General ordered photos to document Holocaust

LaceyJune 6, 2014 

I fully endorse the Michael Gerson column entitled “Keeping the Holocaust fresh in our memory.” I personally believe it is un-American for any teacher in this country to even imply, by subject assignment, that the Holocaust never really happened. The question should be “why did it happen?” not “did it happen?”

When I read this excellent analysis, my temperature popped to a dangerous level because of a historic conversation I will never forget between several well known American generals in World War II. They were pausing for coffee and conversation on their way to relieving the 101st Airborne Division early in the Battle of the Bulge. The participants were Gens. Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George Patton and Horace McBride, commander of the 80th Infantry Division, of Patton’s Third Army. An adjutant to McBride told me of Eisenhower’s insistence that U.S. Army photographers in Europe be ordered to take pictures of every Nazi concentration camp, the grizzly conditions at each one and the emaciated prisoners we were releasing.

Why? Because, he predicted, “I want ironclad proof of what happened here because some day some (person) is going to say it never happened.

A few weeks later, the teenager that I was at the time paused briefly to talk with a few of the released scarecrows wearing their branded concentration camp numbers. I’m convinced they were not a mirage.

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