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Oral history interview with Sid Shafner

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0444.10 | RG Number: RG-50.467.0010

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    Oral history interview with Sid Shafner


    Interview Summary
    Sid Shafner, an American Jewish soldier, discusses being a member of an intelligence and reconnaissance (I&R) platoon in support of the 20th Armored Division during WWII; being reconnoitered on a road to Munich, Germany when he came upon two 15-year-old youths in what he thought were carnival garb, who reported that the Germans were killing nearby camp inmates; relaying this information to his superiors and thereby initiating the storming of the Dachau concentration camp; his memories of the inmates being given too much food which their shrunken stomachs could not manage and thereby caused some to die; a German Jewish refugee named Oscar Wells, who became a US soldier and lined up former camp guards and shot them; the Swiss Red Cross demanding a trial of Mr. Wells, and the subsequent court martial under General Patton's auspices which found him not guilty; the military government personnel who took over the administration of the camp as the platoon moved on; the unit adopting the two young Jewish youths and bringing them along to Vienna, Austria, as the war ended; the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee sending one of the youths, Marcel Levy, to Israel and settling the other in Vienna; making contact with the Vienna Rothchild Center, which housed Jewish refugees; bringing food to the refugees and helping them find relatives by using his military mail; staying in contact over a period of 50 years with Marcel Levy (Marcel married, had two daughters, and several grandchildren); and their families meeting when one grandchild from each family celebrated their Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem.
    Sid Shafner
    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..

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Shafner, Sid.

    Administrative Notes

    The interview with Sid Shafner 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 08:41:21
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