Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

June 2008

Creation Date


Publisher Information

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


Army, Atrocities, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Dora, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 104th, Liberation, Nordhausen, American, Rheney, John W., United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945


Oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator John W. Rheney, Jr. Rheney was a staff sergeant in the 104th Infantry Division, which liberated Nordhausen-Dora on April 11, 1945. When he got to the camp, another regiment had already liberated it, and the guards were gone. Inside the camp, there were stacks of corpses of people who had apparently starved to death. A few survivors approached the soldiers and hugged them, but Rheney could not speak their languages. He was only in the camp for a few hours and did not see the crematorium or the caves where the V-2 rockets were built. Rheney continues to work at a nearby military base and regularly attends his division's reunions.

Physical Information

1 sound file (16 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (10 p.)