The Dachau trials were 1945–1947 trials that were held in the former Dachau camp. Defendants included alleged war criminals caught in the United States zones in occupied Germany and Austria, as well as for those individuals accused of committing war crimes against American citizens and its military personnel. The trials were conducted entirely by American military personnel.
See the article on the Nuremberg trials regarding the general situation and problems with trials during this time period. However, the Dachau trials are argued to have been even more problematic than the Nuremberg trials.
The revisionist Mark Weber has stated that "Stephen F. Pinter of St. Louis, Missouri, served as a US Army prosecuting attorney from January 1946 to July 1947 at the American trials of Germans at Dachau. Altogether, some 420 Germans were sentenced to death in these Dachau trials. In a 1960 affidavit Pinter stated that "notoriously perjured witnesses" were used to charge Germans with "false and unfounded" crimes. "Unfortunately, as a result of these miscarriages of justice, many innocent persons were convicted and some were executed.""
"August Gross, a German who worked as a civilian employee for the U.S. Army at the Dachau trials, later declared: The American prosecutors paid professional incrimination witnesses, mostly former criminal concentration camp inmates, the amount of one dollar per day (at that time worth 280 marks on the black market) as well as food from a witness kitchen and witness lodging. During the recess periods between trial proceedings the US prosecuting attorneys told these witnesses what they were to say in giving testimony. The US prosecuting attorneys gave the witnesses photos of the defendants and were thereby able to easily incriminate them."
"A tragi-comic incident during the Dachau proceedings suggests the general atmosphere. US investigator Joseph Kirschbaum brought a Jewish witness named Einstein into court to testify that the defendant, Menzel, had murdered Einstein's brother. But when the accused pointed out that the brother was, in fact, sitting in the courtroom, an embarrassed Kirschbaum scolded the witness: "How can we bring this pig to the gallows if you are so stupid as to bring your brother into court?.""
A commission charged with investigating the claims of abuse during U.S. trials in Dachau stated that "AMERICAN investigators at the U. S. Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beatings and brutal kickings. Knocking out teeth and breaking jaws. Mock trials. Solitary confinement. Posturing as priests. Very limited rations. Spiritual deprivation. Promises of acquittal."
Did Six Million Really Die? stated that "The American Judge Edward L. van Roden, one of the three members of the Simpson Army Commission which was subsequently appointed to investigate the methods of justice at the Dachau trials, revealed the methods by which these admissions were secured in the Washington Daily News, January 9th, 1949. His account also appeared in the British newspaper, the Sunday Pictorial, January 23rd, 1949. The methods he described were: "Posturing as priests to hear confessions and give absolution; torture with burning matches driven under the prisoners finger-nails; knocking out of teeth and breaking jaws; solitary confinement and near starvation rations." Van Roden explained: "The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four and five months ...The investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him and beat him with rubber hoses ... All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators." The "American" investigators responsible (and who later functioned as the prosecution in the trials) were: Lt.-Col. Burton F. Ellis (chief of the War Crimes Committee) and his assistants, Capt. Raphael Shumacker, Lt. Robert E. Byrne, Lt. William R. Perl, Mr. Morris Ellowitz, Mr. Harry Thon, and Mr. Kirschbaum. The legal adviser of the court was Col. A. H. Rosenfeld. The reader will immediately appreciate from their names that the majority of these people were "biased on racial grounds" in the words of Justice Wenersturm -- that is, were Jewish, and therefore should never have been involved in any such investigation."
Mark Weber testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 on the above statements. "Weber was familiar with the Simpson Army Commission and indicated that ultimately its findings were confirmed. The statements of van Roden quoted by Harwood had been reported in the American press at the time. Van Roden had also written a lengthy article in The Progressive magazine on his own initiative. (23-5921, 5922) In Weber's opinion, it was obvious that some of the assistants and legal advisors in these investigations were Jewish. It lent substance to the statement by Justice Wennerstrum that the staffs were biased on racial grounds, that is, they were Jewish. Weber believed that very few historians today would call the Nuremberg trials impeccably fair. Harwood was drawing a conclusion on Nuremberg based on the Malmédy trials; nevertheless, Weber felt it was not incorrect to say that what happened at Malmédy might be an indication of how Allied justice was imposed in Germany after the war. The United States conducted the Malmédy trials and most of the Nuremberg trials."
- Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- Mark Weber. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust. Institute for Historical Review. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p167_Webera.html
- Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/35irving.html