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April 29, 1945: The Liberation of Dachau

On April 29, 1945, James W. Garner from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, stepped through a freshly blasted hole in the wall of Dachau Concentration Camp. Garner, a provost marshal with the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division, emotionally recalled it as, “the most searing moment of my life … you can’t imagine what humans can do to humans,” he said. Dachau was liberated 75 years ago this month when the U.S. Seventh Army’s 45th Infantry Division, the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division, and the 20th Armored Division entered Dachau, rescuing 32,000 prisoners.

Prisoners at Dachau Cheer Approaching American Soldiers

Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp and was established in 1933. Originally built to house a maximum of 10,000 political prisoners, the population of Dachau and its subcamps swelled to more than 60,000 as prisoners from other camps arrived on transports ahead of advancing Allied armies in 1944. Overcrowded conditions, lack of food and sanitation, and executions led to staggering death rates in the camp. Prisoners were subject to horrific torture and laboratory experiments.

As American soldiers neared the camp on April 29th, they came upon 40 railway cars filled with corpses in various stages of decomposition. The Nazi work of unloading the bodies and sending them to the crematory had been interrupted. Just days earlier as Allied soldiers neared, SS guards had received orders to evacuate the camp. Some 7,000 prisoners set out on a forced death march from Dachau to Tegernsee. Guards shot anyone that couldn’t keep up. When American soldiers arrived on April 29th, more than 30,000 prisoners remained in the camp. After passing the railway cars, American soldiers continued toward the gates.          

Bodies in Railway Cars Outside of Dachau

Prisoner Arnold Shay, Dachau No. 135584, remembered seeing Garner appear through the blasted hole in the wall. He and other prisoners assembled in the compound yard waiting in line for their turn at the gas chambers. The arrival of the Americans brought a flood of relief to Shay and other prisoners, ending a nightmare that began when Nazi soldiers burst into his family’s home in the Jewish ghetto. The soldiers beat his father until Shay could, “hear the bones cracking,” and ran forward to help him. He was struck in the head with a rifle rendering him unconscious. When he awoke, he was en route to Dachau. The arrival of American forces meant his nightmare was finally over.

After a brief battle with a few remaining guards, the Americans took control of the camp. Some Nazi guards were rounded up and killed by American forces so infuriated by what they saw.

Dachau Prison Barracks Soon After Liberation

American soldiers began the process of interviewing survivors, caring for the critically ill, and documenting the atrocities in the camp. German soldiers destroyed many of the camp records three weeks before the arrival of the Americans, making an exact accounting difficult.  

An estimated 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933-1945, and approximately 28,000 prisoners died in the camp between 1940-1945. If you would like to learn more about Dachau Concentration Camp, see records from the Dachau Entry Registers, historical records from the U.S. Seventh Army, and an astounding secret diary kept by an inmate at Dachau and later recovered by American soldiers. Search these records and others including our Holocaust Collection on Fold3 today!

251 Comments

  1. Lee_B says:

    From research conducted by others I’ve learned that my father’s outfit, the 2nd Chemical Warfare Battalion, was at Dachau the day the Army liberated the camp. I understand that because of what the Army feared they might find they sent in the 2nd Chemical Bat. who was trained to deal with a variety of toxins. What my father saw that day forever changed his life. Although he never spoke of it to my mother or me, he did chat with a close friend. Years later that friend refused to share any details but said it was beyond anything imaginable.

  2. Richard J Petranek says:

    My father whose first language was Czech was a member of the 393th Ambulance Corp, 3rd Army. He was sent to Dachau to aide those who had been interred. I have a picture of him in Dachau…. He lived with the horror of the war til he had dementia …then he found peace

  3. Dave Kerr says:

    “Many of the I Company men were also sickened by the realization of what some of their comrades had done that day. Hank Mills said, ‘We came over here to stop this bullshit and here we’ve got somebody doing the same thing. Once [the German guards] were unarmed, they were prisoners. You can’t shoot ’em, you can’t do that. That’s an atrocity, I’m sure.'”

    Rock of Anzio, Flint Whitlock, page 385.

  4. Bobbie Roeske says:

    My father was a linesman, part of the 42nd infantry, and one of the first soldiers inside. He spoke Polish and talked to some of the survivors. He didn’t talk much about it, but told us this. A frail old woman approached him and said, “Are you an angel? My father replied, “No, mother, I am an American soldier and I am here to set you free.” I still cry when I think about the horror they witnessed.

    My brother told me he and dad were watching tv and deniers were saying these things never happened. My father became angry, went to the basement and brought up photos he took at the camp. “Don’t ever let anyone say this never happened,” were the words he said to my brother as he shared the photos of bodies and furnaces, and skeletal survivors.

  5. Willis Harvey says:

    I was one of the members of the liberating army, 222nd Infantry, G company. Part of the rainbow division. I remember very well the whole horrible situation. As the article states, you can’t believe that humans would inflict the horrors on another human. The sanitary conditions didn’t exist, whole place smelled like a sewer. A series of memories that I would really really like to forget. I celebrated my 94th birthday in January and still remember how horrible this was for not only the prisoners but also for those of us that were there to get them out.

    • Dave Kerr says:

      Kudos to you, Mr. Harvey.

      Dachau was hell for those interned there and a traumatizing experience for many of its liberators.

    • Keavy Sargent says:

      Thank you for your service, thank you for your yes to help others. I hope and pray for peace over your mind and heart as it’s unimaginable what you had to see and what others had to experience. Words cannot show the amount of my and my families gratitude.

    • Steven Brown says:

      Thank you for your service in that war…my wife’s father was part of the infantry that was forever scarred by what they witnessed at Dachau that day…his nightmares continued until he passed away in 2008…as Alzheimer’s began to claim his mind in his final months, he briefly relived that period when the camp was liberated, and proceeded to knock on the doors in the nursing home ward in which he resided, telling those he encountered that they were free, and could go home…sadly, he never applied for PTSD treatment, feeling there were far too many who more needed the VA’s limited resources more than he.

    • ed dodson says:

      My uncle Ray was one of the many thousands of young men that went in on D-Day. I made it a point to tell or show my sons what men like you and my uncle Ray did for this nation and the world as a whole in that dark time. Thank you for telling your story here. We must never forget!

    • Roxanna L Keyes says:

      God bless you sir. Thank you for your service, thank you for the strength to be a liberator for so many, thank you for the continued strength to share the truth.

    • Megan Bogley says:

      God bless you Mr. Harvey and thank you for your service. Because of people / Soldiers like you, we as a society should be grateful for what we have. There will never be enough thanks to make up for the sacrifices you and your comrades in arms made to defend our country and defend those that could not defend themselves. That’s why your generation will be forever immortalized as “the greatest generation.”

    • Pete Siegel says:

      Mr Harvey,

      I hope you have given your oral/video history to someone along with any other documents or photos. It is vital that the stories of The Greatest Generation be preserved.

    • I sent a previous reply but my computer acted up so I don’t know if you got it. However, I wanted to just say, Thank you so much for your service! I can’t imagine what you saw and what you went through during the war. My mother was an Army Nurse with the 1st Army in Europe. She, too, was in one of the concentration camps but not Dachau. She had a few pictures but she rarely, if ever, talked about her experience. God bless you and give you peace. Thank you for sharing!

    • Maria says:

      Thank you so much for freeing them and for your service to our country.

    • Jennifer Napierski says:

      I went to Dachau years ago when I lived in Germany and the faces of the people they used in the experiments (from pictures they had there) are seared into my memory. I can’t even imagine what they went through or the horrors your father saw.

    • Susan says:

      You are an angel Mr. Harvey. Thank you for your service. May we never forget.

    • Terrie says:

      God Bless You. Thank You for serving and helping to free fellow humans from the atrocities inflicted on them. I truly hope we and our future children will learn and love from the history of our past. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are AWESOME!!!

    • Jane Lennox says:

      I respect you so much for doing what you were called to do… as unimaginable as it was. My son is in the military in Edmonton AB. Thank you doesn’t seem enough but thank you.

    • Matthew Ralley Wedel says:

      Mr. Harvey,
      Thank you for sharing your story. My Great Uncle (I called him Granpa) was Ralley Wedel. He was a member of the 42nd and I dont remember him sharing a single story with me. He talked to my parents about how bad it was, but never his grandkids. I know he was trying to protect us from that.

    • Bradlee Harris says:

      After my father, Robert Lee Harris, passed away in 2012 I found photos from his Leica camera in an envelope with “Dachau” written on it. They were horrific in black and white. I can’t imagine how much worse it was to witness in person.
      As with most men who fought my father never spoke much of his service and nothing about this. I have tried unsuccessfully to get his detailed records from National Archives. They were destroyed in the fire. I know only that he was part of Patton’s 3rd army but not the company he was in or his job. His rank was sergeant.
      From a newspaper article in his home town after the war it said his last job had been as a guard over German prisoners. Even my mother did not know of this. She thought he had been a clerk and didn’t see anything.
      A hell of a lot for a 23 year young man to witness. How could any not be affected or changed?
      I have a photograph of his insignia, medals and badges but cannot determine what all of them represent. Some are not listed on the Army website. If anyone on this feed knows of him I would be so very grateful for any information.

    • James G Hamilton says:

      Was Col. Walter “Mike” Fellenz the head of your unit? I knew him in the 1970’s when I was in my teens & he was a great man. Thanks for your service to our country.

    • Lis says:

      Mr. Harvey, thank you for your service to our country in an abominable moment in history and for your witness here. Happy 94th, may you have many more healthy ones. You are a blessing.

  6. Jan Penland says:

    I was a child during WWII, and vividly remember photos in a magazine (probably Life) of a female Nazi sitting at a desk, working by the light of a lamp with a shade of human skin. I visited Dachau in 1990 and will never forget the experience. As so many others have commented, the silence was eerie. I remember a bud vase containing a flower sitting on one of the ovens. I was literally unable to speak for several hours after leaving the place.

  7. Raphael Klarfeld says:

    I used to volunteer at the Stonewall National Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, USA, which is the iargest circulating gay library in the US. In about 2005 they displayed the Smithsonian traveling exhibit about gays and the Holocaust and I taught the docents. The gays were not all freed because the war was over Many were not released until Paragraph 175 was abolished much later because they were imprisoned under that law. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  8. Charlie Brocksmith says:

    Army truck driver from 66-68 in Germany. Delivered supplies to the small barracks next door. Walked around the block on a Sunday and visited. There is a nunnery on the site there where prayers are said. Not much left then but the cremation buildings and piles of what I was told were piles of cremains covered with growing flowers. It was very peaceful/quiet, but had a strange feeling. If you go to Munich go for a drive and visit.

  9. ROBERT W. BURDICK,MD says:

    My father’s division the 63rd ( fire and blood) apparently participated in liberating Dachau( and his company the satellite camps) as the division is honored by the holocaust Museum in both NYC and Washington. Of course he NEVER spoke of this but I have his diary with dates and towns and villages he went through-he was in 363rd medical battalion company D-any relatives out there who had family in his division and hopefully in his medical battalion/company please contact me(I never got any replies when he passed in 2001)
    Also does anyone know what ribbons he was eligible for?
    Please answer one way or another.
    thanks Robert W. Burdick,MD
    dad was Reuben W. Burdick T/5

  10. Lori Moreland says:

    My father, H. Myron Moreland, was one of the liberators as he was part of the 20th armored division of the US army. He was 20 years old at the time. It forever impacted his view of the world.

  11. Dolly says:

    My father’s unit was there as well on that first day to liberate. 83rdChemical attached to Rangers.

  12. Joyce says:

    My dad was also in the 20th Armored Division. THough out his life he would occasionally wake up smelling Dachau.

  13. Darlene Berry Spengler says:

    I was four year old in 1950, living with my family in US occupied Germany. My father, a Captain, was working with Displaced Persons helping them resettle and heard many tragic stories of internment in Dachau. He insisted that our family see Dachau so that we never forget how inhumane man can be. I was the youngest and full of questions, What was that horrible smell, what was that bulldozer doing? What were those ovens in between those buildings? My mother explained the horror when my brothers opened the metal door to look inside and saw ashes that hadn’t been completely removed! We saw the reception room that was actually a gas chamber. It was only years later that I could comprehend what I saw. But, I never forgot the smell.
    About 8 years ago, my husband and I visited Munich where my family had lived and took a tour of Dachau. The smell remained only in my mind and everything was neat and many buildings were removed including those ovens. The tour guide told us that there weren’t ovens at Dachau. I disagreed and related my experience. He said he didn’t find any references to ovens in his research. Maybe it was felt that the ovens were a part of Dachau that shouldn’t be memorialized. It’s a memory that I will never forget even if I was too young at the time to realize the tragedy.

    • C. Forrester says:

      Darlene, I toured Dachau in 2017 and our guide took us to see three ovens that are tucked away on the property. That memory is forever in my brain. Just letting you know that you’re right and some guides do show them…I’m sorry you had to correct him because they are there – two in the gas chamber building and one just outside of that building.

    • Mari Toole says:

      So glad to see these posts. I visited while I was living in Darmstadt in 1962 and thought perhaps the smell was from a dead rat.
      The barbed wire crown made such an impact on me.

  14. Angela Dunmore says:

    I visited the memorial in 1980 with my Dad who served in WWII. Walking through the life sized photos and hearing the rolling shutters coming down in the movie theater after learning about the gas chambers was chilling! Later, I learned that my Uncle Herbie, 3968th Quartermaster
    Truck Company, was at the liberation. He hadn’t gone with us because he said it brought up too many horrible memories. Man’s inhumanity!

  15. Sameera V Thurmond says:

    As an African American with a past of slavery, I can only feel unbelievable anger toward any one who would participate in something so inimical to the lives of any human beings. I hope that God will prevent our ever committing such a heinous crime again.

  16. Debi Goodman says:

    When we were stationed overseas(USAF, 26 yrs), my husband and I took our daughter on a trip to Germany. Part of our heritage is in Bavaria. We decided to take our daughter, 14 at the time, to Dauchau. She had become very bored with “moldy old castles” and such. It was late November, about 40 degrees and damp. The skies were dark. I have never felt anything like it. There were may a dozen people there. We went through the museum where I found a picture taken from a prisoner that looked EXACTLY like my father. That poor man could have been a relative. Our daughter was silent for 3 hours. I took a picture of us at the gates, but no others. It didnt seem right. We purchased a book and movie there. It sunk in. My daughter is 28 now. She remembers that day more clearly than any other. She wrote a paper in high school and took an entire semester a out the holocaust in college. We cannot let future generations forget or let the deniers win. God bless those who served.

  17. Gary Howell says:

    My wife and I visited Dachau in the mid 90s along with my Mom and Dad who were celebrating their 50th Wedding anniversary. I am an avid reader— especially of military history and, prior to our trip, had read several books re the British SOE and female agents they had enlisted. Of course, the agents adopted code names and one that really stuck with me was Madeleine—Noor Inayat Khan—a beautiful, exotic educated woman with an Indian father and American mother. I had read that she and 3 other SOE operatives were eventually captured and shot at Dachau. As we traveled the grounds of Dachau we came to the ovens and near them was a plaque dedicated to Madeleine and the 3 other agents shot—Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerent, and Elaine Plewman. Reading that plaque and realizing I was physically where these 4 agents were shot on September 13, 1944 was one of the most emotional moments I have ever had. My Dad, who had survived the hell of New Guinea and New Britain, was equally overcome. As we walked back across the grounds I thought of what occurred at Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Auschwitz-Birkenau and hundreds of other Nazi killing sites. It is incomprehensible—but it DID occur. I don’t think Robert Burns could have envisioned this when he talked of “man’s inhumanity to man”. If you have not read of the heroism of the SOE agents in WWII, you should.

  18. Gail Wright says:

    My father was one of the Liberators. He told me about the horrors he witnessed. He said the bodies were stacked like cords of wood and the only way you knew who was alive was from their eye movement.

  19. Celeste says:

    My sister and I had the sad privilege of visiting the camp last year. We remembered with pride my uncle who was one of the American liberators. We deeply were grief-stricken by the insurmountable horrors generated there against innocent humans because of their religion, race, sexual identity, and careers that were too professional and truth-seeking for the Nazi devilry. We remembered them for their courage and suffering.

  20. Tom Richey says:

    My dad was with the 45 ID and one of the first in to the camp, said he took a squad to look in the railcars and was horrified. The impressions of what he saw there haunted him his entire life, understandably so. He had many photographs that he took while there, my brother is in possession of them now.

    • Dan Law says:

      My grandfather Harry C. Law told me he was also one of the first to arrive at Dachau, ahead of the front line, and that he was the first American doctor on scene. I’m not sure in which infantry he was serving (he was from Western New York) and have not found any information on fold3 or elsewhere. I wonder if he was with your father. He did tell me about the stacked bodies just before he died 20 years ago, but prior to that he spoke very little about the war.

    • Dave Kerr says:

      Dan,

      According to the 29 June 1945 Division Roster, Capt. Harry C. Law was with the Clearing Company of the 120th Medical Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division. He would have arrived at KZ Dachau after it was secured by the infantry.

  21. Zelda Ladan says:

    My father had photos he took of that day, he was a medic, and his memories haunted him for all of his life, although he rarely spoke of it. His photos were self-processed, but all of them had a stamp on the back declaring them “not for publication”. I saw them when I was a child, and they were awful, carts full of bodies, and death everywhere. They were damaged and finally discarded due to weather damage to our home.

  22. H.Gates Kunkler says:

    Gen Eisenhower on Nazi concentration camps WWII….
    Holocaust & Concentration Camps
    “But the most interesting – although horrible – sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda’.”

  23. Ardra Finney says:

    My father was Capt. William R. Finney of the 20th Armored Division (1908-1964). As others have said, the horrors he saw at Dachau never left him. The nurse at the hospital where he died told me he would start yelling in the middle of the night and wake up everyone else. He never talked about the war, but I later worked with an ex-Army man who finally asked one day if my father was William Rutledge Finney. (Goosebumps to this day when I think about it!) When I said yes, he told me their story. He said they were together at Berchtesgaden on V-E Day and Daddy said it was my seventh birthday (it was). They were chasing Hitler’s S.S. troops, had crossed the bridge at Remagen before it collapsed and were at the Liberation of Dachau before going on to rid the world of Hitler. My dad called his jeep “So ‘Tis Ardra” after me and there was a tank “Doris” named after my sister. They also acquired a German trailer he called “Sister”. I can’t help but wonder if Jean, Louise and Matt’s dads knew my dad.

    One item I have is the 20th Armored Division’s “yearbook” of their time from activation to deactivation. Several pages relate the horrors of Dachau with many pictures. One of those pictures shows my dad standing and looking down at the dead bodies. That section starts with the following comment:

    “Dachau!!! 20th Armored Division led the way to its capture by Infantry troops. 20th Armored Division troops were there and saw its nauseating horror. Here was the proof of cruelty, sadism, ruthlessness of every vicious characteristic of which man can be guilty. Hardened veterans of war looked and retched. It was that bad. The pictures on these pages will bring it back to those who saw.”

    I hope the world never forgets.

  24. Cindy Guerra Holmes says:

    My Dad Ramiro R. Guerra, passed away two days shy of his 95th birthday on March 11, 2020. He was a member of the 45th Infantry Division as was among the first who help liberate Dachau. He was our hero, He said the atrocities he saw stayed with him and the other soldiers with him. He also fought in Korea and Vietnam.
    My brother went back with my Dad and his family several years ago. It was a very somber visit but he was recognized there as a hero.

    • Dave Kerr says:

      Cindy, your dad was a Tec 4 with the 45th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 45th Infantry Division, according to the 29 June 1945 Division Roster. According to the After Action Report, the Troop was providing “protection to the Division headquarters and protection to the Commanding General’s CP” on 29 April 1945. Since MG Frederick was at Dachau on that day, it is entirely possible that your father was at Dachau on 29 April.

  25. Gary says:

    This piece, along with the comments, should be posted on social media (such as Facebook) so that the larger audience is exposed to it and the truth to which it attests. Please, post this.

  26. Kathy Hurla says:

    My father was with the 42nd Rainbow Division, serving as the Motor. Sergeant for the divisional Cavalry Troop. I had the pleasure of traveling the trail of the Rainbow Division with my Dad on a Rainbow Division reunion trip in 1988. Going into Dachau wasn’t a pleasure. It was gut wrenching. All six of Dad’s children were proud of his short career in the Army. He didn’t talk to us of what he saw. I was enlightened going on that journey with him.

  27. Peter Wlodylo says:

    My father Wasyl Wladylo was a prisoner in Dachau, before that he was a prisoner in Natzweiler France nazi concentration camp. He was a member of the French Resistance, I remember his first hand accounts after he had a few beers talking to his Polish friend here in the US in Jersey City. I was about 5 at the time. The question was “What did you do during the war” He replied, “I was working for the French Underground, they caught me and put me in a camp, I did not know exactly where, they made us sleep on barb wire and beat us in the middle of the night, they gave me a uniform with no numbers, I had to remember my numbers or they would beat me, they made us line up for the morning lineup, they would hang us every morning and we did not know who was next. Friendly guards told me “They are going to hang you in the morning” I hid in a crevice in a wall, they tore the camp apart for days, they could not find me. Friendly guards told me where to go to get under the wire, they came looking for me after I got out, I hid in a canal under the water filled with sewer, for 3 days I was there breathing through a straw, I did not dare move, they were very very close, they gave up, they could not stand the stench. I was escaping on a train, the SS men came on both sides of me, pointing pistols at my head, what could I do? They took me to Dachau and beat me, I lost several of my teeth, I almost died. ” How did you get to the US? “The US Army showed up and rescued me, I spent years in the hospital” This story that I am relating to you is from my father Wasyl Wladylo, I am Peter Wlodylo and I was born in the DP camp in Munchen Germany, Father, mother and I came to New York City and came to live in Jersey City. I got confirmation from the US Holocaust Museum . The German Government said “Your father was arrested by the German Armed Forces for being a member of the French Resistance.

  28. Brenda says:

    My father, Carl Clifton, was one driving one of the first tanks into Dachau with the 20th Division. I just can’t imagine what he went through seeing all the devastation of humans that went on there. He never talked about it much to his 4 daughters though.

    • Dave Kerr says:

      No tanks drove into Dachau when it was liberated. In fact, the role of the 20th AD in the liberation on 29 April 1945 is problematic.

  29. William Kemp says:

    My father of the 38th Armored Inf 7th Armored was captured near St. Vith and was incarcerated at Stalag IV-B at the end of Dec 1944. By the end of April 1945, he was released by the Russians and nearly died of pneumonia and weighed about 88 lbs. He carried his POW tags back with him along with some holocaust pics apparently given to him by British soldiers. One of them was particularly graphic. Since I saw this picture all through my years I could never forget it.

  30. I am 91 years old and am now one of relatively few people still alive that saw Dachau before it was “renovated” and eventually turned into a historical museum. Barracks, ovens, etc, were still there. Interesting, but many German civilians who lived and worked nearby denied knowledge of the atrocities that occurred there.

    Not meant to be a funny story, but that prison facility was used after WWII by US Military forces as a prison for American GI’s who had broken various military laws. Some German people “misunderstood” the level of punishment meted out there.

    I was stationed in Freising, Germany in 1948 – 1949 with the USAF 604th AC&W Squadron.

  31. Kathy says:

    My father, Lawrence (Jonny) Fransted, was a tec 5 42 recon squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry. He passed away in 2009, Does anyone know is he was at Dachau? My cousin says he told her he was but he did not talk to me about it. Thank you very sincerely! Kathy

  32. James G Hamilton says:

    Was Col. Walter “Mike” Fellenz the head of your unit? I knew him in the 1970’s when I was in my teens & he was a great man. Thanks for your service to our country.

  33. L. Harvey Kirk says:

    My father, then-Maj. Lewis H. Kirk, was sent the day of Dachau’s liberation from Army HQ to document the scene with notes and photos. I have copies of the 36 pictures he took that day… the railroad cars, the fake shower/gas chamber, the crematorium, stacks of dead bodies everywhere, the dead German guards… most are too graphic to share.

  34. Mary Guerra Nicholson says:

    Mt Father, Ramiro Guerra, was part of the 45th Division. He was there. He never spoke of things he saw until much later in his life. His life here recently ended. He “graduated” on to heaven on March 11, 2020, just 2 days shy of his 95th birthday. He had just turned 20 when he saw the “unthinkable” there.

    May God bless all those who served, persevered, and endured these horrible things; and the families that supported them. Dad said we were united as a country then, fighting for a common goal. We are losing the greatest generation very rapidly now. They would all be in their 90’s. May we take a moment and learn from them.

  35. My father Ernest Donald Braden joined the army at the beginning of the war in Owensboro, Ky. He was placed in the paratroopers for training. Once the training was in full force they discovered he had a heart murmur. He was discharged and worked for the war effort.
    My question: Would there be a record of his joining and them being discharged. Would there be any papers?

  36. H.Gates Kunkler says:

    I’m a retired Naval Aviator having flown on 9 Aitvraft Carriers.
    This is a true story about….
    Mac McCullough who had a locksmith business next door to mine in Flour Bluff, a suburb of Corpus Christi, TX. We became very good friends.

    McCullough, Lory L, b. 04/19/1920, d. 12/13/1987, MAJ US ARMY, 82nd Airborne.
    Burial Plot: 2C 441, bur. 12/17/1987, San Antonio Military cemetery. 232-22-8191
    Star & Stripes Apr 1, 1944, pg2 promoted to Maj 7968th Hq Grp. in USAREUR.
    1st Lt. captured 28 Sep 1944 in Holland by German Army. Interned in Camp 045.
    Escaped from German prison camp in North Poland in winter with another American POW.
    Made their way South to Intl Red Cross in Warsaw. Received warm clothes (Russian uniforms).
    Continued their trek S between German and Russian lines to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, The Russian Army picked them up thinking they were German army and tossed in a Russian POW camp. Two weeks later, The Russians were convinced they were U/S Army.
    Caught a boat to Cairo, Egypt. US Military in Cairo placed them in refugee camp until they determined who they were. (Satellites weren’t invented yet). They were always hungry! Few weeks later, after positive ID, they were given some// money and sent to US Army in Naples, Italy. They were given US Army enlisted uniforms. Since they were Officers, they had Officer bars placed on their uniforms.
    They were then tossed in the Army brig for impersonating Officers! This was finally ironed out and he called his wife. She wanted to know if he was calling from Russia. She had a telegram from the War Department that he was in Russia.later on.
    Note: War Department became Dept of Defense

    Repatriated 21 Mar 1945

    McCullough, Rosemary V, b. 02/17/1921, d. 09/07/1983, MAJ USA,
    Plot: 2C 441, bur. 09/09/1983, *

  37. Janet Perkins says:

    This history needs to keep being told so no one forgets the atrocities.