Description : Members of the Rainbow Division, 42nd Infantry discuss what it was like to participate in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in April of 1945.
Description : On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and—perhaps most disturbing of all—the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes. Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts—including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections— Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.
Description : Seventy years have passed since the tortured inmates of Hitler’s concentration and extermination camps were liberated. When the horror of the atrocities came fully to light, it was easy for others to imagine the joyful relief of freed prisoners. Yet for those who had survived the unimaginable, the experience of liberation was a slow, grueling journey back to life. In this unprecedented inquiry into the days, months, and years following the arrival of Allied forces at the Nazi camps, a foremost historian of the Holocaust draws on archival sources and especially on eyewitness testimonies to reveal the complex challenges liberated victims faced and the daunting tasks their liberators undertook to help them reclaim their shattered lives. Historian Dan Stone focuses on the survivors—their feelings of guilt, exhaustion, fear, shame for having survived, and devastating grief for lost family members; their immense medical problems; and their later demands to be released from Displaced Persons camps and resettled in countries of their own choosing. Stone also tracks the efforts of British, American, Canadian, and Russian liberators as they contended with survivors’ immediate needs, then grappled with longer-term issues that shaped the postwar world and ushered in the first chill of the Cold War years ahead.
Description : Written by the staff of the U.S. 7th Army soon after its liberation, this report stands as evidence of some of the worst crimes of the Holocaust. The images contained within also document the inhuman suffering inflicted at Dachau. “DACHAU, 1933-1945, will stand for all time as one of history’s most gruesome symbols of inhumanity. There our troops found sights, sounds and stenches horrible beyond belief, cruelties so enormous as to be incomprehensible to the normal mind. DACHAU and death were synonymous. No words or pictures can carry the full impact of these unbelievable scenes but this report presents some of the outstanding facts and photographs in order to emphasize the type of crime which elements of the SS committed thousands of times a day, to remind us of the ghastly capabilities of certain classes of men, to strengthen our determination that they and their works shall vanish from the earth. The sections comprising this report were prepared by the agencies indicated. They remain substantially as they were originally submitted in the belief that to consolidate this material in a single literary style would seriously weaken its realism.”-Foreword.
Description : "A masterwork of minimalism." --Entertainment Weekly From the critically acclaimed author of The Apartment comes a powerful, poetic, and haunting exploration of loss, love, and isolation, now available in paperback. An American living in London receives a phone call from a German policewoman telling him the nearly inconceivable news that his sister, Miriam, has been found dead in her Berlin apartment-from starvation. Three weeks later the man, his father, and an American consular official named Trish find themselves in the bizarre surroundings of a fogbound Munich Airport, where Miriam's coffin is set to be loaded onto a commercial jet and returned to America. Greg Baxter's bold, mesmeric novel tells the story of these three people over the course of three weeks, as they wait for Miriam's body to be released, grieve over her incomprehensible death, and try to possess a share of her suffering--and her yearning and grace. With prose that is tense, precise, and at times highly lyrical, MUNICH AIRPORT is a novel for our time, a work of richness, gravity, and even dark humor. Following his acclaimed American debut, MUNICH AIRPORT marks the establishment of Greg Baxter as an important new voice in literature, one who has already drawn comparisons to masters such as Kafka, Camus, and Murakami.
Description : Poems by and biographies of inmates of the Dachau Concentration Camp, testimonies to the persistence of the humanity and creativity of the individual in the face of extreme suffering.