Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 31 Mar 2007 12:59

@David i do know that from before i've read the thread(between Messenger,Agte and Whiting writings to name a few).I didn't mention Peiper for a good reason too as my remark was centered on Malmedy only.
@Penn no deny on that,god only knows who advise these people from hollywood when they do a script.
I would never use a movie as an historical evidence/source that would be highly stupid from my part.
My point was on the different perception the same incident is portrayed by two movies filmed more than 40 years one to another.
I thought it was very interesting to see the mentality have changed and more people are now questionning some established facts from 60 years ago.
It's very unlikely the version of the Malmedy incident of "saints & soldiers" would have been accepted at the time "the battle of the bulge" was shot.
But obviously you may disagree with me,that's the whole concept of this forum.
Thanks for your replies,
K

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Post by David Thompson » 31 Mar 2007 15:00

kamehouse -- You wrote:
I thought it was very interesting to see the mentality have changed and more people are now questionning some established facts from 60 years ago.
Questioning historical facts on the basis of an ahistorical motion picture is always an awkward exercise.

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 31 Mar 2007 17:09

David,
Agree on that, it's a bit like marching upon eggs but i wasn't questioning anything really but just pointing out that some new thoughts(through a movie in this instance) were going through to the general public.To be honest i was quite surprised the Malmedy shooting was portrayed that way as i believe it's generally accepted that this was a war atrocity commited deliberatly by the Waffen-SS.
I thought it was worth mentionning.
Kind regards,
K

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Penn44
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Post by Penn44 » 31 Mar 2007 21:26

kamehouse wrote: ...
My point was on the different perception the same incident is portrayed by two movies filmed more than 40 years one to another.
I thought it was very interesting to see the mentality have changed and more people are now questionning some established facts from 60 years ago.
It's very unlikely the version of the Malmedy incident of "saints & soldiers" would have been accepted at the time "the battle of the bulge" was shot. ...
K
.
Actually, you are incorrect. By the late 1940s, a number of Americans were sympathetic to the SS version of what happened at Malmedy, Sen. Joseph Macarthy, Col. Robert McCormick, founder of the Chicago Tribune, a number of German-Americans, etc., for example.

Penn44

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 31 Mar 2007 22:34

Penn thanks for the info.
I do not contest the fact that some people were going against the tide but as the world understood it at the time of the Dachau military tribunal verdict it was accepted the Waffen-SS did commit a war crime(s)/atrocity(ies).
So i am not so incorrect by saying more people tend to believe another version of what happened(joining the persons you've mentioned) nowadays.
please note i am not trying to say what happened or not during these terribles events,i just wanted to say that somehow the opinion of the average Joe(being one of them) seems to have shifted to a different conclusion than the verdict of July 1946(rightly or not).
But i might be wrong?
Thanks again for your replies,David and Penn44,
K

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Post by Harro » 31 Mar 2007 22:51

Kamehouse, I fail to understand your point. At the time it was accepted that the Waffen-SS did commit a warcrime(s)/atrocity(ies)? Which makes perfect sense because that is exactly what the Waffen-SS did: in this case the Leibstandarte committed multiple warcrimes and atrocities in the Ardennes alone. Whatever "other version" there is now, Baugnez is still a warcrime and that's just one of dozens of warcrimes of the LSSAH between 1939 and 1945. The verdict in 1946 said it was a warcrime it is a warcrime to date.

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 31 Mar 2007 23:09

Hello Harro,
please note i never contested the crimes perpetrated by the LAH (or any other division) i am just saying there was always a controversy of what happened in Malmedy(about a cold blooded planned execution or a nervous trigger happy soldier that degenerated).please note I am not talking about La Gleize or Stavelot.
please do not make me say what i don't say(Denying the crimes of the waffen-SS would be like affirming the whermacht always had "clean hands")
My point(again) is that more and more people are curious and try to inform themselves more.My movie example was just to illustrate that(maybe a bad example after all).
Obviously i thank any reply but don't make me look like i am a bad person.
It's really not my intention.
Regards,
K

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Post by Harro » 01 Apr 2007 16:44

Ah, so thats why I didn't get the point you're trying to make. You said in 1946 it was accepted that "the Waffen-SS did commit a war crime(s)/atrocity(ies)" then you continued that "more people tend to believe another version of what happened(joining the persons you've mentioned) nowadays", being "a different conclusion than the verdict of July 1946". That made the point you wanted to make very unclear.

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Post by kamehouse » 01 Apr 2007 18:29

Sorry if my comments have been misleading and unclear.
I'll try to use my words more wisely next time.
Sorry again,
K

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Dec 2007 16:00

The US Senate hearings and report on the Malmedy massacre allegations are now available online for interested readers:

Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services . . . Part 1: April 18, 20, 22, 29, May 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, June 1, 2, 3, 6, 1949
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/ ... ings-1.pdf
Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services . . . Part 2: September 5,6,7,8,13, and 28, 1949
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/ ... ings-2.pdf
Report of Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services . . . October 13, 1949
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/ ... report.pdf

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Re: Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 19 May 2009 05:19

I just recently finished James J Weingartner's Crossroads of Death: The Story of the Malmedy Massacre and Trial and John M Bauserman's Malmedy Massacre cover both the massacres and the postwar trials in minute detail.

I started writing a review of Bauserman's book - here's what I've written so far:

Often in written accounts about the Waffen-SS and on several threads on this forum I’ve seen statements to the effect that the events that transpired at the Baugnez crossroads on Dec 17, 1944 are too shrouded in the fog of war to even be known. I’ve recently read a gem of a book that pretty conclusively lifts that fog and dispels the decades of myth and misinformation that has crusted over the incident - “The Malmedy Massacre” by by John M. Bauserman.

Published in 1995, Bauserman’s work, published by White Mare Publishing in Pennsylvania, seems to have flown under the radar of most WWII scholars. That is unfortunate. No serious scholar of the Battle of the Bulge or the LSSAH Division should go without reading “The Malmedy Massacre.” It is a succinct, well-written, extremely well researched account of the murder of 80 unarmed US POWs at the onset of the campaign by elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper. I wanted to share some details that the book covers with the AHF community and offer some observations about why this book is a worthwhile read.

Bauserman is a teacher and an expert on the Malmedy Massacre. In researching this book, Bauserman
- Visited the Baugnez crossroads in 1987, 1990 & 1991
- Conducted interviews with the survivors, their families, and the families of the slain GIs
- Conducted primary source research at the National Archives (NARA) branch in Suitland, Maryland, the American Battle Monuments Commission in DC, the Department of the Army Casualties Affairs Office in Alexandria, VA, the Cartographic & Still Photographic Branch & Captured German Documents Center of NARA, the Army War College at Carlisle, PA
- He also corresponded with noted WWII researchers such as Col. David Pergrin, Charles MacDonald, the former Chief of Military History at the Center for Military History, Belgian historian Henri Rogister and British Maj. Gen. Michael F. Renyolds, author of at least three books on the Waffen-SS and well-known expert on the Battle of the Bulge

“The Malmedy Massacre” specifically focuses on the ambush and murder of members of B Battery of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion at the Baugnez crossroads by elements of KG Peiper on the afternoon of Dec 17, 1944. It does not go into detail about the subsequent, controversial war crimes trial, which is a complicated subject unto itself and certainly no stellar example of American military jurisprudence. By focusing on the event itself and providing a wealth of detail based on the war crimes investigation, trial documentation and German and American recollections, Bauserman’s account sticks to the facts as best as they can be ascertained and adroitly sidesteps the controversies that were to cloud the event. It provides a good synopsis of the formation and deployment of both KG Peiper and Battery B, and a factual, almost bullet by bullet account of what happened in that farmer’s field alongside highway N23 in Belgium.

The book includes diagrams of the massacre site, including positions of the fallen and of the shooters, autopsy reports and ORBATs for the SS units and American forces involved.

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Re: Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 30 Apr 2010 04:53

On page 125 of Nigel de Lee's book Voices from the Battle of the Bulge (David & Charles, F+W (UK) Ltd., 2004) there's a lengthy quote of the Dec 25, 1944 Time magazine article about the Malmady massacre. Here's a transcript:

Murder

Despite their other crimes, the Germans had generally observed the rules of war in their treatment of captured US and British fighting men. But last week even that record was botched by the cold-blooded murder of scores of US soldiers.

It was in Belgium, in a sector where the Allies had stood for nearly three months. On Sunday a column of 15 to 20 Nazi Tiger tanks, spearheading the new German drive, cut off a US First Army unit which had only light weapons to defend itself. The Americans were quickly overcome: 143 were herded into a field with a few others the Germans had captured earlier. The Germans took away the prisoners’ watches and any other possession they fancied.

A German officer gave the order to a tankman, who opened fire on the Americans with a pistol. Another German in an armored car methodically sprayed the helpless captives with a Schmeisser submachine gun. Some fell to the ground dead or wounded. A few fell, shamming death. After the submachine gun was silent, German noncoms walked among the Americans, systematically shooting all who moved or moaned.

For an hour the survivors hugged the ground, not daring to look around. Gradually the German tanks lumbered off, and when a furtive glance showed only one left, every American who could run or stagger made for the woods nearby. Fewer than a score reached Allied positions.”

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Re: Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

Post by Jochen S. » 01 May 2010 14:23

Hi Rob,

Thank you for the article's transcript - but what does it tell us? There are some mistakes such as the always present 'Tigers' and taking away of personal possessions such as watches, money or other itmes they fancied. Ofcourse this happened in isolated cases but wasn't common pratice on that day in 1944.

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Re: Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

Post by Penn44 » 01 May 2010 22:36

Jochen S. wrote:Thank you for the article's transcript - but what does it tell us?
It tells us what Time magazine, a relatively high circulation US magazine reported about the massacre at within days after it occurred.

It is rather interesting to note from a historical perspective is Time’s perspective in Dec 44 that the massacre was an aberration of German behavior towards US and British POWs. One wonders whether this the general consensus of American press at the time, whether it changed over time, whether certain American periodicals reported German war crimes more or less than others? As far as I know within the historical literature there is no adequate monograph on the US press response to reporting German battlefield war crimes. If anyone knows of one please let me know.
Jochen S. wrote: ... taking away of personal possessions such as watches, money or other itmes they fancied. Ofcourse this happened in isolated cases but wasn't common pratice on that day in 1944.
You made an assertion. Do you have any evidence to support your claim that it wasn't comman practice?

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Re: Joachim Peiper and the Malmedy massacres again

Post by David Thompson » 01 May 2010 23:43

Let's stay on topic -- the Malmedy massacres and Joachim Peiper.

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