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Leaflet Dropped over Germany by US B-17s


Outside Front

“There is no middle ground”

caption under picture: The bearers of the ultimatum.


Outside Reverse

“There is no ‘middle ground’. Either you unconditionally surrender the city in its current state and thereby avoid the meaningless loss of German life and property, or you resist and face complete annihilation. The choice and the responsibility rest with you.” (Excerpt from the Ultimatum of the Commander of the First American Army)


Inside Front

The Lesson from Aachen!

Three young American soldiers under a white flag march into the half-destroyed city of Aachen as bearers of the final ultimatum.
For weeks the city of Aachen has been lying in the firing line of the First American Army. For a long time, Aachen has been surrounded.
The National Socialist leadership and the OKW decided to defend the city of Aachen even against a hopelessly superior superpower to the bitter end.

The time for the decision came.

“The American forces have now completely surrounded Aachen. They are supplied with enough bombers and artillery to decimate the city, if necessary. The city will be seized by us . . . either through immediate, unconditional surrender or through ruthless attack.”

… With these words the ultimatum of the commander of the First American Army began, the ultimatum which three American soldiers delivered to the mayor of the city and the commander of the German Forces on the morning of October 8th.

The Germans rejected the 24-hour ultimatum - once again on highest orders from Hitler-headquarters.

. . . and so Aachen died.

On Monday, October 9, 1944 at 10:30 a.m. the devastating battle began, through which the city of Aachen was reduced to rubble.

For days, German soldiers tenaciously and bitterly fought in the smoldering ruins of Aachen. But Aachen does not exist anymore . . . .


Inside Reverse

What is the point? What was gained?

At the cost of one of the oldest German cities, at the cost of thousands of German soldiers’ lives, the Hitler and Himmler regime prolonged the war by a couple of days.

Is that a German victory? A success? A triumph?

What is the lesson?

The lesson is: yes, by refusing to surrender a hopeless, encircled position, by fighting for every German city, as at Aachen - through such murderous insanity, Hitler, Himmler and their regime can buy themselves a few days reprieve each time. But the price of such a reprieve for the regime is the complete destruction of German cities and villages, the meaningless sacrifice of German people and unspeakable widespread misery after the collapse, which the regime can delay, but not prevent.

YESTERDAY IT WAS AACHEN . . . . .

TOMORROW IT WILL BE DÜSSELDORF - or KÖLN, TRIER, MÜNSTER . . .

Then: MAINZ, STUTTGART, KASSEL, HANNOVER, BREMEN. THREE YOUNG AMERICAN SOLDIERS UNDER A WHITE FLAG will hand the German Commander the final ultimatum: “HONORABLE SURRENDER OR COMPLETE DESTRUCTION!”

AND THEN? WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

Will, according to Hitler’s and Himmler’s will, all German cities be reduced to rubble like Aachen?

OR, IN THE LAST MINUTE, WILL GERMANY HELP ITSELF AND FORCE, AGAINST THE WILL OF THE N.S.-LEADERSHIP, THE IMMEDIATE, HONORABLE SURRENDER OF ITS CITIES?

The decision is yours!

[courtesy of LeRoy Christenson - Translated by Beth Kautz]