Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Leonard Greenblatt papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2013.318.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Leonard Greenblatt papers

    Please select from the following options:


    The Leonard Greenblatt papers consists of materials documenting the experiences of First Lieutenant Leonard Greenblatt of the 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division US Army. The papers include photographs taken by Greenblatt of the Wöbbelin concentration camp shortly after its liberation in May 1945. The photographs depict corpses piled in a building, an unidentified United States soldier standing near the building, and German civilians from the nearby towns who were forced to dig graves and bury the corpses. The papers also contains a letter dated May 6, 1945, written by Greenblatt to his girlfriend (later wife), Betty Mae Bender of Miami, Florida which describes his affection for her and his experiences at the liberated concentration camp. There is also a copy print of Greenblatt’s army unit.
    creation:  circa 1945 May 02-1945 May 06
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marilyn D. Greenblatt
    Collection Creator
    Leonard Greenblatt
    Leonard (Leslie) Greenblatt was born December 3, 1917, in Vineland, New Jersey, to Jewish parents Morris (Moses) and Ida Lipman Greenblatt. Leonard had an older sister, Judith, and a younger brother, Edwin. His father, who had immigrated from Russia in the 1890s, was a chicken farmer. Morris died in 1928, when Leonard was 10 years old. During the 1930s, Leonard’s family moved to Miami, Florida. Leonard graduated from college and worked as an accountant in Miami.

    On November 12, 1941, Leonard enlisted in the US Army. On December 8, the United States entered World War II. In spring 1942, Leonard was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. In April 1943, the 82nd Airborne was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Leonard was a platoon leader and participated in eight campaigns as the unit advanced through Italy, France, and into Germany: Sicilian, Naples, Foggia, Rome, Arno, Ardennes - Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, beginning with Operation Market Garden, and Central Europe campaign. The 504th crossed the Rhine on April 6, 1945, near Hitsdorf, a diversionary tactic to mislead the Germans. On May 2, 1945, the 82nd Airborne liberated Woebbelin concentration camp, a subcamp in the Neuengamme system. Following the liberation, Leonard visited the camp and photographed the atrocities. In a May 6 letter to his future wife, Betty Mae Bender (1921 - 1999), Leonard described seeing a building where “the dead were stacked three and four deep - all just skin and bones” and wrote that “it [was] difficult to believe that human beings were responsible for such a mess - even after actually seeing it.”

    Following Germany’s May 7 surrender, the 82nd Airborne remained on occupation duty in the American sector of Berlin. First Lieutenant Greenblatt returned to the US in September 1945 and was honorably discharged in November. He received a Bronze Star for amphibious activities at Anzio, a combat infantryman's badge, and a Presidential citation for the Hitsdorf battle. Leonard married Betty Mae and they had two children. Leonard, age 90, died on November 25, 2008, in Pineville, North Carolina.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Leonard Greenblatt papers are arranged in a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Marilyn D. Greenblatt donated the Leonard Greenblatt papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 15:57:06
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us