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Oral history interview with Charles Sandler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.50 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0050

Charles R. Sandler describes volunteering in April 1941 for the US Army; joining as a private, advancing, and eventually passing through Officer's School; serving with the 11th Armored Division for the duration of the war; being involved in the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland Campaign, and the Central European Campaign; being a member of the team that liberated the Mauthausen and the nearby Gusen concentration camp in May 1945; his task force encountering a brief resistance from a few SS men who were guarding the camp; encountering a strong unexplained odor near the camp and discovering piles of dead bodies (he shows several photographs of bodies and prisoners); Gusen being worse that Mauthausen; how people in the surrounding communities denied knowing anything about the existence of the camp; the liberating army group trying to nurse the inmates back to health, starting with a 900 calorie diet; meeting one liberated man, Simon Wiesenthal, years later in Buffalo, NY; being looked on with suspicion by the inmates because of his uniform until he identified himself as an American Jew; a memo written by a non-Jewish German physician that describes the conditions in the Mauthausen camp; the groups who deride Jewish activities during the war and his views on how the Jews contributed to the war effort; the loss of men in his division; a memorial that was set up for the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen; returning home from the war and the importance of sharing his experiences; and his hope that such tragedies will never happen again.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. Charles Sandler
Mrs. Toby Back
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:10
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