In the waning days of your Second World War, Hitler tried to break through the Allied lines in the Ardennes forest near a town called Malmedy. This is known to Americans as The Battle of the Bulge.
Some American soldiers, out of ammunition and surrounded, surrendered to the Germans. The Waffen SS (a Nazi paramilitary organization), under the command of Joachim Peiper, massacred 84 of the American prisoners of war by machine gun fire, finishing them by crushing their skulls or shooting them in the head. Miraculously, some Americans survived and, once reunited with Allied forces, reported the event.
After the war, there was a thorough investigation. Every American casualty’s location was marked, autopsies were performed, and Waffen SS members involved identified. A trial was conducted at the former Dachau concentration camp in July 1946. The Waffen SS Nazis were found guilty. Forty-three were sentenced to death and 22 to life in prison.
To make a long story short, after the trials and convictions, there was a move to shift the blame from the Nazis to those who had investigated the crime. One of, if not the most significant players in this was US Senator Joseph McCarthy–yes that Joe McCarthy. When all was said and done, every single Waffen SS Nazi previously convicted of the crime walked free by December 1956.
McCarthy held strong antisemitic sentiments, although he did have a few staff members who were Jewish. The most interesting of these was attorney Roy Cohn–yes the Roy Cohn who was mentor to Donald J. Trump.
It’s an interesting coincidence, isn’t it.