Friday, August 19, 2011
Dear President Obama,
Patton’s Army, the 94th Infantry Division liberated a Concentration Camp In March of 1945 in the vicinity of Ludwigshafen Germany. We have been pursuing official Liberator Status of the 94th Inf. Div. since 2007 along with the help of Senators Kerry & Kennedy. We had the full support of Sen. Kennedy including 3 Congressional Inquiries and his personal efforts in contacting Sec. Gates. He was even working on it the week of his death. The requests have been denied time and time again. The Center for US Military History incredulously, despite 2 still living witnesses and primary documentary evidence refuses to pass this request on to the Holocaust Museum. It is a tandem project. The Army’s role is to verify the location of the Unit, which has been documented in the Morning Reports. Although specific records for this incident have not been as yet found, the After Action Report for March 1945 in fact uses the word “liberation” to describe the Displaced Persons encountered.
“As the March continued large numbers of Displaced Persons began to make their appearance consisting of varied nationalities such as French, Italians, Poles, Yugo-Slavs, Ukrainians and Russians and of both sexes. Even one American citizen was discovered.
These people in the first flush of their liberation, and being largely unrestrained due to the rapid pace of the tactically engrossed advancing armies and the helpless condition of the unarmed and conquered Germans, constituted a serious threat to Public Safety as they seemed completely uninhibited with regard to helping themselves to bicycles, money, clothes and food and also not above at the same time seeking revenge on their former masters in the shape of threats and beatings of the German people.”
It is well known that Patton’s Army led the drive to the Rhine. No other Unit preceded them at this time.
It is clear that the 94th liberated these people.
In 1985 10 Units were initially recognized, then refined guidelines were drawn up for future requests. I don’t know how it came to pass that the 94th was overlooked initially as they spearheaded the Drive to the Rhine. Surely if Gen. Patton, Eisenhower or Maloney were still alive at that time they would have made certain that the 94th receive Liberator Status. I doubt anyone would have denied Gen. Patton’s request! As a student of history, you can appreciate that the 94th shouldn’t be penalized due to their heroic efforts in crucial combat and rapid progress during the last months of the War, for a lack of thorough Morning Reports. They were busy winning the War. Now they are busy dying at a rate of over 1000 per day.
You alone have the ability to correct and put to right the history of the 94th Inf. Div. and the Victims of the Holocaust with the simple action of an Executive Order. We implore you to rectify this travesty of overlooked history and honor our brave soldiers efforts and the hundreds of Victims who died in that camp.
"Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure" – Abraham Lincoln
Most Sincere Thanks,
Edward Cowley & Bette Cowley
Thomas & Ginny Manthey