It’s interesting how photographs create history. We’ve all seen the Ken Burns’ affect in countless documentaries, but what if the photographs are deliberately misleading? Will anyone remember and revise the historical record?
My sister brought this story to my attention. A Japanese-American battalion liberated the concentration camp of Dachau during World War II but no photographic evidence exists. How do you explain to the American people that the liberators of a concentration camp look just like the enemy you are fighting in the East? You don’t. You instead pretend it never happened.
A new book entitled “Dachau, Holocaust and US Samurais – Nisei Soldiers first in Dachau” by Pierre Moulin tells the story of “the role played by very special liberators coming from 10 Concentration camps in USA: The US Samurais of the 522nd Field Artillery BN who were the first to reach the camp of Dachau.” However, the U.S. Army does not recognize any Japanese-American soldiers as the liberators of Dachau.
The photo above, which purportedly shows the liberation of Dachau by the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Division, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, is from this web site: http://www.hirasaki.home.att.net. This photo was obviously not taken at the main Dachau camp, and it was not taken on April 29, 1945 when Dachau was liberated, judging by the amount of snow on the ground. The photo appears to have been taken after May 1, 1945 when it snowed in the Dachau area. One prisoner is holding a bed roll which indicates that these prisoners were on a march out of the main camp when they were discovered by Japanese troops, probably on May 2, 1945.