Fake News Isn’t New: the Truth Behind a World War II Massacre
In 1944, Nazi soldiers executed 84 U.S. troops. The Germans were later captured and convicted of war crimes, yet were released in the wake of claims that they had been tortured and forced to make false confessions by their American interrogators, some of whom were Jewish. Both the U.S. and West German press reported these claims as if they were true, leading to what came to be accepted as a narrative of Jewish revenge.
Professor Steven P. Remy (Brooklyn College, The Graduate Center) recently published The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy (Harvard University Press, 2017), which delves into the truth about the worst atrocity committed against American soldiers during World War II. The false claims led to senate hearings in 1949, spearheaded by Senator Joe McCarthy. “What’s forgotten is the Army officers, investigators, and lawyers who went up against McCarthy,” Remy says. “Though they ultimately didn’t prevail, they stood up for facts and evidence, reason and truth. That’s a lesson for today.”
Remy is also the author of The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University (Harvard University Press, 2002).
Explore This Work
The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy
Harvard University Press, 2017
The Malmedy Trial: A Case of Truth, Justice and False History (CUNY Book Beat Podcast)