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Oral history interview with William Donahue

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0444.7 | RG Number: RG-50.467.0007

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    Oral history interview with William Donahue


    Interview Summary
    William Donahue discusses being a young soldier in April 1945 and a member of the 42nd Division Artillery; being assigned the duty of serving as one of the bodyguards for General Henning Linden (Brigadier General Linden was the Assistant Commanding General, 42nd Infantry Division); the liberation of the Dachau camp; going with General Linden to see the camp; seeing dead bodies in railway box cars and prisoners with dazed looks; how his memories of what he saw at the camp still affect him emotionally; being ordered to enter the camp to find the Regimental Commander and tell him to get out of the camp as quickly as possible because of potential diseases; being cheered by survivors as they saw in him; the Jewish, Russian, Polish, German prisoners in the camp; seeing members of the Swiss Red Cross as he left the camp; a nearby warehouse with new German uniforms, which was a stark contrast with the rags of the prisoners; attending a 42nd Rainbow Division reunion, held 50 years after the Division had liberated the Dachau concentration camp; meeting former prisoners at the reunion, including one person who had specifically remembered him; finding that some of the local young Germans had never been told of the history of the camp; and his strong belief that people must remember the horrors of the concentration camps to assure that this will never happen again.
    William Donahue
    Debbie F. Benezra
    interview:  1995 July 15
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Survivors and Surviving Generations of the Holocaust

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

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    Administrative Notes

    The interview with William Donahue was conducted on July 15, 1995, by the Surviving Generations of the Holocaust as part of a project documenting the testimonies of members of the 42nd Rainbow Division whom participated in the liberation of Dachau. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in March 1997.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:41:20
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