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Shame to spare

“Nordhausen was overrun by the 3rd Armored and 104th Infantry Divisions, which found what one witness described as ‘a charnel house’ of several thousand corpses. ‘Men lay as they had starved, discolored and lying in indescribable human filth,’ a medic reported. ‘One hunched-down French boy was huddled up against a dead comrade, as if to keep warm.’ In nearby tunnels used to assemble V-weapons, GIs beat up a captured German scientist, then beat him up again for the benefit of a Signal Corps photographer. General Collins ordered two thousand German civilians to carry Nordhausen’s dead half a mile for burial in two dozen mass graves. ‘There is no greater shame for any German,’ Collins told them, ‘than to be a citizen of this town.’ ” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light

Published inRick AtkinsonThe Second World War

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