A Horror Never Forgotten
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I dread going over to certain websites that contain 'news'. Daily, I scan and scour various sites around the 'net, looking for information and updates. Some sites have become so politicized that I can't stand to go to them very often. CNN has become such a site; but today, they brought this one out that MUST NOT be missed:
The diary arrived in a Red Cross package, along with a Sheaffer fountain pen. Acevedo mixed snow with the ink to help it go further; other times, he'd urinate in the ink container to make it last.
There were two journals in the pack. He gave the other to Pfc. Stephen James Schweitzer, POW #25802, on March 20, 1945. Schweitzer would also survive the war.
Acevedo wanted to make sure history was recorded. It was ingrained in him, as a medic and as a soldier who kept the war ethos: I will always place the mission first; I will never quit; I will never accept defeat, and I will never leave a fallen comrade.
This is the story of medic Tony Acevedo, 86, who survived the Berga slave labor camp with a diary of what he and his comrades had endured. CNN covers his visit to the Holocaust museum in DC, and his donation of the journal he kept to their archives. His is the first of an American citizen to the museum, and the only Mexican-American among the survivors listed there.
Most of those captured with him were from the Battle of the Bulge. To survive that period only to die in a hell-camp just adds insult to injury. Worse, in my mind, is how the Army treated them after they were liberated:
He was liberated on April 23, 1945. Before returning home, Acevedo signed a document that still haunts him today. "You must give no account of your experience in books, newspapers, periodicals, or in broadcasts or in lectures," it said.
It ends with: "I understand that disclosure to anyone else will make me liable to disciplinary action."
The military tried to shove this under a rug- in order to appease Germany at the start of the Cold War, and to try to prevent further condemnation, the survivors were never recognized until 2009 when they were finally recognized for who they were- survivors of a death camp. Even the commanders of Berga were spared; the military would not let Acevedo and others testify to the conditions that they endured at the camp- the death marches, the inhumane treatment.
Blackfive, like other mil-blogs and pro-vet sites on the internet, stand to prevent just this sort of cover-up from occurring. None of us here would even consider hiding or covering up such an occurrance- no matter the circumstance. To do such an injustice to our brothers-in-arms is beyond our collective comprehension. In fact, to those that understand why B5 began this blog, bringing out the truth and the REAL stories of our bretheren is what we are all about.
To think that someone would try to hush something like this, and/or not work to bring it to light is reprehensible. To me, the actions of leaders in the US are nearly as deplorable as the actions of the Nazis in this case.
Go read the article- watch the video. It's a keeper.