Scrapbookpages Blog

April 28, 2014

“German SS troopers fought to the end” at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:14 am
German SS soldiers fighting the American liberators with their hands in the air

German SS soldiers fighting the American liberators with their hands in the air

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25635629/local-liberator-among-those-honored-at-holocaust-remembrance

Harold Campbell’s U.S. Army unit was on its way to battle Nazi soldiers in Munich, Germany, when it came face to face with horror.

“We came across the concentration camp in a town called Dachau, about nine miles northeast of Munich, on April 29, 1945,” recalled Campbell, 88, of Red Lion. “The guards were German SS troopers. They fought to the end.”

Survivors found: But the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division “got rid of them” and found 32,000 camp prisoners who were still alive, Campbell said.
“We saw a train with 50 cars with people who starved to death and one person left alive in there,” he said. “We saw stacks of people that had died and (their bodies) waited to be cremated. I took a camera off a German that got killed and took pictures.”

Campbell said he and his fellow soldiers remained at the Dachau Concentration Camp for a day to keep the rescued people safe until U.S. Army officials and additional units arrived to further help them.

German SS troopers fought to the end at Dachau

Dead bodies of German SS troopers who fought to the end at Dachau

Wall around Dachau camp where German soldiers were killed

My 1997 photo of the reconstructed wall around the Dachau camp

This quote is from a news article about Harold Campbell:

As [the American soldiers] approached the camp, the 42nd took heavy small-arms fire. Whoever was guarding the camp didn’t want the Americans coming anywhere near it. The troops guarding the camp, members of the SS, defended the camp with their lives. At least most of them did. As the Americans approached, the fence around the camp was lined with dead German guards [shown in the photo above].

The photo below shows a “German SS trooper” fighting to the end, as he surrenders the camp to American soldiers of the 42nd Division, accompanied by a Red Cross representative who is holding a white flag.

Famous photo of SS soldier surrendering the camp to American soldiers

Famous photo of SS soldier surrendering the camp to American soldiers

The body of a German soldier at Dachau is believed to be the body of Lt. Wicker who surrendered the camp

This body of a German soldier  is believed to be the body of Lt. Wicker who surrendered the Dachau concentration camp to the Americans

After he surrendered the Dachau camp to the Americans, Lt. Wicker disappeared. It is believed that he was killed by the American liberators.

Some of the bodies of the SS troopers were mutilated by the American liberators after they were killed, as shown in the photo below.

Bodies of guards who were killed at Dachau during the liberation of the camp

Bodies of guards who were killed at Dachau during the liberation of the camp

German SS troopers fighting  to the end with their hands in the air

German SS troopers fighting to the end with their hands in the air

Photo of starving prisoners at Dachau taken by Harold Campell

Photo of starving prisoners at Dachau taken by Harold Campbell

You can read about another American liberator of Dachau who took photos of the camp on another blog post, which I wrote about the camp at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/dachau-liberation/

You can read another news article about Harold Campbell at http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25637096/wwii-vet-who-liberated-dachau-cant-imagine-people

As they approached the camp, they came under heavy small-arms fire. The firefight was fierce. The German soldiers guarding the camp, members of Hitler’s SS, had pledged to fight to the death. And they did.  […]

As they approached the camp, the 42nd took heavy small-arms fire. Whoever was guarding the camp didn’t want the Americans coming anywhere near it. The troops guarding the camp, members of the SS, defended the camp with their lives. At least most of them did. As the Americans approached, the fence around the camp was lined with dead German guards.  […]

Campbell recorded what he saw. He took a Leca (sic) camera off of the body of a dead German officer. It had a full roll of film, eight shots. He took the photos and saved them to show others what he had seen.

Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945, and there will be many news stories about the American soldiers who liberated the  camp.

You can read about an SS soldier who survived the liberation of the camp on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/SoldiersKilled2.html

You can read about the famous “Death Train” on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/DeathTrain.html

The first SS soldiers who surrendered at Dachau were taken  to the death train and shot

The first SS soldiers who surrendered at Dachau were taken to the death train and shot

The famous photo of the “lone survivor” of the train is shown on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/DeathTrain3.html

October 26, 2013

Video of Lt. William P. Walsh talking about the German soldiers who “died in the defense of Dachau”

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

The YouTube video below (scroll down) shows soldiers in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army, who were the first liberators to arrive at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945.  The first man to speak is Lt. Col. Felix L. Sparks; then Lt. William P. Walsh speaks during the video at 1:43 minutes to 2:41 minutes. At 3:49 in the video, the photo below is shown, but the photo is not identified.

GermansKilledDachau

At 8:44 minutes in the video, Lt. Walsh describes a handsome German guy, who comes out “covered with Red Cross shields and white flags.” Lt. Walsh laughs, as he says that this German guy “looks like Howdy Doody” with all of his Red Cross shields.

At 9:32 in the video, Lt. Walsh says that the German soldier “jumped up into a box car” on the train parked outside the Dachau camp.  He doesn’t say why this German soldier jumps into the box car, nor does he say that he personally shot this man, who had surrendered while carrying a white flag.

What was the name of this German soldier, who surrendered to Lt. Walsh, carrying a white flag of surrender?  I previously blogged here about a German soldier who was killed after he surrendered.

At 14:00 in the video, Lt. Walsh begins to speak about the Germans who “died in defense of Dachau.”  He uses this phrase three or four times.  To Lt. William Walsh, when an enemy soldier surrenders, carrying a white flag, he is volunteering to “die in defense” of the military garrison where he is stationed.

The embedding of the YouTube video has been disabled but you can still watch the video on YouTube.  Apparently, someone has objected to my showing of this video on my blog.

I previously blogged about the “Dachau Massacre” at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/dachau-liberation-reprisals-another-term-for-the-dachau-massacre/

"brick path" leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison

“brick path” leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison in the background

At 7:16 minutes on the YouTube video, an American veteran says that he “walked down a brick path” [after leaving the SS garrison] and he saw a “big, red brick building” at Dachau [which was outside the concentration camp].

At 7:45 minutes, he says that he saw “big vents in the ceiling and gas jets on the wall.”  As he says this, we see a photo of the gas chamber as it looks now, not the way it looked when the American soldiers first saw it.  At this point, the veteran says “Christ, I’m in the gas chamber.”  However, he says that he “didn’t know until he had been in there five minutes.”

"red brick building" which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau

“red brick building” which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau was the gas chamber building

"gas jets on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

“gas jets” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of "gas vent" on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of “gas vent” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

The two photos above show what an American soldier in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army allegedly saw at Dachau on the day that the camp was liberated.  This is very important testimony, as it proves that the gas chamber, as seen today, was exactly like this on April 29, 1945 and it was not remodeled by the Americans.

So why would anyone request that the embedding of the video be disabled?  This video, with the photos of the gas chamber, proves that the American soldiers did the right thing when they killed German POWs with their hands in the air after they had surrendered the camp.

Near the end of the video, at 13.26 minutes, Lt. William Walsh speaks again. Regarding the Dachau massacre, when German soldiers were killed with their hands in the air, he says “maybe it wasn’t a legitimate fight.”  He probably means that a “legitimate fight” is when enemy soldiers are killed on the battlefield, not shooting POWs, who have surrendered and have their hands in the air.

On the video, Lt. Walsh literally cannot say one God damned sentence without cursing.  At the very end, he says “everyone who died in defense of Dachau knew why [they were killed]”.  However, he does say, at one point, “When I go to hell, with the rest of the SS….”  To his credit, Lt. Walsh did imply that he was a war criminal, no better than the SS soldiers, and he admitted that he was going to Hell “with the rest of the SS…”

April 29, 2013

SS soldiers were shot by Lt. Bill Walsh on the day that Dachau was liberated

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:03 pm
American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers killed during the liberation of Dachau

American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers killed during the liberation of Dachau

The photo above shows the bodies of SS soldiers who were shot by American soldiers during the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945.

I previously blogged here about a new book about the liberation of Dachau, written by Alex Kershaw.  This morning, I read an excerpt from the book on this website.

Kershaw wrote at length about “I Company commander Lieutenant Bill Walsh”  describing him with these words: “twenty-five-year-old Walsh, a tall and imposing figure with a chowder-thick accent from Newton, Massachusetts, arrived at the junction with I Company, which had earned the presidential unit citation for its actions at Anzio.”

U.S. soldiers view the bodies of SS men who were taken to the "death train" and shot

U.S. soldiers view the bodies of SS men who were taken to the “death train” and shot

You can read about the Dachau “death train” on my website here.

This quote is from the excerpt from Kershaw’s book which you can read in full here:

Walsh had no idea what [Lt. Col. Felix] Sparks meant by “concentration camp.” He had once seen a POW camp in upstate New York that had housed fit, well-fed, and happy German prisoners. Perhaps Dachau would be the same kind of place.

[ …]

There were thirty-nine boxcars in all, containing some two thousand corpses. The train had left Buchenwald with around forty-eight hundred prisoners some three weeks earlier. It had first stopped so that hundreds could be shot. The SS that cruelest of springs had been over- whelmed, confused, and exasperated by the sheer numbers of their victims and, under orders not to let any prisoners fall into the hands of the Allies, had killed with clinical efficiency. On April 21, when the train halted for the second time, thirty-one hundred severely malnourished and dehydrated people on board were still alive. Six days later, when the train pulled into Dachau at night, there were just eight hundred. The dead were left to rot on the train.

I Company commander Bill Walsh arrived at the boxcars. At first, he thought the skeletal people were sleeping.

What the hell is this?

Sparks was next on the scene, having left his jeep in a nearby side street, along with his shotgun and radio. His only weapon now was his Colt .45, holstered at his hip. At first, as were many of his men, he was paralyzed by what he saw. The sights and smells robbed the mind of reason.

[…]

Sparks ordered his men to check to see if any people were alive. None were. Then he told them to keep going toward the camp, a hundred yards in the distance.

Bill Walsh still looked stunned. “Okay, move!” Sparks ordered Walsh.

Walsh and I Company began to move past more railroad cars, down the tracks that led into the Dachau complex.

Sparks followed behind, passing more open boxcars filled with bodies, boxcars like the ones he had ridden in across America ten years before. Ahead of him, some of his men were boiling with rage, eager to avenge the SS crimes. I Company scout Private John Lee had never seen his fellow Thunderbirds so unhinged.

Sparks heard men screaming and cursing. “Let’s get these Nazi dogs.”

It was all too much. His men were losing their minds. Lieutenant Walsh set the tone, ranting and raving about SS sons of bitches. He and others had been pushed past the breaking point. The army had trained them to fight. It had not prepared them for this kind of psychological shock. Nothing could. They had come across a tragedy beyond comprehension. “Every man in the outfit who saw those boxcars,” recalled one of Sparks’s men, “felt [like] meting out death as punishment to the Germans who were responsible.”

Sparks snapped commands and tried to regain control of his men. It took several minutes.

“Okay,” he finally said when I Company had calmed down enough for him to make himself clearly understood. “We’re going in the camp.” Sparks led the way over a perimeter wall with one group of men while Lieutenant Walsh advanced with another group from I Company. On the other side of the wall, Sparks found himself in the neat garden of a pleasant home, one of several used by families of the SS officers within the Dachau complex.

[…]

Meanwhile, Walsh and  his party came across four SS men who had their hands on their heads. Walsh took them into one of the box- cars and called for a machine gun. Then he changed his mind and fired his pistol at them. But he did not kill them all. Other I Company men could hear the survivors’ cries of pain. A private called Pruitt entered the boxcar and lifted his M1 rifle and fired, killing the wounded men with eight or nine clinical shots. “They were suffering and taking on and I figured there was no use letting them suffer, so I finished them off,” Pruitt later testified. “I never like to see anybody suffer.”

Walsh’s  men carried  on, moving  beyond  the rail tracks into the Dachau complex itself.

[…]

Then [Sparks] saw Lieutenant Bill Walsh emerge from between a couple of buildings. He was chasing a German.

“You sons of bitches,” Walsh was screaming repeatedly.

Walsh began to beat the German over the head with the barrel of his carbine.

“Bastards. Bastards. Bastards.”

Sparks ordered Walsh to stop, but Walsh ignored him. So Sparks pulled out his .45 and clubbed Walsh on the head with its butt, stunning him and knocking him to the ground.

Walsh lay there, crying hysterically.

“I’m taking over command of the company,” yelled Sparks.

One of Walsh’s men, Sidney C. Horn, recalled that seven men were needed to take a hysterical Walsh into a room and “get him quieted down. He really lost it there.” Walsh had gone “crazy,” as Sparks would later put it, overwhelmed like many of his men by the scenes of atrocity. Walsh later confessed: “I’ll be honest with you. I broke down. I started crying. The whole thing was getting to me. This was the culmination of something that I had never been trained for.”

The boxcar where SS men at Dachau were shot

The boxcar where SS men at Dachau were shot

The “Dachau massacre” was kept secret for over 40 years.  The explanation given for the bodies of the men whose legs were hanging out of the boxcar is that these were prisoners who were shot by the SS men when they tried to escape.