Exactly 24 years ago today, 1,200 prominent African Americans and Jewish Americans attended a screening at Manhattan’s Apollo Theater of the notorious PBS film “Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II,” which falsely claimed black GIs liberated Buchenwald (21,000 inmates) and Dachau (32,000 inmates), two of the largest concentration camps freed by the U.S. Army in the spring of 1945.
“Liberators” was directed by the late Williams Miles and Nina Rosenblum, and narrated by Denzel Washington, who recently, with unadulterated hypocrisy, complained about fake news while lecturing journalists about their duty “to tell the truth.”
The infamous evening in Harlem in 1992, broadcast in its entirety by WNET, PBS’s flagship in New York City, was actually a thinly-disguised campaign rally for Democratic Mayor David Dinkins, whose favorable rating with Jewish New Yorkers had plunged after his inexcusably inept handling of the anti-Semitic Crown Heights riots of August 1991, and who was facing a difficult rematch in November 1993 with Republican Rudy Giuliani. (Fortunately, for the city’s future, Giuliani won in a squeaker.)
This infamous screening of “Liberators” was hosted by local Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel, Manhattan’s Democratic District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, and Jesse Jackson, who during his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 widely disseminated, with the always helpful assistance of the radical-chic cadres at The New York Times, the Big Lie of the African-American liberators of Buchenwald and Dachau. Additionally, between October 1991 and December 1992, The Times published 11 fake news stories lauding “Liberators,” or the eponymous companion book from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
But on February 11, 1993, as a result of the vociferous protests of veterans of the divisions that truly liberated Buchenwald (Sixth Armored and 80th Infantry) and Dachau (45th and 42nd Infantry), and the intrepid reporting of Christopher Ruddy, Jeffrey Goldberg and the late Eric Breindel, the editorial-page editor of the New York Post, WNET finally pulled the plug on “Liberators.” The film’s main financial supporter also commissioned an independent investigation of its historical accuracy by Morton Silverstein, an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
(Since my late father was a decorated combat veteran of General George Patton’s crack Sixth Armored Division, the genuine liberator of Buchenwald, I joined the anti-“Liberators” brigade in December 1992, and my first of many articles about this gigantic scandal was published in the New York Jewish Week, one week after PBS and WNET yanked the faux documentary from the public airwaves.)
The Silverstein Report, released to national publicity in September 1993, conceded that the African-American soldiers of the 761st Tank and the 183rd Combat Engineers battalions did not participate in the liberation of either Buchenwald or Dachau, and WNET and PBS disassociated themselves from this odious work of racial and religious agitprop. But the unscrupulous propagation by leading Democrats of the Big Lie of the African-American liberators neither began in 1988 nor ended in 1993.
It was first disseminated during an International Liberators Conference at the State Department headquarters in 1981, the first major event held by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Leon Bass, a member of the American delegation and a future star of “Liberators,” was mischaracterized in a front-page article in The Washington Post on October 28, 1981, as a “high school principal from Philadelphia who liberated Buchenwald with an all-black unit.” In reality, Bass’s heroism consisted of a visit to Buchenwald on April 16, 1945, five days after it became the first large concentration camp freed on the Western Front. (Every Big Lie always contains a small grain of truth.)
The first chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Council was the late Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, who for 36 years after his liberation never wrote or said a word African-American GIs. The Holocaust Council was an outgrowth of Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s “Commission on the Holocaust,” created in 1978 as his support among Jewish Americans was rapidly sinking. The world premiere of “Liberators” at Lincoln Center on November 9, 1992, was co-sponsored by the WNET and the U.S. Holocaust Council, the overseer of our nation’s Holocaust Museum whose members are appointed by the president and Congressional leaders.
Thus, during the first months of Democratic President Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House, a major scandal had ensnared our nation’s Holocaust Council and Museum. But Clinton, who was the keynote speaker at the Holocaust Museum’s opening in April 1993 and who had received from Jesse Jackson a copy of the book “Liberators” in late December 1992, lacked the moral and intellectual courage to repudiate the black and Jewish leaders who were disseminating the Big Lie of the African-American liberators of Buchenwald and Dachau.
Barack Obama is the third Democratic president whose administration has propagated this Major Myth. In April 2010, Attorney General Eric “Nation of Cowards” Holder was the keynote speaker at the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany and Austria. With more than 100 genuine liberators in attendance, Holder only recognized the celluloid soldier, Leon Bass, whose 183rd Combat Engineers Battalion didn’t suffer a single combat fatality during the war.
As a result of 35 years of disseminating the Big Lie of the African-American liberators, Democrats have earned the title of the “Shameless Stolen Valor Party.” If President-elect Donald Trump is serious about draining the swamp of historical falsifications at the Holocaust Council and Museum, he might begin by appointing as chairman retired Major General Sidney Schahnow, who miraculously survived with his Jewish family Nazi Germany’s extermination, with the enthusiastic participation of Lithuanian collaborators, of 95 percent of the 150,000 Jews who lived in this Baltic nation during World War II.