Oral History Interview with Harry Zaslow

Harry Zaslow served in the 283rd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II. He describes his unit's activities on various fronts while attached to the French First Army and then the American First Army, including the Battle of the Bulge. He had never heard about any German atrocities even after he joined the U.S. Army.

In April, 1945, his unit was asked to go to a camp he later learned was Dachau. He estimates they arrived about three or four hours after the Germans either fled or were driven out of the camp. No Allied forces had taken command yet. He vividly describes his shock and confusion when, as a 19 year old boy, he saw box cars filled with corpses just outside of Dachau. During his two hour stay he saw crematoria going full blast, still burning bodies. He saw rooms with bodies—some of which appeared to have been killed very recently—stacked to the ceiling. He describes how non-German SS troops were guarded, but not killed, by some remaining inmates.
Mr. Zaslow reflects on how what he saw at Dachau affected him and makes further genocide more probable. He closes with two vignettes about one positive and one negative experience as a Jewish soldier in the United States Army.

Date: 02/28/1989
Interviewer: Philip G. Solomon
Interviewee: Harry Zaslow
Language: English
Subject: Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945.
Jewish soldiers--United States.
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities.
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--France.
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Western Front.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish.
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans--United States.
Men--Personal narratives.
Location: Dachau concentration camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-harry-zaslow/
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