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Oral history interview with Howard Margol

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.397.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0845

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

Howard Margol, born February 22, 1924 in Jacksonville, Florida, describes his identical twin Hilbert as well as his older brother Melvin and sister Bernice; his parents who emigrated from Lithuania and married in the US; living in a Jewish neighborhood and attending a public school; his father’s correspondence with his sister in Lithuania until the letters stopped once the war began; graduating high school along with his twin brother in June 1942 and entering the University of Florida and the ROTC program; the activation of their reserve unit on April 3, 1943; going to Camp Blanding, FL for indoctrination and then to Ft. Bragg, NC for basic training; joining the Army STP (Specialized Training Program) which sent them to the Citadel in South Carolina and then Syracuse University to study engineering; being transferred in January 1944 to the University of Illinois in Champlain; being split up from his brother in April 1944 when Howard was sent to the 104th Infantry Division in the Mohave Desert and Hilbert was sent to the 42nd Rainbow Division at Camp Gruber, OK; training on the M1 rifle and qualifying as an expert marksman; being transferred to the 392nd Field Artillery Battalion; the process for getting Howard approved to transfer to Hilbert’s unit in the summer of 1944; traveling on a troop ship to Marseilles and life during the 15-day journey; being gunners in their first combat position near Strasburg; the Battle of Wurzburg, after which they arrived in Schweinfurt before going to Nuremberg; being ordered to secure Schweinfurt; going towards Munich on April 29, 1945 and being ordered to pull off to the right side of the road in a wooded area at one point; smelling a strong odor and finding boxcars with corpses inside; the photographs he took of the inside of the boxcars; seeing the main part of Dachau concentration camp briefly; the end of the war; being given the duty of checking the IDs of passengers taking trains and later taking survivors to a resort hotel in the Austrian Alps; learning the fates of his father’s family in Lithuania; and visiting Dachau on the 50th anniversary of its liberation.

Interviewee
Howard Margol
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2015 October 20  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:25:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn530888