Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
Army, Atrocities, Ayers, Kenneth, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Genocide, Germany, Infantry Division, 84th, Liberation, American, Salzwedel, United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945
This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Kenneth Ayers. Ayers was a first lieutenant with the 84th Infantry Division when it liberated Salzwedel on April 14, 1945. The division went overseas shortly after D-Day and was in combat for the first time at Geilenkirchen. They were in the process of capturing the town of Salzwedel when the camp was discovered. As an officer, Ayers was involved in managing the liberation, distributing rations and organizing a show for the former prisoners each night. After the war ended, he briefly returned to the United States and was then sent back to Europe for the occupation; he was the warden of Landsberg Prison, and also escorted a group of displaced persons back to Russia. Ayers was in the Army for twenty-four years and retired as a major.
1 sound file (37 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (17 p.)
Scholar Commons Citation
Ayers, Kenneth (Interviewee) and Hirsh, Michael (Interviewer), "Kenneth Ayers oral history interview by Michael Hirsh, October 12, 2008" (2008). Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center Oral Histories. Paper 30.