Scrapbookpages Blog

March 30, 2016

Were “the krauts” working on an atomic bomb?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

There has been some discussion in the comments section of my blog about whether or not the Germans, aka “the krauts,” were working on an atomic bomb before World War II ended. Allegedly, Max Planck was working on this.

I learned about the question of the atomic bomb when I went to visit the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald, which is near the town of Ohrdruf.

General Eisenhower viewing bodies at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower viewing bodies at Ohrdruf that were left out for a week

I tried to hire a driver to take me to the site of the former Ohrdruf camp. I was told that there was was nothing to see there.  The site of the former camp was completely off limits and guarded. The people in the nearby town refused to talk. I immediately suspected “Something wrong!” as Dr. Henry Lee would famously say during the O.J. trial.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I believe that Ohrdruf is the place where the Germans were trying to build an atomic bomb.

I wrote the following on my scrapbookpages.com website:

The Buchenwald camp had been liberated the day before General Eisennhower’s visit to the Ohrdruf camp. At Buchenwald, there were shrunken heads, human skin lampshades and ashtrays made from human bones. At Ohrdruf, there was nothing to see except a shed filled with 40 dead bodies. So why did Captain Alois Liethen take four American generals to see Ohrdruf instead of Buchenwald?

What was Captain Liethen referring to when he wrote these words in a letter to his family?

“After looking the place over for nearly a whole day I came back and made an oral report to my commanding general — rather I was ordered to do so by my boss, the Col. in my section. Then after I had told him all about the place [Ohrdruf] he got in touch with the High Command and told them about it and the following tale bears out what they did about it.”

There has been some speculation that the Germans might have tested an atomic bomb near Ohrdruf. In his book entitled “The SS Brotherhood of the Bell,” author James P. Farrell wrote about “the alleged German test of a small critical mass, high yield atom bomb at or near the Ohrdruf troop parade ground on March 4, 1945.” The “troop parade ground” was at the German Army Base right next to the Ohrdruf labor camp.

Why did General Eisenhower immediately order a propaganda campaign about Nazi atrocities? Was it to distract the media from discovering a far more important story? The first news reel about the Nazi camps called Ohrdruf a “murder mill.”

Burned bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf

Burned bodies of prisoners at the Ohrdruf  forced labor camp

The photograph above, which was taken at the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, on April 13, 1945, is a copy of the one that hangs in front of the elevator door at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. It is the first thing that visitors to the Museum see as they step out of the elevator and enter the first exhibit room. This photo is shown because this is what the American soldiers first saw when they liberated Germany from the Nazis in 1945.

The photo shows a pyre made of railroad tracks where the bodies of prisoners who had died at Ohrdruf were burned. Ohrdruf was a small sub-camp of Buchenwald and it did not have a crematorium with ovens to dispose of the bodies.

People in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the dead bodies

People in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the dead bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus in the camp

Regarding the Ohrdruf-Nord camp, General Patton wrote the following in his diary:

Begin quote

It was the most appalling sight imaginable. In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench.

When the shed was full–I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January.

End quote

A typhus epidemic had started in Germany in December 1944 and had quickly spread to all the camps as prisoners were transferred from one camp to another. Half of all the prisoners who died in the German camps died between December 1944 and the end of June 1945. Yet the survivors of Ohrdruf claimed that all the bodies found at the camp were those of prisoners who had been deliberately killed or starved to death.

It would be hard to find a German town, however small or obscure, that is completely lacking in historic or cultural importance. After describing the crimes of the Germans in his autobiography, General Patton went on to tell about how the Americans wantonly destroyed every village and hamlet in their path.

On the same page of his book, in which he describes the atrocities of the Germans, Patton wrote the following:

Begin quote

We developed later a system known as the ‘Third Army War Memorial Project’ by which we always fired a few salvos into every town we approached, before even asking for surrender. The object of this was to let the inhabitants have something to show to future generations of Germans by way of proof that the Third Army had passed that way.

End quote

Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book entitled “Inside the Vicious Heart”:

Begin quote

Soon after seeing Ohrdruf, Eisenhower ordered every unit near by that was not in the front lines to tour Ohrdruf: “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against.'” Eisenhower felt it was essential not only for his troops to see for themselves, but for the world to know about conditions at Ohrdruf and other camps.

From Third Army headquarters, he cabled London and Washington, urging delegations of officials and newsmen to be eye-witnesses to the camps. The message to Washington read: ‘We are constantly finding German camps in which they have placed political prisoners where unspeakable conditions exist. From my own personal observation, I can state unequivocally that all written statements up to now do not paint the full horrors.”

End quote

The following quote is from an article copyrighted in 2004 on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission web site http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/death-camps.htm

Begin quote

As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II, General Eisenhower had been given information about the Nazi concentration camp system well before he led the invasion to liberate Western Europe (June, 1944). Reports on the massive genocide inflicted on Jews, Gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals, dissidents, and other groups by the Schutzstaffel (SS) had been circulated among all the Allied leaders. Very few of the Allied commanders, however, had an accurate conception of what is now known to the world as the Holocaust until their troops began to encounter the death camps as they marched into Western Germany.

On April 4, 1945, elements of the United States Army’s 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division captured the Ohrdruf concentration camp outside the town of Gotha in south central Germany. Although the Americans didn’t know it at the time, Ohrdruf was one of several sub-camps serving the Buchenwald extermination camp, which was close to the city of Weimar several miles north of Gotha. Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria at Buchenwald.

End quote

Contrary to the information given by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which is quoted above, Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp, not “a holding facility” for prisoners on the way to the gas chambers. Buchenwald was one of the few camps in the Nazi system that was not claimed to have had a gas chamber.

What is the point of all this, you ask?  The point, that I am trying to make here, is that the stories of World War II and the Holocaust began before the war was over, and the lies continue to this day.

 

39 Comments »

  1. Rarely, if ever, mentioned in this debate:

    [quote]In his magisterial Verschwörung und Verrat um Hitler (“Conspiracy and Treason Against Hitler”), Gen. Otto Ernst Remer details how anti-Hitler elements in the German scientific community maneuvered their own Werner Carl Heisenberg (b. 1901) into the key uranium-developing program at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now succeeded by the Max Planck Institute of Physics). His clear mission, proudly proclaimed after World War II, was to bureaucratically delay the German A-bomb project until the Allies had won the war.

    As just one example, munitions minister Albert Speer pleaded with Heisenberg and his fellow conspirator von Weizsäcker (brother of a later West German president) to name whatever money or materials they required after they claimed they had been held up by shortages. Von Weizsäcker’s reply asking for “40,000 marks” caused Speer to stare in amazement, and to later confess that he had himself planned to propose 100 million marks for starters.

    Not only did Heisenberg state explicitly to Der Spiegel, “We never tried to produce any atomic bombs and we are glad not to be responsible for having made any,” he also admitted leaking the latest information on German uranium-splitting research to the half-Jewish Danish scientist Niels Bohr, who promptly informed his racial confreres in the U.S. [unquote]

    http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/articles/patents.html

    Comment by hermie — April 6, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

  2. Was Captain Alois Leithan conveniently captured right before Ordruf was liberated like U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jack Taylor so that he’d be there when the SPECOU (Special Coverage Units) filmmakers and photographers arrived? He’s lying (or more precisely participating in a lie) with Eisenhower about the whipping bench so, like Naval Intelligence officer Taylor, maybe he was planted at Ordruf to help provide the evidence of nazi criminality SPECOU was tasked to collect for the American media and the Nuremburg IMT. http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675060581_Mauthausen-Concentration-Camp_Lieutenant-Jack-Taylor_capture-and-imprisonment_conditions

    Comment by who dares wings — March 31, 2016 @ 11:53 am

    • Captain Alois Liethen was not “captured right before Ordruf was liberated by U.S. Navy Lioeutenant Jack Taylor”

      Read this quote from my website:
      One of the first Americans to see Ohrdruf, a few days before the Generals arrived, was Captain Alois Liethen from Appleton, WI. Liethen was an interpreter and an interrogator in the XX Corp, G-2 Section of the US Third Army. On 13 April 1945, he wrote a letter home to his family about this important discovery at Ohrdruf. Although Buchenwald was more important and had more evidence of Nazi atrocities, it was due to the information uncovered by Captain Liethen that the generals visited Ohrdruf instead.

      The following is a quote from his letter in which Captain Alois Liethen explains how the visit by the generals, shown in the photo above, came about:

      Several days ago I heard about the American forces taking a real honest to goodness concentration camp and I made it a point to get there and see the thing first hand as well as to investigate the thing and get the real story just as I did in the case of the Prisoner of War camp which I described in my last letter. This camp was near the little city of OHRDRUF not far from GOTHA, and tho it was just a small place — about 7 to 10000 inmates it was considered as one of the better types of such camps. After looking the place over for nearly a whole day I came back and made an oral report to my commanding general — rather I was ordered to do so by my boss, the Col. in my section. Then after I had told him all about the place he got in touch with the High Command and told them about it and the following tale bears out what they did about it.
      End quote

      I blogged about Lt. Jack Taylor at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/the-most-egregious-lies-about-the-holocaust-were-told-by-lt-jack-taylor/

      Comment by furtherglory — March 31, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

      • I know he said,”10,000″,but on the “7” ,did he mean 7,000?

        Comment by Tim — March 31, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

  3. The Hanford site, along the Columbia river in WA state, where Pu (for the ‘Trinity’ test and the ‘Fat Man’ bomb dropped on Nagasaki) was produced via a reactor:

    Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 2:58 am

  4. The K-25 site in TN, now Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where U235 (for the ‘Little Boy’ bomb dropped on Hiroshima) was produced via gaseous diffusion:

    My mother worked as a secretary at K-25 during the war.

    Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 2:56 am

  5. There has been some speculation that the Germans might have tested an atomic bomb near Ohrdruf.

    To repeat the obvious: you could not have constructed a nuclear weapon without sufficient fissionable material (even a modern hydrogen/fusion bomb relies on a fission trigger) — at the time, the only known/obtainable fissionable materials were Plutonium and U235 — to manufacture them, large, sophisticated technical facilities were needed — while it may have been possible for the Nazis to keep the existence of such large facilities secret during the war, there is no way their existence could have been kept secret after the war ended.

    Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 2:48 am

  6. The second photograph is completely fake.

    Whether it is “fake” or not, important to note is how difficult it is to incinerate a human corpse in the open air — too much heat escapes — yet the conventional story says this is what the Nazis did in several locations at different times, the most absurd example being Treblinka — there literally hundreds of thousands of corpses were allegedly buried initially, then later dug up (try to imagine the condition of a human body after weeks, months underground) and burned, obliterating all traces — that story is ludicrous beyond words.

    Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 2:37 am

    • If open air incinarations are ludicrous, then how did the Germans manage to cremate over 6,000 dead in the Altmarkt Square in Dresden after the city was bombed in February of 1945?
      The method used to cremate those bodies in Dresden is similar to what is described to burn the bodies in the Operation Reinhard Camps, bodies placed upon grills and ignited. David Irving described this method in his book on Dresden (full disclosure, I’ve never read his book on Dresden but his section on the burning of the corpses is often quoted).

      Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 7:34 am

      • You’ve made a fair point there, Jeff – the Germans did seem to be able to incinerate thousands of bodies piled up on open grills in Dresden. But I don’t know what kind of fuel, and what quantity of it was applied. Presumably it was large amounts of gasoline, plus incendiaries and flamethrowers added to the pyre from time-to-time to keep the bodies burning at a high temperature.

        At Treblinka, it is alleged that the number of corpses was far higher, plus the fact that most of these cadavers were decayed, putrid, remains that had already been buried in the ground for weeks – even months. From what we can gather from the poor-quality eye-witnesses at Treblinka, it would appear that the fuel consisted largely of cut-timber, with just a limited amount of gasoline to get the fire started.

        I would suggest that hundreds of thousands of half-putrid remains could only be reduced to ashes by placing them inside a huge enclosed furnace – fuelled by tons of coke, where the heat can be concentrated at a very high temperature.

        Comment by Talbot — March 31, 2016 @ 9:20 am

        • You have also made a fair point about the condition of the corpses, Talbot.

          I’m trying to remember and I might be wrong about this but the layers of corpses had sand and lye? between each layer. Whatever the chemical was it dries out corpses.

          I’m going to have to look this up. This chemical was spread in the layers to cut down on the stench of decay.

          Let me get back to you.

          Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 10:14 am

    • didn’t they have machines to crush the bones?

      Comment by Tim — March 31, 2016 @ 9:01 am

      • Yes, there were machines to crush bones. The prisoners also manually crushed any remaining bones.

        BTW, I meant no disrespect with my comment about soldiers. My main point was that combat soldiers have a completely different view point than civilians. Dead and decomposing bodies would not shock a combat soldier because they’ve seen it before.

        Not to make too much of a comparison but I’ve investigated child abuse cases. After doing that for awhile I noticed that Child Welfare workers also have a different view point towards violence against children. It still bothers you but not as much as it would someone off the street. Child Welfare workers also develop an odd sense of humor as a coping mechanism.

        Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 9:14 am

        • I didn’t take it as being disrespectful . I just want to make sure people don’t get the wrong idea about us. We had to deal with the long hairs that thought killing was the only thing we knew. We had a staff sgt in my platoon. I always thought he had the “I wanna kill everything I see”,attitude . I was taling with him one day and he told me, you get acclimated to the killing a certain amount,but it’s the accepting part that is more important. He told me he had a 6 year old boy at home and he hoped he never had to see war. I forget who made this quote,but it goes like this. ” It is a good thing war is so terrible,or we might become to fond of it”. Okay. Were the prisoners able to get the bones crushed real fine like the machine could do it? I’m asking because when the investigators started investigating the camps, I’m sure they could tell human bones no matter how broken up they are. I’ve been lead to believe the machines could pretty much turn bones to dust. That would make disposal easier than if a person had a bunch of bone fragments

          Comment by Tim — March 31, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

          • Just wanted to make sure. I respect those who served.

            “Okay. Were the prisoners able to get the bones crushed real fine like the machine could do it? I’m asking because when the investigators started investigating the camps, I’m sure they could tell human bones no matter how broken up they are. I’ve been lead to believe the machines could pretty much turn bones to dust. That would make disposal easier than if a person had a bunch of bone fragments”

            Not ground up like dust, no.
            The SS dumped the ash and bone fragments back into the pits containing the mass graves. The Poles and Soviets later described the sites as having ash heaps, bone fragments, partial skeletons, etc. After the SS tore down the sites the locals went hunting for “Jew gold,” disturbing and digging up the pits. They even used explosives, scattering the remains.

            Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

    • obliterating all traces

      At Treblinka, it was necessary to eliminate all traces (of the alleged crime) — in Dresden, it was only necessary to drive off most of the water, and carbonize the flesh somewhat — this was to 1) greatly reduce the stench, and 2) make sure the decaying corpses could not spread disease, including by serving as food for insects and other disease vectors — this could also have provided more time to arrange burial (even a mass burial was not quickly arranged in wartime in a city that was just mostly destroyed) — so the needs were completely different — open air burning would suffice in Dresden, but not in Treblinka — this was explained in the comments here before.

      For bones it ought to be even more obvious — you need high temperatures to make bones brittle enough to pulverize — if they are not brittle, you cannot pulverize them — they will only splinter, ie still be easily recognizable as bones.

      If open air incinarations are ludicrous

      Yes, they are ludicrous as a means of reducing a human corpse to ash — especially one that has been underground for months.

      Here I am tempted to ask: Are you really so stupid and dishonest? But I already know the answer.

      Dresden:

      Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 9:44 am

      • “At Treblinka, it was necessary to eliminate all traces (of the alleged crime) — in Dresden, it was only necessary to drive off most of the water, and carbonize the flesh somewhat — this was to 1) greatly reduce the stench, and 2) make sure the decaying corpses could not spread disease, including by serving as food for insects and other disease vectors”

        All of the death camps had issues with the stench of rotting bodies. The spread of disease was also a factor, SS men complained of “corpse water,” i.e. the fluids from rotting corpses were seeping into the water supply. So this was a concern there as well.

        ” — this could also have provided more time to arrange burial (even a mass burial was not quickly arranged in wartime in a city that was just mostly destroyed) — so the needs were completely different — open air burning would suffice in Dresden, but not in Treblinka — this was explained in the comments here before.”

        No, it does not. The main difference at the death camps were the amount of bodies and the amount of time. The death camps had many more bodies but more time, months instead of days, to experiment and perfect methods of disposal.

        “For bones it ought to be even more obvious — you need high temperatures to make bones brittle enough to pulverize — if they are not brittle, you cannot pulverize them — they will only splinter, ie still be easily recognizable as bones.”

        Again, the camps had more time to figure this out. Splinters of bone are found even today at the camps, especially after it rains.

        If open air incinarations are ludicrous

        “Yes, they are ludicrous as a means of reducing a human corpse to ash — especially one that has been underground for months.”

        Any more ludicrous than trying to burn fresh corpses?

        “Here I am tempted to ask: Are you really so stupid and dishonest? But I already know the answer.”

        I don’t actually have to ask, I already know you are a pretentious, self-righteous little bitch.

        Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 10:05 am

      • David Irving:

        “Finally gallons of gasoline, sorely needed though it was throughout the whole Reich, were poured over the stacks of victims. A senior officer cleared the Altmarkt square of all unnecessary by-standers, and set a match to the heap. Once again thick black smoke coiled up from the centre of the Dresden Altmarkt—as it had two weeks before, and as it had indeed in 1349: history records how almost six hundred years earlier the Margrave of Meissen, Frederick II, had had his enemies burned at the stake here in the Altmarkt; they were the Jews, accused of introducing the Plague. By a cruel coincidence the burning had also fallen on Shrove Tuesday carnival day.
        In the late hours of the evening the grill was re-erected over a different part of the square. Nazi Party officials saw to it that the ashes and charred bones were collected and taken to the cemeteries to be buried too.
        In spite of their attempts to keep secret the fate of the victims who had been swallowed up by the ruined emptiness of the inner city, the story did leak out. Some citizens, probably risking their lives, made their way to the Altmarkt to check on the rumours. One man, Walter Hahn, a veteran photographer who had spent his life capturing this ‘Florence of the Elbe’ and the surrounding countryside on film, obtained an official pass signed by the gauleiter on February 25, and took a score of photographs of the infernal scene in black and white and colour—photographs which helped belay the allegations that the ‘mass funeral pyres’ were a product of Dr Goebbels’ propaganda.12
        It took several small horse drawn carts and ten large trucks with trailers to carry the ashes to the Heidefriedhof cemetery. Here the ashes of several thousand of the victims who had thus been publicly cremated were buried in a pit twenty-five feet long and sixteen feet wide. In Colonel Thierig’s report signed in mid March is this paragraph confirming the numbers cremated by that date:
        Because of the rapid decomposition of the bodies and the exceptional difficulties encountered in recovering them as well as the lack of suitable transport to convey them to the cemeteries, the approval of the Gauleiter [Martin Mutschmann] and the city authority was obtained to cremate altogether 6,865 bodies on the Altmarkt. The ashes of the victims were transported to a cemetery. Ownerless air-raid and travel-baggage and valuables were also salvaged by the local civil defence director.13
        It was not in fact the first time that the suggestion had been mooted to cremate air raid victims in public squares to speed the salvage operations. The report of the police president of Hamburg on the firestorm there also described how ‘to prevent epidemics and for reasons of morale it was decided to burn the bodies at the site where they had been found or in the fire-storm area. But after due deliberation it was determined that there was no risk of an epidemic so burial was resumed in common graves.’14”

        Ashes, not dried out corpses.

        Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 11:19 am

      • @eah
        Here’s something else to ponder, bitch.

        All of the Altmarkt corpses pictured appear clothed.

        The corpses burned at the Reinhard Camps were naked.

        Naturally it takes longer to burn clothed corpses than naked ones.

        You also said “eliminate all traces.”
        Not necessarily so, if the action was intended to be secret and the workers killed. It’s enough to minimize the traces as much as possible and make it hard to determine what exactly happened at the camp.

        It’s impossible to elimate “all traces.” When the sites were examined after the war the investigators found ash, body parts, pieces of skeletons and bone, etc. It didn’t help the attempt at secrecy that the locals went digging for “Jew gold,” digging into the ash pits and even using explosives.
        The SS didn’t even finish the job at Belzec. Archeological investigations in the 90’s discovered mass graves with bodies.

        Comment by Jeff K. — March 31, 2016 @ 4:01 pm

        • Jeff wrote: “Naturally it takes longer to burn clothed corpses than naked ones.”

          Are sure of this, Jeff? One could think that clothes would fix more gasoline on the dead bodies and so make such cremations faster and more efficient.

          Comment by hermie — April 2, 2016 @ 8:10 am

          • If you look at the bodies at Altmarkt they appear to be smoldering, like the clothing is dampening the fire.

            No clothing, no dampening the fire. An unclothed body allows a freer exchange of oxygen to feed the flames. Clothes act as a barrier, especially heavy winter clothing.

            Comment by Jeff K. — April 2, 2016 @ 8:46 am

            • I hadn’t thought about a barrier against oxygen. Anyway, naked or clothed, cremating piled bodies is a terrible idea, at least in the event of a cremation to ashes.

              Comment by hermie — April 2, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

    • Dresden

      Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 9:45 am

    • eah wrote: “important to note is how difficult it is to incinerate a human corpse in the open air — too much heat escapes — yet the conventional story says this is what the Nazis did in several locations at different times, the most absurd example being Treblinka”

      The Ohrdruf cremation pic tends to disprove the Holocaust cremation allegations. So many charred corpses. So patently useless for concealment purposes (even with such a tiny number of corpses). And did you notice how heat and a single layer of corpses twisted the rails? What kind of people would conceive a mass cremation operation with each batch of corpses completely destroying their incineration grill (while they could have brought a large set of mobile crematory ovens in there)?

      ‘Nazi’ mobile crematory oven at Hertogenbosch concentration camp (Holland):

      https://holocausthistorychannel.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/stacking-bodies-on-rails-limits-coming-from-the-strength-of-the-rails/

      Childish Treblinka model with Alice-in-Naziland pyres:

      Comment by hermie — March 31, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

  7. FG
    I am a ‘Kraut’ ad ‘sauer’ as well!
    To stick to the subject raised:
    Near the end of World War II, the principal Allied war powers each made plans for exploitation of German science. In light of the implications of nuclear weapons, German nuclear fission and related technologies were singled out for special attention. In addition to exploitation, denial of these technologies, their personnel, and related materials to rival allies ( the Russians) was a driving force of their efforts. This typically meant getting to these resources first, which to some extent put the Soviets at a disadvantage in some geographic locations, even if the area was to be in the Soviet zone of occupation. At times all parties were heavy-handed in their pursuit and denial to others.
    The Oranienburg plant was involved in the production of uranium and thorium metals. Since the plant was to be in the future Soviet zone of occupation and the Red Army’s troops would get there before the Allies, General Leslie Groves, commander of the Manhattan Project, recommended to General George Marshall that the plant be destroyed by aerial bombardment, in order to deny its uranium production equipment to the Soviets. On 15 March 1945, 612 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the Eighth Air Force dropped 1,506 tons of high-explosive and 178 tons of incendiary bombs on the plant. Riehl (a German industrial physicist) visited the site with the Soviets and said that the facility was mostly destroyed. Riehl also recalled long after the war that the Soviets knew precisely why the Americans had bombed the facility the attack had been directed at them rather than the Germans. (riehl worked for the Soviets and was awarded several medals)
    American Alsos teams carrying out ‘Operation BIG’ raced through Baden-Wurttemburg near war’s end in the spring of 1945, uncovering, collecting, and selectively destroying Uranverein elements, including capturing a prototype reactor at Haigerloch and records, heavy water, and uranium ingots at Tailfingen. These were all shipped back to the United States for study and utilization in the U.S. atomic program.
    PS:
    The Alsos Mission was commanded by Colonel Boris Pash, the team were successful in locating and removing a substantial portion of the German research effort’s surviving records and equipment. They also took most of the senior German research personnel into custody, including Otto Hahn, Max von Laue, Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker.

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann von Waldeck — March 31, 2016 @ 1:53 am

    • Otto Hahn, Max von Laue, Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

      Perhaps ultimately more valuable to the Americans was Wernher von Braun:

      Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 3:33 am

    • It’s amazing what you can find on the internet — the Zeugnis (school leaving certificate) for Wernher von Braun, 1930.

      Er hat die Reifeprüfung gut bestanden — he did will on his final exams.

      v. Braun will Ingenieur werden — he wants to be an engineer.

      Easily the most famous ‘rocket scientist’ in history:

      Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 3:50 am

    • In einem Foto: die ‘Entnazifizierung’ von Wernher von Braun — In a single foto: the rehabilitation of Wernher von Braun.

      Comment by eah — March 31, 2016 @ 5:47 am

  8. The second photograph is completely fake. It is a contrived piece of theatre done for propaganda purposes. Why? – because the US army authorities would have immediately ordered their men to extinguish the flames in order for a proper forensic examination of the human remains to take place – in order to establish the number of bodies and their possible identities. They would NOT have permitted a group of GI’s to gather round, looking on gormlessly, at something serious which obviously required further investigation.

    In addition, the choreographer of this wretched scene has carefully calculated how the photographer should capture the full horror and pathos. He has ensured that the cameraman is positioned – not at ground level – but about 4 or 5 feet above the burning pyre. But not any higher than that, because the viewer studying the photo in his newspaper back in the USA, would suspect that it is a contrived event if it became obvious that a platform or scaffolding had been erected beforehand!

    Thus, it is quite a clever photo image, whereby the casual viewer thinks that the cameramen is at ground level and just happens to be there in order take a photo shot of the burning embers of the fire, with non-plussed and disgusted heroic US servicemen as witnesses to such a terrible scene.

    Comment by Talbot — March 30, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    • “The second photograph is completely fake. It is a contrived piece of theatre done for propaganda purposes. Why? – because the US army authorities would have immediately ordered their men to extinguish the flames in order for a proper forensic examination of the human remains to take place – in order to establish the number of bodies and their possible identities.”

      Why do you assume this would be their first reaction? To extinguish the flames and immediately forensically examine the bodies?
      You seem to apply a late 20th century/early 21st century view towards forensics. This was 1945, not 2016. There were bodies everywhere, these men were used to death so this would not shock them and there was very little attempt to secure these scenes like crime scenes. These were soldiers, not trained doctors or crime scene investigators.

      “They would NOT have permitted a group of GI’s to gather round, looking on gormlessly, at something serious which obviously required further investigation.”

      Again, you apply a modern, civilized sensibility where it does not apply. This was wartime. Soldiers are an odd lot, especially combat soldiers. They probably thought nothing of snapping a few souvenir pictures while their officers were busy. If this was an army photographer documenting the scene then it may not have occurred to this person to have the men move. He may have wanted the men there to provide perspective.
      You need to stop thinking in terms of modern day forensics and crime scene investigation. It simply does not apply.

      Comment by Jeff K. — March 30, 2016 @ 5:38 pm

      • We’re an odd lot Jeff because the field of battle has f–ked with our heads . There’s a lot of soldiers that “do think twice” about taking a few happy snaps. I’m one of them. Some of the other guys would be laughing their ass off while they got pics of them next to dead NVA. First time I saw a dead body,I was blowing chunks left and right ( not much was coming up,because I’d hardly ate anything). The first time I saw a confirmed kill of mine,it was twice as bad. The shit wasn’t nothing like I though it would be when we were at Polk. Pop told me one time,anybody says the shit don’t get to them,is a God damn liar. Pop did,2Korea and Nam. Yeah we’re an “odd lot”,but don’t dump all of us in the same boat saying we’re void of apathy . I do agree with your last part. They would’ve been scratching their heads over “crime scene” investigation. Shit like that was still in its infancy.

        Comment by Tim — March 31, 2016 @ 8:51 am

  9. That first picture said those stiffs had been left out for a week. They’d stink to the high heavens by then. Why isn’t anyone wearing something over their face to lessen the smell? No wild animals got to the bodies either? I don’t care how much lime was put on the bodies,that’s only gonna go so far.

    Comment by Tim — March 30, 2016 @ 10:09 am

    • I wrote about the prisoners in the photo on this page of my website:
      http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/Ohrdruf01.html

      The following quote is from that page:
      “The man on the far left, wearing a jacket and a scarf, is one of the survivors who served as a guide for General Eisenhower and his entourage. The next day the guide was “killed by some of the inmates,” General Patton wrote in his memoirs, explaining that the guide “was not a prisoner at all, but one of the executioners.”

      Comment by furtherglory — March 30, 2016 @ 10:39 am

      • ” they left the bodies out so soldiers could have their pics taken in front of them. For what? Happy Snaps from the wonderland. I had a bunch of guys I served with,that would want their pics taken with our kills. Dead NVA or VC. I never got in any of those pics. You think I want to be reminded of that shit? I don’t see how the grunts posed in front of the dead Jews . Im confused with this Capt. Liethen. Was he good guy or bad? He’s playing tour guide for the generals. Next day he got rubbed out.

        Comment by Tim — March 30, 2016 @ 11:10 am

        • You wrote: “Im confused with this Capt. Liethen. Was he good guy or bad? He’s playing tour guide for the generals.”
          You can read about Captain Liethen on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/index.html

          I got a lot of information from a member of his family who contacted me in e-mail and sent me some of the photos that I put on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/index.html

          Captain Liethen spoke German so well that he could pass for German. He was actually a spy that America sent to Germany to get information.

          Comment by furtherglory — March 30, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

          • Why was he murdered “the next day”. Did the generals in the pic know his true identity,or was everything “need to know”.

            Comment by Tim — March 30, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

            • The Generals in the photo did not know the identity of the man who was telling them the history of Ohrdruf. They did not know that he was lying.

              Comment by furtherglory — March 30, 2016 @ 3:28 pm


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