Why is Wikipedia Censoring Me? by James Bacque In 1989, I published the first in a series of books about the Second World War and its aftermath. The first, Other Losses, showed the tremendous atrocities committed against enemy prisoners in the prison camps of the US and France after 1945. The next, Just Raoul, was a biography of a hero of the French Resistance who saved many refugees from Nazi death camps. The next, Crimes and Mercies, described the full extent of all allied crimes against Germans, plus the wonderful charity work of Canada and the USA in saving 800 million people, including Germans, Japanese and Italians, from starving to death in the hungry years after 1945. The next, Dear Enemy, illuminated the attitudes of the western allies to Germany from 1945 to now.
Wikipedia reviews and criticizes only Other Losses, and in such a biassed way, that I finally tried to correct their many errors. Starting in March, 2006, I tried repeatedly over many weeks to correct the errors, but found that within a day at first, then within hours, and finally within minutes, some Wikipedian editor had expunged my corrections, replacing them with ever more hostile and denigrating allegations. Friends of mine tried also to correct the flawed Wikipedia article, but found the same situation. Finally we decided that Wikipedia was deliberately censoring my contributions, and that it was pointless to continue trying to present the facts on Wikipedia. After Serendipity (already acquainted with censorship at Wikipedia) heard of this situation I was offered the chance to publish the real story, which appears below.
Wikipedia quotes Stephen E. Ambrose as saying that Other Losses is "... spectacularly flawed ..." without saying that Ambrose also wrote that "You have made a major historical discovery which will ... span the oceans and have reverberations for decades, yea centuries to come. You have the goods on these guys ..."
Wikipedia does not say that Ambrose changed his mind only after he was retained by the US Army to lecture at the War College in Pennsylvania. Nor does Wikipedia mention that in his attack on me in the New York Times, he admitted that he had not done the necessary research to reach the conclusions that he published in that same article. Wikipedia fails to mention that the Ambrose it cites as an authority admitted that he had plagiarized several other authors. Wikipedia does not concern itself with the accusations that Ambrose stole work from a graduate student which he published as his own.
Wikipedia ignores my book, Crimes and Mercies, which goes far towards balancing the record of western actions after World War Two. The book shows the great charity extended by the western allies, chiefly Canada and the USA, towards the starving around the world after WW2, including the Japanese and Germans. Saying that the overwhelming majority of professional historians reject my work, and citing as an authority one historian who has never worked in this field, Wikipedia ignores the support given me by the eminent US Army military historian Col. Dr. Ernest F. Fisher, a former Senior Historian of the US Army Center for Military History, Washington. Fisher, a professional historian for decades, wrote the official US Army history of the campaign in Italy. He assisted me for months in researching documents in the US National Archives, wrote the Introduction to my book Other Losses, and has supported me with public statements for the seventeen years since its first publication. He helped me for many months researching in the archives.
Wikipedia does not mention the expert editing, research help and public support given me by the eminent epidemiologist and biostatistician, Dr Anthony B. Miller, former head of the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Toronto.
Wikipedia also casts aside the support given my work by Richard Overy, King's College, University of London; Otto Kimminich, University of Regensburg; Dr Alfred De Zayas, author of many books on postwar German history; Prof. Dr. Peter Hoffmann, McGill University, author of the most expert books on the German resistance; Prof. J. K. Johnson, Carleton University, Ottawa; Professor Ralph Raico, University of Buffalo; Prof. Ed Peterson, University of Wisconsin; Prof Ralph Scott, University of Iowa; Prof. Pierre Van Den Berghe, University of Seattle; Prof. Dr Richard Mueller, former head, Department of English, University of Aachen; Prof. Hans Koch, University of York and many others.
Among writers who have approved my work and supported me are Julian Barnes; Nikolai Tolstoy; John Fraser, Master of Massey College, Toronto; John Bemrose of Toronto; Robert Kroetsch, Winnipeg; and many others. My work has been published around in the world in ten languages by Macmillan, Little, Brown, Prima, Ullstein, Editions Sand, McClelland and Stewart, New Press, and many many others.
Finally, the most glaring omission is that the massive and detailed KGB Archives in Moscow have millions of documents whose evidence completely confirms the statistical work in Other Losses. The math is simple: about 1.5 million German prisoners alive in allied prison camps at the end of the war never came home, nor were their deaths reported to the German government, their families, the International Red Cross or the UN. The figure was determined by the Adenauer government in Germany, submitted to the UN, and has never been disputed by anyone. Thus when Other Losses came out in 1989, alleging deaths of about one million in French and American camps, that left about 500,000 to be accounted for. They could have died only in the KGB camps, because there were not half a million prisoners in any other camps in the world. Thus, in effect Other Losses was predicting that when the communists opened the KGB archives, they would show deaths of about 500,000. And lo and behold, when Gorbachev brought down the communist rule, and the archives were opened, I went there, and found the Bulanov Report which showed that 356,687 Germans died in Soviet captivity, plus another 93,900 civilians taken as substitutes for dead or escaped prisoners for a total of 450,587. This astonishing discovery is not mentioned in Wikipedia, nor by any other of the "professional historians." Except one, Stefan Karner, who went to the KGB archives, saw the evidence piled up in enormous quantities, and said he did not believe it. Instead, he preferred to publish his own "estimates," which confirm the conventional view.
Information about books written by James Bacque
may be found on his website World War 2 Books.
Update 2008-04-05 (added by Peter Meyer):
The following paragraph was inserted on 2008-04-02 by James Bacque in the entry about him on Wikipedia to inform readers of several important and relevant facts that eliminate the credibility of the two chief sources of criticism of Bacque's book Other Losses. This paragraph was deleted within twelve hours, like all the other corrections that have been inserted in Wikipedia by Bacque and others.
Wikipedia readers may be interested to know that Ambrose was charged with plagiarism several years ago, a charge which he first denied, then admitted in part when more evidence was produced against him. The man on whom Ambrose relied for most of his information about prisoners of war was Eric Maschke, a Nazi who wrote racist propaganda for the Germans in Poland during the war. In the 1950s, Maschke was commissioned by Willy Brandt West German Foreign Minister to produce a series of books about the 1.5 million German PoWs still missing in the 1950s. The authors and editor worked, as they said, from estimates and anecdotal evidence gathered almost entirely from German sources which were not privy to the statistics in the American and Soviet archives. These were consulted for and are cited in Other Losses. The Maschke books were according to Brandt in the Bundestag on April 25, 1969, intended "to avoid provoking a public discussion at home and abroad ... [which would] open old wounds and not serve the reconciliation efforts of the Federal Republic's foreign policy."
The deletion may be confirmed by viewing en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=James_Bacque&diff=202939101&oldid=202860404.
An interesting discussion of Bacque's work, and the page on Wikipedia about him, may be viewed at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:James_Bacque. There we read:
The bias against Bacque that is being permitted without adequate checks here at Wiki truly beggars belief and is a disgrace. Those who have properly studied James Bacque's latter work, "Crimes and Mercies" (which to this Oxonian's mind stands up admirably to expert scrutiny — and by the way is in no way "Holocaust denying"), will know that Bacque's research and conclusions continue to hold water.
That others have embraced this great and ground-breaking work of Mr Bacque, currently reprinting for early 2007, is of no surprise, for it reflects what many Germans experienced and recall. That individuals with their own agendas have found the horrific truths and research published welcome or unwelcome, is irrelevant. Bacque's work conforms to high standards of academic and historiographical methodology and accuracy. The attempted slurs that were earlier found on here are therefore appalling.
Wikipedia is often regarded as similar to (if not actually) an encyclopedia. But an encyclopedia is a source of reliable information and a record of what is known on various topics. This claim by, or on behalf of, Wikipedia is fallacious. Instead of enabling the presentation of all the evidence relating to any controversial topic (such as one or another genocide, or the question of which group was actually responsible for the events of 9/11), some Wikipedia editors censor anything which is inconsistent with a view of the world that they wish everyone else would accept. This is presumably done to further the aims of the group to which these editors belong, and to whom (it seems) lying in the service of (what they regard as) a "higher cause" is considered acceptable.
Wikipedia may be useful for quick consultation on such non-controversial matters as the melting point of platinum or the latitude of Irkutsk, but because biassed and misleading articles occur in association with other factually correct articles (a kind of "innocence by association") Wikipedia is not simply of limited value but is a positively harmful source of disinformation, at least to the degree to which those editors attempting to impose their false assertions are not prevented from doing so by the efforts of others who value the freedom to present evidence whether or not that evidence is unpalatable to some.
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