Nazi Con­cen­tra­tion Camp (Ohrdruf) in Ger­many WW II

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By F. Keith Davis

We crossed the Rhine River at Koblenz, Ger­many and fought our way far­ther into Ger­many. We came upon a Nazi Con­cen­tra­tion Camp named Ohrdruf, near the city named the same. When we went inside the camp, we were shocked by what we saw. We were used to see­ing dead bod­ies on Utah Beach, St. Lo, Bat­tle of the Bulge and at many other Fire Fights. But see­ing the in­cred­i­bly in­hu­mane con­di­tions and how the pris­on­ers had been treated was just sick­en­ing. [We saw disturbing things.]

The Jewish and other pris­on­ers were ter­ri­fied of us at first, be­cause of our uni­forms. They thought they were in for more beat­ings, tor­ture and cru­elty. They soon re­al­ized we were not there to harm them. They were dressed in pa­jama like clothes with ver­ti­cal black and white stripes and some were naked. At the en­trance of the camp, the Nazi’s ma­chine gunned many pris­on­ers be­fore they fled.

The G.I.’s were giv­ing th­ese pris­on­ers Army Ra­tions that they all car­ried. The se­nior Amer­i­can doc­tor in the camp or­dered ev­ery­one to stop feed­ing th­ese peo­ple, be­cause your killing them. Our food was too rich for their starv­ing bod­ies. The weaker ones died eat­ing our ra­tions.

We went inside the bar­racks. Each side of the room were three tor four shelves for the pris­on­ers to lie on. No straw, no blan­kets, just wooden shelves. The pris­on­ers looked at us with bulging eyes--sunken stom­achs and reach­ing out to us. The bar­racks had an out­house type toi­let in the cen­ter. Men and women lived to­gether and they lost all dig­nity they had. Be­tween the smell of the out­house, death, and the in­fec­tions pris­on­ers had ob­tained due to beat­ings, we had to exit the bar­racks. The bar­racks were made of one inch sid­ing with no in­su­la­tion. They were ex­tremely hot in the win­ter and ter­ri­bly cold in the win­ter. The lack of san­i­ta­tion was un­be­liev­able.

Amer­i­can sol­diers found a Ger­man camp guard hid­ing in a cul­vert at the en­trance to the camp. He looked to be about my age of 19 years old. You could see the fear in his eyes. The Americans looked like they might form a lynch­ing party, but the M.P.’s took him away and I never saw him again.

The Jews and other sur­vivors were con­fused at the sight of their Lib­er­a­tors and the Amer­i­can sol­diers could not be­lieve what they were see­ing. Adolf Hitler’s “Fi­nal So­lu­tion” was not yet common knowl­edge.

The Ohrdruf Camp was a satel­lite camp near the in­fa­mous Buchen­wald death camp. Buchen­wald had the cre­ma­to­ries and Ohrdruf did not. Ohrdruf sent many pris­on­ers to Buchen­wald for cre­ma­tion. How­ever, Buchen­wald, could not han­dle such im­mense amount of pris­on­ers and so the two camps dug huge pits. Need­less to say what hap­pened with those pits. Oth­ers were shipped off on trains.

After about five hours in the camp, we had to leave and get back to the war. Two days after we were there, Gen­er­als Eisen­hower, Bradley, and Pat­ton vis­ited the camp to see the hor­ror sto­ries they had heard about.

We heard later that the U.S. Army made all the civil­ians in the city of Ohrdruf go through the camp to see the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted there. They all said they did not know this was go­ing on. They all lied. You could smell the camp a great dis­tance away.

When pris­on­ers were freed, they had no place to go. No home, no trans­porta­tion, no money, no fam­ily, no clothes, and were starv­ing.

There were over three hun­dred con­cen­tra­tion camps in Ger­many. Some with cre­ma­to­ries, some with gas cham­bers and many dug huge pits to de­stroy the ev­i­dence of Nazi cru­elty.

We have much evil to­day. We can­not weaken our Mil­i­tary.

God Bless Amer­ica!

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