The Morgenthau Plan: A Soviet-Created Document

       James Bacque wrote:

“The Morgenthau Plan has three remarkable aspects: that it was devised, that it was implemented after it had been cancelled, and that it has since been covered up so well. Now it has shrunk from sight in the West.[1]

      This article documents that the Morgenthau Plan was implemented, that it was drafted primarily by Soviet agents, and that it resulted in the deaths of millions of Germans after World War II.         

Historical Background

      At the Quebec Conference in September 1944, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the adoption of the Morgenthau Plan. Named after U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, the objectives of the Morgenthau Plan were to deindustrialize Germany and diminish its people to a pastoral existence once the war was won. The Morgenthau Plan was designed to reduce the military-industrial strength of Germans forever, so that never again could Germany threaten the peace.[2] As many proponents of the Morgenthau Plan knew, adoption of this plan would result in the starvation of many millions of the German population.

      The Morgenthau Plan created division within and outside the Roosevelt cabinet. Secretary of War Henry Stimson privately said that it amounted to Jewish retribution—a view shared by many. Raymond Moley, a former New Dealer who had become a bitter critic of the Roosevelt administration, said, “Such a plan as that attributed to Mr. Morgenthau would shatter whatever economic balance will remain in Europe when peace comes.” A Washington Post editorial called the Morgenthau Plan “the product of a fevered mind.”[3]

      The leaking of the Morgenthau Plan provided Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, with strong arguments for a bitter resistance by the Germans. The horrible prospects of eternal slavery, deindustrialization, exile to Siberia, starvation, the break-up of Germany and even sterilization were portrayed to the German people by their leaders. The fear of the consequences of unconditional surrender greatly bolstered German resistance. The Germans fought even when their country had been cut in half and they had no realistic prospect of winning the war.[4]

      Until the announcement of the Morgenthau Plan, there was a reasonable possibility that Germany might surrender to American and British forces while holding the Russians at bay in the East. This could have shortened the war by months and averted the takeover of East Germany by Communist forces. Dr. Anthony Kubek has noted that a hidden motive behind the Morgenthau Plan was the potential communization of the defeated nation. The best way to drive the German people into the arms of the Soviet Union was for the United States and Great Britain to stand forth as champions of death and misery in Germany.[5] 

      The genocidal policy promulgated by the Morgenthau Plan was also the policy of the Soviet Union. Because of the massive death and destruction caused by Germany in the Soviet Union, Germans were guaranteed to receive no mercy should the Red Army win the war. Ilya Ehrenburg, the Soviet chief propagandist, urged the Soviet soldiers to adopt a policy of total and complete extermination. Ehrenburg stated:

      The Germans are not human beings….If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day….If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet….If you kill one German, kill another–there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days….Count only the number of Germans killed by you. Kill the German—that is your grandmother’s request. Kill the German—that is your child’s prayer. Kill the German—that is your motherland’s loud request. Do not miss. Do not let through. Kill.[6]

      Ehrenburg remained true to his uncompromising line of hatred and revenge as Soviet troops flooded into Germany. On January 30, 1945, Ehrenburg wrote: “The soldiers who are now storming German cities will not forget how the mothers of Leningrad pulled their dead children on sledges….Berlin has not yet paid for the sufferings of Leningrad.”[7]

      Ehrenburg’s calls for revenge were echoed by Soviet generals in orders to their troops as they prepared for the final onslaught of Germany. When Soviet Gen. Marshal Zhukov issued his orders on the eve of the Soviet offensive in January 1945, he wrote that “we will get our terrible revenge for everything.” The statement issued by Soviet Gen. Ivan Chernyakhovsky to his troops was even more explicit: “There will be no mercy—for no one, just as no mercy was given for us. It is unnecessary to expect that the soldiers of the Red Army will exercise mercy…The land of the fascists must be made into a desert, just like our land that they devastated. The fascists must die, like our soldiers have died.”[8]

Soviets Plunder Germany

      The Red Army began the plundering of Europe as soon as it entered Germany in 1944. The Soviet looting in the Russian Zone of Germany became prodigious after the end of the war. Factories, refineries, processing mills, and other heavy industries were taken apart and sent east to the Soviet Union to be reassembled. All secondary rail lines, electric and steam locomotives and their rolling stock were also sent to the Soviet Union. The plants that were left in Germany were operated by Germans solely for the benefit of the Soviet Union.[9]                                                 

      Soviet soldiers were awed by the abundance of material goods in Germany. The great number of automobiles, tractors, motorcycles, bicycles, stoves, radios and other common goods were beyond the comprehension of many Soviet soldiers. One Russian soldier commented that there was more to be taken out of one house in Germany than in a typical village in the Soviet Union. Another Soviet soldier admitted: “All of us, officers and men, saw the riches and prosperity of a capitalist country and couldn’t believe our eyes. We had never believed there could be such an abundance of goods.” This German material abundance was either looted or destroyed by the Red Army.[10] 

      Even in its ruined state Berlin was the picture of sophistication for the Russians. The Russians stole all of the bicycles they could find. Gramophones, wristwatches, light bulbs and cigarette lighters were not only new to most Russian soldiers, but prized possessions to be collected. They also confiscated any liquor they could lay their hands on. Anything the Red Army did not steal they destroyed, including valuable antiques, musical instruments and elegant clothes.[11]

      One Soviet priority was the seizure of important works of art found in Berlin and throughout Germany. This was a fully planned operation, with the art works stolen by Soviet troops originally planned to be exhibited in a huge museum of war trophies. As world opinion changed against the Soviets after the war, they chose to conceal the art works in special closed galleries throughout the Soviet Union. Many of the paintings remain hidden to this day.[12]

      Russian soldiers also continually raped German women as the Red Army advanced through Silesia and Pomerania towards Berlin. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, then a young captain in the Red Army, described the entry of his regiment into East Prussia in January 1945: “For three weeks the war had been going on inside Germany and all of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot. This was almost a combat distinction.”[13] Solzhenitsyn was a committed opponent of such atrocities and vocally opposed the rape of German women.

      The savagery of Soviet soldiers was acknowledged by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in his Memoirs. Montgomery wrote: “From their behavior it soon became clear that the Russians, though a fine fighting race, were in fact barbarous Asiatics who had never enjoyed a civilization comparable to that of the rest of Europe. Their approach to every problem was utterly different from ours and their behavior, especially in their treatment of women, was abhorrent to us.”[14]

Germans Starve

      U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull knew and said, along with Secretary of War Henry Stimson, that the Morgenthau Plan would result in the deaths of millions of Germans by starvation and exposure. One of the most harmful deprivations under the Morgenthau Plan was the drastic reduction of German fertilizer production after the war. Along with a ban on private relief aid and the confiscation of German farm land, the Germans were unable to feed their people. The result was the starvation of millions of Germans after the war.[15]

      German deaths resulting from the genocidal Morgenthau Plan can be divided into three groups of people. The first group is the German POWs in both Europe and the Soviet Union. The second group is the German expellees, and the third group is the Germans already residing in Germany. While no one will ever know how many Germans died from 1945 to 1950, it is certain that the deaths far exceed most traditional estimates. The great majority of these deaths were caused by the lethal policies imposed by the Allies on Germany after the war.              

      A conservative estimate of German deaths in the Allied prisoner-of war (POW) camps is 1.5 million. This includes over 517,000 POW deaths in the Soviet Union, 100,000 POW deaths in Yugoslavia, Poland and other countries, with the remaining POW deaths in U.S. and French camps. The Germans who died in these Allied POW camps suffered miserably from exposure, disease and slow starvation. This well-documented Allied atrocity is still denied by most historians today. 

      Probably a minimum of 2.1 million German expellees died in what was supposed to be an “orderly and humane” transfer. The estimate of 2.1 million German expellee deaths is acknowledged to be valid by most traditional historians. Notable authorities have estimated a much higher number of German expellee deaths.[16] For example, Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of West Germany, estimated that 6 million German expellees died. Adenauer stated:

      According to American figures a total of 13.3 million Germans were expelled from the Eastern parts of Germany, from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and so on. 7.3 million [German expellees] arrived in the Eastern zone and the three Western zones, most of these in the latter. Six million Germans have vanished from the earth. They are dead, gone. Most of the 7.3 million who stayed alive are women, children, and old people.[17]

      An estimated 5.7 million Germans already residing in Germany died from the starvation policies implemented by the Allies. James Bacque detailed how this 5.7 million death total is calculated:

      The population of all occupied Germany in October 1946 was 65,000,000, according to the census prepared under the ACC. The returning prisoners who were added to the population in the period October 1946-September 1950 numbered 2,600,000 (rounded), according to records in the archives of the four principal Allies. Births according to the official German statistical agency, Statistisches Bundesamt, added another 4,176,430 newcomers to Germany. The expellees arriving totaled 6,000,000. Thus, the total population in 1950 before losses would have been 77,776,430, according to the Allies themselves. Deaths officially recorded in the period 1946-50 were 3,235,539, according to the UN Yearbook and the German government. Emigration was about 600,000, according to the German government. Thus, the population found should have been 73,940,891. But the census of 1950 done by the German government under Allied supervision found only 68,230,796. There was a shortage of 5,710,095 people, according to the official Allied figures (rounded to 5,700,000).[18]

      The sum of 1.5 million German POWs, 2.1 million German expellees, and 5.7 million German residents equals the minimum estimate of 9.3 million Germans who died needlessly after the war. This is far more Germans than died during World War II. Millions of these Germans slowly starved to death while the Allies withheld available food. The majority of these postwar dead Germans were women, children and very old men. Their deaths have never been honestly reported by the Allies, the German government or most historians.[19]     

Soviet Agents Draft the Morgenthau Plan

      The opening of the Soviet archives in 1995 revealed that more than 300 communist members or supporters had infiltrated the American government. Working in Lend-Lease, the Treasury Department, the State Department, the office of the president, the office of the vice president, and even American intelligence operations, these spies constantly tried to shift U.S. policy in a pro-Soviet direction.[20]

      Soviet agents were crucial in drafting the Morgenthau Plan. The Venona decrypts reveal that as many as seven Soviet agents answering to Moscow had a hand in drafting this document. These Soviet agents include Harry Dexter White, Solomon Adler, Frank Coe and four others. It is now known that White was the principal author of the Morgenthau Plan, even though some of its vengeful tone regarding the harsh treatment of the Ruhr area and the people living there was contributed by Morgenthau. The final draft of the Morgenthau Plan reflected both Morgenthau’s nihilistic vision of a deindustrialized Germany, and White’s Stalinist case for industrial asset-stripping.[21]

      The announcement of the Morgenthau Plan stiffened German resistance. Joseph Goebbels on Berlin radio spoke about “the plan proposed by that Jew Morgenthau which would rob 80 million Germans of their industry and turn Germany into a simple potato field.” American Gen. George Marshall complained to Morgenthau, “Just as the army placed loudspeakers on the front urging Germans to surrender,” the news of the Morgenthau Plan “stiffened the will of the Germans to resist.” The chief of the U.S. Army’s religious affairs section, Lt. Col. Marshall Knappen, wrote after interviewing American soldiers that “weary men returning from the field reported the Germans fought with twice their previous determination after the announcement of the Morgenthau policy.”[22]

      Many Germans, once confident of receiving better treatment if they surrendered to the Western Allies, saw Roosevelt as no better than Stalin after the announcement of the Morgenthau Plan. The Soviets were privately pleased with White’s work in helping to draft the Morgenthau Plan. Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet ambassador to Washington, met with Harry Dexter White in October 1944 to thank him in person. Gromyko told White that the Soviet government’s position on the treatment of occupied Germany was “very close or closer to what is spoken of as the Morgenthau Plan.”[23]

      The real beneficiary of the Morgenthau Plan was Josef Stalin, as Gromyko revealed when he congratulated White. The German high command threw most of their available resources into the Ardennes operation in the fall of 1944, thereby weakening German defenses on the eastern front. The Wehrmacht committed nearly three times as many newly produced tanks to the Ardennes sector (about 2,300) compared to the entire eastern front (920). The result was more than 100,000 Allied casualties in the Battle of the Bulge, including 19,246 dead, 62,849 wounded or crippled, and 26,612 captured or missing–the costliest battle of the entire war for U.S. troops. The stiffening of German resistance to American-British forces thus ensured that the Western Allies would not reach Berlin before the Soviet Army fought close to Berlin.[24]

      Aside from the battlefield losses, by signing on to the Morgenthau Plan at Quebec, Roosevelt had endorsed Stalin’s policy of industrial looting and the trafficking in slave labor as “restitution and reparation” for the war. This is what Stalin had always planned to do after the Red Army occupied Eastern Europe and Germany. The Western Allies thus missed their chance to secure a peace settlement consistent with the Atlantic Charter and with longstanding Anglo-Saxon principles of law and jurisprudence.[25]

Conclusion

      An article in a French paper dated August 25, 1938, reported that Der Angriff, Goebbels’s official publication, had launched a front-page attack on Henry Morgenthau. The article called Morgenthau “the real chief of a wide Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy” against Germany and her friends. Goebbels said about Morgenthau, “Moreover, it is he who, behind the president, holds the power.”[26]              

      Goebbels was correct that Morgenthau had considerable power in the Roosevelt administration. Three days after Pearl Harbor, Maxim Litvinov, the new Soviet ambassador to the United States, went straight to Morgenthau instead of Roosevelt for assistance in the Soviet war effort. Litvinov’s predecessor had told him to go to Morgenthau whenever he needed help. Morgenthau said to Litvinov that he would be glad to assist the Russians in any way “that would aid in defeating Hitler.”[27]

      However, in addition to Morgenthau, numerous Soviet agents in the Roosevelt administration supported the Soviet Union and helped draft the Morgenthau Plan. These Soviet agents, and especially Harry Dexter White, acting under orders from their Soviet superiors, pulled the strings by which the Morgenthau Plan was drafted. The implementation of this genocidal plan resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of Germans after the war.             

Above: A brief video clip about the origins of the Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the expansion of their Soviet Experiment which Germany attempted to halt.

Endnotes


[1] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 27.

[2] Morgenthau, Henry C., Germany is Our Problem, New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1945.

[3] Moreira, Peter, The Jew Who Defeated Hitler: Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR, and How We Won the War, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2014, p. 265.

[4] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, p. 28.

[5] Kubek, Anthony, “The Morgenthau Plan and the Problem of Policy Perversion,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 1989, pp. 289, 294.

[6] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, pp. 65-66.

[7] Quoted in Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 151.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, p. 280.

[10] Ibid., pp. 152-154.

[11] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, pp. 96-98.

[12] Ibid., p. 381.

[13] Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I., The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Vol. 1), New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974, p. 21.

[14] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, pp. 71-72.

[15] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 27-28, 92, 151.  

[16] Ibid., p. 124.

[17] Adenauer, Konrad, Memoirs, 1945-1953, translated by Beate Ruhm von Oppen, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1966, p. 148.

[18] Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 115-116.

[19] Ibid., p. 124

[20] Folsom, Burton W. Jr. and Anita, FDR Goes to War, New York: Threshold Editions, 2011, pp. 242, 245.

[21] McMeekin, Sean, Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2021, pp. 571-572.

[22] Ibid., p. 581.

[23] Ibid., p. 582.

[24] Ibid., p. 583.

[25] Ibid., pp. 583-584.

[26] Moreira, Peter, The Jew Who Defeated Hitler: Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR, and How We Won the War, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2014, p. 12.

[27] Blum, John Morton, Roosevelt and Morgenthau: A Revision and Condensation of From the Morgenthau Diaries, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970, p. 454.

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1 Response

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    Thanks for the article.
    There is one point that I would like to expand upon, when it comes to the Soviet losses. Under the Treaty of Westphalia, combatants were to be uniformed, and civilian losses were to be minimized by not making cities and towns war zones. Combatants not in uniform were spies, and those aiding and abetting the non-uniformed combatants were also considered spies. Spies could be questioned, then summarily executed.
    Germany acknowledged that it bombed Warsaw, but was bombing only military targets. Both in Poland, and later the USSR, the so-called “resistance” were non-uniformed combatants, and extensive use was made of them. These were spies under the Treaty of Westphalia, creating a situation where many were summarily executed, as were those who were suspected of aiding and abetting them. The reference to Leningrad is another facet of Soviet defense tactics. The Soviet forces retreated to cities, turning them into military targets. The Treaty of Westphalia was meant to do away with medieval sieges where innocent civilians suffered when cities and towns became battlegrounds. Had the Soviets not retreated to their cities the losses would have been far fewer.
    It is interesting to note that the so-called “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine today have been using Soviet military tactics by setting up artillery and command stations in civilian areas. In both cases, the civilian losses are much greater than would be expected.

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