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American GIs and former concentration camp inmates look through the effects of SS guards executed after the liberation of Dachau.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 34979

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    American GIs and former concentration camp inmates look through the effects of SS guards executed after the liberation of Dachau.
    American GIs and former concentration camp inmates look through the effects of SS guards executed after the liberation of Dachau. 

This image is one of several from the collection of Dr. Richard Halfast, chief medical officer of general surgery, who served with the 7th General Hospital and 1st Auxilliary Surgical Group.  Halfast's unit was among the first to enter the Dachau after liberation by American forces.  Many of the photographs in Halfast's series document the execution of SS guards after the liberation of the camp by American forces.

    Overview

    Caption
    American GIs and former concentration camp inmates look through the effects of SS guards executed after the liberation of Dachau.

    This image is one of several from the collection of Dr. Richard Halfast, chief medical officer of general surgery, who served with the 7th General Hospital and 1st Auxilliary Surgical Group. Halfast's unit was among the first to enter the Dachau after liberation by American forces. Many of the photographs in Halfast's series document the execution of SS guards after the liberation of the camp by American forces.
    Date
    1945 April 29
    Locale
    Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany?
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Richard D. Halfast
    Event History
    On April 29, 1945 members of the 1st Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry, under the command of Lt. Col. Felix L. Sparks, entered Dachau. There they discovered a train of 36 boxcars bearing the corpses of prisoners who had been transferred to Dachau from other camps in the last weeks of the war. As the soldiers advanced, they found stacks of bodies in other parts of the camp and thousands of emaciated survivors. They rounded up the remaining camp guards as they found them. At some point, it was reported, one of the Gis blurted out, "No prisoners!" Approximately 60 guards were then lined up against a wall and gunned down by members of the 1st Company. Others were shot in one of the boxcars or beaten to death outside with the participation of a few survivors. Pfc. John Lee and others from the unit were later summoned by military investigators to give testimony about the killings and to supply photographs. A report was written and submitted to General George Patton, commander of the 3rd Army, who chose not to take any action. The report, a copy of which was deposited in the National Archives, remained secret until 1991, when it was quietly declassified.

    [Source: Wood, David, "For Memorial Day, A Painful Inquiry into the Grim Nature of War," May 22, 2001 (e-mail submission from david.wood@newhouse.com)]

    See https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005214.
    See Also "Dachau Main Camp" in Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Volume 1, Part A.
    See Also https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005131.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Richard D. Halfast

    Keywords & Subjects

    Record last modified:
    2017-08-01 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1183300

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