In the news today, I learned that House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in which he compared the work of MEMRI to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s efforts to prevent Holocaust denial after American troops discovered the Ohrdruf labor camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, on April 4, 1945.
This quote is from the article in The Washington Times:
“Eisenhower ordered all available American troops to go and witness the horrors he’d just seen. He also forced German citizens and officials from nearby towns to do the same,” Mr. Boehner said in the letter.
“He understood that there must be a record, first-hand evidence and incontrovertible answers to those who would deny the Holocaust.”
Gen. Eisenhower was worried that future generations would not believe the horror that American soldiers saw at Ohrdruf. Civilians in the town of Ohrdruf, who had nothing to do with the camp, were ordered to enter the lice-infested barracks to view the dead bodies. After their forced visit, the mayor of the town and his wife went home — and killed themselves!
Notice in the first photo that some of the bodies appear to be partially burned. The Germans burned the bodies in an effort to stop the typhus epidemic, but they had no DDT nor vaccine. Did Gen. Eisenhower order that all the civilians in the nearby town should be vaccinated? No, of course not. He was only concerned with spreading propaganda that would cause future generations to hate the Germans for all time. How many of those civilians got typhus as a result of being exposed to this disease without being vaccinated?
For all of his efforts, Gen. Eisenhower did not succeed in stopping Holocaust denial. If anything, he made it worse.
You can read all about Ohrdruf on my web site here.