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Oral history interview with Larry Christian

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.25 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0025

Larry Christian discusses his experiences during WWII when, in 1945, he was a 19-year-old Private First Class (PFC) soldier assigned to the 111th Combat Engineer Battalion, a part of the 36th Infantry Division, Seventh Army; entering the Dachau concentration camp shortly after its liberation; his memories of the smell in the camp; the quiet in the camp and the absence of German guards; seeing that the gates were open; staying in the camp for about 15 minutes but finding the experience traumatic; seeing hundreds of stacked, naked bodies awaiting burial by German civilians, who had been gathered by US soldiers from nearby villages; how the German civilians seemed as shocked about what they saw as he was; the two dozen or so survivors who left the camp, still in their striped prison garb, and found food in the surrounding area; many former inmates suffering from eating more than their starved bodies could handle; the 121st Infantry Regiment, which had caught some of the former guards and were sending them away; failing to comprehend at the time exactly what had happened there; not understanding until later about the extent of the Holocaust; what he saw when he returned home; his friend who took pictures of the camp; and his disbelief that anyone could deny the Holocaust happened.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Larry Christian
Interviewer
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
Date
interview:  1994 April 13
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 12:50:42
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn79930