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Thread: German Town Admits Lynching of US Airmen

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    German Town Admits Lynching of US Airmen

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...4237_1,00.html
    August 27, 2004



    German town admits lynching of US airmen
    From Roger Boyes in Berlin
    THE murder of six unarmed American airmen by an angry mob in the last summer of the Second World War was remembered by a German town yesterday, ending more than half a century of secrecy.

    The men had baled out of a burning aircraft in August 1944. The badly injured radio operator was taken to hospital and the Germans took the eight other airmen by train to a prisoner of war camp north of Frankfurt. The route led through Rüsselsheim.

    NI_MPU('middle');There they were set upon by a crowd of more than a hundred people, including housewives and workers from a nearby factory using milk churns, bomb rubble and hammers. A Nazi official finished off six of the airmen with bullets in the head, to the general applause of the mob. Two of the Americans survived by pretending to be dead.

    After the war the US Army sentenced five of the mob to death and five others to long jail sentences. Yesterday the town of Rüsselsheim, near Frankfurt, fell silent in remembrance.

    “For 57 years no one talked openly about these events,” said Dagmar Eichhorn, who has been the moving force behind the memorial unveiled yesterday. It features a fragment of wall engraved with the portraits of the six victims.

    The ceremony was attended by one of the two American airmen who survived the beatings by feigning death, Gene Sidney Brown, and at least three relatives of the killers.

    “I don’t want to say their names,” said Frau Eichhorn. “It was a trauma for the whole town because there were plenty of people not on trial. You see this in all of Germany — the story is not spoken.”

    The American B24 Liberator was shot down on August 24, 1944, after a bombing run on Hanover.

    On the previous night the Royal Air Force had bombed large parts of Rüsselsheim, killing mainly slave labourers denied access to air-raid shelters. But local people were furious. The rail line was damaged and the airmen had to be marched across town, many of its buildings still smouldering, to another station.

    As they passed the market square, a shopkeeper, Kathe Reinhardt, shouted: “Tear them to pieces!” The crowd took up the call and pelted the airmen with stones and bottles. The men were chased through the town, battered by milk churns and building tools until they collapsed unconscious in Graben Street — where the memorial was unveiled yesterday.

    The Nazi official shot six of the unconscious Americans in the head. Their corpses were carted to the cemetery where they were beaten again.

    Two others, including the gunner Mr Brown, were still alive, pretending to be dead. They were saved by an air-raid siren which scattered the crowd. They slipped away but were recaptured four days later.

    NI_MPU('middle');Mr Brown, 79, yesterday called for reconciliation, saying: “I have met with nothing but kindness since I returned.”

    In July 1945, the US Army — represented by the young lawyer Leon Jaworski, who later went on to prosecute the Watergate conspirators — put 11 Germans in the dock. The Nazi who fired the pistol was hanged. Kathe Reinhardt and another woman were also sentenced to hang but that was commuted. All the long jail sentences were also reduced and the members of the mob quietly returned to everyday life in the 1950s.

    The town refused to acknowledge the incident. “They were afraid,” says Frau Eichhorn. “They try to forget because it was too hard for them.”

    During the Cold War the US was an ally and troops were stationed in the neighbourhood; the nearby Opel factory was bought by General Motors. It did not seem like a good time to reopen wounds between America and Germany. Moreover, many inhabitants of Rüsselsheim continued to believe that the mob anger was a legitimate outburst against the nightly bombing of civilians. It is only now that the town seems ready to accept its past. Local people approached Mr Brown seeking to exchange memories and make amends. “We all carry respon- sibility,” said the mayor, Stefan Gieltowski. “Everything that happened, everything that happens and everything that will happen must be of concern to us. We all have the responsibility to remember these events.”

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    Things like these are common in war.






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    This is simply unbelievable. They are building a memorial for THE ALLIED AIRMEN!

    What about a memorial for those, who they bombed and killed? Oh never mind them - they were just Germans. That filthy whore who unveiled the memorial should be "torn to pieces" just like those airmen. [She is member of the Green-Party and active in "anti-Fascist" organisations] What a disgusting and filthy rott Germans have become.

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    This is like building a memorial for those who have murdert your famely...

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    It's similar to the annoying holohoax memorials scattered all over the world.

    Hmmm I wonder when the German airmen memorials are going to be set up here in the U.S., Britain and Russia?

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    If these Americans bombed civillian targets, then no memorial should be ever built. Bombing civillian targets is a war crime nomatter which side did it (well maybe the bombing of Isreal would be an exception). The lynching of the downed airmen is something which could be expected to happen and was expected to happen. This same thing happened to Americans in Viet Nam. The same thing happened to Americans in Iraq.

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    I have no sympathy for the kwa scum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    If these Americans bombed civillian targets, then no memorial should be ever built. Bombing civillian targets is a war crime nomatter which side did it (well maybe the bombing of Isreal would be an exception). The lynching of the downed airmen is something which could be expected to happen and was expected to happen. This same thing happened to Americans in Viet Nam. The same thing happened to Americans in Iraq.
    ... And it would probably be done by Americans themselves, if their country would be bombed on a massive scale.


    I tried to follow up on the case, since the memorial itself is rather bizarre:


    As far as I can assess the case from public sources
    http://www.tenhumbergreinhard.de/tae...sselsheim.html

    Russelsheim itself was bombed in immediate pretext to the attacks on the bomber crew. 198 people were killed then of whom 177 were foreign workers employed in German industries. However the bomber crew wasn't shot down over Russelsheim, but somewhere else in Germany. It was just that their train was interrupted in the town, due to the bombing itself. So they weren't involved in the bombing in Russelsheim itself, just at the wrong time at the wrong place.

    What's really sick is the fact that the mayor decides to hold a commemoration on lynched bomber crew, but there isn't any memorial or commemoration of the people killed (and if it's deliberate civilian bombing, it's justified to call it murder) during the bombing raids.

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    Another episode from the series "only in the FRG". It's ridiculous that the bombers and destroyers of our nation are honored while our victims who died by their bombing are not. Those who want to remember our fallen are of course "racist" or "nazi". The shaming of our people has reached immense levels, it's sick.

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    The same thing happened in Pforzheim ...

    Every February 23 Pforzheimers hold a memorial ceremony, convening in the cemetery, then ascending the Wallberg. In 1983, townspeople scheduling that year’s commemoration invited veterans of the RAF raid. To the Britons’ surprise it was citizens of Pforzheim who apologized and asked forgiveness, both for the war their forebears began and for the lynching 40 years before of five airmen captured after the bombing. The veterans forgave, and presented a local kindergarten with a rocking horse as a symbol of reconciliation.

    I'm pretty certain I read it in a book called "Der totale Krieg und die Zerstoerung von Pforzheim" but since I can't find the passage I linked to the propaganda article above.

    Chances are that if I'd looked into any other German town I'd have read similar tales. This kind of thing was widespread.

    Who would rain down death and destruction onto a civilian population and then expect his own life to be spared if his plane crashed?

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