My comments regarding this post on Jlue’s Weblog which I am re-blogging:
I used to be a great admirer of Dwight D. Eisenhower; he was the first president, for whom I ever voted. I wore my “I Like Ike” button proudly and I had not one, but two, Eisenhower jackets.
In 1993, I got a computer with a modem and accessed the Internet for the first time. I got an AOL account and started reading the online newsgroups. That’s when I learned about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “death camps” where German POWs were deliberately denied their rights under the Geneva Convention.
For a long time, I couldn’t believe it. Eisenhower had the highest approval rating of any president that America has ever had. Everybody liked Ike. As the Toby Keith song goes, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
Why did Eisenhower famously predict that some day there would be people who denied what happened in World War II? It was because Eisenhower knew that the propaganda campaign that he was planning was based on lies.
An American soldier, who was there when Eisenhower toured Ohrdruf, reported that Eisenhower was rubbing his hands together as he walked around the camp. Apparently, Ike started planning his propaganda campaign the moment that he saw Ohrdruf.
Almost every word on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission web site, which is quoted on Jlue’s blog, is incorrect.
…Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria at Buchenwald…
On the contrary, Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp, which was a sub-camp of the huge Buchenwald concentration camp. Ohrdruf was opened in November 1944 when prisoners were brought from Buchenwald to work on the construction of a vast underground bunker to house a new Führer headquarters for Adolf Hitler.
Ohrdruf was in the vicinity of a secret Nazi communications center and it was also near the Merkers salt mine where the Nazis had stored their gold and art treasures.
There were no gas chambers at Buchenwald; no Holocaust historian makes that claim today.
…When General Eisenhower learned about the camp, he immediately arranged to meet Generals Bradley and Patton at Ohrdruf on the morning of April 12th. By that time, Buchenwald itself had been captured. Consequently, Ike decided to extend the group’s visit to include a tour of the Buchenwald extermination camp the next day. Eisenhower also ordered every American soldier in the area who was not on the front lines to visit Ohrdruf and Buchenwald. He wanted them to see for themselves what they were fighting against…
Eisenhower did NOT make the arrangement, himself, to meet the generals at Ohrdruf and he did NOT visit Buchenwald the next day. At that point, Eisenhower could not have cared less about the Nazi concentration camps.
On the morning of April 12, 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower visited the Merkers salt mine near Ohrdruf, along with General Omar Bradley, General George S. Patton, and other high-ranking American Army officers. The Nazis had hidden valuable paintings and 250 million dollars worth of gold bars inside the salt mine, all of which was confiscated by America as the “spoils of war.” The location of the mine was in the future zone of occupation of the Soviets, and the “spoils of war” in the mine was supposed to go to the Soviets, but Eisenhower made sure that the Americans got there first.
The soldier on the far left in the photo above is Benjamin B. Ferencz. In the center is General Eisenhower and behind him, wearing a helmet with four stars is General Omar Bradley. In 1945, Ferencz had been transferred from General Patton’s army to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Army, where his job was to gather evidence for future trials of German war criminals. A Jew from Transylvania, Ferencz had moved with his family to America at the age of 10 months.
The Kaiseroda salt mine, aka the Merkers mine, shown in the photo above, was found by the 90th Infantry Division near the little town of Merkers, Germany a few days before the Buchenwald camp was discovered by American troops on April 11, 1945.
Hidden deep inside the salt mine was virtually the entire gold and currency reserves of the German Reichsbank, together with all of the priceless art treasures which had been removed from Berlin’s museums for protection against Allied bombing raids and possible capture by the Allied armies.
On the same day that the top American Generals visited the salt mine, they made a side trip to the Ohrdruf forced labor camp after lunch. Except for General Patton, who visited Buchenwald on April 15, 1945, none of the top American Army Generals ever visited another forced labor camp, nor any of the concentration camps.
Although Buchenwald was more important and had more evidence of Nazi atrocities, it was due to the efforts of Captain Alois Liethen that the generals visited Ohrdruf instead. Liethen was one of the first Americans to see Ohrdruf, a few days before the Generals arrived; he was an interpreter and an interrogator in the XX Corp, G-2 Section of the US Third Army. There were rumors that the Nazis were building an atomic bomb in the vicinity of Ohrdruf, which may have been why Captain Liethen wanted to take the Generals there.