Volume VII: Across The Rhine—The Things Our Fathers Saw [2021]

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Volume 7 of the Best Selling WWII Narrative Oral History series continues... In "ACROSS THE RHINE", we follow our soldiers from the beaches of Normandy, into the Battle of the Bulge, and finally across Hitler’s West Wall into Germany.

Many of our young men would be exposed to the horrors of the Holocaust, an experience that effected them deeply. Others even went on to guard duty at the Nuremberg Trials, nineteen-year-olds handcuffed to the most notorious war criminals of the 20th century.

“But in 1945, the horror did not have a name. Some American soldiers had heard vague rumors of it, but many dismissed the stories as just that, propaganda put forth by the high command to get them in the frame of mind to fight the enemy; they certainly were not trained to deal with it when it confronted them, full in the face. And for many of these soldiers, the first of the five senses to be assaulted was the sense of smell. I interviewed one liberator of Dachau who remembered,

‘It was [the concentration camp] Dachau that we had smelled miles before we got there. And yet, people in the village who were right next to the camps said they didn’t know what was going on; people in Munich, which was actually only nine miles from Dachau, didn’t know what was going on. Now if you want to believe that, the Brooklyn Bridge is still for sale. But when you looked around some of these tough soldiers were throwing up and crying all over the place."

"It is not possible to really describe the number of feelings you get when you walk into something like that, because, well, first of all, nobody told us about the camp! We had no idea what a concentration camp was! We were going to Dachau, period. It was just another village as far as we were concerned. That’s kind of a shock to get all at one time.’”

[Front Cover: "Crossing the Rhine under enemy fire at St. Goar, March, 1945. 89th Infantry Division.” US Army, Office of War Information. Public Domain Photographs, National Archives.]


~ Because dying for freedom isn't the worst that could happen. Being forgotten is.~

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