Germans unveil memorial tomurdered war-time US POWs

26th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 August 2004 , RUESSELSHEIM - Residents of a town in Germany have unveiled a memorial to eight US prisoners of war who were killed by an irate mob of townspeople 60 years ago. On hand for the solemn ceremonies in Ruesselsheim were relatives of those who were killed as well as one 79-year-old American veteran who had managed to evade being bludgeoned to death by the mob. The eight US Army Air Corps men were crew members of a bomber that had been shot down near Osnabrueck in August 1944. They were being tr

27 August 2004

RUESSELSHEIM - Residents of a town in Germany have unveiled a memorial to eight US prisoners of war who were killed by an irate mob of townspeople 60 years ago.

On hand for the solemn ceremonies in Ruesselsheim were relatives of those who were killed as well as one 79-year-old American veteran who had managed to evade being bludgeoned to death by the mob.

The eight US Army Air Corps men were crew members of a bomber that had been shot down near Osnabrueck in August 1944.

They were being transferred to a POW camp when, as fate would have it they arrived in Ruesselsheim only hours after a British bombing raid had destroyed much of the city.

Enraged townspeople overpowered guards and pulled the men from their truck, attacking them with garden tools and tyre irons. Only two managed to escape.

After the war, several residents were tried and condemned to death in connection with the murders.

"It requires all the strength within us to face this blight on our community and to come to terms with it," said City Council Chairman Ernst Peter Layer during the ceremonies.

"An eye for an eye must never be allowed to become the law of a civilised people," he added. "A bombing raid does not justify murder."

DPA

Subject: German news

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