Advertisement
  1. Archive

WORLD WAR II // 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

From newspapers of Sept. 18, 1945: Four-million people died at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, a British military prosecutor declares at the opening of the trial of Josef Kramer, the "Beast of Belsen." Kramer and 44 SS aides are charged with conspiring to commit mass murder at both Auschwitz and Belsen. They listen impassively as prosecutor Col. T. M. Backhouse details mass starvations, beatings and torture at the camps. Backhouse singles out one of the accused, 24-year-old Irma Grese, as being the most brutal SS woman guard. The trial is being held in a converted gymnasium in Lueneburg, Germany, and Britain is conducting it on behalf of all Allied countries whose nationals suffered in the camps. In Tokyo, Gen. Douglas MacArthur says he thinks 200,000 men will be enough to serve as an occupation army in Japan. His statement surprises State Department officials in Washington, who say they fear America's Allies will think it is planning to withdraw at an early date, leaving the Japanese largely in charge of their own affairs. MacArthur says military rule without the Japanese government would take "several million" troops to enforce.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement