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April 27, 2010

George F. Will’s article about Japanese Americans liberating Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:26 am

On April 25, 2010, the Washington Post published an article by George F. Will with the headline, “Japanese American heroes, bereft of bitterness.”  The gist of the article is that the Japanese-American soldiers, who fought in Germany during World War II, were liberating Dachau while their families were imprisioned in internment camps in America, but they’re not bitter.

Here is a quote from the article:

By March 1945, the 442nd was in southern Germany. Soon it was at Dachau. Eddie Ichiyama of Santa Clara, Calif., who also was here recently, says that “even right now” he can smell the stench. The ovens were still warm. On a nearby railroad flatbed car, what looked to be a supply of cordwood was actually stacked corpses.

[…]

Such cheerful men, who helped to lop 988 years off the Thousand Year Reich, are serene reproaches to a nation now simmering with grievance groups that nurse their cherished resentments. The culture of complaint gets no nourishment from men like these who served their country so well while it was treating their families so ignobly. Yet it is a high tribute to this country that it is so loved by men such as these.

Japanese-American soldiers liberated prisoners on a “death march”

The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which consisted entirely of Japanese-American soldiers, is acknowledged by the US Army as the liberators of one of the 123 sub-camps of Dachau, and also as the liberators, on May 2, 1945, of some of the prisoners who were on a death march out of the main Dachau camp.  The photo above shows Japanese-American soldiers on May 2, 1945, as they liberated Dachau prisoners from a “death march” out of the main camp.

Jews and Russian POWs were marched out of Dachau before the camp was liberated

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed of second generation Japanese-Americans (Nisei), but commanded by Caucasian officers, was a volunteer unit that was created on February 1, 1943. One third of the soldiers in the 442nd were recruited from the 70,000 native-born Japanese-Americans, who had been interned on the American mainland, and the remainder were Japanese-American volunteers from Hawaii.

Will’s article is disingenuous.  He is falling all over himself to be politically correct, as he praises a minority group.  He quotes Eddie Ichiyama’a description of  the Dachau main camp. If Will had done a little research, he would have known that Ichiyama could not have been at the Dachau main camp on the day it was liberated, April 29, 1945.