Scrapbookpages Blog

September 23, 2011

In the news today: dragging a man to death…Where have we heard this before?

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:43 am

I read in the news here that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed on Wednesday evening, Sept. 21st, for the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., a black man from East Texas.  According to the news story, “Byrd, 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.”

There were three white supremacists involved in the crime; Brewer is the first of them to be executed.  When I read about this, I wondered where these three men had gotten the idea of dragging someone to their death behind a truck.  I think that the fact that they were white supremacists gives us a clue.  As white supremacists, they were undoubtedly familiar with crimes committed against the Germans during World War II.  There is a famous story of a German SS soldier being dragged behind a truck by members of the French Resistance during World War II.

Otto Weidinger, the last commander of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 4, Das Reich Division, wrote about the dragging incident in a small 62-page booklet entitled “Tulle and Oradour, a Franco-German Tragedy,” which he published in German in 1985.  I read the booklet when I did some research about Oradour sur Glane. In the booklet, Weidinger claims that Das Reich Division SS soldiers were victimized by local French Resistance fighters who committed unbelievable atrocities against them in the town of Tulle. He justifies the reprisal done by SS soldiers at Oradour-sur-Glane by claiming that the massacre was a legal reprisal against the villagers for violations of the Hague Convention by the French Resistance. He compares the killing of SS soldiers at Tulle to the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre.    (more…)