Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa • Page 3

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

i APR. 22, 1945. DKS MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER fl-3 Men anc Bo.ys, 500 DiW a Day in 'the Best9 German Death Camp years, had a picture of his daughter in Hamburg, hadn't seen her iHmnill By Kdward Columbia Broadcasting Rprintd fnim PM newspaper. I rfS cf II. Murrow.

System Correspondent.) had you been with me a week ago. I propose to tell you of Buchen- small hill, about four miles outside SOMEWHERE IN GERMANY Permit me to tell you what you would have seen and heard, It will not be pleasant listening. wald. It's on a men in civilian Weimar, and this camps in As we was one of the largest concentration Germany, and it was built to last approached it, we saw about a hundred open order across clothes, with rifles, advancing in the fields. There were a few that some of the prisoners had shots.

We were told IS Jb I i A a couple of SS men cornered in there. We drove on, reached the main gate. The prisoners crowded up behind the wire. We entered. Dying, But Their Eyes Smiled.

And now let me tell this in the first person, for I was the least important person there, as you MCRROW. can hear. There surged vt c'a; tZ1 4mmmm for almost 12 years and if I got to Hamburg, would I look her up? He showed me the daily ration; One piece of brown bread about as thick as your thumb, on top of it a piece of margarine as big as three sticks of chewing gum. That, and a little stew, was what they received every 24 hours. "We're Very Efficient." He had a chart on the wall.

Very complicated it was. Ther were little red tabs scattered through it. He said that was to indicate each 10 men who died. He had to account for the rations, and he added: "We're very efficient here." We went again into the courtyard, and as we walked, we talked. The two doctors, the Frenchman and a Czech agreed that about 6000 had died during March.

Kirchenheimer, the German, added that back in the winter of 1939. when the Poles began to arrive without winter clothing. THEY DIED AT THE RATE OF APPROXIMATELY 900 A DAY. Five different men asserted that Buchenwald was the bet concentration camp in Germany. They had had nome experience in the others.

We proceeded to the small courtyard. The wall adjoined what had been a stable or garage. We entered. It was floored with concrete. There were two rows of bodies stacked up like cord-wood.

They were thin and very white. SOME OF THE BODIES WERE TERRIBLY BRUISED, though there seemed to be little flesh to bruise. Some had been shot through the head, but they bled but little. I arrived at the conclusion that all that was mortal of more than 500 men and boys lay there in two neat piles. There was a German trailer, which must have contained another 50, but it wasn't possible to count them.

The clothing was piled in a heap against the wall. It appeared that most of the men and boys had died of starvation; they had not been executed. 60,000 Once Where Are They Now? But the manner of death seemed unimportant. Murder had been done at Buchenwald. God alone knows how many men and boys have died there during the last 12 years.

Thursday, I was told that there were more than 20.000 in the camp. There had been as many as 60,000. Where are they now? I pray you to believe what I have said about Buchenwald. I reported what I saw and heard, but only part of it. For most of it, I have no words.

If I have offended you by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, I'm not In the least sorry. I was there on Thursday, Apr. 12 and many men and many tongues blessed the name of Roosevelt. For long years, his name had meant the full measure of their hope. These men who had kept close company with death for many years did not know that Mr.

Roosevelt would, within hours, join their comrades who had laid their lives on the scales of freedom. At Buchenwald they spoke of the President just before he died. If there be better epitaph, history does not recprd it. men and boys reached out to touch me. They were in rags and remnants of uniforms.

Death already had marked many of them, but they were smiling with their eyes. I looked out over that mass of men to the green fields beyond, where well-fed Germans were ploughing. A German, Fritz Kircheimer, came up and said: "May I show you around camp? I've been here 10 years." An Englishman stood to attention, saying to me: "May I Introduce myself? Delighted to see you. And can you tell me when some of our blokes will be along?" I told him "soon," and asked to see one of the barracks. It happened to be occupied by Czechoslovaks.

When I entered, men crowded around, tried to lift me to their shoulders. They were too weak. Many of them could not get out of bed. I was told that thin building had once stabled 80 horses. There were 1,200 men in It, five to a bunk.

The stink was beyond all description. They called the doctor. We inspected his records. There were only names in the little black book nothing more nothing about who had been where, what he had done or hoped. Behind the names of those who had died, there was a cross.

I counted them. They totaled 242242 out of 1,200, IN ONE MONTH. As we walked out into the courtyard, a man fell dead. Two others, they must have been over 60, were crawling toward the latrine. I SAW IT, BUT WILL NOT DESCRIBE IT.

In another part of the camp they showed me the children, hundreds of them. Some were only 6 years old. One rolled up his sleeves, showed me his number. It was tattooed on his arm. B-6030, it was.

The others showed me their numbers. They will carry them till they die. Too nearly dead to be taken along when the Nazis hastily flad their infamous concentration camp at Gotha, Germany, these men were dragged to the center of the camp for execution. Those prisoners who could walk were marched away as the Americans approached; many who were ill from malnutrition and disease were herded away in wagons the remainder were shot through the head as they lay on the ground. An elderly man standing beside me said: "The children enemies of the state!" I could see their ribs through their thin shirts.

We went to the hospital. It was full. The doctor told 1110 that 200 had died the day before. I asked the cause of death. He shrugged and said: "Tuberculosis, starvation, fatigue, and there are many who have no desire to live.

It is very difficult." He pulled back the blanket frdm a man's feet to show me how swollen they were. The man was dead. Most of the patients could not move. I asked to see the kitchen. It was clean.

The German in charge )ad been a Communist, had bfen at Btichenwald for nine The old man said: "I am Prof. Charles Rouchaire of the Sorbonn." The children clung to my hands and stared. We crossed to the courtyard. Men kept coming up to speak to me and to touch me Typical German Scene 1945 Burgomeisters View Victims of German Brutality til Ct 9s if-'. i 1 liHvti- -ts? Ill i to 111 front of an advniuiiig I'.

S. "Jth background burn furiously after pre- A (jeiiuiiii cUUhui wuves white rmbleiii of surrender Army halftrack In Geisselhardt, tiermany. Buildings in attack shelling. WlltEI'HOTO From Signal Corps. around me an evil-smelling stink, i t) fiS.

form dictated by the late president. He also haw an obligation to the Democratic party which as a loyal organization man, he must feel keenlj-. The party is split sharply in congress and in the administration. On one hand are the Byrds, Georges and Connallys on the other the Peppers, Guffeys and Wallaces. That Mi.

Truman will be a first-name president should be helpful. He is friendly to both factions. He was the one man the IO. Political Action committee was willing to accept as the vice-presidential candidate if Henry Wallace could not be nominated last summer. The grievances conservative Democrats held against Mr.

Roosevelt are no longer an obstacle. "Harry" to Conservative. They regard Truman as "one of us," and they call him "Harry." He talks their language, understands their problems. He knows the mechanics of legislation, the give-and-take of the conference committee, which really writes the laws. He knows how to compromise at the proper time.

Saturday, President Truman further blazed a new path of cooperation with an invitation for Kenneth D. McKellar president pro tempore of the senate, to sit at cabinet meetings. The custom of having the senate's presiding officer sit in on cabinet sessions was started by Mr. Roosevelt. Even the Republicans, for the present at least, are offering to work with Mr.

Truman. Taft Sees Truman Twice. The spectacle of Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, probably as arch a Republican as there is in congress, conferring with the new president two days in succession, provoked astonished smiles and questions from reporters whether he had become a presidential adviser. There was a hasty denial, but the fact that Taft who never had visited Mr.

Roosevelt felt free to consult Mr. Truman and Find German List of Fliers Held in Reich liy Kleanor Packard. NUREMBERG, GERMANY (U.P.) The fate of thousands of American and British airmen listed as "missing" will be known soon. Documents recording all Allied fliers downed in German territory during the war were captured Saturday. A master file, containing the histories of more than British and American airmen, was found in the nearby town of Buchenhuhi.

Officers consider it one of the most important finds in Germany to date. The last entry, dated Apr. 7, was of an American pilot who, it said, was found dead. The records revealed that more than one million dollars in various kinds of currency, had been take from captive airmen. Of this amount, only $4,000 whs recovered.

Bushels of Jewelry. Bushels of rings. watches, jewelry, flying orders, love letters, photographs and other items taken from fallen airmen whether alive or dead were on file. Some 400 displaced persons, including Russians, Dutchmen, Yugoslavs, Poles, Frenchmen and Italians, worked in the center. Wrhen German authorities fled they took many valuables.

Slave clerks 350 men and 50 women lived in the same camp. Most of the women either had borne children or were pregnant. When Lt. Col. D.

T. Fuller of North Tarry town, N. heard that women slave workers nvere wearing American fraternity pins, he assigned Capt. Carl Luetke of San Antonio, to investigate. Individual Cards.

Luetke soon discovered the' file and the stored valuables. Individual curds listed the place where the airman had been brought down, whether he had been alive or dead when found. Those who died after capture were recorded with the cause of death and the burial site. Capt. Charles Richard Sattgast, president of Minnesota State Teachers college, whs put in charge of the file.

He ordered the workers to return all rifled possessions. They claimed German authorities had invited them to help themselves when American artillery began shelling the town. Burgo.meisters from surrounding towns view victims of German atrocities in a barnyard on outskirts of Gardelegen northwest of Magdeburg taken by U. S. 9th Army.

After viewing the bodies, the burgomeisters with other prosperous Nazi party members were forced to dig graves for 500 of their former prisoners who had died in the fcorror camp. WIREPHOTO from Signal Corps. 200 Pairs of Button Shoes Her Offering LONG ISLAND CITY, N. Y. (U.P.) Mrs.

John Plutke Saturday contributed 200 pairs of shoes from a store she ran many years ago to the United Nations clothing drive. The shoes were ankle-buttoned, French-heeled models made to worn with hobble skirts. Boy, 6t Drinks a Pint Of Whisky and Lives BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (CPi Thomas Gwara. ti.

was found unconscious in the kitchen of hi home Saturday having drunk a pint of whisky. He recovered i sciou.sness a few hours later and told a doctor: "That stuff didn't taste so hud. It tasted like professors from Poland, doctors men from the countries that made to offer his services in working out differences was significant to those who hope for better unity. Nobody in Washington would think of referring to Mr. Truman as "H.S.T." Millions of radio listeners heard Speaker of the House Sam Ray-burn tell the president, just before his address to congress, "Wait a minute, Harry, let me introduce you." As the president was crossing- the street to enter the White House the other morning, a cah driver shouted, "(ood link, Harry, we're for Few outside of Mrs.

Roosevelt called the lute president "Franklin." He was always "the president," "F.D.R.", or to his intimates, "The Boss." RUSSIA Continued from Page 1. port of Stettin, was seized in a 20-mile Russian advance THROUGH BLAZING SUBURBAN FORESTS, to which the Germans had put the torch in vain hope of halting the Soviet onslaught. Arc of Steel. Meanwhile, the Germans, WHOSE REPORTS HAVE BEEN BORNE OUT BY MOSCOW'S CONSERVATIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS, admitted the sprawling city was three-quarters encircled by a huge 70-mile arc of steel thrown around the city in a gigantic pincer operation. This was effected when the Russians reportedly lunged south of the capital in a spectacular 65-mile overnight sweep that drove to Beelitz, 13 miles southwest of the city's famed Potsdam gate.

One Soviet spearhead, by German admission, had smashed to Treuenbrietzen, 23 miles southwest of Berlin and 32 miles from American forces on the Elbe river near Dessau. The reported advance carried a wall of Russian tanks across Berlin's rail and highway links with Dresden and the south. Those from a in IN a Vienna, men from all Europe, America. -i- 4 communication routes that remained ran into American lines. Only a 40-mile gap separated Red army claws that reportedly had clamped the huge pincer on the capital.

One spearhead of Soviet assault forces, advancing after being caught by a flood of water released from a dynamited hydroelectric power dam, advanced to the area of the big military training center of Wuensdorf. 15 miles south of Berlin, and the Soviet power-drive was pressing toward Zossen Allied-bombed site of the German high command headquarters. In some sectors the enemy resorted to the old Prussian tactics suicide charges by drunken troops armed with baj'onets. Soviet motorized infantrymen, flushed with the sense of great victory, sang triumphantly as their machines rumbled ahead. Said one Moscow dispatch of the great movement westward: "The familiar operative phrase 'advanced spearheads' cannot be used in this great new offensive because there are no spearheads here JUST ONE TREMENDOUS WALL OF STALIN AND SHERMAN TANKS.

"The whole Brandenburg battlefield northeast, east and southeast of Berlin is ablaze with tank fire, and a heavy barrage is being laid down by German massed artiUery and hundreds of self-propelled weapons and anti-tank weapons. "The Germans have been hurled back from most of their trenches but their lines are supported by wealth of light field pieces and machine-guns strung out IN AN ALMOST CONTINUOUS LINE a great swinging arc around the capital. The heaviest Wehr-macht artillery is behind this, and hundreds of self-propelled guns and hundreds of tanks." YANKS KILL NAZI GENERAL. WITH THE U. S.

1ST ARMY GERMANY JP) American tankmen Friday shot a high ranking German general to death in the Ruhr pocket when he and his men ran from a house and killed U. S. soldier. BATTLE RAGES FQR OKINAWA GUAM (SUNDAY f.T) Three American infantry divisions made small gains Saturday in the "bitterest kind of fighting" in the third day of the all-out offensive on southern Okinnwa. The American flag, meantime, was raised on little Ie island yards off the west coast, signalizing the end of a six-day campaign.

Admiral Chester W. N'imitz re-pmtcd in his communique today that fighting was so fierce on southern Okinawa one of high ground changed hands several times. Naval guns and army and marine artillery emit inued their terrific bombardment. Carrier planes attacked Japanese troop concentrations in the southern part of the strategic Ryukyu island. A few Japanese aircraft raided American-held Yontan and Katena airfield on central Okinawa Friday niRht, causing minor damage.

The 7th Division, after a advance down the east coast of the island Friday, was 200 yards from Yonabaru field. On the west coast the 27th Di vision was 800 yards from Ma-chlnato strip. In the center of the line the 96th Division encountered hard going. The ground there is the highest along the five-mile long, Japanese pillbox and cave line. Oxnam to Visit Atrocity Camps LONDON, ENGLAND (U.P.) Bishop G.

Bromley Oxnam, president of the Federal Council of Churches and Methodist bishop of New York, left Saturday to visit western battlefronts and inspect German atrocity camps. He said he wanted to see atrocities for himself so he could report on them to American churchmen. Waste kitchen gunpow der. fats make Ho to vAe ft cotS vlo i 11 Domination By President On Way Out By William Mjlander. Of The RrKister.1 Washington Bureau.) WASHINGTON.

D. C. The chain of command has been reestablished in the White House. President Harry S. Truman's first week in office has yielded one-man domination of the executive bianch is at an end.

KM). It, Combined I'ost. It was frequently asserted the late President Roosevelt was his own secretary of slate, the treasury and the navy. To get a decision, it was necessary to go to Mr. Roosevelt, lather than a member of his cabinet.

Mr. Truman's philosophy was expressed bluntly when he said he would not go to the San Francisco conference. The I'nited States had a competent delegation, he said, and he intended to remain behind his desk in Washington and back them up. That was the old artillery captain of World War I speaking. As a captain, and later as a colonel in the reserves, Mr.

Truman had the chain of command drilled him. The commander in chief decided the strategy, or adopted a policy. He issued an order to carry it out. The order went down through the chain of command and was carried out. Prove Mettle Or Out.

If it wasn't executed properly, there would be a new platoon iAder in the battery or now a ew cabinet officer in the administration. As president, Mr. Truman has endorsed his predecessor's policies and legislative program. He could hardly have been expected to do otherwise. As Mr.

Roosevelt's running eiate last fall, he ran on a plat DlIINBS In choosing her diamond engagement and wedding rings, knowing your jeweler is more important than knowing diamonds. ttA li Ff. Josephs have been Iowa since 1871 co a1 Des Moines, U. I i i I I a 1 I I I I I I it mr quality and jewelers to 74 years of value. Prir rangr for all.

Turns If desird. JOSEPHS Jeweler 74 Year Sixth at Locust iwidiaaiiteirtM lontgomery Ward 5th and Locust.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Des Moines Register
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Des Moines Register Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: