Oral History Interview with Milton Harrison

Milton Harrison describes being a 19 year old First Sergeant in the Medical Detachment of the US Army’s 9th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 6th Armored Division; hearing in 1945 about German atrocities; how on April 11, 1945 on the way from Mühlhausen, Germany towards the Saale River his unit encountered Russian prisoners of war who had escaped from Buchenwald; learning about the camp and that most of the SS had already left; how a tank under the command of Captain Kiefer with a total of four Americans was dispatched to investigate; following shortly after with a small group of 28 men; finding on the way an unguarded "Little Buchenwald", a camp for mostly Jewish children between 10 and 14 years old who had worked at hard labor; reaching the main camp and seeing that the ovens were still hot; inspecting the camp and being shown a lampshade made from human skin and rows of bottles containing human parts; how the inmates did not receive any medical or other help for several days; how on April 12 the Haffen SS attacked Buchenwald with small arms and mortar and the participation of 44th Infantry Battalions in overwhelming the SS on April 14; medical assistance arriving on April 14; General Groh and General Patton touring the camp and being horrified; how the inhabitants of Weimar were ordered to bury the dead; and his role as one of the historical officers of the Buchenwald Information Committee of the 6th Armored Division Association.

Date: 08/17/1987
Interviewer: Nora Levin
Interviewee: Milton Harrison
Language: English
Subject: Child concentration camp inmates--Germany.
Jewish soldiers--United States.
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities.
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: USA
Mühlhausen, Germany
Buchenwald concentration camp
Little camp, Buchenwald concentration camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-milton-harrison/