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Schlossman, H.H. (1996). Recollections of the Liberation of Buchenwald—4/11/45. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 24(4):737-739.
(1996). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 24(4):737-739
Recollections of the Liberation of Buchenwald—4/11/45
Howard H. Schlossman, M.D.*
Combat Team 9-9th Armored Infantry Battalion and attached tank and Ack–Ack companies overran the site where 21,000 political prisoners were still alive. A few days earlier, 40,000 were taken away on a forced march. Captain Keffer of the 9th stumbled on the camp when he captured some SS troops. A few nearby Russian slave laborers exploded in fury and tried to kill the SS. These Russians told Keffer of the nearby camp. “And the infamous concentration camp at Buchenwald was overrun.”
The above cryptic comments were taken from the log of the 6th Armored Division printed in Germany, July 1945.
There were not many still alive as eyewitnesses so I must tell you what I saw.
I recall on April 12, when I was listening to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on the shortwave radio in my armored half truck. Roosevelt was dead. That was a sad shock and, later that day, I heard from another officer that Buchenwald had been freed. The 9th had gotten in there, found a few SS—all the others had run—disarmed them and left them loose in the camp. The story was that the survivors literally dismembered these SS.
Our commanding General, General Grow, inspected the camps and then spoke with the Mayor of Weimar, a few kilometers away. They knew nothing whatsoever about the activities of Buchenwald, so General Grow ordered the Burgomeister and his staff, together with their wives to gather buckets and brooms. They were forced to clean the camp so that the world know what happened.
Following that, every company in my Division was organized for a tour.
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