Massacre of SS guards at Dachau

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Rob - wssob2
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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 14 Jan 2004 08:10

Hi kaschner – thanks for your articulate post.
Does the relative culpability of the SS men shot during the liberation of Dachau really have any bearing upon the culpability of the US troops who shot them? To my mind it does not. The issue of the justification for the shooting - if indeed any such can be found - surely lies elsewhere.
I think Mr. Mills is trying to establish the "innocence" as it were, of the SS men killed at Dachau on April 29th. Refusing to recognize the capriciousness of war and dogged in his determination to apply a more stringent level of moral accountability against American GI’s, he attempts to inverse the significance of Dachau from liberation to massacre, from just to unjust, from Allied victory to American war crime, by arguing that the SS men had nothing to do with the institutionalized cruelty of the inmates compound.

Clearly the American troops involved were in a state of high passion. The 45th Infantry Division of which they were a part had been in active combat for well over a year and had suffered an extremely high rate of casualties. They had just discovered a train load of emaciated corpses, which had clearly shocked even those combat-hardened veterans to the bottom of their souls.

Some time ago I came across a recording on the internet (which I can no longer find!) of Lt. William Walsh, describing his action and reaction to the sight of the train. (Walsh was accused of shooting 4 surrendering German medics after showing them the contents of the train.) There can be no question but that Walsh was , decades later, still horrified and furious at what he had seen, and had no apologies for his reaction.

My point here is twofold. First, given the mental state of the US troops and the situation at hand, it is clearly unreasonable to expect them to have initiated a calm and studied judicial review of the individual responsibility of the SS guards for the conditions they found at Dachau.
Exactly. I’m glad to see that someone else had read the GI accounts about their emotional reactions to the camp which was nothing but a charnel house.
In their state of excitement, revulsion and hatred the US troops can, I think, be excused from assuming, without further inquiry, that the SS guards that they found were the ones responsible for the horrible conditions at the camp and in the train.
Marcuse quotes Pvt. John Degro on p. 51 of his book:"…We came across a German hospital. How comfy those patients were, lying between clean white sheets with no regard for what was going on a few yards away." I think Degro’s quote does an excellent job of illustrating why the US troops became, literally, mad enough to kill. 2,000 corpses- and a few souls still struggling to stay alive - lying in heaps on 39 railroad cars, and literally a 5 minute walk away an SS hospital – staffed with SS doctors, medics, nurses and troops. The SS medical detatchments at the infirmary – did they check for survivors on the train cars? No. Did they attempt to clean out the cars – if not for moral considerations, than for practical, hygenic ones? No. They did nothing. Weren’t even bothered by the smell, which caused the advancing GI’s to retch and vomit.
But second, although the mental state of the US troops guilty of the shootings may mitigate the severity of their crime (if indeed there was one) it certainly does not excuse it.
Ah – but a good defense lawyer would argue extenuating circumstances – such as the horror of Dachau. I would also like to add that

- the 45th division had been in combat for 30+ continious days.
- That shootings were not premeditated
- - that a US commanding officer (Sparks) stopped one massacre in progress, saving the lives of perhaps 2 score of SS men
- that the US 7th Army begain an investigation into the incidents literally within a day of it happening.

Generally speaking, under US law and, I believe, in both "common law"and "civil law" jurisdictions a clear distinction is drawn between murder carried out in the heat of passion (2nd degree) and murder carried out with premeditation and "malice aforethought" (1st degree). Unless killed in the actual act of committing a crime himself, the culpability of the victim for his past acts generally has no bearing on the culpability of his murderer.
In this instance the GI’s would be under US military jurisdiction and subject to the Rules of Land Warfare (Geneva conventions, etc.)


So to my mind the real issue is whether or not the existence of other circumstances absolved the US troops actually involved in the shootings. As to Lt. Walsh, it seems to me clear that he was guilty of 2nd degree murder, ie, carried out in the heat of passion. As to the others, it is not so clear. The young machine gunner in the coal yard claimed that he thought the SS lined up against the wall in the coal yard had started running in an attempt to escape. There is testimony to the same effect regarding the SS who surrendered at the watch tower. In either case, if true the killings would have been justified. The report of the initial investigation apparently thought otherwise, but as General Patton quashed the investigation, a courts martial was never held and I guess we will never know the truth of the matter.
We’ll it’s hard to get to the truth when its covered in a deep layer of BS – such as Ernst Zundel’s phrases like …murdered 560 innocent men in cold blood, deliberatly [sic] cruelly, with malice and forethought" and "wholesale butchery of these innocent Germans" to describe the incident.
But I do think the basic issue is the culpability of the US troops rather than the culpabitity of the SS guards.
Well – the 7th Army conducted the investigation, and recommended that several GI’s be subject to a court martial. Both the 7th Army commander (Haislip) and 3rd Army commander (Patton) decided against pressing any charges, and the case was closed. However, many of the GI’s who liberated Dachau not only expressed remorse for the spontaneous killing of the SS troops, but remained horrified for the rest of their lives about what they had seen there. It seems like those memories were a form of punishment in and of themselves.

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 14 Jan 2004 08:12

The question is, what role did the personnel in those units and offices have in the running of the concentration camp? What role, if any, did they have in the treatment of the concentration camp prisoners? What personal responsibility did those personnel have for the atrocities committed in the concentration camp?
some or all of the SS men who were dragged out into the coal yard and summarily shot were personnel from the units and offices you have listed, and hence quite possibly not involved in the atrocities perpetrated on the concentration camp prisoners.
The SS men dragged out into the coal yard were from the infirmary area, and so there’s a greater possibility that these men worked in the SS medical establishment. And again – according to eyewitness accounts, some of the SS men were specifically targeted and attacked by inmates.
unreasonable, since we cannot be sure that they were in any way responsible for the atrocious situation in the camp.
It is also entirely possible that among the tens of thousands of inmates of Dachau concentration camp who perished, or among those who died on the "death train", there were some who deserved severe punishment. After all, the concentration camp population included not only "good" political prisoners but also many criminals, including sexual offenders.
Mr. Mills is touching upon a theme which historian Harold Marcuse, author of Legacies of Dachau, explores in great and fascinating detail – the "good Nazi/bad KZ prisoner" theme that became common in postwar West Germany and of course continue in the arguments of Third Reich apologists.

Succinctly put (and putting it succinctly doesn’t do it justice – I highly recommend that all forum members go out and get this book), the theme is
a) not all Nazis were bad and
b) b) not all KZ inmates were good.

Basically, it’s an inverse of the perpetrator/victim formula – the Nazi’s are not considered "bad" but as victims of injustice, and the concentration camp inmates are not considered victims of Nazi brutality but as dangerous criminals who might even have deserved to be starved, shot, overworked, tortured, used in medical experiments and otherwise beaten, neglected, degraded and deprived of all human as well as civil rights.

Mr. Mills, in a gesture of apologia unusual for its overtness, asks us to consider that in the great mass of incarcerated humanity at Dachau, or even specifically among the corpses in the death train, there were some who deserved severe punishment as specified above. And of course, the SS personnel killed 29th April at Dachau, who MAY have been quite possibly not involved in the atrocities perpetrated on the concentration camp prisoners were innocent victims that were killed unjustly.

There were criminals among the inmate population at Dachau. They apparently made excellent kapos for their SS handlers. But however asocial, sociopathic, cruel, or violent, no prisoner deserved the depraved treatment and conditions of Dachau. Fortunately, Mr. Mills swings back from the Revisionist precipice with his comment
But it would be nonsense to try to justify the deaths of all the prisoners who died because there were some among them who deserved to die for the crimes they had committed.
That’s right. It would be nonsense.

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 14 Jan 2004 08:13

You are engaged in some shabby work here, which may well be worthy of you.
I dunno – I seem to be doing all the heavy lifting in this thread.

It is immaterial whether the IHR has reviewed the book.
No, but given your "pro-Nazi" comment, it’s funny. And damn if that IHR URL didn’t appear at the #1 rank on Google for the search results.
No doubt that organisation will take from the book what it wants to, but that does not derogate from the worth of the book itself, as you seemingly want to imply.


Absolutely. Did you know Amazon.com and bn.com don’t even carry the book?
The book did not contain an essay on Dachau per se. The comment about the replacement of the existing camp guards by Luftwaffe personnel transferred to the Waffen-SS was made either in the introduction to the book, or in the introduction to one of the essays. It is certainly there, and I have cited its essence correctly from memory.
Great. I agree with you that Luftwaffe men were conscripted into the Waffen-SS in 1944-45. But why am I supposed to take your word for it that Luftwaffe men replaced SS men in the Dachau KZ guard detatchment in 1944? The evidence you cite is a comment in an unknown introduction written by an unknown author to a unspecified chapter of a book that’s out of print. Talk about shabby!

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 14 Jan 2004 08:28

By stressing that the concentration camp was immediately adjacent to the SS complex containing all sorts of administrative offices, you are trying to imply that all the personnel of those offices had a hand in running the concentration camp and were guilty of the atrocities perpetrated there.

You are obfuscating the fact that those administrative offices were separate from the administration of the Schutzhaftlager, and were not involved in running it or in the treatment of the prisoners there.
Set those pins up, Mr. Mills – let’s go bowling.

What does the home administration office of the Totenkopf Division, a frontline unit, have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
The 3rd SS Panzer division "Totenkopf" got it’s start from the SS-TK troops formed to guard the Dachau KZ in 1936. The SS-TK units were formed by"Papa" Theodor Eicke, the second commander of Dachau since June 1933, the first overall Inspector of Concentration Camps (1934) and later the commander of the SS-TK units and the 3rd SS Panzer Division. Eicke, a rabid anti-Semite and National Socialist, codifed the regulations governing both SS personnel and inmates and worked hard to develop in his troops a ruthless attitude towards the "enemy behind the wire." Eicke’s contribution to National Socialism also consisted of a) developing a whole spawn of SS KZ commanders who originally sprung from the ranks of his SS-TK troops and b) developing the "Dachau school" of labor, in which labor was more punishment than a method of economic production – a "school" that caused the WVHA a lot of headaches when they wanted inmates to stop pounding nails into sand and start assembling 88mm shells.

The division, which earned a reputation as competent and fanatic combat troops, kept an administrative office in their old headquarters to handle personnel, pay and administrative issues for the unit.
It was, essentially, the "Totenkopf" HR (human resources) department.

Of all the 38-odd divisions of the W-SS, the highest number of SS KZ officers served 3rd SS "Totenkopf" – 159. (see French MacLean’s The Camp Men


What does the SS Administrative Replacement Detachment have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
Perhaps it was to teach young W-SS lieutenants how to use black ink to sign forms and red ink for feldpost number stamps. It was more likely to teach SS officers on the basics of KZ administration, and was probably affiliated with the SS-Verwaltungsschule. Dachau, as the first concentration camp, served as a school for the art. Of the 990 SS KZ officers researched in French MacLean’s book, 256 served at some point at Dachau – the highest number for any of the camps.
What does SS Garrison HQ have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
Don’t know. BTW my translation may be off. It’s often helpful to have contextual knowledge when trying to decipher these units. BTW aren’t the KZ guards a garrison?
What does the SS Equipment Main office have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
I don’t believe I said "Equipment Main Office" but "SS-Hauptzeugamt (Main office?)" – the "amt" at the end means branch, office, department. However, I can’t translate the unit name correctly unless I know more about it context..
"

What does the Waffen-SS Medical School have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
Dunno. But don’t rule it any connection Dachau nastiness. Dr. Fritz Fischer, a physician and SS Colonel, conducted experiments on KZ inmates at Ravensbrück – specifically experiments with deliberate staphylococcus and streptococcus infections in order to improve on existing combat medical procedures for the W-SS. He was later assigned to a frontline W-SS unit. We’ll need to do more investigating on the medical activities at Dachau.
What does the SS Field Hospital Detachment have to do with the administration of a concentration camp ? (If you tell me that it carried out medical experiments, I will ask for corroborating material; you have already said that it was Dept V (medical services) of the concentration camp administrative staff that did that).
I’ve already set up a separate thread for this, as it is a worthy topic. I’ve already found some interesting information on them – e.g. Dr. Rascher wasn’t part of the protective custody staff but has is own "practice" at the SS medical facilities at Dachau.
What does the Audit/Accounting Office have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
Oh I dunno – maybe pay the SS personnel. Twice a month. Maintain the petty cash fund. Send invoices for the slave labor used at the Wülfert wurst Company. That sort of thing.

(BTW yes there really was a Wülfert Wurst Company and yes slave labor from the Dachau KZ worked there)
What does the Waffen-SS Clothing Works have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
They "employed" inmated to make SS uniforms and insignia. Actually SS collar tabs et. al. "from Dachau stores" are very common on the militaria collecting market
What does a Waffen-SS Procurement Office have to do with the administration of a concentration camp?
Don’t know – again my translation may be off. But otherwise what does the procurement office do in any large corporation? Consider Dachau as the Bavarian "campus" of the SS corporation. And I mean that literally – what does WVHA stamd for again? ;)
What does the Waffen-SS Economic Inspectorate "South" have to do with the administration of a concentration camp? (There may be some connection, since the Inspectorate was no doubt involved with the supervision of the projects on which the prisoners were employed; but its staff was not the ones beating up the prisoners).
You’ve begun to answer your own question there. Remember, from 1942 on the KZ system became a subdivision of the SS-Business Administration Main Office (SS-WVHA) which as the war progressed placed increased importance on using KZ slave labor in the German armaments industries. I imagine that when you have almost 100,000 slaves toiling at the main camp at Dachau, the 50+ satellite camps or leased out to independent factories, you need an office to keep track of them all!

It is entirely possible that individual members of some or all of the above detachments became involved in an unofficial way in the treatment of prisoners. But that was not their normal function, so it cannot be taken for granted that all the members of the above offices and units were guilty of atrocities.
I would counter that instead of W-SS Dachau and KZ Dachau leading complete separate, independent existences (as is commonly belived) they actually had quite a close, symbiotic relationship. As Michael Thad Allen writes The Business of Genocide: The SS, Slave Labor and the Concentration Camps{/I] writes on p. 60
…From the beginning, Oswald Pohl assisted concentration camp industries in the acquisition of properties, but otherwise his role remained almost wholly advisory. His closest involvement at this time was with the SS Commercial Operations of Dachau, small workshops serving the incipient paramilitary units of an SS troop training center also established at Dachau. The were mostly for garment making, shoemaking, or carpentry, and they were separate from the concentration camp, although contacts were close between Eickes units and the center…By the fall of 1935 these "Commercial Operations" were placed directly under the Kommandant of the Troop Training Center.


When inmates are baking the bread, making the uniforms and serving as carpenters for the entire SS installation at Dachau, that relationship isn’t as "separate" as often protrayed.

It was the norm for prisoners from concentration camps to be sent to work outside the camp in factories and other installations, where they came into contact with the staff of those factories and installations. But it would be nonsense to suggest that the members of those staffs were therefore part of the concentration camp system and bore collective responsibility for the conditions in the concentration camps.


This must be leading to the "It was all so very terrible but what could we do?" rationale." If your slave laborer is getting the soles of his feet beaten with truncheons after a hard day at the factory – well, heck, that’s not your problem, is it? BTW did you know the Mayor of Dachau had his own personal slave inmate? And how can you be so sure that labor conditions for the inmates were tolerable? Isn't slave labor - whether in a coal mine or at a porclean works - intolerable cruelty in itself?


Accordingly, it would be unreasonable to suggest that all the SS personnel in the Dachau compound were responsible for what happened inside the Schutzhaftlager, simpy because prisoners from the camp came to the compound to work.




I’ll let Lt. Walsh answer that one:

I don’t think there was any SS guy who was shot and killed in the defense of Dachau who wondered why he was killed, or wondered about it, or couldn’t figure it out…I have a funny feeling that every one of them that died in the defense of Dachau knew why he died."


I wonder if the 4 SS guys Walsh ordered into the corpse-strewn rail car "figured it out" as he raised up his service pistol.


But that was not their normal function, so it cannot be taken for granted that all the members of the above offices and units were guilty of atrocities.


All of Dachau 1933-45 was one big, dark atrocity, until the Americans put a stop to it on April 29th.

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Post by michael mills » 14 Jan 2004 13:38

Rob-WSSOB wrote:
I think Mr. Mills is trying to establish the "innocence" as it were, of the SS men killed at Dachau on April 29th. Refusing to recognize the capriciousness of war and dogged in his determination to apply a more stringent level of moral accountability against American GI’s, he attempts to inverse the significance of Dachau from liberation to massacre, from just to unjust, from Allied victory to American war crime, by arguing that the SS men had nothing to do with the institutionalized cruelty of the inmates compound.
More less than honest distortion from Rob-WSSOB.

At no time did I make any statement about the culpability of the United States servicemen who arbitrarily executed SS-men captured in the vicinity of the Dachau concentration camp. At no point did I address the legal question whether they were guilty of murder 1, murder 2, manslaughter, or not guilty of anything.

The sole point that I was addressing was the claim, made openly by some and more surreptitiously by Rob-WSSOB, that the arbitrarily executed SS-men deserved their fate because they must have been responsible for what the US servicement found inside the concentration camp.

I showed that that claim was unreasonable since there is no way of knowing whether the summarily executed SS men were guilty of anything, as they had not been identified, and could just as easily have come from one of the many units stationed in the Dachau SS-base that were organisationally separate from the concentration camp.

Mr Kaschner addressed the question of the culpability of the US servicemen who summarily shot the captured SS-men, an issue that I did not address. He showed that a summary execution was an illegal act, regardless of whatever may have been the culpability, if any, of the persons executed.

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Post by Dan » 14 Jan 2004 16:32

Quote:
But second, although the mental state of the US troops guilty of the shootings may mitigate the severity of their crime (if indeed there was one) it certainly does not excuse it.


Ah – but a good defense lawyer would argue extenuating circumstances – such as the horror of Dachau. I would also like to add that
Perhaps Rob does not understand the meaning of the word "mitigate".

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 14 Jan 2004 16:43

No Dan, I just don't understand Third Reich apologia.

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Arminiusder Cherusker1
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Dachau guards

Post by Arminiusder Cherusker1 » 14 Jan 2004 20:20

Mr. ROB-WSSOB,
while reading a lot of your postings here and in another forum I get more and more the impression that it's nearly hopeless to argue with you.
For example you call Mr. Buechner a liar, because he told in April 45 the interrogating officer not the truth, but later in his book.
What would y o u have done? He escaped a formal disciplinary action.
For my conviction Buechner was right and if you look at the pictures taken that day, you'll see and - I hope - believe, that there happened a lot of forbidden executions (see the new book of David Israel).
But this wasn't the first warcrime of this famous unit that day.
Some hours before they murdered 43 soldiers of the Waffen-SS in Webling, a little village near Dachau, a f t e r they had surrendered.It was a unit of the 222nd Inf. Regiment. The commanding officer killed
SS-Hauptsturmführer Veit-Heinrich Truchsess von Wetzhausen with his spade with such force that his skull was cleft in two.
If you want to I can post you the names of all killed soldiers.
BTW, Mr Kaschner, was that murder 1st or2nd degree?
Will you tell me and the others this is a "internet legend" too?
You can read about this execution and those at Dachau in "AFTER THE
BATTLE" Nr.27, 1980 by Andrew Mollo.
This is a fact and you may write what you want, .....
Maybe you believe Mollo more then Buechner.
I have a letter of a german fried to Mr. Buechner, dated May 10th 1990.
He says that he met Buechner and Sparks 1987 near Trier/Germany.
Sparks told him, that he shot down an SS-Sturmbannführer with his pistol because he an his GIs had seen short before the so called death trains. He also said - and i think this is important - that they had no briefing be-
fore, that means, they didn't know what was located beside the KZ.
Thank you for posting all those facilities.
Hans Linberger was a inmate of the hospital.He lost one arm on the eastern front near Kiew. He took a Red Cross Flag, went to the door of the hospital and told the GIs, that this is a hospital and that there are no arms. One GI put his machinpistol in his belly and hit him in his face.The GIs drove all wounded soldiers and the staff with the nurses to the street near the Heizkraftwerk. They liberated them -this was usual this days -
from rings, money,watches and decorations and chased them in the yard of the Heizkraftwerk.
Linberger made a report to the German Red Cross under oath, that the GIs opened the fire with a MG. The comrad standing right behind him was shot in the breast and felt over him.He was bleeding and a lot of this blood came over his face, so he looked like beeing deadly wounded. As he tried to open his artery with a razorblade an officer arrivend (maybe it was Sparks) and stopped the executions.
The example of Webling show that the GIs from this unit didn't need a motiv to kill, because they had not seen either the KZ nor the death trains too.
BTW, you always denie that all named units of the Waffen-SS were seperated from the KZ. Please have a look at page 6/7 of "After the
Battle" Nr. 27 and you'll see, that all other units were fine seperated.
Now, who is really engaging in obfuscation here?
For example, look at the Documantary US Massacre of Waffen-SS
29th April 1945 (see posting by Karl. BTW, the 2nd picture (10.55) was taken at Webling).
You are wrong again. Members of the trainingscamp of the 5th Waffen-SS- Division "Wiking" near Augaburg had been ordered to Dachau on the 28th of April 1945, one day before the GIs arrived.
They had nothing to with that what happened in the KZ before, they just had to die.
Speaking about this executions has nothing to do with revisionism, but I thin you will not even believe that a lot of the murdered soldiers - not former guards - were in the hospital as patients , they had absolutely
nothing to do with the inmates of the KZ.
It seems to me, that for you and some few fellows in this forum somebody belongs to the
Faschist-friendly-waffennista-crowd (your words),
if he tells the truth.

Please excuse my bad english.

/Rudi

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Post by walterkaschner » 15 Jan 2004 01:47

With reference to the shooting of the SS guards at Dachau, Arminiusker Cherusker wrote:
But this wasn't the first warcrime of this famous unit that day.
Some hours before they murdered 43 soldiers of the Waffen-SS in Webling, a little village near Dachau, a f t e r they had surrendered.It was a unit of the 222nd Inf. Regiment. The commanding officer killed
SS-Hauptsturmführer Veit-Heinrich Truchsess von Wetzhausen with his spade with such force that his skull was cleft in two.
If you want to I can post you the names of all killed soldiers.
BTW, Mr Kaschner, was that murder 1st or2nd degree?
Will you tell me and the others this is a "internet legend" too?
I really don't know enough about the facts of Webling situation to judge with any substantial degree of conviction the degree of culpability of the US troops who committed the murders, but from what little I have read they clearly offended the Hague Convention, 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. But again, I do not know enough of the facts of the situation to proffer a considered judgement.

By the way, the American unit which apparently murdered the SS troops at Webling was not, as you assert, the same as that involved in the Dachau atrocity. The unit at Webling was from the 222 Regiment of the 42nd Infantry Division (the Rainbow Division), while the unit at Dachau was from the 157th Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division (the Thunderbird Division).

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by Dan » 15 Jan 2004 02:46

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.

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Post by SerbTiger » 15 Jan 2004 03:16

Mr Mills

I had a lot of respect for you and your post until you made the following statement:
It is also entirely possible that among the tens of thousands of inmates of Dachau concentration camp who perished, or among those who died on the "death train", there were some who deserved severe punishment. After all, the concentration camp population included not only "good" political prisoners but also many criminals, including sexual offenders.

So some of the prisoners in the camps deserved to die and be held in inhumane conditions without a trial while the SS guards needed a fair trial before their executions.
Why the double standard?

Rob is right in claiming it is Nazi apologia, you clearly have an agenda here and have shown your true colours.

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Post by Penn44 » 15 Jan 2004 03:34

michael mills wrote: The persons most resonsible for atrocities against inmates were the camp administration staff, members of the SS-Totenkopf. They had direct supervision of, and contact with, the prisoners, and were in a position to inflict brutality on them on a daily basis. They tended to remain in the camps, and were generally not rotated to and from the front or other duties.

The guard detachments, which comprised the majority of the men who served at concentration camps, have to be distinguished from the camp administration staff. They provided perimeter security, and often were not allowed to enter the camp itself; they did not normally come into close contact with the prisoners. Unlike the camp administration staff, members of the guard detachments were routinely rotated between guard duty at the camps and frontline duty (which is the reason why the great majority of persons who served at concentration camps belonged to the guard detachments).

The bottom line is that members of the guard companies, who comprised by far the bulk of the personnel who served at concentration camps, bear overall far less responsibility for the criminal treatment of the prisoners.
Michael Mills, you are incorrect. First, those SS men on perimeter guard were Totenkopf personnel, just like the SS camp officials inside the wire. Second, members of Totenkopf guard companies were frequently intimately involved with prisoners, and committed numerous crimes against them. Who guarded the Häftlinge when they were on work Kommandos inside and outside of the main camp? Who guarded the Häftlinge on the many death marches? Answer: members of the Totenkopf guard detachments.


Penn44


.

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Post by michael mills » 15 Jan 2004 05:47

Serb Tiger asked:
So some of the prisoners in the camps deserved to die and be held in inhumane conditions without a trial while the SS guards needed a fair trial before their executions.
Why the double standard?
I did not apply a double standard, but in fact the same standard to both the concentration camp prisoners and the captured SS-men.

The standard I applied was that not all members of group can be held guilty of, and deserving punishment for, the crimes of some members of that group.

Applying that standard to the concentration camp prisoners, I stated that it would be unreasonable to claim that all of them deserved the harsh treatment they received because of the undeniable fact that among them were dangerous criminals who had committed serious crimes, both ordinary crimes and political ones.

Applying that standard to captured SS-men, I stated that it would be unreasonable to claim that all of them deserved summary execution because of the undeniable fact that among them were persons who had committed serious war crimes.

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 15 Jan 2004 05:55

Penn 44 wrote:
Michael Mills, you are incorrect. First, those SS men on perimeter guard were Totenkopf personnel, just like the SS camp officials inside the wire. Second, members of Totenkopf guard companies were frequently intimately involved with prisoners, and committed numerous crimes against them. Who guarded the Häftlinge when they were on work Kommandos inside and outside of the main camp? Who guarded the Häftlinge on the many death marches? Answer: members of the Totenkopf guard detachments.
The function of the men of the concentration camp guard companies was to maintain perimeter security, and also to provide cordons around prisoners on work details and in transit from one place to another. As I previously wrote, they often shot prisoners trying to escape; sometimes those attempts to esacape were genuine, sometimes not.

But the men of the guard companies did not supervise the prisoners, and did not force them to work so hard that they collapsed with exhaustion and died. That was the function of the camp administrative staff, who exercised their authority through the Kapos on the work details and through the camp and block seniors within the camp itself.

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Georg_S
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Post by Georg_S » 15 Jan 2004 09:16

Hallo,

I have been reading this thread with great interesst, and I have also made some replies, but according to Rob, I was wrong saying that memebers of regulare SS-Div. was sent to Dachau in the final days, everywhere I look I find the information that the main staff of Dachau and Guards left the camp just days before it was libirated, and even the Commandant was captured in München on the same day it was libirated together with his Aide (Suttrop). I don´t know where Rob find his Info that it wasn´t any Wiking or GvB soldiers there ( As I have been told by former members of GvB and WIking and as I ahve read on both the Net and in books), I also wonder how he can say that all was guilty because they where in the camp and was SS.

I have found one interessting photo of some of the executed soldiers, all of them wearing the SS collartab, no one have the Totenkopf Collartab, which was regular for guards of Totenkopfsturmbannen to wear. He also claims that the camoflauge uniforms the SS men are wearing is and excuse that those was made in the clothing factory in Dachau, but I can´t udnerstand why they should go and pick up those camoflaugeuniforms to meet the US Soldiers, in my opinoin these men warn´t ordinary members of the Guarddepatchment of KL Dachau.
I don´t know if I can post it here, because of the deadmen, but I find it rather important to show you people this photo, one of the men seems even to be a member of the "Grossdeutschland" div (Wehrmacht) see he his "Ärmelband".

As some of you have starting to pic on Mr Mills because he have mostly the same opinion as me, I find rather funny that you are accusing him to be some kind of "rightwing extremist" (correct me if I´m wrong). I myself is not a nazi or reightwingextremist (Kaoten) I am just a ordinary guy who find it interessting and want´s to find the truth.
and I don´t find Mr Mills such as it as well.

Rudi I would love to see the list of the soldiers who was killed in Webbling in april 1945.

Best regards,

Georg

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