GIs Remember

Ralph Shear - Bergen-Belsen


Ralph Shear served as a staff sergeant and combat leader in the 137th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division. His first battle was in St. Lo, France in July, 1944, and he was in continuous combat for ten months. His unit took part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.

"The unbelievable sight of 14,000 corpses stacked as cordwood will forever be etched in my soul.... I can never forgive nor can I ever forget the monstrosity, the German nation's action against innocent human beings."

This experience had a major effect on Mr. Shear's life. He recognized that the world allowed the Holocaust to happen: "It made me more of a Jew than I ever was, realizing that we are a distinct minority in the world's population, and we have to do for each other what others would not do for us."


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