Newsletter : 5fax0411.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 11, 1995, V3, #66
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Nine Die, 54 Injured in Terrorist Bombings
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Security forces are sweeping through the Palestinian-administered
Gaza Strip where suicide bombings against Israeli targets on Sunday
killed nine people. In total, two civilians and seven IDF soldiers-
-including two servicewomen--were killed and 54 wounded in the two
Palestinian terrorist attacks.
An American student from New Jersey, Alisa Flatow, died Monday from
wounds suffered in the first of Sunday's two attacks, Two other
Americans were wounded in the attack. Of the injured, one is in
critical condition, five are listed in serious condition, and 10
remain hospitalized with moderate wounds.
Palestinian police have detained more than 150 members of Islamic
organizations which are believed responsible for the attacks
because they oppose negotiations with Israel.
In a show of force in the aftermath of the suicide bombings,
Palestinian police rounded up scores of men suspected of being
Islamic activists but leaders of the military wings of Hamas and
the Islamic Jihad are said to be in hiding.
PLO leader Yasir Arafat is under pressure from all quarters to
show that he is prepared to get tough with the supporters of
these extremist Islamic organizations, but to win the political
battle with the Islamic groups, the PLO needs to show some progress
in the negotiations.
The bombings Sunday were directed at Israeli troops protecting
Israeli settlements still in Gaza. The Palestinians say those
settlements should go, as do some members of Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin's own government.
But the prime minister says that the settlers must stay for now,
as agreed in the first phase of the peace plan. The second stage of
the peace agreement is what is on the table now. That phase calls
for Israeli troop redeployment in the West Bank to be followed by
Palestinian elections. Israelis say withdrawal is not possible if
the attacks continue.
Israel's president, Ezer Weizman, has repeated his call to suspend
peace talks, saying Israel cannot continue negotiations as if
nothing has happened. Arafat, he says, must show he can control
the extremist elements in the Gaza Strip. "I said that the peace
process should be delayed. I repeated what I said two months ago,
and I say it again, we have to think whether he can deliver and
what should be our tactics regarding the terror activities."
In Gaza, a special military court set up by the Palestinian
Authority in the Gaza Strip has passed its first ever sentence --
a 15-year prison term for an Islamic Jihad activist, convicted,
among other offenses, of exploiting minors to act against the
security of the autonomous area.
April 11, 1945: Buchenwald liberated
By Don Canaan
On a sunny early afternoon 50 years ago Tuesday, Herb Allen of
Cincinnati says he helped liberate the Nazi Buchenwald
"They (the Jewish prisoners) looked like death warmed over," Allen
recalled. "They looked like skeletons with a fuzzy kind of mold on
their skins. They had these deep sunken eyes (and) shaven
heads...you could see their ribs and their bloated stomachs."
Allen is black and was attached to the all-black 183rd Combat
Engineer Battalion, a unit now involved in a liberator controversy
with racial and political correctness overtones.
Buchenwald was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the
Western Allied Forces. The camp was not officially a death camp but
Nazi records indicate 56,000 people died or were murdered there.
As American platoons approached the camp that once held 238,000
people (many of them Jews), Nazi officials had planned to kill most
of the 20,000 remaining prisoners.
Contemporary reports said many of the first GIs entering the camp
vomited as they saw bodies stacked 10 feet high like cords of
Thousands of 6th Armored Division veterans and liberated Buchenwald
Jews met during this past weekend in Weimar, but a controversy
continues whether the liberators were the all-white 6th Armored
Division or the all-black 761st Tank and 183rd Combat Engineer
University of Cincinnati military historian George Hofmann
maintains Army records clearly document the liberators were white.
He told Israel Faxx the Public Broadcasting System mistakenly
televised a Veterans Day 1992 documentary, "The Liberators," that
reported black units liberated the death camp. But Hofmann said
even some members of the 761st deny the claim.
During the 1970s, Hofmann conducted the first comprehensive
investigation into the camp's liberation as part of the research
for his book "The Super Sixth."
Hofmann said Patton, after he arrived at the camp with Eisenhower
and Bradley on April 16, ordered Third Army units to send GIs into
the camp as witnesses of the atrocities. The 183rd was ordered in
to facilitate building a water purification facility.
The Holocaust Museum Council has revised the definition of
"liberator" to include anyone who reached the camp within 48 hours.
This was done, Hofmann said, "to establish a political agenda and
endorse flawed history that Leon Bass is putting out."
Leon Bass was a member of the 183rd who claims to have been one of
the first GIs to liberate the camp.
Hofmann believes the PBS documentary's black liberation thesis was
slanted to mend relations between Jews and blacks.
Hofmann maintains that Army personnel activity reports confirm the
two black battalions were 200 miles away when Buchenwald was
liberated and it would have been impossible for them to have
reached its gates during the 48-hour time frame.
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