General Patton letter in which he refers to Jews as ‘sub-human’ goes on sale online

The 1945 letter claims that liberated Jews had ‘no conception of sanitation, hygiene, or decency’


A "dark and disturbing" letter typed and signed by Second World War hero General S. Patton exposing his deep antisemitism is up for sale on a historical memborabilia website.

The letter, dated 4 October 1945 and addressed to former aide Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman, was written just three days before General Eisenhower relieved Patton of his command of the Third Army and just two months before Patton’s death from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.

In the letter, Patton seems to respond to a combative press conference that took place just two weeks prior in which Patton was blamed for the appalling living conditions at many camps for Displaced Persons, many of whom were Jews.

As a result of this press conference, General Eisenhower reportedly ordered Patton to improve the camps under his area of command and to attend a Yom Kippur service.

The letter, all but confirming the poor conditions of the Displaced Persons camps, reads: “So far as the Jews are concerned, they do not want to be placed in comfortable buildings. They actually prefer to live as many to a room as possible. They have no conception of sanitation, hygiene or decency and are, as you know, the same sub-human types that we saw in the internment camps."

The letter also refers to the people of the Soviet Union as “the degenerate descendants of Genghis Khan” and says the envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness in Europe "passes beyond belief."

Patton, who had been instrumental in securing Allied victory in Europe, was regarded by Adolf Hitler as "that crazy cowboy general" and won praise from enemy generals for his swift and audacious high-risk offensive manoeuvres.

After the war, Patton’s brashness, and indifference to the job of post-war re-education, and his desire to start another war with the Soviet Union, led to General Eisenhower and President Truman transferring him to a minor post with the Fifteenth Army.

Many years later, General Patton’s grandson, Robert H. Patton, would write: “The injection of antisemitism into his perception of the political dynamic of the occupation [of Germany] signalled his ultimate loss of moral bearings.”

The rare letter previously belonged to WWII memorabilia collectors Ira and Barbara Lipman but was sold in April of last year in New York City.

The current owner, and rare manuscript collector for over 40 years, told the JC: “There has never been another Patton letter even remotely similar content-wise. The timing of the letter alone, and it being from one of the most pivotal figures of the era, makes it a significant part of history.”

The seller’s website can be reached at, with the letter on sale for $64,000USD.

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