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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…”

October 2, 2013

American G.I. who saw the blood-stained walls of the Dachau gas chamber

Donald Burdick holds a photo which he took with a "liberated" German camera

Donald Burdick holds a photo which he took at Dachau, with a “liberated” German camera

The photo above shows Donald Burdick with a German 35 mm. Voigtländer camera around his neck, holding a photo of the Dachau death train, which he personally took on the day that the Dachau camp was liberated.

American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, but before that, they had the good sense to liberate some German cameras, so that they could photograph the atrocities committed by the Germans at Dachau.

I have enhanced the photo that he is holding, using Photo Shop.  My enhanced version is shown below.

Photo taken by Donald Burdick at Dachau shows German soldiers who were killed by Lt. William Walsh

Photo taken by Donald Burdick at Dachau shows body hanging out of train boxcar

I previously blogged about the bodies found on the Dachau death train here, and I included the photo below which shows the body that is hanging out of the train.

American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers who were shot by Lt. William Walsh at Dachau

American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers who were shot by Lt. William Walsh

So why am I blogging about this for the umteenth time?  This morning I read a news article on the Leigh Valley newspaper, The Morning Call.

This quote is from The Morning Call:

As Donald Burdick of Forks Township approached the Dachau concentration camp in Germany on the morning of April 29, 1945, he caught the scent something foul in the air. It was a hint of the gruesome scene he was about to stumble upon: about 25 or so railroad stock cars filled with decaying human corpses.

Burdick’s personal photos of what he saw that day as a soldier in the U.S. Army were on display Sunday as part of “The Legacy Exhibit, The Story of the Holocaust.” Initially created for display at area school libraries, the exhibit was open to the public for the first time at the Sigal Museum in Easton.

The interior of Nazi concentration camps, including the blood-stained walls of gas chambers and ash-filled crematory ovens, is captured in the photos of Burdick and others. There are also the ghostly images of prisoners — some alive, practically standing skeletons; others dead, stacked in piles.

Burdick recalled the liberation of Dachau to an audience of about 100 at The Legacy Exhibit’s opening ceremony.

I would love to see Burdick’s photo of the “blood-stained walls of gas chambers” at Dachau.  (Was this an “available light” photo?  Or did Burdick have a flashgun on his “liberated” camera?)

The walls of the homicidal gas chamber at Dachau are glazed brick.  It would have been so easy to wipe down the walls of the gas chamber before the Americans arrived.

The Dachau gas chamber had walls made of glazed brick.

The Dachau gas chamber had walls made of glazed brick.

So why did the stupid Germans leave blood on the walls of the Dachau gas chamber?  Maybe for the same reason that they shot four of their own SS men and put their bodies on the “Death Train,” so that the American liberators could take photos with their liberated Voitlander cameras.  (The body in Burdick’s photo was the body of an SS man, shot by Lt. William Walsh, BEFORE he saw the Dachau concentration camp.)

This quote is a continuation of the article about “The Legacy Exhibit, The Story of the Holocaust”:

The Legacy Exhibit is the brainchild of Marylou Lordi of Easton. She conceived it a couple years ago as a way to bring the lesson’s of the Holocaust to students at Easton High School.

With the help of the Holocaust Resource Center of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, she began assembling artifacts, especially those with a local connection.

She said she wanted to make the history feel real for students by showing them that some of the people who lived it were their neighbors.

“Beyond that, we are trying to teach a larger lesson, that of standing up,” said Shari Spark, coordinator for the Holocaust Resource Center. “If you are not afraid of making a little bit of noise, injustice can stop. … The Holocaust is an example in the extreme of where that didn’t happen.”

After the exhibit’s initial showing at Easton High, it traveled to a dozen other school libraries. Over time, the number of artifacts grew through donations as word of the undertaking spread throughout the community.

“We let it evolve,” Lordi explained.

Burdick and others, including Jewish survivors of World War II, also have addressed assemblies and individual classes at the schools.

Following Burdick’s account, people filed into the room displaying the Legacy collection. Some stared at the photographs; others recoiled after a quick glance.

Also featured were a chronology of the Holocaust, vintage radio broadcasts and military uniforms.

Among those in attendance was Julia Ben-Asher, a senior at Lafayette College. She said she has been to numerous Holocaust memorials.

There was a time, long, long ago, when newspapers took pride in publishing “all the news fit to print.”  It was the policy of every newspaper to print both sides of every story.  Today’s journalists take pride in publishing lies.

The Morning Call newspaper should have mentioned that there are two sides to the Dachau story, and that there is some controversy about the Dachau liberation story, as told by Donald Burdick.

There is another article in The Morning Call which you can read here.

This quote is from the article cited in the link above:

That day in late April 1945, Burdick smelled something putrid as his 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion moved through the countryside.
[…]
Burdick can’t pinpoint the date he entered Dachau, but his unit could have been among three U.S. Army divisions that liberated the camp on April 29, 1945 — the 42nd Infantry, 45th Infantry and 20th Armored. They found 30,000 survivors, most of them political prisoners. Jews made up the second largest group.

So Donald Burdick was with the 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion?  It was probably several days after the camp was liberated on April 29th before he took his photos with a liberated camera.

Did Donald Burdick  see any of the 4,000 prisoners who were suffering from typhus at Dachau?  Maybe, but why should he mention that?  No one cares that there was a typhus epidemic at Dachau.  Students today only want to hear about the blood-stained walls of the gas chamber.

July 25, 2013

Why was the report on the “Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau” kept secret until 1991?

German POWs being executed in a coal yard inside the SS garrison

German POWs being executed by American soldiers in a coal yard inside the SS garrison

The bodies of the dead SS soldiers, shown in the photo above, were left in the coal yard at Dachau, where they had been killed, until May 3, 1945 when the incident was investigated by Lt. Col. Joseph Whitaker, the Seventh Army’s Assistant Inspector General. A report on the “Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau” was filed on June 8, 1945. It was marked secret, but the contents were later revealed to the public in 1991. A copy of the report is included in Col. John H. Linden’s book The Surrender of Dachau 29 April 1945.

Why was this incident, which has since become known as “The Dachau Massacre,” kept secret for 46 years?

Why wasn’t the incident immediately made known to the public so that haters of the German people all over the world could have celebrated this news? After keeping this secret for 46 years, why reveal the truth at all?

Today, it is impossible to write anything about the “Alleged Mistreatment of German guards at Dachau” without attracting hateful comments, ranting about how these German POWs “deserved to die.”

The dead soldiers in the photo above were not German “Guards” of the Dachau concentration camp. Most of them were German SS soldiers, who had been stationed in the SS garrison that was adjacent to the camp. Others were wounded Wehrmacht soldiers, who had been dragged out of a hospital inside the SS garrison.

The photo below shows American soldiers looking at the bodies of the first four SS soldiers who surrendered to Lt. William Walsh.  Lt. Walsh marched these POWs to a train, parked outside the SS garrison, and shot them after they had surrendered in good faith.  The feet of one of the soldiers are shown, hanging out of the box car.

The first four SS who surrendered at Dachau were taken to this train and shot

The first four SS who surrendered at Dachau were taken to this train and shot

At the time that the German soldiers were shot in the coal yard, with their hands in the air, the American soldiers in the 45th Division had not yet seen the Dachau concentration camp that was next door to the SS garrison, and the soldiers in the 42nd Division had not yet arrived at the Dachau compound.  This was a clear case of American soldiers shooting POWs that had surrendered, and had their hands in the air.

The bodies of the German soldiers in the coal yard were left out until the U.S. Army could do an investigation.

The paragraphs below are from the “Secret Report” done by the U.S. Army, which pertain to the “Execution of German soldiers by members of the 45th Division.”  Why did the U.S. Army call the shooting of the SS soldiers an Execution?  Were the German POWs given a trial before they were “Executed”?

4. At the entrance to the back area of the Dachau prison grounds, four German soldiers surrendered to Lt. William P. Walsh, 0-414901, in command of Company “I”, 157th Infantry. These prisoners Lt. Walsh ordered into a box car, where he personally shot them. Pvt. Albert C. Pruitt, 34573708, Company “I”157th Infantry, then climbed into the box car where these Germans were on the floor moaning and apparently still alive, and finished them off with his rifle.

5. After entry into the Dachau Camp area, Lt. Walsh segregated from surrendered prisoners of war those who were identified as SS Troops.

6. Such segregated prisoners of war were marched into a separate enclosure, lined up against the wall and shot down by American troops, who were acting under the orders of Lt. Walsh. A light machine gun, carbines, and either a pistol or a sub-machine gun were used. Seventeen of such prisoners of war were killed, and others were wounded.

7. Lt. Jack Bushyhead, 0-1284822, executive officer of Company “I”, participated with Lt. Walsh in this handling of the men and during the course of the shooting personally fired his weapon at these prisoners.

16. Lt. Walsh testified that the SS men were segregated in order to properly guard them, and were then fired upon because they started moving toward the guards. However, the dead bodies were located along the wall against which they had been lined up, they were killed along the entire line, although Lt. Walsh only claims those on one flank moved, and a number of witnesses testified that it was generally “understood” that these prisoners were to be shot when they were being segregated. These facts contradict the defensive explanation given by Lt. Walsh.

Surrender of the Dachau camp by 2nd Lt. Wicker

Surrender of the Dachau camp by 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker

In his report to Headquarters, written on 2 May 1945, Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, of the 42nd Division of the U.S. Army, wrote the following:

As we approached the Southwest corner, three people came forward with a flag of truce. They were a Swiss Red Cross representative, Victor Maurer, and two SS troopers who said they were the camp commander [SS Lieutenant Wickert] and his assistant. They had come here on the night of the 28th to take over from the regular personnel, for the purpose of surrendering the camp to the advancing Americans. The Swiss Red Cross representative said there were about one hundred SS guards in the camp who had their arms stacked, except for the people in the tower…He had given instructions that there were no shots to be fired, and that it would take 50 men to relieve the guards, as there were 42,000 “half-crazed” inmates, many of them typhus-infected….

Note that Brig. Gen. Linden incorrectly referred to SS 2nd Lt. Wicker as Wickert.  After surrendering the Dachau concentration camp to the Americans, 2nd Lt. Wicker was never seen again. It is not known when nor how he was killed.

Dachau was surrendered to the 42nd Div. of the U.S. Army under a flag of truce

Dachau was surrendered to the 42nd Div. of the U.S. Army under a flag of truce

According to 1st Lt. William Cowling, who was with Brig. Gen. Linden at the time that the camp was surrendered, the 42nd Division had been advancing down a road toward Munich when, by chance, they heard about the Dachau concentration camp.

In a letter to his family back home, written on April 30, 1945, Cowling wrote:

Enroute we learned from civilians and two newspaper people that just off the main road was a concentration camp of Dachau, oldest largest and most notorious camp in Germany. These newspaper people were going up to see the camp so we decided to go up too.

We ride in a Jeep with a guard out ahead of the boys and we were several hundred yards ahead as we approached the Camp. The first thing we came to was a railroad track leading out of the Camp with a lot of open box cars on it. As we crossed the track and looked back into the cars the most horrible sight I have ever seen (up to that time) met my eyes. The cars were loaded with dead bodies. Most of them were naked and all of them skin and bones. Honest their legs and arms were only a couple of inches around and they had no buttocks at all. Many of the bodies had bullet holes in the back of their heads. It made us sick at our stomach and so mad we could do nothing but clinch our fists. I couldn’t even talk. We then moved on towards the Camp and my Jeep was still several hundred yards ahead. As we approached the main gate a German officer and a civilian wearing an International Red Cross band and carrying a white flag came out. We immediately filed out and I was just hoping he would make a funny move so I could hit the trigger of my tommy gun. He didn’t however, and when he arrived abreast of us he asked for an American officer. I informed him he a was talking to one and he said he wished to surrender the camp to me.

The photo below shows Brig. Gen. Linden on the far left, with the Red Cross representative in the center and Lt. Wicker, standing next to him.  Wicker’s aid has his hands on his head.  They had been taken to the “death train,” after surrendering the camp, but claimed to know nothing about it.

Lt. Wicker was taken to see the "death train" which he claimed to know nothing about

2nd Lt. Wicker was taken to see the “death train” but he claimed to know nothing about it

SS soldiers had been sent from the battlefield to keep order while the Dachau camp was being surrendered.  They were killed before the U.S. soldiers found out that these were not the guards in the camp.  The guards had left the night before.

SS soldier who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender Dachau

SS soldier who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender Dachau

When you are fighting a war and winning, there is no need to ask questions.  Just shoot every man in sight and hope that one of your victims was a “war criminal,” not a POW with rights under the Geneva Convention of 1929.

My blog post today was inspired by the following comment on another website:

Re: The Dachau Massacre of Guards

SignifierOne, I think the issue that people are trying to argue is that, as Prisoners of War, under the Geneva Conventions, these men should have been detained and processed and then put to trial, tried for crimes against humanity, then executed instead of summarily executed on the spot.

Executing POWs is wrong but in the case of Dachau and with concentration camp SS guards I, personally, would make an exception because of pure outrage. As far as the foreign [Hungarian] SS volunteers that were executed, they would have simply either been repatriated to their country of origin and executed for treason or possibly escape justice by joining the French Foreign Legion.

The “outrage” that caused the American soldiers to “execute” the SS men without a trial was the sight of the “Death Train.”  The American executioners did not bother to examine the train and see that the prisoners had been killed by the strafing of the train by American planes.  The train had taken over 3 weeks to travel 220 miles from the Buchenwald camp because American soldiers had bombed the railroad tracks.

May 20, 2010

The first SS soldiers who tried to surrender the Dachau camp were shot by Lt. William Walsh

American soldiers view the bodies of Waffen-SS soldiers killed at Dachau

Up until yesterday, when a reader of this blog identified the dead bodies in the photo above as Waffen-SS soldiers who had been killed at Dachau by American liberators in the 45th Infantry Division, I had always believed the story that these were prisoners who had been shot by the SS guards, as they were trying to get out of the train. The death train had departed from the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 7th and had not arrived at Dachau until April 27th because American planes had bombed the tracks; prisoners riding in open railroad cars had been killed when American planes strafed the train.

The “death train” found by the American liberators at Dachau

The Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp had left on April 26th and the regular SS guards had escaped the night before the Americans arrived.  Waffen-SS soldiers had been brought from the battlefield, on the orders of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, to surrender the camp and to keep order until the Americans could take over.

In the photo at the top of this page, note the shoes that the dead men are wearing.  I had never noticed this until a reader pointed out that these are German military shoes.  In every photo of the death train, the caption always says that these men were prisoners who were trying to get out of the train.

American liberators at Dachau view the bodies on the “death train”

Dachau photo from the G.J. Dettore Collection.

The sight of the dead bodies on the train enraged the soldiers of I Company in the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Division and, before the Americans entered the Dachau camp, they decided that they would take no prisoners. The first four Waffen-SS soldiers who came forward carrying a white flag of surrender were ordered into an empty box car by Lt. William Walsh and shot.  The photo above shows their bodies.  Notice the Jewish Star of David on the side of the boxcar.

After shooting the four Waffen-SS men who had tried to surrender the camp,  Lt. Walsh “segregated from surrendered prisoners of war those who were identified as SS Troops,” according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Seventh Army, dated June 8, 1945.

The following is a quote from the I.G. report:

“6. Such segregated prisoners of war were marched into a separate enclosure, lined up against the wall and shot down by American troops, who were acting under the orders of Lt. Walsh. A light machine gun, carbines, and either a pistol or a sub-machine gun were used. Seventeen of such prisoners of war were killed, and others were wounded.”

Note that the I.G. report refers to “prisoners of war.”  The American military knew that this was a clear violation of the Geneva Convention of 1929, but no Americans were ever put on trial for this admitted war crime.

The 45th Division soldiers had entered the SS garrison, next door to the concentration camp,  through the open railroad gate at the southwest corner of the Dachau complex at 11 a.m.  Soldiers in the 42nd Infantry Division arrived around 3 p.m. and met SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker, who was waiting to surrender the concentration camp, along with a Red Cross representative carrying a white flag. By this time, the 45th Division soldiers had killed up to 560 German soldiers, according to some accounts.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower set the number of German soldiers at Dachau who were “liquidated” at 300.

The Dachau massacre was kept secret for over 40 years by the American military.  Instead of telling the true story of what happened, the liberators lied about the photos of the death train, claiming that the dead SS soldiers on the train were prisoners, and that the SS had machine-gunned the prisoners to death when actually the prisoners had been killed by Americans who strafed the train.  Martin Rosenfeld, a Jewish survivor of the “death train,” testified at the trial of the SS man in charge of the train that the prisoners had been killed by American bullets, as American planes strafed the train.

Plaque at the Dachau gatehouse in honor of the 42nd Division liberators

The photo above shows a plaque which hangs on the outside wall of the Dachau gatehouse. There is also a plaque in honor of the 20th Armored Division which helped to liberate the camp, but no plaque for the 45th Division soldiers.  The 45th Division declined to be honored, maybe because these soldiers felt bad about killing German POWs after they had surrendered.

The Waffen-SS soldiers who were killed by Lt. William Walsh had absolutely nothing to do with the Dachau concentration camp. In spite of this, there are still many German-haters out there who think that it was perfectly alright for Americans to kill German POWs after they tried to surrender the Dachau garrison.