Stories of Liberation
Hear from the witnesses themselves

In 1945, Allied forces broke the German lines of the Western Front, and the Third Reich began to crumble.

As waves of the Wehrmacht surrendered and retreated, the armies of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union moved into their strongholds.

These included the concentration and death camps of the Holocaust.  Often, it wasn’t until witnessing the horrors left behind by the Nazis within these confines that the Allied troops came to understand the full gravity of their mission.

In these short clips, four liberators share not only their experience storming the camps, but also an array of reflections, including on life after the war and messages to future generations.

Thomas D'Aquino on Entering Dachau Concentration Camp

Liberator Thomas D'Aquino describes in this clip his impressions upon entering Dachau.

Watch his full-length testimony at vhaonline.usc.edu

Language: English
 
Brendon Phibbs recalls liberating French dignitaries

World War II veteran Brendon Phibbs recounts liberating French dignitaries, including the premier, held captive by the Nazi's. He also mentions some infamous characters he and his troops rounded up around the same time.

Watch his full-length testimony at vhaonline.usc.edu

Language: English
 
David Pollock on the Personal Impact of the War

In this short clip, World War II veteran David Pollock talks about the impact that the devastation of the war had on what he wanted to do with his life as a post-war civilian.

Watch his full-length testimony on vhaonline.usc.edu

Language: English
 
Ernest James Offers a Message to Future Generations

Liberator Ernest James offers a word of advice to future generations about the importance of personal responsibility, especially the charge of democratic participation.

Watch his full-length testimony at vhaonline.usc.edu

Language: English
 

To view their full testimonies, please visit the Visual History Archive Online, which is available for free to anybody with an internet connection. The VHA Online includes 3,108 full testimonies and metadata and a slideshow for all 55,000 survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and genocide.

Click here to register for the VHA Online.