2007, “blame was placed solely on the Japanese army and navy. This seemed just, because the civilian population had always been deceived by the armed forces about what was done. Civilian Japan felt no sense of collective guilt – and that was the way the American victors and occupiers wanted it. In the same fashion, it was the Americans who urged that no modern Japanese history should be taught in schools. The consequence is that very few people under fifty have any knowledge of Japan’s invasion of China or colonisation of Manchuria…”[50]

     As regards Japanese war crimes trials, Sebestyen writes: “In the Asian countries that Japan had occupied during the war, 984 Japanese had already been executed, many without proper trials, including 236 by the Dutch, 223 by the British, 153 by the Australians, 140 by the Americans. Nearly all were Japanese soldiers who had mistreated and killed prisoners of war. The trials of the Japanese leaders charged with ‘waging a war of aggression’ were an altogether more complex matter. The primary issue, as two of the judges noted, was that the greatest war criminal was not in the dock. The Australian judge Sir William Webb said: ‘The leader of the crime, though available for trial, was granted immunity. The Emperor’s authority was required for war. If he did not want war, he should have withheld his authority.’

     “The French judge Henri Bernard stated that the entire proceedings were flawed and he couldn’t pass judgement at all. The absence of the Emperor in court was ‘a glaring inequity… Japan’s crimes against peace had a principal author who escaped all prosecution. Measuring the Emperor by different standards undermines the cause of justice.’

     “Many of the Americans who organised the trial later said that it backfired. MacArthur was doubtful about the hearings in the first place. He told Truman that it was ‘comparatively simple’ where the Nazis were concerned to prove genocidal intent and apportion guilt, but in Japan ‘no such line of demarcation has been fixed.’ One of the officers who interrogated the defendants to decide who should face trial, Brigadier-General Elliot Thorpe, told MacArthur that the entire proceedings were ‘mumbo-jumbo… we made up the rules as we went along.’ Later, Thorpe wrote that ‘we wanted blood and by God we got blood’.

     “For many others, the trials were not only victor’s justice; they were white man’s justice. People in the occupied countries had suffered the most, but not one was represented on the panel of judges. A British judge represented the Malays, a French judge acted for the Vietnamese and the Cambodians. Korea had been colonised with brutal rapacity by Japan for nearly fifty years; there was no Korean judge. Among the charges faced by the two dozen defendants was that they ‘engaged in a plan or conspiracy to regain their colony in Vietnam against an independence movement led by Ho Chi Minh; the Dutch fought the nationalists in an attempt to repossess their Indonesian territories, and the British fought guerrillas seeking independence in Malaya.

     “Only one of the judges, the Indian Radhabinod Pal, pointed out the double standard involved. He agreed that the Japanese had committed vile crimes during their invasion and occupation of various countries but, he argued, they were neither unique nor without precedent. ‘It would be pertinent to recall… that the majority of the interests claimed by the Western prosecuting powers in the Eastern hemisphere were acquired by such aggressive methods.’ They claimed ‘national honour’ or ‘the protection of vital interests’ or concepts of ‘manifest destiny’ similar to the Japanese. The Japanese conquerors were guilty of crimes, but those crimes should be set in context. For much of Asia, the end of the Pacific war was only the beginning of the process of liberation, not the end. The trials opened up the entire question of how long the old European powers could maintain their empires. This was not the message the Allies wanted to hear – or to send to the world – when, in 1948, they executed seven military chiefs of the former Japanese empire, including the Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who had earlier tried, and failed, to commit suicide…”[51]

     And then there were the victors’ crimes… Early in 1945 the American General MacArthur “liberated” Manila in the Philippines at the cost of 100,000 civilian dead, together with 1000 Americans and 16,000 Japanese. And yet after the Marianas, the Japanese could have been starved into submission with no further bombing. That would have been bad enough; but at least it would have given them the option to end the war at a time of their choosing without the horrors that came now. “’The Philippines campaign was a mistake,’ says Hando, who lived through the war. ‘MacArthur did it for his own reasons. Japan had lost the war since the Marianas were gone.’ The Filipino people whom MacArthur professed to love paid the price for his egomania in lost lives – something approaching half a million perished by combat, massacre, famine and disease – and wrecked homes.”[52]

     “On March 9, 1945,” writes Ferguson, “Tokyo suffered the first of a succession of raids that claimed the lives of between 80,000 and 100,000 people, ‘scorched and boiled and baked to death’, as [the American commander] LeMay frankly put it. Within five months, roughly two fifths of the built-up areas of nearly every major city had been laid waste, killing nearly a quarter of a million people, injuring more than 300,000 and turning eight million into refugees. Besides Tokyo, sixty-three cities were incinerated. Japan’s economy was almost entirely crippled…

     “Why, then, was it necessary to go further – to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? LeMay could quite easily have hit both these targets with conventional bombs. As if to make that point, Tokyo was scourged with incendiaries one last time on August 14 by a horde of more than a thousand aircraft; it was the following day that the Emperor’s decision to capitulate was broadcast, not the day after Hiroshima. In all probability, it was the Soviet decision to dash Japanese hopes of mediation and to attack Japan that convinced all but the most incorrigible diehards that the war was over. Defeat in the Pacific mattered less to the Japanese generals than the collapse of their much longer-held position  in Manchuria and Korea. Indeed, it was the Soviet landing on Shikotan, not far from Japan’s main northern island of Hokkaido, that forced the military finally to sign the instrument of surrender. Historians have sometimes interpreted Harry Truman’s decision to use the Bomb against Japan as a kind of warning shot intended to intimidate the Soviet Union; an explosive overture to the Cold War. Others have argued that, having seen $2 billion spent on the Manhattan Project, Truman felt compelled to get a large bang for so many bucks. Yet if one leaves aside the technology that distinguished the bombs dropped on August 6 and August 9 – and the radiation they left in their wakes – the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was simply the culmination of five years of Allied strategic bombing. Roughly as many people were killed immediately when the bomb nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ exploded 1,189 feet above central Hiroshima on the morning of August 6 as had been killed in Dresden six months before, though by the end of 1945 the Japanese death toll had risen much higher, to as many as 140,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki… ”[53]

     It has been argued that the Bomb saved many lives that would have been lost in an invasion of the Japanese mainland. “What Truman did not know,” writes Antony Beevor, “and which has only been established quite recently, is that the Imperial Japanese Army could never contemplate surrender, having forced all their men to fight to the death since the start of the war. All civilians were to be mobilised and forced to fight with bamboo spears and satchel charges to act as suicide bombers against Allied tanks. Japanese documents apparently indicate that their army was prepared to accept up to 28 million deaths.”[54]

     Again, Richard Frank writes: “The fact is that there was no historical record over the past 2,600 years of Japanese surrendering, nor any examples of a Japanese unit surrendering during the war. This was where the great American fear lay.”[55]

     However, we now know that the Japanese were on the verge of surrender long before the bombs were dropped. Thus MacArthur told Roosevelt as early as January, 1945 that the Japanese were ready to surrender on terms very similar to those eventually accepted. Some flexibility in the terms offered to the Japanese then would have saved hundreds of thousands of American and Japanese lives later. Moreover, it would have obviated the need to ask the Soviets to intervene in the north – with massive consequences for the future of the Far East. For, as John J. McLaughlin asks: “Was Roosevelt's curt dismissal of MacArthur's warning the ‘nail’ that cost us the loss of not only thousands of soldiers and sailors at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, but also the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, and Vietnam?..”[56]

     Daniel Goldhagen writes: “Supreme Allied commander of the forces in Europe and soon to be American president, Dwight Eisenhower explained: ‘During his [Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s] recitation of the relevant facts [about the plan for using the atomic bomb], I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’…”[57]

     Again, as A.N. Wilson points out, “in May, the first of the war crimes tribunals had begun in Germany, and there was talk of hanging the Japanese emperor. This rumour undoubtedly encouraged many Japanese troops to continue fighting. It was [Secretary of State James] Byrnes, at the Potsdam Conference of 17 July to 2 August 1945, who insisted upon removing any assurance about the future of the emperor. After the Russians invaded Manchuria, the Japanese knew that their war was over, and they privately approached the Russians, asking for a negotiated peace. This was rejected by America. Byrnes was effectually the architect of the Cold War. He wanted no cooperation with Russia. And he did not want a messy negotiation with Japan which would lead to Versailles-style repercussions. An outright Japanese surrender, without condition; a Russian government left in no doubt that America was if necessary prepared to kill tens, hundreds of thousands of civilians if it did not get its way. This was the lure for Truman and Byrnes as they reached their decision.

   “In the light of all that we now know about the decision, we can safely lay aside the myth fed to, and believed in by, generations of Americans and British: namely that the Bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to shorten the war (it was more or less over anyway); to save the lives of American troops; or to force the Japanese warriors to lay down their arms. (If that argument is used, why was it necessary to bomb two cities, and add the incinerated and radiated corpses of 70,000 more people, those of the citizens of Nagasaki, to the obscene death figures of the Second World War?)

     “There is a strong element of racialism in the beliefs of many of those involved in the decision-making process, a sense that the Japanese were somehow ‘different’ from Americans or Europeans; or that their culture made them impermeable to reason. This perhaps flavoured the atmosphere of the crucial meeting at the Pentagon on 31 May 1945 when Secretary of State Byrnes – did ever a politician have a more horribly apt ‘Happy Families’ nomenclature? – met Robert Oppenheimer, James B. Conant and Secretary for War Henry Stimson, and they all agreed, having heard the scientific evidence, that ‘we could not give the Japanese any warning’.

     “Albert Einstein, as early as 1946, stated the true reason for dropping the Bomb, namely that it was ‘precipitated by a desire to end the war in the Pacific by any means before Russia’s participation…’”[58]

     The invasion of the Japanese mainland was not the only alternative to dropping the bombs. [59] Another, less costly alternative, as we have seen, was a blockade by sea that would very likely have starved the Japanese into surrender quite quickly. A third alternative was a combination of a Soviet invasion of Manchuria combined with a formula amounting to slightly less than unconditional surrender that enabled the Emperor to remain as the formal head of the Japanese government. His retention as the figurehead was necessary since the Army would have surrendered only at his command. These were the factors that eventually did elicit surrender – and the evidence, as we have seen, is that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, played no significant part in the Japanese decision to surrender when they did. 


     So was justice done at the end of the Second World War? Could the savage vengeance carried out on the Germans by the Soviets, with the connivance of the Americans and the British, or on the Japanese by the Americans with the connivance of the British and the Soviets, be justified on the basis of the defeated states’ undoubted criminality? By no means. If this was justice, it was terribly partial and flawed: some of the criminals were condemned, many went scot-free (like the Emperor of Japan).

     Still more important, it was also grossly hypocritical: almost every crime that the Germans committed, except the wholesale slaughter of Jews, was imitated by the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans. For, as Niall Ferguson writes, “the charges against the Japanese leaders who stood trial in Tokyo included ‘the wholesale destruction of human lives, not alone on the field of battle… but in the homes, hospitals, and orphanages, in factories and fields’. But what else had the Allies perpetrated in Germany and Japan in the last months of the war?”[60] However, the victors were the judges, and so could not be brought to justice; they were above the law. True justice for the atrocities of the war was not done in 1945…

     Schiller said: “World history is the World’s court (of judgement)” (Die Weltgeschichte ist Weltegericht). But this cannot be true unless history includes the very last moment of history, the Last Judgement. True justice will have to wait until then, until the verdict of the only Just Judge…


June 8/21, 2017.




[1] Ferguson, The War of the World, London: Penguin, 2007, p. 539.

[2] Alexander Yakovlev, A Century of Russian Violence in Soviet Russia, Yale University Press, 2003.

[3] See Suvorov’s interview, “Nikakoj Velikoj Otechestvennoj vojny ne bylo” (There was no Great Fatherland war),

[4] Evans, The Third Reich at War, London: Penguin Books, 2009, pp. 710-711.

[5] The question of Soviet losses in World War Two is contentious. Pavel Gutiontov writes: “Stalin, on the basis of considerations inadmissible to a normal person, personally defined the USSR’s losses as 7 million people – a little less that those of Germany. Khruschev – as 20 million. Under Gorbachev there came out a book prepared for the Ministry of Defence under the editorship of General Krivosheev, The Seal of Secrecy Removed, in which the authors gave this very figure of 27 million, justifying it in all sorts of way. Now it has become clear: this also was not true.” For in 1917 the Duma Deputy Nikolai Zemstov, referring to declassified data of the USSR’s Gosplan, declared: “The general losses of the population of the USSR from 1941 to 1945 were more than 52 million, 812 thousand people. Out of these, irreplaceable losses as a result of war-related factors were more than 19 million soldier and about 23 million civilians. The general natural mortality of soldiers and civilians in this period can be put at more than 10 million, 833 thousand people (including 5 million, 760 thousand children who died before they reached four years of age). Irreplaceable losses of the population of the USSR as a result of war-related factors were almost 42 million people.“ (“Pobeda prediavliaet Schet” (The Victory Presents its Bill), Novaia Gazeta, March 21, 2017)

[6] Simms, Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, London: Allen Lane, 2013, p. 385.

[7] Montefiore, Titans of History, p. 545. For a good account of the Jewish Holocaust, see Paul Johnson, History of the Jews, London: Phoenix, 1987, part 6.

[8] Hastings, All Hell Let Loose, London: HarperPress, 2011, pp. 653-654.

[9] Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, London: Pimlico, 2007, p. 58.

[10] Williams, A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II, London: Jonathan Cape, 2016.

[11] Willing collaborators in the Holocaust in occupied countries included Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, Croats, Vichy Frenchmen and others. See Judt, “The ‘Problem of Evil’ in Postwar Europe”, in When the Facts Change, London: Vintage, 2015, p. 131.

[12] Judt, op. cit., p. 51.

[13] Birchall, Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen: The Three Hundred Year History of a Russian Orthodox Church in London, Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Publications, 2014, pp. 321-323.

[14] The following account is taken mainly from Nicholas Bethell’s The Last Secret(London: Futura, 1976) and Sebastyen, op. cit., ch. 13.

[15] Plokhy, Yalta: The Price of Peace, London: Penguin, 2010, p. 304.

[16] Archbishop Savva (Raevsky), “Lienz”, Orthodox Life, vol. 56, N 4, 2005, pp. 2-8.  The head of ROCOR, Metropolitan Anastasy, blessed the Cossacks who had formally ended their lives through suicide because they did not want to fall into the hands of the Reds, to be given a church burial. ‘Their actions,’ he wrote, ‘are closer to the exploit of St. Pelagia of Antioch, who hurled herself from a tall tower so as escape desecration [rape].’…”

[17] Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Novie Mucheniki Rossijskie (The New Martyrs of Russia), Jordanville, volume 3, chapter 26, in

[18] Sebastyen, op. cit., p. 150. Tony Judt gives a figure of 40,000 Croats killed and 10,000 Slovenes handed over (op. cit., pp. 23, 30, notes).

[19] Plokhy, op. cit., pp. 305-06.

[20] Soldatov, “Radosti Paskhi i Skorb’ Pobedy” (The Joys of Pascha and the Sorrow of Victory), Moskovskie Novosti (Moscow News) and Vertograd,N 520, May 14, 2005.

[21] Soldatov, op. cit., p. 11, footnote 6.

[22] Shumilo, “Sovietskij Rezhim i ‘Sovietskaia Tserkov’’ v 40-e-50-e gody XX stoletia” (The Soviet Regime and the ‘Soviet Church’ in the 40s and 50s of the 20th Century),

[23] Shumilo, op. cit.

[24] Spektor, Facebook communication, June 2, 2016.

[25] Davies, Europe at War 1939-1945, London: Pan, 2006, pp. 67-68.

[26] Ferguson, The War of the World, London: Penguin, 2007, p. 558.

[27] Ferguson, op. cit., p. 559.

[28] Count Léon de Poncins, State Secrets, Chulmleigh: Britons Publishing Company, 1975, p. 57.

[29] Hastings, op. cit., p. 480.

[30] Ferguson, op. cit., pp. 566-568.

[31] Ferguson, op. cit., p. 562.

[32] Ferguson, op. cit., p. 570. Bishop Bell was a friend both of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich.

[33] De Poncins, op. cit., p. 41.

[34] Wilson, After the Victorians, London: Hutchinson, 2003, p. 418.

[35] Ferguson, op. cit., pp. 578-579.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[47] St. Cyprian, Epistle 1.6.

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

[49] Hastings, op. cit., p. 669.

[50] Hando, in Hastings, op, cit., p. 673.

[51] Victor Sebestyen, 1946: The Making of the Modern World, London: Pan, 2014, pp. 363-365.

[52] Hastings, op. cit., p. 575.

[53] Ferguson, op. cit., pp. 573-574.

[54] Beevor, “Yes, Truman had little choice”, BBC History Magazine, August, 2015, p. 58.

[55] Frank, “Yes. It saved millions of lives in Japan and Asia”, BBC History Magazine, August, 2015, p. 59.

[56] McLaughlin, “The Bomb was not Necessary”, History News Network,

[57] Goldhagen, Worse than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, London: Abacus, 2012, pp. 3-4.

[58] Wilson, op. cit., pp. 471-472.

[59]A powerful argument against the invasion of Japan not known to decision-makers at that time was that “the Japanese had sent out an instruction to all prison commanders that in the event of an Allied landing on the home islands, all PoWs were to be killed. A copy was found in a vault in Taiwan (then Formosa) after the war and the original is now in an American archive.” (C.E.C. Lowry, letter to The Daily Mail, August 10, 2015, p. 58). The existence of such an order was confirmed in a book published in 1970 by Laurens van der Post, The Night of the New Moon. It would seem to indicate that the bomb saved perhaps a million lives of Allied PoWs in South-East Asia (Christopher Booker, “The terrible Bomb really saved millions of lives”, The Sunday Telegraph, August 9, 2015, p. 20).

[60] Ferguson, The War of the World, p. 579.

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