Scroll down for an update on why the Commandant was not at Dachau when the American liberators arrived. He was leading a march of the prominent prisoners to the South Tyrol. No one knows what happened to him. He allegedly killed himself, but he was probably killed by the American liberators, whose policy was to shoot first and ask questions later.
Continue reading my original post:
This morning I read a news article which included the photo above, and contained the following quote:
American soldiers executed dozens of German guards at the Dachau WWII concentration camp after screaming: ‘Let’s get those Nazi dogs!’
The US troops opened fire on 50 members of the SS and the Wehrmacht with a machine gun after lining them up and saying: ‘Take no prisoners!’
One commander [Lt. William P. Walsh] shot dead four other Germans and became so hysterical that his own colonel had to hit him with the butt of his gun to stop him battering a fifth.
According to a new book, the Americans took revenge because they were so outraged at what they saw when they liberated Dachau, which was home to 32,000 prisoners kept in horrific conditions.
But what they did themselves on April 29, 1945 became one of the most controversial episodes in the US involvement in WWII.
Note that the article says that the Americans opened fire on dozens of German guards. Wolf Murmelstein, a regular reader of my blog, wrote this in a recent comment:
I wonder who and why additional SS men were sent to Dachau and what were they supposed to do, as the Nazi SS High Commander surely had not been interested in keeping order at the moment of surrender. Maybe these SS men had been ordered to prevent the surrender, which had been decided upon by the acting Camp Commandant. In those days there had been many SS Officers who refused to obey Himmler – who had already been removed by Hitler! – and his order to surrender the camps. A critical study of facts is necessary.
I have made a critical study of the facts of the Dachau surrender, and I have written extensively about Dachau on my website, starting in 1998, after my first visit to the former Dachau camp in 1997.
I have a whole section on the liberation of the Dachau camp: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/index.html
The main Dachau camp was surrendered to Brigadier General Henning Linden of the 42nd Rainbow Division by SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker, who is the second man from the right in the photo above.
Wicker was accompanied by Red Cross representative Victor Maurer who had just arrived the day before with five trucks loaded with food packages. In the photo above, the arrow points to Marguerite Higgins, one of the American reporters, who was covering the story.
The liberation of Dachau was America’s finest hour. Americans still brag out it. The killing of German soldiers who had surrendered didn’t bother them a bit.
In the photo above, notice how emaciated and tortured the prisoners are — NOT!
Lt. William P. Walsh was one of the liberators of Dachau. I have written about him in several blog posts which you can read at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/lt-william-walsh/
Lt. Walsh is a despicable person, who readily admits that he committed a crime by killing German soldiers who had been sent to surrender the Dachau camp to the Americans. But he could care less; he is proud of committing a war crime.
An investigation of the Dachau surrender was conducted between May 3 and May 8, 1945 by Lt. Col. Joseph M. Whitaker. This is known as the I.G. Report, which concluded that the total number of SS men killed on April 29, 1945 at Dachau was somewhere between 50 and 60, including the SS soldiers who were killed after they surrendered at Tower B, shown in the photo above.
Most of the bodies of the dead German soldiers had been thrown into the moat and then shot repeatedly after they were already dead, according to testimony given to the investigators by American soldiers who were there.
No Americans were killed or wounded during the liberation of Dachau. The SS men had been ordered not to shoot and there was no resistance as they were massacred by the liberators.
So get the story straight, all you readers of my blog. It was the Americans who acted badly and committed war crimes at Dachau. Those who are still alive are still going around bragging about their crimes.
Update 11:26 a.m
Wolf Murmelstein has pointed out that I did not mention the prominent prisoners at Dachau. I am adding the following information:
On April 26, 1945, three days before the American liberators arrived at Dachau, a transport of 1,735 Jewish prisoners left on a train bound for the mountains in southern Germany. Then another 6,887 prisoners, half of them Jews and half of them Russian POWs, were marched south toward the mountains of the South Tyrol. According to testimony given at the Nuremberg IMT, the march to the Tyrol was part of a plan, devised by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, to kill all these prisoners.
At the Nuremberg IMT, on January 2, 1946, Lt. Commander Whitney R. Harris submitted Document 3462-PS, the sworn interrogation of Bertus Gerdes, the former Gaustabsamtsleiter under the Gauleiter of Munich. This interrogation was taken in the course of an official military investigation by the U.S. Army. During the interrogation, Gerdes was ordered to state all he knew about Kaltenbrunner.
Lt. Commander Harris read part of Document 3462-PSI, beginning with the third paragraph of Page 2, as quoted below from the transcript of the Nuremberg IMT on January 2, 1946:
“Giesler told me that Kaltenbrunner was in constant touch with him because he was greatly worried about the attitude of the foreign workers and especially inmates of Concentration Camps Dachau, Mühldorf, and Landsberg, which were in the path of the approaching Allied armies. On a Tuesday in the middle of April 1945 I received a telephone call from Gauleiter Giesler asking me to be available for a conversation that night. In the course of our personal conversation that night, I was told by Giesler that he had received a directive from Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, by order of the Fuehrer, to work out a plan without delay for the liquidation of the concentration camp at Dachau and the two Jewish labor camps in Landsberg and Mühldorf. The directive proposed to liquidate the two Jewish labor camps at Landsberg and Mühldorf by use of the German Luftwaffe, since the construction area of these camps had previously been the targets of repeated enemy air attacks. This action received the code name of ‘Wolke A-1.'”
“I was certain that I would never let this directive be carried out. As the action Wolke A-1 should have become operational already for some time, I was literally swamped by couriers from Kaltenbrunner and moreover I was supposed to have discussed the details of the Mühldorf and Landsberg actions in detail with the two Kreisleiter concerned. The couriers, who were in most cases SS officers, usually SS Untersturmfuehrer, gave me terse and strict orders to read and initial. The orders threatened me with the most terrible punishment, including execution, if I did not comply with them. However, I could always excuse my failure to execute the plan because of bad flying weather and lack of gasoline and bombs. Therefore, Kaltenbrunner ordered that the Jews in Landsberg be marched to Dachau in order to include them in the Dachau extermination operations, and that the Mühldorf action was to be carried out by the Gestapo.
“Kaltenbrunner also ordered an operation Wolkenbrand for the Concentration Camp Dachau, which provided that the inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau were to be liquidated by poison with the exception of Aryan nationals of the Western Powers.
“Gauleiter Giesler received this order direct from Kaltenbrunner and discussed in my presence the procurement of the required amounts of poison with Dr. Harrfeld, the Gau health chief. Dr. Harrfeld promised to procure these quantities when ordered and was advised to await my further directions. As I was determined to prevent the execution of this plan in any event, I gave no further instructions to Dr. Harrfeld.
“The inmates of Landsberg had hardly been delivered at Dachau when Kaltenbrunner sent a courier declaring the Action Wolkenbrand was operational.
“I prevented the execution of the Wolfe A-1’ and ‘Wolkenbrand’ by giving Giesler the reason that the front was too close and asked him to transmit this on to Kaltenbrunner.
“Kaltenbrunner therefore issued directives in writing to Dachau to transport all Western European prisoners by truck to Switzerland and to march the remaining inmates into Tyrol, where the final liquidation of these prisoners was to take place without fail.”
Rudolf Hoess, the former Commandant of Auschwitz, testified at Nuremberg, as a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, that he had no knowledge of a plan to destroy the Dachau camp with a bomb or with poison.