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Oral history interview with Philip Solomon

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.21 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0021

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    Oral history interview with Philip Solomon


    Interview Summary
    Philip Solomon describes serving in the United States Army as part of the 101st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), which liberated the Landsberg concentration camp on April 28, 1945; his unit’s arrival in Germany in February/March 1945 and their military mission; their lack of knowledge of concentration camps or the scale of mass murder; how their first indication of Nazi horrors occurred after crossing the Rhine, heading east, when his unit captured small towns, liberating displaced persons from forced labor camps (mostly Eastern Europeans); his second indication came when liberating several prisoner of war camps; the ominous experience of finding sealed railroad cars on a siding filled with dead concentration camp victims; his unit stopping on April 28, 1945 near the city Landsberg, Germany waiting for a bridge to be repaired and unaware of the camp 1000 yards away; how a shift in the wind eventually alerted them to the smell and sight of smoke from the camp, where retreating S.S. had just massacred the inmates; his unit finding about 20 starving and ill survivors; the conditions of the camp and his feelings upon seeing the massive piles of bodies, hangings, and other atrocities; how his unit had no food or medical and could only radio for help; being commanded to leave Landsberg after 20 minutes in order to seize and hold a causeway near Munich, Germany; the reactions of the prisoners to liberation and the response of the young soldiers to the experience of witnessing atrocities in the midst of war; his own complex and gradually evolving psychological reaction to the experience; his concern about genocides since World War II; and his faith and pride in his Jewish heritage.
    Philip Solomon
    Ellen Rofman
    interview:  1987 May 28
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Solomon, Philip.

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Philip Solomon in Philadelphia, PA on May 28, 1987. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College on September 26, 1997.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:36:01
    This page:

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