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Oral history interview with Fred Walters

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.100 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0100

Frederick A. Walters describes being a Jewish soldier, serving in the 474th Infantry Regiment of the US Army; being aware of the existence of concentration camps from the Stars and Stripes and Armed Forces Radio Network but did not think he would ever witness them; entering Buchenwald in April 1945; being shocked to see the dead in the camp and the appalling conditions of approximately 150 surviving prisoners; how his regiment was not responsible for the care of the survivors but gave them army rations until food until medical care arrived; his memory of a man who gave prisoners money and may have been Edward R. Morrow; the shock of his regiment in witnessing the realities of the camp and how they had refused to believe published and broadcasted reports; how no official or unofficial meetings were held to discuss their reactions and no regimental history documents the experience; the denial of the Weimar townspeople to having knowledge of camp activities; being shipped to Norway to handle the surrender of German army units; finding that German soldiers denied knowledge of camps and did not believe his eyewitness testimony; the presence of the same disbelief in the US upon his return; and his thoughts on sharing his experience for the first time since the war.

Fred Walters
1988 February 01  (interview)
1 sound cassette (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 10:59:40
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