Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The 'Fraulein Cannibals' of Post-War Germany: Fact? Fiction?

[Editor's note: This is the first part of a multi-part series.
The interview in the article below took place in 2000-2001.
                                                                   ---Reston Cane]

The Last Dark Secret of WW2

 Nazi Women. Have rumors of cannibal Nazi women
been a male magazine twisted fantasy, as in
this men's magazine picture from the 50s? Or,
is there evidence it occurred?

     One of the darkest histories of World War 2 has
been too taboo to discuss for well over a half-century.
     Until now.

     Given the scale and number of atrocities during
that watershed conflict, one may ask, "What could
be left?"
     Even after 60-plus years, one member attached to the
Office of Strategic Services would only agree to talk on
the record using a pseudonym in place of his actual
     Working for an arm of OSS, the Joint
Intelligence Objectives Agency, and specifically
Operation Paperclip, he will go by the name Rick
Clefferds for the purpose of this article.
     What did Clefferds, and others, keep secret these
many years?
     Occurring in the years 1945 through 1948, allegedly
by women of the former Third Reich. Committed in the
then-U.S. occupied German Zones.

     It has long been a dark, hidden, alleged addendum
to World War 2. That at the close of the war
some members of Germany's most powerless,
disenfranchised group, living in a decimated, famine
afflicted country, tried to feed family
members and themselves by committing, in attics or
basements, at night, hidden from scrutiny
or the light of day, an act so shocking it has
repeatedly been eschewed as a tawdry and
pernicious joke.

     Since the first evidence surfaced, charges of
female Germans cannibalizing Allied personnel were
laughed at. Made to appear apocryphal. And still are
     Why? Instances of cannibalism by the Japanese
during WW2 have been known and accepted since
the end of the war. The eating of civilians as well
as captured U.S. fliers and other military personnel
by Japanese officers is documented fact.
     The cannibalism of civilians, mainly Chinese,
can be attributed to cruelty. The desecration and
cannibalism of U.S. personnel, however, was done
not for hunger, but mainly by Japanese officers
seeking the 'power' of their captured enemy.

 The real cannibals? A picture from the files of Operation Paperclip.
Shown upon capture by Allied troops in 1945. Two years later one
of the women here was implicated in fraternizing, seducing and 
cannibalization of U.S. military personnel.

     The most famous of these incidents was very
late in the war when at least one member of a B-29
crew from a downed bomber on Kyushu was beheaded
and had cooked portions of his body fed to Japanese
officers after the B-29's pilot had been sent to
Tokyo (alive) for interrogation.
     Why was alleged German cannibalism immediately
after the war so hidden? A clue may be found
in the actions of General Douglass MacArthur
in 1950, regarding the war crime trials of the
alleged Japanese cannibalism in the B-29 incident.
     MacArthur had all charges of actual cannibalism
dropped, commuted all death sentences, and reduced
sentences for 23 of those originally charged.

'Tough on Communism, soft on Cannibals'

     Rick Clefferds explained both the whitewashing of
German female cannibalism in Post War-Germany,
and General MacArthur's astonishing actions
as being "tough on Communism, soft on cannibals."
     "Look, my job with JIOA (Joint Intelligence
Objectives Agency) and Paperclip was to cover up all
this evidence of atrocities. And I was as Red White
and Blue as any young American kid. But I knew a few
things. If the U.S. didn't get the scientists that
almost won the war for Hitler with the next
generation of weapons, jet planes, rockets and
atomic bombs, then Uncle Joe Stalin would.
     "Whatever these Nazi monsters had done, this
war was over. The next one was coming. I attribute
to the job I did, and the others with Paperclip, the
saving of the world from domination by Communism. Or
from a conflagration that would have made WW2 look
like a Fourth of July weiner bake."

Post-War life for German women was harsh. Starvation
and near-famine conditions were factors in driving a segment
of the female population to the unthinkable, according to an
operative of the U.S. Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency.. 

     Thus there were justifications for saving former
Nazis and war criminals for a privileged life in
the United States. As heroes in the race to the moon, or
other positions preferable to the hanging, or life
sentence in a Soviet Gulag, many thought they
     What, however, could justify covering
up cannibalism of U.S. military personnel by German
women in the Western Occupied Zones?

     "Look at your question," Clefferds says,
lighting a Lucky Strike. "And, you might ask,
why are we talking just about women?
     "Because mostly that's who was left in the
zones at the end of the war. There were no resources.
What these people did to survive was not, like the
Holocaust, a mass planned genocide. It was small
pockets of citizens who'd lost everything, just
trying to survive. It's not an excuse, but it puts
things in (a) different perspective than the
concentration camps. The Japanese officers
eating fly boys," Clefferds says.

Outlawed artwork. This German-made Art Deco style statuette
was fabricated by ultra right-wing German political factions in the 
late 40s to celebrate the actions of 'Reich's-Frauen' in killing
and cannibalizing occupying Allied soldiers after WW2. The
art work has been outlawed in Germany

     Was that the official reasoning?
     "Fuck. There was no, I repeat, NO official
reasoning here. This was all unofficial. But before
an organization of the U.S. Government is covertly
ready to excuse--which is not really the right
word--is ready to look the other way in something like
this, it helps if there is a qualitative difference
in the type of killing committed. Even, cannibalism.

     "Let me ask you something Mr. Reporter. Do you
see a difference between Tojo generals eating a
dining plate of kid fliers versus a starving
fraulein facing starvation of her daughter and
herself. Doing this as a last resort?"

     As compelling as the point may or may not be,
it was only a minor consideration, according to
Clefferds. The real concern was the need for a
Post War Western Alliance to counter the
     The former JIOA/Operation Paperclip operative
outlined at least five instances of cannibalism he personally
knew of, which to his satisfaction were verified as
having occurred. These were mainly young to middle-
aged German women seducing U.S. and some other
Allied personnel to compromised situations where
they were drugged, killed, butchered, cooked, and
served as food for the starving women, their families.
And at times neighbors.

     Most disturbing is that in at least one of those
instances, vampirism was also verified to have
occurred. That as both a method to kill the drugged
personnel, and as an additional food source.
     "As disgusting as this stuff sounds, the fact
was that less than 50 victims were ever identified.
And it is my belief that in all of it, I doubt if there
were more than 100 victims total. If that.

 Perhaps more disturbing than even the killing, desecration
and cannibalization of U.S. GI's, were proven instances of
'vampirism', whereby bound victims were killed by the drinking
of their blood prior to butchering and cannibalism.

     "But the specific reason none of this was allowed
to reach light of day? Political. Clearly,
unequivocally, undeniably, and righfully so.
     "In the war that was coming, and I think
history has proved (sic) Churchill exactly right, whether
it was the Cold War that did happen, or the hot
war with the Soviets we thought was coming...a
public relations disaster would have ensued
making it impossible to turn Germans into
allies of the West.
     "And that, Mr. Reporter, would have
led, undeniably, to a world that would've made
a loss to Hitler seem like tiddly winks. Hitler was
a Napoleon. We could have fought an occupation
and overturned it in time, with God's help. But a
technologically overwhelming Soviet Union that'd
scooped up all Hitler's scientists, would have
put the West at an unendurable loss, (and) would
have turned Earth into a living Hell.
     "As personally disgusting as cannibalism,
something like that could not be allowed to disturb
the future alliance of Germany and the West that would,
and I think you'll agree did, save freedom in the Post
War World."

The 'Whitewash'

     From 1945 to 1947 Rick Clefferds personally
worked as a can-do member of Operation Paperclip,
a program of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services
under JIOA.
     He had the exigent and critical task of bringing
German Nazi scientists over to the Allied side by
'cleansing' or 'bleaching' their Nazi past. To
integrate them into a Western defense in the
'cold', or assumed 'hot', war with the Soviet Union
that was thought by elements of the West to be coming.
     The most famous of these file cleansings was none
other than of the designer of rockets for both
Hitler's unsuccessful V-2 attempt to level London,
and for John Kennedy's successful plan to put a man on
the moon.
     Wernher von Braun.

To be fair, JIOA personnel verified only about 50 actual victims of
cannibalism by German women in the Western Occupied Zones
after WW2. All Allied military men. Despite small numbers
compared to other horrors of the war, the stigma of women
seducing men to kill, and then eat, is a horrific one.

     "Most people now know we went to the moon on Nazi
brainpower. Lots and lots of it. Von Braun was just the
tip of that iceberg," says Clefferds, a tall, gracefully
aging man with remnants of a Texas accent and a penchant
for Lucky Strikes, "a habit I picked up working in
the American Zones (in Germany). We handed 'em out for
free to our guys."
     Clefferds has made the case for an equivalence
in importance of saving Nazi scientists and covering
up occurrences of women cannibalizing Western (mostly
U.S.) personnel in the American Zones.
     "One woman I can verify had parts of four
skeletons identified as U.S. and British personnel
in her basement, and pieces of one butchered
young GI in an icebox. She ended up in Italy married to a
wealthy Fiat executive. (She) admitted paying a
prostitute to get them (the victims) drunk during sex,
and let her have them (afterward). She'd take the drunk
young men, pour scotch down their throats until they were
out (unconscious, and) put them on a slant board. Slit their
throats, wrists, and bleed 'em. Her defense, given in pretty
good English was,'they did not suffer'.
     "I personally wanted to taker her outside and shoot
her. I don't know one agency person there who didn't. Or
worse. But we had a world to save, and making an incident
was exactly the wrong way to do that."

 A  fraulein early in the war, attached as a service assistant to a unit
of the Wermacht. By war's end women such as her would be dealing
with the overwhelming  conditions of a decimated nation. This woman
had been investigated by JIOA investigators for seduction in the
disappearance of six U.S. servicemen. Stamped on her file was the 

     Clefferds grimaces at the recounting.

     "This is the first time I told anyone this. I
was the guy who got her into Rome. I set meetings
up between Hilda (not her name, but what
investigators nicknamed her) and a half-dozen very
eligible men that were getting rich through the Marshall
     "I didn't have a shrink to guarantee anything, but
our position on the ground was that these women went
through hell. Put in a good situation, she would not
commit these acts again. Shit, we weren't going to do
what the Nazis did, and take her out and shoot her, no
matter how much that would have been my personal
     "She wasn't a bad looker either.
Most of them weren't, which is how they suckered
these kids in. In the end, I'd say nearly all of them were
normal women who'd been pushed too far. Which doesn't
say much for 'normal', but there you are."

     Did the Fiat executive know of her past?
     "Are you shitting me? You think we said,
'By the way, your new lovely wife ate four Allied
military personnel?' That was a non-starter son.
     "No one knew the real past of any of these women.
It couldn't have been done otherwise. And to this day, I've not
heard about any of them going back zombie on us."
     But Clefferds points out that if President Truman,
or leaders of any of the Allied Nations, had been aware
of any of this, even resurrection of the scientists,
the entire operation would have been shuttered.

Horror movie or History?

     Clefferds is more eager to discuss the political
reasons for whitewashing these acts than dwelling on
the horrors themselves. After all, his job was to
erase this chapter from history.
     With the fall of the USSR, and a unified West, and
unimpeachable German-U.S. relationship, truth can safely
be analyzed, Clefferds feels. It also allows him to speak
about the one incident that gave him pause. That might
have led to his quitting the program. Or worse, exposing
Paperclip's role in covering up the cannibalism of U.S.
personnel in the U.S. Zones.

 In the end, the orders against 'fraternization' were ignored by 
young GI's who never could have imagined how an affair with
a pretty woman could become a nightmare.

     "I remember a young girl, German girl, was brought
in by the constab (U.S. Constabulary, U.S. forces acting
in police capacities in U.S. occupied zones). She
looked well-fed, which in itself was odd,"
Clefferds recalls.
     "What truly haunted me, and to this day, was the
look in her eyes. No way to describe that."

     The 11-year old girl had wandered into
a local constabulary HQ. She had a story that first
amused the U.S. personnel. Then horrified them as they
became uncertain whether it was in fact real or not.
     The OSS was contacted, which quickly had the
matter referred to JIOA. Clefferds and his superior
had the girl brought in for questioning.

     "My CO left the room. 'It's yours Rick. Why
they pay you the big bucks' he said. Of course I knew
he had to maintain his deniability. But hell, who wanted
to hear this."
     The young girl told Clefferds how her father had
been killed on the Eastern Front, and her brother,
12-years-old, had joined the civilian forces for the
defense of the homeland in the final days of the war.
The brother had been killed as well. The girl, her
mother and her aunt were all that remained.
     As sad and horrendous as the story would be,
it was not something that could be dismissed as untrue
given the dreadful German conditions. And given what
else Clefferds had seen, and had found people to be
capable of.
     "She told how her aunt, and then her
mother, started seeing soldiers. The GI's were 'kind'
to them. Still, her aunt, by the girl's words, hated
the soldiers. Specially having to 'love' them
in exchange for things, as the kid put it."

     The girl ended up describing something
out of a vampire film from the 1990s, which must
have been mind blowing to a young foreign service
worker in occupied Germany in 1946.
     "It was insane. The girl didn't even have the
words to describe what she'd seen. Even with the
     Clefferds and a discreet group of OSS investigators
went to the residence, arrested the girl's aunt and
mother, shocked at what they found. An apartment
that, in the front room, was was set up like a brothel.
Behind curtains leading to another room, there was what
Clefferds could only describe as a killing room.
Beyond that was a butchery and large ice box in the room
of an abandoned apartment behind their flat.
     "The insanity was what they had to say. The
aunt was a bona fide Nazi. Had her party papers. The
whole thing. She hated us. She bragged about the young
soldiers she brought home. (That) she and her sister took
into that back room and killed.
     "The Germans are a clean people. And that killing
room looked spic and span. Like a kitchen. But you knew
what went on there. It creeps me out right now. There were
a few specks of blood on the huge butcher knives. They
tested human."
     Why had the German women admitted so easily what they
had done? According to Clefferds, that was normal, if
that word can be used, with virtually all the women who
authorities discovered committing such acts.
     "They saw it as some form of accepted resistance.
Something they could, and even should, be proud of. There
was nothing left to them. They couldn't even fight and die,
like their men could. So this was it.
     "When uncovered, it was like saying,
'Fuck you! We still can fight.' I was provided
one psychologist by the government who had clearance to
discuss all I went through. To help me. This was his
suggestion. And over years of thinking (about) this, I think he
had it (right)."

Dyanne Thorne, in her role as the ultimate German Bitch,
ILSA SHE WOLFE OF THE SS. Another latter day caricature
of at least some events that were in fact documented by the
Joint Intel Objectives Agency.
     Clefferds continued describing what he learned from
the women about what they'd done.
     At first they had attempted to keep their
daughter/niece out of the rooms when they had a soldier
there. But the spaces were small, and the girl saw more
than they had imagined.
     The aunt proudly detailed everything that was done
to the unlucky GI's. The mother, when told what her
sister said, affirmed it was true.

     The women would bring one soldier home at a time.
The young GI would clearly be contravening the laws
against fraternization with Germans. Which was not unusual.
     In the front room the young American would be seduced
by both the aunt and mother. Clefferds described them
"as women any man might have trouble resisting, fraternization
laws or no laws".
     The aunt, despite hatred of the Allies, was
more than happy to initiate sex. The mother would give the
victim drinks of alcohol. Ironically, the scotch and bourbon
came from other GI's hoping for sex, or casually fraternizing.
Often, the aunt would begin with oral intercourse, and then
actual. The mother would do more casual things, like kissing
the victims in between feeding them drinks of the hard stuff.
     According to Clefferds, the aunt "may have hated
Americans, but she sure enjoyed fucking them. Figuratively
as much as in deed."
     The most shocking would occur next. It made Clefferds
particularly angry that a little girl would have seen it.
     When the GI's were taken into the 'killing room', it
wasn't just killing that would occur. The women, mostly the
aunt, but the mother too, would engage in sex with the young
American military personnel as they were bound, and being killed.

[to be continued]


  1. Hard to believe what you write here. I did google some of it and the more I research, the more I find disturbing information t hat suggests some of these things. It's interesting but not fun reading.

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  5. the facts read like fiction, i know, but i've been a reporter for 20+ years and follow the standard rules for using a source and source material, though it's pretty edgy material here so i can often only get stuff on the record if offering pseudonyms for sources, which i do. but things are multi-sourced and cross checked before something's accepted to publish here. thanks for the comment.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Shear fantasy. None of the records regarding Operation Paper Clip and I have been through them at the National Archives in College Park involve, mention or hint at cannibalism be it male, female, German or anything else. This includes the US Army Counter Intelligence files at the same facility. All of these records are available for view by the general public so you can check them out for yourselves.
    The pictures of the women above are most likely non-military. To escape the advancing Russians German soldiers dressed women into military uniforms so the Americans would think the are German army axillaries. German civilians would not be allowed to cross into American lines and would be forced to remain in the Russian lines.

  8. I thank you for at least commenting. As for whether this is 'shear (sic) fantasy'? I'll answer what I wrote about my work to another commenting reader:

    'I will say, I just do the research. I write what I find. Is it all true? That's not a journalist's job, to make what may very well be unobtainable judgements.

    A lot of this stuff I don't even know if I believe, or would if it were put to me. But I'm constantly astounded at what I come across while trying to disprove, or attack some of this material.

    Is Die Krieggottin true? I've written what I've found. Do I believe it? Do I believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK? Who will ever know.

    Thanks for reading, Reston.'

  9. It's probably true to some extent. It's doubtful that the OSS/CIC or other intelligence officials would want such details getting publicized. If that had happened, the American people would never have stood for it. So such things were simply pushed aside in favor of the things that 'mattered'.

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  17. This is half truths and fantasy at best. Yes there was documented cannibalism on both the German and Russian sides of the war. However this is just fantasy. Why at the end of the war would anyone need to set up a brothel to attract soldiers. When you could scoop up passed out drunk ones on the street and in bars. Food was scarce but there was still food out there for those who would work and in the inital weeks after the war when food was really in short supply no woman or girl would be out on the streets after dark anyway from fear. Way too many things dont add up!

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