War Crimes of the Liberators

2015, Military and War  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 7.27/10 from 41 users.

In the heat of World War II, as millions perished to defend the cause of global freedom and democracy, an insidious rash of war crimes were occurring undeterred in plain sight. In the midst of war's insanity, many brave young men committed heinous acts they would likely find unimaginable in more civilized settings. Not surprisingly, most of these incidents were never investigated or prosecuted; they were generally portrayed as one of the regrettable byproducts of an ugly war. War Crimes of the Liberators examines this uncomfortable line between the gallant and venal.

On June 6, 1944, a slow march up a French beach became one of the most ambitious and heroic assaults in the history of war. D-Day is remembered as a turning point in the Second World War, and as one of the proudest examples of combat valor in military history. According to the historians profiled in the film, war atrocities were occurring almost from the moment the allied forces began to storm the beach. In a breach of international conventions, many German prisoners were not taken into custody as is customary, but shot on sight. Sexual assaults were also a common occurrence. These types of mass executions and other atrocities were reported to have taken place on all sides of the war.

Complimented by absorbing narration and newsreel footage, the film delves into the psychology of war, and the decayed morality that results from prolonged exposure to bloodshed and untempered aggression. Some of these acts were influenced by the pressures of conformity, while others were triggered by an all-too-human thirst for vengeance. War is a catalyst that can bring out the best - and worst - of its players.

One of the film's main points of focus is the culpability of military leadership, and their seeming indifference to such atrocities. In refusing to report, investigate or prosecute most of these incidents, military institutions failed to deter them from occurring.

War Crimes of the Liberators calls upon previously unpublished documents, raw testimonials from soldiers who stood on the front line, and insights from a panel of assorted researchers and historians to inform its challenging and tragic narrative.

Directed by: Annette Harlfinger, Michael Renz

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Michael

    Americans brought their "democracy"

  2. Pete

    There's no such thing as glory in war

  3. a

    The wrong side won the second world war.

  4. Les

    The US claimed to be fighting for "democracy" yet helped to arm Stalin with lend lease and put him in a position to set up communist dictatorships in eastern Europe including Poland whose invasion in 1939 was the reason for going to war in the first place. Hypocrisy much ?

    1. Anna H

      I didn't know anything about Yalta or FDR's role in locking Eastern Europe into 40 years of horror until rather recently. The 'history' I learned in high school was a pretty story with the US as the unimpeachable hero. I didn't take any history in college because I was a science major, so I didnt learn much about history at all until I developed an interest in it on my own. I can't take much pride in my country anymore. I can't even consider the end of WW2 a 'liberation.' Poland was betrayed over and over and over. The Poles were thrown away and forgotten by their 'allies' and left under Stalin's evil regime, along with the rest of Eastern Europe and FDR was responsible for it. I have no respect at all left for him as a president and I am so, so sorry that the US was responsible for something so awful. Millions of people tortured and killed and the rest living in misery under a dictator every bit as bad as Hitler, maybe worse. I'm not surprised that the history textbooks leave every detail of the Yalta conference out and barely mention the Soviet 'ally' at all.

  5. Jeffrey

    The criminals who brought a decade of darkness, terror, genocide and cruel death to tens of millions of Innocents in Europe and the world turn around and complain about individual and isolated incidents of Allied retribution?! Hypocrits in ivory towers. You were only following orders.

    1. Jeffrey

      I forgot to mention that the deaths which the perpetrators for a decade brought upon their helpless victims were merciless and bloodthirsty and did not distinguish between infant, women and children. And now the sons of those perpetrators would have us listen to their "documented" and isolated cases of several hundred Nazi soldiers executed in acts of albeit illegal revenge. How very scholastic. I guess murderers and thugs have rights when they surrender, do they. Do the speakers know what murderous hatred SS stood for that they would ask us to remember their deaths with mercy?

  6. Elenthora

    I think you have to be very careful about accusation of war crimes against soldiers who do what they have to do during and immediately after battle.

  7. voluntaryist

    War is the logical end result of the worldwide political paradigm based on the initiation of violence, threats, and fraud. No nation is moral or humane. All endorse the sacrifice of the individual to the "common good" or "national security" or "the collective". The end result is social chaos and collapse, even if it takes 900 years (the Roman Empire).

  8. Roma Fraser-Engler

    The Last Temptation - Mel Gibson - Molech is the indirect and direct cause of in humanity to humans and apparently continued covertly . HM Queen Elizabeth 11 a Warrior Princess - Warrior Priestess does no wrong .

    MY father was a Canadian Soldier he came back and found them in Montreal . Unthinkable . My Father reported briefly . Kill or be killed

  9. j. dean

    your website will do anything to suppress US greatness and generosity. Anything to undermine the USA; quite sad.

    1. Robin

      You know what? If our boys did wrong things, then I'm better off knowing it rather than having wool over my eyes. I don't care what the truth is as long as I can KNOW it.

  10. J Miller

    I would never take a prisoner alive unless by torture we might gain intelligence. We are being attacked with the intent of making slaves of us. If it were up to me all enemy and non enemy combatants would be executed unless it could be proven they fought against their own country. Then we take their land so they can never attack again. Germany was allowed to survive WWI and so they were able to start WWII. How dumb is that? Wars continue because we allow the aggressor to continue on until they are strong enough to do it all again.

    1. Chad

      They say the same thing about us. Dumb is your lack of understanding.

    2. voluntaryist

      The Nazis were not gods or miracle workers. They went from a broken dysfunctional economy to a world military power in a decade spending massive "loans" from UK/USA banks and did so illegally under international law thanks to Western powers who were criminally complicit. Germany was supposed to attack Russia but Hitler was deranged and uncontrollable. The international banking cartel (TPTB) are NOT as powerful or perfect as they try to be. They want world domination and got it, but at a much higher price than they intended.
      "Wars continue because" the masses in every society all over the world support coercive governments by submitting to theft (taxes) and other rights violations, e.g., economic regs.

  11. clinton dickey

    a bit biased but good all the same