Author's Notation


These are the true stories told to me by the infantrymen who were at the wall in Dachau that historical day in 1945. 18 years have been spent in the research of this book.

“The Day the Thunderbird Cried” primarily emphasizes the actions of the 45th Infantry Division, known as the Thunderbirds; as well as those in the 42nd, 99th, and 106th Infantry Division.

World War II Historian, and author, David L Israel, entered the army in May 1945 in New York City. Took infantry basic training in August, Georgia, (Camp Gordon). Trained as a demolition man in Germany, and later transferred to the Military Intelligence outfit.

“When the war ended German prisoners of war were incarcerated in quarters that were formerly used to hold concentration camp prisoners. My unit was assigned to the Dachau concentration camp to interrogate and seek out high ranking War Criminals who tried to hide among the throngs of lower ranking German soldiers. I was the only American born member in my unit.

When the GIs went into Dachau they were completely overcome by what they saw, heard and smelled. With tears in their eyes they wanted to apologize to these shapeless beings in front of their eyes: men, women and children. Their minds boiled over from the inhumanity. No one would ever be able to explain what they felt in those first few minutes of liberation. It was just too much for a human mind to accept, which is exactly why they cracked and rounded up the German guards who had perpetrated these unimaginable horrors.

President Roosevelt did not even believe the intelligence reports he had been getting about the mass killings taking place in Europe at the hand of the Germans. In truth, no one could have believed that human beings could act against other human beings in such an inhuman way until seeing the horrors with their own eyes. When the GIs went into Dachau and saw what they saw, they cracked.

Today, we face a different problem with Revisionists and Deniers, who for their own reasons spread stories about the Holocaust being nothing more than a myth. Seeing this with my own eyes at UC Davis, where speakers would show up on a weekly basis denying the Holocaust, prompted me to set down the facts as I had witnessed them.

The most positive comments received on, ‘The Day the Thunderbird Cried’, came from combat veterans who often bought several books because they wanted all members of their families to know 'what it was all about,' but could not find their own words to describe it."