Gilbert R. Di Loreto was born in 1918 in Detroit, Michigan, and was a member of the first medical team to enter the Dachau concentration camp after it's liberation on April 29th, 1945. His father immigrated to the United States in 1902 at just 16 years old and achieved the American dream through hard work and perseverance, starting out as an apprentice stonecutter and eventually finding fulfilling work as a tool-and-die maker with the Ford Motor Company.
Gilbert worked as a medical technologist prior to joining the war effort and held a degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, which afforded him the skill set needed to take notes and properly analyze the conditions at Dachau. He arrived at Dachau in early May 1945 and documented the human atrocities that he witnessed. The notes in the following images are hand written descriptions by Gilbert R. Di Loreto, written at the Dachau concentration camp. Following the war he returned to Michigan where he practiced dentistry in the Detroit area for 40 years. He never spoke about the war, even to his immediate family, and kept these photographs close to him throughout his entire life. He suffered from constant joint and back pain and underwent multiple serious surgeries after returning home, a result of the war's toll on his five foot six inch, 135 pound frame.
Gilbert R. Di Loreto died on April 2, 1998, due to complications from a knee replacement surgery performed 10 days prior. He was 79 years old. In 2015 his son David G. DiLoreto, DDS donated these photographs and artifacts to the Jewish Virtual Library and the USHMM.
** WARNING: These photos contain graphic images **
Sources: Personal collection of Gilbert R. Di Loreto, provided by his son David G. Di Loreto.