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February 28, 2010

The “accidental slaughter” of German soldiers at Dachau was “an unintended massacre”?

I previously blogged about the movie Shutter Island and the scenes of Dachau in these 3 posts:

I am blogging about the movie again because I was horrified when I read an article today on this website:

“As an American soldier during WWII, DiCaprio’s character is forced into some horrific scenes. These eventually lead to the accidental slaughter of a hundred SS officers. The unintended massacre plagues DiCaprio with guilt; but not too much: he still stands idly by while a Nazi commander botches a suicide attempt and bleeds to death, fully conscious.”

Waffen-SS soldiers surrendering at Dachau

Waffen-SS soldiers, who had come from the battlefield, still wearing their camouflage uniforms, to surrender the Dachau concentration camp, are shown in the photo above with their hands in the air. This scene was re-enacted in the movie Shutter Island.

The shooting of disarmed German soldiers during the liberation of Dachau was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Seventh Army. Their report was finished on June 8, 1945 but was marked Secret. The report did not say anything about “the unintended massacre” of German soldiers, nor anything about German soldiers  being “accidentally slaughtered.”

German soldiers executed by American liberators of Dachau

A Waffen-SS soldier named Hans Linberger  survived the shooting at the wall, shown in the photo above.  He had been wounded in battle on the eastern front and, after a long hospital stay, he had arrived at the Dachau SS garrison on March 9, 1945 as a member of a Reserve Company. On April 9, 1945, the men of the Reserve Company were put into the hospital that was right next to the scene of the shooting. They had been so severely wounded that they were no longer fit for combat; Linberger had been wounded in battle four times and had lost an arm.

Hans Linberger was dragged out of the hospital and lined up against the wall to be executed, although he had absolutely nothing to do with the Dachau concentration camp that was next door to the SS garrison.

The photograph above is a still photo, taken by T/4 Arland B. Musser, 163rd Signal Photographic Company, US Seventh Army, on April 29, 1945, the day that the Dachau concentration camp was liberated. It shows 60 Waffen-SS soldiers on the ground, some wounded, some playing dead, and 17 dead, according to Flint Whitlock, historian for the 45th Thunderbird Division, who got this information from Lt. Col. Felix Sparks, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division of the US Seventh Army, the first unit to arrive at the Dachau camp.

In his book entitled Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 April 1945, Col. John H. Linden of the 42nd Infantry Division identified the men in the photo above as follows:

“The second American soldier from the left is Bryant, whose first name is unknown, but whose nickname was “Bird Eye.” The third soldier from the left is Martin J. Sedler, and the man who is kneeling is William C. Curtain. All three of these men were with M Company of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment. The soldier at the extreme right is Pfc. John Lee of I Company.

The buildings in the background are inside the Dachau SS garrison where Waffen-SS troops were quartered; the building on the right is a hospital where a Reserve Company of crippled Waffen-SS soldiers, previously wounded in action, were quartered. The Waffen-SS was the elite volunteer Army which included many divisions from other countries, as well as German soldiers.

According to Col. John H. Linden’s account of the liberation of Dachau, T/3 Henry F. Gerzen, 163 Signal Photographic Company, was filming the shooting with a movie camera. A few frames of this movie, which survived the cover-up of the Dachau massacre, show Lt. Col. Felix Sparks firing his pistol into the air to stop the action shown in the photo above, which allegedly took place around noon.

In 1989, Lt. Col. Sparks wrote an account of the role of the 45th Infantry Division in the liberation of Dachau. His description of what happened at the wall, shown in the photo above, is as follows:

As I watched, about fifty German troops were brought in from various directions. A machine gun squad from Company I was guarding the prisoners. After watching for a few minutes, I started for the confinement area (the concentration camp), after taking directions from one of my soldiers. After I had walked away for a short distance, I heard the machine gun guarding the prisoners open fire. I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. I then grabbed him by the collar and said: “What the hell are you doing?” He was a young private about 19 years old (Private William C. Curtin) and was crying hysterically. His reply to me was: “Colonel, they were trying to get away.” I doubt that they were, but in any event he killed about twelve of the prisoners and wounded several more. I placed a noncom on the gun and headed towards the confinement area.

The very first incident during which German Waffen-SS soldiers were killed at Dachau was perpetrated by 45th Infantry Division soldiers in the  3rd Battalion, 157th Regiment, I company, under the command of Lt. William P. Walsh; this shooting took place inside the SS garrison at Dachau before any Americans had reached the concentration camp.

According to Lt. Walsh, one of the men of I company shot a handsome SS officer because he had tried to make a break to escape, after he had surrendered. The name of this German soldier is unknown.

Then four more Waffen-SS soldiers in the Dachau garrison emerged with their hands up and surrendered to the men of I company.  Lt. Walsh herded the four SS soldiers into an empty railroad boxcar inside the camp and “emptied his pistol” into them, according to his own account.

There is considerable disagreement about what time the photo above was taken. According to Col. Howard A. Buechner, a medical officer in the 45th Division, the photo was taken at around 2:45 p.m. during a second action when 346 SS soldiers were allegedly killed. In his book, The Hour of the Avenger, Col. Buechner wrote that a second machine gun was located to the right, but out of camera range.

Lt. Jack Bushyhead was in charge of the second machine gun, which Col. Buechner says was set up on top of a bicycle shed. However, Lt. Col. Felix Sparks, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Regiment, has stated that the photo above depicts a shooting which occurred around noon and resulted in 17 deaths, according to his story.

This was not the only shooting that took place during the liberation of Dachau.  There were also SS guards in Tower B who had come down from the tower and surrendered, but were then killed in cold blood by the American liberators.

Tower B where SS guards at Dachau were shot

A dead SS guard at Dachau is pulled out of the moat

After the soldiers in Tower B were shot with their hands in the air, their dead bodies were then thrown into the moat on the west side of the camp, and the American liberators continued to shoot at them.

The U.S. Seventh Army IG report of the shooting of unarmed prisoners at Dachau has since been made public and a copy of it was reproduced in Col. John H. Linden’s book entitled Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 April 1945.

Here are four paragraphs from the report which pertain to the shooting of the guards at Tower B:

11. After entry into the camp, personnel of the 42nd Division discovered the presence of guards, presumed to be SS men, in a tower to the left of the main gate of the inmate stockade. This tower was attacked by Tec 3 Henry J. Wells 39271327, Headquarters Military Intelligence Service, ETO, covered and aided by a party under Lt. Col. Walter J. Fellenz, 0-23055, 222 Infantry. No fire was delivered against them by the guards in the tower. A number of Germans were taken prisoner; after they were taken, and within a few feet of the tower, from which they were taken, they were shot and killed.

12. Considerable confusion exists in the testimony as to the particulars of this shooting; however Wells, German interrogator for the 222 Infantry, states that he had lined these Germans up in double rank, preparatory to moving them out; that he saw no threatening gesture; but that he shot into them after some other American soldiers, whose identities are unknown, started shooting them.

13. Lt. Colonel Fellenz was entering the door of the tower at the time of this shooting, took no part in it and testified that he could not have stopped it.

18. It is obvious that the Americans present when the guards were shot at the tower labored under much excitement. However Wells could speak German fluently, he knew no shots had been fired at him in his attack on the tower, he had these prisoners lined up, he saw no threatening gesture or act. It is felt that his shooting into them was entirely unwarranted; the whole incident smacks of execution similar to the other incidents described in this report.”

None of the American soldiers that killed the guards, who had surrendered at Dachau, were ever put on trial for violating the Geneva Convention. The regular guards and staff members had left the camp the night before, so they were not there for the massacre. The guards and staff members, who were captured after the camp was liberated, were prosecuted by an American Military Tribunal.  It wasn’t really a “trial,” because the men on trial were presumed to be guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.

All of the guards and staff members of the Dachau camp were convicted of participating in a “common design” to violate the Laws and Usages of War under the Geneva Convention of 1929.

Some people have such hatred for the German people that they will go to any length to excuse the actions of the American soldiers at the liberation of Dachau, even though the German soldiers who were killed were not the regular guards in the camp.

Here is a quote from an e-mail that I received recently regarding the Dachau massacre:

I’m Jew (ich bin ein Jude), and it gave me a great deal of pleasure to see photos of German SS soldiers/guards murdered by American soldiers and liberated inmates.  How come you’re not happy?  Cheer up, people 🙂


  1. I don’t get it, what’s wrong in executing concentration camp guards? That is what should be done with all the captured members of that criminal organization (SS). No pity for these inhuman animals.

    Comment by Mehuman — September 6, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    • There is nothing wrong with killing someone who is not Jewish, since the goyim are not human. You must be Jewish yourself since your name is Mehuman. You could have called yourself Ima Human if you are female. I understand why you have no pity for the inhuman goyim. What is your favorite method of killing “inhuman animals”?

      Comment by furtherglory — September 6, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

  2. Those of you who condemn so strongly the actions of the American soldiers at Dachau seem to be somewhat ignorant of the common practice of soldiers of both sides during the whole of the conflict with respect to the shooting of prisoners. Some units regularly “took no prisoners” and sometimes the actions were in retaliation for things the prisoners had done (brutality, killing innocents, etc.) and sometimes the impractically of guarding them, feeding them, etc. The SS had made a considerable reputation for themselves by slaughtering both prisoners and civilians during the course of the war, so there was a significant animosity toward them, in particular. In fact, many thousands of prisoners of war had been slaughtered at Dachau by the SS. Also, remember that the American units liberating Dachau had been under German fire for many months (the 45th 513 days), so were both inured to the killing of war and stressed tremendously by the experiences. Then, to observe the atrocities of Dachau, which went beyond anything else then had seen… obviously resulted in emotions that the battle-hardened and weary troops had not previously experienced nor were prepared to fully contain.

    it is a shame that the focus of attention is directed at a group of soldiers in this particular instance, pretending that it is an action that is sort of “one of a kind” and condemning those soldiers, when such actions were very common during the war by all sides for various reasons. Remember, before you condemn these soldiers, that for the last couple of years, their occupation was the killing of the enemy and preventing the enemy from killing them, so their views of the actions of war were far different than those of us who had not participated in such a dehumanizing experience.

    Those of us who now sit in comfortable chairs and condemn the actions of these soldiers are doing so without the knowledge and experience of the men who were there. They were not your next door neighbors out for a Sunday stroll and arguing with friends about the attributes of their favorite baseball teams. They were trained and experienced killers fighting for their country’s goals and needs under terrible conditions.

    Comment by Clayton Brown — August 15, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    • It is a logic fallacy to consider an action morale or okay by simply acknowleging those who were killed were bad people. It is not to whom the actions are done that justifies the morality but the action itself. Also, in this case , there was very little resistance to the taking of the camp to warrant revenge killing and combat excitement. While “Take no prisoners” was a common practice , this does not excuse it. In fact, it is more of a inditment against the U.S. forces and the supposed high road they had taken in order to judge these men guilty. Killing surrendered men is a vile act. If you consider this act as not a vile act then you mut also excuse all the acts of similar case for the SS men. I have a feeling that you will not and therefore logically must condemn these actions as well for what they are. This is not a verdict against the independent and separate actions of the SS men taken at the camp , who again had nothing to do with the camp till the night before, but against the actions of killing unarmed surrendering troops in a point of the war that was obviously coming to an end. Taking no prisoners was less excusable at this point for there was a very much established and regular means of taking prisoners as well as plenty of time and means to do so.

      The most important thing to take away is that morality is based upon the action of the participant , not on those whom the action is done to.

      Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:20 pm

  3. […] The photo below shows the scene in context.  The small pile of bodies on the side of the building are the bodies of the SS men who were killed in the Dachau Massacre. […]

    Pingback by Martha Gellhorn’s article about Dachau in Collier’s Weekly (updated) | Scrapbookpages Blog — July 23, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  4. not the germans but the allies were the criminals.but thanks to warner bros and fox studios it seems to be conversely. study a little bit of what they told before, during and after the war. what was shown as fact, was nothing but a great lie.
    after the war this whole history were rewritten!

    Comment by ERST MA ORDENLI EIN DURCHZIEHN ODA WA — May 23, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  5. Often on entry, the liberators simply turned the other way as camp inmates took actions. The liberators here what the guards had done, event by event… and let the inmates respond. That was a fair form of justice when done.

    Comment by curls — May 6, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

    • albeit one piece of information that is not present in your “argument” and consideration for what is fair. These men were not guards but Waffen SS. At the end of the war many Waffen SS men were simply 17/18/19 year old men who had little or nothing to do with the tragedies of the regime. Those who would have taken a form of perverse justice at their killings had left the night before. What you have here is the exact nature of a mob rule lynching. No proof or real guilt , just a need for violence and a spigot for hatred. This act puts them on par with those they deem unworthy of life.

      Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:26 pm

  6. […] Rekomenduoju pamąstymams, kodėl mirė Hitleris (arba kodėl į jį buvo kėsinamasi): The Execution of Nazi War Criminals Rekomenduoju pamąstymams: ar tikrai Hitleris buvo toks jau baisus žmogus. Rekomenduoju visiems archyvinių ir istorinių kadrų mėgėjams (labai vertinga medžiaga): Rekomenduoju silpnesnių nervų žiūrovams, kuriems žudymai ir išsekę lavonai per baisu: The “accidental slaughter” of German soldiers at Dachau was “an unintended massacre”? […]

    Pingback by Genocido aukos — May 4, 2013 @ 2:03 am

  7. “I’m Jew (ich bin ein Jude), and it gave me a great deal of pleasure to see photos of German SS soldiers/guards murdered by American soldiers and liberated inmates. How come you’re not happy? Cheer up, people” 🙂

    – That quote should tell every CATTLE ppl (non-jew, a goyim, “cattle” = idiots, jerks, lesser beings) what the Jews are all about..
    Well, the boss most of media like Goebbels taught them to do by example, and Isreal treats Palestinians like Nazis treated Jews in the east.

    And they have the face to try make it illegal to comapare Nazi Germany and Israel,

    If it were about any other “people” I´d say “O temora, O mores” but I think everyone knows that first there has to be a decent standard of behaviour…

    Comment by Orion — April 19, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

    • murdering men who have surrendered is a war crime anywhere in the world, except perhaps in Israel or am I wrong?

      Comment by Alexander — February 2, 2014 @ 11:02 am

      • Only the Germans were charged with “war crimes” during and after World War II. Shooting German soldiers who had surrendered was not a war crime for Americans in World War II. Wikipedia calls the shooting of Germans, who had surrendered at Dachau, a reprisal. It was allegedly a reprisal for the killing of prisoners on the “death train” at Dachau. Actually, some of the prisoners on the train had been killed by American planes strafing the train. The killing of the Dachau guards was not a “reprisal,” according to the definition of the word reprisal.

        Comment by furtherglory — February 2, 2014 @ 11:31 am

  8. […] I previously blogged about the “Dachau Massacre” here and here and here. […]

    Pingback by the controversy over the “Dachau Massacre” lives on « Scrapbookpages Blog — February 4, 2013 @ 11:49 am

  9. Accidentally shot? Don’t make me laugh. The US, UK and Russians routinely shot members of the SS, and the Allies dare to hold the moral highground!

    History is written by the victors, and they expect the people of today to swallow it!

    Comment by Steve — January 28, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    • Dont make me laugh ever heard of the Commando Order If Hitler had his was normal British soldiers would have been shot on sight AS POLICY, guards in KZ tower getting lit up? Cry me a river.

      Comment by Robert — May 6, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

      • You fail to grasp what morality is. Doing something because your enemy does it first does not make it right. Morality is based on the act itself and direct repercussions, independent of whom it is done to. Killing an unarmed human who is surrendering is wrong. To say that it is morally correct because others have done so is a logic fallacy. In reality you have now placed yourselves on the same level of those you have deemed unworthy to live. You have also placed a verdict of the regime upon an individual. Many (not all but some) of those of the end-game Waffen SS were little more than boys that had little to do or knowledge of the original war crimes.

        Based on the logic you choose to embrace ,the same callousness and indignant response can be directed levelly at your outrage of the Commando Order : The brits killed many POW and SS men so…”cry me a river”. If you choose to except one action as morally upright then the parallel action must be deemed the same. It is how many feuds justify both sides to continue killings. Look at the hateful orthodox jews and Palestinians. Both sides can go back and forth justifying the killings done by their hands , neither side truly able to take the higher ground. ( I am referring to the mob type justice. The palestinian oppression by the government is inexcusable as they use many of the same tactics they have built shrines in order to not forget that it happened to them, as if it is a shrine to not forget they now have a right to do unto others that which is done to them.Another example of logic fallacy applied to morality.)

        Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:42 pm

        • “You fail to grasp what morality is.”

          Nope. That’s your failing. You hate Jews, you love Nazis, you would be an SS murderer if you could.

          Comment by Jon Hendry — June 25, 2015 @ 3:26 am

  10. the germans should of fought 2 the death and killed all prisoners then left the camp

    Comment by thirdreich — March 28, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    • The German soldiers followed orders, which was to surrender the camp. They didn’t anticipate that they would be killed after surrendering the camp. There were over 30,000 prisoners in the camp at that time, so it would have taken a lot of time and a lot of bullets to kill them all. The regular guards did leave the camp the night before and soldiers were brought from the battlefield to surrender the camp. Every former German soldier, that I have ever talked to, told me that the German soldiers all thought that the Americans would join the Germans in fighting the Communists. General Patton was willing to join Germany in fighting the Soviet Union. America did finally become Allies with Germany and there was a Cold war with the Soviet Union.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 28, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  11. Not much of this is fact. Much taken from sources that have been shown to be liars.
    IG Report of 1945 has testimony that some later changed to make money.
    Be skeptical!

    Comment by C Emerson — January 29, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

    • as we should be skeptical of a claim with no /zero/nil sources to back it up. The actual 1945 sources have been kept in the dark as per secret classification and many others had to fit or change thier testimony to lies back in 1945 due to that.

      Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:46 pm

  12. I’m a pure blooded german and my grandfather was a german ss officer who escaped. You people need to stop talking so badly of germany and ss officers. Do we say we are happy to see your relatives in a ashtray? No. Germany will rise again.

    Comment by miss samantha — September 26, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

    • All of WWII was a horrific atrocity and Judgement Day is coming. God will address all sins and He will leave no stone unturned.

      Comment by Zeke — September 20, 2012 @ 7:15 am

    • Well, my “pure blooded” friend,last time you rose how many innocent people died because of you? 30 million? 40 million? 50 millon? Well you were defeated and humiliated at the end,and lived some 50 years under Russian boot as some inferior,not superior race if i remember correctly.Oh and they were merciful to you by the way, because they are ,to some extent, superior to you. At the end of war they could kill as much Germans as they wanted but they didn’t . And you should have learned something from it but you obviously did not.Instead you are masturbating on thought that Germany will rise again.Well sorry to burst your bubble, but it won’t. It will be just regional power,newer a super power again :*. And that is for better,because if you somehow got to position to even try to regain your former glory (which apex, as you said, was making other “lesser races” end in ashtrays), all of your pure blooded friends, along with you would end up being nuked of planet earth in mere hours.The beauty of nuclear weapons – making little ss boys and girls like yourself stay where they belong. In their little rooms fantasizing abut “great” deeds their grandfathers had done. :*

      Comment by BOOTSTOMP — July 30, 2013 @ 8:14 am

      • well remember that the nazis were not the biggest killers of the era….ie stalin. then there are others turkey, the british in africa and so on. Then one can look at when the Americans rose up : Indians slaughtered. I agree that germany right now has been swallowed by the EU and to break away will cause such an economical shock as to require years to bounce back. Germany must yet fall to “rise again”, as you say. You wanna join a rising evil group that can really mess things up and destroy a whole people (middle class or minority, your choice) the republicans are taking volunteers! 😉 jk…kinda.

        Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

    • Pure blooded? Are you sure? Approx. 30% of Germans have Slavic origin and only around 8% have some germanic tribes blood, so don;t be so sure about yourself being pure blooded:P.

      Best regards from Poland;).

      Comment by Mehuman — September 6, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

  13. What no one is mentioning is how unprepared the American soldiers were coming into this. How do you react when you see the atrocities these men were shocked to see as they entered the camp?

    They would have needed training and pre-mission briefing to ensure no soldiers executed any guards. What they did was horrible, but I can understand how it happened. Unfortunately they were simply unprepared for what they encountered.

    Comment by jb — June 7, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    • A very good observation. What they saw there was beyond anything they had experienced in two years of battle. Many were stressed by the experience beyond their abilities to control themselves. Also, remember that not all of the SS there gave up so calmly. The American soldiers there were still at war.

      Comment by Clayton Brown — August 16, 2013 @ 12:03 am

      • I agree. I just think we shouldn’t rewrite history to forget it, nor shall we except the actions as right. We can understand and not punish those involved but we MUST accept the responsibility that it happened and what happened was to right. That is what I believe is the point and argument of most , including the writer.

        Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 3, 2015 @ 11:58 pm

  14. As i always say. There is no good or bad people, there are some better and some worse.
    History has been written by winners, and it claims that we were good guys and they were bad guys. In reality there are many episodes, where people are in reversed roles.
    People tend to generalize things if they have seen some war crime made by some particular army unit, they will claim that they all are monsters. As far as i know every side and every army had they bad guys, which made terrible war crimes and crimes against civilians after the war, but it`s not because they are some particular nation or some particular army unit, but because they are just bad people.

    Comment by CaMaRo — May 26, 2010 @ 3:48 am

    • There were also many very good guys that did things that were “bad”. The very act of killing people itself is a “bad” act required of good people in a war situation, and doing this temporarily changed the mental makeup of those soldiers who had to do this on a very personal basis.

      Comment by Clayton Brown — August 16, 2013 @ 12:09 am

  15. I have no pity for any member of the SS. They knew what they were doing and they knew about the holocaust. There is no distinction between regular and Waffen SS. However, the summary execution of any person who has surrendered is wrong.

    Comment by tampalam — May 25, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    • I have answered your comment with a new post that I put up today. You can read it on my blog at

      Comment by furtherglory — May 25, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    • You re historically wrong. Many end-war SS “men” were young boys 17/18/19 . Many joined to try and survive for the benifits of their family. Many did not know everything that was going on. True many did but many did not . Also, many of the young age grew up in complete era of brainwashing. If you are to grow up in the 1800’s and then be judged for racial prejudices you may feel that it would be wrong. Some grew up being told and fed only one line from the state. By the end of the war the SS had many of these boys who knew nothing else. Standards and restrictions were relaxed and you need not be a zealot to join.

      Comment by Danny "Irish" — March 4, 2015 @ 12:04 am

  16. I look at the picture and was very upset of the brutal killing of the German soldiers. I think you did not that much changes in the last 60 years. My own brother got killed near Munich 1945 he was 17. I myself was POW when I was 15.

    Comment by Hans Chevalier — May 14, 2010 @ 8:07 am

    • Do you mean that America has not changed that much in the last 60 years? You’re wrong — America has gotten much worse; American school children are being taught, in Holocaust education classes, to hate the German people.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 14, 2010 @ 9:22 am

      • i would just like to point out here that the school system in america does not even teach about the holocaust until 12th grade and very shortly and grandfather was in the infantry division that marched to liberate in 1945 and i am so sickened that the schools basically want to cover up the whole deal of the deathcamps period.,. .

        Comment by liz — January 22, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

      • No they aren’t taught to hate Germans. They are taught it was NAZI Germany. And that Germans have worked to repair the damage. Though obviously you’ve been taught to hate something somewhere along the lines. (I’m a child of survivor. And also I wasn’t taught to hate.)

        Comment by curls — May 6, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

  17. […] answer to a comment that was made by Taff, who says he is a Dachau tour guide.  Taff commented on my post about the “Dachau Massacre” when Waffen-SS soldiers, who had been sent from the […]

    Pingback by The Dachau Uprising, 28 April 1945 « Scrapbookpages Blog — March 19, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  18. The death toll for KZ Dachau over 12 years is something like 32000. Thats a minimum – after 1941, the deaths of Jews were not registered, after 1942,nor were Soviet prisoners. Those are deaths by beating, hanging, shooting, medical experimentation, disease, malnutrition and gassing (although I stress that the Gaskammer was used on a very small scale – Dachau was a KZ not a VL). The photographic evidence shows SS men wearing spotty cammo uniforms which were not worn by the camp guard staff so it is entirely likely that at least some of the executed were indeed Waffen-SS. You are going to cry over an error of this magnitude which took place only 200 metres away from the abomination that was KZ Dachau? Put things in perpspective. The far right here in Germany love to put these shootings on a par with Hamburg and Dresden as evidence of Allied atrocities. The infamous death-train from Buchenwald was found just by the KZ Dachau. The right here, love to say that the dead in the box-cars had been strafed by the Allies and that the Germans/Nazis were innocent of those deaths so horrifically caught on film by George Stevens and his crew. Alas, they neglect to answer why a train full of half-dead, half-starved humanity was being shunted from KZ to KZ.
    Those jolly, innocent lads of the Waffen-SS had not listened to demands for mercy during the Dachau Uprising on the 28th of April 1945.

    In the main,I think “What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander”. Some of those executed may have been innocent of the crimes they were shot for. Those who had the misfortune to end up in what was the poster-boy of Concentration camps certainly were. In fact the executed could be considered lucky compared to how the majority of prisoners died.At least it was quick.

    On another note: I work in the Dachau Memorial Site as an English language guide.I know a lot of my fellow are very keen to see Shutters Island.I hope it is as good as I have heard.

    Regards from Munich,


    Comment by Taff — March 18, 2010 @ 8:53 am

    • When I got to the last lines of your comment, and learned that you are a guide at Dachau, I was astounded. As I read the first part of your comment, the words of an old country song written by Merle Haggard in 1968 were going through my mind:

      “And I turned 21 in prison,
      doin’ life without parole
      No one could steer me right,
      but Mama tried,
      Mama tried.”

      I don’t know if your Mamma ever tried to steer you right about Dachau, but I’m sure that someone tried, and you refused to listen. You are way beyond help now, so I am not even going to try to steer you right.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 18, 2010 @ 9:35 am

    • O.K. I will take pity on you and set you straight on one point about Dachau:

      Maybe “the right” in Germany are saying that the railroad cars had been strafed because Martin Rosenfeld, a Jewish prisoner on the “death train,” testified at the trial of Hans Merbach, the SS man in charge of the train, that the train was strafed by American planes. Many of the cars on the train were open gondola cars, not closed box cars. (Source: “Justice at Dachau” by Joshua M. Green)

      Also, John Lee, an American soldier in the 45th Infantry Division, who was one of the liberators of Dachau, said that the train had been strafed. (Source: “Dachau 29 April 1945” by Sam Dann)

      Comment by furtherglory — March 18, 2010 @ 10:46 am

    • They still did not deserve to be gunned down in cold blood. Many were conscripts,and am sure that many of the US forces were honourable men,but lurking in the backround are killers,who would normally be in a prison. And another thing: “killing leads to killing”.and what goes around comes around. As to the Jewish guy,we know your sense of justice! And before you use the anti-semetic thing,my son’s girlfriend is jewish ha ha!!

      Comment by robin drake — January 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  19. This causes me to remember a personal story I and another was told some years ago by an American army veteran who was only sent to Germany after the war was over. He was part of the new occupation army. He told this in the way of a “confession” as part of a sort of inner cleansing program.

    He was assigned to guard a boxcar or some warehouse building full of provisions (foodstuffs). A German POW walked in (who had been given the task to go in there and get something). Without asking for identification, because he was nervous (and probably indoctrinated that way) he aimed his rifle and shot the guy — right in his balls — as if he were a thief or intruder. He said the man let out a howl and “he was really messed up.” U.S. personnel came in and carted the German away. My friend was told later by his superior that no charges would be brought against him; it was written up so that he had a right to feel threatened. He confessed it had been a burden on him all these years (he was then in his 60’s) that he had never before mentioned to anyone. He was sure that young man had lost his manhood forever.

    But knowing how badly all the
    Allies treated German POW’s they captured after the war’s end, this man might not have even survived his captivity.

    We have too many examples of American soldiers being vicious and gun-happy, especially with those who are helpless. Not only the enemy and civilians, too, but even with animals. Disgusting. I can’t say I have any respect for the American soldier in general.

    Comment by Sceptic — February 28, 2010 @ 5:20 am

    • He shot a German POW in the balls? To me, this sounds like a tall tale told by an American who wants to brag about himself and about the power that Americans had over the conquered Germans.

      I was in Germany in 1957 during the American occupation and the American soldiers loved to lord it over the Germans, whom they treated very badly because they knew that there was nothing the Germans could do about it. I think this guy is just bragging about his glory days when he could kill a man, or maim him for life, and get away with it because the victim was German.

      Comment by furtherglory — February 28, 2010 @ 7:15 am

      • No, not at all. Funny, I kind of expected that reaction, but this man was not bragging; he had come to be quite a Germanophile, in fact. Germans were his favorite people; he had quite a few German friends, although he was of French and English ancestry (with maybe some German, don’t remember).

        This took place in 1945 and he was a gung-ho, eager to please kind of guy. Had been in ROTC in high school and he went to college, etc AFTER his service, on the GI Bill.

        He was really confessing something he felt very ashamed of, and he should have because he was not punished at all. It was not even on his record, at least not as a bad mark. He was probably aiming at the fellow’s leg, if he was even aiming at all.

        Now, I’m just seeing it as the way the U.S. Army operated there, just like your Dachau article shows.

        Comment by Sceptic — March 1, 2010 @ 5:36 am

        • because the private who fired at the wP ,hit him with his pants on
          it would be a horrific wound!
          blood veins fluid and bits f cloth! no way to tell he assumed and the NCO on duty would have had him husseled away!So very little time to identify damage!
          still a war crime!

          Comment by Karl dunkleberger — February 24, 2011 @ 3:04 am

    • I am a U.S. Army Veteran. I do not condone what American GIs did to those German troops (Even if they were Waffen SS), so don’t judge the American Soldier by what happened in the past. I am proud of my Army Service, and I SERVED HONORABLY.

      Comment by RMM — May 12, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

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