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Oral history interview with Kenneth Colvin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1991.264.6 | RG Number: RG-50.234.0006

Kenneth Colvin discusses his service as a Corporal in the 515th Medical Clearing Company; going to various camps as they were liberated: giving emergency medical attention, separating the dead from the living, disposing of the dead, and feeding and medicating the living, many of whom were malnourished and had tuberculosis; working as a "surgical technician" despite having no real medical training; helping survivors in a factory in Braunau, Austria; giving plasma to hordes of prisoners, on whom it was hard to find veins; going to Stalag 6 in Hemer, Germany in April 1945; the conditions in the camp; his experiences giving medical assistance to survivors in Mauthausen and several other camps; how his unit stayed for an extended period of time in the Ebensee concentration camp; how he and his unit could only help so long as they stayed emotionally numb; meeting survivors and learning about their lives in the camps, including a Greek inmate who had marched from Auschwitz to Ebensee; the attitudes of the United States soldiers; ways in which he coped with his wartime experiences; spraying all the prisoners from head to toe with DDT to kill lice; how the army unit's food sergeant stole food from the army to give to the prisoners in Braunau; and reasons for sharing his story with his children. The video also includes images from Ebensee.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Kenneth J. Colvin
interview:  1981 October 27
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..