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Oral history interview with Norman G. Coulson

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.272.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0723

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

Norman Coulson, born on March 10, 1920 in Hanover, PA, discusses his family background and childhood; his interest in architecture; his marriage in 1941; being drafted in 1943 and his initial training with an anti-aircraft unit; being shipped to England; landing in France after D-Day; volunteering for architectural work and arriving at Dachau on May 1, 1945; his first experiences there; the presence of former SS guards and around 30,000 prisoners; becoming friends with a former prisoner who worked in his office; the black market; how the mayor and some citizens of Dachau were made to unload bodies of prisoners; preparing the camp for the Dachau trials of local SS guards; the struggles many prisoners had when they were told to go home; taking photos around camp to document it; the behavior of former prisoners and American soldiers; the food in Germany; the loss of his diary; the end of the war; wanting to finish his time in the army and leaving Dachau in May 1946; American soldiers’ general opinions of Soviet soldiers; how the camp changed over his time there; his postwar life and work as an architect; and never opening up about his experiences until the past year.

Interviewee
Mr. Norman G. Coulson
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2013 October 04  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:23:06
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn74542