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Liberation of Ohrdruf

Annotated album page documenting the liberation of Ohrdruf concentration camp, a subcamp of Buchenwald (mislabeled as Dachau) from the album of Henry Raymond Malenfant, 4th Armored Div, 84th Reconnaissance Battalion.

Annotated album page documenting the liberation of Ohrdruf concentration camp, a subcamp of Buchenwald (mislabeled as Dachau) from the album of Henry Raymond Malenfant, 4th Armored Div, 84th Reconnaissance Battalion. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Raymond Malenfant

April 4, 1945

The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.

The 4th Armored Division and the 89th Infantry of the Third US Army liberated Ohrdruf on April 4, 1945. After visiting Ohrdruf a week later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered careful documentation of the atrocities perpetrated in the Nazi concentration camps, so that no one in the future could deny that they had committed these atrocities. The discovery of the Ohrdruf camp opened the eyes of many US soldiers to the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

US soldiers confront the corpses of prisoners killed in Ohrdruf shortly before the camp’s liberation. Ohrdruf, Germany, April 4, 1945.

US soldiers confront the corpses of prisoners killed in Ohrdruf shortly before the camp's liberation. Ohrdruf, Germany, April 4, 1945. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Roy Rodriguez, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 4th Armored Division

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