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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 concentration camp.

"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 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 firewood.

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 Battalions.

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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