Colonel Richard R. Seibel
Born: 1907, Defiance, Ohio
Describes aid given to survivors after liberation in Mauthausen and their plans for emigration [Interview: 1990]
We brought in two field hospitals. Huge installations. And anyone who had to be taken care of, uh, was so assigned to these hospitals. Our medical records show that we had hospitalized while we were there, about 5000 people. And as soon as they were able to leave the hospital they left. And we...that's what we did until, until the bulk of the people in the camp had gone home. Now when, when I left there and my people and I left, there was only about 3000 or 3500 people left. And they...the bulk of those people didn't want to go home. And there were quite a number of Jewish people left in the camp that did not wish to return to their homelands. In checking with these people, the older Jew wanted to go to Israel. The younger Jews wanted to go to the United States, to England, or to France. And so those...I don't recall how many there were, but those were the ones that were left and the other people...just didn't want to go home.
In June 1941, Richard was ordered to active duty in the U.S. army. After a period of training, he was sent to Europe. He entered Austria in April 1945. A patrol came upon the Mauthausen camp and Richard was appointed to take command of the camp. He organized those inmates who had survived in the camp until liberation in May 1945, and brought in two field hospitals. After 35 days in Mauthausen, he was transferred to a post in the Austrian Alps.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections