fascinating letter from Dwight Eisenhower


Freddie deBoer used to blog at lhote.blogspot.com, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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4 Responses

  1. Bob Cheeks says:

    Freddie, thanks for this, thank you very much. The letter brought back memories of my father (305th Combat Engineers, 80th Division (the old Blue Ridge), 3rd Army, Maj. Gen. George Patton cmdg.) who served in the action Gen. Eisenhower is discussing.
    My dad had very few problems with Patton and got to meet him during combat on a couple of occasions. The reason why the troops overlooked his idiosyncrasies is because, usually, you’d find him and his command vehicle on or near the front, kicking American commanders forward and encouraging the grunts.
    My father was involved in liberating a couple of the concentration camps, one may have been Buchenwald but I’m not sure. He and his platoon were ordered to go to the nearby town and bring back the adult males to bury the dead. He operated a bulldozer to get the bodies of these poor souls into the ground as quickly as possible. He never talked much about it.
    My father lived to be 83 and never forgot the crack of the Mauser or the whine of the 88.Report

  2. Egypt Steve says:

    An interesting letter as you say, but what is in it that leads you to the conclusion that Eisenhower had the history of European anti-Semitism on his mind? He doesn’t mention Jews anywhere in the letter. I would think that Eisenhower expected that scenes like this would be written off as run-of-the-mill demonization of the enemy, similar to the extreme anti-German propaganda produced by the Allies during WWI (the Hun with babies on their bayonets, etc.). Yours is an anachronistic interpretation, I fear.Report

  3. Scott Stuart says:

    There is nothing in this correspondence at all about Jews or anti-Semitism. This is a total stretch. Might not he be more concerned by the Germans denying what had happened to avoid punishment and prosecution?Report