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.

 

February 16, 2016

“The Mühldorf Train of Death” is in the news

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:59 am

Dead bodies on the Train of Death

The photo above shows dead bodies on a death train

“The Mühldorf Train of Death” is mentioned in a recent news article which you can read in full at http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/education/usm/2016/02/15/holocaust-survivor-speak-documentary-screening/80422828/

Young German boys were forced to look at the dead bodies on the train

Young German boys were forced to look at the dead bodies on the train of death

I am not positive about this, but I believe that the train, that is mentioned in the news article, was the famous train that was found just outside the Dachau concentration camp by the American soldiers who liberated the Dachau camp on April 29, 1945.

I previously wrote about Dachau, and “The Mühldorf Train of Death”  on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/MaxMannheimer.html

Dead bodies on the "train of Death'

“The train of Death” at Dachau

The "lone survivor" of the Death Train

The “lone survivor” of the Death Train

The following events preceded the tragedy of the infamous Death Train:

On April 4, 1945, the American Third army was advancing eastward through Germany and unexpectedly came upon the nearly deserted Ohrdruf forced labor camp near the town of Gotha.

Ohrdruf, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald, was the first Nazi camp that any American soldiers had ever seen in Germany. Almost all the prisoners had been evacuated from Ohrdruf and had been taken to the Buchenwald main camp.

Like all the major concentration camps, Buchenwald had many sub-camps including one in a small town called Langensalza, where a former textile factory had been converted into a munitions plant which produced parts for Heinkel fighter planes used by the German Air Force.

On April 1st, which was Easter Sunday, 1,500 prisoners from Langensalza had been force-marched 60 kilometers to the Buchenwald main camp.

Buchenwald was already overcrowded with prisoners who had been evacuated from the camps in Poland, and there was no room for the new prisoners. In a few days, these prisoners from the sub-camps would be put on another train, the train that was to become infamous as the Death Train which so enraged the American liberators of Dachau.

According to the rules of the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war were supposed to be evacuated from the war zone, but this was not what had motivated the Nazis. They were concerned that the prisoners, if released from the camps by the Allies, would roam the countryside, attacking German soldiers and looting civilian homes, not to mention the fear of spreading the typhus epidemic that was causing the deaths of thousands of prisoners every day in the overcrowded camps.

The Nazis were especially fearful that Jewish inmates in the camps would exact revenge on the German people if they were released.

When the 6th Armored Division of the US Third Army arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11th, 1945, the SS guards had already fled for their lives and the Communist prisoners were in charge of the camp. The prisoners were still locked inside the prison enclosure, but the gate house clock had been stopped at 3:15 p.m., the time that the Communists took over, and the camp was flying the white flag of surrender.

The American liberators promptly released some of the Communist prisoners and allowed them to hunt down and kill 80 of the guards who were still hiding in the surrounding forest. Some were brought back to the camp where American soldiers participated with the inmates in beating these captured German SS soldiers to death.

While the US Seventh Army was fighting its way across southern Germany, capturing one town after another with little resistance, the prisoners who had been evacuated to Buchenwald from the abandoned Ohrdruf forced labor camp were starting on their ill-fated journey which would end on a railroad track just outside the Dachau concentration camp. On April 7th, they were marched 5 kilometers to the town of Weimar. At 9 p.m. on April 8th, they were put on a southbound train.

The prisoners were guarded by 20 SS soldiers under the command of Hans Merbach. For their journey, which was expected to be relatively short, they were given “a handful of boiled potatoes, 500 grams of bread, 50 grams of sausage and 25 grams of margarine” according to Merbach, who was quoted by Hans-Günther Richardi in his book, “Dachau, A Guide to its Contemporary History.” According to Richardi, the train which left Weimar on April 8th was filled with 4,500 prisoners who were French, Italian, Austrian, Polish, Russian and Jewish.

It was unseasonably cold in the Spring of 1945, and there was snow on the bodies when the soldiers in the 40th Combat Engineer Regiment arrived on April 30, 1945.

According to Gleb Rahr, one of the few prisoners on the train who made it to Dachau alive, his journey had started on April 5th, when he was one of 5,000 prisoners who were force-marched to Weimar from Buchenwald. He had reached Buchenwald from the sub-camp of Langensalza only a couple of days before.

As quoted by Sam Dann in “Dachau 29 April 1945,” Rahr said that there were “60 open box cars” on the train and that “About eighty prisoners were forced into each car; thirty would have strained its capacity. Two SS soldiers were attached to each car.”

According to Rahr, after the open box cars were filled beyond their capacity, “Two or three (more) were jammed into each boxcar.” These additional prisoners were from one of the most infamous forced labor camps, the V-2 rocket plants at Dora, Rahr says. As described by Rahr, all the prisoners from Dora “were dying of starvation, and infected with typhus. Within a few days, every one of them had died. But the lice they had brought with them multiplied and settled on the rest of us.”

Rahr’s eye-witness account differs from the accounts of others: At first Rahr said that there were “60 open box cars,” but then he contradicted himself in the same interview, quoted in “Dachau 29 April 1945,” and said that there were “three trains of 30 cars each” which were bound for Leipzig. Another prisoner who was fortunate enough to withstand the trip on the Death Train and to make it inside the camp was Joseph Knoll.

Among the survivors on the Death Train was Martin Rosenfeld. He claimed that 350 prisoners were shot to death as they marched from the Buchenwald camp to the train station at Weimar, and that there were only 1,100 survivors out of 5,000 who boarded the train. According to his account, the train had arrived at Dachau on April 26, 1945, although Gleb Rahr and Joseph Knoll both told author Sam Dann that the date was April 27, 1945.

In his testimony before an American Military Tribunal in 1947, Hans Merbach said the train had arrived on April 26, 1945. The confusion about the date may have been caused by the fact that there were actually two trains that arrived at Dachau. One of them was parked inside the SS camp complex and it was empty.

According to Dachau author Hans-Günther Richardi, five hours after the train had departed from Weimar, Hans Merbach, the transport leader, was informed that the Flossenbürg concentration camp had already been liberated by the Americans.

The prisoners at Flossenbürg had been evacuated and were being death marched to Dachau. Many of these prisoners died on the way and were buried at the Waldfriedhof cemetery in the city of Dachau. The train had to be rerouted to Dachau, but it took almost three weeks to get there because of numerous delays caused by American planes bombing the railroad tracks.

The train had to take several very long detours through Leipzig, Dresden and finally through the town of Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. In the village of Nammering in Upper Bavaria, the train was delayed for four days while the track was repaired, and the mayor of the town brought bread and potatoes for the prisoners, according to Harold Marcuse who wrote about the train in his book “Legacies of Dachau.”

Continuing on via Pocking, the train was attacked by American planes because they thought it was a military transport, according to Richardi. Many of the prisoners were riding in open freight cars with no protection from the hail of bullets.

The final leg of the journey was another detour to the south of Dachau, through Mühldorf and then Munich, arriving in Dachau early on the afternoon of April 26th, three days before the liberation of the camp.

The prisoners, some of whom were not in very good shape to begin with, had been on the train for 19 days. Out of the 4,500 or 5,000 who had been put on the train in Weimar, only 1,300 were able to walk the short distance from the railroad spur line into the Dachau prison compound, according to survivors Rahr and Knoll, as told to Sam Dann, who wrote “Dachau 29 April 1945.”

The surviving prisoners on the train were barely able to drag themselves through the gates into Dachau. According to Rahr, the survivors were taken to the Quarantine Barracks and given “hot oat soup,” which he said was “the first food of any kind” that was given to them since the start of the trip. In his account of the trip, Rahr says that the only food the prisoners got for the whole trip was one loaf of bread on the first day. He mentioned the four-day stop in Nammering, but did not say that the prisoners were given any food, as claimed by the mayor of the town. Rahr told about the bodies from the train that were burned at Nammering. The burning was unsuccessful and the prisoners had to bury the bodies, according to Rahr.

By the time that the 45th Thunderbird Infantry Division arrived in the town of Dachau, the locomotive had been removed from the abandoned train and 39 cars, half of them with dead prisoners, had been left standing on a siding on Friedenstrasse, just outside the railroad gate into the SS Garrison. Inside the SS camp, another freight train stood on the tracks, but this one was empty.

Most of the Waffen-SS soldiers had left the Dachau Garrison on or before the 28th, leaving the food warehouses unlocked. When the news of the abandonment of the SS camp spread, the townspeople converged on the warehouses, looking for food to steal, just as the American liberators arrived.

The American soldiers were appalled to see residents of Dachau bicycling past the railroad cars filled with corpses, on their way to loot the warehouses, with no concern for the dead prisoners. After the camp was liberated, the Americans distributed the food from the SS warehouses to the prisoners, leaving the residents to fend for themselves.

Some of the dead had been buried along the way by the prisoners who had been forced to dig the graves, but towards the end of the journey, the bodies were just laid out along the tracks.

The bodies were left on the train for two weeks until the Army could do a full investigation. Tripods were set up near the train, and photographs were taken by US Army photographers. Soldiers who had “liberated” cameras from the Germans took numerous photographs and developed the film when they got home.

Young boys, who were members of the Hitler Youth, were brought to the train and forced to look at the decaying bodies. Boys as young as 12 were fighting in the war towards the end, so it is doubtful that these boys had any sympathy for the prisoners who had died on the train.

Nor did the residents of Dachau exhibit any sympathy for the dead prisoners on the train on the day of the liberation. A New York Times correspondent wrote about civilians looting the SS warehouses that were within sight of the train, while they avoided looking at the train and did not have the common decency to cover the naked bodies.

When the Death Train finally made it to Dachau, the sick and dying prisoners were left on the train along with the corpses of those who had died from exposure or starvation or had been killed when American planes strafed the train. One prisoner who was still alive on the day that the American liberators arrived was rescued.

According to Harold Marcuse in his book “Legacies of Dachau,” the wives of the SS officers who lived in the Dachau SS Garrison were forced to clean the box cars after the badly decomposed bodies were removed.

To get back to the news story, that prompted my blog post today, the following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Leslie Schwartz’ story of survival and freedom, captured in [the documentary entitled] “The Mühldorf Train of Death” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the University of Southern Mississippi International Center, room 101. German television produced the documentary on Schwartz, which focuses on his interaction with a group of high school students trying to learn about and honor survivors of the Holocaust. Admission is free.

Schwartz was imprisoned at age 14 near the end of the war and managed to elude death, but lost his entire family in the gas chambers at the infamous Auschwitz death camps. He will participate in a question and answer session at the screening. Earlier in the day, he will attend a pre-screening reception at Hattiesburg’s African-American History Museum and also share his story with students in a USM history class.

End quote

I have the feeling that Schwartz will not tell the story of the train accurately.  How will he explain that he survived Auschwitz while his whole family was gassed? Children under the age of 15 were automatically gassed, according to the official Holocaust story, but Leslie was spared so that he could tell lies to future generations.

February 13, 2016

More misuse of old World War II photos

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:05 am
Photo taken at Ohrdruf

Photo taken at Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, shows German civilians being forced to look at dead bodies of Jews

The photo above is included on this website:  http://listovative.com/top-10-major-reasons-why-people-hate-jews/

The title of the website is

Top 10 Major Reasons why People hate Jews

The headline above the photo, shown above, says Top 10. Racial Cleansing.

I have this same photo on my website page about the true story of what happened at Ohrdruf:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/Ohrdruf01.html

The photo does not show “Racial Cleansing.” It shows civilians, that lived in the town of Ohrdruf, who were forced, by the U.S. Army to come to the Ohrdruf subcamp of Buchenwald to view the dead bodies found there.

General Patton wrote in his book that he had suggested that the inhabitants of Ohrdruf  should be brought to the Ohrdruf camp the next day. He wrote that the army had previously “used the same system in having the inhabitants of Weimar go through the even larger slave camp (Buchenwald) north of that town.”

On Patton’s orders, German civilians were brought from the town of Ohrdruf to exhume the bodies in the mass grave there and bury them again in individual graves.

Survivors of Ohrdruf talk to General Hayden Sears

Survivors of Ohrdruf talk to General Hayden Sears on April 8, 1945

In the photo above, notice how the poor mistreated survivors of Ohrdruf are nicely dressed and appear to be in good health.  Why weren’t these prisoners killed by the Germans?  Because that is not what happened.  Read the whole story on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/index.html

 

April 4, 2015

April 4th, the anniversary of the day the first Nazi camp was liberated

Today is an important date in Holocaust history. This is the day that the Ohrdruf camp, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, was discovered by American troops.

Col. Hayden Sears poses with survivors of the Ohrdruf camp on April 8, 1945 -- four days after the camp was liberated

Col. Hayden Sears poses with survivors of the Ohrdruf camp on April 8, 1945 — four days after the camp was liberated by American troops

Ohrdruf was the only camp that General Dwight Eisenhower ever visited. Ohrdruf was little known until Obama claimed that his uncle was one of the liberators of Auschwitz; he corrected his statement later, saying that his uncle was one of the liberators of Ohrdruf.

Dead bodies found in a shed at Ohrdruf

Dead bodies found in a shed at Ohrdruf

After his visit to the Ohrdruf camp on April 12, 1945, General Eisenhower wrote the following in a cable on April 15th to General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC. This quote is prominently displayed by the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC:

. . .the most interesting–although horrible–sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp [Ohrdruf] near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

Ironically, General Eisenhower’s words about “propaganda,” turned out to be prophetic. Only a few years later, Paul Rassinier, who was a French resistance fighter imprisoned at the Buchenwald main camp, wrote the first Holocaust denial book, entitled Debunking the Genocide Myth, in which he refuted the claim by the French government at the 1946 Nuremberg trial that there were gas chambers in Buchenwald.

Note that General Eisenhower referred to Ohrdruf as an “internment camp,” which was what Americans called the camps where Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans were held without charges during World War II. Ohrdruf was the first, and only, “internment camp” that General Eisenhower ever saw.

I previously blogged about the discovery of Ohrdruf  at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/april-4th-the-66th-anniversary-of-the-day-that-american-troops-discovered-ohrdruf/

October 11, 2014

General Patton and his attitude toward the Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 3:21 pm

Today, I did a google search on “Why do so many people hate the Jews?” and I found this article in the search results: http://listovative.com/top-10-major-reasons-why-people-hate-jews/

The title of the article is Top Ten Reasons Why People Hate Jews?

Number 10 in the list of Top Ten Reasons, which is shown first, is Racial Cleansing. It is not clear to me whether Jews are hated because the Jews cleanse other races, or whether the Jews are cleansed because other people hate the Jews.

Underneath the headline “Racial Cleansing” is the photo below. (Click on the photo to see it in a larger size)

Bodies of prisoners who died at Ohrdruf

Men from the town of Ohrdruf were forced to view the bodies of prisoners who had died from typhus

I recognized the photo above because I have the same photo on this page of my website scrapbookpages.com:   http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/Ohrdruf01.html

The photo shows German civilians being forced to view the dead bodies of prisoners, who had died at the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald during the last days of World War II.  The photo does NOT show the bodies of Jews who were “racially cleansed” because of hatred of the Jews.

These are the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus and other natural causes, not the bodies of Jews who had been “racially cleansed.”  To me, this is a new low in the misuse of photos.

German civilians in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to view dead bodies in the barracks at Ohrdruf

German civilians in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to view dead bodies in the barracks at Ohrdruf

Regarding the Ohrdruf-Nord labor camp, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald, General Patton wrote the following in his diary:

“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.”

Dead bodies in a shed at Ohrdruf labor camp

Dead bodies in a shed at Ohrdruf labor camp

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.

General Eisenhower and General Patton view bodies at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower and General Patton view bodies at Ohrdruf, which were deliberately left out for weeks

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:

“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.”

The photo below shows General Eisenhower and General Patton viewing the gallows at Ohrdruf after the camp had been abandoned by the Germans.

General Eisenhower and General Patton at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower and General Patton at Ohrdruf

In the photo above, 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.”

A. C. Boyd, a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division was at Ohrdruf on the day that this man was killed. In a news article in The Gadsden Times, Jimmy Smothers wrote the following:

Boyd said he saw a Nazi guard, who had not fled with the others, trying to exit the camp. One of the prisoners, who still had a little strength, ran to a truck, got a tire iron and killed him.

“I witnessed that and saw that no one tried to stop him,” Boyd said.

In a letter dated April 15, 1945, addressed to Ike (General Dwight D. Eisenhower), Patton wrote the following regarding the man who had served as their guide at Ohrdruf:

“It may interest you to know that the very talkative, alleged former member of the murder camp was recognized by a Russian prisoner as a former guard. The prisoner beat his brains out with a rock.”

This prisoner was probably one of the Kapos in the camp whose job it had been to assist the German guards; it is doubtful that an SS soldier would have remained behind when the camp was evacuated, knowing that the prisoners would exact revenge as soon as the Americans arrived.

Note that General Patton referred to Ohrdruf as a “murder camp” in his letter. It is clear from Patton’s letters and his memoir that he did not have a clear understanding of the purpose of the concentration camps and labor camps because he believed everything that the prisoners had told him.

I wrote about General Patton’s visit to the Buchenwald main camp on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/the-myth-that-general-eisenhower-ordered-german-civilians-to-visit-buchenwald/

February 1, 2014

“to the victor belongs the spoils” even if you have to steal gold from an ally that helped to win the war

Filed under: Germany, movies, World War II — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:58 am

In doing some research about The Monuments Men, in preparation for seeing a new movie by the same name, I learned that the art treasures and the gold bullion, stored in the Merkers salt mine in Germany, was supposed to go to the Soviet Union, because it was located in the occupation zone that had been promised to the Russians.

German  gold was hidden in the  Merkers salt mine

German gold and art treasures were hidden in the Merkers salt mine

When General Patton heard about the gold in the Merkers mine, he claimed it for the USA and then notified General (“God, I hate the Germans”) Eisenhower.

The following quote, about the gold, is from this website: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1999/spring/nazi-gold-merkers-mine-treasure.html

Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure

By Greg Bradsher

Late on the evening of March 22, 1945, elements of Lt. Gen. George Patton’s Third Army crossed the Rhine, and soon thereafter his whole army crossed the river and drove into the heart of Germany. Advancing northeast from Frankfurt, elements of the Third Army cut into the future Soviet Zone and advanced on Gotha. Just before noon on April 4, the village of Merkers fell to the Third Battalion of the 358th Infantry Regiment, Ninetieth Infantry Division, Third Army. During that day and the next the Ninetieth Infantry Division, with its command post at Keiselbach, consolidated its holdings in the Merkers area.(1)

During April 4 and 5 [1945], displaced persons in the vicinity interrogated by the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) personnel of the Ninetieth Infantry Division mentioned a recent movement of German Reichsbank gold from Berlin to the Wintershal AG’s Kaiseroda potassium mine at Merkers. In all of these instances they quoted rumors, but none stated their own knowledge that gold was present in the mine. But just before noon on April 5, a member of Military Intelligence Team 404-G, attached to the 358th Infantry Regiment, who was in Bad Salzungen, about six miles from Merkers, interviewed French displaced persons who had worked in the mine at Merkers. They told him they had heard that gold had been stored in the mine. The information was passed on to the G-2 (intelligence section) of the Ninetieth Infantry Division, and orders were issued prohibiting all civilians from circulating in the area of the mine.(2)

You can read about Gotha on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Gotha/

Note the date [April 4, 1945] that the Merkers mine was discovered by the Americans, after “displaced persons” told them about the gold.

"displaced persons" who have come back to the Ohrdruf camp

“displaced persons” who came back to the Ohrdruf camp after the Americans arrived

What is a “displaced person”?  This term refers to a former prisoner in a concentration camp, or a Nazi labor camp, who must find his way home because the Nazis have abandoned the camp where he was a prisoner.  The Nazis had abandoned the Ohrdruf  sub-camp of Buchenwald on April 4, 1945, and had marched most the prisoners to the Buchenwald camp, except for a few who were too sick to walk, or a few who had escaped from the march.

How does one justify stealing “the spoils of war” from an ally [the Soviet Union], who has helped to defeat your enemy?  I know — let’s go to visit Ohrdruf, and make a big deal out of the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus. Let’s “build another page of the necessary evidence as to the brutality of the Germans” as General Patton wrote to General Eisenhower. Let’s take a photo of the dead bodies that were burned at Ohrdruf, and claim that the Germans had burned prisoners alive. Let’s build a museum in Washington, DC  and hang a photo of the burned bodies in front of the museum door.

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

This quote is also from the article written by Greg Bradsher:

[Col. Bernard D.] Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

On April 11 Bernstein returned to Merkers, and that morning, after arranging with Mason for setting up a command post at the mine building for the G-5 officers, he and Rave made an inspection of the art treasures. Later that day Lt. George Stout [one of the Monuments Men], USNR, MFAA Officer, G-5, Twelfth Army Group, and the SHAEF MFAA chief, British Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, reported for duty, with the expectation that they would handle the art matters. After Posey’s earlier visit to Merkers, he had notified Webb of the treasure and recommended Stout, former chief of conservation at Harvard’s Fogg Museum and considered America’s greatest expert on the techniques of packing and transporting, be sent to the mine to provide technical guidance. Webb and Stout arrived at Merkers only to find that they needed Bernstein’s permission to see the art. Bernstein showed them his letter from Gay authorizing him to decide who went into the mine and the need for Eddy’s permission for Allied personnel to inspect the mine. Bernstein agreed to let Stout view the works of art, but he denied Webb access.(40)  [George Stout is played by George Clooney in the movie The Monuments Men.]

[…]
Bernstein and Bartlett arrived at the 357th Infantry Regiment Command Post in Merkers at 5 p.m. on April 10. Accompanied by Mason, they went on a tour of the mine to see the vault containing the gold, currency, and art treasure. That evening Bernstein interviewed Veick and Reimer about the gold, currency, and other valuables, as well as any records relating to the gold. Veick provided detailed information about the transportation of the Reichsbank treasure to Merkers and the currency transactions during March and the first days of April. He said he did not know that much about the gold, but Thoms did; “He knows all,” Veick said. Reimer told Bernstein that “the records of the sale of the gold are with Thoms.”(38)

Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

April 7, 2013

Holocaust Remembrance Day starts Sunday evening, April 7, 2013

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:18 am

While searching for some news about Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins tonight, I came across a website which shows the photo below.  Under the photo are the words of General Eisenhower:  “Get it all on record now — get the films — get the witnesses — because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.”

I had never realized, until now, that it was Eisenhower who coined the phrase “[the Holocaust] NEVER HAPPENED.”

Photo of General Eisenhower at the Ohrdruf camp, April 7, 1945

Photo of General Eisenhower at the Ohrdruf camp, April 12, 1945

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, will be observed this year starting Sunday evening, April 7th, the 27th of Nissan, and going through Monday night. In America, a ceremony will take place at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the Hall of Remembrance; you can see photos of the Hall and read about it on my website here.

The world-wide, annual observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day is a celebration of the heroism of the Jews during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.

So why would anyone use a photo of General Dwight D. Eisenhower viewing dead bodies at the Ordruf sub-camp of Buchenwald on April 12, 1945, the same day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt died? Wouldn’t a photo, taken during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, be more appropriate?

What does the discovery of the Ohrdruf labor camp by American soldiers on April 4, 1945 have to do with the Holocaust?

The prisoners at Ohrdruf were not necessarily Jewish. The dead prisoners in the photo could have been political prisoners, who had been sent to Ohrdruf from the Buchenwald camp, which was the main camp for French Resistance Fighters.  The prisoners in the photo had most likely been killed by their fellow prisoners; the first American soldiers on the scene on April 4th had observed that the blood was still wet, although the SS men had left on April 2nd, along with most of the prisoners.

The dead men in the photo were probably Kapos, [Captains] who had helped the Nazis run the Ohrdruf camp.  However, the story that Eisenhower was told on his visit is that these were sick prisoners, who had been killed by the Nazis on April 2nd because there was no room on the trucks that were evacuating the prisoners who couldn’t walk.

A still shot from a film taken by the Americans during Eisenhower's visit

A still shot from a film taken by the Americans during Eisenhower’s visit

The photo above shows Eisenhower viewing the bodies that had been left out for a week.  The man in the center, wearing civilian clothes was a Kapo, who was killed the next day by the other survivors of Ohrdruf.

Unfortunately, the photo that was chosen by the The Other News website to commemorate Yom HaShoa is the absolute worst photo that they could have used.  The killing of prisoners at Ohrdruf, by other prisoners, has nothing to do with the Holocaust, which is the term for the genocide of the Jews.

In America, Holocaust Remembrance Day will be celebrated at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The photo below shows a picture that hangs in the Museum.  A copy of the Confession of Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz, is shown, along with a photo of Hungarian Jews walking to the gas chamber, carrying their bundles.

Photo that hangs in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Photo that hangs in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Photo taken at Ohrdruf which hangs in the USHMM

Photo taken at Ohrdruf which hangs in the USHMM

A photo, taken on April 13, 1945 after the liberation of Ohrdruf, is shown above.  This photo is the first thing you see when you step off the elevator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Many people, including Professor Harold Marcuse, have claimed that prisoners were burned alive at Ohrdruf, which is why this photo is shown in America’s Holocaust Museum.

A photo of the 15th Street entrance into the United States Holocaust Museum is shown below.  On the right hand side, you can see the Hall of Remembrance, which has 6 sides, to represent the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Eisenhower Plaza in front of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Eisenhower Plaza in front of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

When I visited the USHMM in the year 2000, four sides of the hexagon, which forms the Hall of Remembrance, had a quotation engraved on the outside wall. These quotations were from the speeches of four recent American presidents: Jimmy Carter (who was president when the museum was first conceived), Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Bush, Sr., and Ronald Reagan.  Eisenhower’s prophetic quote is in the most prominent spot, and it is also the most famous: “The things I saw beggar description…the visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda. Ohrdruf April 15, 1945.”

The photo above shows the facade of the Holocaust Museum building, which faces a square, named Eisenhower Plaza. The building has several features which suggest places associated with the Holocaust. Sticking up on the left side of the building is what looks like the tower on top of the red brick gatehouse building at Birkenau, the infamous death camp where the Jews were gassed.

To the right of the tower, as shown in the photo below, is a glass enclosed walkway which looks somewhat like the open wooden walkways which were put over some of the streets of the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos in Poland so that non-Jews could pass through the ghetto on the streetcar, or walk on the street below, without having to come in contact with the Jews. There are two more glass walkways on the west side of the building on the third and second floors.

A two-part sculpture in front of the 15th St. entrance into the USHMM

A two-part sculpture in front of the 15th St. entrance into the USHMM

A two-part modern sculpture entitled “Loss and Regeneration,” designed by Jewish artist Joel Shapiro, who was born in America in 1941, stands in the courtyard on the 15th Street side of the building. One section of the sculpture is near the sidewalk, and the other part near the door to the museum, as shown in the photo above.

The abstract black figures symbolize the destruction of European Jewry and the regeneration of the Jews; the first section is a house which has been tipped over and is now balanced precariously on the tip of one end of the peaked roof, symbolizing the loss of Jewish homes when the Nazis destroyed the shtetls, as the Jewish villages in Poland were called.

The second part of the “Loss and Regneration” sculpture is shown in the photo below.

Part of the "Loss and Regeneration" sculpture is in front of the Holocaust Museum

Part of the “Loss and Regeneration” sculpture is in front of the Holocaust Museum

I don’t want to read anything in the comments about the United States Holocaust Museum being in the “shadow of the Washington monument.”  The photo of the Washington Monument below very clearly shows that its shadow does not fall on the Museum.

The USHMM is close to the Washington Monument

The USHMM is close to the Washington Monument

In the foreground of the photo above, you can see part of the “Loss and Regeneration” sculpture on Eisenhower Plaza in front of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The red brick building on the right is not part of the Museum.

So exactly where is the USHMM located?  In the shadow of the Washington Monument, or not?

The Capitol Mall in Washington, DC is a long narrow park, which extends two and a half miles from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial at the west end. Lined up along both sides of the Mall are our national museums of American history, art and science. The midway point of the Mall is marked by the Washington monument, which stands like a beacon in a field surrounded by American flags. The street that crosses the Mall in front of the Washington Monument is 15th street, which runs north and south, and goes past the east side of the iron fence surrounding the White House grounds. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is about a mile from the Capitol and half a mile from the White House. It was built on Federal land with funds donated by private citizens.

At the Washington monument, 15th street suddenly changes to Raoul Wallenberg Place. This section of 15th street was renamed in 1985 in honor of the diplomat who helped thousands of Hungarian Jews escape deportation to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in what is now Poland, by providing them with papers that said they intended to emigrate to Sweden after the war. Among the survivors saved by Wallenberg was Senator Tom Lantos, who emigrated to America after the liberation of Europe from the Fascists.

On the corner of Raoul Wallenberg Place and Independence Avenue (the street which forms the southern border of the park-like Mall) stands an old traditional style red brick building, now called the Ross Center, which houses the administrative offices of the museum and the museum cafe.  This is the red brick building shown in the photo above.

The Ross center is named after Eric F. Ross whose parents, Albert and Regina Rosenberg, died in Auschwitz in 1942. The back of the Ross Center building is on Independence Avenue while the entrance faces a brick-paved courtyard in front of the 15th street entrance to the USHMM, which is set back from the street. From the courtyard, there is a perfect view of the Washington Monument, as seen in the photograph above.

April 6, 2013

New documentary film shows 16 photographs from the Ohrdruf camp, liberated by American soldiers on April 4, 1945

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:04 pm

It’s April, the 68th anniversary of the American liberation of these infamous concentration camps in Germany: Ordruf, Buchenwald and Dachau. (Mauthausen was liberated by American soldiers in May 1945.) The first camp to be liberated by American troops, on April 4, 1945, was Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald.

A new documentary film, entitled 16 photograhs at Ohrdruf has just been released.  The documentary has its own website, which you can see here.

On April 4, 1945, American soldiers of the 4th Armored Division of General Patton’s US Third Army were moving through the area south of the city of Gotha in search of a secret Nazi communications center when they unexpectedly came across the ghastly scene of the abandoned Ohrdruf forced labor camp.

A few soldiers in the 354th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division of the US Third Army reached the abandoned camp that same day, after being alerted by prisoners who had escaped from the march out of the camp, which had started on April 2nd. Ohrdruf, also known as Ohrdruf-Nord, was the first Nazi prison camp to be discovered while it still had inmates living inside of it, although 9,000 prisoners had already been evacuated from Ohrdruf on April 2nd and marched 32 miles to the main camp at Buchenwald. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the camp had a population of 11,700 prisoners in late March, 1945 before the evacuation began.

I have not seen the documentary, so I don’t know what the 16 photographs show, but I am guessing that the scenes, shown in the photos below, are included.

Corpses of prisoners found in a shed at Ohrdruf

Corpses of prisoners found in a shed at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower views the railroad tracks where bodies were burned at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower views the railroad tracks where bodies were burned at Ohrdruf

Mass grave at Ohrdruf was opened and the bodies were burned

Mass grave at Ohrdruf was opened and the bodies were burned

Dead bodies found at Ohrdurf

Dead bodies found at Ohrdurf on the roll call square

In the photo above, the prisoners have been partially covered by blankets because their pants had been pulled down, an indication that these men might have been killed by their fellow prisoners after the Germans left. The first Americans on the scene said that the blood was still wet.
One of the American liberators who saw the Ohrdruf camp on April 4, 1945 was Bruce Nickols. He was on a patrol as a member of the I & R platoon attached to the Headquarters company of the 354th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division, Third US Army. According to Nickols, there were survivors in the barracks who had hidden when the SS massacred 60 to 70 prisoners on the roll call square before they left the camp on April 2nd. The body of a dead SS soldier lay at the entrance to the camp, according to Nickols.
The American soldiers were told by the Ohrdruf survivors that these prisoners had been shot by the SS on April 2nd because they had run out of trucks for transporting sick prisoners out of the camp.  Seriously?  The SS men shot the sick prisoners on the roll call square because they had run out of trucks?  Strangely, there were sick prisoners still inside the barracks when the Americans arrived.  Why weren’t they shot?

Colonel Hayden Sears poses with Ohrdruf survivors, April 8, 1945

Colonel Hayden Sears poses with Ohrdruf survivors, April 8, 1945

The photo above shows some of the prisoners who escaped from the march out of the camp on April 2, 1945 and came back to the camp.  They seem to be in remarkably good condition and well-dressed.

Survivors told Eisenhower prisoners were hung with piano wire on this gallows

Survivors told Eisenhower prisoners were hung with piano wire on this gallows

The well-dressed prisoner on the far left, wearing a scarf around his neck, was killed by the survivors of Ohrdruf the day after Eisenhower’s visit.  As it turns out, he was a Kapo, a prisoner who helped the SS men in running the camp.

Four American generals view the bodies which were left out for a week

Four American generals view the bodies which were left out for a week

Citizens of the nearby town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the bodies

Citizens of the nearby town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the bodies

Although the civilians in the town of Ohrdruf had nothing to do with the camp, they were forced to come to the camp and view the bodies that were laid out for their benefit.

Why did the Nazis kill the prisoners in a LABOR CAMP? Wouldn’t that have defeated the purpose of the labor camp? Did the prisoners actually die in a typhus epidemic at Ohrdruf?  The American soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf had been vaccinated for typhus, and most of them had probably never heard of typhus.

May 9, 2012

What happened to Germany’s gold after World War II?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:15 am

General Dwight D. Eisenhower inspects Germany’s gold, found in a salt mine

Update: July 10, 2014:

According to a news story, which you can read in full here, Germany has given up trying to get all their gold back, after it was confiscated by Americans, who stole it from the Soviets. The gold should have gone to the Soviet Union because it was in their future zone of occupation.

Continue reading my original post.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the photo above as he inspects Germany’s gold, found in a salt mine.  The man behind him, wearing a helmet with four stars, is General Omar Bradley. The Nazis had hidden 250 million dollars worth of gold bars inside the Merkers salt mine.

The soldier on the far left, in the photo, is Benjamin B. Ferencz.  Ferencz had been transferred, in 1945, from General Patton’s army to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Army.  A Jew from Transylvania, Ferencz had moved with his family to America when he was a baby. In 1945, his job was to gather evidence for future trials of German war criminals.

General Eisenhower inspects Germany’s art treasures, stored in the Merkers salt mine, to protect them from the Allied bombing raids

The photo above shows General Eisenhower as he inspects Germany’s art treasures in the same salt mine where the gold was stored.

On Easter weekend in April 1945, the 90th Infantry Division had overrun the little German town of Merkers, which was near the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald, and had captured the Kaiseroda salt mine, which is sometimes called the Merkers mine.  Hidden deep inside the salt mine was virtually the entire gold and currency reserves of the German Reichsbank, together with all of the priceless art treasures which had been removed from Berlin’s museums for protection against Allied bombing raids and possible capture by the Allied armies.

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum web site, the soldiers also found important documents that were introduced at the Nuremberg IMT as evidence of the Holocaust.

This quote is from the USHMM website:

The US Army made many significant finds of Nazi booty and records, among them gold, currency, artworks, and documentation discovered on April 7, 1945, by engineers of the US 90th Infantry Division in the Kaiseroda Salt mine in Merkers, Germany. Millions of documents were captured at various locations, including records of the German Army High Command records; files from Krupp, Henschel, and other German industrial concerns; Luftwaffe (German air force) material; and records kept by Heinrich Himmler (the Chief of the German Police and Reich Leader of the SS), the German Foreign Office, and many others.

All of America’s top military leaders in Europe, including Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton, visited the mine and viewed the treasure.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower examined the Kaiseroda salt mine on April 12, 1945, along with General Omar Bradley, General George S. Patton, and other high-ranking American Army officers before making a side trip to see the Ohrdruf labor camp.

The photo below shows General Eisenhower as he inspects the Ohrdruf camp.  He is viewing the bodies found on the grounds of the camp when Ohrdruf was discovered by American troops on April 4, 1945.  The bodies were left out for more than a month, so that American soldiers could be brought to witness the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

General Eisenhower is in the middle of the photo, inspecting the bodies found at Ohrdruf labor camp, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald

The discovery of the Ohrdruf labor camp started the propaganda effort to paint the Germans as war criminals.  The official story told about the photo above is that these prisoners were shot after the camp was evacuated because there weren’t enough trucks to transport the sick prisoners.  My personal opinion is that these prisoners were killed by some of the other prisoners, as soon as the Germans abandoned the camp, and marched the healthy prisoners to the Buchenwald camp.  Why waste bullets, shooting sick prisoners, when they were going to die anyway?

General Eisnenhower couldn’t have cared less about the prisoners at the Ohrdruf camp.  He didn’t even mention the camp in his autobiography.  He was only there to see the salt mine and get his greedy hands on the German gold.  Except for General Patton, who went to see the Buchenwald camp, none of the generals in the American army ever visited any of the Nazi camps, except the Ohrdruf sub-camp.

A couple of days ago, I was reading Bradley Smith’s website when I came across a pdf file in which I read that Germany’s gold was confiscated by the Allies and is still in the possession of the USA.  I was surprised to learn this, since Germany and America became allies after the war when the Cold War with the Soviet Union began.  I was astonished to learn that the German tax payers are being forced to pay for the occupation of Germany, which is still going on, 70 years after the end of the war.  Germany still has a Constitution written by the Allies.  When will Germany become a sovereign country again?

Most Americans believe that Germany was treated well by the Allies after World War II.  Just the other day, Bill O’Reilly said something about the fairness of the Nuremberg trial in which Germany’s war criminals were convicted.  O’Reilly has mentioned the Marshall Plan numerous times; he claims that the Marshall Plan was America’s generous plan to restore the country of Germany after the destruction of World War II.  (The Marshall Plan provided aid to many countries in Europe.  Germany did not receive as much aid as other countries that had not suffered war damage.)

When will Americans stop bragging about how well Germany was treated after World War II?  Enough, already!  It is time for the British and the Americans to get the hell out of Germany and let the German people have their country again.

December 2, 2011

New book by Michael Hirsh about the American Liberators of the Nazi concentration camps

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:02 pm

One of the regular readers of this blog recommended a new book, written by Michael Hirsh, which you can download here.  The cover of the book has a photo of the Allach sub-camp of Dachau which was liberated by American troops on April 30, 1945, the next day after the main Dachau camp was liberated.

The liberation of Allach, a sub-camp of the Dachau concentration camp

Allach was near the city of Munich; it was located approximately 10 miles from the main Dachau camp. According to Marcus J. Smith, who wrote Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell, the Allach camp was divided into two enclosures, one for 3,000 Jewish inmates and the other for 6,000 non-Jewish prisoners. Smith was a doctor in the US military, assigned to take over the care of the prisoners after the liberation. He wrote that the typhus epidemic had not reached Allach until April 22, 1945, about a week before the camp was liberated.

At the main Dachau camp, prisoners were dying at the rate of 400 a day during the typhus epidemic which started there way back in December 1944.  The prisoners at Allach were still relatively healthy, as the photo below shows.

Survivors of the Allach sub-camp of Dachau (Click on the Photo to enlarge)

Why did the author of the book entitled The Liberators — America’s Witnesses to the Holocaust choose a photo of Allach for the cover?  There were virtually no atrocities committed there and the survivors were in relatively good condition.  There were no “bodies stacked like cordwood.”  The only reason that I can think of is that the photo shows an American flag flying and a person of color in the foreground.

The book mentions the Nordhausen camp where thousands of dead bodies were found.  The photo below was taken at Nordhausen, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald.

Bodies of Nordhausen prisoners killed by Allied bombs

The photo above shows the bodies of prisoners at Nordhausen who were killed by Allied bombs when the factories located there were bombed.

The book mentions Don Timmer who was an interpreter for General Eisenhower when he visited Ohrdruf, another sub-camp of Buchenwald, which was the one and only camp that Eisenhower ever saw.

This quote from the book is about Don Timmer:

Private Don Timmer, a nineteen-year-old kid from Mansfield, Ohio, had just arrived at Ohrdruf with the 714 Ordnance Company of the 89th Infantry Division.  Because he’d had two years of high school German, he’d been interpreting for his unit.  On the first nice day of sping, they’d driven from Gotha through the town of Ohrdruf, and he remembers that the German civilians had hung white sheet of surrender in their windows.  He also recalls a German plane flying low other their small convoy but not strafing them.

As Eisenhower came into the camp, Timmer was told that the general’s interpreter was on a plane that had not yet arrived.  Timmer would have to do the job.  “I said to him, ‘General, I’m not that good at German.’ And he said, ‘Don’t worry, I know German, but I need time to formulate my responses.’”

Several years ago, Mary Liethan sent me copies of some of the letters that her uncle wrote home to his family during World War II.  Her uncle was Captain Alois Liethen from Appleton, WI. Captain Liethen was an interpreter and an interrogator in the XX Corp, G-2 Section of the US Third Army. On 13 April 1945, the day after General Eisenhower visited Ohrdruf, Captain Liethan wrote a letter home to his family about his initial discovery at Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. Although Buchenwald was more important and had more evidence of Nazi atrocities, it was due to the information uncovered by Captain Liethen at Ohrdruf that General Eisenhower visited the Ohrdruf sub-camp instead.

General Eisenhower listens to his interpreter, Alois Liethan

The photo above shows General Dwight D. Eisenhower viewing the gallows at Ohrdruf. Standing to the left of the general, and partially hidden by a pole, is Captain Alois Liethen, who was General Eisenhower’s interpreter. The two men on Eisenhower’s right are survivors who are explaining the atrocities committed in the camp. 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 following is a quote from Captain Alois Liethan’s letter to his family, dated April 13, 1945, in which Captain 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.

The photograph below was contributed by Mary Liethen Meier, the niece of Captain Liethen. The man standing next to General Eisenhower, and pointing to the prisoner demonstrating how the inmates were punished at Ohrdruf, is Alois Liethen, her uncle. Left to right, the men in the front row are Lt. General George S. Patton, Third U.S. Army Commander; General Omar N. Bradley, Twelfth Army group commander; and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander. This photo was published in an American newspaper above a headline which read: U.S. GENERALS SEE A “TORTURE” DEMONSTRATION

Captain Alois Liethan on the far right; General Eisenhower in the center  Photo taken at Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald

Captain Liethen’s letter, dated 13 April 1945, continues as follows:

Yesterday I had the honor of being the interpreter for such honorable gentlemen as Gen EISENHOWER, Gen BRADLEY, Gen PATTON and several lesser general officers, all in all there were 21 stars present, Eisenhower with 5, Bradley with 4, Patton 3, my own commanding general with 2 and there were several others of this grade as well as several one star generals. Since I had made the investigation with some of the men who had escaped from the place the day that we captured it I was more or less the conductor of the tour for this famous party. There were batteries of cameras that took pictures of us as we went about the whole place and as I made several demonstrations for them — hell I felt like Garbo getting of (sic) a train in Chicago.

Hirsch’s book also mentions Melvin Waters, a 4-F volunteer civilian ambulance driver, who recalls that a woman at Bergen-Belsen “fought us like a cat because she thought we were taking her to the crematory.” I googled Melvin Waters and learned that he was born around 1925 and that he was a Driver in D Platoon, 567 Company R.A.S.C. (American Field Service).

So Melvin Waters was an ambulance driver who was sent to Bergen-Belsen, the camp that was voluntarily turned over to the British on April 15, 1945.  This is the first time that I’ve ever read that there were Americans at Bergen-Belsen.

Of course, I didn’t know either that General Eisenhower had two interpreters at Ohrdruf because the man who arranged the tour of the camp was on a different plane and arrived late at the camp.  And then Captain Liethan had the nerve to write home to his family and brag about being Eisenhower’s interpreter, never mentioning that a private had to fill in because he was late getting there.

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