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Oral history interview with Encil Mizer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.88 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0088

Encil Mizer discusses his experiences during WWII when, in 1945, he was a 28-year-old Corporal assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 701st Tank Battalion attached to the 102nd Infantry Division; coming upon, in April 1945, a large burned-out brick barn standing alone in a field with dead bodies visible at its door; inspecting the building and determining that the Germans had placed straw soaked with gasoline at the building, herded the men of a nearby forced labor camp into the building, set it afire, and covered the exit with a machine gun; a small emaciated child who had somehow survived the massacre; the smell of the burned bodies, which was overwhelming and unforgettable; the German citizens from the nearby town who were brought to the barn where they were forced to lay out a cemetery, dig 1,019 individual graves, and place crosses and Stars of David as appropriate; the citizens claiming not to have known what went on in the camp; the German Air Corps being responsible for the camp; the reaction he and his fellow soldiers had to the camp; returning home and not talking about his experience for a long time; having some problems adjusting to life after the war; growing up in a small town in Ohio and feeling different from others in his military unit who were from big cities; the Italian-American soldiers and his two best friends in the unit who were Jewish; his brother-in-law, who had been a prisoner of war and claimed that his survival was due to receiving Red Cross packages; and having some pictures of what he saw and even some pictures of German officers burying their dead which he was willing to share with the museum.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Encil Mizer
Interviewer
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
Date
interview:  1994 February 26
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 12:50:57
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn80874