At that time, a preeminent scholar in German history, William Sheridan Allen, left the faculty at the University of Missouri to teach at Wayne State University. Professor Allen’s departure was perceived by both the faculty and students at MU to have resulted from the unwillingness of the university curators and administration to tolerate his liberal politics. Even the most conservative faculty members decried the circumstances that led to the departure of Professor Allen, because (as one of them confided to me) his politics never influenced either his teaching or his scholarship.
Times have changed, and so has the Ivory Tower. Objectivity in scholarship is certainly not dead, as witness the works of scholars like Dennis Showalter, David M. Glantz, and Claudia Koontz. But for various reasons, the concept of objectivity is no longer a beacon that guides the efforts of all researchers and teachers.
Consider, for example, Homecomings: Returning POWs and the Legacies of Defeat in Postwar Germany, authored by Frank Biess, Associate Professor of Modern German History at the University of California, San Diego.  The dustcover of Homecomings touts what the publisher conceives as the most temporally relevant and marketable aspects of the book:
“Historian Frank Biess traces the origins of the postwar period to the last years of the war, when ordinary Germans began to face the prospect of impending defeat. He then demonstrates parallel East and West German efforts to overcome the German loss by transforming returning POWs into ideal post-totalitarian or antifascist citizens. By exploring returnees’ troubled adjustment to the more private spheres of the workplace and the family, the book stresses the limitations of these East and West German attempts to move beyond the war.” 
Whether this is an accurate description of Homecomings is a decision that each individual reader of the book should make. What is obvious, however, is that the book’s author did not approach his subject with any sense of objectivity. This is made patently clear in the Introduction to Homecomings, wherein Professor Biess reluctantly acknowledges that Germans in general and returning German POWs in particular, some of whom spent ten years in Soviet captivity, suffered dire physical and emotional privations in the wake of the Second World War. Professor Biess admonishes the reader, however, to steel his or her heart against any sense of sympathy for Germans:
“…this book addresses the morally and methodologically difficult problem of German suffering in the aftermath of World War II. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the violence that Germans had to endure during the final stages of the war was a direct consequence of the unprecedented violence that Germans had previously inflicted all over the European continent. Any moral equation between German losses and German violence is misleading and necessarily obscures the relationship between cause and effect. German violence was the cause and the precondition for violence against Germans, even if the German targets of violence were not always identical with those responsible for German violence.” (Emphasis added)
One can scarcely conceive of a more imbecilic usage of the English language than the collection of words (they do not rise to the level of "thoughts") italicized above. Biess is held out by others, and of course by himself, as a professional historian.
Adopting, for the purposes of this review, his usage of the collective term "Germans", the suffering endured by "Germans" was not confined to the "final stages of the war". The Allies began burning German cities and their inhabitants---incinerating, asphixiating, burying alive, blowing to bits men, women, children, infants, the wounded and the sick, residents and passers-by, criminals and innocents, and others---in 1943.
The very language that Biess uses is worthy of close consideration.
"It cannot be emphasized strongly enough [Here we can imagine Professor Biess jumping up and down and pounding his fist on the table, yelling at the top of his voice] that the violence that Germans had to endure during the final stages of the war was a direct consequence of the unprecedented violence that Germans had previously inflicted all over the European continent."
Could the point of view that Professor Biess brought to his topic be any more clear? Violence perpetrated by Germans against others renders perfectly justifiable violence perpetrated by others against Germans, “even if the German targets of violence were not always identical with those responsible for German violence”. Germans, from the smallest infant to the most elderly man or woman, got what they deserved.
For Professor Biess, all Germans got what they deserved by way of suffering because all German soldiers were participants in genocide. To hammer this home, Professor Biess adopts and uses extensively throughout his book the phrase “Hitler’s army”, one invented by the self styled "historian" Omer Bartov to convey to readers the notion that the German Army, and everyone in it, operated from a Nazi perspective in all things.  Thus, while Professor Biess is compelled to acknowledge, because of the currently incomplete nature of the record so far unearthed by historians, that not every German soldier has yet been shown to have been a perpetrator of genocide,
“…Still, the quest for nuance…should not distract us from the basic historical fact: the soldiers of the Wehrmacht were deeply implicated in a genocidal project that brought unspeakable suffering and irretrievable losses to millions of Europeans. (Emphasis added) 
Here we should first note that the use of the noun "nuance" (defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (Portland House, 1989), 988 as "a subtle shade of color, expression or variation") by Biess in this context demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that in his view there might have been, among the nineteen million German men who served in the armed forces of the Third Reich, perhaps as many as ten or twelve who were not mass murderers.
German soldiers who served on the Eastern front in particular are a priori war criminals for Professor Biess, because they “had assumed a more prominent role in the racial war of annihilation”. Such men, according to Professor Biess, “were likely to have witnessed, if not participated themselves in, German genocidal warfare.” (emphasis added)  How Professor Biess, or anyone else for that matter, knows that an individual German soldier witnessed or participated in “genocidal warfare” is unclear. If, by some inconceivable stupidity, the reader of Homecomings does not “get it” regarding Professor Biess’s point of view, the author reiterates it more succinctly:
“This book does not intend to complement a history of postfascism that focused on Germans as perpetrators with a postwar history that emphasizes German suffering.” 
With regard to the particular subjects of Homecomings, namely, the returning former Soviet POWs, Professor Biess is equally clear:
“It is important to emphasize… that, in contrast to the German treatment of Soviet POWs, the mass death of German POWs in Soviet captivity was not the result of a deliberate Soviet policy of mass killing or even of passive negligence…In general, Soviet authorities were primarily interested in enlisting German POWs for the enormous task of postwar reconstruction, not in letting them die…Deaths of German POWs in Soviet captivity appear to have been largely the result of bureaucratic inefficiencies and corruption, an extremely bad harvest in 1946, and inadequate medical resources.” (emphasis added) 
In his otherwise excellent book The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, Niall Ferguson discusses at some length the matter of the Allied bombing of Germany during the Second World War, and the resultant indiscriminate slaughter of civilians that it wrought. He points out that it was the fact that Allied bomber crews, high above the cities and humans they were destroying, could do so in part because it was possible “to pulverize a city without looking into the eyes of those civilians being invisibly consigned to hell below.” The bomber crews, however, operated from the best of motives, i.e. to defeat Nazi Germany and end the war. This distinguished them from SS men at camps like Belzec, who were motivated by hatred for their victims. Such racial hatred, says Ferguson, “was absent from the thoughts of Allied airmen”. 
This ridiculous argument is the same one employed by Professor Biess in excusing the death of German soldiers in Soviet captivity between 1945 and 1955. German civilians killed in the indiscriminate bombing of their cities were just as dead, and in their dying suffered every bit as grievously, as the victims of the SS in Belzec and elsewhere. German soldiers who died at the hands of the Soviets after the end of hostilities were just as dead as the millions of Soviet POWs murdered or allowed to die through neglect while in German captivity between 1941 and 1945. And for each dead person, whether civilian, or military, German, British, Soviet, or otherwise, as well as the families of such victims, it mattered not how many died at whose hands.
For Professor Biess and his ilk, Omer Bartov and Gerhard Weinberg for example, what matters is not that human beings suffer and die, but who those suffering and dying human beings are. In his calculation, it is the Germans, rather than Jews or Slavs, who are untermenschen, and the value of their lives (if there be any) may be disregarded with impunity.
 Frank Biess, Homecomings: Returning POWs and the Legacies of Defeat in Postwar Germany (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2006).
 Ibid. 6.
 My admittedly unscientific calculation reveals the usage of the phrase “Hitler’s army” by Professor Biess on pages 36, 43, 63, 68, 75, 94, 106, 116, 126, 136, 148, 214, and 225.
 Biess, Homecomings, 4.
 Ibid. 160.
 Whence comes the notion that witnessing (i.e., knowing about) a crime is in itself a criminal act? Suppose, for example, that one witnesses a bank robbery. Under what system of jurisprudence does a witness to that robbery become an accomplice? Without actually investigating this question, I venture to say that no system of jurisprudence so providing would be recognized as a reasonable one by anyone in western culture. For decades before the American Civil War, northerners knew that the crime of slavery was being perpetrated in the American south. Where in the historical literature of the American Civil War are northerners pilloried for knowing about slavery in their own country? More importantly, where in the historical literature of the American Civil War is this question even asked?
 Biess, Homecomings, 9.
 Ibid. 4-5.
 Niall Ferguson, The War of the World Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (London, U.K., Penguin Books Ltd, 2006), 571.