Senator Chuck Schumer, in a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” hypocritically opined that the “greatest thing I worry about this country, we are no longer fact based.” Americans, the Senate minority leader continued, “don’t have a fact base if, say, Breitbart News and The New York Times are regarded with equal credibility.”
Consciously or not, Senator Schumer was tendentiously expounding upon a famous quote from the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Democratic senator from New York City (1977 – 2000): “Everyone is entitled to their [sic] own opinions, but not their own facts.” But many prominent Democrats – living or deceased – have no credibility to lecture their fellow Americans about the critical task of distinguishing fact from fiction.
As I documented in a Daily Caller opinion piece in December about Democrats’ fake World War II news, Jesse Jackson, Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel (1971- 2016), NYC Mayor David Dinkins (1990- 93), and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau (1975 – 2009), were among the many high-profile Democratic disseminators of the Big Lie that African-American GIs freed two notorious concentration camps in Germany.
On December 17, 1992, more than 1,000 prominent African Americans and Jewish Americans attended a screening at the Apollo Theater in Harlem of the soon-to-be-discredited PBS film “Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II,” which falsely claimed African-American GIs liberated Buchenwald and Dachau, This showing of the faux documentary was actually a thinly-disguised campaign rally for the incompetent Mayor Dinkins, who was facing a difficult rematch with Republican Rudy Giuliani in November 1993. (Fortunately, for the future of America’s largest city, Giuliani won in a squeaker.)
Hosting this infamous night of historical falsification were Dinkins, Rangel, Morgenthau and Jesse Jackson, a losing contender in the 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential primaries. On the next two days, The New York Times published three articles supporting this monumental fiasco in Harlem: “A Tale of Black Liberators”; “Blacks and Jews Join Hands for a Brighter Future”; and “After a Night of Unity at the Apollo, Optimism Wavers.”
In early January 1993, I bumped into Representative Chuck Schumer at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in his Brooklyn-Queens district. As I was summarizing to him the unimpeachable evidence that the African-American soldiers of the 761st Tank and 183rd Combat Engineers battalions played no role in the liberation of either Buchenwald or Dachau, he was squirming uncomfortably when he suddenly blurted out – “Eric Breindel is writing about this in the New York Post” – and he scurried away. Breindel, the editorial page-editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Post who died in 1998, played a leading role in exposing “Liberators” as a hoax.
On February 11, 1993, after months of vociferous protests from veterans of the divisions that truly freed Buchenwald (Sixth Armored and 80th Infantry) and Dachau (45th and 42nd Infantry), and the intrepid reporting of Christopher Ruddy, Jeffrey Goldberg and Breindel, PBS and WNET yanked “Liberators” from the public airwaves, and commissioned an independent investigation by Morton Silverstein of the film’s sensationalistic claims.
Since my late father was a decorated combat veteran of General George Patton’s crack Sixth Armored Division, the genuine liberators of Buchenwald, I had joined the anti-“Liberators” brigade in early December 1992, and my first of many articles about this huge scandal was published in The New York Jewish Week one week after PBS and WNET pulled the plug on this crude work of racial and religious agitprop.
The Silverstein report, released to national publicity in September 1993, admitted African-American soldiers played no role in the liberation of either Buchenwald or Dachau. But none of the prominent Democrats, including David Dinkins, Jesse Jackson, Charles Rangel, Robert Morgenthau or Peggy Tishman, a prominent local Jewish community leader who also spoke at the Apollo Theater screening, ever repudiated his or her enthusiastic support for “Liberators.”
Moreover, no other leading Democrat from NYC, including World War II veterans Ed Koch, the former mayor (1978 – 1989), Hugh Carey, the former governor (1975 – 1982), and Senator Moynihan, rebuked his fellow party members for blatantly falsifying two major events of World War II history.
Similarly, The New York Times never owned up to its odious role in the propagation of the Big Lie of the African American liberators. But Christopher Ruddy, the current publisher of Newsmax, brilliantly documented in the March 1993 New York Guardian that The New York Times was the leading disseminator, between April 1985 and December 1992, of the Big Lie of the African-American liberators of Buchenwald and Dachau.
Two of these fake New York Times articles about African-American liberators were published during the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries: “Jackson Makes Appeal for Black-Jewish Ties” on May 31; and “Black Ex-GI a Bridge Between Jackson & Dukakis” on June 3. In the former article, Jesse Jackson expanded the Big Lie to include Buchenwald and Dachau.
The second Times article was an interview with phony liberator Paul Parks, a leading African-American supporter of Michael Dukakis, the eventual Democratic nominee, who had served as the Massachusetts secretary of education during Dukakis’ first term as governor between 1975 and 1978. The article falsely described as Parks as “part of a regiment of black soldiers that liberated Dachau.”
Paul Parks, who served during the war with the 365th Engineers Regiment, had a cameo in the infamous “Liberators,” in which he was incorrectly depicted as serving in the 183rd Combat Engineers, one of the two African-American battalions depicted in the movie.
On January 22, 1999, A.M. Rosenthal, who was The New York Times’ executive editor in April 1985 when it began peddling the Big Lie of the African-American liberators of Buchenwald, wrote a Times opinion article, in which he resurrected Paul Parks as a concentration camp liberator. But over the next several months, in the New York Post and the Jewish Forward, I demolished Parks’ claims of being a Dachau liberator.
In 1992 when prominent Democrats and The New York Times were peddling the Big Lie of the African-American liberators of Buchenwald and Dachau, many Americans naively trusted them. Fortunately, nearly a quarter century later, the majority of Americans are aware of that they are purveyors of fake news.