Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

28 Jun 1945




Iowan Guards SS Troops in Prison Camp

The SSers Live in Pup Tents; Act Docile Now Miles Says

By Frank Miles
(Daily Times Herald War Correspondent)

Tegernsee, Germany (IDPA) -- Pfc. Charles Elliott, 19, Sigourney, was one of the American soldiers on guard duty at Camp Foster for nazi SS officers and men near here when I visited.

"Yes, they say these guys are awful tough but we don't have any trouble with them," the young Hawkeye grinned.

He was inducted in August of 1944, left the United States January 8 and saw a lot of action before the Jerries quit.

The SSers living in pup tents and huts, acted docile enough. It was reasonable to believe the reason was that they were being watched by Yanks with machine guns and rifles.

A second lieutenant, who won a battlefield promotion from sergeant, let me fire a 50-caliber machine gun into the side of a mountain for sport. The same officer caught an SS major trying to bawl out an American sentry for not saluting him. The boy didn't know what the pompous Jerry was saying but about 20 nearby captives did and thought it hot stuff. The lieutenant through an interpreter, a man who had been in a concentration camp and worked in a Pennsylvania steel mill 12 years, told the major off in great shape.

SS officers on liaison duty denied they had anything whatsoever to so with atrocities in German concentration and prions camps. The SSers guilty were ones, who had been convicted of military violations and been sent to the camps they asserted.

Herman Goering declared at his press conference for American correspondents that Hitler gave all orders for treatment of nazi prisoners. Whether he used SS criminals as killers, maimers and burners, I do not know. I do know that when the fuehrer was master of Germany every man, woman and child, soldiers or civilians did what he was ordered or suffered persecution of death.

Camp Foster was one of the three camps close to Tegernee lake, a scenic spot on the Bavarian Alps. The others were Camp McIntosh for Hitler youths and Camp Russell for the Wehrmacht, regular army soldiers.

The SS arrogant because it was looked upon as an elite force had nothing to do with the ordinary trooper.

About 30 of the 100 or more Hitler youths crowded against a board fence when two other correspondents and I stopped to view their enclosure. One spoke English well. He and his buddies, he said, were in Hitler schools or doing jobs with the army. Yes, some had been under fire but not one of them had ever fired a gun or or hurled a grenade at an American. A Brooklyn GI said that in an attack his outfit made on one town 40 youngsters with weapons they had used were found in one building. The young Germans, between 13 and 17 years of age insisted they couldn't understand why they were being held. They asked when they might go home.

Wehrmacht liaison officers through their adjutant and interpreter, who learned to speak our language in middle west state, said the future Germany looked dark and professed to have dire fear of bolshevism. They thought there would be more wars.

I saw scores of German cemeteries with thousands of graves in southeast Germany.

Tegernsee was a hospital city for German wounded. A Red Cross banner was on most of the houses.

All along the lake front were former nazi soldiers with one or both arms or legs gone or otherwise showing effects of the conflict. Four of them -- each with a missing arm -- smiled and waved at two other scribes and me as we passed in a jeep.

Both in the prison areas and the town nazis, mistaking us for American officers, saluted, not in Hitler but American style. We ignored them.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 28, 1945

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