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Oral history interview with Raymond Keenan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.67 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0067

Raymond Keenan discusses his experiences during WWII when, in 1945, he was a 32-year-old Corporal serving in Company C of the 355th Regiment, 89th Infantry Division; his unit, which stumbled across the Ohrdruf concentration camp in 1945; seeing a dozen dead bodies lying in a circle with bullet holes in their heads (one was an American Aviator in uniform); only encountering two survivors in the camp, one of who was a Jew who had somehow hidden and thereby survived the killing of all the other inmates; the 15 bodies along the railroad tracks waiting to be burned; seeing at a nearby shed another 50 dead and emaciated men treated with lime; the terrible smell in the camp; the bodies showing marks where they had been beaten; a pit that was about 30 yards wide and 50 yards long where allegedly about 10,000 bodies were buried and where one leg still stood out of the ground; General Eisenhower, who came and looked at the site and was enraged; the mayor of the nearby town and his wife being forced to tour the camp; staying at the camp for three days and then moving on; not being able to forget what he saw at the camp and having dreams about it; asking himself “What kind of people could do such a thing?”; and how it had been the worst experience of the war for him.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Raymond Keenan
Interviewer
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
Date
interview:  1994 May 07
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes : analog.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mary Cook and Nita Howton
 
Record last modified: 2020-05-27 12:50:12
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn80122