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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

    Overview

    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.
    Interviewee
    William Donahue
    Interviewer
    Debbie F. Benezra
    Date
    interview:  1995 July 15
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Survivors and Surviving Generations of the Holocaust

    Physical Details

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

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    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
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn513241

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