Pictures & Records (1)

Add Show More

Stories

Introduction

Ohrdruf concentration camp was a Nazi forced labor and concentration camplocated near WeimarGermany. It was part of the Buchenwald concentration campnetwork and the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops.

U.S. Generals EisenhowerBradley and Patton inspect a cremation pyre at the camp on April 12, 1945, after liberation

Created in November 1944 near the town of Gotha, Germany, Ohrdruf supplied forced labor in the form of concentration camp prisoners for railway construction leading to a proposed communications center, which was never completed due to the rapid American advance.

In late March 1945, the camp had a prisoner population of some 11,700, but in early April the SSevacuated almost all the prisoners on death marches to Buchenwald. The SS guards killed many of the remaining prisoners who were too ill to walk to the railcars.

Ohrdruf was liberated on April 4, 1945, by the 4th Armored Division and the 89th Infantry Division. It was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the U.S. Army.

When the soldiers of the 4th Armored Division entered the camp, they discovered piles of bodies, some covered with lime, and others partially incinerated on pyres. The ghastly nature of their discovery led General Dwight D. EisenhowerSupreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to visit the camp on April 12, with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. After his visit, Eisenhower cabled General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, describing his trip to Ohrdruf:

. . .the most interesting--although horrible--sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda.'

Seeing the Nazi crimes committed at Ohrdruf made a powerful impact on Eisenhower, and he wanted the world to know what happened in the concentration camps. On April 19, 1945, he again cabled Marshall with a request to bring members of Congress and journalists to the newly liberated camps so that they could bring the horrible truth about Nazi atrocities to the American public. That same day, Marshall received permission from the Secretary of WarHenry Lewis Stimson, and President Harry S. Truman for these delegations to visit the liberated camps.

Ohrdruf made a powerful impression on General George S. Patton as well. He described it as "one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen." He recounted in his diary that

In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench. When the shed was full--I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January.

When we began to approach with our troops, the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crime. Therefore, they had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under them. They were not very successful in their operations because there was a pile of human bones, skulls, charred torsos on or under the griddle which must have accounted for many hundreds.

The bodies of prisoners lie stacked in a shed.

American soldiers walk past the bodies of prisoners killed during evacuation An Austrian-Jewish survivor points out the gallows to General Dwight D. Eisenhower A survivor views a pile of bodies stacked in a shed

Added by bgill

Dead German Female Guard

Dead German female guard from the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp. She was either killed by the U.S. troops or by the prisoners.

Added by bgill

Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald


 

 

Colonel Hayden Sears poses with Ohrdruf survivors, April 8, 1945

 

On April 4, 1945, American soldiers of the 4th Armored Division of General Patton's US Third Army were moving through the area south of the city of Gotha in search of a secret Nazi communications center when they unexpectedly came across the ghastly scene of the abandoned Ohrdruf forced labor camp.

A few soldiers in the 354th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division of the US Third Army reached the abandoned camp that same day, after being alerted by prisoners who had escaped from the march out of the camp, which had started on April 2nd. Prior to that, in September 1944, US troops had witnessed their first concentration camp: the abandoned Natzweiler camp in Alsace, which was then a part of the Greater German Reich, but is now in France.

Ohrdruf, also known as Ohrdruf-Nord, was the first Nazi prison camp to be discovered while it still had inmates living inside of it, although 9,000 prisoners had already been evacuated from Ohrdruf on April 2nd and marched 32 miles to the main camp at Buchenwald. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the camp had a population of 11,700 prisoners in late March, 1945 before the evacuation began.

The photograph at the top of this page, taken at Ohrdruf on April 8, 1945, shows survivors who had escaped during the evacuation of the camp, but came back after the American liberators arrived.

One of the American liberators who saw the Ohrdruf camp on April 4, 1945 was Bruce Nickols. He was on a patrol as a member of the I & R platoon attached to the Headquarters company of the 354th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division, Third US Army. According to Nickols, there were survivors in the barracks who had hidden when the SS massacred 60 to 70 prisoners on the roll call square before they left the camp on April 2nd. The body of a dead SS soldier lay at the entrance to the camp, according to Nickols.

 

 

 

Dead prisoners at Ohrdruf forced labor camp

 

In the photo above, the prisoners have been partially covered by blankets because their pants had been pulled down, an indication that these men might have been killed by their fellow prisoners after the Germens left. The first Americans on the scene said that the blood was still wet. The liberators all agreed that these prisoners had been shot, although some witnesses said that they had been shot in the neck, while others said that they had been mowed down by machine gun fire.

The American soldiers were told by Ohrdruf survivors that these prisoners had been shot by the SS on April 2nd because they had run out of trucks for transporting sick prisoners out of the camp, but there were sick prisoners still inside the barracks when the Americans arrived.

Among the soldiers who helped to liberate Ohrdruf was Charles T. Payne, who is Senator Barak Obama's great uncle, the brother of his maternal grandmother. Charles T. Payne was a member of Company K, 355th Infantry Regiment, 89th Infantry Division.

According to an Associated Press story, published on June 4, 2009, Charles T. Payne's unit arrived at the Ohrdruf camp on April 6, 1945.

The following is an excerpt from the Associated Press story:

"I remember the whole area before you got to the camp, the town and around the camp, was full of people who had been inmates," Payne, 84, said in a telephone interview from his home in Chicago.

"The people were in terrible shape, dressed in rags, most of them emaciated, the effects of starvation. Practically skin and bones."

When Payne's unit arrived, the gates to the camp were open, the Nazis already gone.

"In the gate, in the very middle of the gate on the ground was a dead man whose head had been beaten in with a metal bar," Payne recalled. The body was of a prisoner who had served as a guard under the Germans and been killed by other inmates that morning.

"A short distance inside the front gate was a place where almost a circle of people had been ... killed and were lying on the ground, holding their tin cups, as if they had been expecting food and were instead killed," he said. "You could see where the machine gun had been set up behind some bushes, but the Germans were all gone by that time."

He said he only moved some 200-300 feet (60-100 meters) inside of the camp. But that was enough to capture images so horrible that Gen. George S. Patton Jr. ordered townspeople into Ohrdruf to see for themselves the crimes committed by their countrymen - an order that would repeated at Buchenwald, Dachau and other camps liberated by U.S. soldiers.

"In some sheds were stacks of bodies, stripped extremely - most of them looked like they had starved to death. They had sprinkled lime over them to keep the smell down and stacked them several high and the length of the room," Payne said.

On April 11, 1945, just a week after the discovery of the Ohrdruf camp, American soldiers liberated the infamous Buchenwald main camp, which was to become synonymous with Nazi barbarity for a whole generation of Americans. Buchenwald is located 5 miles north of the city of Weimar, which is 20 miles to the east of Gotha, where General Dwight D. Eisenhower had set up his headquarters.

The Ohrdruf forced labor camp was a sub-camp of the huge Buchenwald camp. Ohrdruf had been opened in November 1944 when prisoners were brought from Buchenwald to work on the construction of a vast underground bunker to house a new Führer headquarters for Hitler and his henchmen. This location was in the vicinity of a secret Nazi communications center and it was also near an underground salt mine where the Nazis had stored their treasures.

A. C. Boyd was one of the soldiers in the 89th Infantry Division who witnessed the Ohrdruf "death camp." In a recent news article, written by Jimmy Smothers, Boyd mentioned that he saw bodies of prisoners who had been gassed at Ohrdruf.

The following quote is from the news article in The Gadsden Times:

On April 7, 1945, the 89th Infantry Division received orders to move into the German town of Ohrdruf, which surrendered as the Americans arrived. A mile or so past this quaint village lay Stalag Nord Ohrdruf.

[...]

When regiments of the 89th Division got to the camp, the gates were open and the guards apparently all had gone, but the doors to the wooden barracks were closed. Lying on the ground in front were bodies of prisoners who recently had been shot.

"When I went into the camp I just happened to open the door to a small room," recalled Boyd. "Inside, the Germans had stacked bodies very high. They had dumped some lime over them, hoping it would dissolve the bodies.

[...]

"I still have vivid memories of what I saw, but I try not to dwell on it," Boyd continued. "We had been warned about what we might find, but actually seeing it was horrible. There were so many dead, and some so starved all they could do was gape open their mouths, feebly move their arms and murmur.

"There were ditches dug out in the compound and we could see torsos, lots of arms, severed legs, etc., sticking out. Many had been beaten to death, and bodies were still in the 'beating shed'. Many had been led to the 'showers,' where they were pushed in, the doors locked and then gassed."

One of the survivors of Ohrdruf was Rabbi Murray Kohn, who was then 16 years old. He was marched from Ohrdruf on April 2nd to the main camp at Buchenwald and then evacuated by train to Theresienstadt in what is now the Czech Republic.

The following quote is from a speech that Rabbi Kohn made on April 23, 1995 at Wichita, Kansas, at a gathering of the soldiers of the 89th Division for the 50ieth anniversary of the liberation of the camps:

It has been recorded that in Ohrdruf itself the last days were a slaughterhouse. We were shot at, beaten and molested. At every turn went on the destruction of the remaining inmates. Indiscriminant criminal behavior (like the murderers of Oklahoma City some days ago). Some days before the first Americans appeared at the gates of Ohrdruf, the last retreating Nazi guards managed to execute with hand pistols, literally emptying their last bullets on whomever they encountered leaving them bleeding to death as testified by an American of the 37th Tank Battalion Medical section, 10 a.m. April 4, 1945.

Today I'm privileged thanks to God and you gallant fighting men. I'm here to reminisce, and reflect, and experience instant recollections of those moments. Those horrible scenes and that special instance when an Allied soldier outstretched his arm to help me up became my re-entrance, my being re-invited into humanity and restoring my inalienable right to a dignified existence as a human being and as a Jew. Something, which was denied me from September 1939 to the day of liberation in 1945. I had no right to live and survived, out of 80 members of my family, the infernal ordeal of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Ohrdruf, and its satellite camp Crawinkel and finally Theresienstadt Ghetto-Concentration Camp.

I must tell you something about Crawinkel, just outside Ohrdruf. It was recently discovered after the reunification of east and West Germany that in nearby Crawinkel, the Nazis were preparing the Führerbunker, the final headquarters of Hitler from where he planned to strike a deal with the Americans to join in fighting the Red Army. We worked around the clock, the project was known as the Olga Project. We were excavating inside the hills a bunker. Ten thousand people died there and it was completed with rivers of blood right down to the cutlery to embellish Hitler's table.

When in Auschwitz my eyes witnessed the gassed transports of Jews at the Birkenau Crematories. My own eyes have witnessed Buchenwald terror and planned starvation. My body was decimated, starved and thrashed to the point of no return in Ohrdruf for stealing a piece of a potato, and my flickering life was daily, and hourly on the brink of being snuffed out from starvation or being clubbed for no reason or literally being pushed off a steep cliff over a yawning ravine at Crawinkel.

[....]

The war was intrinsically a war against the shallowness of a civilization which had evidently so little moral depth, a nation which can acquiesce in such a short time to the demagoguery of a "corporal" and accept the manifesto of racial superiority, entitled to destroy their supposed inferior enemies, as a moral right. World War II was by far not a testing ground of arms or strategic skills and sophistication, but A MORAL WAR, which declared that human rights, freedom and the equality of all men and women are the highest divine commandment, the supreme commandment to deny the Nazi racists and their cohorts any victory. My friends, many of your comrades (a half million Americans lost their lives to declare eternal war against inhumanity). Six million innocent Jews, five million Christians and some 27 million plus, lost their lives to secure finally that humanity is never to rest until crimes against humans have been eradicated.

The American military knew about the Nazi forced labor camps and concentration camps because Allied planes had done aerial photographs of numerous factories near the camps in both Germany and Poland, and many of these camps, including Buchenwald, had been bombed, killing thousands of innocent prisoners. In fact, General George S. Patton bragged in his autobiography about the precision bombing of a munitions factory near the Buchenwald concentration camp on August 24, 1944 which he erroneously claimed had not damaged the nearby camp. Not only was the camp hit by the bombs, there were 400 prisoners who were killed, along with 350 Germans.

On Easter weekend in April 1945, the 90th Infantry Division overran the little town of Merkers, which was near the Ohrdruf camp, and captured the Kaiseroda salt mine.

Hidden deep inside the salt mine was virtually the entire gold and currency reserves of the German Reichsbank, together with all of the priceless art treasures which had been removed from Berlin's museums for protection against Allied bombing raids and possible capture by the Allied armies. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum web site, the soldiers also found important documents that were introduced at the Nuremberg IMT as evidence of the Holocaust.

All of America's top military leaders in Europe, including Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton, visited the mine and viewed the treasure.

The photo below shows General Dwight D. Eisenhower as he examines some paintings stored inside the Kaiseroda salt mine, which he visited on April 12, 1945, along with General Omar Bradley, General George S. Patton, and other high-ranking American Army officers before going to see the Ohrdruf camp. The Nazis had hidden valuable paintings and 250 million dollars worth of gold bars inside the salt mine.

 

 

 

General Eisenhower on visit to salt mine near Ohrdruf

Added by bgill

Continued

 

 

General Dwight D. Eisenhower examines Nazi treasure in salt mine

 

The soldier on the far left is Benjamin B. Ferencz. In the center is General Eisenhower and behind him, wearing a helmet with four stars is General Omar Bradley. In 1945, Ferencz was transferred from General Patton's army to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Army, where his job was to gather evidence for future trials of German war criminals. A Jew from Transylvania, Ferencz had moved with his family to America at the age of 10 months. 

 

General Patton, left, and General Bradley, center, at Ohrdruf, 12 April 1945

 

On the same day that the Generals visited the salt mine, they made a side trip to the Ohrdruf forced labor camp after lunch. The photo above was taken at Ohrdruf. Except for General Patton, who visited Buchenwald on April 15, 1945, none of the top American Army Generals ever visited another forced labor camp, nor any of the concentration camps.

One of the first Americans to see Ohrdruf, a few days before the Generals arrived, was Captain Alois Liethen from Appleton, WI. Liethen was an interpreter and an interrogator in the XX Corp, G-2 Section of the US Third Army. On 13 April 1945, he wrote a letter home to his family about this important discovery at Ohrdruf. Although Buchenwald was more important and had more evidence of Nazi atrocities, it was due to the information uncovered by Captain Liethen that the generals visited Ohrdruf instead.

The following is a quote from his letter in which Captain Alois Liethen explains how the visit by the generals, shown in the photo above, came about:

Several days ago I heard about the American forces taking a real honest to goodness concentration camp and I made it a point to get there and see the thing first hand as well as to investigate the thing and get the real story just as I did in the case of the Prisoner of War camp which I described in my last letter. This camp was near the little city of OHRDRUF not far from GOTHA, and tho it was just a small place -- about 7 to 10000 inmates it was considered as one of the better types of such camps. After looking the place over for nearly a whole day I came back and made an oral report to my commanding general -- rather I was ordered to do so by my boss, the Col. in my section. Then after I had told him all about the place he got in touch with the High Command and told them about it and the following tale bears out what they did about it.

The photograph below was contributed by Mary Liethen Meier, the niece of Captain Liethen. The man standing next to General Eisenhower, and pointing to the prisoner demonstrating how the inmates were punished at Ohrdruf, is Alois Liethen, her uncle. Left to right, the men in the front row are Lt. General George S. Patton, Third U.S. Army Commander; General Omar N. Bradley, Twelfth Army group commander; and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander. This photo was published in an American newspaper above a headline which read: U.S. GENERALS SEE A "TORTURE" DEMONSTRATION

 

 

 

Generals watch a demonstration of the whipping block

 

In the photo above, an ordinary wooden table is being used to demonstrate punishment on a whipping block. By order of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, whipping prisoners on a wooden block was discontinued in 1942, so no whipping block was found at Ohrdruf.

The first photo below shows another demonstration at Ohrdruf on a reconstructed wooden whipping block. The second photo below shows the whipping block that was found at Natzweiler by American troops in September 1944.

 

 

 

Ohrdruf survivors demonstrate the whipping block for the Americans

 

 

Whipping block used at Natzweiler

 

All punishments in the concentration camps had to be approved by the head office in Oranienburg where Rudolf Hoess became a member of the staff after he was removed as the Commandant of Auschwitz at the end of December 1943. According to the testimony of Rudolf Hoess on April 15, 1946 at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, this punishment was rarely used and it was discontinued in 1942 because Heinrich Himmler, the head of the concentration camp system, had forbidden the SS guards to strike the prisoners. Some of the prisoners at Ohrdruf, who had previously been at the Buchenwald main camp for a number of years, were familiar with this punishment device and were able to reconstruct it.

Captain Liethen's letter, dated 13 April 1945, continues as follows:

Yesterday I had the honor of being the interpreter for such honorable gentlemen as Gen EISENHOWER, Gen BRADLEY, Gen PATTON and several lesser general officers, all in all there were 21 stars present, Eisenhower with 5, Bradley with 4, Patton 3, my own commanding general with 2 and there were several others of this grade as well as several one star generals. Since I had made the investigation with some of the men who had escaped from the place the day that we captured it I was more or less the conductor of the tour for this famous party. There were batteries of cameras that took pictures of us as we went about the whole place and as I made several demonstrations for them -- hell I felt like Garbo getting of (sic) a train in Chicago.

Now about this concentration camp. It was evacuated by the germans when things got too hot for them, this was on the night of April 2. All the healthy ones were marched away in the night, and those who were sick were loaded into trucks and wagons, and then when there was no more transportation available the remainder -- about 35 were shot as they lay here waiting for something to come to take them away. Too, in another building there were about 40 dead ones which they did not have the time to bury in their hasty departure.

One of the survivors of Ohrdruf was Andrew Rosner, a Jewish prisoner who had escaped from the march out of the camp and was rescued by soldiers of the 89th Division in the town of Ohrdruf.

The following is a quote from Andrew Rosner on the occasion of a 50ieth anniversary celebration of the liberation of the camp, held on 23 April 1995 at Wichita, Kansas:

At the age of 23, I was barely alive as we began the death march eastward. All around me, I heard the sound of thunder - really the sound of heavy artillery and machinery. I looked for any opportunity to drop out of the march. But, any man who fell behind or to the side was shot instantly by the Nazis. So, I marched on in my delirium and as night fell, I threw myself off into the side of the road and into a clump of trees. I lay there -- waiting -- and waiting -- and suddenly nothing! No more Nazis shouting orders. No more marching feet. No more people. Alone. All alone and alive -- although barely.

I moved farther into the woods when I realized I was not really left behind. I slept for awhile as the darkness of night shielded me from the eyes of men. But, as the light of dawn broke, I heard shooting all around me. I played dead as men ran over me, stumbling over me as they went. I lay there as bullets passed by me and Nazis fell all around me. Then all was quiet. The battle was over. I waited for hours before I dared to move. I got up and saw dead German soldiers laying everywhere. I made my way back toward the road and started walking in the direction of a small village, which I could see in the distance. As I approached the village two Germans appeared. One raised his gun toward me and asked what I was doing there. I told him I was lost from the evacuation march. He told me that I must have escaped and I knew he was about to shoot me when the other German told him to let me be. It would not serve them well to harm me now. They allowed me to walk away and as I did, I said a final prayer knowing that a bullet in the back would now find me for sure. It never did!

In the small village I was told to go farther down the road to the town of Ohrdruf from where I had come three days before. There, I would find the Americans. And so I did.

As I entered the outskirts of the town of Ohrdruf two American soldiers met me and escorted me into town. I was immediately surrounded by Americans and as their officers questioned where I had been and what had happened to me, GIs were showering me with food and chocolate and other treats that I had not known for almost five years.

You were all so kind and so compassionate. But, my years in the camps, my weakened state of health, the forced death march, and my escape to freedom was more than a human body could bear any longer and I collapsed into the arms of you, my rescuing angels.

When the generals and their entourage toured the Ohrdruf-Nord camp on April 12th, the dead bodies on the roll-call square had been left outside to decompose in the sun and the rain for more than a week. The stench of the rotting corpses had now reached the point that General Patton, a battle-hardened veteran of 40 years of warfare, the leader of the American Third Army which had won the bloody Battle of the Bulge, and an experienced soldier who had seen the atrocities of two World Wars, threw up his lunch behind one of the barracks.

The photo below shows the naked bodies of prisoners in a shed at Ohrdruf where their bodies had been layered with lime to keep down the smell.

 

General Eisenhower was not as easily sickened by the smell of the dead bodies. Although he didn't mention the name Ohrdruf in his book entitled "Crusade in Europe," Eisenhower wrote the following about the Ohrdruf camp:

I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that 'the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.' Some members of the visiting party were unable to go through with the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton's headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.

General Patton wrote in his memoirs that he learned from the surviving inmates that 3,000 prisoners had died in the camp since January 1, 1945. A few dozen bodies on a pyre, constructed out of railroad tracks, had recently been burned and their gruesome remains were still on display. According to General Patton, the bodies had been buried, but were later dug up and burned because "the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crimes." But after all that effort to cover up their crimes, the SS guards had allegedly shot sick prisoners when they ran short of transportation to move them out of the camp, and had left the bodies as evidence.

The first news reel film about alleged German war-time atrocities, that was shown in American movie theaters, referred to the Ohrdruf labor camp as a "murder mill." Burned corpses were shown as the narrator of the film asked rhetorically "How many were burned alive?" The narrator described "the murder shed" at Ohrdruf where prisoners were "slain in cold blood." Lest anyone should be inclined to assume that this news reel was sheer propaganda, the narrator prophetically intoned: "For the first time, America can believe what they thought was impossible propaganda. This is documentary evidence of sheer mass murder - murder that will blacken the name of Germany for the rest of recorded history."

The documentary film about all the camps, directed by famed Hollywood director George Stevens, which was shown on November 29, 1945 at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, claimed that the Germans "starved, clubbed, and burned to death more than 4,000 political prisoners over a period of 8 months" at Ohrdruf-Nord. These atrocities allegedly took place while the Nazis were desperately trying to finish building a secret underground hideout for Hitler who was holed up in Berlin.

 

 

 

Ohrdruf-Nord survivor shows shallow grave to Generals

 

In the photo above, the soldier on the far right, holding a notepad in his hand, is Benjamin B. Ferencz, who was at Ohrdruf to gather evidence of Nazi atrocities for future war crimes trials.

Five years after seeing the Ohrdruf camp, General Bradley recalled that "The smell of death overwhelmed us even before we passed through the stockade. More than 3,200 naked, emaciated bodies had been flung into shallow graves. Others lay in the streets where they had fallen. Lice crawled over the yellowed skin of their sharp, bony frames." The presence of lice in the camp indicates that there was probably an epidemic of typhus, which is spread by lice.

In his letter to his family, written 13 April 1945, Alois Liethen wrote the following regarding the burial pit:

Then, about 2 kilometers from the enclosure was the 'pit' where the germans had buried 3200 since December when this camp opened. About 3 weeks ago the commandant of the camp was ordered to destroy all of the evidence of the mass killings in this place and he sent several hundred of these inmates out on the detail to exhume these bodies and have them burned. However, there wasn't time enough to burn all of the 3200 and only 1606 were actually burned and the balance were still buried under a light film of dirt. I know that all of this may seem gruesome to you, it was to me too, and some of you may think that I may have become warped of mind in hatred, well, every single thing that I stated here and to the generals yesterday are carefully recorded in 16 pictures which I took with my camera at the place itself.

Both General George S. Patton and General Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to the Ohrdruf-Nord camp as a "horror camp" in their wartime memoirs. Eisenhower wrote the following in his book, "Crusade in Europe" about April 12, 1945, the day he visited the salt mines that held the Nazi treasures:

The same day, I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain, however that I have never at any other time experienced an equal sense of shock.

Eisenhower did not take the time to visit the main camp at Buchenwald, which was in the immediate area and had been discovered by the American army just the day before.

The Ohrdruf camp did not have a crematorium to burn the bodies. Instead, the bodies were at first taken to Buchenwald for burning, but as the death rate climbed, the bodies were buried about a mile from the camp. During the last days before the camp was liberated, bodies were being burned on a pyre made from railroad tracks. The rails were readily available because the underground bunker that was being built by the Ohrdruf prisoners featured a railroad where a whole train could be hidden underground.

In the photo below, the man on the far right wearing a dark jacket is a Dutch survivor of the camp who served as a guide for the American generals on their visit. The second man from the right is Captain Alois Liethen, who is interpreting for General Bradley to his left and General Eisenhower in the center of the photo. The man to the left of General Eisenhower is Benjamin B. Ferencz, who is taking notes. On the far left is one of the survivors of Ohrdruf.

 

Gen. Eisenhower views burned bodies, April 12, 1945

 

On the same day that the Generals visited Ohrdruf, a group of citizens from the town of Ohrdruf and a captured German Army officer were being forced to take the tour. Colonel Charles Codman, an aide to General Patton, wrote to his wife about an incident that happened that day. A young soldier had accidentally bumped into the captured German officer and had laughed nervously. "General Eisenhower fixed him with a cold eye," Codman wrote "and when he spoke, each word was like the drop off an icicle. 'Still having trouble hating them?' he said." General Eisenhower had no trouble hating the Germans, as he would demonstrate when he set up a POW camp in Gotha a few weeks later.

After his visit to the salt mines and the Ohrdruf camp on April 12, 1945, General Eisenhower wrote the following in a cable on April 15th to General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC; this quote is prominently displayed by the U.S. Holocaust Museum:

. . .the most interesting--although horrible--sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to "propaganda."

Ironically, General Eisenhower's words about "propaganda," turned out to be prophetic: only a few years later, Paul Rassinier, who was a French resistance fighter imprisoned at the Buchenwald main camp, wrote the first Holocaust denial book, entitled Debunking the Genocide Myth, in which he refuted the claim by the French government at the 1946 Nuremberg trial that there were gas chambers in Buchenwald.

Note that General Eisenhower referred to Ohrdruf as an "internment camp," which was what Americans called the camps where Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans were held without charges during World War II. Ohrdruf was undoubtedly the first, and only, "internment camp" that General Eisenhower ever saw.

Why was Captain Alois Liethen investigating this small, obscure forced labor camp long before he arrived in Germany? Why did all the US Army generals visit this small camp and no other? Could it be because there was something else of great interest in the Ohrdruf area besides the Führer bunker and the salt mine where Nazi treasures were stored?

The Buchenwald camp had been liberated the day before the visit to the Ohrdruf camp. At Buchenwald, there were shrunken heads, human skin lampshades and ashtrays made from human bones. At Ohrdruf, there was nothing to see except a shed filled with 40 bodies. So why did Captain Alois Liethen take the four generals to Ohrdruf instead of Buchenwald?

What was Captain Liethen referring to when he wrote these words in a letter to his family?

After looking the place over for nearly a whole day I came back and made an oral report to my commanding general -- rather I was ordered to do so by my boss, the Col. in my section. Then after I had told him all about the place he got in touch with the High Command and told them about it and the following tale bears out what they did about it.

There has been some speculation that the Germans might have tested an atomic bomb near Ohrdruf. In his book entitled "The SS Brotherhood of the Bell," author James P. Farrell wrote about "the alleged German test of a small critial mass, high yield atom bomb at or near the Ohrdruf troop parade ground on March 4, 1945." The "troop parade ground" was at the German Army Base right next to the Ohrdruf labor camp.

Why did General Eisenhower immediately order a propaganda campaign about Nazi atrocities? Was it to distract the media from discovering a far more important story? The first news reel about the Nazi camps called Ohrdruf a "murder mill."

Added by bgill

Continued


 

 

Americans view cremation pyre at Ohrdruf on April 13, 1945

 

The photograph above, which was taken at the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, is a copy of the one that hangs in front of the elevator door at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. It is the first thing that visitors to the Museum see as they step out of the elevator and enter the first exhibit room. This is what the American soldiers first saw when they liberated Germany from the Nazis.

The photo shows a pyre made of railroad tracks where the bodies of prisoners who had died at Ohrdruf were burned. Ohrdruf was a small sub-camp of Buchenwald and it did not have a crematorium with ovens to dispose of the bodies.

 

Survivors told Eisenhower prisoners were hung with piano wire

 

The photo above shows General Dwight D. Eisenhower viewing the gallows at Ohrdruf. Standing to the left of the general, and partially hidden by a pole, is Captain Alois Liethen, who was General Eisenhower's interpreter. The two men on Eisenhower's right are survivors who are explaining the atrocities committed in the camp. The Ohrdruf camp was unique in that prisoners were hanged there with piano wire, rather than with rope, according to the survivors. An identical gallows was found at the Buchenwald main camp, where prisoners were hanged with rope.

The man on the far left, wearing a jacket and a scarf, is one of the survivors who served as a guide for General Eisenhower and his entourage. The next day the guide was "killed by some of the inmates," General Patton wrote in his memoirs, explaining that the guide "was not a prisoner at all, but one of the executioners."

A. C. Boyd, a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division was at Ohrdruf on the day that this man was killed. In anews article in The Gadsden Times, Jimmy Smothers wrote the following:

Boyd said he saw a Nazi guard, who had not fled with the others, trying to exit the camp. One of the prisoners, who still had a little strength, ran to a truck, got a tire iron and killed him.

"I witnessed that and saw that no one tried to stop him," Boyd said.

In a letter dated April 15, 1945, addressed to Ike (General Dwight D. Eisenhower), Patton wrote the following regarding the man who had served as their guide at Ohrdruf:

It may interest you to know that the very talkative, alleged former member of the murder camp was recognized by a Russian prisoner as a former guard. The prisoner beat his brains out with a rock.

This prisoner was probably one of the Kapos in the camp whose job had been to assist the German guards; it is doubtful that an SS soldier would have remained behind when the camp was evacuated, knowing that the prisoners would exact revenge as soon as the Americans arrived. If any SS men had remained in the camp, they would have been promptly killed or taken into custody on April 4, 1945 when the camp was first discovered by American troops. It has been alleged that some of the SS men at the concenration camps tried to disguise themselves by putting on civilian clothes or prison garb when the American troops approached, but the prisoners beat them to death after the camps were liberated.

Note that General Patton referred to Ohrdruf as a "murder camp" in his letter. It is clear from Patton's letters and his memoir that he did not have a clear understanding of the purpose of the concentration camps and labor camps because he believed everything that the prisoners told him. Captain Alois Liethen also believed the stories told by the survivors, for example, the allegation that prisoners at Ohrdruf were whipped for the slightest infraction of the rules, although in 1942, long before the Ohrdruf camp was in existence, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had forbidden the SS men to strike the prisoners.

Captain Alois Liethen wrote the following in a letter to his family, dated 13 April 1945, the day after he served as the interpreter on the tour of Ohrdruf:

The treatment of the prisoners was something that even amazed me. If anyone dared to even as much as smile in ranks he received 25 lashes with a heavy oak staff while he was bent over nearly double over a whipping post, anyone who tried to escape was hanged -- not by a rope but by a wire from a gibbet -- all of the inmates had to witness these hangings even tho they were sick or feeble. When they were out on a work detail -- which they were every day from daylight to darkness they were beaten if they didn't produce as fast as they should, and then in many cases when the whims of the guards arose to the occasion they would shoot at them just for the pure fun of it -- those that ducked were surely doomed for then they were a sure target for the second shot. Then to come to the matter of food. Each man received 300 grams of bread (black sour hard stuff) and 1 liter of soup, of course there were those who performed those special duties such as the one that I spoke to mostly -- he was on the burning and burying detail -- he got 500 grams of bread and 2 liters of soup perday (sic). They were kept very busy for there were estimated that there were 200 to 250 buried or burned every week.

In the photo below, note the guide, in the center of the picture, who is walking beside the generals, telling them about the atrocities in the camp. This is the man who was killed by the other survivors the next day, according to General Patton. The man who is leading the walk around the bodies is Captain Liethen, the interpreter for the group.

 

 

 

American Generals view dead bodies left out for a week

 

The Ohrdruf-Nord camp had been discovered by the 4th Armored Division more than a week before the generals' visit, but everything had been left intact because General Walker and General Middleton had ordered that as many soldiers as possible should be brought there to view the horrible scene. The bodies were left out until at least the first week of May, so that visiting soldiers could pose beside them.

 

 

 

In May 1945, this US soldier posed with bodies left out since April 2, 1945

 

The photo below shows the townspeople from Ohrdruf as they are forced to view the bodies found in the camp. General Walker had ordered that the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife should be brought to the camp to see the display of corpses. After seeing the horror, they went back home and killed themselves.

 

 

 

German civilians forced to view the bodies in an Ohrdruf barrack

 

General Patton wrote that he suggested that the rest of the inhabitants of Ohrdruf be brought to the camp the next day, and that the army had "used the same system in having the inhabitants of Weimar go through the even larger slave camp (Buchenwald) north of that town." German civilians were brought from the town of Ohrdruf to exhume the bodies in the mass grave and bury them again in individual graves.

 

 

 

Civilians from town of Ohrdruf were forced to view the bodies

 

Regarding the Ohrdruf-Nord camp, General Patton wrote the following in his diary:

It was the most appalling sight imaginable. In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench.

When the shed was full--I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January.

A typhus epidemic had started in Germany in December 1944 and had quickly spread to all the camps as prisoners were transferred from one camp to another. Half of all the prisoners who died in the German camps died between December 1944 and the end of June 1945. Yet the survivors of Ohrdruf claimed that all the bodies found at the camp were those of prisoners who had been deliberately killed or starved to death.

It would be hard to find a German town, however small or obscure, that is completely lacking in historic or cultural importance. After describing the crimes of the Germans in his autobiography, General Patton went on to tell about how the Americans wantonly destroyed every village and hamlet in their path. On the same page of his book, in which he describes the atrocities of the Germans, Patton wrote the following:

We developed later a system known as the 'Third Army War Memorial Project' by which we always fired a few salvos into every town we approached, before even asking for surrender. The object of this was to let the inhabitants have something to show to future generations of Germans by way of proof that the Third Army had passed that way.

Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book entitled "Inside the Vicious Heart":

Soon after seeing Ohrdruf, Eisenhower ordered every unit near by that was not in the front lines to tour Ohrdruf: "We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against.'" Eisenhower felt it was essential not only for his troops to see for themselves, but for the world to know about conditions at Ohrdruf and other camps. From Third Army headquarters, he cabled London and Washington, urging delegations of officials and newsmen to be eye-witnesses to the camps. The message to Washington read: 'We are constantly finding German camps in which they have placed political prisoners where unspeakable conditions exist. From my own personal observation, I can state unequivocally that all written statements up to now do not paint the full horrors."

The following quote is from an article copyrighted in 2004 on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission web site www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/death-camps.htm

As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II, General Eisenhower had been given information about the Nazi concentration camp system well before he led the invasion to liberate Western Europe (June, 1944). Reports on the massive genocide inflicted on Jews, Gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals, dissidents, and other groups by the Schutzstaffel (SS) had been circulated among all the Allied leaders. Very few of the Allied commanders, however, had an accurate conception of what is now known to the world as the Holocaust until their troops began to encounter the death camps as they marched into Western Germany.

On April 4, 1945, elements of the United States Army's 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division captured the Ohrdruf concentration camp outside the town of Gotha in south central Germany. Although the Americans didn't know it at the time, Ohrdruf was one of several sub-camps serving the Buchenwald extermination camp, which was close to the city of Weimar several miles north of Gotha. Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria at Buchenwald.

Contrary to the information given by the Eisenhower Memorial Commision, which is quoted above, Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp, not "a holding facility" for prisoners on the way to the gas chambers. Buchenwald was one of the few camps in the Nazi system that did not have a gas chamber.

Added by bgill

Continued


 

 

Ohrdruf camp after the liberation

 

The photo above shows what the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald looked like when it was discovered by Americn troops on April 4, 1945. The whole camp has since been torn down and there is no trace of it left. There is no Memorial Site at Ohrdruf for the prisoners who lost their lives in this horrible place.

On the left in the photo below is a wooden guard tower. Another guard tower is shown in the photo above.

 

 

 

Wooden guard tower at Ohrdruf

 

The camp was enclosed by two barbed wire fences a few feet apart, just like the Natzweiler camp which was discovered by American soldiers in September 1944. The barracks were built of wood and painted green. The photo below, which shows the inside of one of the barracks, was taken on April 13, 1945.

 

 

 

Ohrdruf barracks after bunks were removed

 

Captain Alois Liethen, who was one of the first American soldiers to see the camp, wrote the following to his family in a letter dated April 13, 1945:

The quarters which they had were about as bad as I have ever seen. In a building about 100 x 30 there were from 200 to 250 men and their bunks were less than two by two by six -- just like pigeon holes along the whole wall. I didn't even go into these buildings because of the fact that there were definite signs of infestations of typhus bearing lice as well as many other communicable diseases. Batheing (sic) facilities were just non-existent, but that is not the worst of it -- when a man was killed or died of beatings he was simply stripped of his clothes and these were reissued immediately to some other living cadaver. Shoes were out of the question and all of the footwear was a wooden sandal -- not even so much as a whole wooden shoe.

In the photo above, the bunks have been removed. Most of the prisoners had been evacuated and the camp was in the process of closing when it was discovered by American troops.

Captain Liethen implies in his letter that the clothes were not disinfected with Zyklon-B, as in all the other Nazi camps, to kill the lice which spread typhus. This would have caused typhus to spread very quickly. With no showers or wash basins, such as were customary in all the other camps, it would have been very difficult to stop an epidemic of typhus. This could account for the estimated 3,200 deaths in the camp in only a few months.

Captain Liethen's letter continues as follows:

As long as I am writing a horror tale I might as well describe some of the people who were in charge of this camp. The commandant (a man whose name I knew bak (sic) in the states and who I am looking for now more than ever was an SS Hauptsturmführer BRAULING, and his right hand man was another SS man by the name of STIBITZ. Their favorite pasttime together with one or two other camp officials was to go out to the burning pit with a bottle of whisky each where they would sit and watch the burning of the weeks accumlation (sic) of dead bodies while they joked and drank their whiskey. Personally, the stench of the pit was enough to drive me nuts and a bottle of whiskey might have been a good thing for me while I was there. I have smelled a lot of foul odors -- like out at the rendering works and other places -- but this one was the worst. Evidently they were in such a hurry that they didn't get enough tar and wood on the last pyre for there were about fifty half burned cadavers lying there in chars.

As I have stqted (sic) this is not the first one I have sen (sic) -- I saw another which was a more or less refined version of a concentration camp -- this one was in the vicinity of Metz. Here, that is in the one near Metz, were kept the pure political prisoners and they had better conditions and the crematory was a fancy thing, not unlike a bake oven which they showed in a series of pictures in LIFE some time ago. At this one I was mildly surprised and I don't think that I even mentioned having seen it -- this latter one tho is really getting into the real thing. And, when one considers that this place was just a branch unit of a bigger one, well, then you can well imagine what the larger ones are like.

The camp near Metz, which Captain Liethen referred to in his letter, was Natzweiler-Struthof in Alsace, which was discovered by American soldiers in September 1944 after it had been abandoned. A photo of the "fancy" crematory at Natzweiler, taken in October 2004, is shown below. The Ohrdruf camp did not have an oven like this one, since it was a temporary camp used to house prisoners while they were working on a building project.

 

Captain Liethen was an intelligence officer who was at Ohrdruf to investigate the camp for the US military. He had apparently already investigated some of the concentration camps while still in the United States before he went overseas on June 10, 1944. In his letter to his family, he mentioned the names of the Commandant of Ohrdruf and his assistant, two men that he was already familiar with and was looking for. Captain Liethen served as an interrogator for captured Germans who were being screened for potential war crimes trials. As far as I know, the administrators of the Ohrdruf camp were never brought to justice.

 

 

 

A survivor shows Col. Hayden Sears how the prisoners lived at Ohrdruf

 

The letter which Captain Liethen wrote to his family continues as follows:

One of the men with whom I spoke had been in a camp in Poland where he knew that there were over 3000000 gassed and then burned. Yes I mean 3 Millions of people. Why? Well, I questioned all of the inmates of this camp as well as a lot of others who had escaped thru our lines and here are the real reasons: Some were thrown in because they were Jews, they were the ones that had the least chance of survival; Some were thrown in because they were half Jews, their chances were no better -- and this made up the greatest number of the inmates; Some were people who, from Poland, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, and all of the other over run countries refused to swear allegiance (sic) to the Nazi government. Once you were in the clutches of the Gestapo the odds were 99 out of a hundred that you wound up in a place like this. One bit of evidence that I have which I will keep to show you even tho I have been offered fabulous prices for it is a piece of gold, pure gold weighing about 5 ounces, which I found in the pockets of a prisoner who had been a guard in this camp near Metz. This will verify Life magazine insofar that this gold was derived from the teeth which were knocked out of the mouths of the corpses prior to their incineration in this fancy oven. I have other stories that I will have to check on later on as we over take these concentration camps.

The camp where the Polish prisoner said that 3 million people were gassed is Auschwitz. When Auschwitz was evacuated on January 18, 1945, the prisoners were marched back to Germany and put on trains to Buchenwald and other camps. Some of these prisoners were assigned to Ohrdruf. When Ohrdruf was evacuated, the prisoners were marched back to Buchenwald and then put on trains to Dachau and Theresienstadt.

In America, the Japanese-Americans who would not "swear allegiance" to our government were sent to a federal prison where they were forced to work at hard labor. These were the so-called "No-No boys" who answered No when asked if they would swear allegiance to the United States, and No when asked if they would serve in the US Army. The prisoners at Natzweiler and Buchenwald, who were sent there by the Gestapo from countries occupied by Germany, were Resistance fighters or insurgents who were blowing up troop trains and factories. Like Eisenhower, who used the term "internment camp" when referring to Ohrdruf, Captain Liethen compared the reason for imprisonment of the Ohrdruf prisoners to the reason for the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in American camps.

Today the grounds of the former Ohrdruf-Nord concentration camp are located in a German Army Training Center.

Added by bgill

Frank Hamburger Born: USA

Frank F. Hamburger, Jr., of Columbus, Georgia, was with the 65h Infantry Division.

"Well we were what is now, was East Germany, and word came down that a camp had been opened up in a place called Ohrdruf, and that Eisenhower and several of the other generals had been there and suggested that every soldier who could possibly see the camp should go. And a day or two later we were within a few miles of the camp and I went over.

Well, I guess as we came up the dirt road along the railroad track, there were bodies along in the ditch and the edge of the road, evidently people that been fleeing the camp and had died or been killed on the way. And then we went in the camp, there were bodies lying all around. There was a small building where they had burned bodies, and walking around the camp there was a burning pyre, which is the first picture you have as you come into this Museum, where they had burned bodies of the prisoners, and I remember that there was a German ploughing in his field up the hill from the crematorium."

Added by bgill

THE 89TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Formed in 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I, the 89th Infantry Division participated in several major military battles. In World War II, the "Rolling W" division landed in France in January 1945 and quickly advanced to the German front. In March 1945, it joined the Third Army's assault on the Rhineland, crossing the Sauer, Moselle, and Rhine rivers that same month. On April 8, the 89th captured the town of Eisenach and subsequently advanced farther into Thuringia and into neighboring Saxony, where it took the city of Zwickau on April 18, 1945.

On April 4, 1945, the 89th overran Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwaldconcentration camp. Ohrdruf was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops in Germany. A week later, on April 12, Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Omar Bradley visited Ohrdruf to see, firsthand, evidence of Nazi atrocities against concentration camp prisoners.

The 89th Infantry Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988.

Casualty figures for the 89th Infantry Division, European theater of operations 
Total battle casualties: 1,029
Total deaths in battle: 325

Division nickname
The 89th Infantry Division's nickname, the "Rolling W," is based on the division's insignia. Created during World War I, this insignia utilized a letter "M" inside a wheel. When the wheel turns, the "M" becomes a "W." The letters "MW" signify the Midwest origin of the troops who formed the 89th during World War I. The division was also known as the "Middle West" division, another variation on its origin.

Insignia of the 89th Infantry Division. The 89th Infantry Division's nickname, the "Rolling W," is based on the division's insignia. Created during World War I, this insignia utilized a letter "M" inside a wheel. When the wheel turns, the "M" becomes a "W." The letters "MW" signify the mid-west origin of the troops who formed the 89th during World War I. The division was also known as the "Middle West" division, another variation on its origin.

— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections

Added by bgill

THE 4TH ARMORED DIVISION

The 4th Armored Division landed at Utah Beach on July 13, 1944, a month after the D-Day invasion (June 6, 1944) of the French Normandy coast. Within weeks, the "Breakthrough" division was sweeping across France. During the Battle of the Bulge, the unit provided badly needed support to the encircled U.S. forces in Bastogne, Belgium. In late March 1945, the 4thcrossed the Rhine River into central Germany and, by war's end, had reached the Czech border.

On April 4, 1945, the "Breakthrough" division overran Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp and the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops. Created in November 1944 near the town of Gotha, Ohrdruf supplied forced labor in the form of concentration camp prisoners for railway construction leading to a proposed communications center, which was never completed because of the rapid U.S. advance. In late March 1945, the camp had a prisoner population of some 11,700, but in early April almost all the prisoners were evacuated on death marches to Buchenwald. The SS guards killed many of the remaining prisoners who were too ill to walk to the railway cars.

The 4th Armored Division's discovery of the Ohrdruf camp opened the eyes of many U.S. soldiers to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The 4th Armored Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1985.

Casualty figures for the 4th Armored Division, European theater of operations 
Total battle casualties: 6,212
Total deaths in battle: 1,366

Insignia of the 4th Armored Division. The commanding general of the 4th Armored Division refused to sanction an official nickname for the 4th, believing that the division's accomplishments on the battlefield made one unnecessary. "Breakthrough" was occasionally used, apparently to highlight the division's prominent role in the breakout from the Normandy beachhead and liberation of France in 1944.

— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections

Division nickname 
The commanding general of the 4th Armored Division refused to sanction an official nickname for the 4th, believing that the division's accomplishments on the battlefield made one unnecessary. "Breakthrough" was occasionally used, apparently to highlight the division's prominent role in the breakout from the Normandy beachhead and liberation of France in 1944.

Added by bgill

The Ohrdruf Photos

by Chuck Simmins

I've been contacted by a veteran who was part of the discovery of these camps. His name is Thomas Hollingsworth. That's him at the left. Here is a series of comments that he has e-mailed me about what he saw.

I was there. 282 FABN . I was told that the prisoners were marched out of camp to work and back. The people in town had to know. These pictures are still vivid in my mind even though I had 9 months of combat and seen much, it sickened me also. I can even still smell the stench. I was told that the Germans tried desperately to hide the identities of many of the prisoners. That is why they were burned on the tracks and thrown into the swamp to rot.

I under stand that there is a museum at Ohrdruf. We were there for about 3 months in Suhl before the Russian's took over. From there we went to Le Havre as SP'S and help process troop's home plus guarding the docks.

The 282 was probably the best trained unit in the army. Our cadre was New York national guard and I think we broke every record held in our field tests by a wide margin. The whole time in Camp Rucker was like Advanced Basic. We cross trained in all the different jobs until we were proficient in all. Our greatest gripe was they took all the best food home and left us scraps. Like chicken backs and necks and etc. 

The 35 at the main gate had their pants down to the ankles and had one bullet through  the side of the neck. Someone covered them up for the picture. The 32 that were at the side of the ovens were beaten to death. The speculation at the time was the estimated 2000 that were in the swamp and the ones on the tracks being burned were probably allies. The idea was to destroy their identity. What follows is the story of a unique group of photos, lost for nearly three decades. They and the story that their Net poster has developed illustrate the undeniable horrors of the Nazi era. They are extremely graphic and not for children. 

 

"Holocaust deniers like David Irving have always had a hard time with my family. The idea that the Holocaust didn't happen, or that the its extent was exaggerated was always considered lunacy. We had proof, you see.

Not that we're Jewish, or lost anyone in the camps. The closest we ever got to a connection of that sort (before my middle brother married above himself) was the lady who lived beside us when I was a child, and whose lawn I mowed for pocket money during my teenage years.

I never knew her as anything other than Dr. Blumenfeld. She was a professor at the college, a sad women who lived alone with only a Dachshund for company. As best as I remember she came to America from Germany in the thirties, and most if not all of the family she left behind perished.

For the most part I never thought of her. As a child I remember being scared of her. As a teenager I initially resented her, for she was very precise in her instructions when it came to mowing her lawn, then uncomfortable and nervous around her, as if she were a hideous cripple who had gotten into a too-small elevator with me.

The reasons my attitude changed were found in the back of a large metal Army Surplus filing cabinet, one of a number bought by Louisburg College in the late 1970's, presumably because they were cheap. It's one of the oldest junior colleges in America, but it's always suffered from financial troubles. It was given to my father, who stuck it in a corner of his office and ignored it for months.

In the bottom of the filing cabinet, stuck beneath the drawer were 20 black and white photos from World War II, mostly of piles of bodies. Some had this message stamped in red on the back;"

All had descriptions glued to the back, usually a general overview of the circumstances in which the picture was taken, followed by a specific description of the picture contents. My father happened upon them the day he finally decided to use the heavy metal beast the administration had crammed into his office.

As best as we tell they have never been published anywhere. I remembered them when I first started this site, but could never get past the feeling that exhibiting them here was something akin to inviting people to come down to the local 7-11 for a Guernica showing.

The environment still doesn't feel right, but I decided a week or so ago while looking for a particular Will Rogers speech that withholding information from the Internet was as close to a electronic sin as one can get. Also, the photo and descriptions are aging rapidly, despite the acid free folders they've been stored in over the last 25 years, and I thought it best to put the photos and descriptions into a more accessible digital form before turning the lot over to a organization better equipped to care for them.

I never apologized to Dr. Blumenfeld for my attitudes towards her before she died. I don't know that I could have found the words to express the awkwardness I felt around her without giving offense at that age. I can only hope that she didn't notice. I think Dad may have shown these to her at one point. I don't care to think how painful that must have been for both of them.

Perhaps I can redress some small part of that wrong I did as a child to the good Doctor by posting the pictures. Given the present day situation in the Middle East, and the rising tides of an all too familiar anti-Semitism in parts of the progressive movement, perhaps they might also serve as a caution, of a fresh reminder of what happened the last time the West abandoned the children of Israel.

 MURDER CAMP UNCOVERED
The swift advance of the Third U.S. Army's famous Fourth Armored uncovered the horror of a Nazi SS murder camp at Ohrdruf, entered April 4, 1945, after the fall of Gotha, eight miles to the north. American soldiers who seized the camp found the courtyard littered with the bodies of Czechoslovakian, Russian, Belgian and French slave laborers, slain because they were too weak to be evacuated. In a shed, they found a stack of 44 naked and lime-covered bodies.

According to survivors, 3,000 to 4,000 prisoners had been killed by SS troops, 70 being slain just before the Americans reached the camp. The 80 survivors had escaped death or removal by hiding in the woods. They reported that an average 150 died daily, mainly from shooting or clubbing. The Nazi system was too feed prisoners a crust of bread a day, work them on tunneling until they were too weak to continue, then exterminate them and replace them with another 150 prisoners daily.

Led by Colonel Hayden Sears of the Fourth Armored Division, prominent German citizens of the town of Ohrdruf saw with their own eyes the horrors of SS brutality during a conducted tour of the Ohrdruf charnel house April 8, 1945. As they stood over the slain prisoners, Colonel Sears said: "This is why Americans cannot be your friends..." The enforced tour of the Germans ended with a visit to a wood where 10 bodies lay on a grill, made of railway lines, ready for cremation. Colonel Sears asked a uniformed German medical officer: "Does this meet with your conception of the German master race?" The officer faltered and at last answered: "I cannot believe that Germans did this."

 

BIPPA EA 61491 THIS PHOTO SHOWS: These prisoners were too ill from lack of food and unsanitary conditions to move when the Fourth Armored Division approached the Ohrdruf camp, so the Germans shot them and left them. U.S. Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-30885 SERVICED BY LONDON OWI TO LIST B CERTIFIED AS PASSED BY SHAEF CENSOR The number "11097' has been stamped in blue ink on the back of the photo. Beside the number is a set of initials in red pencil. Lcr, or Fcr, perhaps.

S & G 61330 THIS PHOTO SHOWS: A closeup of the bodies of prisoners massacred and piled together. Their bodies bear the marks of Nazi brutality. British Combine - Acme Photo F from Sport and General. WAR POOL PHOTO, NOT FOR USE IN BRITISH ISLES, FRANCE, OR WESTERN HEMISPHERE SERVICED BY LONDON OWI TO LIST B CERTIFIED AS PASSED BY SHAEF CENSOR The number "11304' has been stamped in blue ink on the back of the photo. Beside the number is a set of initials in red pencil. Lcr, or Fcr, perhaps.

 

S & G 61325
THIS PHOTO SHOWS: Survivors tell American Soldiers and war correspondents the story of the massacre of their fellow inmates, who lie in a scattered heap on the ground before them. Approximately 30 prisoners were shot and left lying as the Fourth Armored Division approached the camp.

British-Combine-Acme Photo F 15481 from Sport and General.

WAR POOL PHOTO, NOT FOR USE IN BRITISH ISLES, FRANCE, OR WESTERN HEMISPHERE
SERVICED BY LONDON OWI TO LIST B
CERTIFIED AS PASSED BY SHAEF CENSOR

Notes: The number 11317 appears in blue ink on the back of the letter beside red pencil initials that appear exactly as they do in the copy of the back of the photo below. My guess is that the American soldier in the center of the photo is Colonel Hayden Sears, based on the similarity of appearance with a known picture of Colonel Sears at Ohrdruf (Second picture down) Several of the survivors in that photo also appear in the one above.

 

BIPPA EA61493
THIS PHOTO SHOWS: A corner of the prison camp, showing a guard tower in the foreground. Trees were planted in neat even rows outside the (barbed) wire fences.
U.S. Signal Corps Photo (ETO-HQ-)45-30888
(SERVICE)D BY LONDON OWI TO LIST B
(CERTIF)IED AS PASSED BY SHAEF CENSOR

Notes: I have two copies of this photo, both somewhat damaged, presumably from being under a filing cabinet drawer for 30 years. They are the only photos I've ever seen of the outside of the camp. The "THIS PHOTO SHOWS" information above is pulled from both of them, numbered 11095 and 11096, respectively. Anything that appears in parentheses is my best guess as to what belongs there. I'm still not sure of the initials beside each number, the first letter could be any one of a number of cursive letters. I've added a scan of the back of 11096 so readers can judge for themselves.

 

Note: The paper and typing on this item appear similar to that I found as I scanned the unit history for my father's military unit. It fits for time and place on that basis alone.


Don Timmer helped liberate Ohrdruf.

Like most veterans, silver-haired Mansfield resident Don Timmer enjoys telling war stories.

Stories about how, as a "goof-off" of 18, he was drafted in 1945 and became a private in the 89th Infantry Division of the Third Army under General George Patton. How he was among the first troops to land directly in (occupied) France; how his company went through France "like a hot knife through butter."

But what the army private didn't talk about, except to his family, was the two days he spent in the German town of Ohrdruf and vicinity.

Recently, however, something happened to make Timmer, a Protestant, break his silence. As he describes it, last spring, at a Board of Education meeting in Loudonville, Ohio, a high-school teacher was reviewing her itinerary for the senior class trip to Washington, D.C. Proposed stops included the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the Smithsonian and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

One of the school-board members "flew into a rage," as Timmer was later told, stating that the Holocaust was grossly exaggerated and that the students shouldn't be forced to go to the museum and listen to "a fabrication."

"When I heard what the guy said, it made me go back to my memory" of those April days in 1945, says Timmer, anger rising in his voice. His company, stationed in Gotha, Germany, at the time, was getting ready to penetrate deeper into the country when the call came to move south, instead, to Ohrdruf. There were conflicting reports about a concentration camp there, and the soldiers were to "investigate."

Timmer remembers it was one of the first nice days of spring as they drove the 10 miles to Ohrdruf. German fighter planes strafed them along the way, but no one was hurt. As they entered the town of Ohrdruf, home to some 20,000 people, "No one came out to greet us." Less than two miles past town they understood the reason.

"We came up to a 15-foot-high barbed wire fence and could see unmanned wooden shacks (barracks) behind it," recalls Timmer. "We drove in and between the gate and the barracks were 30 dead ... the blood still wet from the departing German guards" who had shot the prisoners before fleeing in trucks.

Seeing the American soldiers, the surviving prisoners who could still walk (about half of the 500 who were there) "cautiously" came out of the barracks.

Timmer, the son of Dutch-born parents, had taken German in high school, and suddenly he was thrust into the role of company interpreter. He would be the first to hear and tell others the tales of unspeakable horror that were already evident in the sights and smells surrounding them.

To hide the evidence of what transpired at Ohrdruf, the guards, he learned, had been trying to dispose of about 2000 bodies, mainly slave laborers. Half had been exhumed from a mass grave, and half had been stacked in several buildings awaiting incineration.

Since Ohrdruf was the first concentration camp to be liberated, "we were ordered to leave the bodies where they lay," recalls Timmer. "The division commanders would be notified of what had been found and would probably want to see for themselves."

Meanwhile, the GIs shared their rations with the living and looked around, stunned, at the scene before them. At noon, Timmer continues, the division commanders arrived, and Patton himself came at 3:30. Within half an hour, fearless "Old Blood and Guts," as Patton was known to his men, was so sickened by what he saw that he "threw up."

General Eisenhower flew in from Belgium early the next morning to witness the carnage firsthand. "Even Ike looked pale, and he wasn't a pale guy," says Timmer. The supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe had brought his own interpreter, so Timmer was temporarily relieved of his duties. "Ike stayed until dark," Timmer recalls, talking at length to one of the articulate prisoners.

When Eisenhower left, Patton brought the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife to the camp to see for themselves what they undoubtedly already knew. (When they were off duty, the guards would come into town to "brag, womanize and drink," notes Timmer, "so how couldn't townspeople know?") Then Patton ordered the mayor, his wife and all the other able-bodied townsfolk to come back the next day and dig individual graves for the dead prisoners.

The citizens did as they were told, completing 80% of the burials and promising to come back the following day to finish the job. That night, the mayor and his wife hanged themselves.

Timmer was called upon to translate their suicide note. It said, simply, "We didn't know! - but we knew."

In the first concentration camp to be liberated by the Western Allies, Don Timmer was the first soldier to hear the tales of horror. 58 years later, one of his countrymen tells the first American Holocaust witness to his face that what he saw and heard first hand was nothing but lies.

I wouldn't be surprised if the speaker added something along the lines of "Besides, it's no worse that what we did to the Sioux."

The new flavor of Holocaust denial is not to deny that it happened, but to deny it significance, to reduce 6 million dead Jews to a mere blip on the bloody radar of human history. "Bad things have happened to people all through history" goes the logic. "Besides, everyone does it." It's an argument that demands the perfection of human character before allowing action against evil while simultaneously denying that such perfection can possibly exist.

It's a neat rhetorical trick, an excuse for inaction in the face of evil. Given the numerous discoveries of mass graves and documented atrocities visited upon the people of Iraq by the recently deposed Ba'athist regime, the timing of its emergence is suspicious, and saddening.

The argument's aim is clear, though not all who ascribe to its logic recognize what that goal is. It seeks to make all of the human tragedy and suffering equally important, which sounds noble enough. But, if all deaths are equally important, then they are also equally unimportant, which leads to

"Bad things have happened to people all through history,"

So there's no rush to when it comes to freeing Iraqis from their dictator, to defend Liberians from theirs, and suicide bombers and those who hunt them are morally equivalent.

and "Besides, everyone does it."

Not the Germans. Not anymore. I wonder why that is?

------------------------

If you're in Ohio and would like Don Timmer to talk to a class or organization about not only his experiences with the Holocaust, but those of his sister, who nursed survivors of the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria, you can contact him via e-mail: imogenetimmer AT hotmail.com

I'll be posting only one concentration picture a day over the long weekend, mostly other angles of scenes already depicted at Ohrdruf. On Monday I'll post the first photos from the mass graves at Schwarzenfeld.

 

As the back of the photo shows, the specific description for this scene is long gone, though it appears to be the inside of one of the barracks the laborers at the Ohrdruf camp slept in. "BIST" or "RIST" is stenciled on the columns as are the letters "SP" on the rafters above. "ZYC" is written in chalk on the brick column in the foreground. The gaps between the walls and roof have been stuffed with straw in an attempt to stop drafts, straw probably taken from the thin pallets the prisoners slept on. Above each pallet is an eyebolt with a metal ring through it. I hesitate to guess at the purpose they were used for, but they could easily serve to hold up the wrists of a bound prisoner if a rope was run through it.

I'm fairly sure that the soldier is once again Colonel Sears, talking to a survivor of the camp, who also appears in the only previously known picture of Colonel Sears at Ohrdruf (Second picture down, third man to the left of the Colonel). I have no idea who the survivor is, but I like to think it's Henry Meyer.

 

 

Added by bgill

Don Timmer Helped liberate Ohrdruf.


Like most veterans, silver-haired Mansfield resident Don Timmer enjoys telling war stories.

Stories about how, as a "goof-off" of 18, he was drafted in 1945 and became a private in the 89th Infantry Division of the Third Army under General George Patton. How he was among the first troops to land directly in (occupied) France; how his company went through France "like a hot knife through butter."

But what the army private didn't talk about, except to his family, was the two days he spent in the German town of Ohrdruf and vicinity.

Recently, however, something happened to make Timmer, a Protestant, break his silence. As he describes it, last spring, at a Board of Education meeting in Loudonville, Ohio, a high-school teacher was reviewing her itinerary for the senior class trip to Washington, D.C. Proposed stops included the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the Smithsonian and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

One of the school-board members "flew into a rage," as Timmer was later told, stating that the Holocaust was grossly exaggerated and that the students shouldn't be forced to go to the museum and listen to "a fabrication."

"When I heard what the guy said, it made me go back to my memory" of those April days in 1945, says Timmer, anger rising in his voice. His company, stationed in Gotha, Germany, at the time, was getting ready to penetrate deeper into the country when the call came to move south, instead, to Ohrdruf. There were conflicting reports about a concentration camp there, and the soldiers were to "investigate."

Timmer remembers it was one of the first nice days of spring as they drove the 10 miles to Ohrdruf. German fighter planes strafed them along the way, but no one was hurt. As they entered the town of Ohrdruf, home to some 20,000 people, "No one came out to greet us." Less than two miles past town they understood the reason.

"We came up to a 15-foot-high barbed wire fence and could see unmanned wooden shacks (barracks) behind it," recalls Timmer. "We drove in and between the gate and the barracks were 30 dead ... the blood still wet from the departing German guards" who had shot the prisoners before fleeing in trucks.

Seeing the American soldiers, the surviving prisoners who could still walk (about half of the 500 who were there) "cautiously" came out of the barracks.

Timmer, the son of Dutch-born parents, had taken German in high school, and suddenly he was thrust into the role of company interpreter. He would be the first to hear and tell others the tales of unspeakable horror that were already evident in the sights and smells surrounding them.

To hide the evidence of what transpired at Ohrdruf, the guards, he learned, had been trying to dispose of about 2000 bodies, mainly slave laborers. Half had been exhumed from a mass grave, and half had been stacked in several buildings awaiting incineration.

Since Ohrdruf was the first concentration camp to be liberated, "we were ordered to leave the bodies where they lay," recalls Timmer. "The division commanders would be notified of what had been found and would probably want to see for themselves."

Meanwhile, the GIs shared their rations with the living and looked around, stunned, at the scene before them. At noon, Timmer continues, the division commanders arrived, and Patton himself came at 3:30. Within half an hour, fearless "Old Blood and Guts," as Patton was known to his men, was so sickened by what he saw that he "threw up."

General Eisenhower flew in from Belgium early the next morning to witness the carnage firsthand. "Even Ike looked pale, and he wasn't a pale guy," says Timmer. The supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe had brought his own interpreter, so Timmer was temporarily relieved of his duties. "Ike stayed until dark," Timmer recalls, talking at length to one of the articulate prisoners.

When Eisenhower left, Patton brought the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife to the camp to see for themselves what they undoubtedly already knew. (When they were off duty, the guards would come into town to "brag, womanize and drink," notes Timmer, "so how couldn't townspeople know?") Then Patton ordered the mayor, his wife and all the other able-bodied townsfolk to come back the next day and dig individual graves for the dead prisoners.

The citizens did as they were told, completing 80% of the burials and promising to come back the following day to finish the job. That night, the mayor and his wife hanged themselves.

Timmer was called upon to translate their suicide note. It said, simply, "We didn't know! - but we knew."


Added by bgill

Photo

 

As the back of the photo shows, the specific description for this scene is long gone, though it appears to be the inside of one of the barracks the laborers at the Ohrdruf camp slept in. "BIST" or "RIST" is stenciled on the columns as are the letters "SP" on the rafters above. "ZYC" is written in chalk on the brick column in the foreground. The gaps between the walls and roof have been stuffed with straw in an attempt to stop drafts, straw probably taken from the thin pallets the prisoners slept on. Above each pallet is an eyebolt with a metal ring through it. I hesitate to guess at the purpose they were used for, but they could easily serve to hold up the wrists of a bound prisoner if a rope was run through it.

I'm fairly sure that the soldier is once again Colonel Sears, talking to a survivor of the camp, who also appears in the only previously known picture of Colonel Sears at Ohrdruf (Second picture down, third man to the left of the Colonel). I have no idea who the survivor is, but I like to think it's Henry Meyer.

Added by bgill

This is one of the victims of the Nazi SS troopers after being exhumed for proper burial.

Added by bgill

Four German civilians Carry a Casket

Added by bgill

Third Army Soldiers Attend Burial Services for the Victims

Added by bgill

Polish Jews Escaped the Fate

Added by bgill

Liberation of Ohrdruf.


Liberation of Ohrdruf. General Eisenhower is in the middle of the poto, wearing a kepi.

 

April 4, 1945

REPORT ON SURRENDER OF THE GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMP AT OHRDRUF:

The date was April 4, 1945 and I was on a patrol as a member of the I & R platoon attached to the Headquarters company of 354th Infantry Regiment, of the 89th Infantry Division, 3rd Army U.S.A.

As I recall it was a beautiful spring morning marred by the fact that we were under mortar attack. I remember very well my surprise when I observed Brigadier General Robertson strolling upright down the road. He was an elderly avunular gentleman who thought nonchalance under fire characterized the general officer's role model.

was impressed but remained prone in the drainage ditch until the atttack ceased. Shortly thereafter, an acquaintance let it be known that a camp had been liberated further up the hill.

Fifty years have passed since this day but I recall my first impression of the camp called Ohrdruf which I found later was associated administratively with the camp called Buchenwald. Ohrdruf was named after the town of the same name, apparently locally famous for its history of being the place where Johann Sebastian Bach composed some of his works.

From the outside, the camp was unremarkable. It was surrounded by a high barbed wire fence and had a wooden sign which read, "Arbeit Macht Frei." The swinging gate was open, and a young soldier, probably an SS guard, lay dead diagonally across the entrance. The camp was located in the forest and was surrounded by a thick grove of pine and other conifers. The inside of the camp was composed of a large 100 yards square central area which was surrounded by one story barracks painted green which appeared to house 60-100 inmates.

As we stepped into the compound one was greeted by an overpowering odor of quick-lime, dirty clothing, feces, and urine. Laying in the center of the square were 60-70 dead prisoners clad in striped clothing and in disarray. They had reportedly been machine gunned the day before because they were too weak to march to another camp. The idea was for the SS and the prisoners to avoid the approaching U.S. Army and the Russians.

Adjacent to the "parade ground" was a small shed which was open on one side. Inside, were bodies stacked in alternate directions as one would stack cord wood, and each layer was covered with a sprinkling of quick-lime. I did not see him, but someone told me that there had been a body of a dead American aviator in the shed. This place reportedly had been used for punishment, and the inmates were beaten on their back and heads with a shovel. My understanding is that all died following this abuse.

I visited some of the surrounding barracks and found live inmates who had hidden during the massacre. They were astounded and appeared to be struggling to understand what was happening. Some were in their 5 tier bunks and some were wandering about.

This was the first camp to be "liberated" by the Allied armies in Germany. Orhdruf was visited by Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley and there are photographs of them observing the bodies of the machine gunned inmates. According to Eisenhower, Patton had refused to visit the punishment shed as he feared he would become ill. He did vomit at a later time.

Further into the camp was evidence of an attempt to exhume and burn large numbers of bodies. There was a gallows, although I really cannot remember whether I saw it or not. I don't remember leaving the camp. I recall being numb after seeing the camp. I had just turned 20 years old and I had read the biographical "Out of the Night." It was a pale and inadequate picture of a German concentration camp by a refugee German author.

I recall becoming very upset when we got back to our quarters, but the whole experience was far beyond my understanding. I wrote a letter to my parents describing the experience which was read at a local gathering of business men. It was widely disbelieved.

Bruce Nickols

Added by bgill

Topic Details

Add Facts

Looking for more information about Ohrdruf Concentration Camp?

Search through millions of records to find out more.

Add

About this Memorial Page

Anyone can contribute to this page. Please sign in or sign up—it's free.

Contributors:
bgill
Created:
Modified:
Page Views:
16,259 total (122 this week)

×