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Liberators

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American soldiers view the bodies of dead prisoners at Ohrdruf.

American soldiers view the bodies of dead prisoners at Ohrdruf. ——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Dr. Marvin Chadab

Introduction

The things I saw beggar description... The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were...overpowering... 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.’

–General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s letter to General George C. Marshall dated April 15, 1945.

As the Allies advanced across Europe, they encountered and then liberated Nazi concentration camps and the inmates they found there. Despite the efforts by the Germans to hide or destroy evidence of mass murder, many camps remained intact and still held significant prisoner populations. After Soviet troops liberated Majdanek in July 1944, they proceeded to liberate camps throughout Eastern Europe, including Auschwitz in January 1945. Coming from the west, United States forces liberated Buchenwald and Dachau in April 1945 and the British liberated Bergen-Belsen that same month.

The liberating units encountered deplorable conditions in the camps, where malnutrition and disease were rampant, and corpses lay unburied. The soldiers reacted in shock and disbelief to the evidence of Nazi atrocities. In addition to burying the dead, the Allied forces attempted to help and comfort the survivors with food, clothing and medical assistance. Though official reports were prepared at the time of liberation, individual soldiers often did not record their impressions of the camps until many years later. These accounts, recorded in the form of official unit histories, personal statements, and oral testimonies, provide an important resource in the study and understanding of the Holocaust.

The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to materials on Allied liberating forces in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive. Annotations are provided to help the user determine the item’s focus, and call numbers for the Museum’s Library are given in parentheses following each citation. Those unable to visit might be able to find these works in a nearby public library or acquire them through interlibrary loan. Follow the “Find in a library near you” link in each citation and enter your zip code at the Open WorldCat search screen. The results of that search indicate all libraries in your area that own that particular title. Talk to your local librarian for assistance.

Background Information

  • Ast, Theresa Lynn. “Confronting the Holocaust: American Soldiers who Liberated the Concentration Camps.” Ph.D. Diss. Emory University, 2000. (D 805 .A2 A86 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Reviews the experiences of American soldiers involved in liberating the concentration camps and examines the long-term emotional and psychological impact of those experiences. Describes the soldiers' responses to the camps, both at the time and years later, and the difficulties they had after the war dealing with what they had seen. Based on liberators' responses to a detailed questionnaire, the oral histories and personal papers of approximately five hundred World War II veterans, and on original military documents. Includes a detailed bibliography.

  • Bardgett, Suzanne, and David Cesarani, editors. Belsen 1945: New Historical Perspectives. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2006. (D 805.5 .B47 B452 2006) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of essays highlighting issues related to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. Includes a brief history of the camp, accounts of the conditions at the camp at the time of liberation, an overview of the medical treatment provided by the liberators, and discussions of the role the camp has played in British public perception of the Holocaust.

  • Bridgman, Jon. End of the Holocaust: The Liberation of the Camps. Portland, OR: Areopagitica Press, 1990. (D 805 .A2 B72 1990) [Find in a library near you]

    Examines the events in five concentration camps during the weeks immediately prior to the arrival of Allied troops. Provides detailed accounts of liberation from both prisoners and soldiers of liberating units. Includes photographs, an annotated bibliography, and an index.

  • Celinscak, Mark. Distance from the Belsen Heap: Allied Forces and the Liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. (D805.5.B47 C45 2015) [Find in a library near you]

    Recounts the experiences of British and Canadian individuals involved in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, including soldiers, photographers, and medical workers. Examines how the liberation experience affected these people through the next seventy years. Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • Distel, Barbara. “The Liberation of the Concentration Camp at Dachau.” In Dachau and the Nazi Terror 1933-1945, edited by Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel, 9-17. Dachau: Dachauer Hefte, 2002. (D 805 .A2 D323 2002 v.2) [Find in a library near you]

    Describes the weeks leading up to and following the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp by American troops in April 1945.

  • Goodell, Stephen, and Kevin Mahoney. 1945: The Year of Liberation. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1995. (D 804.3 .N56 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of articles, photographs, newspaper reports, and personal testimonies documenting the liberation of the camps and the immediate aftermath. Includes descriptions and images from liberating troops of numerous concentration camps.

  • Heller, Robert. Living On: Portraits of Tennessee Survivors and Liberators: A Project of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2008. ( F445.J5L58 2008). [Find in a library near you]

    Portraits and accompanying biographies describing the wartime experiences of survivors and liberators who now live in Tennessee. Includes index.

  • Hirsh, Michael. The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust. New York: Bantam Books, 2010. (D805.G3 H523 2010) [Find in a library near you]

    Recounts the actions of over 150 United States soldiers who liberated Nazi concentration camps and how those experiences affected their lives. Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • Law, C. E. Kamp Westerbork, Transit Camp to Eternity: The Liberation Story. Clementsport, NS: Canadian Peacekeeping Press, 2000. (D 805.5 .W47 L39 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Documents the liberation of the Westerbork transit camp by the South Saskatchewan Regiment of the Canadian Army. Includes a detailed chronology of events, as well as photographs, maps, excerpts of soldiers’ diaries, a glossary, and an index.

  • Perry, Michael W., editor. Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by the U.S. Seventh Army. Seattle: Inkling Books, 2000. (D 805.5 .D33 D332 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Reprint of the original report published just weeks after the arrival of American troops in 1945. Provides a detailed description of conditions at the camp at the time of liberation, as well as initial reactions from American military investigators. Also includes a translated excerpt from the diary of Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, kept while he was a prisoner at the camp.

  • Potter, Lou, William Miles, and Nina Rosenblum. Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. (D 769.306 761st .P68 1992) [Find in a library near you]

    A companion book to the documentary of the same name detailing the involvement of the 761st Tank Battalion in the Second World War, the first African-American armored unit to see combat. Asserts that the 761st liberated Dachau, Buchenwald, and Lambach, and provides first-person accounts by members of the battalion recalling their views of the camps. Also details the battalion's training and battle experiences interspersed with stories of the racial discrimination they faced. Opens with a history of African-Americans in the United States military from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars through World War II.

  • Reilly, Joanne. Belsen: The Liberation of a Concentration Camp. London: Routledge, 1998. (D 805.5 .B47 R45 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Provides a historical overview of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen as well as a description of the efforts by British medical personnel to control the typhus epidemic in the camp. Considers the reception of news reports describing camp conditions along with the efforts of the British government to establish and administer the displaced persons camp established on the site. Includes an extensive bibliography and an index.

  • Reilly, Joanne, editor. Belsen in History and Memory. London: F. Cass, 1997. (D 805.5 .B47 B45 1997) [Find in a library near you]

    Compilation of essays that consider the history of the Bergen-Belsen camp. Discusses various aspects of the liberation, such as the role of women in the relief efforts, the establishment of a displaced persons camp on the site, and the interaction between French prisoners and British soldiers.

  • Selzer, Michael. Deliverance Day: The Last Hours at Dachau. London: Sphere Books, Ltd., 1980. (D 805.5 .D33 S45 1980) [Find in a library near you]

    An hour-by-hour account of the liberation of concentration camp Dachau, based on numerous interviews with former prisoners and the American soldiers who liberated them. Includes over 20 photographs and a glossary.

  • Shephard, Ben. After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945. London: Jonathan Cape, 2005. (D 805.5 .B47 S44 2005) [Find in a library near you]

    Provides a day-by-day account of the liberation, interspersed with eyewitness accounts from liberators and prisoners. Includes an appendix listing the death rates of prisoners suffering from typhus, malnutrition, and exhaustion in the days after liberation. Includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Stern, Kenneth S. Liberators: A Background Report. New York: American Jewish Committee, 1993. (D 769.306 761st .S74 1993) [Find in a library near you]

    Explores the historical accuracy of the documentary Liberators, challenging some factual elements in the film and offering evidence that the 761st Tank Battalion was not actually involved in the liberation of Dachau or Buchenwald, as the film declares, but did help liberate Gunskirchen, a sub-camp of Mauthausen. Based on conversations with survivors, archival experts, and members of the units in question.

  • Stone, Dan. The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and its Aftermath. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015. (D805.A2 S746 2015) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses archival resources and eyewitness reports to explore the effect of the liberation of concentration camps had on both survivors and the liberators. Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • Strzelecki, Andrzej. The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz. Oświęcim: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, 2001. (D 805.5 .A96 S7713 2001) [Find in a library near you]

    Detailed exploration of the events surrounding the abandonment of the Auschwitz camp complex by the Nazis and the arrival of Soviet Red Army troops. Describes the forced evacuation of prisoners from the camp and the destruction of incriminating documents by the retreating troops.

Eyewitness Accounts

  • Abzug, Robert H. GIs Remember: Liberating the Concentration Camps. Washington, DC: National Museum of American Jewish History, 1994. (Oversize D 805 .G3 A272 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    Conveys the experiences of Jewish-American soldiers during the liberation of Nazi concentration camps and the continuing involvement of Jewish soldiers with survivors after the war. Sets the liberation in historical context, presents the varied reactions of the liberators, and describes the immediate aftermath of the discovery of the camps. Includes over fifty eyewitness accounts and numerous photographs. Based upon an exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History.

  • Abzug, Robert H. Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. (D 805 .G3 A27 1985) [Find in a library near you]

    Recounts the story of camp liberations as American soldiers and other eyewitnesses, such as General Eisenhower, Joseph Pulitzer, Meyer Levin, and Margaret Bourke-White, experienced them. Includes photographs and an index.

  • Chamberlin, Brewster S., and Marcia Feldman, editors. The Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps 1945: Eyewitness Accounts of the Liberators. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 1987. (D 805 .A2 L524 1987) [Find in a library near you]

    The Proceedings of the First International Liberators Conference held in Washington, D.C., in October 1981. Collects eyewitness accounts and testimonies regarding the liberation and conditions of the Nazi concentration camps, including reports from soldiers, medical personnel and clergy. Includes photographs, glossary, and an index.

  • Eliach, Yaffa, and Brana Gurewitsch, editors. The Liberators: Eyewitness Accounts of the Liberation of Concentration Camps: Oral History Testimonies of American Liberators From the Archives of the Center for Holocaust Studies. Brooklyn: Center for Holocaust Studies, Documentation and Research, 1981. (Oversize D 805 .A2 L53 1981) [Find in a library near you]

    Contains excerpts from oral testimonies about the liberation of the following concentration camps: Ohrdruf, Vaihingen, Nordhausen, Buchenwald, Salzwedel, Gardelegen, Landsberg, Dachau, Gunskirchen, Mauthausen and Gusen, and Wöbbelin. Created as part of a project to document the immediate reactions and impressions of enlisted men at the time of liberation. Includes numerous photographs.

  • Flanagan, Ben, and Donald Bloxham, editors. Remembering Belsen: Eyewitnesses Record the Liberation. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2005. (D 805.5 B47 R47 2005) [Find in a library near you]

    Collects accounts of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen written by soldiers, prisoners, and relief workers. Also includes descriptions of the displaced persons camp established on the site and reports from the Belsen war crimes trial.

  • Gun, Nerin. Day of the Americans. New York: Fleet Publishing Co., 1966. (D 805 .G3 G8626 1966) [Find in a library near you]

    Offers a personal account of the liberation of concentration camp Dachau by the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions on April 29, 1945. Written by a journalist who was among the liberated prisoners.

  • Imperial War Museum. The Relief of Belsen, April 1945: Eyewitness Accounts. London: Imperial War Museum, 1991. (D 805.5 .B47 R455 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    Booklet produced to accompany a 1991 exhibit at the Imperial War Museum in London about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. Presents dozens of personal accounts from both liberators and prisoners, as well as numerous photographs. Includes a detailed chronology of events surrounding the liberation.

  • Israel, David L.. The Day the Thunderbird Cried: Untold Stories of World War II. Medford, OR: Emek Press, 2005. (D769.3 45th .I87 2005) [Find in a library near you]

    Includes, in the Book Three section, interviews from members of the 45th, 42nd, 99th, and 106th Infantry Divisions discussing the liberation of Dachau. Uses these first-hand accounts to describe the liberators’ shock and horror upon entering the Dachau Concentration Camp, as well as the resulting rounding up and shooting of the camp’s SS guards. Includes illustrations, bibliographical references, and index.

  • Sanders, Jim. Saving Lives, Saving Memories: A 19-Year-Old Ambulance Driver in the Wake of Patton's Army. Modesto, CA: IF Books, 2009. (D811 .S26 2009) [Find in a library near you]

    Memoir of Jim Sanders, an ambulance driver for the United States 4th Armored Division during World War II. Includes a chapter describing Sanders’ experiences in the Ohrdruf and Buchenwald Concentration Camps, as well as a chapter describing Sanders’ return to the camps and interaction with survivors in 1994 and 1995. Includes photographs and index of images.

  • Scrase, David, and Wolfgang Mieder, editors. The Holocaust: Personal Accounts. Burlington, VT: The Center for Holocaust Studies at The University of Vermont, 2001. (D 804.195 .H646 2001) [Find in a library near you]

    Includes first-person accounts of two soldiers: Clinton C. Gardiner, who was present at the liberation of Buchenwald; and Irving Lisman, an ambulance driver who was among the first to enter the Dachau camp as a member of the 42nd Infantry.

  • Smith, Marcus J. Harrowing of Hell: Dachau. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972. (D 805 .G3 S596 1972) [Find in a library near you]

    A first-person account of the liberation of Dachau by an Army medical officer, part of a team sent into the camp immediately after liberation. Provides detailed descriptions of camp living conditions as well as medical treatment provided by U.S. soldiers.

Unit Histories

Infantry Divisions

  • 1st Infantry Division

    Liberated Falkenau an der Eger (Flossenbürg subcamp), May 7, 1945.
    - First Infantry Division in World War II: The Big Red One. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1995. (Oversize D 769.3 1st .F575 1995)
    - Andrus, Clift. The First: A Brief History of the 1st Infantry Division, World War II. [Wheaton, IL]: Cantigny First Division Foundation, 1996. (D 769.3 1st .F57 1996)
    - Web Resource: Society of the First Infantry Division: History

  • 2nd Infantry Division

    Liberated Leipzig-Schönefeld (Buchenwald subcamp), April 14, 1945 and Spergau (labor education camp), April 17, 1945.
    - Combat History of the Second Infantry Division in World War II. Nashville: Battery Press, 1979. (Oversize D 769.3 2nd .C65 1979)

  • 4th Infantry Division

    Liberated Dachau subcamps, April 28-29, 1945.
    - 4th Infantry Division: Occupation of Germany, 1952. Atlanta, GA: A. Love, 1952. (Oversize D 769.3 4th .U55 1952)
    - Web Resource: National 4th Infantry (Ivy) Division Association

  • 8th Infantry Division

    Liberated Wöbbelin (Neuengamme subcamp), May 3, 1945.
    - Eighth Infantry Division: A Combat History By Regiments and Special Units. Baton Rouge: Army & Navy Publishing Co., 1946. (Oversize D 769.31 8th .E54 1946)
    - Griesbach, Marc F. Combat History of the Eighth Infantry Division in World War II. [N.p.: n.p., 1945?]. (D 769.31 8th .G75 1945)

  • 26th Infantry Division

    Liberated Gusen (Mauthausen subcamp), May 5, 1945.
    - Baumgardner, Randy W. 26th Infantry Division: Yankee Division Pictorial History. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 2002. (Oversize UA 27.5 26th .A1363 2002)

  • 29th Infantry Division

    Liberated Dinslaken (civilian labor camp), April 3, 1945.
    - Ewing, Joseph H. 29, Let's Go! A History of the 29th Infantry Division in World War II. Nashville: Battery Press, 1979. (D 769.3 29th .E9 1979)
    - Ewing, Joseph H. 29th Infantry Division: A Short History of a Fighting Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1992. (Oversize UA 27.5 29th .E93 1992)

  • 36th Infantry Division

    Liberated Kaufering camps (Dachau subcamps), April 30, 1945.
    - Huff, Richard A. A Pictorial History of the 36th Texas Infantry Division. Austin: 36th Division Association, Turner Publishing Co., 1995. (Oversize D 769.31 36th .P53 1995)
    - Web Resource: 36th Division Association

  • 42nd Infantry Division

    Liberated Dachau, April 29, 1945.
    - 42nd Infantry Division, 1944. Baton Rouge: Army and Navy Publishing Co., [1944?]. (Oversize D 769.3 42nd .A5 1944)
    - 42nd Infantry Division, Rainbow. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1987. (Oversize D 769.31 42nd .A14 1987)
    - Daly, Hugh C. 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division: A Combat History of World War II. Baton Rouge: Army & Navy Publishing Co., 1946. (Rare Oversize D769.3 42nd .A5 1946)
    - Dann, Sam. Dachau 29 April 1945: The Rainbow Liberation Memoirs. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1998. (D 805.5 .D33 D33 1998)
    - Keithan, John William. Finding Guide to Manuscript Material and Memorabilia Concerning the 42nd Rainbow Division Service in World Wars I and II. Seattle: Rainbow Division Veterans Association, 1998. (Oversize D 769.3 42nd .R35 1998)
    - Linden, John H. Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 Apr 45: The True Account. Elm Grove, WI: Sycamore Press, 1997. (Oversize D 805.5.D33 L46 1997)
    - Thompson, Norm. Kaltenhouse Remembered. Lynnwood, WA: Sinrud, [1990?]. (D761 .T56 1990z)

  • 45th Infantry Division

    Liberated Dachau, April 29, 1945.
    - Sparks, Felix. Dachau and its Liberation. Oklahoma City, OK: 45th Infantry Division Museum, 1990. (D 805.5 .D33 S63 1990)
    - Whitlock, Flint. The Rock of Anzio: From Sicily to Dachau, a History of the 45th Infantry Division. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998. (D 769.31 45th .W45 1998)
    - Web Resource: 45th Infantry Division Museum

  • 63rd Infantry Division

    Liberated Kaufering camps (Dachau subcamps), April 29-30, 1945.
    - Hatcher, James E. Blood and Fire: With the 63rd Infantry Division in World War II. [Radcliff, KY]: 63rd Infantry Division Association, 1986. (D 756 .H3 1986)
    - Web Resource: 63rd Infantry Division Association

  • 65th Infantry Division

    Liberated Flossenbürg subcamp, April 20-21, 1945.
    - 65th Infantry Division 1943-1945. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1993. (Oversize D 769.31 65th .A15 1993)
    - Web Resource: 65th Division Association

  • 69th Infantry Division

    Liberated Leipzig-Thekla (Buchenwald subcamp), April 19, 1945.
    - Fighting 69th Infantry Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1991. (D 769.3 69th .F54 1991)
    - Pictorial History of the 69th Infantry Division, 15 May 1943 to 15 May 1945. [N.p.: n.p., 1945]. (D 769.31 69th .P53 1945)
    - Sheavly, William H. The Stories of Our War: Memories From the Men of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division. Carmel, IN: Cork Hill Press, 2004. (D 769.3 69th .S54 2004)
    - Web Resource: The Fighting 69th Infantry Division Web Site

  • 71st Infantry Division

    Liberated Gunskirchen (Mauthausen subcamp), May 5-6, 1945.
    - Clinger, Fred, et al. The History of the 71st Infantry Division. [N.p.: 71st Infantry Division, 1946]. (Rare Oversize D 769.31 71st .C55 1946)
    - McMahon, Gerald. A Corner of Hell: A Military History Report. Fairfax, VA: Yaderman Books, 1990. (D 805.A8 .M43 1990).
    - McMahon, Gerald. The Siegfried and Beyond: The Odyssey of a Wartime Infantry Regiment 1943-1945. Cleveland: 71st Infantry Division Association, 1993. (D 769.31 66th .M36 1993)
    - The Seventy-first Came To Gunskirchen Lager. Augsburg, [1945?]. (Rare D805.5.G86 U5 1945, also D805.5.G86 U5 1979.)

  • 80th Infantry Division

    Liberated Buchenwald, April 12, 1945 and Ebensee (Mauthausen subcamp), May 4-5, 1945.
    - Craig, Berry. 80th Blue Ridge Infantry Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1999. (Oversize D 769.31 80th .C73 1999)

  • 83rd Infantry Division

    Liberated Langenstein (Buchenwald subcamp), April 11, 1945.
    - Hayhow, Ernie, et al. The Thunderbolt Across Europe: A History of the 83d Infantry Division, 1942-1945. Nashville: Battery Press, 1997. (D 769.31 83rd .T48 1997)

  • 84th Infantry Division

    Liberated Ahlem (Neuengamme subcamp), April 10, 1945 and Salzwedel (Neuengamme subcamp), April 14, 1945.
    - Draper, Theodore. The 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of Germany, November 1944-May 1945. Nashville: Battery Press, 2000. (D 769.3 84th .D7 2000)
    - History of the 84th Infantry Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1988. (D 769.31 84th .H57 1988)
    - Tott, Vernon W. Ahlem Concentration Camp, 5 miles west of Hannover, Germany: Liberated by the 84th Infantry Division on April 10, 1945. Sioux City, IA: V.W. Tott, 1998. (D 805.5.A35 T68 1998)

  • 86th Infantry Division

    Liberated Attendorn (civilian labor camp), April 11, 1945.
    - Briggs, Richard A. Black Hawks Over the Danube: The History of the 86th Infantry Division in World War II. West Point, KY: R.A. Briggs, 1954. (D 769.3 86th .B75 1954)
    - St. John, Philip A. 86th Blackhawk Infantry Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1992. (Oversize D 769.31 86th .S73 1992)

  • 89th Infantry Division

    Liberated Ohrdruf (Buchenwald subcamp), April 4, 1945.
    - 89th Infantry Division Historical Board. The 89th Infantry Division, 1942-1945. Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1947. (D 769.31 89th .U6 1947)
    - Web Resource: 89th Infantry Division: Ohrdruf

  • 90th Infantry Division

    Liberated Flossenbürg, April 23, 1945.
    - Abrams, Joe I. A History of the 90th Division in World War II: 6 June 1944 to 9 May 1945. Nashville: Battery Press, 1999. (D 769.3 90th .A27 1999)

  • 95th Infantry Division

    Liberated Werl (prison and civilian labor camp), April 2-8, 1945.
    - Fuermann, George M., et al. Ninety-fifth Infantry Division History: 1918-1946. Nashville: Battery Press, 1988. (D 769.3 95th .F84 1988)

  • 99th Infantry Division

    Liberated Dachau subcamp, May 3-4, 1945.
    - Lauer, Walter E. Battle Babies: The Story of the 99th Infantry Division in World War II. Nashville: Battery Press, 1985. (D 769.3 99th .L38 1985)

    -Humphrey, Robert. One Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in World War II. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. (D 769.3 99th .H86 2008)

  • 103rd Infantry Division

    Liberated Landsberg (Dachau subcamp), April 27, 1945.
    - Cactus Caravan. [Atlanta: Albert Love Enterprises, 1944]. (Rare Oversize D 769.3 103rd .C33 1944)
    - Mueller, Ralph, et al. Report After Action: The Story of the 103d Infantry Division. Nashville: Battery Press, 1981. (D 769.3 103d .M8 1981)
    - Powers, Robert N. Holocaust: The Story of 103d Infantry Division. [N.p.: n.p., 1997]. (D 804.355 .H65 1997)

  • 104th Infantry Division

    Liberated Dora-Mittelbau, April 11, 1945.
    - Hoegh, Leo A., and Howard J. Doyle. Timberwolf Tracks: The History of the 104th Infantry Division, 1942-1945. Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press, 1946. (D 769.3 104th .H6 1946)
    - James, Ernest C. Liberation of the Nordhausen and Dora/Mittelbau Concentration Camps: World War II, First Army, Seventh Corps, 104th Infantry Division, 238th Engineer Combat Battalion and Others. Sacramento: E.C. James, 1995. (D 805.G3 J36 1995)
    - Web Resource: Liberation of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp, Nordhausen, Germany

Armored Divisions

  • 3rd Armored Division

    Liberated Dora-Mittelbau, April 11, 1945.
    - Cooper, Belton Y. Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1998. (D 793 .C66 1998)
    - Woolner, Frank, and Murray H. Fowler. Spearhead in the West: The Third Armored Division. Frankfurt am Main-Schwanheim, Germany: F.J. Henrich, 1945. (D 769.3053 3rd .W6 1945)
    - Web Resource: 3rd Armored Division Association Archives
    - Web Resource: 3rd Armored Division History

  • 4th Armored Division

    Liberated Ohrdruf (Buchenwald subcamp), April 4, 1945.
    - Frankel, Nat, and Larry Smith. Patton's Best: An Informal History of the 4th Armored Division. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1978. (D 769.305 4th .F72 1978)
    - The Legacy of the 4th Armored Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1990. (UA 27.5 4th .L44 1990)

  • 6th Armored Division

    Liberated Buchenwald, April 11, 1945.
    - Hoffman, George F. The Super Sixth: History of the 6th Armored Division in World War II. Nashville: Battery Press, 2000. (D 769.305 6th .H63 2000)
    - Web Resource: The Super Sixth

  • 8th Armored Division

    Liberated Halberstadt-Zwieberge (Buchenwald subcamp), April 12-17, 1945.
    - Leach, Charles R. In Tornado’s Wake: A History of the 8th Armored Division. Nashville: Battery Press, 1992. (D 769.3053 8th .L4 1992)
    - Web Resource: 8th Armored Division Association

  • 9th Armored Division

    Liberated Falkenau an der Eger (Flossenbürg subcamp), May 7, 1945.
    - Baldridge, Robert C. Victory Road. Bennington, VT: World War II Historical Society, 1995. (Oversize D 811 .B35 1995)

  • 10th Armored Division

    Liberated Landsberg (Dachau subcamp), April 27, 1945.
    - Nichols, Lester M. Impact: The Battle Story of the Tenth Armored Division. Nashville: Battery Press, 2000. (D 769.3053 10th .N53 2000)

  • 11th Armored Division

    Liberated Gusen (Mauthausen subcamp), May 5, 1945, and Mauthausen, May 6, 1945.
    - Craig, Berry. 11th Armored Division, Thunderbolt. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1988. (Oversize D 769.3053 11th .C73 1988)
    - Steward, Hal D. Thunderbolt. Washington: 11th Armored Division Association, [1948?]. (D769.3053 11th .S74 1948)
    - Thunderbolts in the ETO: A Pictorial After-action Report World War II. [N.p.: n.p., 1969?]. (D 769.3053 11th .T48 1969)
    - Web Resource: Yale Fortunoff Video Archive: An American officer describes the liberation of Mauthausen

  • 12th Armored Division

    Liberated Landsberg (Dachau subcamp), April 27, 1945.
    - A History of the United States Twelfth Armored Division: 15 September, 1942-17 December, 1945. Nashville: Battery Press, 1978. (Oversize D 769.305 12th .H57 1978)

  • 14th Armored Division

    Liberated Dachau subcamps, May 2-3, 1945.
    - 14th Armored Division Association (U.S.). Memories of the 14th Armored Division. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1999. (Oversize D 811.A2 M365 1999)
    - Now It Can Be Told: 14th Arm'd Div. [Germany: 14th Arm'd Div., 1945?]. (Rare D 769.26 7th .A5 1945)

  • 20th Armored Division

    Liberated Dachau, April 29, 1945.
    - Nichols, Jeff. Liberators: The Story of the 20th Armored Division in World War II. 20th Armored Division Association, 2006. (D 769.3053 20th .N53 2006)
    - Web Resource: 20th Armored Division Association

Airborne Divisions

  • 82nd Airborne Division

    Liberated Wöbbelin (Neuengamme subcamp), May 3, 1945.
    - Dawson, W. Forrest. Saga of the All American. Nashville: Battery Press, 2004. (D 769.346 82nd .S34 2004)

  • 101st Airborne Division

    Liberated Landsberg (Dachau subcamp), April 28, 1945.
    - Ambrose, Stephen E. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. (D 769.347 506th .A57 1993)
    - Bando, Mark. Vanguard of the Crusade: The 101st Airborne Division in World War II. Bedford, PA: Aberjona Press, 2003. (D 769.346 101st .B36 2003)
    - Rapport, Leonard, and Arthur Northwood. Rendezvous With Destiny: A History of the 101st Airborne Division. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky & Konecky, 2001 reprint of 1948 ed. (D 769.346 101st .R26 2001)

Film and Video

  • Faces of the Holocaust [videorecording]. Oxford, OH: SOITA [distributor], 1989. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Offers first-person accounts of the Holocaust by survivors, a rescuer, and liberators of Mauthausen and Dachau. Note: Tapes three and four feature interviews with liberators.

  • The Gate is Open, You Can Go Survivors Speak: A Production of the Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, Pa [DVD]. Pittsburgh, PA: Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, 2005. (DVD 0434). [Find in a library near you]

    Describes the liberation of Mauthausen and its satellite camps by the United States as remembered by a former Mauthausen prisoner, a United States Army nurse, and a United States Army investigator.

  • Liberation [videorecording]. New York: First Run/Icarus Films, 1995. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Recounts the liberation of the concentration camps through testimony of soldiers from Poland, Russia, Britain and the United States.

  • Liberation 1945: Testimony [videorecording]. Washington: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1995. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Features eyewitness accounts of the liberation by Holocaust survivors and liberators who speak of their experiences, feelings, and reactions at the time.

  • The Liberation of Auschwitz 1945 [videorecording]. Northampton: Pedigree Films, 1994. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Contains all the footage taken by Soviet photographers in January and February 1945, shortly after Auschwitz was liberated. Soviet cameraman Alexander Vorontsov shares his impressions of the liberation.

  • Liberation of KZ Dachau: A Documentary [videorecording]. Cary, NC: Strong Communications, 1990. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Chronicles the personal accounts of the soldiers who first entered the concentration camp at Dachau in April 1945. Present-day interviews with veterans are interspersed with footage of what they found in the camp.

  • Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II [videorecording]. Santa Monica, CA: Direct Cinema Limited, 1992. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Tells the story of African-American units in the Second World War, focusing on the actions of the 761st Tank Battalion, which the producers assert helped liberate the concentration camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, and Lambach. The Library also has the companion book bearing the same title.

  • Opening the Gates of Hell: American Liberators of the Nazi Concentration Camps [videorecording]. Teaneck, NJ: Ergo Media Inc., 1992. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    American veterans who were among the first troops to enter the Nazi concentration camps relate their memories of that experience. Includes graphic archival footage of the camps.

  • Oświęcim: A Documentary Film on German Crimes at Oświęcim [videorecording]. Waltham, MA: National Center for Jewish Film, [2000]. (Video Collection). [Find in a library near you]

    Film by the Soviet Army chronicling the liberation of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) Concentration Camp. Includes archival footage of survivors and Nazi atrocities committed in the camp.

  • Robert Clary A5714 A Memoir of Liberation [DVD]. Waltham, MA: National Center for Jewish Film, 2007. (DVD 0794). [Find in a library near you]

    Tells the story of Robert Clary, including his participation in the liberation of Buchenwald. Also includes accounts by other Buchenwald liberators describing their experiences, as well as archival footage of the liberation of Buchenwald.

  • To Bear Witness [videorecording]. Washington: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, 1983. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Focuses on the liberation of the camps by Allied Armies in 1945. Captures the emotional reunions of survivors and liberators at the First International Liberators Conference and explores the memories of those who survived the Holocaust and the men and women who liberated the camps. Includes captured Nazi footage and still photographs from personal archives.

  • Holocaust Encyclopedia

    Holocaust Encyclopedia

    Explore our comprehensive entries on the events, people, and places of the Holocaust.

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    We Were There: Jewish Liberators of the Nazi Concentration Camps [videorecording]. Boulder, CO: Dane Hansen Productions, 1994. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Jewish GIs who were members of liberating units relate their experiences of encountering the concentration camps.

  • You Are Free [videorecording]. Santa Monica, CA: Direct Cinema Limited, 1993. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Focuses on the liberation of the camps as told by four liberators from different branches of the armed services. Includes archival footage.

Museum Web Resources

Additional Resources

Subject Files

Ask at the reference desk to see the subject file labeled World War, 1939-1945–Concentration camps–Liberation containing newspaper and periodical articles.

Subject Headings

To search library catalogs or other electronic search tools for materials on the liberation of concentration camps, use the following Library of Congress subject heading to retrieve the most relevant citations:

  • World War, 1939-1945–Concentration camps–Liberation

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