Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
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
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.
1 sound file (78 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (31 p.)
Scholar Commons Citation
Peterson, Ray W. (Interviewee) and Hirsh, Michael (Interviewer), "Ray W. Peterson oral history interview by Michael Hirsh, June 12, 2008" (2008). Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center Oral Histories. Paper 117.