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Ohrdruf Concentration Camp: GI's Remember

by Solomon Colow

Brooklyn-born Solomon Colow fought in the Normandy hedgerows with the 4th Armored Division, and was in every major campaign with his unit including the breakthrough to Bastogne.

"While heading for a military objective, the 4th Armored came upon the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, a subcamp of Buchenwald.

What I saw was the most macabre, unbelievable thing.... There were bodies placed upon railroad ties in a giant pile prepared for burning. They had large pits where they tossed parts of human organs from medical experiments.

There was a garage-size structure in which there were at least 300 emaciated naked bodies piled one on top of the other. Lye was sprayed all over the bodies. They were almost white from the lye.... Outside, there were, personal belongings, shoes, combs, even boxes of human hair.

When we first came into the area, I would say no more than maybe a quarter of a mile away, you could see the body. burning stacks spewing clouds of smoke.

Later, we got hold of the Mayor of the town and we said: 'What do you know about what is going on?' He denied any knowledge. He said the Wehrmacht (army) were the ones doing everything.

In retrospect,. if the American people could experience that for just one day-could see something like that- they would not allow anything like that to happen ever again."

Source: GIs Remember, (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Jewish Military History, 1994).