On April 29, 1945, Dachau was liberated by the U.S seventh Army’s 45th Infantry Division. They were greeted by häftling.
Häftling greeting US troops at Dachau.
There was a railway siding en route to the entrance of Dachau, along which there were 40 railway wagons. All of the wagons were filled entirely with emaciated human corpses. According to the U.S. Army, there were 2,310 dead bodies. This was KZ-Transport 1945 from Nammering to Dachau. Due to the Allied bombing of the German railroad tracks, the trip to Dachau took almost three weeks instead of the originally estimated 24 hours to travel 220 miles from Buchenwald to Dachau.
As revenge for the Germans murdering these people the US troops shot the Dachau SS guards that had surrendered.
American soldiers execute SS camp guards who have been lined up against a wall during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp.
Soldiers who were present during the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp recounted the events of the day in very different ways. Lt. Col. Joseph Whitaker ordered an investigation of “Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau”; quite a name for murder. The execution was in direct contravention of the Geneva convention. There’s a reporting of two liberated prisoners beating a German guard to death with a shovel and another witnessed account of a liberated prisoner stomping repeatedly on the face of a guard.
One of the Jewish prisoners who survived the evacuation transport from Buchenwald to Dachau was Martin Rosenfeld. He testified for the prosecution at the proceedings against Hans Erich Merbach by an American Military Tribunal held at Dachau, which began on April 11, 1947. Rosenfeld testified that:
The train was strafed by Allied planes on the way and the prisoners were forced to stay in the open boxcars, while the SS men took cover in the woods.
The question remains: Whose fault was it that prisoners died on the train from Buchenwald to Dachau? The Allies who bombed the railroad tracks and delayed the train for three weeks? Or The Allies who strafed the open box cars on the train? Or The transport leader, Hans Erich Merbach, who participated in a “common design” to commit war crimes when he prevented the prisoners from escaping the train?
Wenn Sie lernen, die Reise zu lieben, werden Sie nie enttäuscht sein...Bob Lowe