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Oral history interview with Seymour Kaplan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.177.24 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0024

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Seymour Kaplan, born September 6, 1926, discusses his idyllic childhood in Brooklyn, NY; his family being financially strapped; experiencing some antisemitism; his memories of having visitors to their home who relayed that Jews abroad were being killed; hearing about Pearl Harbor on the radio; being eager along with the other neighborhood kids to get into the military service (his brother served in Guadalcanal); the army induction process; leaving the US by ship in 1945; landing on Normandy beach; his combat duty in Nuremberg and Munich; his code name “Chico Blue”; hearing of Roosevelt’s death; speaking Yiddish to communicate with Germans; arriving in German towns; seeing Dachau concentration camp; his shock at seeing a pile of skeletal bodies (there was a Nazi officer on top); how the soldiers seeing Dachau for first time began crying and many threw up; speaking to the former inmates; speaking to a former Nazi guard; finding 36 box cars packed with murdered Jews; catching a SS trying to put on a striped prisoner uniform; hearing that an improper reintroduction of food could kill the emaciated survivors; returning to the US; his family’s disbelief over what he had witnessed; deciding not to speak about what he had experienced; and the 692 Tank Destroyer Battalion chart.

Interviewee
Seymour Kaplan
Interviewer
Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
Date
2015 September 06  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.
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Record last modified: 2018-08-09 10:31:40
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn530425