Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

August 2008

Creation Date


Publisher Information

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


Army, Atrocities, Buchenwald, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 80th, Liberation, American, Schmidt, Max R., United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945


This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Max R. Schmidt. Schmidt was a member of the 80th Infantry Division, which liberated Buchenwald on April 12, 1945. He arrived in Europe as a replacement in March 1945, meeting the 80th in Germany. Schmidt and his unit got to Buchenwald the day after its liberation; they only passed it, not having the chance to stay or go inside. He could smell the camp as they approached and saw piles of weapons confiscated from the Weimar townspeople. Passing the camp, Schmidt saw the barracks and some of the prisoners. He and some friends went back to Buchenwald in 1994 and toured it; though the memorial was closed, the staff made a special exception for them. Schmidt is very active in a number of veterans' groups, including the division association.

Physical Information

1 sound file (22 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (9 p.)