| 04May2009 | Richard S. Allen

War Crimes

President Obama thinks we’re “losing our moral bearings” because we water boarded some terrorists to make them talk. Other prominent Democrats are eager to put President Bush, former Vice- President Cheney, and various Justice Department lawyers on trial for “war crimes” and “torture.”

Alright, if we’re going to investigate war crimes let's skip the small potatoes of water boarding and get to something we can sink our vindictive teeth into.

As our Justice Department pointed out last week when they tried to deport 89 year old John Demjanjuk to Germany to stand trial for being the war criminal Ivan the Terrible, “there’s no statute of limitations on genocide.”

Of course, Demjanjuk had already been found not to be Ivan the Terrible by The Supreme Court of Israel. The case against him was dismissed. But the boys at Justice never give up. So, let’s give them something to work on.

Let’s start with the U.S. Army on April 29, 1945. On that day the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Division, part of the 45th Infantry Division and elements of the 42nd Infantry Division liberated Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich Germany.

Even though the war was nearly over [Hitler committed suicide the next day] on the 29th these American units were attacking toward Munich when they overran the notorious Dachau Concentration Camp.

The camp commander and many of the guards had left the day before. What was left was some guards, patients in the military hospital, and SS trainees from a separate facility -- which was part of the camp.

What happened next is confusing and chaotic. A German Lieutenant had been left in charge. His name was either Lt. Heinrich Wicker or Skodzensky depending on which source you read. When he came to the main gate to surrender Lt. William Walsh shot and killed him.

Four more Germans came to the gate. Walsh took them to an empty railroad car and killed them with his .45 pistol.

At 11:30 122 surrendering Germans were killed by machine gun fire.

At 12:00 358 Germans, most from the hospital, were lined up against a brick wall. Pvt. William Curtin from the 157th killed them with a machine gun. Edwin Gorak from the 158 Field Artillery saw it and took a picture. Colonel Sparks, Curtin's regimental CO finally stopped his shooting.

12:15 Brigadier General Henning Linden and his staff arrive. He argues with Col. Felix Sparks the Regimental commander. Then he leaves.

At 2:30 Lt. Walsh and part of I Company leave the camp to take part in the advance on Munich.

At 2:35 Lt. (Doctor) Howard Buechner, the Regimental Medical Officer and Lt. (Doctor) Robert Kinsey are the first doctors on the scene.

At 2:45 1st Lt. Jack Busheyhead, a Cherokee Indian, and Executive Officer of I company (The 45th Div was made up of National Guard units from Southwestern states) ordered two machine guns set up in front of the wall -- one on top of a shed and the other on the ground.

Browning Automatic Rifleman was also there. They opened fire and killed 346 POWs. It was filmed.

Two minutes later Doctor Buechner hears the firing and comes to the scene.

Sgt. Ralph Rosa and his medics also arrived. Nobody gave the wounded Germans medical care.

Doctor Buechner in his book Hour of the Avenger, written in 1986, says a total of 520 German prisoners were killed that day.

The 163rd Signal Photographic Company made a film of the massacre. Most of the film was destroyed in the cover-up but individual pictures still remain. You can see them on the Internet.

Despite the books, interviews, and pictures taken at the time the Army kept the official report classified until 1991.

Dr. Buechner was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer. Col. Sparks, whose men committed the massacre, was court martial for failing to control them. General Patton had both charges dismissed. Nobody else was ever charged with a crime.

If Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Levin and Leahy are so hot to uncover “war crimes” this might be a good place to start. I’m sure if they scoured the American Legions and VFW halls they could find some guys from tbe 157th that took part. Or doesn’t slaughtering German prisoners count as a war crime?

Maybe they deserved it. This was a concentration camp, after all. But if camp guards deserve to be killed isn’t it possible that terrorists that fly airplanes into the World Trade Center killing over 3,000 Americans might deserve to have their heads dunked in an effort to find out if they plan any other mass murders?

Throwing the term “war crimes” and “torture” around over trivial mistreatments like water boarding and scaring someone with a caterpillar cheapens the entire concept. It’s also hypocritical in light of other incidents that are far more worthy of investigation and prosecution.

If the worst anyone can say about the United States of America is that we water boarded some terrorists in the wake of 9/11, I’d say the United States moral bearings are just fine. They’re certainly better than they were on April 29, 1945.

[W.Z. There are photographs on the Internet showing bulldozers pushing corpses into mass graves in Dachau. One wonders if these were actually Germans killed by the Americans. Another story claimed that when the Americans liberated Dachau, they unwisely overfed the starving inmates such that they died as a result. General Eisenhower was fanatically anti-German and is said to be respnsible for the deaths of over a million German POWs via starvation and exposure in open-air camps. War crimes ... crimes against humanity ... man's inhumanity to man.]

5 comments to War Crimes

May 5th, 2009 at 12:32 am Reply
We were the first to prosecute people for crimes against humanity, crimes that we defined as being so grave there is no immunity or statute of limitations for them. We prosecuted Vietnamese for crimes against humanity for waterboarding our soldiers. Our government has now knowingly broken these same laws. We are obliged by international law to prosecute or send our officials to the Hague for prosecution. To NOT prosecute is not just illegal, it is morally wrong. To NOT prosecute makes us all complicit in these highest of crimes.

I urge Americans of all political stripes to demand that their representatives uphold their oath of office and investigate / prosecute these crimes now.

May 5th, 2009 at 11:22 am Reply
Mr Allen,

There is a far greater example of the double standard.
Coummunist genocide claimed 100 million in the last century and not one leftist has been prosecuted for this mass of humanity that is far greater than all the wars of the last century.

Duranty and the NY Times were its willing agents of cover up.

The Pulitzer at Columbia University festooned Prizes on those that reported “no deaths” in the “worker’s paradise”.

In fact, this obfuscation probably gave rise to Hitler since the death toll in the 20’s and 30’s included 1 million Amish, Mennonites, and other German colonists that made the mistake of moving to Ukraine a hundred years prior.

The left is still in charge and there will be no justice until we accept the past.

May 5th, 2009 at 11:42 am Reply
This story is a little mixed up. Lt. Walsh was not at the main gate and he did not shoot Lt. Wicker or Lt. Skodzensky, who did not even exist. Lt. Walsh shot some unnamed German soldiers near the railroad gate into the camp.

The story is actually worse than what is written here. Waffen-SS soldiers had been sent from the battlefield to Dachau to help with the surrender of the camp. They were killed by the Americans, who must have known that these men were not the camp guards. Even worse, some of these Waffen-SS soldiers were shoved inside the camp so that the prisoners could beat them to death. Some of the bodies of German soldiers were thrown into the moat around the camp and then the Americans repeatedly shot them just for fun.

Wounded Wehrmacht soldiers were dragged out of their hospital beds in the Army hospital at Dachau and lined up to be shot by the Americans. The Lt. who surrendered the camp was killed later, but no one knows how or when. He just disappeared.

May 5th, 2009 at 2:11 pm Reply
Another “war crime” committed by Americans at Dachau was the alleged removal of dog tags from the bodies of the dead German soldiers and their alleged burial in unmarked graves on the grounds of the SS garrison at Dachau. The American Military occupied the Dachau SS garrison for 28 years and the Germans were not allowed to search for the bodies of the soldiers who were allegedly killed during the liberation of the camp. Today visitors are allowed to see a small part of the former garrison where there are mounds of earth that are claimed to be the rubble from factory buildings that were torn down. The German people are still forbidden to dig on the grounds at Dachau to determine if the bodies of German soldiers are buried there. There were allegedly 1.7 million German soldiers who surrendered to the Americans at the end of World War II and they never returned home to their families. Where are their graves? No one knows, but there are rumors that they are buried on military bases still occupied by American troops.

really now
May 7th, 2009 at 1:38 pm Reply
torture is a crime
many people captured and tortured in the Bush era were actually innocent, it wasn't just terrorists