Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

November 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, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 89th, Liberation, Ohrdruf, American, Timmer, Donald H., United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945


Oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Donald H. Timmer. Timmer was a company interpreter in the 89th Infantry Division, which liberated Ohrdruf on April 4, 1945; it was the first concentration camp discovered by the Americans. After several days of fighting Gotha, Timmer's unit received orders to go to Ohrdruf: on its west side, they came to a fence, which they followed to the camp. Timmer had to see if any of the prisoners were alive. He was still present when Eisenhower came, and acted as the general's interpreter for a short time. Timmer also saw and translated the suicide note left by the town's mayor and his wife. Timmer regularly speaks at local synagogues and has encouraged other liberators to speak about the Holocaust.

Physical Information

1 sound file (30 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (17 p.)