Monday, May 18, 2015

On the Torturing, Rampaging, Thieving American Soldiers of World War II

Patrick Flanary emails:
New Republic just published a first look at the hundreds of letters an Army doctor sent his wife during the Holocaust, each detailing the atrocities he was witnessing at the Dachau concentration camp--and his own conflicted involvement in its liberation. In New Republic's June issue, out this week, a trunkful of Capt. David Wilsey's letters, most sent during 1945, are unearthed for the first time by his children in Oregon. 
The incidents Wilsey described in his letters reveal another first: a challenge to the long-held public narrative about the American soldier as heroic liberator in the war. Wilsey's letters illustrate a complex man battling anger and paranoia as he struggled to accept the horror of humanity and his own role in the executions and looting of Nazi soldiers, following the liberation of Dachau:


  1. "We raped the hell out of those Jap women, I mean we raped them, over, and over, and over again until they could'nt walk" was what a Long Beach Harbor, Pier Manager told me in 1981. He was comfortable around me because we saw each other on a daily basis as I was making my rounds to Federal Customs Agents in the Los Angeles Harbor area. This man looked back with great fondness on his experience on the Japanese islands he had helped liberate from the Japanese military. He literally smiled, and laughed during our entire conversation, as he relived the experience. I had to listen to him because I needed his cooperation to get cars, and personal property expedited out of his warehouse. His story was a very raw snapshot of the underbelly of the "Greatest Generation".

  2. The UK 'Daily Mail' recently had an article about black market gangsterism and racketeering by G.I.s in France in the later years of WW2 and after. See here