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Oral history interview with Sid Shafner

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

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Sid Shafner
Interviewer
Sandra Bendayan
Date
interview:  1995 July 15
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Survivors and Surviving Generations of the Holocaust
 
Record last modified: 2019-12-05 21:27:43
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513244