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Oral history interview with Richard W. Peterson

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0066 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0114

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Richard W. Peterson, born September 29, 1925 in Iowa, discusses his family’s Danish background; growing up in a Baptist family; first learning about the war in Europe and his family’s concern for Denmark; antisemitism in Iowa; hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor; his involvement with ROTC and Boy Scouts; attending Drake University; joining the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program (ASTRP); reporting to Fort Crook for the reserve program and then to Camp Dodge in Iowa; being sworn into the U.S. Army; training at Camp Livingston in Louisiana with the 86th Blackhawk division; being assigned to A Company, 342nd Infantry; being sent to Le Havre, France; traveling through France, the Netherlands, and Germany; fighting in a battle in Attendorn, Germany; entering what appeared to be a factory in Attendorn and seeing starving people there; the reaction of his comrades to seeing the prisoners; the liberation of Auschwitz; being sent to the Philippines from September 1945 to March 1946; finishing his degree at the University of Iowa; graduating from law school in 1951; getting married; his father’s appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court; how he was a United States Magistrate Judge; his three children; and how he feels about American current events, politics, and world news.

Interviewee
Richard W. Peterson
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
1999 April 06  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).