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Oral history interview with James R. Bird

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.12 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0012

James R. Bird, who was a 26-year-old Corporal in 1945 and a member of Battery A, 160th Field Artillery Battalion, 45th Infantry Regiment, discusses experiencing several hundred days of combat in Italy; having heard of concentration camps during this time; being unprepared for what he saw upon entering the Dachau concentration camp; the penetrating odor he smelled as he saw numerous dead bodies within railway cars, on the ground, and in the crematorium; staying at the camp lasted for a few hours; seeing former prisoners dressed in striped outfits and not having much contact with them; his unit moving on and experiencing a couple more days of combat before the war was over for them; not thinking much about this event in the intervening years, until he began reading books about the Holocaust; his desire to speak to high school students and counter those people who claim that the Holocaust never happened; his frustration that the murder of non-Jews during the Holocaust is not mentioned alongside the 6 million Jews who were killed; his thoughts on the Germans who shielded escaped POWs and kept fliers from being captured; and how the thought of Dachau is still shocking to him.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
James R. Bird
Interviewer
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
Date
interview:  1993 December 11
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette : analog.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mary Cook and Nita Howton
 
Record last modified: 2020-05-27 12:50:37
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn79828