Allied War Crimes in World War II: Parish Munich-St. Peter and Paul/Allach

4-10. Parish Munich-St. Peter and Paul/Allach
Reporter: Pastor Michael Fichter
Date: October 25th, 1945
[…]
b) In the first night after the invasion there were 20 American soldiers in the rectory. They cooked in the pastor’s kitchen. The pastor had to bring them the wood.

The entire rectory has been searched from top to bottom. They took as souvenirs

* 3 watches,

* 4 fountain pens,

* 2 woolen blankets and other things,

* about 1500 Reichsmarks cash, among them 200 Reichsmarks for scholarships.
[…]
Three days were necessary to clean up the flat.

In the neighbor’s houses it was similar or worse. In the house of the sacristan many things were destroyed and money stolen.

In other houses Americans hunted for women and girls with the intent to rape them. This was the first night.

[…]

On May 1st the Russians, Poles, Italians started to pillage. Thousands of them lived in the various camps nearby. First, the Diamalt Building Allach was opened by the Americans and released for plundering.

Then the same happened with commercial buildings. Many locals participated on the looting as well.

Before the invasion, a train with Wehrmacht’s goods (textiles, shoes, food etc.) has been pillaged. At last, it was the turn of the private flats, especially those of the members of NSDAP. Because of mistakes and denunciation, other houses [not belonging to NSDAP members] were affected as well.

In the evening, a leaden fear lay over the village. There were rumors about a “St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre” during which all men were to be murdered and all women and girls raped. Entire Allach should go up in flames because there was a branch of the Dachau concentration camp in Allach.

[…]

The pillaging continued during the following days. In farmer’s houses ducks, geese, chicken, pigs, eggs, grain etc. was stolen. On the streets, bicycles and cars were requisitioned.

[…]

d) Finally, the pillaging was stopped in the village, but continued in the dispersed [detached] farmsteads and houses. Robber gangs in American uniforms came in the night in buses, shot into the houses, beat people, pillaged, took a cow or a pig etc.

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Allied War Crimes in World War II: Munich-St. Martin/Untermenzing

4-9. Parish Munich-St. Martin/Untermenzing
Reporter: Pastor Friedrich Oeller
Date: August 1945
[…]
3. The Aftermath

After the invasion the Americans began with the house searches. The rectory has been searched three times.

The American soldiers were respectable, some of them (Catholics!) very courteous. Only a couple of bottles of sacramental wine were stolen.

But from the parish itself came complaints, some of them heavy, about pillaging by the troops.

Also, three cases of rape were reported.

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All will break down if in combat long enough

Inevitably, all will break down if in combat long enough. “Long enough” is now defined by physicians and psychiatrists as between 200 and 240 days. As medical observers have reported, “there is no such thing as ‘getting used to combat’…Each moment of combat imposes a strain so great that men will break down in direct relation to the intensity and duration of their experience.”

Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War. Oxford University Press. 1989, p. 281. Quote found in
“Morale maintenance in World War II US Army ground combat units” by Kevin Kane, details see reference materials page.

Foxholes

Left: GIs of the US 1stArmy in their foxholes near the German border, November 1944. Source: www.ww2talk.com. Right: GIs man afoxhole in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944. Source: www.ww2throughthelens.blogspot.com.
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Racial Prejudice

‘Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is. It’s a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop or spic.’ Chief White Halfoat nodded slowly with conviction.

Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Foolish French Idiots

While trigger-happy partisans often proved long on enthusiasm and short on actual fighting ability, too many American officers ignored their real value and adopted the views of one infantry lieutenant who called the French Forces of the Interior the “damndest bunch of clowns I ever saw in my life…Foolish French Idiots we used to call them.”

David W. Hogan, Jr., “US Army Special Operations in World War II”

French Forces of the Interior (FFI) were French resistance fighters who, according to official mythology, helped a great deal to liberate France from the Nazis.

Other historians (see this YouTube video) claim that the French resistance fought more with one another rather than with Germans. Allegedly, at the end of World War II there was a serious threat of civil war breaking out in France between competing factions.

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