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John Oelrich collection

Document | Accession Number: 2000.350.1

Consists of a scrapbook compiled by John Oelrich while serving in the U.S. Army. Includes a certificate issued to Cpl. John A. Oelrich certifying his role as member of the permanent staff at Dachau Concentration Camp, signed by bearer and three others dated May-August 1945; a "mess pass" issued to Oelrich as a member of the 116th Evacuation Hospital, signed by 1st Lt. Adjutant George E. Bang, dated May-August 1945; a copy of Volume XLV, Number 19 of TIME magazine, cover depicting the face of Hitler with a red cross through it; a "Pony Edition specially printed for the Armed Forces", dated May 7, 1945, in English; and a letter addressed to "folks" from "Johnny" [John A. Oelrich], with the fourth page depicting a sketch map of Dachau Concentration Camp, dated 3rd August 1945, Bad Mergentheim, Germany, in English. Also includes photographs depicting various scenes in the Dachau Concentration Camp in the days and weeks following liberation.

Description of each photograph:
Photograph: Black and white image depicting street with trees one side and buildings the other, handwritten inscription verso " Just a street in the camp./Dachau May 1945" Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting buildings and a car, surrounded by a few men, typed inscription verso " Our liberated untilities [sic] pick-up truck is stopped by guards of the 45th Division between our quarters on the right and SHAEF on the left which also held the War Crimes Commision, Dachau Con. Camp, Ger. June 1945" "G-66" is handwritten in lower left corner. Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting van with Red Cross logo cloth on top of it outside building, typed inscription verso "116th truck in front of personnel quarters at Dachau where officers, nurses and 284 enlisted men lived of our unit. May 1945", "G" is handwritten in lower left corner. Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting doorway, above which is large Nazi insignia Eagle and Nazi swastika, handwritten inscription verso "One of the entrances to the 127th... quarters, Dachau May 1945" Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting group of men standing outdoors in front of poster which reads "PEACE FOR EVER / LONG LIVE THE ALLIED NATIONS", handwritten inscription verso "Prisoners put up banners all over the place welcoming us. They were to be killed, all 32,000, but we came too fast for the S.S. Dachau May 1945", Dachau Concentration Camp, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting man standing in white robe in front of building, handwritten inscription verso "How long will this one live? A partisan, up on his feet in the sun. I had one healthy looking one go to the latrine, come out, fall into my arms, and die. Dachau May 1945" Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting men pulling a wagon loaded with loaves of bread, handwritten inscription verso " This same wagon may have hauled bodies the day before, but it now contains the most important item in the world - food. The prisoners received, under the Germans, 1/8 of a loaf of black bread and something called soup per day. Dachau May 1945." Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting man dressed in Army Uniform standing outside building, typed inscription verso "Cpl Koerner at the front entrance to the SS building where we lived at Dachau. He was just returning from chow. June 1945." "65" handwritten in lower left corner. Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting stationary cattle train, May - August 1945, Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting naked bodies lying dead on ground, handwritten inscription verso " Bodies of the last dead from starvation, disease, or those murdered by the Germans. This is a merciful picture, you only see a hint of what is really there. Dachau May 1945." Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting large swimming pool with grassy verge on which two people are sitting, handwritten inscription verso "The S.S. swimming pool near the hosp. Area. Most prisoners swam nude right with the women of the camp. Now women usually wear an old dress. Dachau May 1945" Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting large doors with poisonous skull and bones symbol on them and warnings in German, handwritten inscription verso "The "delousing chambers" in the rear of the crematorium where men were gassed to death. Was a room next to them with "showers" where 40 perished at a time by gas. Dachau May 1945." Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in German and English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting men standing outdoors next to entrance of building labeled "Wd. 15", typed inscription verso "Healthier patients are left free to sit in the sun. Ward 15 of the 127th Evac Hosp, near the 116th. One patient, a victim of epidemic thyphus, [sic], displays his matchstick legs, caused by starvation. Dachau Con. Camp, Ger. May 1945" "G.76" handwritten in lower left corner, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting a hut amid trees and grass, handwritten inscription verso "One of the many air-raid shelters - near the crematory. Dachau May 1945." Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting group of men dressed in coats walking, typed inscription verso "Committee, complete with plenty of brass, walk toward compound where 32,000 prisoners still remained. Dachau Con. Camp, Ger. May 1945" "G70" written in lower left corner, in English.
Photograph: Black and white image depicting group of men standing on sidewalk, some in army uniform carrying guns, typed inscription verso "Congressional investigating committee at Dachau, to investigate.." "G68" handwritten on lower left corner, May 1945, Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, in English.

Extent
1 Scrapbook.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Oelrich Family
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Record last modified: 2018-04-05 09:31:40
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn30151