Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

June 2008

Creation Date

2008-06-12

Publisher Information

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

Keywords

Army, Atrocities, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 63rd., Kaufering, Liberation, American, Peterson, Ray W., United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945

Abstract

This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Ray W. Peterson. Peterson was a member of the 63rd Infantry Division, which liberated Kaufering IV, a sub-camp of Dachau, on April 28, 1945. He was part of an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon assigned to scout ahead of the division. While on their way to Landsberg, his unit found a compound surrounded by a moat and barbed wire. They entered the compound and found the camp with several thousand prisoners still inside. Peterson radioed back to their platoon leader, who, fearing disease, ordered them to leave and continue their mission. After the war, while on occupation duty, Peterson was one of the soldiers who brought Wernher von Braun and his staff out of the Soviet-controlled region on their way to the United States. He also helped the 63rd become officially recognized as a liberating division.

Physical Information

1 sound file (78 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (31 p.)