Scrapbookpages Blog

August 18, 2013

American soldier, who saw Dachau, also remembers “starving German children, who were homeless orphans.”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:22 pm

Alvin Law is a 90-year-old veteran of World War II, now living in a retirement home in Plainview, TX.  He recently gave an interview, to an online Plainview newspaper, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the Plainview newspaper article:

Alvin was near Munich when he remembers coming up to the Dachau Concentration Camp. The camp was the first concentration camp established by the Nazis, and was responsible for the deaths of 31,951 Jews, ordinary Germans, Austrian criminals and foreign nationalists.

By that time, Nazis were in the process of evacuating prisoners to other camps as Americans advanced into Germany. The Nazis were also trying to hide or destroy evidence of gas chambers, in a vain attempt to hide the horrific crimes.

In April 1945, U.S. Army troops were able to liberate the camp.

“They were overjoyed,” said Alvin, as he described seeing freed prisoners.

But the experience was bittersweet, as Alvin described seeing the mountains of dead bodies in the camp.

“It was horrible,” said Alvin.

Alvin also remembers the starving German children, who were now homeless orphans.

It’s a miracle!  A newspaper article, which actually mentions that Germans were suffering during World War II. You can read here about how the Allies starved German people to death AFTER World War II ended.

The starving German children, who were homeless orphans, might have been in the DP camp that was set up near the town of Dachau.

The article mentions that “The Nazis were also trying to hide or destroy evidence of gas chambers…”

Actually, there was not much effort to destroy the evidence of gas chambers at Dachau.  The Nazis left behind a large shower room, at Dachau, that was perfect for turning into a gas chamber, AFTER the camp was liberated.  But you can’t expect an American newspaper to point this out.

I wrote about how the American liberators of Dachau made a film on May 3, 1945, which showed the gas chamber which they had just constructed. This film was shown during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal as proof that there was a gas chamber at Dachau.  You can read about it on one of my previous blog posts here.  You can read here about what tour guides tell visitors now about Dachau.

Photo of the mountain of dead bodies at Dachau was taken in May 1945

Photo of the mountain of dead bodies at Dachau was taken in May 1945

There was only one “mountain” of dead bodies at Dachau, when the Americans arrived.  This mountain of bodies was at the crematorium, awaiting cremation, but the Nazis had run out of coal to burn the bodies.

Pile of bodies at Dachau on the day after American liberators arrived

Pile of bodies at Dachau on the day after American liberators arrived

The photo above shows American soldiers looking at a pile of bodies, which includes a small pile of bodies of German soldiers, that the Americans had killed when the camp was surrendered to them.  I previously blogged here about Alfred de Grazia, Commanding Officer of the Psychological Warfare Propaganda Team attached to headquarters of the US 7th Army, who arrived at Dachau on May 1, 1945 to supervise the construction of a gas chamber at Dachau.

The faded color photo below shows that on May 1, 1945, the pile of dead bodies had been removed and, in it’s place was a pile of sand, ready to be used for construction of some kind.  By May 3, 1945, the Dachau gas chamber was ready for inspection by a group of American congressmen.

The photo below is on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, along with this caption:

Date: Tuesday, May 01, 1945
Locale: Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany
Photographer: Colonel Alexander Zabin
Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Colonel Alexander Zabin
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Photo of Dachau crematorium building, taken on May 1, 1945 shows no pile of bodies

Photo of Dachau crematorium building, taken on May 1, 1945 shows no pile of bodies

In the month of May 1945, an additional 2,226 Dachau prisoners died, of typhus and other diseases, after the camp was liberated. There were 196 more deaths in June before the typhus epidemic was finally stopped by the use of DDT and the vaccination of all the prisoners.

Alvin Law was probably among the American soldiers, stationed near Munich, who were brought in trucks to see the Dachau atrocities, weeks after the camp had been surrendered.

Still, I give the reporter on the Plainview newspaper a lot of credit for looking up the exact number of deaths at Dachau and including this in his article.  I think that most American reporters would have written that 100,000 died at Dachau, or maybe 500,000.  The reporter did mention the Jews first in the list of prisoners who died at Dachau.