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Dachau liberation reprisals

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Source: Hohum

The Dachau liberation reprisals were a series of incidents in which German prisoners of war were killed by American soldiers and concentration camp internees at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, during World War II. It is unclear how many SS members were killed in the incident but most estimates place the number killed at around 35-50. In the days before the camp's liberation SS guards at the camp had murdered thousands of the camp's internees and sent tens of thousands more on death marches in which thousands were murdered by their guards. When Allied soldiers liberated the camp, their reactions varied from being shocked, horrified, disturbed and angered by the masses of dead they found and the combativeness of some of the remaining German guards who had initially fired on them and had refused to surrender.
On April 29, 1945 soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Felix L. Sparks, approaching the sprawling Dachau complex from the southwest, found thirty-nine railway boxcars containing some two thousand skeletal corpses parked on rail tracks just outside the complex itself. Brain tissue was splattered on the ground from one victim found nearby with a crushed skull. The smell of decaying bodies and human excrement, and the sight of naked, emaciated bodies induced vomiting, crying, disbelief and rage in the advancing troops. Advancing soldiers from H Company, 22nd Regiment used a loudspeaker to call on the SS to surrender, "but they wouldn’t". The American troops were then fired on by machine gunners in a guard tower and a building.


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