Buchenwald Liberator’s Experience Resonates with Galvin Digital Collection

August 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Voices of the Holocaust | Comments Off on Buchenwald Liberator’s Experience Resonates with Galvin Digital Collection

James Hoyt

The recent death of World War II veteran James Hoyt of Iowa at the age of 83 removes yet another eyewitness to the horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, which Hoyt (as a 19 year-old private first class in the U.S. Army) helped liberate in April 11, 1945. One of Hoyt’s obituaries states that for most of his life he rarely spoke about what he saw that day, until a recent interview unlocked some of his painful recollections. (For more on Hoyt, see the CNN story here).

Also at the camp on that day was prisoner Max Feuer, a young Jew from Vienna who had been stateless since the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938 and who had been in Nazi concentration camps since 1940 and at Buchenwald since 1941. Unlike Hoyt, Feuer was willing to recount the horrors he had seen and experienced; when IIT professor Dr. David P. Boder arrived in Europe in 1946 to make audio recordings of camp survivor narratives, Feuer provided him with many details of life and death inside Buchenwald.

Feuer’s interview is one of at least nine Buchenwald survivor narratives that can be found in transcript form on Galvin Library’s Voices of the Holocaust web site. The upcoming expansion of the site, which will involve the transcription of 49 as-yet-untranscribed Boder interviews, will no doubt bring even more first-hand information on Buchenwald before the public.

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