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February 4, 2013

the controversy over the “Dachau Massacre” lives on

Filed under: Dachau, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:49 am

I previously blogged about the “Dachau Massacre” here and here and here.  I also blogged about the IG report on the killing of the SS guards at Tower B here.

Famous photo of the "Dachau Massacre"

Famous photo of the “Dachau Massacre”

Today, I did a google search which turned up this entry on a yahoo group. The man that wrote this entry, which I am quoting below, believes that only “around 40” Hungarian and German soldiers were killed on the day that Dachau was liberated.  Howard Buechner wrote a book in which he said that 560 soldiers were killed by American troops that day.

Quote from a yahoo group:

Warning please…if you are related to Howard Buechner, you will not
necessarily like what I will write there. I will try and be diplomatic, as
diplomatic as one can be towards a Veteran who not only seems to have been
a pathological liar, but also had no qualms about inflicting fellow vets
with new traumas derived from the lies he spread in a self-aggrandizing
little excuse for a history book he wrote in 1986 entitled *The Hour of the
Avenger.*

I wouldn’t trust a word in that book, nor in some others I see he penned.

I have the proof, as best as can be found today. I will be posting it on
that page this week.

It includes copies of the relevant testimony of Buechner in 1945, testimony
he never thought would come to light.

He wrote his malicious book in 1986. The classified IG report only surfaced
in 1990 or 1991. In it he contradicts, without question, the lies he spread
in 1986…and, later for all I know. The army clerk misspelled his name in
the IG report as “Buchner”, but it’s him alright.

I regard the men of the 45th as “heroes” of a sort, with whatever flaws
they bore. My dad was one, both a hero and flawed. He would not have liked
the reputation of such brave men sullied by a noted physician and wanna-be
successful author. Literary critique? Buechner’s writings remind me of that
which an elementary schooler might do with certain terms. He calls himself,
in his mendacious work, “The Witness”. Yeah….right.

He wasn’t the witness to what he writes about, though he arrived later at
the scene. There were others who were. Their testimony is in the IG report.

He should have been court-martialed for dereliction of duty. That was the
recommendation of the investigative officer. Buechner may never have known
that.

Again, apologies if you are related or if you have read and believed that
book.

I have written extensively on my website about Howard Buechner’s account of the “Dachau Massacre.”   This quote is from this page of  my website:

In the first hour of the liberation, while Col. Buechner was setting up his Aid Station in the town of Dachau, 122 SS men had allegedly been “shot on the spot,” after they had surrendered to the 45th Division, according to George Stevens, Jr. who did a documentary film on the liberation; he was quoted by Col. Buechner in his book. The killing of 122 SS men in “the first hour,” was also reported by Michael Seltzer in his book entitled “Deliverance Day,” and subsequently repeated by many other writers. […]

Stevens also told Col. Buechner that 40 SS guards had been beaten to death by the inmates, or shot with guns given to them by the American liberators, and 20 more SS guards were killed by American soldiers when they attempted to surrender after descending from the guard towers. Another 100 SS guards were murdered in unrelated killings by individual soldiers of both the 42nd and 45th Divisions, according to George Stevens, as told to Col. Buechner. These events had taken place during the 30 minute period of chaos, at the beginning of the liberation, before order could be restored. Lt. Col. Sparks said that during this time, “battle hardened veterans became extremely distraught. Some cried, while others raged. Some thirty minutes passed before I could restore order and discipline.”

When the situation was brought under control, 358 SS men were rounded up and herded into an enclosed area that had been used as a coal yard before the camp had run out of coal. Shortly thereafter, 12 SS men were machine-gunned to death in an execution in front of the coal yard wall.

The photograph below shows American military officers inspecting the bodies of the 12 Waffen-SS soldiers who were executed in the incident at the coal yard.

American soldiers inspect bodies in the coal yard

American soldiers inspect bodies in the coal yard

The execution of the SS men at the coal yard was stopped by Lt. Col. Felix Sparks who kicked a machine gunner away from the gun. According to Lt. Col. Sparks, the machine gunner was a soldier whose nickname was “Birdeye.” Birdeye had shouted “they are trying to get away,” and had then cut loose with his .30 caliber machine gun. This incident brought the total number of dead to 174, according to Col. Buechner. Later, when the 346 Waffen-SS men were allegedly killed on the orders of Lt. Bushyhead, the total number of soldiers executed increased to 520. In addition, Col. Buechner wrote that 30 SS men had been “killed in combat” and 10 had escaped temporarily, but were captured and killed later, bringing the grand total to 560 SS men killed during the liberation of Dachau.

Col. Buechner could have gotten his information about the 560 SS soldiers at Dachau from an article written by Andrew Mello in 1980 in After the Battle. Mello used Nerin E. Gun’s book The Day of the Americans as his source. Gun wrote that an SS officer named Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky had reported that there were 560 SS men under his command when he surrendered the Dachau Army garrison to the men of the 45th Thunderbird Division.

The man who surrendered the Dachau concentration camp was Lt. Heinrich Wicker, who was accompanied by a civilian Red Cross representative.

The total number of enemy soldiers who were killed by American soldiers at Dachau is unknown. Howard Buechner wrote his book after getting information from Private John Degro, who was there when the camp was liberated.  You can read about John Degro on this page of my website.

The following information is from this page of my website:

An investigation was conducted by the US Army between May 3 and May 8, 1945, which resulted in a report entitled “Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau.” Israel wrote that 23 officers and enlisted men of the 45th Infantry Division and 9 officers and enlisted men of the 42nd Infantry Division were questioned in Pullach and Munich, Germany. Lt. Col. Joseph M. Whitaker headed the investigation; the report, which was filed on June 8, 1945, is sometimes called “the I.G. Report.” In 1991 a copy of the I.G. Report was found in the National Archives in Washington, DC and was made public.

The following paragraphs from the I.G. Report pertain to the shooting of SS men at Dachau by soldiers in the 45th Division:

4. At the entrance to the back area of the Dachau prison grounds, four German soldiers surrendered to Lt. William P. Walsh, 0-414901, in command of Company “I”, 157th Infantry. These prisoners Lt. Walsh ordered into a box car, where he personally shot them. Pvt. Albert C. Pruitt, 34573708, Company “I”157th Infantry, then climbed into the box car where these Germans were on the floor moaning and apparently still alive, and finished them off with his rifle.

5. After entry into the Dachau Camp area, Lt. Walsh segregated from surrendered prisoners of war those who were identified as SS Troops.

6. Such segregated prisoners of war were marched into a separate enclosure, lined up against the wall and shot down by American troops, who were acting under the orders of Lt. Walsh. A light machine gun, carbines, and either a pistol or a sub-machine gun were used. Seventeen of such prisoners of war were killed, and others were wounded.

7. Lt. Jack Bushyhead, 0-1284822, executive officer of Company “I”, participated with Lt. Walsh in this handling of the men and during the course of the shooting personally fired his weapon at these prisoners.

16. Lt. Walsh testified that the SS men were segregated in order to properly guard them, and were then fired upon because they started moving toward the guards. However, the dead bodies were located along the wall against which they had been lined up, they were killed along the entire line, although Lt. Walsh only claims those on one flank moved, and a number of witnesses testified that it was generally “understood” that these prisoners were to be shot when they were being segregated. These facts contradict the defensive explanation given by Lt. Walsh.

There was no mention in the I.G. Report of a second incident in which 346 SS men were allegedly shot at the coal yard wall.

As a result of the investigation, the American soldiers who were involved in the execution of SS men at Dachau were threatened with court-martial, including Lt. Col. Felix Sparks and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead. Buechner had not been present during the execution; he was cited in the I.G. Report for dereliction of duty because he refused to give medical aid to the SS men who were still alive after the shooting which resulted in 12 to 17 deaths in the coal yard.

February 2, 2013

Basic Law in Hungary guarantees “freedom of expression” except for Holocaust denial

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:00 am

Hungary has set a very bad example in making an exception to their Basic Law which guarantees “freedom of expression.”  This could set the stage for making an exception for Holocaust Denial in America’s 1st Amendment right of free speech.

You can read about the Hungarian Jews who were killed in the Holocaust here.

My blog post today is about a news article which you can read here on the hungarianAmbiance.com website.

The first ever criminal conviction was handed down for holocaust denial in Hungary on January 31, 2013. The Hungarian court of appeals affirmed a lower court decision and sentenced software developer György Nagy to one and a half years probation for denying the holocaust.

In addition, the court ordered György Nagy to visit either the Páva street Holocaust Memorial Centre in Budapest or the Auschwitz Memorial Center in Poland or the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem at least three times and describe his thoughts on the visits in an essay.

The lower court had sentenced György Nagy to one and a half years probation and had ordered his supervision for denying the holocaust on June 12, 2012.

Nagy had been taken into custody on October 23, 2011, during a demonstration, as he was holding up a sign in Hebrew that said “The Shoah did not happen.”

During court proceedings, Nagy signed court documents in the ancient Hungarian Rovas script rather than using Latin letters claiming that he had the constitutional right to use his mother tongue.

Nagy and his lawyer have questioned the legal basis of the sentence claiming that criminalizing the denial of the holocaust is contrary to the Basic Law. The court however, stated that in certain cases to protect human dignity the freedom of expression law can be overruled.

So what happens if György Nagy visits one of these “Holocaust Memorial Centers” and writes an essay in which he points out the errors and inconsistencies found there.  For example, if he chooses to visit the “Auschwitz Memorial Center in Poland,” what happens if he points out, in his essay, that the so-called “gas chamber” in the main Auschwitz camp could not possibly have been a real “gas chamber.”  The Auschwitz “gas chamber” is a reconstruction of an alleged “gas chamber” in the morgue of the crematorium.

You can read about the Auschwitz “gas chamber” and see photos of it on my website here.

February 1, 2013

Was there a “gas chamber” at Natzweiler? It depends on your definition of the term “gas chamber.”

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:28 am

In a comment on my blog post about the alleged “gas chamber” at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in the French province of Alsace, this statement was written:  “… Carlo Mattogno had conceded in his November 2011 book that the Nazis gassed Jews at Natzweiler-Struthof…”  If you don’t know who Carlo Mattogno is, stop reading this right now and go to the Inconvenient History blog, where you can read his articles about the Holocaust.  Carlo Mattogno is the foremost revisionist scholar; if he says that people were “gassed” at Natzweiler, it must be true.

But…it depends on what Mattogno means by the term “gassed.”  Does he mean “gassed” as in put to death, using poison gas, in a chamber like the one that was formerly used in Jefferson City, MO to execute criminals?  I don’t think so.

The building where Jews were gassed at Natzweiler

The building where Jews were gassed at Natzweiler

Building where criminals were gassed to death in Jefferson City, MO

Building where criminals were gassed to death in Jefferson City, MO

I visited the Natzweiler-Struthof Memorial Site in 2004 and wrote about the “gas chamber” on my website here.  The building shown in the old black and white photo above, which is about a mile from the former camp, was not open when I was there in 2004.

This quote is from my website page about Natzweiler:

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, charges were brought by the American prosecutor against the Nazis for medical experiments performed at Natzweiler, but there were no documents introduced in which it was claimed that a gas chamber had been used there to murder Jews.

The abandoned Natzweiler camp was discovered by both French and American troops, so it was the responsibility of the French and the American prosecutors to introduce the evidence of the gas chamber there.

On December 9, 1944, Colonel Paul Kirk and Lt. Colonel Edward J. Gully of the US 6th Army made an inspection of the Natzweiler camp, three months after it had been abandoned by the Nazis. According to Robert H. Abzug, the author of Inside the Vicious Heart, they qualified just about every observation that had to do with instruments of death and torture. The following is a quote from Abzug’s book:

They found, among other things, “what appeared to be a disinfestation unit” and “a large pile of hair appearing and reputed to be human female.” They were shown a building with a space “allegedly used as a lethal gas chamber. ” In this building was “a cellar room with a special type elevator,” and “an incinerator room with equipment obviously intended for the burning of human bodies…a cell room and an autopsy room.” Kirk and Gully then described in detail the “so-called lethal gas chamber,” noting every pipe and outlet and its two steel doors. In the cellar they found four coffins and a sheet metal elevator “of a size which would take a human body” with “stains which appeared to be caused by blood.”

Kirk and Gully wrote a report that was sent to the War Crimes Division, in which they referred to a “so-called gas chamber” at Natzweiler. Based on their report, there were no charges, pertaining to a gas chamber at Natzweiler, brought against the Nazis on trial before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

The “so-called lethal gas chamber” that Kirk and Gully mentioned in their report was in the building shown in the photo below.

Crematorium building at Natzweiler-Struthof

Crematorium building at Natzweiler-Struthof

What Kirk and Gully saw was the shower room that is located next to the one cremation oven.  The outside wall of this shower room is what is shown in Judisman’s painting.  Yishai Jusidman based his painting on the photo below, which he modified, to make it look like the inside of a gas chamber.

Outside wall of a shower room in the Natzweiler crematorium

Outside wall of a shower room in the Natzweiler crematorium

When I visited the Natzweiler Memorial Site in October 2004, the room next to the cremation oven was not open to visitors. I peeked through the window shown in the photo above and saw what looked like a shower room. This is probably the “so-called lethal gas chamber” which the two American officers described in their report, but there was no sign on the wall which said that this was a gas chamber. The shower room is not the room that Josef Kramer, the former Commandant of Natzweiler, described in his confession to the British after he was arrested at Bergen-Belsen, where he was the last Commandant of that camp; Kramer described a room in the building that is located about a mile from the camp.

Le Struthof, as the camp is known to the French, was located 31 miles from Strasbourg where Dr. August Hirt, a Professor at the University of Strasbourg, was conducting research on racial characteristics. When he requested Jewish skeletons that were undamaged by bullet holes or body blows, Heinrich Himmler ordered that Jews should be brought from Auschwitz to Natzweiler so that they could be killed in a gas chamber there.

In August 1943, a special gas chamber was constructed by adapting an existing building, formerly owned by the Struthof hotel, which was located about a mile from the concentration camp on a side road. This room had previously been used as a refrigerator room by the hotel.

Killing the Jews in one of the gas chambers at Auschwitz and shipping the skeletons to Strasbourg wouldn’t do – the skeletons had to be prepared with great care by Dr. Hirt himself.

According to a Tübingen Professor, Dr. Hans-Joachim Lang, two anthropologists, who were both members of the SS, Dr. Hans Fleischhacker and Bruno Beger, were sent in June 1943 to Auschwitz to select Jews to be gassed so that their skeletons could be added to the rassistische/rassenideologische collection of Dr. August Hirt. There were 57 men and 29 women in the group that was selected.

In the documents submitted to the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, it is mentioned that the Jewish victims were put into quarantine for a time at Auschwitz because there was a typhus epidemic in the camp; then they were brought to Natzweiler-Struthof. The Nuremberg IMT documents show that 86 corpses were brought to the Anatomie Institute of the Reichsuniversitat Strassburg and that an assistant of Prof. August Hirt saw the tattoos on the arms and secretly wrote down the 86 numbers on a piece of paper.

In the museum at Natzweiler-Struthof, Josef Kramer’s confession, regarding the gas chamber, is on display. In his confession, Kramer described how he personally mixed “salts” with water to produce a lethal gas. The gas was dumped through a hole which had been chiseled through the tiled wall of a room previously used for the refrigeration of perishable food. Then Kramer watched through a peephole as the Jews died from the fumes of the poison gas.

Josef Kramer was convicted by a British Military Tribunal held in 1945, and hanged for the crimes he had committed at Auschwitz II and Bergen-Belsen. The charges against Kramer at the proceedings of the British Military Tribunal did not include the crime of gassing Jews at Natzweiler-Struthof. Rather, he was charged with crimes committed at Bergen-Belsen and with gassing Jews at Auschwitz, where he was the Commandant of the Auschwitz II camp before being transferred to Bergen-Belsen in December 1944.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, charges were brought by the American prosecutor against the Nazis for medical experiments performed at Natzweiler, but there were no documents introduced in which it was claimed that a gas chamber had been used there to murder Jews. The abandoned Natzweiler camp was discovered by both French and American troops, so it was the responsibility of the French and the American prosecutors to introduce the evidence of the gas chamber there.
In 1989, a plaque was placed at Struthof, in memory of the “87 Jews who were gassed” there. This was accomplished through the joint efforts of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a New Jersey lawyer, Stephen Draisin. The number 87 includes the 86 Jews who were brought from Auschwitz to be gassed and one Jewish inmate who died during the same time period.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “the gas chamber [at Natzweiler] was also used in pseudo-scientific medical experiments involving poison gas. The victims of these experiments were primarily Roma (Gypsies) who had been transferred from Auschwitz. Prisoners were also subjected to experiments involving treatment for typhus and yellow fever.”

A book which I purchased from the Natzweiler Memorial Site has this to say about the gas chamber, shown in the black and white photo:

4. The affair of the Israelite corpses

Hirt, professor of anatomy in Strasbourg, received corpses from the camp of Russian war prisoners at Mutzig, but as he thought they were too lean, he asked for people in a good physical condition for studies on heredity.

87 Israelites (30 of whom were women) were sent from the camp at Auschwitz. They were shut up in block 13 at the Struthof where they were measured, and they had to undergo experiments on sterilization. On August 11, 13, 17, 19, 1943, under the direction of doctors from Strasburg, the S.S. gassed the 87 Israelites in the gas chamber at Struthof with cyanide. Death occurred after 30 to 60 seconds. The corpses were transported to the Institut d’Anatomie in Strasburg. 17 entire corpses (3 of which being women’s) were found at the liberation as well as many dissected pieces.

“The liberation” referred to in the above quote probably means the liberation of France in August 1944. The Natzweiler-Struthof camp was abandoned in September 1944 so it was not actually “liberated.”

According to Dr. Hans-Joachim Lang, there were 16 of the 86 bodies (3 women and 13 men) that were found intact in November 1944, not 17, and an autopsy was performed on the bodies.

Dr. Lang was able to identify the 86 Jews who were gassed at Natzweiler after locating their prisoner numbers in the Auschwitz archives. The 29 women and 57 men who were gassed had been deported to Auschwitz from Norway, Poland, Greece, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The bodies of the 86 victims were buried in the Jewish cemetery of Strasbourg and a grave stone with the 86 names was placed there in December 2005.

Dr. Lang has published a book with the names of the 86 Jews who were gassed at Natzweiler. His book can be purchased at this web site:

http://www.die-namen-der-nummern.de

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