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On the Dachau Massacre

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Were the GIs in the right?

Yes, the SS was evil and deserved every bit of what they got.
70
34%
Yes, though putting the SS to trial would have been preferential.
60
29%
No, though it is understandable why they would take part in killing the guards, they should have left the sentencing to the courts
56
27%
No, the GIs are no better than the Nazis they killed and deserved to be put on trial for war crimes.
22
11%
 
Total votes : 208

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Kanadorika
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On the Dachau Massacre

Postby Kanadorika » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:43 pm

The Dachau liberation reprisals were a series of incidents in which German prisoners of war were killed by American soldiers and concentration camp internees at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, during World War II. It is unclear how many SS members were killed in the incident but most estimates place the number killed at around 35–50. In the days before the camp's liberation SS guards at the camp had forced 7,000 inmates on a death march that resulted in the murder of many from exposure and shooting.[1] When Allied soldiers liberated the camp, their reactions varied from being shocked, horrified, disturbed, and angered by the masses of dead they found and the combativeness of some of the remaining German guards who had initially fired on them and had refused to surrender.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachau_li ... _reprisals

"American soldiers executed dozens of German guards at the Dachau WWII concentration camp after screaming: 'Let's get those Nazi dogs!'

The US troops opened fire on 50 members of the SS and the Wehrmacht with a machine gun after lining them up and saying: 'Take no prisoners!'

One commander shot dead four other Germans and became so hysterical that his own colonel had to hit him with the butt of his gun to stop him battering a fifth."


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -book.html



It's 1945. The war is coming to its end, and American troops stumble upon the Dachau Concentration Camp. What they find leaves them horrified; thousands of corpses littering the camp and thousands more of imprisoned men women and children clinging to life.

Out of utter disgust and anger, the GIs line up the SS guards and begin shooting them. Other Nazis are beaten to a pulp. Even the prisoners jump in and beat their former captives to death.

After the incident, the event was put under investigation as a possible war crime, with court martials being considered for the GIs who took part. Nevertheless, these charges were dropped by General Patton, who burned the papers and believed that the men had done nothing wrong.




Were the GIs guilty of their crimes, and if so, should they have been punished by the law? Or did the SS prison guards deserve their fate as the staff of a concentration camp and mass murderers?

I personally am under the impression that while technically illegal, what the GIs did was the norm in the Eastern and Pacific theaters, where the Geneva and Hague Conventions meant absolutely nothing to those fighting. In major conflicts, all laws of war go out the window and the war becomes a matter of kill or be killed. In the event of the Dachau massacre, it is impossible to feel sympathy for the SS, and quite frankly, I believe they deserved it. If you are going to act like a savage animal, you will be treated like a savage animal.

Could they have awaited trial and execution later on? Perhaps, though how many would escape, commit suicide, have their charges dropped, or even be given light sentences?
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Postby Sovaal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:54 pm

Iirc, Dachau has a lot more SS guards than just the thirty odd killed, and the killings where quickly stopped, which imho was unfortuanate. The SS often didn’t show any mercy, so frankly they shouldnt have been given any.

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Postby Oil exporting People » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:59 pm

On a historical interest note, within a few months American GIs would be siding with German civilians and former military members in what amounted to street battles with Displaced Persons (DPs); most were former inmates of the camps. I forget the work, but I seem to recall a study the U.S. Army did in 1946 and found that soldiers in Germany had rapidly went to a Pro-German stance and expressed contempt for the DPs.
Last edited by Oil exporting People on Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kor Tele
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Postby Kor Tele » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:01 pm

The guards at Dachau deserved to have their genitals branded with a cauterizer, but that's unlawful. And it should be. Revenge is not law, law is law. Those guards, however pitiful the bastards they were, should have had the eyes of a tribunal on them. Americans should know justice is about granting the most heinous of criminals full due process. And if they're found guilty?
Then the revenge can be enacted.

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Postby Vozh » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:02 pm

The only "crime" was that the GIs stopped shooting.
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Bakery Hill
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Postby Bakery Hill » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:03 pm

Oil exporting People wrote:On a historical interest note, within a few months American GIs would be siding with German civilians and former military members in what amounted to street battles with Displaced Persons (DPs); most were former inmates of the camps. I forget the work, but I seem to recall a study the U.S. Army did a study in 1946 and found that soldiers in Germany had rapidly went to a Pro-German stance and expressed contempt for the DPs.

I'd be interested to see the work. But that seems to be the case for any displaced group sadly enough. They become a Problem and that breeds resentment.

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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:04 pm

Oil exporting People wrote:On a historical interest note, within a few months American GIs would be siding with German civilians and former military members in what amounted to street battles with Displaced Persons (DPs); most were former inmates of the camps. I forget the work, but I seem to recall a study the U.S. Army did a study in 1946 and found that soldiers in Germany had rapidly went to a Pro-German stance and expressed contempt for the DPs.

Not surprising really.

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Runestasia
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Postby Runestasia » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:04 pm

"American soldiers executed dozens of German guards at the Dachau WWII concentration camp after screaming: 'Let's get those Nazi dogs!'

The US troops opened fire on 50 members of the SS and the Wehrmacht with a machine gun after lining them up and saying: 'Take no prisoners!'

One commander shot dead four other Germans and became so hysterical that his own colonel had to hit him with the butt of his gun to stop him battering a fifth."


The colonel should have let him shoot more.

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The Burke Islands
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Postby The Burke Islands » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Can’t say I blame them, I might have snapped and done the same thing under the circumstances, but that doesn’t make it right. They shouldn’t have taken the law into their own hands.
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:09 pm

Sovaal wrote:
Oil exporting People wrote:On a historical interest note, within a few months American GIs would be siding with German civilians and former military members in what amounted to street battles with Displaced Persons (DPs); most were former inmates of the camps. I forget the work, but I seem to recall a study the U.S. Army did a study in 1946 and found that soldiers in Germany had rapidly went to a Pro-German stance and expressed contempt for the DPs.

Not surprising really.


American soldiers were also responsible for a lot of rape in France post-liberation.. but..

..but.. I tend to find these debates to be 'see, both sides were equal' as a kind of excuse for the Nazis.. the antonym of 'fine gentlemen on both sides' approach.
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Uxupox
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Postby Uxupox » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:09 pm

Can't really blame them tbh. Would have probably gone berserk as well seeing that shit.
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Khataiy
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Postby Khataiy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:11 pm

Hypocritical and vindictive
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:13 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Sovaal wrote:Not surprising really.


American soldiers were also responsible for a lot of rape in France post-liberation.. but..

..but.. I tend to find these debates to be 'see, both sides were equal' as a kind of excuse for the Nazis.. the antonym of 'fine gentlemen on both sides' approach.

I’m saying it’s not surprising because these guys came from a society where white supremacy was alive and well. Just one that wasn’t (actively) commiting vast ethnic cleansings.

Anyway, I’d imagine France and American occupied Germany where absolute vacations compared to Red held territory.

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Strength and Order
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Postby Strength and Order » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:13 pm

Understandable, but still unlawful.
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Khataiy wrote:Hypocritical and vindictive

The SS often executed prisoners. Anyway, the killing was stopped pretty quickly. And honestly it was a far better fate than they deserved.

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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Sovaal wrote:
Bombadil wrote:
American soldiers were also responsible for a lot of rape in France post-liberation.. but..

..but.. I tend to find these debates to be 'see, both sides were equal' as a kind of excuse for the Nazis.. the antonym of 'fine gentlemen on both sides' approach.

I’m saying it’s not surprising because these guys came from a society where white supremacy was alive and well. Just one that wasn’t (actively) commiting vast ethnic cleansings.

Anyway, I’d imagine France and American occupied Germany where absolute vacations compared to Red held territory.


Yeah, there's a quote in Second Hand Time by Svetlana Alexeivich by a Russian soldier who says something along the lines of 'any baby born in Berlin in 1946 was half Russian'.
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Khataiy
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Postby Khataiy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Strength and Order wrote:Understandable, but still unlawful.

Your point is? So if it was "lawful" it would be okay because some random intellectual said so?
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Postby Dogmeat » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I find this story plausible, but the Daily Mail is not a reliable source for anything, and especially not this given their Nazi sympathies.

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Strength and Order
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Postby Strength and Order » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:16 pm

Bombadil wrote:
Sovaal wrote:Not surprising really.


American soldiers were also responsible for a lot of rape in France post-liberation.. but..

..but.. I tend to find these debates to be 'see, both sides were equal' as a kind of excuse for the Nazis.. the antonym of 'fine gentlemen on both sides' approach.


Are you implying that soldiers are people and can be just as morally ambiguous as civilians? Madness.
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Uxupox
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Postby Uxupox » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:16 pm

Khataiy wrote:Hypocritical and vindictive


The prisoners themselves literally swam across the whole entire compound and killed every German SS Soldier that they could get their hands on. A vengeance unfulfilled.
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Khataiy
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Postby Khataiy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:16 pm

Sovaal wrote:
Khataiy wrote:Hypocritical and vindictive

The SS often executed prisoners. Anyway, the killing was stopped pretty quickly. And honestly it was a far better fate than they deserved.

Yet again vindictive and hypocritical, America should have never gotten involved.
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Postby Strength and Order » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Khataiy wrote:
Strength and Order wrote:Understandable, but still unlawful.

Your point is? So if it was "lawful" it would be okay because some random intellectual said so?


The Laws of War do not change.
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Postby Rhodevus » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Yup. Completely understandable.
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Postby Dogmeat » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Khataiy wrote:
Sovaal wrote:The SS often executed prisoners. Anyway, the killing was stopped pretty quickly. And honestly it was a far better fate than they deserved.

Yet again vindictive and hypocritical, America should have never gotten involved.

For the record, Germany declared war on them.

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Postby Khataiy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:17 pm

Uxupox wrote:
Khataiy wrote:Hypocritical and vindictive


The prisoners themselves literally swam across the whole entire compound and killed every German SS Soldier that they could get their hands on. A vengeance unfulfilled.

That's more reasonable than the US soldiers doing it, considering they were actual victims.
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