Who were the REAL war criminals of World War II?
Alex S. Perry Jr
If anyone deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, it was Adolf Hitler. Hitler did not want war. World War II was forced on Germany. Poland was encouraged to attack Germany by the promises of British Ambassador Sir Howard William Kennard and French Ambassador Leon Noel. They promised unconditionally that England and France would come to Poland’s immediate aid should she need it in case of war with Germany; therefore, no matter what Poland did to provoke Germany’s attack, Poland had an assurance from England and France. With this guarantee, Poland began acting ruthlessly. In addition, Kennard and Noel flattered Poland into thinking she was a great power. As the Chinese proverb says, “You can flatter a man to jump off the roof.” They sabotaged the efforts of those Polish leaders who wanted a policy of friendship with Germany.1
Poland delivered the first blow, and Hitler announced,
“Since dawn today, we are shooting back,”
when he spoke to the Reichstag on September 1, 1939. “Shooting back” is not the statement of an aggressor.2 When Hitler attacked, Donald Day said, Poland got exactly what she deserved. None of Poland’s immediate neighbors felt sorry for her. Poland had conducted a policy of terror. Ethnic Germans living on German soil that had been given to Poland at the end of World War I by the Versailles Peace Treaty had been so mistreated that 2 million left the area for Germany and elsewhere.3 They were driven from what had been their homeland long before World War I.
Leon Degrelle, a young Belgian political leader in the 1930s, and who later joined Hitler’s hardest fighting unit, the Waffen SS, with over 400,000 other non-German European volunteers, says,
“Of all the crimes of World War II, one never hears about the wholesale massacres that occurred in Poland just before the war. Thousands of German men, women and children were massacred in the most horrendous fashion by press-enraged mobs. Hitler decided to halt the slaughter and he rushed to the rescue.”4 Young German boys, when captured by the Poles, were castrated.5
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William Joyce, nicknamed Lord Haw Haw by British propaganda, became a German citizen and took up for the German cause. He described the conditions of the Germans who were living in Poland because of the Versailles Treaty:
German men and women were hunted like wild beasts through the streets of Bromberg. When they were caught, they were mutilated and torn to pieces by the Polish mob. . . . Every day the butchery increased. . . . [T]housands of Germans fled from their homes in Poland with nothing more than the clothes that they wore. Moreover, there was no doubt that the Polish army was making plans for the massacre of Danzig. . . . On the nights of August 25 to August 31 inclusive, there occurred, besides innumerable attacks on civilians of German blood, 44 perfectly authenticated acts of armed violence against German official persons and property. These incidents took place either on the border or inside German territory. On the night of [August 31], a band of Polish desperadoes actually occupied the German Broad casting Station at Gleiwitz. Now it was clear that unless German troops marched at once, not a man, woman or child of German blood within the Polish territory could reasonably expect to avoid persecution and slaughter.6
Due to Poland’s atrocious acts against the German people, Hitler declared to British Ambassador Sir Nevile Henderson on August 25, 1939:
“Poland’s provocations have become intolerable.”7
So Poland delivered the first blow, not Germany. The first blow was important to the United States in its war with Japan. It gave the United States the right and justification to do whatever was necessary to defeat the Japanese. But Germany did not have this right with Poland even after Poland had delivered the first blow.
What fair-minded man, if he knew the true facts involved in the Polish situation, could blame Hitler for his retaliatory attack on Poland? Poland, if any nation ever did, deserved exactly what Germany gave her in return. But Hitler did not even want to do what he had to do. No sooner than Hitler began protecting the German people inside Poland, he was ready to stop all hostilities and begin peace negotiations. Prince Sturdza narrates:
Only hours after the outbreak of hostilities between Germany and Poland, Mussolini, renewing his efforts for peace, proposed to all the interested powers an immediate suspension of hostilities and the immediate convocation of a conference between the great powers, in which Poland would also participate. Mussolini’s proposals were, without any delay, accepted by all governments concerned except Great Britain.8
Before war broke out Britain’s ambassador to Berlin, Sir Nevil Henderson, on August 30, 1939, said, in his final report of Germany’s proposed basis for negotiations,
“Those proposals are in general not too unreasonable.”
Even Pierre and Renee Gosset, in their rabid anti-German book Hitler, declare:
“It was a proposal of extreme moderation. It was in fact an offer that no Allied statesman could have rejected in good faith.”9
As early as January 1941, Hitler was making extraordinary efforts to come to peace terms with England. He offered England generous terms. He offered, if Britain would assume an attitude of neutrality, to withdraw from all of France, to leave Holland and Belgium . . . to evacuate Norway and Den mark, and to support British and French industries by buying their products. His proposal had many other favorable points for England and Western Europe. But England’s officials did not want peace. They wanted war. Had they not celebrated their declaration of war by laughing, joking and drinking beer?10
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