What are some of America's dark secrets

The Crimes of the Liberators - America's Dark Secrets in World War II

zeit.geschichte on Saturday

Studies by the US Department of War that indicated a disproportionately large number of attacks by US soldiers were declared secret. ORF III shows the dispute over discipline and military justice with revealing documents and moving statements from US soldiers and victims.

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 10.55 p.m.

US soldiers fought for democracy and the freedom of other peoples. But they also committed numerous crimes during their missions. Most went unpunished. The advance of the Allies against Nazi Germany was not only accompanied by atrocities by the victors in the east. Many a US soldier keeps a dark secret in addition to shiny medals.

ORF / ZDF

GIs shot German prisoners and raped thousands of women. Estimates of the German number of victims vary widely and cause disputes among experts, also because they are a taboo break and in the Federal Republic were for decades a potential burden on the relationship with the Western allies. In Bavaria alone, which was liberated by US troops in April 1945, historians assume several thousand sexual offenses by American soldiers. On some landing beaches in Normandy, only every second German prisoner of war survived. Often the liberators, shocked by German crimes, got caught in a spiral of violence. Only a fraction of the crimes were tried by US courts. Studies by the US Department of War that indicated a disproportionately high number of attacks were unceremoniously declared secret.

ORF / ZDF

ORF III documents the dispute over discipline and military justice in the US Army with unpublished documents and moving statements from US soldiers and victims.

ORF / ZDF

ORF / ZDF

Documentation, 2015


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