counter create hit Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945 - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945

Availability: Ready to download

On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths o On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and―perhaps most disturbing of all―the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes. Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts―including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections― Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.


Compare

On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths o On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany. These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and―perhaps most disturbing of all―the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes. Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts―including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections― Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.

30 review for Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tony Smith

    Well stated reminder of what occurred and how easily it has been and can be discounted as non-factual. Anyone denying these events now chooses to live in ignorance for malign goals most likely; however, in the not to distant future more could believe it never occurred without effective recounting of the events.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Al Balderas

    It was an interesting read, detailed well in many areas. But after a while it became repetitive with witnesses essentially describing the same horrific scenes using different words. I purchased the hardcover copy but was disappointed by the $50 price tag for a 155-page book that doesn't even come with a jacket/cover. It was an interesting read, detailed well in many areas. But after a while it became repetitive with witnesses essentially describing the same horrific scenes using different words. I purchased the hardcover copy but was disappointed by the $50 price tag for a 155-page book that doesn't even come with a jacket/cover.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela Mangella

    I read a lot on this subject and it was interesting to see it written from the liberating soldiers perspective rather than the traditional concentration camp victim's. It is worth a read to gain a well rounded experience of what took place. Recommend. I read a lot on this subject and it was interesting to see it written from the liberating soldiers perspective rather than the traditional concentration camp victim's. It is worth a read to gain a well rounded experience of what took place. Recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alfie Thompson

    An important book. I would have liked it to focus more on the Soldiers and the people they liberated, rather than so much about the military stuff: re: this regiment did this and this commander did that, etc. Not a pleasant book to read but very important.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lyra

    Highly readable military history and the sort that is oh so important to combat ignorance of both the fact of the Holocaust and why it is considered part of American history. I’m grateful for this book and saddened by the stories left unfinished and unheard.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Jones

    Excellent a Book It tells the story of what the GIs found when they liberated two of the Nazi death camps. It describes the response by the GIs as well as those imprisoned there. We must never forget.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ann Riley

    Focuses mainly on Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau, but elaborates on the post-war period of Dachau and the liberators in the years after.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharolyn Stauffer

    The best part of this book was the emphasis on documenting the Holocaust and particularly the liberation and stories of those who witnessed the absolute degradation of humanity.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Doug Wilcox

    One of the most revealing accounts I've ever read, of the soldiers who liberated the Nazi concentration camps. Nightmarish and honest. One of the most revealing accounts I've ever read, of the soldiers who liberated the Nazi concentration camps. Nightmarish and honest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    I purchased this book when the author spoke in St. Louis in July 2016. His presentation was interesting and hit on the highlights of the book. Over the weekend of Feb18-19, 2017, vandals knocked over headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in St. Louis, where I live. It was time to pull out the book and read it. I enjoyed the book and learned a lot about the 3 concentration camps which were highlighted: Orhdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau. It's a very sobering reminder of what humans can do to e I purchased this book when the author spoke in St. Louis in July 2016. His presentation was interesting and hit on the highlights of the book. Over the weekend of Feb18-19, 2017, vandals knocked over headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in St. Louis, where I live. It was time to pull out the book and read it. I enjoyed the book and learned a lot about the 3 concentration camps which were highlighted: Orhdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau. It's a very sobering reminder of what humans can do to each other. I also learned that Joseph Pulitzer, editor of our hometown paper The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, played a critical role in sharing the stories from Germany including playing an instrumental part in creating a display of photos from the camps and sharing "moving pictures" of the atrocities. In fact, over 80,000 people in St. Louis attended the moving pictures at Kiel Auditorium despite criticisms that the general public should not see such misery. My criticisms are minor: 1. More photos! I know we've seen a lot of photos of the Holocaust but, in my opinion, we need the constant reminder, especially in this era of "post-truth" and Holocaust denial. 2. I would have liked more stories about the doctors and nurses who treated the liberated prisoners. There were a few in the book, but, since the book was about first-hand witnesses to the atrocities of the camps, understanding what the doctors and medical staff went through and observed would have been a welcome addition. I think the author intended to focus the book primarily on the stories of the first GI's to the camps, but the medics were not far behind and I think their stories should have been considered. The book left me with the impression that there are not many documented stories about the liberators' experiences, so that may be the reason why the medical personnel are not included. It also may be a false impression on my part. I have ties to WWII through my father (a navigator on B-17's flying out of England) and my uncle (who was part of the group who liberated Nordhausen), so my interest in these topics in high. However, I do recommend the book from a historical perspective and as a way to keep the memory alive about the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. I hope to run across more stories from other GI's who liberated other camps in my reading future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Jewish Book Council

    Review by Steven A. Luel for the Jewish Book Council. Review by Steven A. Luel for the Jewish Book Council.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John

    A good reminder of what can happen when people let despots rule and ignore or tolerate hatred.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Randy Dickens II

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gail MacPhee

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ilona

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dirk Pratt

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Breault

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Pinto

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Holdaway

  24. 5 out of 5

    Delynn Burrell

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hoolie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rob Hood

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bette Bird

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie Taber

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mengerink

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wes Robertson

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.