Sometimes, I wish I were an angel. Sometimes, I wish I were you.





A three-man commission consisting of Judge Gordon Simpson of the Texas Supreme Court , Edward L. van Roden from Media, Pennsylvania and Lieutenant General Charles Lawrence Jr . began work for which they established an office in Munich . They not only reviewed the sentences reinstated by General Clay , but also the 139 existing death sentences pronounced by the Americans at the Dachau trials . This review came far too late for 152 men. They had already been executed by the American hangman at Landsberg. On 26 November 1948 16 men were hanged, including SS-Untersturmfuhrer Karl Kirchner of the 12. SS-Panzer-Division"Hilterjugend". In the period from October to December 1948 alone, 110 men were hanged at Landsberg.

On 18 December 1948 the National Council for the Prevention of War in Washington wrote:
"The Germans who have not yet been hanged should be given a reprieve until a complete judicial inquiry into their cases can be conducted. The American examining magistrates , who abused their powers as victors and who trampled on justice in the fullest sense of the word , should be branded preferably in a public trial, preferably in the United States of America . The american investigating magistrates should be indicted for incitement to perjury and misfeasance."
-Münchner Allgemeine Zeitung, NO.3

On 5 may 1949 Judge van Roden stated officially that fake trials and coercion had been used to obtain confessions on which the sentences were based...The results of the investigation were published in both the American and German press. The commission, which was named after Simpson, unmasked the American procedures during the trial and pre-trial investigation and stated in its final report that the men

"...had been subjected to un-American methods of the third degree to force them to confess . Hoods which were still bloody from the blows others had received were pulled over the heads of the suspects , so that , without seeing anything , they could be brought to a fake trial that many believed to be genuine where they were "sentenced"... After the prisoners had been "sentenced" to death , they were offered an opportunity to escape with a lighter sentence if they would sign a confession . Judge van Roden found that recalcitrant prisoners were so badly beaten that doctors and dentists had to work overtime on broken jaw bones and loose teeth . The report even mentioned cases when the American interrogators disguised themselves as priests or pastors to obtain confessions in this way..." 

- Simpson Report of 19 September 1948 as published in the Chicago Tribune editorial of 13 Oct 1948


Church paper of the Augsburg Diocese on 20 January 1974

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