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Liberator Describing Dachau

(May 7, 1945)

Jack Rosendale served in the 45th infantry. He was among the liberators of Dachau. He describes some of what he saw in this May 7, 1945, letter to his brother Ed Rosendale who was with the 8th Army Intel in New Guinea:

I only wish that every person in the world could see what went on there and in similar camps in Germany and then they would get a true picture of the brutality of the Nazis. We guys aren’t the type to shrink from the sight of death after what we’ve gone thru but the sight of hundreds of corpses piled like fire wood and the knowledge that all these and many more died from cold, starvation or an SS man’s bullet is enuf to make any one’s blood boil. Inside the camp were the poison gas chambers and the crematories for the disposal of those who were no longer fit to work. On a railroad siding, fifty box cars of dead foreign laborers sat. These people were nothing but skin and bones and were still in the same position as they were when they died.

Take it from me, the tales of German atrocities are not mere propaganda and no punishment can be too severe for them. The civilians plead innocent of all these going on but they are damn liars. It was too big a project to be kept behind stone walls. Rest assured, our lads gave the 300 SS guards their just rewards. Most of the corpses were Russians, Jews and Poles. The survivors told us that they had not been fed for 18 days prior to our arrival. From they [sic] way they gulped down the rations we proffered them, it was plain to see that their statements weren’t lies. It’s almost unbelievable that one human being could treat another so cruelly but the evidence is there and we have it recorded for the time when “poor Germany” asks for mercy. It’s worse yet when you think of how nicely German PW’s are treated back in the states.

Source: Courtesy of Henry Rosendale.