By Rick Gordon
America, following WW1, the era of the 1920’s to 40’s was world renowned for gangsterism and violence. The cowboys and Indians of the Wild West were still a recent memory, even some old time cowboys, such as Wyatt Earp, still clung to this side of eternity. Lynchings of 'coloreds' and republicans was also fresh in the collective memory as Jim Crow still hovered above Democratic strongholds.
Come WW2 the Nazi propaganda machine capitalized on our violent and vile tendencies, labeling Americans as hypocrites from an uncivilized society. They depicted us as Jew infested savages.
Back on the "Home-Front" American Soldiers of the Greatest Generation - "Double U Double U Two" have been canonized in the collective memory as benevolent altruistic liberators, which is for the most part a fairly accurate depiction. BUT, however, nonetheless, in spite of and notwithstanding there are exceptions to every rule.
The horrors of the Holocaust perpetrated by National Socialism, although pale in comparison to those carried out by other socialists in the Russian Gulags and Maoist China are forever embedded on Humanities conscience.
It was surmised before the war that the Nazis' were exterminating Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, minorities and dissidents largely in the name of eugenics, while Margaret Sanger and planned parenthood in conjunction with the KKK sought to eliminate what she termed "Human Weeds" via selective breeding and sterilization back in the states, the Nazi branch of socialism had a more immediate solution -which as we now know was to exterminate them like cockroaches in the crematoriums and gas houses of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau and a dozen other death camps where victims were told "work will set you free" .
Allied forces garnered some clues as to the horrors via the fortunate few people escaping Axis control. Intelligence via aerial recon fueled the speculation amongst the military and political elite of the west as it became evident that German prison camps were receiving far too many people, more than they could ever accommodate, even under the most inhumane of conditions. The size of their dorms and extent of their factory exports did not justify the mass of humanity being crammed into these camps only to vanish. Speculation was varied, while some surmised that inmates were simply worked to death, to the later to be validated theory that these were mass extermination camps.
To the common folk back home and their soldiering kin on the battle fronts, not privy or inclined to intelligence related news, the mammoth scale of the Nazi slaughter houses came as a vicious kick in the crotch to their battle weary souls. Second hand news can never do justice to the reality of the situation. It is never as startling or gut retching as those who experienced it themselves. You can gaze at photographs of stacked bodies look into the corpses tortured eyes all day and experience varying degrees of empathy. But the reality and magnitude of the crime will never or could ever be as harsh as the unsuspecting GI - liberators who came upon these camps. The stench of rotting corpses emanating morbid body fluids stacked dozens high. The faces of the emaciated and tormented walking corpses fortunate enough to see liberation day.
The battle hardened rough and tumble bad-ass American soldiers in some cases were no match for the psychological explosion that stumbling upon these killing fields evoked. The brutality and inhumanity of the SS guards in many cases went unpunished as the SS men melded into general population or escaped via other means. However at Dachau one unfortunate group of 35–50 SS guards were unable to escape the well deserved wrath that was bestowed upon them.
3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division of the US Seventh Army, were the first to arrive at Dachau, they were commanded by Lt. Col. Felix Sparks. Years after the liberation, in 1989, Sparks wrote his account of what happened.
The total number of German guards executed at Dachau that day was probably around 30 or so as per Sparks it did not exceed 50. Other accounts claim a much higher number, the actual number will never be known. The truth is out there somewhere - but just as how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, the World will never know.
As I watched, about fifty German troops were brought in from various directions. A machine gun squad from Company I was guarding the prisoners. After watching for a few minutes, I started for the confinement area (the concentration camp), after taking directions from one of my soldiers. After I had walked away for a short distance, I heard the machine gun guarding the prisoners open fire. I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. I then grabbed him by the collar and said: "What the hell are you doing?" He was a young private about 19 years old (Private William C. Curtin) and was crying hysterically. His reply to me was: "Colonel, they were trying to get away." I doubt that they were, but in any event he killed about twelve of the prisoners and wounded several more. I placed a noncom on the gun and headed towards the confinement area.
It was the foregoing incident which has given rise to wild claims in various publications that most or all of the German prisoners captured at Dachau were executed. Nothing could be further from the truth, The total number of German guards killed at Dachau during that day most certainly did not exceed fifty, with thirty probably being a more accurate figure.
Other accounts of the day state that SS guards were rounded up, and beaten raw by US soldiers and liberated prisoners alike. The unit doctor [ Captain David Wilsey ] abandoned his hypocratic oath just as the SS had abandoned their humanity and salaciously took part in the beatings by pouring ice cold water down restrained SS soldier’s backs as they watched their comrades being devoured by ravenous dogs. Other accounts state he did this [also] as they were forced to stand for hours in Heil Hitler salutes before being shot dead.
Medical help arrived for the Holocaust survivors, but SS prisoners were left to wallow in their own blood.
Culpable soldiers of the 45th Division were all brought before a military tribunal where none showed any remorse. The judges advised that they should have taken the SS prisoner which would have ultimately resultied in their being hung. The tribunal suspended all charges against the American soldiers on the condition they were never to speak of the Dachau Massacre to anyone. Then court proceedings and evidence was branded Top Secret and sealed, never to be released.
And so the matter ended. Never to be spoken of. The final participant died in 1991. The doctor who poured the ice water of the backs of SS soldiers while they watched their comrades beaten and eaten by dogs. He left a confession with his will. [ A Liberator, But Never Free New Republic May 17, 2015 I Revealed: American doctor's first-hand account of how he saw Dachau's SS guards being tortured and shot dead by GIs in 'cold blood' because they 'so had it coming' - Daily Mail - May 2015]
There is no provision in American or international law for vigilante justice, but no one cared then and nobody cares now. In the words of Stormin' Norman [ US General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.] "It is God’s job to forgive, it is our job to arrange the meeting"
KKK was founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club and eventually spread to become a nationwide terrorist organization and functioned as de-Facto strong-arm division of the Democratic Party.
At least 3,446 blacks and 1,297 white Republicans died at the end of KKK ropes from 1882 to 1964.
Democrats thwarted Republican Civil Rights Initiatives.
Lyndon Johnson, dubbed by some as the master of the Senate conspired with the Kennedy liberals to credit Johnson for having seen to the laws passage while simultaneously boasting to southern Democrats that he had rendered the legislation impotent.
Democratic Strategists, of whom Johnson was one, realized the importance of the Negro vote and in this light Johnson explained the strategy re: the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1957 to his Democratic co-conspirators:
'These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now, we've got to do something about this; we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. for if we don't move at all, then their allies [The Republicans] will line up against us and there will be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there will be no way of putting the brake on all sorts of wild legislation, it'll be reconstruction all over again' - Lyndon Johnson