GIs Remember

Joseph Luba - Nordhausen


Joseph Luba, from Connecticut, entered the Army in 1943 with the 486th Anti-Aircraft Battalion. He landed in Normandy shortly after D-Day, and fought in France, the Battle of the Bulge, and in Germany.

"In the Spring of 1945, we began hearing stories about concentration camps, but we couldn't believe what we had heard. In late April 1945, my unit entered the Nordhausen Concentration Camp. My commanding officer had seen it and asked me and other Jewish soldiers to go there right away. Only ten Jews were in our unit. Dead bodies were all around. Others were lying wounded because there had been a battle to capture Nordhausen.

I saw a few Jewish survivors there, but after greeting them we had no opportunity to talk further. The whole scene was very chaotic. However our medics were out there helping the survivors.

As a Jew I was completely shaken, and I still have difficulty putting my feelings into words. I still can't believe any human being can do what had been done. It makes me wonder about human beings in general. Nevertheless, I am still a firm believer in God; I never lost my faith."


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