Newspaper story by Marguerite Higgins:
33,000 Dachau Captives Freed By 7th Army
110,000 Are Liberated at Moosburg; Nazi Doctor Admits Killing 21,000
By Marguerite Higgins
DACHAU, Germany, April 29 (Delayed) Troops of the United States liberated 33,000 prisoners this afternoon at this first and largest of the Nazi concentration camps. Some of the prisoners had endured for eleven years the horrors of notorious Dachau.
The liberation was a frenzied scene: Inmates of the camp hugged and embraced the American troops, kissed the ground before them and carried them shoulder high around the place.
At Moosburg north of Munich the United States 14th Armored Division liberated 110,000 Allied Prisoners of War, including 11,000 Americans from Stalag 7A.
From United States 12th Army Group headquarters came the story of a captured Nazi doctor, Gustave Wilhelm Schuebbe, who said that the Nazi annihilation institute at Kiev, Russia, killed from 110,000 to 140,000 persons "unworthy to live" during the nine months he worked there. He himself, he said, murdered about 21,000 persons.
The Dachau camp, in which at least a thousand prisoners were killed last night before the SS (Elite Guard) men in charge fled, is a grimmer and larger edition of the similarly notorious Buchenwald camp near Weimar.
This correspondent and Peter Furst, of the Army newspaper, "Stars and Stripes," were the first two Americans to enter the inclosure at Dachau, where persons possessing some of the best brains in Europe were held during what might have been the most fruitful years of their lives.
While a 45th Infantry Division patrol was still fighting a way down through SS barracks to the north, our jeep and two others from the 42d Infantry drove into the camp inclosure through the southern entrance. As men of the patrol with us busied themselves accepting an SS man's surrender, we impressed a soldier into service and drove with him to the prisoners barracks. There he opened the gate after pushing the body of a prisoner shot last night while attempting to get out to meet the Americans.
There was not a soul in the yard when the gate was opened. As we learned later, the prisoners themselves had taken over control of their inclosure the night before, refusing to obey any further orders from the German guards, who had retreated to the outside. The prisoners maintained strict discipline among themselves, remaining close to their barracks so as not to give the SS men an excuse for mass murder.
But the minute the two of us entered, a jangled barrage of "Are you Americans?" in about 16 languages came from the barracks 200 yards from the gate. An affirmative nod caused pandemonium.
Tattered, emaciated men weeping, yelling and shouting "Long live America!" swept toward the gate in a mob. Those who could not walk limped or crawled. In the confusion, they were so hysterically happy that they took the SS man for an American. During a wild five minutes, he was patted on the back, paraded on shoulders and embraced enthusiastically by the prisoners. The arrival of the American soldier soon straightened out the situation.
In this version of the liberation, Marguerite Higgins claims that she and fellow reporter Peter Furst were the first Americans through the gate into Dachau the prison compound. Other eye-witnesses say that it was Lt. Cowling of the 42nd Division who was the first American through the gate. She claims that the inmates didn't know the difference between a German SS uniform and an American uniform, which is highly unlikely. She does not mention Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, the man who accepted the surrender, although she was standing right there when the surrender took place, disguised as a man in heavy winter clothing and a cap with ear flaps. She also does not mention the name of the man who surrendered the concentration camp, SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker. Her story is the only account to mention that 1,000 prisoners were killed by the SS guards before they left, and I have not seen this mentioned in any of the books about Dachau. In her book, "News is a Singular Thing," Ms. Higgins wrote that the reason her report was delayed was that the wire service office was closed by the time she got there. She missed a most important scoop while the other reporters filed their stories ahead of hers.