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Germany’s War by John Wear, Chapter 9: Crimes Committed in German Concentration Camps

Readers have asked for the remaining chapters of John Wear’s book, Germany’s War.  The last chapter posted was about the crimes that Germany did not commit. The next two are about the crimes that Germany did commit. The final chapter is about WW II lies that created the postwar world.

Germany’s War by John Wear: Ch. 9, Crimes committed in German Concentration Camps 

National Socialist Germany established an immense camp system before and during World War II comprising at least 43 different types of camps. By the end of the war there were over 1,000 camps with an estimated maximum number of 715,000 prisoners in the camp system.1 In the previous chapter we established that Germany did not use concentration camps during World War II to commit genocide against European Jewry. In this chapter we will examine some of the crimes that were committed in the German concentration camps during and after World War II.

Obviously, it would be impossible to know about and report every crime that was committed in the German concentration camps. I will instead attempt to include a substantial representative portion of the crimes that were committed, including crimes committed by the Germans, the Allies, and inmates in the camps. Our examination will show that while numerous crimes were committed by Germany in its concentration camps, most of the deaths of the camp inmates occurred from natural causes.

Medical Experimentation at Dachau

The onset and escalation of World War II provided the rationalization for most of Germany’s illegal human medical experimentation. Animal experimentation was known to be a poor substitute for experiments on humans. Since only analogous inferences could be drawn from animal experiments, the use of human experimentation during the war was deemed necessary to help in the German war effort. Applications for medical experimentation on humans were usually approved on the ground that animal tests had taken the researcher only so far. Better results could be obtained by using humans in the medical experiments.2

The Dachau concentration camp was used as a center for medical experimentation on humans involving malaria, high altitudes, freezing and other experiments. This has been documented at the so-called Doctors’ Trial at Nuremburg, which opened on Dec. 9, 1946, and ended on July 19, 1947. Also, Dr. Charles P. Larson, one of America’s leading forensic pathologists, was at Dachau and conducted autopsies, interviews, and a review of the remaining medical records to determine the extent of the medical experimentation at the camp.

The malaria experimentation at Dachau was performed by Dr. Klaus Karl Schilling, who was an internationally famous parasitologist. Dr. Schilling was ordered by Heinrich Himmler in 1936 to conduct medical research at Dachau for the purpose of specifically immunizing individuals against malaria. Dr. Schilling admitted to Dr. Larson that between 1936 and 1945 he inoculated some 2,000 prisoners with malaria. The medical supervisor at Dachau would select the people to be inoculated and then send this list of people to Berlin to be approved by a higher authority. Those who were chosen were then turned over to Dr. Schilling to conduct the medical experimentation.3

At the Doctors’ Trial in 1947 it was determined that Dr. Schilling’s experiments were directly responsible for the deaths of 10 prisoners.4 Dr. Charles Larson stated in his report concerning Dr. Schilling:

It was very difficult to know where to draw the line as to whether or not Dr. Schilling was a war criminal. Certainly he fell into that category inasmuch as he had subjected people involuntarily to experimental malaria inoculations, which, even though they did not produce many deaths, could very well have produced serious illness in many of the patients. He defended himself by saying he did all this work by order from higher authority; in fact, Himmler himself.

In my report, I wrote: “In view of all he has told me, this man, in my opinion, should be considered a war criminal, but that he should be permitted to write up the results of his experiments and turn them over to Allied medical personnel for what they are worth. Dr. Schilling is an eminent scientist of world-wide renown who has conducted a most important group of experiments; their value cannot properly be ascertained until he has put them into writing for medical authorities to study. The criminal acts have already been committed, and since they have been committed, if it were possible to derive some new knowledge concerning immunity to malaria from these acts, it would yet be another crime not to permit this man to finish documenting the results of his years of research.”

But my attempt to save Dr. Schilling’s life failed. Our High Command felt it had to make a public example of him—most of the other high-ranking Nazis connected with Dachau had already been executed—and made his wife watch the hanging. I did everything I could to stop it. I implored our military government not to pass sentence on him until he’d had a fair hearing, because I was just beginning to win his confidence, and get through to him. Looking back, I am sure that the execution of Dr. Schilling deprived the world of some very valuable scientific information—no matter how distasteful his research and experimentation may have been.5

Dr. Charles Larson concluded in regard to Dr. Schilling: “Dr. Schilling, who was 72 [actually 74], should have lived. He never tried to run. He stayed in Dachau and made a full statement of his work to me; he cooperated in every way, and was the only one who told the truth.”6

The defense in the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremburg submitted evidence of doctors in the United States performing medical experiments on prison inmates and conscientious objectors during the war. The evidence showed that large-scale malaria experiments were performed on 800 American prisoners, many of them black, from federal penitentiaries in Atlanta and state penitentiaries in Illinois and New Jersey. U.S. doctors conducted human experiments with malaria tropica, one of the most dangerous of the malaria strains, to aid the U.S. war effort in Southeast Asia.7 Although Dr. Schilling’s malaria experiments were no more dangerous or illegal than the malaria experiments performed by U.S. doctors, Dr. Schilling had to pay for his malaria experiments by being hanged to death while his wife watched. The U.S. doctors who performed malaria experiments on humans were never charged with a crime.

Germany also conducted high-altitude experiments at Dachau. Dr. Sigmund Rascher performed these experiments beginning Feb. 22, 1942, and ending around the beginning of July 1942.8 The experiments were performed in order to know what happened to air-crews after the destruction of their pressurized cabins at very high altitudes. In this instance, airmen would be subjected within a few seconds to a drop in pressure and lack of oxygen. The experiments were performed to investigate various possible life-saving methods. To this end a low-pressure chamber was set up at Dachau to observe the reactions of a human being thrown out at extreme altitudes, and to investigate ways of rescuing him.9  The victims were locked in the chamber, and the pressure in the chamber was then lowered to a level corresponding to very high altitudes. The pressure could be very quickly altered, allowing Dr. Rascher to simulate the conditions which would be experienced by a pilot freefalling from altitude without oxygen.

Dr. Rascher received authority to conduct these high altitude experiments when he wrote to Heinrich Himmler and was told that prisoners would be placed at his disposal. Dr. Rascher stated in his letter that he knew the experiments could have fatal results. According to Walter Neff, the prisoner who gave testimony at the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, approximately 180 to 200 prisoners were used in the high altitude experiments. Approximately 10 of these prisoners were volunteers, and about 40 of the prisoners were men not condemned to death. According to Neff’s testimony, approximately 70 or 80 prisoners died during these experiments.10 A film showing the complete sequence of an experiment, including the autopsy, was discovered in Dr. Rascher’s house at Dachau after the war.11

Dr. Rascher also conducted so-called freezing experiments at Dachau after the high-altitude experiments were concluded. These freezing experiments were conducted from August 1942 to approximately May 1943.12 The purpose of these experiments was to determine the best way of warming German pilots who had been forced down in the North Sea and suffered hypothermia.

Dr. Rascher’s subjects were forced to remain outdoors naked in freezing weather for up to 14 hours, or the victims were kept in a tank of ice water for three hours, their pulse and internal temperature measured through a series of electrodes. Warming of the victims was then attempted by different methods, most usually and successfully by immersion in very hot water. It is estimated that these experiments caused the deaths of up to 80 or 90 prisoners.13

Dr. Charles Larson strongly condemned these freezing experiments. Dr. Larson states:

A Dr. Raschau [sic] was in charge of this work and . . . we found the records of his experiments. They were most inept compared to Dr. Schilling’s, much less scientific. What they would do would be to tie up a prisoner and immerse him in cold water until his body temperature reduced to 28 degrees centigrade (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit), when the poor soul would, of course, die. These experiments were started in August, 1942, but Raschau’s [sic] technique improved. By February, 1943 he was able to report that 30 persons were chilled to 27 and 29 degrees centigrade, their hands and feet frozen white, and their bodies “rewarmed” by a hot bath. . . .They also dressed the subjects in different types of insulated clothing before putting them in freezing water, to see how long it took them to die.14

Dr. Rascher and his hypothermia experiments at Dachau were also not well regarded by German medical doctors. In a paper titled “Nazi Science—The Dachau Hypothermia Experiments,” Dr. Robert L. Berger states:

Rascher was not well regarded in professional circles . . . and his superiors repeatedly expressed reservations about his performance. In one encounter, Professor Karl Gebhardt, a general in the SS and Himmler’s personal physician, told Rascher in connection with his experiments on hypothermia through exposure to cold air that “the report was unscientific; if a student of the second term dared submit a treatise of the kind [Gebhardt] would throw him out.” Despite Himmler’s strong support, Rascher was rejected for faculty positions at several universities. A book by German scientists on the accomplishments of German aviation medicine during the war devoted an entire chapter to hypothermia but failed to mention Rascher’s name or his work.15

Dr. Rascher also experimented with the effects of Polygal, a substance made from beet and apple pectin, which aided blood clotting. He predicted that the preventative use of Polygal tablets would reduce bleeding from surgery and from gunshot wounds sustained during combat. Subjects were given a Polygal tablet and were either shot through the neck or chest, or their limbs were amputated without anesthesia. Dr. Rascher published an article on his experience of using Polygal without detailing the nature of the human trials. Dr. Rascher also set up a company staffed by prisoners to manufacture the substance.16 Dr. Rascher’s nephew, a Hamburg doctor, testified under oath that he knew of four prisoners who died from Dr. Rascher’s testing Polygal at Dachau.17

Obviously, Dr. Rascher’s medical experiments constitute major war crimes. Dr. Rascher was arrested and executed in Dachau by German authorities shortly before the end of the war.18

Phlegmones were also induced in inmates at Dachau by intravenous and intramuscular injection of pus during 1942 and 1943. Various natural, allopathic and biochemical remedies were then tried to cure the resulting infections. The phlegmone experiments were apparently an attempt by National Socialist Germany to find an antibiotic similar to penicillin for the infection.19 All of the doctors who took part in these experiments were dead or had disappeared at the time of the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg. The only information about the number of prisoners used and the number of victims was provided by a nurse, Heinrich Stöhr, who was a political prisoner. Stöhr stated that seven out of a group of 10 German subjects died in one experiment, and that in another experiment 12 out of a group of 40 clergy died.20

Official documents and personal testimonies indicate that physicians at Dachau performed many liver biopsies when they were not needed. Dr. Rudolf Brachtl performed liver biopsies on healthy people and on people who had diseases of the stomach and gallbladder. While biopsy of the liver is an accepted and frequently used diagnostic procedure, it should only be performed when definite indications exist and other methods fail. Apparently some physicians at Dachau performed liver biopsies simply to gain experience with its techniques. These Dachau biopsies violated professional and ethical standards since they were often conducted in the absence of genuine medical indication.21

Dr. Charles Larson’s forensic work at Dachau indicated that only a small percentage of the deaths in the camp were due to medical experimentation on humans. The profile of the prisoner population that his autopsies projected showed that most of the victims died from natural causes; that is, of disease brought on by malnutrition and filth caused by the war. In his depositions to Army lawyers, Dr. Larson made it clear that he could not indict the whole German people for the National Socialist medical crimes. Dr. Larson sincerely believed that although Dachau was only a short ride from Munich, most of the people in the city had no idea what was going on inside Dachau.22

Dr. Larson’s conclusions are reinforced by the book Dachau, 1933-1945: The Official History by Paul Berben. This book states that the total number of people who passed through Dachau during its existence is well in excess of 200,000.23 The author concludes that while no one will ever know the exact number of deaths at Dachau, the number of deaths is probably several thousand more than the quoted number of 31,951.24 This book documents that approximately 66% of all deaths at Dachau occurred during the final seven months of the war.

The increase in deaths at Dachau was caused primarily by a devastating typhus epidemic which, in spite of the efforts made by the medical staff, continued to spread throughout the camp during the final seven months of the war. The number of deaths at Dachau includes 2,226 people who died in May 1945 after the Allies had liberated the camp, as well as the deaths of 223 prisoners in March 1944 from Allied bombings of Kommandos.25 Thus, while illegal medical experiments were conducted on prisoners at Dachau, Berben’s Dachau clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of deaths of prisoners at Dachau were from natural causes.

Medical Experimentation at Other German Camps

National Socialist Germany performed a number of illegal medical experiments in other concentration camps during the war. Sulfonamide drug experiments were performed on camp inmates because of heavy German casualties on the Eastern Front from gas gangrene and the death of Reinhard Heydrich from a gas gangrene infection which developed after his attempted assassination. The experiments were designed to test the effectiveness of the sulfonamide drugs. The man in charge of these experiments was Dr. Karl Gebhardt, who was the head of the SS clinic in Hohenlychen.26 Dr. Gebhardt stated that he performed these experiments in order to clear himself of suspicion that he contributed to the death of Reinhard Heydrich by failing to treat Heydrich’s wound infection with sulfonamides.27

Sulfonamide drug experiments were performed on 20 male prisoners from Sachsenhausen at the end of July 1942. Beginning July 20, 1942 until August 1943, sulfonamide drug experiments were also performed on 74 Polish women in the women’s concentration camp at Ravensbrueck. All of the women at Ravensbrueck experienced extreme pain from the experiments. Five women died from the effects of the experimental operations, and six women were later executed by shooting. Almost all of the women who survived suffered from physical injuries and trauma, either as a direct result of the experiments, or because of the total lack of post-operative care at the time. The experiments left well documented scars on most of the women.28 The sulfonamide experiments were not successful and were not necessary since similar results could have been achieved by the treatment of wound infections incurred by German soldiers during the normal course of the war.29

The same Polish women at Ravensbrueck who underwent sulfonamide experiments were also forced to undergo experiments aimed at improving the rehabilitation rate of injured soldiers. These experiments involved muscle and nerve regeneration as well as the transplantation of bones. Muscles and nerves, sections of bone, arms and shoulder blades, and legs cut off at the hip were all removed from healthy concentration camp inmates. An attempt was then made to transplant these body parts to other victims. These attempts often resulted in death, with mutilation, disability, and extreme pain resulting for those who lived.30

Dr. Fritz Fischer, a defendant in the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, stated in his affidavit that after applying anesthetics, incisions were made at the outer side of the upper leg. Muscle was removed, the wound was closed, and then a cast applied. After a week the wound was split open and more muscle was removed.31 Prisoner Dr. Zofia Maczka testified that the muscle experiments consisted of many operations always on the same spot on the upper or lower part of the leg. As additional pieces of muscle were cut out after each operation, the legs got thinner and weaker. Dr. Maczka also stated that during nerve operations parts of nerves were removed.32

Dr. Maczka testified at the Doctors’ Trial that “special operations” were performed on mentally ill prisoners. She stated: “amputations of the whole leg (at the hip joint) were carried out, or on others, amputation of the whole arm (with the shoulder blade) were carried out. Afterwards the victims (if they still lived) were killed by means of Evipan injections and the leg or arm was taken to Hohenlychen. . . . Ten such operations, approximately, were carried out.” The affidavit of Gustawa Winkowska corroborated Dr. Maczka’s testimony that whole limbs of inmates were transplanted and that the experimental subjects were later killed.33

Prisoner Dr. Zdenka Nedvedova-Nejedlá worked at Ravensbrueck from Aug. 19, 1943, until May 1945. In her affidavit concerning medical operations on inmates, she stated:

Operations were performed on one Yugoslav, one Czech, two Ukrainian, two German, and about eighteen Polish women, of whom six were operated on by force in the bunker with the help of SS men. Two of them were shot after their operation wounds had healed. After operations, no one except SS nurses was admitted to the persons operated on. Whole nights they lay without any assistance and it was not permitted to administer sedatives even against the most intensive post-operational pains. From the persons operated on, eleven died or were killed. . . .34

These experimental procedures on the women at Ravensbrueck caused incredible suffering during surgery and the post-operative periods.35 The experiments were cruel and inhumane and constitute major war crimes rivaling those of Dr. Rascher.

The high rate of jaundice infections with hepatitis epidemica among German soldiers during the Russian campaign made research into the cause of this disease a military priority. Opinions at the time differed on whether jaundice was caused by a bacteria or a virus. Dr. Arnold Dohmen, a bacteriologist and medical officer, wanted to demonstrate that the causal agent for jaundice was the same as the causal agent for human hepatitis epidemica. Dohmen selected 11 Jewish children at Auschwitz, and then traveled to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp to conduct the experiments. Dohmen told the children that he wanted to test a vaccine against hepatitis that had been produced in a laboratory, and in October 1943 Dohmen gave an injection to each of the children. It is not known if any of the children suffered any ill effects at this point.36

In September 1944, Dohmen returned to Sachsenhausen to carry out his hepatitis experiments. The experiments were significantly more intense than the previous year, and Dohmen monitored and controlled all the examinations, injections and blood tests. Fortunately, the children do not seem to have suffered any mid- or long-term organic effects as a direct result of the experiments. However, since none of the children, their parents, or their legal guardian had consented to the tests, the experiments were a violation of civil liberties and medical ethics.37

By the fall of 1943, strategic bombing raids conducted by the Western Allies on the German civilian population had left thousands of men, women, and children suffering from various degrees of phosphorous burns. To alleviate the enormous suffering of the German population, it became essential to develop new therapeutic drugs and methods of treatment for phosphorous burns and other burn injuries. Dr. Erwin Ding-Schuler conducted the incendiary bomb experiments at Buchenwald between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25, 1943. The purpose of these experiments was to test the effectiveness of the drug R-17 for fresh phos­- phorous burns. Also, two ointments used as a follow-up treatment in cases of phosphorous burns were tested.38

Dr. Ding-Schuler selected five prisoners from Germany and the Netherlands who were deliberately burned with phosphorous material from a British incendiary bomb. Witnesses recalled that the burns were very severe, and that the victims suffered excruciating pain and injury for at least two months. Other tests were conducted in which burning was allowed for 30 to 60 seconds. It took up to six weeks for healing to occur in these experiments. All of the defendants in the Doctors’ Trial were acquitted from involvement in the incendiary bomb experiments.39 It should be noted that while these phosphorous burn experiments constitute a war crime, the Allied bombing raids conducted on the German civilian population that created the need for these experiments constitute a far greater war crime.

In the fall of 1941, Germany faced the threat of a serious typhus epidemic. At least 10,000 German soldiers were already suffering from typhus, and typhus was brought into Germany itself from prisoner of war and military transports. Especially in the overcrowded concentration camps, there was considerable danger of inmates contracting typhus. Since many of the concentration camp inmates worked outside the camps in factories, typhus began to spread to the civilian population as the inmates came into contact with civilians. A safe and effective typhus vaccine was needed to prevent the spread of typhus throughout all of Germany.40

As head of virus research at Buchenwald, Dr. Ding-Schuler gave orders beginning in 1941 to conduct typhus experiments on hundreds of prisoners. The typhus experiments at Buchenwald tested the efficacy of typhus sera of different origins. Healthy inmates were inoculated and then infected with typhus to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine. At the same time, a control group of prisoners was not vaccinated but infected with typhus. By the end of 1944 there had been 24 series of documented typhus experiments at Buchenwald. According to data in Dr. Ding-Schuler’s diary, at least 729 inmates were experimented on with typhus, and at least 154 inmates died as a result of these experiments. Dr. Ding-Schuler was never tried for his crimes because he committed suicide after the war.41

Typhus experiments on humans were also conducted at the Natzweiler concentration camp from November 1943 until two months before the camp was liberated by the French army in November 1944. Dr. Eugen Haagen of the Reich University of Strasbourg initiated these experiments. The Buchenwald typhus experiments had been conducted solely by an internal group within the SS, but Dr. Haagen had the backing of the Chief of the Air Force Medical Service, the Reich Research Council, the Reich Leader SS, the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office, and the Institute for Military Scientific Research of the Waffen-SS. No journal comparable to Dr. Ding-Schuler’s diary was discovered at Natzweiler. The character and extent of the typhus tests at Natzweiler thus remain incomplete.42

Germany also used human inmates in the concentration camps to find an effective pharmaceutical treatment for burns caused by mustard gas. Experiments on humans were conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other concentration camps throughout the war. In November 1942, Dr. August Hirt and Wolfram Sievers conducted experiments at the Natzweiler concentration camp in which they deliberately inflicted wounds on camp inmates and applied mustard gas to the wounds. Other inmates were forced to inhale gas, take it internally in liquid form, or be injected with the gas. It is estimated that approximately 220 Russian, Polish, Czech and Gypsy inmates were used in these experiments without their consent, and approximately 50 of the subjects died from these experiments.43

The Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg also documented that German doctors conducted two experiments with poison in the Buchenwald concentration camp. In the first experiment in December 1943, poison was added to the noodle soup consumed by four Russian prisoners without their knowledge. German doctors stood behind a curtain to watch their reactions. All four Russian prisoners survived the poison, but they were later strangled on hooks on the wall in a crematorium at Buchenwald so that autopsies could be performed on their bodies.

The second poison experiment at Buchenwald was conducted in the summer of 1944. In this experiment five Russian inmates were shot in the upper part of the left thigh with bullets that contained crystallized poison. The thighs of two of the inmates were cleanly shot through and no effect of the poison was observed. The other three inmates all died within 129 minutes after entry of the poisoned bullets in their bodies. The defense for Dr. Joachim Mrugowsky at the Doctors’ Trial argued that the Russians were using poisoned bullets, and this made it necessary for Dr. Mrugowsky to conduct these experiments to find out how much time would be available to administer antidotes to the poison. Dr. Mrugowsky was found guilty by the Nuremberg court and sentenced to death by hanging.44

Sterilization experiments were conducted from March 1941 to January 1945 at Auschwitz, Ravensbrueck, and other camps. Rudolf Brandt described the purpose of the sterilization experiments in his affidavit:

Himmler was extremely interested in the development of a cheap and rapid sterilization method which could be used against enemies of Germany, such as Russians, Poles, and Jews. One hoped thereby not only to defeat the enemy but also to exterminate him. The capacity for work of the sterilized persons could be exploited by Germany, while the danger of propagation would be eliminated. As this mass sterilization was part of Himmler’s racial theory, particular time and care were devoted to these sterilization experiments. Surgical sterilization was of course known in Germany and applied; this included castration. For mass application, however, this procedure was considered as too slow and too expensive. It was further desired that a procedure be found which would result in sterilization that was not immediately noticeable.45

Dr. Clauberg developed further a method of sterilization of women. This method was based upon the injection of an irritating solution into the uterus. Clauberg conducted widespread experiments on Jewish women and Gypsies in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Several thousand women were sterilized by Clauberg in Auschwitz.46

X-ray experiments were also conducted on inmates at Auschwitz to determine their effectiveness in sterilizing the prisoners. At least 100 Poles, Russians, French, and other POWs were used as involuntary subjects in these experiments.47

During the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, Dr. Karl Brandt and the other defendants were infuriated at the moral high ground taken by the U.S. prosecution. Evidence showed that the Allies had been engaged in illegal medical experimentation, including poison experiments on condemned prisoners in other countries, and cholera and plague experiments on children.

The U.S. prosecution flew in Dr. Andrew Ivy to explain the differences in medical ethics between German and U.S. medical experiments. Interestingly, Dr. Ivy himself had been involved in malaria experiments on inmates at the Illinois State Penitentiary. When Dr. Ivy mentioned that the United States had specific research standards for medical experimentation on humans, it turns out that these principles were first published on Dec. 28, 1946. Dr. Ivy had to admit that the U.S. principles on medical ethics in human experimentation had been made in anticipation of Dr. Ivy’s testimony at the Doctors’ Trial.48

Food and Salt Water Experimentation at German Camps

Germany’s food experiments in the concentration camps coincided with the progressively worsening military situation that impacted the health and welfare of German soldiers and undermined the morale of the civilian population. Germany had already undergone a major cut in food rations on April 6, 1942, and this had caused disquiet among the civilian population.49 However, the greatest shock for the German population in the entire war came with the surrender of the Sixth Army at Stalingrad. The catastrophe at Stalingrad at the end of January 1943 sent Hitler’s inner circle into overdrive to avoid military defeat and to feed Germany’s civilian and prison population.

On Aug. 12, 1942, Himmler instructed Oswald Pohl to organize experiments on nutrition in the concentration camps. The goal of the experiments was to identify the cheapest and most beneficial form of nutrition needed by active laborers in the camps. A dietary supplement, cheap and readily available, was needed to supplement the inmates’ food. Dr. Ernst-Guenther suggested brewer’s yeast, which could be provided without taxing the civilian food supply. Oswald Pohl favored a mold-infused egg white incorporated into a vegetable sausage allegedly made from cellulose.50

Beginning in the summer of 1943, approximately 450 prisoners at Mauthausen were fed with Östliche Kostform (Eastern Nutrition), a kind of artificial pâté made of cellulose remnants. As a result, many of the prisoners suffered from severe stomach and gastrointestinal problems. In December 1943, Oswald Pohl decided to conduct a massive three month nutrition experiment on prisoners in the concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. At the same time, 150 prisoners at Mauthausen were again fed with Östliche Kostform, and 220 prisoners at Mauthausen were used as a control group. A total of 116 prisoners participating in these experiments eventually died. A West German judicial inquiry after the war concluded that it was impossible to determine whether the death of the prisoners had occurred as a result of the experiment, or because the prisoners had been suffering from general exhaustion and malnutrition.51

The Luftwaffe had also been concerned since 1941 with the problem of shot-down airmen who had been reduced to drinking salt water. Sea water experiments were performed at Dachau to develop a method of making sea water drinkable through desalinization. Between July and September 1944, 44 inmates at Dachau were used to test the desirability of using two different processes to make sea water drinkable. The subjects were divided into several groups and given different diets using the two different processes.52 During the experiments one of the groups received no food whatsoever for five to nine days. Many of the subjects became ill from these experiments, suffering from diarrhea, convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and sometimes madness or death.53

Shootings and Executions at German Camps

Numerous prisoners were shot and executed in the German concentration camps. Among the most prominent victims were the Berlin brothers Erich and Franz Sass, probably the most famous professional criminals in the Weimar Republic. They had been repeatedly charged with crimes by the Weimar police, but time and again had managed to escape punishment by the courts.

On Jan. 27, 1940, they finally received sentences in a penitentiary of 13 and 11 years, respectively, for crimes they committed during the Weimar years. However, Heinrich Himmler was not satisfied with these sentences, and he ordered the brothers’ execution. On March 27, 1940, Erich and Franz Sass were taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and shot to death. Their execution was promptly reported in the German press.54

German citizens who refused to fight in the war or who undermined the war effort were also sometimes executed in the concentration camps. On Sept. 3, 1940, Reinhard Heydrich informed the Gestapo branches of the “Basic Principles for Maintaining Internal Security During the War,” which stated, among other things:

Any attempt to undermine the unity of the German people and its determination to fight must be ruthlessly suppressed. In particular, any person who expresses doubts about the victory of the German nation or questions the justification for the war is to be arrested. . . . The Chief of the Security Police must then be informed without delay and a decision requested on the further treatment of the arrested persons, since the ruthless liquidation of such elements may be ordered at a high level.55

In his speech on Dec. 11, 1941, Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States and made it clear that anyone who undermined the war effort would die. Hitler states in regard to the duty of every German to fight for Germany’s survival:

But whoever tries to shirk this duty has no right to be regarded as a fellow German. Just as we were pitilessly hard in the struggle for power, so also will we be just as ruthless in the struggle for the survival of our nation. During a time in which thousands of our best men, the fathers and sons of our people, have given their lives, anyone in the homeland who betrays the sacrifice on the front will forfeit his life. Regardless of the pretext with which an attempt is made to disrupt the German front, undermine the will to resist of our people, weaken the authority of the regime, or sabotage the achievements of the homeland, the guilty person will die.56

In this regard, several well-known members of the German resistance, including Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Adm. Wilhelm Canaris, were hanged in Flossenbuerg camp on April 9, 1945.57 Max Schlichting, a coal worker who had briefly been a member of the Communist party in the Weimar Republic, was sentenced to death for merely expressing to a soldier in a public restroom his doubts that Germany would win the war. Schlichting was quickly condemned to death and executed on March 24, 1945.58

Some of the executions in the concentration camps were unquestionably legal under German law. Georg Elser, for example, was shot in the Dachau concentration camp on April 9, 1945, for his attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler on Nov. 8, 1939. Elser had attempted to assassinate Hitler with a bomb, but was unsuccessful because Hitler finished his speech early and left the building before the bomb exploded. The bomb killed at least seven persons and wounded 63 others. Elser’s execution was legal based on his mass murder of seven innocent people.59

German concentration camps were also sometimes used to execute participants in anti-German partisan activities. For example, 236 supporters and providers of safe houses for the parachutists who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich in 1942 were taken to the Mauthausen concentration camp and executed.60

Heinrich Himmler also made it clear that any prisoner attempting to escape a concentration camp was to be shot. Himmler stated in his speech to Wehrmacht officers in January 1937: “The camps are surrounded with barbed wire, with an electric fence. If anybody enters a banned zone or goes where he is not supposed to, he will be shot. If anybody makes even the slightest attempt to flee from his workplace, for example while working on a moor or on building a road, he will be shot.”61

Himmler’s instructions were strictly enforced. On March 9, 1944, a group of 53 Soviet prisoners at Mittelbau-Dora attempted to escape after killing a few SS guards. All of the Soviet prisoners were hunted down and brutally murdered. The SS then allegedly began to liquidate other mostly Russian and Polish prisoners in mass executions: 57 on March 11 and 30 each on March 21 and 22, plus smaller numbers on other days. At least once, the overhead crane that erected the V-2s for vertical checkout was used to hang prisoners.62

The book Dachau, 1933-1945: The Official History by Paul Berben documents certain executions performed at Dachau during the war. The book provides the names of 31 Russian officers shot on Feb. 22, 1944, and 90 Russian officers shot on Sept. 4, 1944, at the crematorium in Dachau.63 The book also documents executions of an additional 135 inmates at Dachau during the war.64

It should be noted that the Soviet prisoners who were shot in the German concentration camps would have been sent back to the Soviet Union. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to repatriate “without exception and by force if necessary” all former Soviet prisoners of war. Stalin himself had publicly warned that “in Hitler’s camps there are no Russian prisoners of war, only Russian traitors and we shall do away with them when the war is over.”65

Many of the Soviet prisoners at German camps who were to be repatriated to the Soviet Union after the war begged to be shot on the spot rather than be delivered into the hands of the Soviet NKVD. Other Soviet prisoners at German camps committed suicide so as not to be tortured and executed by the Soviets. A shock force of 500 American and Polish guards was required at Dachau to forcibly repatriate the first group of Soviet prisoners to the Soviet Union. What followed is described in a report submitted to Robert Murphy:

Conforming to agreements with the Soviets, an attempt was made to entrain 399 former Russian soldiers who had been captured in German uniform, from the assembly center at Dachau on Saturday, January 19 [1946].

All of these men refused to entrain. They begged to be shot. They resisted entrainment by taking off their clothing and refusing to leave their quarters. It was necessary to use tear-gas and some force to drive them out. Tear-gas forced them out of the building into the snow where those who had cut and stabbed themselves fell exhausted and bleeding in the snow. Nine men hanged themselves and one had stabbed himself to death and one other who had stabbed himself subsequently died; while 20 others are still in the hospital from self-inflicted wounds. The entrainment was finally effected of 368 men who were set off accompanied by a Russian liaison officer on a train carrying American guards. Six men escaped en route.66

The report ended: “The incident was shocking. There is considerable dissatisfaction on the part of the American officers and men that they are being required by the American Government to repatriate these Russians. . . .”67 Thus, for most Soviet prisoners of war, being shot in a German concentration camp was far preferable to being tortured and executed on their return to the Soviet Union.

Other Crimes Committed at German Camps

In October 1940, Hitler ordered that concentration camp inmates and convicts be used to neutralize and dispose of Allied bombs which had not detonated. Work in the bomb squads was extremely dangerous for the largely untrained prisoners, and many prisoners were blown to pieces by the bombs. It is impossible to know how many prisoners were killed in these operations during the war. The Reich Ministry of Justice stated that more than 3,000 bombs had been defused by July 1942, and that 27 prisoners were already dead from these operations. Fatalities were certainly much higher in the following years as the Allied air attacks intensified. Since most prisoners did not volunteer for this extremely dangerous assignment, the use of inmates to defuse Allied bombs which had not detonated should constitute a war crime.68

Some German Commandants were corrupt and were dealt with by German authorities. For example, Karl Koch, the first Commandant of Buchenwald, ran Buchenwald from 1937 until early 1942 when he was transferred to Majdanek. Koch was a brutal and greedy administrator who enriched himself with valuables stolen from the inmates. Together with Dr. Waldemar Hoven and the Communist underground camp organization, Koch murdered many inmates to cover up his thefts. Koch was eventually charged by an SS court with committing murder and theft, and was found guilty and executed.69

The SS punished many additional of its members for their conduct while serving in the concentration camps. Two German Commandants at Herzogenbusch, Karl Chmielewski and Adam Gruenewald, were placed on trial and found guilty of the deaths of prisoners as a result of their brutality. Chmielewski ended the war as an inmate in the Dachau concentration camp, and later received a life sentence of hard labor after the war. Gruenewald received a sentence of 15 years but was then pardoned, and died in battle at the end of the war. The SS tried a total of 700 staff members throughout the course of the Third Reich because of improper conduct toward inmates.70

A category of political prisoners labeled NN (abbreviation of Nacht und Nebel—night and fog) were imprisoned pursuant to a decree dated Dec. 7, 1941. People who had not been tried but who were deemed a threat to Germany were dispatched to prisons or to concentration camps and subjected to particularly severe treatment. Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel justified their imprisonment due to an increase in the number of attacks by Communists and other elements hostile to Germany in occupied Europe following the start of the Russian campaign. These NN prisoners were forbidden any correspondence with family or friends; they would disappear into “night and fog.”71

One of the principal NN camps was Natzweiler-Struthof in Alsace, which was designed to make suspected Resistance fighters disappear from public awareness. The Germans used prisoners throughout the Natzweiler-Struthof camp system as slave laborers to produce arms and to construct underground manufacturing facilities. Dr. August Hirt also performed medical experiments on Jews and gypsies within the camp. The camp was evacuated in early September 1944 and was first discovered by the Allies on Nov. 23, 1944.72

At the end of April 1944, a total of 5,289 NN prisoners were held in German penal institutions.73 Beginning in late 1944, several thousand NN prisoners were transported to the concentration camps. For example, from October 1944 onwards, about 1,600 French, Belgian, and Dutch prisoners were transferred from penal institutions to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Lower Silesia. The NN prisoners arrived in a weakened state, and by the time Gross-Rosen was evacuated in early 1945 a large number of the NN inmates were reportedly dead.74

The German military collapse at the beginning of 1945 led to the worst conditions and treatment of concentration camp inmates during the war. Conditions in the concentration camps deteriorated drastically as the number of prisoners grew and supplies dried up. As the Allied armed forces advanced into Germany, the Germans evacuated the concentration camps and prisons to prevent the inmates from being freed. Typically the camps were evacuated just weeks and even days before the camps were liberated by the Allies. Prisoners were often put on trains in the dead of winter without adequate food or sanitation facilities, and many prisoners were forced to march long distances in freezing weather to another camp. The result was the death of tens of thousands of prisoners from starvation, freezing to death, disease, and shooting by guards on what became death marches to the new German concentration camps.75

The working conditions of the prisoners in the German concentration camps also worsened dramatically during the last months of the war. Particularly dreadful were the conditions in the Mittelbau-Dora camp complex near Nordhausen, where prisoners had been forced to work in huge underground tunnels assembling V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets. Between mid-January and mid-February 1945 the number of prisoners at the main Mittelbau-Dora camp increased by 50%. The housing provision was primitive, and death due to undernourishment and disease was common.76 When the U.S. Third Army liberated Nordhausen on April 11, 1945, it came upon 3,000 corpses and more than 700 barely surviving inmates. Already subject to starvation and disease, the prisoners had also suffered numerous casualties from American bombings the week before.77

Albert Speer acknowledged that the living conditions for inmates working on the V-2 rocket had been atrocious. Speer states: “The conditions for these prisoners were in fact barbarous, and a sense of profound involvement and personal guilt seizes me whenever I think about them. As I learned from the overseers after the inspection was over, the sanitary conditions were inadequate, disease rampant; the prisoners were quartered right there in the damp caves, and as a result the mortality among them was extraordinarily high.”78

Mauthausen in Austria was another German concentration camp in which the working conditions were horrible. The camp was located near a quarry which was a principal supplier of paving stones for Vienna and other cities. Stone cutting and hauling is a strenuous occupation in the best of circumstances, but at Mauthausen the work was especially arduous. Most of the labor in the quarry was done with pick and axe, and prisoners hauled heavy chunks of granite on their backs up 186 steps that connected the camp to the quarry. Conditions at Mauthausen got even worse after the evacuation of Auschwitz, when thousands of Hungarian Jews were sent to Mauthausen and its sub-camps. Marched through the winter without adequate clothing and food, prisoners who survived to enter Mauthausen were usually in desperate physical and psychological condition.79

Mauthausen also spawned an especially brutal system of close to 50 sub-camps. The major sub-camps were Gusen and Ebensee. In addition to quarry work, inmates at Gusen built underground armament factories for the production of machine guns and other weaponry, as well as fuselages for Messerschmidt aircraft. Ebensee was created in 1943 to provide labor for the construction of underground factory tunnels. Both sub-camps in 1945 became end-destinations for dying transported workers from other camps. By the end of the war conditions at Mauthausen and its satellite camps were so bad that every day hundreds of prisoners died from exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, typhus, and other diseases.80

Although some inmates in the German concentration camps were beaten, the incidence of beatings could vary greatly from camp to camp. For example, Anna Fest, who involuntarily joined the SS in the fall of 1944, said that she saw German guards beat female inmates at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. She was warned to stay seated and look away to avoid getting in trouble. Fest also says that in 1945 some of the guards at a work camp in Soemmerda would not allow local townspeople to give food to obviously hungry prisoners.81

Fest was transferred in late 1944 from Ravensbrueck to a work camp near Allendorf under the jurisdiction of Buchenwald. She described the Allendorf camp commandant, SS-Hauptscharfuehrer Arthur Wuttke, as being a very humane person. Fest’s account is in accord with the anti-Nazi book The Work Slaves of Nobel Dynamite, which also ascribes to Wuttke “a certain humanity.” Quoting documents provided by the Red Cross, this book says “with few exceptions, all the Hungarian women survived the slave work in Allendorf.”82

National Socialist Germany also discriminated against Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their pacifist religious beliefs. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses steadfastly rejected military service during the war, an estimated 6,000 of them were arrested and forced to live in the concentration camps. Hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses died in camps and prisons due to abuse, overwork, and sometimes outright execution.83

Some German camps reportedly had devices used to torture inmates. These were used both by Germans during the war and by the Allies after the war. Robert Murphy states: “On another occasion we were informed that a Nazi torture camp, equipped with devices to extort confessions, was still operating under American auspices. A zealous American Intelligence officer had found out how effectively Nazi devices persuaded Nazis to confess their own misdeeds, and he was chagrined when ordered to close down this establishment.”84

Crimes Committed by Communist Inmates at Buchenwald

In addition to crimes committed by Germans, many of the crimes committed against Buchenwald inmates were by the underground Communist camp organization that gained almost total control of Buchenwald after 1943. This situation was reported in a U.S. Army intelligence document dated April 24, 1945, entitled Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report. The confidential report noted that as large numbers of inmates began arriving at Buchenwald during the war, the understaffed SS had to turn over an ever larger share of camp administration to the inmates themselves. By 1943 the well-organized and disciplined Communist inmate organization had obtained almost total control of Buchenwald’s internal operation. The report states:

The trusties had wide powers over their fellow inmates. At first they were drawn almost exclusively from the German criminals. This period lasted until 1942. But gradually the Communists began to gain control of this organization. They were the oldest residents, with records of 10-12 years in the concentration camps. . . . They clung together with remarkable tenacity, whereas the criminal elements were simply out for their own individual welfare and had little group cohesiveness. The Communists maintained excellent discipline and received a certain amount of direction from outside the camp. They had brains and technical qualifications for running the various industries established at the camp.

Their advances were not made without resistance from the criminals, but gradually the criminals were eliminated from power, partly by intimidation, partly with the aid of the SS. Numbers of the criminals were killed by beatings, hangings, or injections of phenol into the heart or of air or milk in the veins. The injections were a specialty of the camp doctor, who became a partisan of the Communist faction.

Besides the top positions in the trusty organization, there were a number of key Communist strongholds in the administration of the camp. One was the food supply organization, through which favored groups received reasonable rations while others were brought to the starvation level. A second was the hospital, staffed almost exclusively by Communists. Its facilities were largely devoted to caring for members of their party. . . . Another Communist stronghold was the Property Room. . . . Each German trusty obtained good clothing and numerous other valuables. The Communists of Buchenwald, after ten or twelve years in concentration camps, are dressed like prosperous business men. Some affect leather jackets and little round caps reminiscent of the German navy, apparently the uniform of revolution.85

As a result of all this: “The trusties, who in time became almost exclusively Communist Germans, had the power of life and death over all other inmates. They could sentence a man or group to almost certain death. . . . The Communist trusties were directly responsible for a large part of the brutalities committed at Buchenwald.”86

The report states that Dr. Waldemar Hoven, the Buchenwald physician, had been a Communist ally who killed numerous criminal and anti-Communist political prisoners with lethal injections. The SS tried and convicted Dr. Hoven for murder, but he was reprieved after 18 months in jail because of the wartime shortage of doctors. The Communists tried to protect Dr. Hoven after the war; however, he was sentenced to death by a U.S. military tribunal and executed in 1948.87

The report mentions that the Communists in Buchenwald killed large numbers of Polish inmates who refused to submit to their rule. The Communists also forced French inmates to give up thousands of Red Cross parcels. Communists in Buchenwald maintained close relations with the well-organized underground Communist party on the outside. The report states: “From Buchenwald an inmate went out regularly to establish contact with a Communist courier bringing news and instructions. Bound by his loyalty to the Party, the contact man never made use of his opportunity to escape personally.”88

The Communist Buchenwald inmates had a military organization that had three machine guns, 50 rifles, and a number of hand grenades. Ernst Federn, a Jewish former Buchenwald inmate, explained after the war how the Communist camp organization eliminated opponents and undesirables. Federn recalled that Emil Carlebach, the leader of the Jewish section of the Communist camp organization, “declared quite frankly that for him only his [Communist] friends counted, that everybody else might as well perish.” Federn reported that he witnessed Carlebach order one murder and commit another murder while Federn was an inmate at Buchenwald.89

Similarly, an Englishman who spent 15 months in Buchenwald reported after the war that the Communist camp organization did not consider non-Communist Jewish inmates particularly worth trying to keep alive.90

Allied Crimes Committed Upon Liberation of German Camps

Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, by the I Company of the Third Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th (Thunderbird) Division, which was part of the Seventh Army of the United States.91 Soldiers who liberated Dachau saw a trainload of dead bodies, horrific scenes of sick and dying prisoners, piles of dead bodies strewn around the camp, and smelled a stench in the air from the rotting dead corpses. A soldier writing home about what he had seen at Dachau states: “No matter how terrible, revolting or horrible any newspaper reports are about Dachau; no matter how unreal or fantastic any pictures of it may seem, believe me, they can never half way tell the truth about this place. It is something I will never forget.”92

It was in this environment that American troops committed the mass murder of the German guards at Dachau. The German roll call morning report of April 29, 1945, stated that 560 German guards were stationed at Dachau on the day it was liberated by American troops. This figure of 560 was reported by Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky and a Swiss Red Cross official when they attempted to surrender the camp to American forces. Almost all of the 560 German guards at Dachau were murdered by the end of the day.93

About 10 SS guards managed to escape by disguising themselves as inmates. However, they were quickly discovered and either shot, beaten to death, or taken prisoner. Approximately another 10 soldiers at Dachau were shot in the guard towers while attempting to man machine guns. Along with perhaps 20 more guards who tried to resist or escape, they are the only guards who can be classified as killed in combat. All of the remaining 520 guards at Dachau were murdered in one way or another.94

Escaped or released inmates seeking revenge executed approximately 40 guards. The inmates used weapons obtained from American soldiers or taken from fallen SS troops to kill the German guards.95 Jack Hallett, one of Dachau’s liberators, stated in regard to these executions: “Control was gone after the sights we saw, and the men were deliberately wounding guards that were available and then turned them over to the prisoners and allowing them to take their revenge on them. And, in fact, you’ve seen the picture where one of the soldiers gave one of the inmates a bayonet and watched him behead the man. It was a pretty gory mess. A lot of the guards were shot in the legs so they couldn’t move.”96

Approximately another 122 German guards were shot on the spot by American forces. This number includes Lt. Skodzensky, the newly arrived Camp Commander who was stationed at Dachau while recovering from wounds sustained at the Russian front. Eventually the situation was brought under control and the 358 surviving guards were rounded up and herded into an enclosed area and placed under guard. However, a machine gunner from M Company nicknamed “Birdeye” lost control and used a .30 caliber machine gun to murder 12 more German soldiers. This left 346 surviving German guards at Dachau.97

American Lt. Jack Bushyhead was left in charge to guard the remaining German prisoners. Acting with what he believed to be compelling justification, Bushyhead lined up the remaining German guards along a high brick wall and disposed of them with bursts of machine gun fire. He then allowed three or four liberated inmates the satisfaction of completing the execution.

First Lt. Howard A. Buechner later asked Bushyhead why he had allowed the mass murder of the remaining German guards. Bushyhead, who was an American Indian, said that he and his ancestors had always known discrimination, persecution, and injustice without retribution. When in Dachau he saw death and atrocities far beyond human comprehension, he became an instrument of vengeance. Lt. Bushyhead claimed full responsibility for the murder of the German guards at Dachau.98

Accusations were drawn up against at least four officers and five enlisted men for the murder of the German guards at Dachau. Lt. Bushyhead was accused of violating the rules of the Geneva Convention, which protect prisoners of war regardless of atrocities they may have committed. The following is a report of how Gen. Patton handled the illegal American execution of the Dachau guards:

After a brief interchange, Patton ordered every officer, who had participated in the Dachau investigation to report to his office. He also demanded that they bring every document and photograph which they had collected. He then asked if they had placed every scrap of evidence in his hands. When assured that nothing had been withheld, he dumped all the papers into a metal wastebasket, asked for a cigarette lighter and personally applied the flame to the documents. The charges against Lieutenant Bushyhead had been dismissed. But, of greater importance, with this act, the written records of the executions at Dachau were stricken forever from the annals of military history. The incident would remain alive only in the minds of men, and here it was buried for more than 40 years. Officially, the hour of the Avenger had never occurred.99

The court martial charges were dropped and all records of the mass murder of the German guards at Dachau were destroyed. Gen. Patton had decided that to pursue the matter further would have led to adverse publicity. One of the tragedies of this episode is that most of the German guards who were killed were a hastily assembled group of replacements for guards who had fled Dachau. These replacement guards at Dachau were innocent of wrongdoing and should never have been murdered.100

Similar to Dachau, the American troops who liberated Buchenwald saw horrific scenes of sick and dying prisoners with piles of dead bodies strewn around the camp. Following the takeover of Buchenwald by American troops on April 11, 1945, approximately 80 German guards and camp functionaries were murdered. Most of these deaths occurred when inmates brutally beat the Germans to death with the aid and encouragement of American soldiers.101 Approximately 20 to 30 American soldiers took turns beating six young German guards to death.102 Buchenwald inmates were also allowed to use American jeeps to drive to Weimar, where they looted and randomly killed German civilians.103 None of the murdered German civilians at Weimar had been responsible for any crimes committed at the Buchenwald camp.

The British troops who liberated Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945, also lost no time mistreating the SS camp personnel. Most of the German guards were beaten with rifle butts, kicked, stabbed with bayonets, shot, or worked to death.104 The British liberators in an act of revenge expelled the residents of the nearby town of Bergen, and then permitted the camp inmates to loot the houses and buildings. Much of the town of Bergen was set on fire.105 As with the vandalized and murdered civilians at Weimar, none of the residents at Bergen were responsible for any crimes committed at the Bergen-Belsen camp.

British journalist Alan Moorehead described the treatment of some of the camp personnel at Bergen-Belsen shortly after the British takeover of the camp:

As we approached the cells of the SS guards, the [British] sergeant’s language became ferocious. . . . The sergeant unbolted the first door and . . . strode into the cell, jabbing a metal spike in front of him. “Get up”, he shouted. “Get up. Get up, you dirty bastards.” There were half a dozen men lying or half lying on the floor. One or two were able to pull themselves erect at once. The man nearest me, his shirt and face splattered with blood, made two attempts before he got on to his knees and then gradually on to his feet. He stood with his arms stretched out in front of him, trembling violently.

Come on. Get up” the sergeant shouted [in the next cell]. The man was lying in his blood on the floor, a massive figure with a heavy head and bedraggled beard. . . . “Why don’t you kill me?” he whispered. “Why don’t you kill me? I can’t stand it anymore.” The same phrases dribbled out of his lips over and over again. “He’s been saying that all morning, the dirty bastard,” the sergeant said.106

As at Dachau, none of the Allied soldiers who committed atrocities at Buchenwald or Bergen-Belsen were ever punished for their crimes.

Postwar Crimes Committed in Allied-Run Camps

The Allies continued to operate Germany’s existing concentration camps after World War II. Additional camps to intern ethnic Germans were established in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The existence and operation of these postwar camps is a matter of major historical significance. While the population of the German concentration camp system had grown from approximately 21,000 at the outbreak of the war to a record peak of over 700,000 at the beginning of 1945, it is possible the number of Germans incarcerated across Europe in similar camps by the end of 1945 might have been even higher.107

The concentration camps at Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Muehlberg, Fuerstenwalde, Liebe-Roze, Bautzen, and others were taken over by the Russian Gulag Archipelago. Thus, for example, the camp at Buchenwald was transformed into “Special Camp No. 2” and was operated by the Soviet Union until 1950.108 Conditions at the camps under Soviet control were atrocious. The camps were labeled “special” because the Soviets insisted that the internees be cut off completely from the civilian population.109 Even Gen. Merkulov, the Soviet official in charge of the concentration camps in Germany, acknowledged the severe lack of order and cleanliness, particularly at Buchenwald.110

One former inmate described his five years in the Soviet-run Buchenwald camp in these words:

People were mere numbers. Their dignity was consciously trampled upon. They were starved without mercy and consumed by tuberculosis until they were skeletons. The annihilation process, which had been well tested over decades, was systematic. The cries and groans of those in pain still echo in my ears whenever the past comes back to me in sleepless nights. We had to watch helplessly as people perished according to plan—like creatures sacrificed to annihilation.

Many nameless people were caught up in the annihilation machinery of the NKVD after the collapse of 1945. They were herded together like cattle after the so-called liberation and vegetated in the many concentration camps. Many were systematically tortured to death. A memorial was built for the dead of the Buchenwald concentration camp. A figure of death victims was chosen based on fantasy. Intentionally, only the dead of the 1937-1945 period were honored. Why is there no memorial honoring the dead of 1945 to 1950? Countless mass graves were dug around the camp in the postwar period.111

While no one can know the exact number of deaths and inmates at Buchenwald, it is reasonably certain a higher percentage of inmates died under Soviet control than under German control. Viktor Suvorov estimates that 28,000 people were imprisoned by the Soviets at Buchenwald from 1945-1950, of whom 7,000 (25%) died. By comparison, he estimates that 250,000 people were imprisoned by the Germans at Buchenwald from 1937 to 1945. Of that number, he estimates that 50,000 (20%) died. The Soviet Buchenwald had a higher estimated death rate than the German Buchenwald.112

Suvorov’s estimates of deaths at Soviet-run Buchenwald are probably understated. Some sources estimate that at least 13,000 and as many as 21,000 persons died in Soviet-run Buchenwald.113 Also, a detailed June 1945 U.S. government report of German-run Buchenwald put the total deaths at a lower amount of 33,462, of whom more than 20,000 died in the chaotic final months of the war. These total deaths include at least 400 inmates killed in British bombing raids.114 Thus, the death-rate percentage at the Soviet-run Buchenwald versus the German-run Buchenwald is probably substantially higher than Suvorov’s estimates.

Russian estimates show a total of 122,671 Germans passed through Soviet-run camps in the Soviet Zone after the end of the war. Of this total, 42,889 Germans died, or approximately 35%. The official Soviet statistics probably underestimate the true number of dead in the Soviet-run camps. American military intelligence units and Social Democratic Party groups in the late 1940s and 1950s estimate that a much higher total of 240,000 German prisoners passed through Soviet-run camps in the Soviet zone. Of these, an estimated 95,643 died, or almost 40%.

In these revisions there were 60,000 prisoners at Sachsenhausen, where 26,143 died; 30,600 prisoners at Buchenwald, where 13,200 did not survive; and 30,000 prisoners at Bautzen, where 16,700 died. The higher death counts are supported by discoveries of numerous mass graves of Germans buried near the Soviet-run camps.115

No one has ever been punished for the deaths and mistreatment of German inmates in the postwar Soviet-run camps. The hundreds of thousands of visitors who visit the Buchenwald campsite each year only see museums and memorials dedicated to the “victims of fascism.” There is nothing at Buchenwald to remind visitors of the thousands of Germans who perished miserably in Buchenwald after the war when the camp was run by the Soviet Communists.116

Many of the Germans in Poland were also sent to the former German concentration camps. In March 1945, the Polish military command declared that the entire German people shared the blame for starting World War II. Over 105,000 Germans were sent to labor camps in Poland before their expulsion from Poland. The Polish authorities soon converted concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Łambinowice (called Lamsdorf by its German occupants) and others into internment and labor camps. In fact, the liberation of the last surviving Jewish inmates of the Auschwitz main camp and the arrival of the first ethnic Germans were separated by less than two weeks.

When the camps in Poland were finally closed, it is estimated that as many as 50% of the inmates, mostly women and children, had died from ill-treatment, malnutrition, and diseases.117

In a confidential report concerning the Polish concentration camps filed with the Foreign Office, R.W.F. Bashford writes: “[T]he concentration camps were not dismantled, but rather taken over by new owners. Mostly they are run by Polish militia. In Swietochlowice, prisoners who are not starved or whipped to death are made to stand, night after night, in cold water up to their necks, until they perish. In Breslau there are cellars from which, day and night, the screams of victims can be heard.”118

At Lamsdorf in Upper Silesia, a camp population of 8,064 Germans was decimated through starvation, disease, hard labor, and physical mistreatment. Lamsdorf was initially built by Germany to house Allied prisoners of war. A surviving German doctor at Lamsdorf recorded the deaths of 6,488 German inmates in the camp after the war, including 628 children.119

A report submitted to the U.S. Senate dated Aug. 28, 1945, reads: “In “Y” [code for a camp, from the original document], Upper Silesia, an evacuation camp has been prepared which holds at present 1,000 people. . . . A great part of the people are suffering from symptoms of starvation; there are cases of tuberculosis and always new cases of typhoid. . . . Two people seriously ill with syphilis have been dealt with in a very simple way: They were shot. . . .Yesterday a woman from “K” [another camp] was shot and a child wounded.”120

Zgoda, which had been a satellite camp of Auschwitz during the war, was reopened by the Polish Security Service as a punishment and labor camp. Thousands of Germans in Poland were arrested and sent to Zgoda for labor duties. The prisoners were denied adequate food and medical care, the overcrowded barrack buildings were crawling with lice, and beatings were a common occurrence. The camp director, Salomon Morel, told the prisoners at the gate that he would show them what Auschwitz had meant. A man named Guenther Wollny, who had the misfortune of being an inmate in both Auschwitz and Zgoda, later stated, “I’d rather be 10 years in a German camp than one day in a Polish one.”121

A notable element of the postwar Polish camp system was the prevalence of sexual assault as well as ritualized sexual humiliation and punishment suffered by the female inmates. The practice at Jaworzno, as reported by Antoni Bialecki of the local Office of Public Security, was to “take ethnically German women at gunpoint home at night and rape them.” The camp functioned as a sexual supermarket for its 170-strong militia guard contingent.

The sexual humiliation of female prisoners in the Polish camp at Potulice had become an institutional practice by the end of 1945. Many of the women were sexually abused and beaten, and some of the punishments resulted in horrific injuries. The sexual exploitation of women in Polish-run camps contrasts to the experience of women in German-run concentration camps. Rape or other forms of sexual mistreatment was an extremely rare occurrence at German concentration camps and severely punished by the authorities if detected.122

The ICRC attempted to send a delegation to investigate the atrocities reported in the Polish camps. It was not until July 17, 1947, when most Germans had either died or had been expelled from the camps, that Red Cross officials were finally allowed to inspect a Polish camp. Yet even at this late date there were still a few camps the Red Cross was not allowed to investigate.123

Jewish journalist John Sack has confirmed the torture and murder of German prisoners in postwar Polish camps operated by the Office of State Security. Most of the camps were staffed and run by Jews, with help from Poles, Czechs, Russians, and concentration camp survivors. Virtually all of the personnel at these camps were eager to take revenge on the defeated Germans. In three years after the war, Sack estimates that from 60,000 to 80,000 Germans died in the Office’s camps.124

Efforts to bring perpetrators in Polish camps to justice were largely unsuccessful. Czeslaw Geborski, director of the camp at Lamsdorf, was indicted by the Polish authorities in 1956 for wanton brutality against the German prisoners. Geborski admitted at his trial that his only goal in taking the job was “to exact revenge” on the Germans. On Oct. 4, 1945, Geborski ordered his guards to shoot down anyone trying to escape a fire that engulfed one of the barracks buildings; a minimum of 48 prisoners were killed that day. The guards at Lamsdorf also routinely beat the German prisoners and stole from them. German prisoners in Lamsdorf died of hunger and diseases in droves; guards recalled scenes of children begging for scraps of food and crusts of bread. Geborski was found not guilty despite strong evidence of his criminal acts.125

The Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia was used by Germany during the war to intern many of Germany’s, Austria’s, and Czechoslovakia’s most famous or talented Jews. On May 24, 1945, the Czech government decided to use the Theresienstadt camp to imprison 600 Germans from Prague. Within the first few hours of their arrival between 59 and 70 of the 600 Germans were brutally beaten to death. Two hundred more of the Germans were reported to have died from torture and beatings within the next few days. The camp commandant, Alois Prusa, took great pleasure in the beatings, and reportedly used at least one of his daughters to assist him in killing the German inmates. Prusa and his assistant told the remaining surviving Germans that they would never leave the camp.126

Torture appears to have been the rule in Czech-run Theresienstadt. Guards at Theresienstadt used a variety of instruments for beating and lashing their victims: steel rods sheathed with leather, pipes, rubber truncheons, iron bars and wooden planks. One woman in Theresienstadt observed and still remembers the screams from a female SS member forced to sit astride an SA dagger. Dr. E. Siegel, a Czech-speaking medical doctor working for the Red Cross, was also subject to extensive torture in Theresienstadt. Dr. Siegel thought the guards were ordered from above to commit their acts of torture, because the methods used in all Czech camps were broadly similar.127

Much of the savagery at Theresienstadt stopped when Prusa was replaced by a Maj. Kálal.128 However, one secret Soviet report said that the German inmates at Theresienstadt repeatedly begged the Russians to stay at the camp. The report states: “We now see the manifestations of hatred for the Germans. They [the Czechs] don’t kill them, but torment them like livestock. The Czechs look at them like cattle.” The horrible treatment at the hands of the Czechs led to despair and hopelessness among Czechoslovakia’s ethnic Germans. According to Czech statistics, 5,558 Germans committed suicide in 1946 alone.129

Czech author Dr. Hans Guenther Adler, a Jew who was imprisoned during the war in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, confirms that conditions in Czech-run Theresienstadt were deplorable for Germans after the war. Adler writes:

Certainly there were those among them who, during the years of occupation, were guilty of some infraction or other, but the majority, among them children and adolescents, were locked up simply because they were German. Just because they were German? That phrase is frighteningly familiar; one could easily substitute the word “Jew” for “German.” The rags given to the Germans as clothes were smeared with swastikas. They were miserably undernourished, abused. . . . The camp was run by Czechs, yet they did nothing to stop the Russians from going in to rape the captive women.”130

After the war, the Red Cross reported that the sexual abuse of female inmates in Czech-run camps was pervasive and systematic. A foreign observer of one Czech camp noted that the women were “treated like animals. Russian and Czech soldiers come in search of women for purposes which can be imagined. Conditions there for women are definitely more unfavorable than in the German concentration camps, where cases of rape were rare.” In another Czech camp, the Czech and Soviet soldiers would “take away the prettiest girls, who would often disappear without trace.”

Jean Duchosal, secretary general of the ICRC, reported that girls were often raped at the Matejovce camp in Slovakia, and that beatings were daily occurrences. The same was true of the Czech-run camp of Patrónka. A Prague police report of June 1945 mentioned that Revolutionary Guards were in the habit of “exposing women’s body parts and burning them with lighted cigarettes.”131

A common feature of most Czech-run camps was the provision of so little food to camp inmates as to make not merely malnutrition but actual starvation largely a function of the length of incarceration. The Czech government in 1945 and 1946 contrived as a matter of policy to ensure that there would be no improvement in the food rations provided to ethnic German inmates, regardless of the availability of food. For example, none of the 4.5 tons of food the Red Cross delivered to the Hagibor camp shortly before Christmas 1945 was issued to the inmates, despite the fact that malnutrition-related deaths were occurring at a rate of three per day. Richard Stokes, the prominent British Parliament member, visited Hagibor in September 1946 and calculated the daily food ration at Hagibor to be “750 calories per day, which is below Belsen level.”132

The Red Cross found that published regulations regarding the dietary requirements of inmates in Czech-run camps were almost invariably ignored. Pierre W. Mock, head of the ICRC delegation in Bratislava, calculated the daily caloric intake of prisoners at Petrzalka I camp at 664 per person during the third week of October 1945. The daily caloric intake had declined to 512 per person when Mock returned to the Petrzalka I camp in the last week of December 1945. At Nováky, a former German concentration camp, Mock found the milk and bread ration to be woefully inadequate to feed the population of more than 5,000.

A Red Cross visitor at the Hradistko camp near Prague was informed by the guard in charge of food distribution that the inadequate food ration issued to the inmates was fixed by law and unchangeable. The guard also told the Red Cross visitor that the few Czech children at Hradistko received twice as much food as the German inmates. A social worker attempting to ameliorate the worst elements of the Czechoslovak camp system confidentially advised the British Foreign Office in February 1946 that the Czech government would not permit relief supplies to be distributed to the needy German civilian inmates.133

German prisoners at Svidník camp in Czechoslovakia were also forced to clear away mine fields. Strong protests by the delegation of the ICRC at Bratislava eventually succeeded in having this practice stopped.134 In addition, the ICRC sent a general memorandum to the Prague government on March 14, 1946, stating that its duty was to carry out the German expulsions as humanely as possible. In view of the unsatisfactory condition of the camps, the ICRC was of the opinion that provisional internment of Germans in Czechoslovakia should be ended as soon as possible.135

Thus, the German prisoners in postwar Soviet, Polish, and Czech concentration camps were subject to brutal treatment resulting in the loss of many tens of thousands of lives. Their treatment was possibly worse than the treatment of prisoners at German-run concentration camps during World War II.

CHAPTER NOTES:

1 MacLean, French L., The Camp Men: The SS Officers Who Ran the Nazi Concentration Camp System, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1999, pp. 11-12.

2 Kater, Michael H., Doctors under Hitler, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989, p. 226.

3 McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, WA: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 64-65.

4 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 125.

5 McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, WA: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 66-67.

6 Ibid., p. 68.

7 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 376.

8 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 74.

9 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 126.

10 Ibid., pp. 127-128.

11 Ibid., p. 130.

12 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 85.

13 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 133.

14 McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, WA: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 67-68.

15 Michalczyk, John J., Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues, Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1994, p. 96.

16 Ibid.

17 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, pp. 133-134.

18 Ibid., p. 134. See also Michalczyk, John J., Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues, Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1994, p. 97.

19 Pasternak, Alfred, Inhuman Research: Medical Experiments in German Concentration Camps, Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006, p. 149.

20 Ibid., pp. 134-135.

21 Ibid., p. 227.

22 McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, WA: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, p. 69.

23 Ibid., p. 19.

24 Ibid., p. 202.

25 Ibid., pp. 95, 281.

26 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 263.

27 Mitscherlich, Alexander, Doctors of Infamy: The Story of the Nazi Medical Crimes, New York: Henry Schuman, 1949, p. xxxii.

28 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 263.

29 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 156.

30 Ibid., pp. 115-116.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid., pp. 117-118.

33 Ibid., p. 118.

34 Ibid., pp. 119, 133.

35 Pasternak, Alfred, Inhuman Research: Medical Experiments in German Concentration Camps, Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006, p. 161.

36 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, pp. 269, 272-273.

37 Ibid., pp. 275-276.

38 Ibid., pp. 276-279.

39 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, pp. 213-217.

40 Pasternak, Alfred, Inhuman Research: Medical Experiments in German Concentration Camps, Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006, pp. 34-35.

41 Baumslag, Naomi, Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and Typhus, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2005, pp. 139-147.

42 Mitscherlich, Alexander, Doctors of Infamy: The Story of the Nazi Medical Crimes, New York: Henry Schuman, 1949, pp. 49-51.

43 Ibid., pp. 135-136. See also Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 285.

44 Ibid., pp. 209-212.

45 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, pp. 191-192.

46 Ibid., p. 194.

47 Ibid.

48 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, pp. 376-377.

49 Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 213.

50 Pasternak, Alfred, Inhuman Research: Medical Experiments in German Concentration Camps, Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006, p. 230.

51 Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 262.

52 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, pp. 136-137.

53 Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 173.

54 Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 207.

55 Longerich, Peter, Heinrich Himmler, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 474.

56 “The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, p. 414.

57 Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 321.

58 Ibid., p. 322.

59 Schmidt, Hans, Hitler Boys in America: Re-Education Exposed, Pensacola, FL: Hans Schmidt Publications, 2003, p. 144.

60 Gerwarth, Robert, Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011, p. 285.

61 Longerich, Peter, Heinrich Himmler, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 245.

62 Béon, Yves, Planet Dora: A Memoir of the Holocaust and the Birth of the Space Age, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997, Introduction p. XXI.

63 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, pp. 269-270.

64 Ibid., p. 271.

65 Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 244.

66 Tolstoy, Nikolai, Victims of Yalta: The Secret Betrayal of The Allies 1944-1947, New York and London: Pegasus Books, 1977, pp. 354-355.

67 Ibid., p. 355.

68 Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 232.

69 Nuremberg testimony of Guenther Reinecke, Aug. 7, 1946. Published in the IMT “blue series,” Vol. 20, pp. 438, 441-442.

70 Raper, Stephen A., “The Facts About the Origins of the Concentration Camps and Their Administration,” The Barnes Review, Special Updated “All-Holocaust” Issue, 2009, p. 16.

71 Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 12.

72 Abzug, Robert, Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 3-4.

73 Wachsmann, Nikolaus, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 273.

74 Ibid., p. 328.

75 Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 50.

76 Ibid., p. 51.

77 Abzug, Robert, Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 31.

78 Speer, Albert, Inside the Third Reich, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1970, pp. 370-371.

79 Abzug, Robert, Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 106-107.

80 Ibid., pp. 108, 123.

81 Owings, Alison, Frauen—German Women Recall the Third Reich, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994, pp. 317-318, 326-327.

82 Ibid., pp. 323, 325.

83 Gerwarth, Robert, Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011, p. 105.

84 Murphy, Robert, Diplomat Among Warriors, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1964, p. 294.

85 Fleck, Egon W. and Tenenbaum, Edward A., Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, U.S. Army, 12th Army Group, April 24, 1945. National Archives, Record Group 331, SHAEF, G-5, 17.11, Jacket 10, Box 151.

86 Ibid.

87 “Extermination Camps Propaganda Myths,” in Gauss, Ernst (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of Truth and Memory, Capshaw, AL: Thesis and Dissertations Press, 2000, p. 294.

88 Ibid., pp. 294-295.

89 Federn, Ernst, “That German . . .,” Harper’s, August 1948, p. 106f.

90 Burney, Christopher, The Dungeon Democracy, New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946, pp. 21ff, 28f, 32-34, 44, 46, 49.

91 Buechner, Howard A., Dachau: The Hour of the Avenger, Metairie, LA: Thunderbird Press, Inc., 1986, p. 29.

92 Ibid., p. 5.

93 Ibid., p. 96.

94 Ibid., p. 97.

95 Ibid.

96 Abzug, Robert, Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 94.

97 Buechner, Howard A., Dachau: The Hour of the Avenger, Metairie, LA: Thunderbird Press, Inc., 1986, pp. 98-99.

98 Ibid., pp. 91-92, 106.

99 Ibid., p. 119.

100 Ibid., pp. 107, 120.

101 Abzug, Robert, Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 49, 52.

102 Higgins, Marguerite, News Is a Singular Thing, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955, p. 78f.

103 Hilberg, Raul, The Destruction of European Jews, 3 vols., New York: Holmes & Meier, 1985, p. 987.

104 Belgion, Montgomery, Victors Justice, Hinsdale, IL: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1949, pp. 80-81.

105 “Bergen-Belsen,” Der Spiegel, Hamburg, Nov. 30, 1985, p. 71f.

106 Moorehead, Alan, “Belsen”, in Cyril Connolly (ed.), The Golden Horizon, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1953, p. 105f.

107 Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 136.

108 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 279.

109 Naimark, Norman M., The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1995, p. 377.

110 “Extermination Camps Propaganda Myths,” in Gauss, Ernst (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of Truth and Memory, Capshaw, AL: Thesis and Dissertations Press, 2000, p. 299.

111 Ibid.

112 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 279.

113 “Extermination Camps Propaganda Myths,” in Gauss, Ernst (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of Truth and Memory, Capshaw, AL: Thesis and Dissertations Press, 2000, p. 299.

114 Ibid., p. 298.

115 Naimark, Norman M., The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 376, 378.

116 “Extermination Camp Propaganda Myths,” in Gauss, Ernst (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of Truth and Memory, Capshaw, AL: Thesis and Dissertations Press, 2000, p. 299.

117 Merten, Ulrich, Forgotten Voices: The Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe after World War II, New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2012, pp. 9, 65.

118 Public Record Office, FO 371/46990.

119 De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, pp. 125-126.

120 “Evacuation and Concentration Camps in Silesia” in Congressional Record, Senate, Aug. 2, 1945, Annex A-4778/79.

121 Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, pp. 135-137.

122 Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 141-142.

123 International Committee of the Red Cross, Report of its Activities During the Second World War, Geneva: 1948, Vol. 1, pp. 334 et seq.

124 Sack, John, An Eye for an Eye, 4th edition, New York: Basic Books, 2000, p. 114.

125 Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 130.

126 MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, pp. 153-154.

127 Ibid., pp. 154, 157.

128 Ibid., p. 156.

129 Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 118.

130 De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 97.

131 Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 141-142.

132 Ibid., pp. 144, 151-152.

133 Ibid., pp. 144, 146.

134 International Committee of the Red Cross, Reports of its Activities during the Second World War, Geneva: 1948, Vol. 1, pp. 334, 675f.

135 De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, Nemesis at Potsdam: The Anglo-Americans and the Expulsion of the Germans, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, p. 125.

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