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Oral history interview with Arthur Johnson

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0126.24 | RG Number: RG-50.156.0024

Arthur L. Johnson, born and raised in Hudson, Wisconsin, describes his education and graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN in 1941; being drafted in October 1941; going to England in January 1944; being an officer in an ammunitions supply company; landing in Normandy, France on D plus 12 (June 18, 1944); crossing through northern Europe with General Bradley; the Battle of the Bulge; going up into the Rhine area; visiting to Buchenwald concentration camp after it had already been liberated; his shock when he first saw the camp; going to the camp to provide medical and food supplies; the reporting they had read in the Stars and Stripes newspaper; the conditions of the former prisoners; going on a tour in the camp commandant’s house; the non-Jewish former prisoners he met; the African American soldiers in his unit and the effects of the 1943 Detroit Race Riot had on their training and landing date at Normandy; having an interest in the civil rights movement and studying sociology in graduate school after the war; joining the Army Reserve in 1953 and being in the Active Reserve for 17 years associated with East Germany; being called back on active duty during the Berlin crisis in 1961-62 and spending a year at the Pentagon; being treated like a traitor and a spy by many of his colleagues and graduate students in the 1970s; his feelings on war; visiting the war memorials in Washington, DC; the conversations he had with German civilians immediately after the war; attitudes towards race within the army during the war; his experiences during the Battle of the Bulge when they were supplying ammunition to the 82nd Airborne; and the displaced persons who worked with them after liberation.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Johnson, Arthur
Lewin, Rhoda G.
interview:  1986 November 24
1 sound cassette (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:45:47
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