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Oral history interview with Jack La Pietra

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.8.16 | RG Number: RG-50.063.0016

Jack La Pietra describes being sent to England as a part of the 9th Air Force, Tactical Air Command, supporting the 3rd Army; being a pilot for The Black Widow (Northrop P-61); being in the Battle of the Bulge during December 1944; getting to Buchenwald but having to wait for the Russians; visiting the camp with some of his squad members two days after the SS had fled; bringing his camera and being accompanied by a guide and translator, Reinhold; writing a detailed letter about the experience (which he reads and shows accompanying pictures from the camp); conditions in the camp; the crematoriums and nearby nooses; giving the inmates cigarettes and chocolate; details about Block 36, where prisoners underwent medical experimentation; the Commandant of Buchenwald, Karl Koch, and his wife, Ilse Koch; a monument made by carpenter inmates; the murder of Russian soldiers at Buchenwald; his personal philosophy and family history; how he is a liberal Catholic with sons who are Baptist ministers; his daughters, one of whom is married to the journalist, Bill Curtis; how the trip through Buchenwald had a lasting effect on his life; and using his letter as a teaching tool.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Jack La Pietra
interview:  1989 October 24
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:29
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