Scrapbookpages Blog

May 10, 2011

Who was THE first American liberator to enter Dachau?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:54 am

I’m not asking who was ONE of the first American soldiers to enter Dachau on April 29, 1945; I’m asking who was THE first American to see the Dachau camp.  A few years ago, I wrote a lengthy article about this subject on my web site which you can read here.  Near the end of the article, I wrote this:

On a visit to the Dachau Memorial Site, an American Army veteran named Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen told another visitor that he was the first soldier to go inside the Dachau camp on the day that it was liberated. His story is told on this blog.

This morning, I read a news article about Thorne-Thomsen here. Here is a  quote from the article :

Thorne-Thomsen, an 88-year-old Shreveport resident, was the first American to enter the famed Dachau concentration camp in Germany during World War II. […] He was speaking about his first vision of the concentration camp, describing a trench that was 30 feet deep and as wide as a baseball field, that held numerous dead bodies. The camp also featured a crematorium and a large gas chamber.

Unfortunately, Thorne-Thomsen didn’t have a camera with him, and as far as I know, there is no photo of this huge trench filled with dead bodies.  You would think that someone who arrived later would have photographed the trench.  Where was the Army Signal Corp photographer that day?  How come no one else ever mentioned this huge trench?    (more…)