Massacre of SS guards at Dachau

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Dan
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Post by Dan » 16 Jan 2004 05:10

And the units of the 42nd Division contending for the honor of being the first to liberate Dachau were not combat troops at all. They consisted of a Brigadier General and his entourage, accompanied by members of the Press, whose mission, IMHO, judged soley by the composition of the group, had nothing to do with the liberation of the camp but rather to reap the most propaganda and publicity from it.


Thanks much, Mr. Kaschner. I do not think I am speaking only for myself when I say this has been a very important thread for me.

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Post by walterkaschner » 16 Jan 2004 07:33

Dan wrote:
and I suspect would have been considered a crime of 2nd degree murder if juudged by an American court. That is because apparently one of the US troops was killed in the attack on the village, which could have infuriated his comrades into the heat of passion which would have reduced the severity of the crime from 1st degree to second degree murder.


That is interesting. From the start of recorded history, crimes of passion haven't been dealt with as severly as premeditated murder. Even in the Old Testament there isn't a death penalty for murder unless there was "lying in wait".

Now, what is the time limit involved? Today there is a story about a mobster who shot a man in a night club because he was heckling a singer. If he had gone home and went to bed, woke up the next morning, hunted down that heckler and shot him, would that have been first or second degree murder?

And returning to Germany, if the culprets were minorities who had legitimate grevances against white people (Rainbow and Thunderbird) would that be mitigating? If those soldiers had a history of murder in, say, Italy, before they saw concentration camps, how would that have figured in?

I must say I'm glad that I wasn't a judge back then.


Hi Dan. I too am glad I wasn't a judge back then! Take the case of the fellows from the 45th Infantry Division at Dachau. The killings of the SS guards that took place there were, it seems to me, almost incontrovertibly done in the heat of passion, and without premeditation or malice aforethought. To my mind the more interesting and difficult question is, given the circumstances, was General Patton's decision to quash the investigating officer's recommendation of a court martial justified or not. And I'm of two minds about that.

On the one hand, a trial by court martial would have permitted a full and complete development of testimony and evidence of just what actually happened, which unfortunately we don't and will now never have, and so are condemned to opinions based on isolated and unsworn testimony, untested in the crucible of cross-examination. It could very well be that the evidence could have gone either way, but at least a formal court martial would have tended to clear the air and developed the facts of the matter so as to give us a more secure basis for reaching a judgment.

On the other hand, the effect of a court martial on the conduct of the war is surely a factor worthy of consideration. The units of the 45th Division involved in the incident at Dachau went on to continue the fighting. They were obviously valuable, seasoned veterans and important to the war effort. The effect of the convening of a court martial of personnel of this unit, under the particular circumstances of the liberation of Dachau, could have had a deleterious effect upon the morale, not just of the 157th Regiment, but on the Division as a whole, and perhaps even beyond. Patton had a war to win, and I'm damned thankful I was not in his shoes - although from what I've read of him I think he probably did not suffer much of an agony of conscience in his decision.

As to your example of the mobster and the nightclub, it's pretty hard to believe that after a good night's sleep his passion remained heated enough to support a claim of 2nd degree murder.

And as to the case of a member of a minority having a legitimate hatred against white people (and interestingly enough, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre was Jack Bushyhead, a full blooded Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, who after the suffering that his tribe experienced through the long march of the "Vail of Tears" might have been able to assert such a claim) I don't know of a case where that has been held as a justification for murder.

Certainly, had the soldiers in question had shown a propensity toward murder by their previous conduct it would probably, if judged in an American court, have been held to have a bearing, not, however, on their innocence or guilt of murder, or whether the murder was of 1st or 2nd degree, but rather on the sentence to be awarded.

All of which reminds me of the story of the fellow running through the streets frantically searching for a one-armed lawyer, so that he could avoid hearing "on the one hand and yet on the other" and thereby get a straight answer to his question.

But please believe that most serious cases are so fact sensitive that it is not only difficult but dangerous to try to reach a conclusion on the basis of a simple hypothetical situation.

Best regards, Kaschner

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Post by xcalibur » 16 Jan 2004 18:12

walterkaschner wrote:
Hi Dan. I too am glad I wasn't a judge back then! Take the case of the fellows from the 45th Infantry Division at Dachau. The killings of the SS guards that took place there were, it seems to me, almost incontrovertibly done in the heat of passion, and without premeditation or malice aforethought. To my mind the more interesting and difficult question is, given the circumstances, was General Patton's decision to quash the investigating officer's recommendation of a court martial justified or not. And I'm of two minds about that.

On the one hand, a trial by court martial would have permitted a full and complete development of testimony and evidence of just what actually happened, which unfortunately we don't and will now never have, and so are condemned to opinions based on isolated and unsworn testimony, untested in the crucible of cross-examination. It could very well be that the evidence could have gone either way, but at least a formal court martial would have tended to clear the air and developed the facts of the matter so as to give us a more secure basis for reaching a judgment.

On the other hand, the effect of a court martial on the conduct of the war is surely a factor worthy of consideration. The units of the 45th Division involved in the incident at Dachau went on to continue the fighting. They were obviously valuable, seasoned veterans and important to the war effort. The effect of the convening of a court martial of personnel of this unit, under the particular circumstances of the liberation of Dachau, could have had a deleterious effect upon the morale, not just of the 157th Regiment, but on the Division as a whole, and perhaps even beyond. Patton had a war to win, and I'm damned thankful I was not in his shoes - although from what I've read of him I think he probably did not suffer much of an agony of conscience in his decision.

As to your example of the mobster and the nightclub, it's pretty hard to believe that after a good night's sleep his passion remained heated enough to support a claim of 2nd degree murder.

And as to the case of a member of a minority having a legitimate hatred against white people (and interestingly enough, one of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre was Jack Bushyhead, a full blooded Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, who after the suffering that his tribe experienced through the long march of the "Vail of Tears" might have been able to assert such a claim) I don't know of a case where that has been held as a justification for murder.

Certainly, had the soldiers in question had shown a propensity toward murder by their previous conduct it would probably, if judged in an American court, have been held to have a bearing, not, however, on their innocence or guilt of murder, or whether the murder was of 1st or 2nd degree, but rather on the sentence to be awarded.

All of which reminds me of the story of the fellow running through the streets frantically searching for a one-armed lawyer, so that he could avoid hearing "on the one hand and yet on the other" and thereby get a straight answer to his question.

But please believe that most serious cases are so fact sensitive that it is not only difficult but dangerous to try to reach a conclusion on the basis of a simple hypothetical situation.

Best regards, Kaschner


I think you meant to say "Trail of Tears", which the forced removal of the Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838.

I have read that the Inspector General's report on the investigation into the shootings at Dachau was submitted to Patton after he became Military Governor of Bavaria, ie, after the war had ended.

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Post by Georg_S » 16 Jan 2004 20:26

Hi again Rob!

You wrote this earlier:

"Yep – 2,000 dead civilians lying in heaps in 39 train cars - even some survivors barely clinging to life. And a short walk away, the SS hospital, where not a single SS man or woman – patient, medic, doctor or nurse, bothered to do anything about it – not even so much as to cover one single inmate corpse with a sheet. Yep, they really had nothing to do with it all right. That was the problem"

But what I have read it was two trains which left the KL Buchenwald with the destination to KL Dachau, and what I also know is that the first train was taken care of, but the second train was impossible (tiem or what it may been) wasn´t cleaned up.

I just want you to know.

BTW. I have been looking on your webpage and with interesst of the biographies of 97 SS-Officers.

I wonder where you got the Fritz de Wit from, Just curious, because it´s on your page the first time I have ever seen his name with that "de".

And then I wonder when you have made a mark # which symbols that they was suspects of warcrimes, I wonder is that mark for them which the investigations have started or those who went to trial, because I feel if it was a mark for all ev. warcriminals you should make a mark after Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger who was HSSPF in Poland during the war.

Reg.

Georg

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Post by walterkaschner » 16 Jan 2004 23:36

xcalibur wrote:

I think you meant to say "Trail of Tears", which the forced removal of the Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838.

I have read that the Inspector General's report on the investigation into the shootings at Dachau was submitted to Patton after he became Military Governor of Bavaria, ie, after the war had ended.


You are quite right, of course it was the "Trail of Tears"! What could I have been thinking of?!?

And on reflection, I think you are also probably right about the timing of Patton's review of the investigative report. I don't know the exact date when Patton became Military Governor of Bavaria, but the Dachau liberation took place on April 29, and although the investigation was commenced promptly thereafter, it would seem highly unlikely that testimony could have been taken, the report written and filtered up through the various layers of command in time to have landed on Patton's desk before the War in Europe was over. All of which pretty thoroughly emasculates the thrust of my argument attempting to justify Patton's decision, doesn't it?

Thanks for your keen eye. Regards, Kaschner

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Post by Panzermahn » 17 Jan 2004 06:34

Hi Rob-WSSOB and everyone

I found this photo showing the Waffen SS surrendered the camp formally and officially under the Geneva Convention and should be protected under the Convention but the Americans massacred them anyway or didnt protect the surrendered Waffen SS troops from the inmates who were liberated

Image

This picture shows Untersturmfuhrer Heinrich wicker surrendering the Dachau camp under the rules of the Geneva Convention


Image

Another view

Yes Rob-WSSOB, personally there is another thing regarding your http://www.wssob.com website..I like your website a lot and i kept frequently visit it to check out the newest information..But you had a few mistakes on some of the topics especially on charlemagne division...Please PM me...thanks

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Post by Panzermahn » 17 Jan 2004 06:38

Execution of surrendered Waffen SS troops

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauPhotos/OldPhotos/40thPhotos/Commander


The body of the Untersturmfuhrer Heinrich Wicker after he was shot although he surrendered under the white flag

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauPhotos/OldPhotos/40thPhotos/Body01.jpg

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Post by Penn44 » 17 Jan 2004 07:17

Gentlemen:

I can see that many of you are rather upset over the American killing of these SS men at the liberation of Dachau. As a psychotherapist, your grief concerns me. May I suggest then, that when you die and go to Hell, you can tell these SS men firsthand how sorry you are that they were shot.


Penn44


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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 17 Jan 2004 07:39

Not doing too good a job in psychotherapy are you?

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Penn44
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Post by Penn44 » 17 Jan 2004 07:45

hauptmannn wrote:Not doing too good a job in psychotherapy are you?


What do you expect for non-reimbursed advice? 8)


Penn44


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Post by xcalibur » 17 Jan 2004 07:54

Penn44 wrote:Gentlemen:

I can see that many of you are rather upset over the American killing of these SS men at the liberation of Dachau. As a psychotherapist, your grief concerns me. May I suggest then, that when you die and go to Hell, you can tell these SS men firsthand how sorry you are that they were shot.


Penn44

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What can one say? I like truth... I'm not at all that sorry they were shot. Most probably deserved it and it saved everybody the expense of a sham trial in the course of which most would have been condemned anyway.

Having said that, there's room for hay on both sides of the road.... truthwise, that is.

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Post by Georg_S » 17 Jan 2004 09:22

Hi Penn,

Why I am discussing this as just a matter of History, to now and see what really happened. I am not angry that the US GI´s killed the Waffen-SS troops in Dachau, in some way I can understand them. But what I don´t understand is that the US Gov, or soemone from 42 or 45 US Div. could stand up and make an excuse for the fault they made "butchering" the Waffen-SS soldiers who was around the camp in April 45.
But I have a feeling that it never will happen, it´s like when US fighting against other people (This is not any hatred msg against USA ) like Iraq, when the Iraqs displaying captured US prisoners the US Gov are yelling and threathning the Iraq Gov that the man who are responsible for this criminal act will be punished, but when the US wins they are cheerful showing everything and huminilate even Hussein, after all he was their president.

By the way Penn, I dont´believe in god or satan. so your statement that we are going to Hell have to be a personal mark from your side.

Best regards,

Georg

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Post by Penn44 » 17 Jan 2004 12:35

Georg wrote:But I have a feeling that it never will happen, it´s like when US fighting against other people (This is not any hatred msg against USA ) like Iraq, when the Iraqs displaying captured US prisoners the US Gov are yelling and threathning the Iraq Gov that the man who are responsible for this criminal act will be punished, but when the US wins they are cheerful showing everything and huminilate even Hussein, after all he was their president.


A common revisionist tactic is to relativize the actions of Nazi Germany with other historical events, example, the Historikerstreit of the mid-1980s. Thank you, Georg for providing another example.

Penn44


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Post by Georg_S » 17 Jan 2004 20:24

Hi again Penn,

I have to make a strong remark that I am NOT a so called revisionist.
I do believe that the holocoust of did happend. And I am working a big project making biographies of every Kommandant of all "Hauptlager"

I must once again tell you (and I think Mr Mills as well and the others)
that we are just interessted to know what happened, without any attempts to make it a revisionist matter.

It´s pretty bad that you are judging us being revisionist without knowing any of us. And if people are jumping on other because they feel that the matter must be discussed, without breaking the Forums rules, it´s also bad. I can´t understand why what happened in Dachau on April 29, 1945 is a so hot, is because that some of you feel guilt of what the US soldiers did or what?

/Georg

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Post by David Thompson » 17 Jan 2004 21:12

Please avoid personal remarks and exchanges in posts.

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