Mount Pleasant News

Mount Pleasant, IA

26 May 1945




Hitler Youths Fought Viciously and Treacherously

By Frank Miles

Leipzig, Germany (IDPA) -- Hitler Youths -- boys 14-16 years of age - were committing atrocities, fighting viciously and treacherously with SS troops when Allied planes and armies were driving nazi forces across Germany.

When 480 males political prisoners in the Eria concentration camp were herded into a petrol-soaked wooden mess hall and hand grenades and incendiaries were thrown on the roof, "Adolf's Apes" with rifles stood by SS gunmen shooting down screaming human torches who managed to escape the inferno.

A more ghastly sight could not be imagined. A mass of charred skulls and bones were in ashes of the building. There were frightfully burned bodies with bullet holes in heads and trunks lying on the ground nearby and entangled in the meshed barbed wire around the enclosure. It sickened me for hours and made sleep fitful that night.

From a Pole, Belgian and a German, whose veracity I could find no reason to doubt, I got it straight that uniformed teenage German boys not only killed fleeing, flaming victims but laughed loudly about it as they swaggered away. My informants were former prisoners, who had escaped two days earlier. Other correspondents and American army officers received the same information.

"Those youngsters present a problem for the future, which will have to be handled carefully," said the colonel, who speaks German fluently and knows much of the nature of the people from years of residence here.

The afternoon I was at the Eria camp, a frantic woman leaped in front of our jeep. Sigrid Schultz, the noted woman scribe, understood her. Her husband, a blood-soaked bandage around his head, was leaning against a
tree on the curb. He was badly hurt and needed to be taken to a hospital at once. The man was lifted into a jeep. His wife climbed into another. We sped off under the woman's guidance.

In the hospital, where the German doctor and nurses received us coldly we learned that the man, Lucien Studinger, a liberated French forced laborer, had been treated there a few days before. His wife said he was shot in the mouth by an unseen attacker in a park, that his wound was attended at the hospital, then instead of keeping him there he was told to leave immediately. The day we found him something had occurred, which had caused him to start bleeding again. Whether it was from inadequate or deliberately improper treatment she did not know.

A U.S. army colonel's instructions through Miss Schultz resulted in swift, skillful action for the sufferer. He was recovering two days later.

A polish woman writer in our party, in our conversation at the difference between American and German MPs detailed to keep civilians off the streets after a designated time in the evening.

"Your men warn a violator of military orders with a yell or cuss words and don't shoot unless resisted," she
said. "Germans just shoot."

Source: Mount Pleasant News, May 26, 1945

Return to News Index