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Oral history interview with George Ouska

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.51.97 | RG Number: RG-50.759.0097

George Ouske discusses his experiences during WWII when, in 1945, he was a 23-year-old Staff Sergeant assigned to the 649th Engineer Topographic Service Battalion; his unit being ordered to the Dachau concentration camp, which had already been liberated; his first impressions when he came upon box cars full of dead bodies with evidence of cannibalism, since parts of bodies had been hacked off; the members of his unit being disgusted and angry at what they saw; seeing emaciated former prisoners were roving around the camp; observing that the former inmates were middle-age and older men; lacing any memory of having seen a crematorium; entering numerous barracks; the headquarters offices which had been ransacked; the German citizens from a nearby town being brought in to see the camp; finding it difficult to believe that they had not known what was going on in the camp; reading a lot about the camp since the war; returning home from the war and not having any problem adjusting since his unit had not been involved in any direct combat; his experience at Dachau; and being believed by the people he talked to about what he saw in the camp.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
George Ouska
Mary Cook
Nita Howton
interview:  1994 March 22
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 12:50:58
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