A retired officer in the US army has apologized to the German army for the mass deaths of German prisoners in US army camps after World War Two. Following extensive private investigations in the US and Germany, Merrit P. Drucker has sent an e-mail to Lt. Col. Max Klaar, head of the Verband der deutscher Soldaten (German Veterans’ Association), regretting the lethal conditions in the US camps where some 750,000 Germans died while they were denied available food and shelter.
Drucker has also formed a committee of six people, in Germany, the UK, Canada and the US to pursue further investigations and make amends by way of apologies to the families of the dead, and veterans’ institutions. Drucker’s first e-mail letter has been posted on the veterans’ website where there is also a questionnaire asking for details of prisoners’ internment.
The book Other Losses by James Bacque, which helped to set off the investigation, is being re-issued in an American edition in October. The launch will be held in Washington in the Marriott Hotel where Drucker plans to present a formal letter of apology to Klaar who is flying over for the occasion. Klaar will present in his turn a proposal for a peace treaty between the USA and Germany. It has 14 points. Two films about postwar Germany are included in the program.
Other Losses, a world-wide best-seller published in 13 countries, has been suppressed in the US for over 20 years. The new edition is being published by Talonbooks of Vancouver, whose editor, Karl Siegler, is the son of a former prisoner in a US army camp. When his father told him what had happened to him in the US camp, Siegler said, “I don’t believe you.” He changed his mind after reading Other Losses. Because of such sad events, Lt. Colonel Klaar has said that “Germany is a country of wounded souls.” Many Germans have already written to Major Drucker to thank him for taking a heavy weight of grief and guilt off their minds.
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