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Oral history interview with Samuel Cohen

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.261 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0261

Samuel Cohen, born in 1923 in Philadelphia, PA, describes being drafted in January 1943; being sent to England in the fall of 1944 and entering France in December 1944; going with his division through Belgium and Luxembourg and then to Austria during the spring of 1945; not being aware of what was happening to the Jews; the shock of his division when they caught up with a death march from Mauthausen; liberating the 1,300 prisoners who were still alive and capturing about 150 German soldiers; continuing to Mauthausen, where they spent a day; taking pictures and writing a long letter to his brother describing what they found, both in the camp and when they saw the death march (he reads this letter during the interview); taking pictures of huge piles of bodies, mass graves in trenches, and survivors who look almost emotionless when faced with liberation; his interpretation of the SS men as cocky and almost smug and seeing no remorse or sadness on their faces, even after they had surrendered or were captured; returning to the United States in January 1946; his continued interest in international affairs; developing an exchange program with Japan in the 1970s; and his belief that developing an understanding of different cultures will help people avoid these terrible situations in the future.

Samuel Cohen
interview:  1993 April 26
interview:  1993 December 03
Oral histories.
1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:41
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