General George Patton was a real American hero—a legendary tactician with exceptional oratory skill, a giant of such combat prowess that the first tank designed after World War II bore his name.
He was also a professional grade anti-Semite.
After liberation, Patton oversaw United States operations for displaced persons camps in Europe. Well, not so much “oversaw” as treated Jews horrendously. In response to U.S. inspections of the camps, Patton journaled, “[The inspector believes] that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews who are lower than animals.” He went on to say that the Jews had “no sense of human relationships,” and likens them to locusts.
Unfortunately, Patton wasn’t all talk. He let Nazis bunk with Jews and gave them positions of authority, disobeying General Eisenhower’s command to “de-Nazify” the camps.
Patton’s overseeing was so dreadful and cruel that after the inspection, President Truman, in a letter to Eisenhower, wrote, “We appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them…One is led to wonder whether the German people…are not supposing that we are following or at least condoning Nazi policy.”