Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
the skwib
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

July 13, 2003

Unseen History: Appendices

There were a couple of items I ran across while researching the Unseen History posts that I couldn't fit in, like this movie, taken at Ohrdruf, of German civilians burying the victims of the camp.

I also ran across this excerpt, describing part of the liberation of Dachau, in Joshua M. Green's Justice at Dachau.

Rainbow's arrival from the east was followed by arrival from the northwest of the 45th Infantry Division, known as Thunderbird. Lt. Col. Felix Sparks, the division's twenty-seven-year-old commander, had been given orders to detour from his push toward Munich and to proceed instead to a place call Dachau. No further explanation was given. Thunderbird, named for a Native American god of war and terror, boasted on real Native American, 1st. Lt. Jack Bushyhead, known by home in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Chief Glorious Eagle. In 1943 the division had taken part in the invasion of Sicily, then moved on to secure beachheads at Salerno and Anzio. Italian children danced with glee when Bushyhead confided to them that the entire division was made up of real Indians.

"Where are your feathers?" the wide eyed children demanded.

Now, two years and countless battles later, Thunderbird arrived in the village of Dachau and found railroad tracks heading in the general direction of the camp. Sparks turned to 1st Lt. William P. Walsh. "I want you to take the company and go up these tracks. Don't let anybody out." Walsh and his mean headed up the tracks and encountered the same thirty-nine boxcars Rainbow had discovered. Seeing so many skeletal corpses, some of the Thunderbird soldiers screamed, others cursed. The rest were stunned into silence.

"Now I know what we're fighting for," said Bushyhead. "We can't live in the same world with them. They're nothing but animals. They must be destroyed."

According so some accounts, Bushyhead kept his word.

I should point out that, other than the above, most of the web sources for Bushyhead massacre story are either racist, proponents of some type of Holocaust Denial, or some combination of both.

The official account of the American actions at Dachau lists 17 Germans killed, with as many as 11 others killed in other locations on that day, with most seeing the action as understandable, if regrettable.

''General Patton was appointed military governor of Bavaria and had set up headquarters in Augsburg,'' Sparks said in the Globe interview. ''I walked into his office and saluted and introduced myself. Patton said, 'Didn't you serve under me in Africa and Sicily? Well, you have a damn fine record.' '' Sparks said that when he began to explain what happened in the coal yard, Patton instantly waved him off.

''He said, 'That won't be necessary. I've investigated these goddamn charges, and they're a bunch of crap.' I saluted and left, and I never heard anything more about it.''

Sparks's version of his meeting with Patton is disputed by some researchers, but it is supported by Lieutenant General Kenneth Wickham, the 45th Division's chief of staff, who now lives in Los Altos, Calif.

In any event, when the Eisenhower investigation into the American treatment of German POWs was completed at the end of 1945, Colonel Charles L. Decker, an acting deputy judge advocate, said officials doubted that convictions could ever be obtained.

''It appears that there was a violation of the letter of international law, in that the SS guards seem to have been shot without trial,'' Decker wrote. ''But in the light of the conditions which greeted the eyes of the first combat troops to reach Dachau, it is not believed that justice or equity demand that the difficult and perhaps impossible task of fixing individual responsibility now be undertaken.''

Or, as Lieutenant Harold T. Moyer, one of Sparks's men who witnessed the coal yard gunfire, would put it at the inquiry:

''I believe every man in the outfit who saw those boxcars prior to the entrance to Dachau felt, and was justified, in meting out death as a punishment to the Germans who were responsible."

Posted by Bigwig at July 13, 2003 11:20 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

In "Deliverance Day: the last hours at Dachau," by Michael Selzer (Lippincott, 1978) there is a very careful description of American actions at Dachau. I Company, led by Colonel Robert Wiley, and commanded by Lieutenant Bill Jackson, was the first American company to arrive at the camp. It was followed almost immediately (but after the massacre of the SS soldiers)by a rifle company led by Colonel James Frazer. It is quite the story, that last day of Dachau Concentration Camp.

Posted by: heather at July 14, 2003 12:19 AM

One could well argue that a proximate cause of the current troubles in Iraq is an excess of mercy that has been shown by the conqueror, to the unjust deposed regime.

The fact that 3500 Baathist thugs are being held in camps, treated more or less with kid gloves and to face at worst a military tribunal (but more likely just be set free) indicates that we have lost our sense of justice.

Justice and due process sometimes are at war; but often they coincide. When one value or the other triumphs absolutely (as the value of "process" seems to have triumphed absolutely in the Western nations) the other value is not only absent, but it is actively repudiated by the triumphally faddish victor.

In the Moussaoui case, for example, process will carry the day, and likely work a great injustice. Likewise, our gentle handling of Ba'athist thugs.

In contrast we could look to capital crimes prosecutions in Texas, where justice always carries the day and process is evidently something that only matters to sissy boy northeastern lawyers, one can't help but get the feeling that justice isn't served, so much as inflicted on the deserving (and occasionally undeserving) alike.

I think there is a balance between the two. In the case of a borderline retarded defendant in Texas, represented by a napping lawyer, the rush to justice thwarts both process and justice itself - potentially assigning the wrong fate to a possibly innocent man. Though the process-centered capital litigation of Maryland, where no man has been put to death in memory, makes precisely the opposite point.

At the extreme edges of human experience, I think there are some cases where little process is necessary. The armed burglar caught in your home at 2:00 AM when he is ventilated is one example. Being caught in a Totenkopf division SS uniform, at a death camp, herding dispirited Jews into the showers, is probably another instance. Good on Patton for knowing the difference between the times when justice was due, and when process was due.

Posted by: omnibus bill at July 14, 2003 01:21 PM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?