Eisenhower 1, Eisenhower Dwight

But the most interesting – although horrible – sight that I encountered
during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things
I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men
who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I
interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal
testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to
leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty
naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he
would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliverately, in order to be in
position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future,
there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

This is what Eisenhower said on pages 408-9 of “Crusade in Europe”

“The same day [April 12, 1945] I saw my first horror camp. It was
near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my
emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable
evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of
decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or
through secondary sources. I am certain, however that I have never
at any other time experienced an equal sense of shock.

“I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my
duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about
these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or
assumption that `the stories of Nazi brutality were just
propaganda.’ Some members of the visiting party were unable to
through the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to
Patton’s headquarters that evening I sent communications to both
Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly
to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative
groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence
should be immediately placed before the American and British publics
in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.”

And on page 439

“Of all these [Displaced Persons] the Jews were in the most
deplorable condition. For years they had been beaten, starved, and

Last-Modified: 2007/12/17

(Letter to General Marshall, April 15, 1945)