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The Liberation of the Camps:

 

Facts vs. Lies

 

The Journal of Historical Review,

 

July-August 1995 (Vol. 15, no. 4)

 

By Theodore J. O’Keefe

Liberation of the Camps - Dachau Entrance

[Image] American troops guarding the main entrance to Dachau just after liberation, 1945

 

Earlier this year [1995] countless newspaper and magazine feature articles and special television broadcasts recalled the liberation 50 years ago by American, British and Soviet troops of German concentration camps. As the following essay shows, many of these retrospective articles and reports grossly distort reality. 

 

Nothing has been more effective in establishing the authenticity of the Holocaust story in the minds of Americans than the terrible scenes US troops discovered when they entered German concentration camps at the close of World War II.

 

Liberation of the Camps - Display shows two shrunken heads

[Image] Display shows two shrunken heads [taken from a museum], pieces of tattooed skin and lamp [actually made from goat skin]

 

At Dachau, Buchenwald, Dora, Mauthausen, and other work and detention camps, horrified US infantrymen encountered heaps of dead and dying inmates, emaciated and diseased. Survivors told them hair-raising stories of torture and slaughter, and backed up their claims by showing the GIs crematory ovens, alleged execution gas chambers, supposed implements of torture, and even shrunken heads and lampshades, gloves, and handbags purportedly made from skin flayed from dead inmates.

 

The Liberation of the Camps - Map of camps west zone NEW

[Add. Image] Map of concentration camps in US/Brit/French post-war zones.

 

The Liberation of the Camps - Map of camps Soviet zone NEW

[Add. Image] Map of concentration camps in Soviet post-war zone.

 

US government authorities, mindful that many Americans who remembered the atrocity stories fed them during World War I still doubted the Allied propaganda directed against the Hitler regime, resolved to “document” what the GIs had found in the camps. Prominent newsmen and politicians were flown in to see the harrowing evidence, while the US Army Signal Corps filmed and photographed the scenes for posterity. Famous journalist Edward R. Murrow reported, in tones of horror, but no longer of disbelief, what he had been told and shown, and Dachau and Buchenwald were branded on the hearts and minds of the American populace as names of infamy unmatched in the sad and bloody history of this planet. [20]

 

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