Germany’s defeat in May 1945, and the end of World War II in Europe, did not bring an end to death and suffering for the vanquished German people. Instead the victorious Allies ushered in a horrible new era that, in many ways, was worse than the destruction brought by war.
In a sobering and courageous book, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, British historian Giles MacDonogh details how the ruined and prostrate Reich (including Austria) was systematically raped and robbed, and how many Germans who survived the war were either killed in cold blood or deliberately left to die of disease, cold, malnutrition or starvation.
His best estimate is that some three million Germans, military and civilians, died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities.
Most of the two million German civilians who perished after the end of the war were women, children and elderly — victims of disease, cold, hunger, suicide, and mass murder.
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