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Oral history interview with Albert R. Moran

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.90 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0090

Albert Moran discusses his experiences during WWII; being a Corporal, employed in the Motor Pool of Company H, 66th Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division; his unit approaching a small concentration camp at the close of the war; being alerted about the camp but not expecting what he saw; arriving in the camp, where the gates had been opened and 100 to 200 prisoners were streaming out, all looking like skin and bones; the lack of food in the camp; the soldiers giving the former inmates their K rations which consisted of hard crackers; receiving orders to not feed the former inmates, but to bring them to the Field Hospital which had been set up on a small incline; approximately 150 former inmates needing assistance to get to the hospital; seeing some former inmates crawling on their hands and knees begging for food; the medics feeding them with liquids; seeing only men in the camp, all in tattered uniforms and all around 45-55 year old; observing that they seemed to be mostly Polish, and not knowing if they were Jewish; seeing hundreds of dead bodies scattered around the compound and in buildings; the trenches containing dead bodies; the German guards, who had apparently departed a couple of days earlier; his unit checking the Germans of military age in the nearby town to see if any of them had been SS guards; Army Engineers arriving to clean up the camp; his unit staying only a couple of hours and then moving on; his memories of an instance at Christmas time when a German unit nearby loudly celebrated Christmas, and the fighting started again in earnest the next day; not wanting to talk about his experiences after the war; becoming more conversational when in midst of fellow veterans of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion; the history of the 71st Infantry Division being recorded in a book with pictures, just like the books of other divisions; not being able to forget the image of prisoners crawling on hands and knees and begging for food; and hearing stories of other camps like Dachau, and knowing that those stories were hard to believe unless you had seen this yourself.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Albert R. Moran
Interviewer
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
Date
interview:  1993 December 04
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: 2020-07-08 14:55:26
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn80909