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November 16, 2011

Why was the gas chamber at Dachau not mentioned in the trial of the Commandant and 39 others?

This post is in response to a comment on my blog regarding the Dachau gas chamber; the comment included a link to the web site of Carlos Whitlock Porter here.  The question of why the staff members of the Dachau concentration camp were not charged with the crime of gassing prisoners is frequently asked.  The trial of Martin Gottfried Weiss and 39 others, by the American Military Tribunal, started on November 15, 1945 shortly before the start of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  At the Nuremberg IMT, the charges against the German war criminals included the charge of gassing prisoners at Dachau and other death camps.  So why wasn’t the Commandant of Dachau (Martin Gottfried Weiss) charged with this crime by the American Military Tribunal?

The charges against all of the accused in all of the American Military Tribunal proceedings were that they had participated in a “common plan” to violate the Laws and Usages of War under the Geneva Convention of 1929 and the Hague Convention of 1907. However, in all of the proceedings of the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, only crimes committed against the Allies during World War II were included.

Since the names and nationality of the prisoners who were gassed at Dachau were unknown, there was no testimony during the proceedings against Martin Weiss, et al, about any citizen of an Allied country, or an Allied soldier, who had been killed in the gas chamber at Dachau.

Unlike the Nuremberg IMT, the American Military Tribunal at Dachau did not include charges of Crimes against Humanity.

The definition of a Crime Against Humanity, according to the Nuremberg IMT, is as follows:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

If the charges by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau had included Crimes against Humanity, then the Dachau gas chamber could have been put into evidence at the Dachau proceedings because Crimes Against Humanity were crimes against ANY CIVILIAN POPULATION, not necessarily against civilians in countries at war with the German Reich.

After the proceedings of the American Military Tribunal against Martin Gottfried Weiss, and 39 others on the Dachau staff, ended in the conviction of all of the accused, 61 members of the staff at the Mauthausen concentration camp were charged with war crimes by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau on March 7, 1946 and proceedings against them began on March 29, 1946.

In the proceedings against the 61 members of the staff of the Mauthausen concentration camp, there was testimony that Soviet POWs had been killed in the gas chamber there and American Navy Lt. Jack Taylor testified that American soldiers had been gassed at Mauthausen.    (more…)

November 14, 2011

German soldiers were tortured before being killed at Dachau, according to an American Army medic

Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2011 was a day to remember the American soldiers who fought in past wars.  Al Bacchetta was an Army medic at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II; he was with the 116th Evacuation hospital which was stationed at Saarburg, France before the start of the Battle of the Bulge.  He worked 12 hours on duty, and 12 hours off throughout the Battle of the Bulge which lasted from December 1944 to January 1945.  Bacchetta said that there were lots of wounded German soldiers who were brought into the American hospital and “they were treated well.”

Bacchetta was also a medic with the 116th Evacuation Hospital when it arrived at Dachau two days after the camp was liberated by American soldiers on April 29, 1945.

In an interview with Bob Donaldson, which was videotaped, Al Bacchetta said this:

We got up to that fence [on the west side of the camp] and there were three German soldiers. They were stripped of their garments to the waist and guarding them was an American soldier and a Polish soldier.  They were both armed and the American soldier had lost a brother in the war.  So they had these fellows with their hands on the fence and they would pour some water on them from their neck down and it was a cold day in April or May and if they moved  — it was in essence a form of torture, you know — but it didn’t last long because the G.I. took all three into a concrete guard house [probably Tower B] and shot ‘em all.

Al Bacchetta wrote that the ovens were still burning when he arrived at Dachau.  Were the ovens “still burning” or were they fired up again to burn the bodies of the German soldiers who had been killed by the Americans on the day that the camp was liberated?

Bodies of German soldiers at Dachau are on the left side, waiting to be burned in the ovens

Bacchetta also said that he spoke to one of the inmates at Dachau who had been assigned to work in the crematoriums.  The inmate told Bacchetta that, after six months on such an assignment, inmate workers would be executed so they couldn’t tell what the Nazis did in camp.

Marcus J. Smith, a U.S. Army doctor, told a different story about the crematory workers in his book entitled The Harrowing of Hell. According to Smith, the chief of the crematorium crew was Ludvik “a heavy, powerfully muscled Czech who has labored in the crematorium for a long time.” Smith wrote that Ludvik sent him a letter in which he complained that his team of 10 people were not being treated as well as they had been by the SS. Ludvik wrote in this letter: “We feel that after our liberation, at least the same standard of living should be maintained. But our position is worse than then as to food, drinks and tobacco.”

Survivors of the Dachau death camp

Note the muscular guy wearing striped shorts.  This might be Ludvik, the crematorium worker. He could also be the man on the left in the photo below.

Former crematorium workers demonstrate how the bodies were put into the ovens at Dachau

The Germans had been burying the bodies of the inmates who died of typhus and other diseases on the hill called Leitenberg near the Dachau camp.

Marcus J. Smith wrote that, because the cremation efforts were too slow, the bodies of the prisoners who died after Dachau was liberated were buried by German civilians “at the American commander’s request.” The corpses were taken on carts to the burial site at Leitenberg where the bodies were transferred to a bulldozed excavation, according to Smith.

You can see the video for yourself on YouTube:

November 13, 2011

The movie J. Edgar and the Lindbergh kidnapping

Filed under: Germany, movies, True Crime — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:07 am

I’ve been reading the reviews of the new movie J. Edgar and I am surprised to learn that some of the critics are panning it.  For example: this review.  To me, J. Edgar is one of the best movies ever made, if not THE best.  The problem is that the story of J. Edgar is told through the eyes of the director, 81-year-old Clint Eastwood.  Younger people may not agree with Eastwood’s interpretation of events.

Here is a quote from another review:

It’s the graying Hoover we meet first, dictating his somewhat suspect memoir to a series of young agent-stenographers because he feels that “it’s time this generation learned my side of the story.”

That story begins with a rarely examined event in American history, the 1919 Palmer raids against anarchists and other supposed radicals. In response to a series of bombings, U.S. Atty. Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer in effect took the law into his own hands, collaborating with the 24-year-old Hoover and the newly formed FBI to attack people for their ideas without evidence of crimes. It’s the first of several examples we see in the film of what can happen when unchecked governmental power falls into the hands of the ruthless and the self-righteous, when influential people believe, as Hoover did, that “sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to keep our country safe.”

There is an early scene in the movie when Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist and radical, is shown in court where she refuses to answer questions. In 1919, she was just out of prison after serving a two year sentence for “conspiring to induce men not to register for the draft.”  Not a single review, that I have read, mentioned the Emma Goldman character.  Why is Emma Goldman important?  Emma Goldman was deported to Russia because America didn’t want Bolsheviks, anarchists and radicals back in those days.  If she were alive today, Emma would be leading the Occupy Wall Street movement and she would be a hero to the progressives.

Before I went to see the movie on Friday, I imagined that the plot would dwell on the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr.  They were included, but the most important plot thread was the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in March 1932.  In one scene of the movie, the discovery of the body of the 18-month-old baby is shown.  The body was decomposed and nothing was left but a skeleton; it was found near a road and within sight of the house.  There is a brief moment when the skeleton is shown with the white Lindbergh house visible in the background.  The movie does not show, nor mention, that any effort had been made to bury the body.  Who kills a baby and then leaves the evidence behind, where it can easily be found?   (more…)

November 12, 2011

Can a person be sent to prison for denying the Dachau gas chamber?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:33 am

Today, I am answering a comment made by a regular reader of my blog.  In the comment, “skeptic” wrote that “it’s in the literature that no gassings took place at Dachau, so a good case could be made [for denying the Dachau gas chamber].”

Germany is the main country where Holocaust denial trials have taken place, but the defendant in a Holocaust denial trial in Germany is not permitted to make a case for his beliefs.

Holocaust denial comes under Section 130 of the German Basic Law.  Under this law, historical “facts” of World War II and the Holocaust are “offenkundig” or manifestly obvious and self-evident, so the “facts” do not need to be proved in court. There is no defense against denying the “facts” of the Holocaust. If you are accused of a violation of Section 130, your attorney is not permitted to defend you.  German attorney Sylvia Stolz served 3 years in prison for trying to defend a Holocaust denier client.

Here is a quote from this website which points out that Germans who denied the Dachau gas chamber were sent to prison:

On 13 January 2003, Attorney Horst Mahler pointed out that under the decree of Offenkundigkeit or  “manifest obviousness” as contained in the Basic Law, Germans who deny the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Dachau, like those who had denied their existence at Ravensbrück, Mauthausen, Bergen-Belsen, Flossenbürg, Sachsenhausen and Theresienstadt, have been sentenced to long prison sentences.  The concept of  Offenkundigkeit, which the Federal Republic borrowed from the Moscow show trials and the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, allows the court or tribunal to convict defendants of without having to prove that a crime occurred.  In the case of the alleged mass murders of Jews in homicidal gas chambers, the IMF simply decreed that the existence of such devices for mass murder during the War was “common knowledge” or “manifestly obvious” and therefore did not have to be proven with documentary, empirical or forensic evidence.


November 11, 2011

Sidney Glucksman was a witness to the atrocities at Gross-Rosen and Dachau concentration camps

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:50 am

Someone who is doing research on 11 men, who were possibly sent to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp as Nacht und Nebel prisoners, e-mailed me with a request to find an eye-witness who was at Gross-Rosen.  I don’t know much about Gross-Rosen so I had to do a google search; my search turned up the name of a witness (Sidney Glucksman) on my own website  Sidney Glucksman was 12 years old in 1940 when he was sent to the Gross Rosen camp; he was later transferred to Dachau where he was liberated by American soldiers on April 29, 1945.

This quote is from a page on my website. Scroll down, it is at the bottom of the page. You can read the page in full here:

Sidney Glucksman was a prisoner at Dachau working in a factory, located just outside the concentration camp, which made German uniforms. When he was liberated from Dachau by American troops, Glucksman told Jewish American soldier Jerome Klein that he had not had a shower for six years. Klein gave him a bar of soap and a clean American uniform to wear.

Contrary to Nerin E. Gun’s discription of babies being gassed along with their mothers at Dachau, Glucksman told Kim Martineau, a reporter for The Hartford, CT Courant, that he remembers mothers separated from babies, walking naked to the “showers” to be gassed, their babies thrown into sacks and beaten or tossed in the air for target practice.

Strangely, Glucksman was not gassed at Gross-Rosen, even though he was only 12 years old when he was sent there. He was allowed to live, even though he was a witness to the gassing of prisoners at two different camps and the killing of babies in sacks.

Glucksman was a concentration camp prisoner for six years (1940 – 1945), but he never took a shower the whole time.  Apparently, that’s how Glucksman managed to survive: he was smart enough not to enter a shower room, so he was not gassed like the rest of the prisoners.

Gross-Rosen is now in Poland, but it was in the Greater German Reich when a concentration camp was located there.  On the map below, Gross-Rosen is shown on the far left side.

Map shows location of Gross-Rosen camp


November 10, 2011

“the Holocaust never happened” (What does this mean?)

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:59 am

In a comment on this post on my blog, a reader used the expression “the Holocaust never happened.” But what does this mean?  Does anyone ever seriously say “The Holocaust never happened”?

Billboard that was put up in Berlin several years ago

Before the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was built in Berlin, the billboard shown in the photo above was put up at the future site of the memorial.  The message on this billboard was intended to be facetious, but some people took it literally, and the sign had to be taken down.  (The English translation is “the Holocaust never happened.”)

The expression “the Holocaust never happened” is used by Holocaust believers, followed by “of course, it happened.”  This is not an expression used by Holocaust revisionists.

There were a lot of lies told about World War I, including “The Big Lie.”  Does anyone ever say that World War I never happened?  (“The Big Lie” was the claim that Germany lost the war on the battlefield.)

After World War II, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia and other countries and forced to go to Germany, which was a pile of rubble at that time.  Thousands of the expellees lived at the former Dachau concentration camp for 17 years before they were thrown out so that the camp could be made into a Memorial site.  This piece of history is very controversial, but does anyone ever say that it never happened?

The question is “How much of history are people required by law to believe in order to stay out of prison?”  Do we have to believe every survivor story, no matter how ridiculous it is?  Do we have to believe Elie Wiesel’s story, even though he has no tattoo from Auschwitz and no ID number from Buchenwald?

November 9, 2011

Elie Wiesel is expected to speak about the Talmud in his next lectures

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:45 am

In an article today in The Daily Free Press, The Independent Student Newspaper of Boston University, I read this: “In his next lectures, Wiesel is expected to speak about the Talmud and good and evil.”  The caption on an old photo accompanying the article was this: “Nobel Laureate and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities Elie Wiesel gives a talk entitled, “The Rebbe of Ger: A Tragedy in Hasidism,” at Metcalf Hall on Nov. 1, 2010.”

I couldn’t believe it when I read that Elie Wiesel had given a lecture on Hasidism last year and he is going to lecture on the Talmud this year.  I was reminded of a line spoken by Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, an HBO series that I used watch:  “Hasidim, but I don’t believe ’em” ( The joke centers on the word Hasidim which sounds something like Hah-seed-em. Hasidim is explained here.)

According to Wikipedia, “Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston’s largest employers. The university identifies itself as nonsectarian, although it maintains an affiliation with The United Methodist Church.”

This sentence in the student newspaper article cited above is not entirely clear to me:  “In his next lectures, Wiesel is expected to speak about the Talmud and good and evil.” Does this mean that Wiesel is going to talk about the good and the evil that is in the Talmud? Or that he is going to talk about two separate topics:  1. the Talmud and 2. good and evil?

I always thought that the Talmud was a closely guarded secret.  Surely, Elie Wiesel is not going to spill the beans on the Talmud.

You can read more about Elie Wiesel on this blog; the title of the blog is “Elie Wiesel Cons the World.”  Eric Hunt has a blog that includes many articles on Elie Wiesel which you can read here.  Check out this blog post on Winston Smith’s excellent blog, which is unique and fun for all.

November 8, 2011

How did Andy Williams get bladder cancer?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:49 am

I’ve been reading in the news that Andy Williams has bladder cancer.  I am a big fan of Andy Williams so I was very sad to hear this.  Hmmm?  Bladder cancer?  Where have I heard about this recently?  Oh yeah, now I remember.  There have been a lot of TV ads by lawyers who are looking for people with bladder cancer who took a drug for diabetes.

Here is the text from one of the ads about drugs that might cause bladder cancer:

Patients taking the diabetes drug Actos for more than a year may have an increased risk of bladder cancer, according to an FDA interim review of an ongoing epidemiological study.

The warning comes just days after two European countries banned use of the drug. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has yet to release any guidance on use of Actos.

Actos is now the second medication in the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class to be associated with serious side effects within the past year. Last fall, the use of Avandia was severely restricted in the U.S. because of concerns about an increased risk of heart attack.

If you or someone you know has taken Actos for over a year and has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, please call us immediately for a free consultation. You can also fill in the confidential client information form on this page and an attorney will call you within 24 hours.

I avoid all prescription drugs for fear of getting cancer or some other dread disease. I rely on the recommendations of Dr. Oz who says that strawberries, bok choy and cooked tomatoes (among other foods) will kill cancer before it advances to the stage where you need medical treatment.

Dr. Oz recommends a low fat, high carb diet to prevent cancer.  He particularly  recommends papaya to prevent cancer.  Dr. Oz says that beets and cashews have tumor starving ingredients. On the other hand, Dr. Oz says that cancer causing foods include processed meats that contain nitrates.  One of my favorite foods used to be pickle loaf, but no more pickle loaf for me.

November 7, 2011

Germany will attempt to try more WWII “war criminals” under the “common design” ex-post-facto law

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:44 am

I’ve been reading in the news lately about the Polish government’s search for more German war criminals to put on trial. The trials will be conducted by the Germans in German courts.

After the conviction of John Demjanjuk in a German court, I predicted in this blog post on May 12, 2011 that Germany would have more trials based on the “common design” ex-post-facto law.  German courts will now “proceed according to precedent” and use this ex-post-facto law to convict more Germans who served at concentration camps during World War II.  I assume that the German government will also pay for their incarceration in nursing homes.  The World War II German criminals are at least 85 or 86 years old now.  At the time that they were working in a concentration camp, they didn’t know that someday they might be convicted as a war criminal just for BEING THERE.

Here is a quote from a news article about Poland’s new investigations, which you can read in full here:

The Institute of National Remembrance – a research body affiliated with the Polish government – stated last week that the main “purpose of the investigation is a thorough and comprehensive explanation of the circumstances of” the crimes that took place at Auschwitz.


During November 2010, there were “852 ongoing investigations of Nazi war criminals,” though there are certainly others living in secret, according to Slate. From the past decades, these people have essentially been getting away with their crimes, living quiet lives among the families of their victims. All because they aren’t criminals of the same caliber as those prosecuted at Nuremburg or Dachau. They were the lower ranking members of the Gestapo and the SS, following orders and murdering and torturing innocent people. For this reason, lower-ranking soldiers should not be left to live their lives after war: They should be prosecuted just like their superior officers have been. Lower-ranking soldiers are just as guilty as the upper command and should be treated as such.

The re-launched investigation into Auschwitz can be the way to address this problem, even without convictions by the Institute of National Remembrance. Instead, this Polish body can make inquiries, form conclusions, make indictments, and leave obtaining convictions to the German government. In the past year, Germany has been able to convict John Demjanjuk “based on the theory that if he worked there, he was part of the extermination process, even without direct proof of any specific killings,” according to the Huffington Post. This new German precedent, along with the fact that Berlin asks to be allowed to extradite Nazi war criminals, gives new hope for convictions.


November 6, 2011

Andy Rooney was a Stars and Stripes reporter who saw Thekla, a sub-camp of Buchenwald

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:00 am

The death of Andy Rooney was reported on all the TV news shows with the added information that he was a soldier in World War II, who served as a reporter for the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes.  He was one of the first Americans to see the Buchenwald concentration camp and he also visited the Thekla sub-camp of Buchenwald.

You don’t hear much about Thekla these days which is strange because Thekla was the site of one of the worst atrocities of World War II.  Ohrdruf is another sub-camp of Buchenwald which is now world-famous because Barak Obama’s great-uncle visited it.  I don’t understand why the story of Thekla never became popular, but now that it has been mentioned in connection with Andy Rooney, maybe it will become well-known.

I read about Thekla many years ago in Robert Abzug’s book Inside the Vicious Heart.  I was shocked when I learned, from the book, that the Germans had burned prisoners alive at Thekla in the last days of the war. Abzug’s book has photos of the burned bodies of the “political prisoners” who had been working in an aircraft factory nearby. 

A photo of prisoners who had been burned alive at Thekla is on page 75 of Abzug’s book, across from a photo, on page 74, of a body found in the burned barn at Gargelegen.  

Why would the Germans have been burning prisoners alive in the last days of the war?  First in Gardelegen and then at Thekla.

Here is a quote from page 74 of Inside the Vicious Heart:

Men of the First Army were shown a similar atrocity as they surged eastward toward the Elbe.  On April 18th, as the fight for Leipzig was winding down, an escaped French prisoner made contact with Lieutenant Daniel Camous, a French officer attached to the American army.  He led Camous to the suburb of Thekla, northeast of the city, and showed him a still smoldering flattened barracks.

So it was a “French prisoner” who alerted a “French officer” attached to the American Army?  Could this have been a French Resistance fighter who was a prisoner in a German concentration camp, after he had been captured as an illegal combatant?  Was a French officer attached to the American army because General Eisenhower had declared the French Resistance to be a legal fighting force?

On April 19th, 1945, the Thekla sub-camp of Buchenwald was officially liberated by the Fighting 69th Infantry Division.  The famous Link-Up between the American 69th Infantry Division and the 58th Soviet Guards Division at the Elbe River took place on April 25, 1945.

So around the time that the prisoners were burned alive at Thekla, the Russians were coming and the Germans were terrified. German soldiers were jumping into the Elbe river and swimming across to the American side to escape capture by the Soviets. 

German girls were hiding in the attic or the basement as the Russians raped their way across Germany. German civilians were committing suicide as the end was near.  President Roosevelt had announced, even before the war crimes were committed by the Germans, that there would be war crimes trials.

What should the Germans do, as their country was being over run by the enemy?  Let’s see…the best thing to do would be to burn some enemy combatants alive for no reason at all.

I have never visited Thekla and I have not researched the story of the burning of prisoners alive at Thekla, but I am suspicious of this story. 

Why has the Thekla story not been promoted? Is there something that Abzug did not tell us?

You can see a video of a film taken by George C. Stevens which shows the aftermath of the Thekla atrocity.

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