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Oral history interview with Milton Harrison

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.85 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0085

Milton Harrison describes being a 19 year old First Sergeant in the Medical Detachment of the US Army’s 9th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 6th Armored Division; hearing in 1945 about German atrocities; how on April 11, 1945 on the way from Mühlhausen, Germany towards the Saale River his unit encountered Russian prisoners of war who had escaped from Buchenwald; learning about the camp and that most of the SS had already left; how a tank under the command of Captain Kiefer with a total of four Americans was dispatched to investigate; following shortly after with a small group of 28 men; finding on the way an unguarded "Little Buchenwald", a camp for mostly Jewish children between 10 and 14 years old who had worked at hard labor; reaching the main camp and seeing that the ovens were still hot; inspecting the camp and being shown a lampshade made from human skin and rows of bottles containing human parts; how the inmates did not receive any medical or other help for several days; how on April 12 the Haffen SS attacked Buchenwald with small arms and mortar and the participation of 44th Infantry Battalions in overwhelming the SS on April 14; medical assistance arriving on April 14; General Groh and General Patton touring the camp and being horrified; how the inhabitants of Weimar were ordered to bury the dead; and his role as one of the historical officers of the Buchenwald Information Committee of the 6th Armored Division Association.

Interviewee
Milton Harrison
Date
1987 August 18  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:57:39
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508726