Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

December 2008

Creation Date

2008-12-29

Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center

Keywords

Army, Atrocities, Crimes against humanity, Gardelegen Massacre, Gardelegen, Germany, 1945, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 102nd, Massacres, Oltjenbruns, Elton, American, United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945

Abstract

Oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Elton Oltjenbruns. Oltjenbruns was a medic in the 102nd Infantry Division, which discovered the Gardelegen Massacre in Gardelegen, Germany. On April 13, 1945, 1,100 Jewish prisoners were corralled in a barn which was then set on fire. The 102nd arrived on the scene a day later, made the townspeople bury the bodies, and put a sign at the cemetery. Oltjenbruns assisted the battalion surgeon, who was in charge of the aid station. Although his unit was in the vicinity for nearly a month, he spent part of that time in the field hospital himself recovering from appendicitis. He and some other men from the 102nd went back to Gardelegen in 1979, at which time the original sign was gone, but he believes that it was put back after the Berlin Wall fell.

Physical Information

1 sound file (15 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (10 p.)