Scrapbookpages Blog

December 2, 2015

African-American soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps in WWII

One of the regular readers of my blog made a comment about black soldiers in the US Army and I am expanding on this subject in my new blog post today.

The following quote is from the comment:

The genie of the Black Liberators Hoax was already out of the bottle in 1993…

The U.S. Army credits the 45th Thunderbird Division, the 42nd Rainbow Division and the 20th Armored Division as the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. There were no African-American soldiers in these three divisions because the American Army was segregated during World War II.

SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrenders camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden

SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrendered the Dachau camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden on April 29, 1945

A few African-American veterans have claimed that they were there when the main Dachau concentration camp was liberated. Other veterans, including Lt. Col. Felix Sparks of the 45th Thunderbird Division, maintain that there were no black soldiers among the liberators of Dachau.

On November 11, 1992, a TV documentary was aired by PBS on nationwide TV in honor of Veterans’ Day. The title of the documentary was the same as the title of the book on which it was based: Liberators: Fighting On Two Fronts In WWII.

The book was written by Lou Potter with some help from William Miles and Nina Rosenblum, the co-producers who made the film and the theatrical version. The film was produced by Miles Educational Film Production in New York City. The book was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in late 1992. Also included in this lavish project was a workbook for High School students.

The book entitled Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II was exposed as a fraud within weeks of its debut, but the story still lives on.

The documentary, which was touted as historically accurate, claimed that the 761st Tank Battalion, attached to the 71st Division, liberated both Buchenwald and Dachau.

Veterans who participated in the liberation of these camps deny that the soldiers of the 761st Tank Battalion were there, and the US Army does not recognize the 761st as liberators of any of the Nazi camps.

Only divisions can be officially honored as liberators; the 71st Division is credited with being the liberators of a Mauthausen sub-camp in Austria, called Gunskirchen, where starving prisoners were set free and allowed to plunder the nearby town of Lambach.

The soldiers in the 761st Tank Battalion were all African-Americans; the title of the book and the PBS film refers to the fact that black soldiers had to fight discrimination by Americans on the home front, while at the same time, they were fighting on the battle front in Europe to end the racial discrimination by the Nazis.

German soldiers at Dachau were executed after they surrendered

German soldiers at Dachau were executed  by the American liberators after they had surrendered

After the Dachau camp was voluntarily turned over to the Americans, the German soldiers who had remained in the camp were murdered by the Americans.

You can read about the Dachau massacre on my website at http://scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/SoldiersKilled.html

May 24, 2010

Survivors of the Dachau “death train” saved by an African American soldier

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:12 am

I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal, published on November 25, 2003, about a young Jewish boy who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald and the death train to Dachau; you can read the full article here.  After Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the boy was moved, along with other Dachau survivors, to the SS garrison next door to the concentration camp, which had been taken over by the American Army. There he met some African American soldiers who were in a supply convoy.  Lt. John Withers, the leader of the all-black convoy, violated Army orders by hiding this boy and another Dachau death train survivor among the black soldiers in his unit. The two boys stayed with the African American unit for more than a year while they recovered their health.  They could have remained with the other Displaced Persons at the SS garrison and been taken care of, but these two boys decided that they wanted their freedom after being in Nazi prison camps for years. (more…)