TIL that in 1945, General George S Patton, upon the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany, forced 1,000 local citizens to tour the camp to witness firsthand the atrocities that had taken place within.

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> Ike would order U.S. units to visit the camps, saying, “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against.”


Yep. His thought was that they could not say they didn’t know what was going on after that.


My dad came in on UTAH with the 90th. And being part of the third army recounted the concentration camps they came upon. The smell of decaying flesh everywhere especially at the Falaise gap. Piles of shoes and eye glasses and fleeing peoples suit cases. And starving children surely many of them orphaned He really didn’t recount a whole lot until latter in life. I was the last of six children. The first being born in 46. My three oldest brothers and sisters will tell you he was prone to being volatile. And myself in 63. I NEVER seen that side of him towards us. But he would not take shit from anyone. Not a large man but I seen him stand up to quite a few other men in public. So I was the last at home when he started to recount the war that incidentally there was no hollicaust…sarcasm there… They came across several camps. He came home shell shocked with what would be diagnosed as PTSD today. It wasn’t until my teens we becsme aware he began having these nightmares and reliving some things. He told me about house to house fighting. Friends since boot camp being torn to pieces in front of him. He told of several that he killed up close. One was a spotter for a machine gun emplacement. He killed him and took his binoculars… Pretty sure anything of use or value was taken from dead soldiers. He was wounded three times and returned to the front by the army. Blown off a bridge by a bomb from a plane. Sharpnel in his thigh and I belive splintered trees to the face in the black forest. After the bomb blast he had no idea he was married for some days or weeks until letters came from home. He was quick to tell he was no hero. Just a twenty two year old drafted for the cause trying to survive. Of course all this was before the information highway. I really regret not recording him and making a journal. But most of what I did have were lost in hurricane flood waters. He wanted to return to UTAH beach and Europe to visit where they fought and died but never had the funds. I still miss my dad and feel his pain he endured, dead thirty plus years now.


>“A man who said he was one of the former inmates acted as impresario and showed us first the gallows, where men were hanged for attempting to escape…. Our guide then took us to the whipping table….Our guide claimed that he himself had received 25 blows with this tool. > “It later developed that he was not a prisoner at all, but one of the executioners. General Eisenhower must have suspected it, because he asked the man very pointedly how he could be so fat. He was found dead the next morning, killed by some of the inmates….” First off I did *not* see that coming, but also how did the prisoners not know him already? Even if they hadn’t seen him personally, they would surely have noted his lack of emaciation for themselves.


This reminds me of these two scenes in the mini-series *Band of Brothers* where one of the characters (a US soldier) looted a rich nazi member’s house and the wife catches him in the act and stares at him with disdain. After the concentration camps were discovered and the local citizens were forced to help clean up and remove the dead bodies from the concentration camps, the same US soldier saw the same nazi wife struggling to move a dead body, they locked eyes, and he gave her the same look she gave him.