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A few years back, 1945, an unorganized group of Americans converged on a little town outside of Munich called Dachau and relieved the local SS of the custody of 30,000  prisoners.  Strangely, several of the SS did not survive the release.

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Eisenhower ordered that everything be photographed and documented because he knew that someday, others would claim that it never happened!  Ike was a prophet!!

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If you want the true story of the liberation of Dachau google Lt William Walsh. Deserved or not, right or wrong there were murders of unarmed Nazi’s who had surrendered. Several officers were charged with war crimes but the charges were quashed by Patton who didn’t want the bad publicly just before the Nuremberg trials 

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BGEN Henning Linden, ADC of the 42nd "Rainbow" ID took the surrender from an SS leutnant.  Lt Col. Felix Sparks, a battalion commander of the 45th ID had a bunch of his troops line up SS troopers who had surrendered.  There was a burst of fire and most of the SS were killed. Charges against Sparks were torn up by Patton.  Sparks later became adjutant general of the State of Colorado!  A member of my veterans post (now having passed on) was part of the I&R platoon of the Rainbow, and was one of the first into the camp, riding in a jeep. There was also an independent (Black) tank company who came in from a third direction, but I can't recall the unit's number...7XX IIRC.  

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I lost several family members there................  Opa, Tante and a couple of Onkels.

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59 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

BGEN Henning Linden, ADC of the 42nd "Rainbow" ID took the surrender from an SS leutnant.  Lt Col. Felix Sparks, a battalion commander of the 45th ID had a bunch of his troops line up SS troopers who had surrendered.  There was a burst of fire and most of the SS were killed. Charges against Sparks were torn up by Patton.  Sparks later became adjutant general of the State of Colorado!  A member of my veterans post (now having passed on) was part of the I&R platoon of the Rainbow, and was one of the first into the camp, riding in a jeep. There was also an independent (Black) tank company who came in from a third direction, but I can't recall the unit's number...7XX IIRC.  

There has been much controversy over a PBS documentary that named the 761st tank Bn as being liberators of the camp. Evidence that they actually did however, seems to be non existent. They did not arrive until 6 days after the liberation according to army records. The documentary was pulled shortly after it aired but still won awards.

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2 hours ago, Henry T Harrison said:

If you want the true story of the liberation of Dachau google Lt William Walsh. Deserved or not, right or wrong there were murders of unarmed Nazi’s who had surrendered. Several officers were charged with war crimes but the charges were quashed by Patton who didn’t want the bad publicly just before the Nuremberg trials 

 

Was it even possible to "murder" a WWII concentration camp Nazi? ;)

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I lived in New York City back in the '70s and rode the bus and subway to work everyday. One day I noticed a woman standing next to me hanging on to a support. Weather was warm so she had on short sleeves. Her support arm was extended, making the tattooed serial number on her arm visible. Put a big lump in my throat. 

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1 hour ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Was it even possible to "murder" a WWII concentration camp Nazi? ;)

Under the UCMJ, yes.

 

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1 hour ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Was it even possible to "murder" a WWII concentration camp Nazi? ;)

 

Only if reported

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3 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

There has been much controversy over a PBS documentary that named the 761st tank Bn as being liberators of the camp. Evidence that they actually did however, seems to be non existent. They did not arrive until 6 days after the liberation according to army records. The documentary was pulled shortly after it aired but still won awards.

Hollywood's contribution to accuracy fails to impress me much.

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2 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

I lived in New York City back in the '70s and rode the bus and subway to work everyday. One day I noticed a woman standing next to me hanging on to a support. Weather was warm so she had on short sleeves. Her support arm was extended, making the tattooed serial number on her arm visible. Put a big lump in my throat. 

When I was little, there was a sweet little old lady that went to church with us that had the same kind of tattoo on her forearm.  

 

And I've never forgotten the moment when I was older and realized what those numbers had meant.

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Several of the us troops just handed their rifles to a prisoner and told them to have fun.

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12 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

BGEN Henning Linden, ADC of the 42nd "Rainbow" ID took the surrender from an SS leutnant.  Lt Col. Felix Sparks, a battalion commander of the 45th ID had a bunch of his troops line up SS troopers who had surrendered.  There was a burst of fire and most of the SS were killed. Charges against Sparks were torn up by Patton.  Sparks later became adjutant general of the State of Colorado!  A member of my veterans post (now having passed on) was part of the I&R platoon of the Rainbow, and was one of the first into the camp, riding in a jeep. There was also an independent (Black) tank company who came in from a third direction, but I can't recall the unit's number...7XX IIRC.  

In Sparks telling of the camp liberation was an account of GIs ignoring a group of prisoners who were beating a guard to death with a shovel. 
 

BTW, the biography of Sparks titled “Liberator”, is an excellent read. 

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14 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

The cost of socialism. 

amen , may we never relive it , nor our grandchildren have to deal with it 

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I was a kid working in the father's and uncle's restaurant in upper Manhattan in 1960-'61,  and there were a number of old timers who were regular customers.  A couple had serial numbers on their forearms and I finally found out what that meant.   One old man, whose name I have long forgotten, was a concentration camp survivor and once when talking to him about school I still remember his words to me:  "Get an education; that's the one thing they can't take away from you".  

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In the early '80s I was the Music Theory and History Instructor and Director of Business Operations for a pre-collegiate conservatory affiliated with SMU.  During those years I got to know the cellist, Lev Aronson, who was a great performer and teacher.  Held as slave labor from mid-1941 through 1945, Lev was a survivor of the Riga-Kaiserwald system and the death marches.  His nightmare ended with him escaping the Soviet re-patriation system and making his way to the US sector.  Knowing what he had been through, I always found his zest for life to be inspiring.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Aronson

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Not all German soldiers were nazis. Hitler was that good of a salesman. 

I had family in the camps, and fighting for the Motherland. 

OLG 

 

I am in no way attempting to minimize the behavior of the guards at these camps. However we in our anger fail to remember that like the American army most of the German army was made up of draftees who had no choice of assignments. A large number were wounded who were not fit for front line duty or old men and young boys no more than children. 
Was there justified anger of course there was? did that anger justify summary execution that is neither legal or the American way. 
 

I had the honor of celebrating Passover with the parents of my friend both of whom were survivors I will never forget that experience 

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19 hours ago, Smoken D said:

 

Only if reported

So how do you feel about Malmedy

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19 minutes ago, Henry T Harrison said:

I am in no way attempting to minimize the behavior of the guards at these camps. However we in our anger fail to remember that like the American army most of the German army was made up of draftees who had no choice of assignments. A large number were wounded who were not fit for front line duty or old men and young boys no more than children. 
Was there justified anger of course there was? did that anger justify summary execution that is neither legal or the American way. 
 

I had the honor of celebrating Passover with the parents of my friend both of whom were survivors I will never forget that experience 

We should also note that the SS was a primarily voluntary organization unlike the Heer. They were not technically the army but more of a private military unit controlled by the party, Himmler specifically.

 

But if we begin to use the microscope of today to examine all acts of the World Wars and justify or condemn, it will never end.

Did the guards deserve death? Probably. Was it proper for the GIs to execute them? No.

 

Was it justifiable for the inmates to exact revenge? Hard to say no to that. One can certainly understand why they would.

War is indeed Hell.

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23 hours ago, Henry T Harrison said:

So how do you feel about Malmedy

 

You ever heard of war?

 

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1 hour ago, Smoken D said:

 

You ever heard of war?

 

Then you apparently have no problem with the massacre 

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85,000,000 people died as a result (either directly or indirectly) of World War II. That 84 American POW's were shot/executed by SS troops, without mercy or concern for "the rules of war" is appalling to me and most all Americans, but it pales in comparison or the overall consequences of the war. I think that that is what SD meant.

 

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3 hours ago, Henry T Harrison said:

Then you apparently have no problem with the massacre 

 

Not worth discussing here.

I view war quite differently and there is a reason. JMHO

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