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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
1993 April 26  (interview)
1993 December 03  (interview)
Oral histories.
1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 13:58:43
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