Liberation Army


We knew it was over but apparently they didn’t...

The Nazi SS weren’t about to surrender, not just yet. Maybe if we were the Russians knocking at their doors they would have fled but, being the U.S. Army and known for our much friendlier terms of surrender, they decided to stay and fight until absolutely forced to give up.image

This was the third concentration camp Ike decided to liberate, you know to set the captives free, huh, free! Kill the enemy and even with the notorious SS guards removed and the gates opened nobody went anywhere, almost no one moved because they no longer could.
Men, women and children, what was left of them, struggled to lift their heads off of filthy, tiered wooden bunks stacked five high. The smell of decay, rotting flesh, of death itself was overpowering, yet the “residents” no longer seemed to notice, where as we, the “liberators” were overcome by it physically and emotionally.

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That’s when we came to the first crematorium, actually just a series of ovens and our sense of dread increased to a new level. Several old men, at least they looked old, slowly approached us speaking at first in Yiddish, then one or two switched to English, and began to tell the horror of Auschwitz.

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The first man when asked, said he was twenty-five years old but you could have fooled us as he appeared to be ninety-five. Emaciated, shattered and a mere remnant of a human being. He was asked to tell us what went on here, as we thought this was a “work camp”, his reply was cryptic and chilling even in the summer heat. He said, “Work camp, ha, no work went on here, only attempts to survive just one more day. When a Jew was brought to Auschwitz it was for one thing and one thing only, to die as quickly as possible at the hands of the SS”.

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Fortunately you might say, for those who remained present before us, the “death camp” was pushed beyond its maximum capacity to kill their Jewish inhabitants . The ovens were overburdened with too many bodies to effectively accommodate their “guests”, the gas chambers were too few for too many, and the mass graves for the shootings from the execution squads were filled to capacity with tens of thousands of naked, mangled bodies.

Horror beyond belief, the visage of hell itself!

How could anyone do such things to other human beings or even conceive of such ideas?

imageOh, but these were no fellow humans, oh no, these were the Jews, sub-human and less than animals, the scourge of the Aryan Race and the source of their problems, so they must be completely and totally eliminated-exterminated, if you will.

And they were in the millions! About six million at last count, but who was counting any longer.

Some of us made the gross error of trying to feed these obviously wretched, starving creatures, a big mistake, as they had been surviving on subsistence levels of what hardly could be called food, that wouldn’t keep a crow alive much less a human being. Therefore their bodies were not able to suddenly adjust to the rich levels of real food, even if it was only that from a can of G.I. C-rations.

A couple of guys even gave the few remaining children scattered about, chocolate bars in an effort to promote good will and trust and they began immediately to start vomiting, retching and some were given to spasmodic fits. No, this was no ordinary work camp if there ever was such a thing.

imageGod help us all we thought, and if there was a God, because from the evidence before our eyes we could no longer be so sure of that, but if there was, we asked for the strength to go on, to set these people free and attempt to restore them to some type of humanity, once again.

Yes, may God help us all.

~ by Vinnie on May 30, 2015.

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