Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947

Thomas Goodrich

$18.99

Softcover book. 376 pages.

ISBN-13: 978-1494775063
ISBN-10: 1494775069
Stock Number: 0506


Hellstorm vividly chronicles the privations, terrors and atrocities endured by the German people in the final months of World War II, and in the immediate postwar years.

With maps, photographs, bibliography and index.

Though much of this disgraceful story may already be familiar to serious students of World War II, it is largely unknown to the general public. The author has done a great service by skillfully bringing together information from a wide range of sources, and presenting, in lucid and often riveting prose, the shocking, heart-rending story of Allied brutality, destruction, cruelty and killing, and of the hateful malice that produced it.

From the first page of this eye-opening book, the author grabs the reader’s attention. He provides a close up look at the horrors of the Eastern Front during the last months of fighting; the grim fate of German women as the rampaging Red Army raped and murdered its way across Europe; the most horrific nautical disasters in history; the greatest mass migration and largest-scale “ethnic cleansing” of modern times, in which millions perished; the terrible ordeal of prisoners in wretched post-war Allied-run death camps and torture chambers.

The author looks at the genocidal terror bombing campaign carried out by US and British air forces; the US-run concentration camps in western Germany; the horrific fate of German POWs and civilians in the East; the brutal, shameful treatment of non-Germans who supported or collaborated with the wartime Reich.

He sheds light on the role of the US and British governments in the horrific mass killing of German civilians, and wanton destruction of German towns and cities. He shows what Allied airmen saw as they rained down death on Germany; what women and children experienced as they sat trembling in bomb shelters awaiting death from above.

World War II – the most destructive conflict in history – is often portrayed, especially in the US, as the “Good War” in which Virtue triumphed over Evil. As this book makes abundantly clear, the full story is, of course, much more complex.

The Allies sought not merely to subdue Germany’s armed forces, or to eradicate the National Socialist regime. As Hellstrom shows -- in numbing, excruciating detail – the US and its allies waged a wantonly destructive and needlessly cruel war against the German people. The Allied leaders aimed, the author writes, at “nothing less than the utter extinction of the German nation.”

This genocidal drive, the author explains, was in large part the culmination of a vicious eleven-year propaganda campaign of focused hate against Third Reich Germany – a vast, malevolent campaign organized and led mainly by American Jews.

Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945 did not bring an end to the mistreatment, cruelty and killing. As the author writes, “the worst yet lay ahead ... The war against Germany continued unabated.”

At the end of the war, General Eisenhower and other US and British military commanders blatantly violated the Geneva Convention agreement on the treatment of prisoners of war by unilaterally designating surrendered German soldiers as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” rather than as POWs, thereby depriving them of rights and protection under international law. With this illegal administrative maneuver, American authorities imprisoned many thousands of helpless Germans in sprawling open-air enclosures without shelter, and with little food, water, or medical care. Many died of exposure, starvation, dehydration, and disease.

Even seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the prevailing narrative of the conflict is still like that of a morality play, with the forces of Good triumphantly vanquishing the forces of Evil. Especially in the US, the narrative presented in the media and classrooms is still one of denial about the basic character of the conflict – with lasting, harmful consequences for America and the world.

This book is an important contribution to a fuller and more balanced view of history’s most terrible conflict. It helps to put not only World War II but also National Socialist Germany in sharper and more accurate historical perspective.

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