Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
Army, Atrocities, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Dachau, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 45th, Jewish veterans, Liberation, Parker, Leonard Sam, American, United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945
Oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Leonard S. Parker. Parker was a sergeant in the 45th Infantry Division, which liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945. When his unit approached the camp, the gate was open and the prisoners were coming out. The soldiers gave them chocolates, and Parker, who had been a boy cantor, sang Yiddish songs to them. Parker went into the barracks and the crematorium and walked alongside the camp's death train. Several of the soldiers from his platoon killed some of the German guards, and Parker was unable to stop them. Parker's division stayed in Dachau for several hours until the Red Cross arrived and slept outside the camp that night. In this interview, Parker also describes a battle at Aschaffenburg where he earned the Silver Star for his actions.
1 sound file (38 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (25 p.)
Scholar Commons Citation
Parker, Leonard Sam (Interviewee) and Hirsh, Michael (Interviewer), "Leonard Sam Parker oral history interview by Michael Hirsh, June 3, 2008" (2008). Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center Oral Histories. Paper 111.