Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
Armored Division, 12th, Army, Atrocities, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Critzas, John E., Genocide, Germany, Landsberg, Liberation, American, Tank warfare, United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945
This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator John E. Critzas. Critzas was a gunner in the 12th Armored Division, which liberated Landsberg, one of the Dachau sub-camps, on April 29, 1945. The division arrived in France in November 1944 and immediately proceeded on campaign. In April 1945 they crossed the Danube River and encountered the concentration camp, the tanks driving through its walls. Some of the buildings had had bombs planted, with the prisoners still inside. The commanding officers arrived shortly after Critzas and the tankers, and ordered them to leave the camp and continue the attack. In this interview, Critzas describes entering the camp and seeing the prisoners. He frequently speaks at schools and local museums about his experiences, and is the editor of the 12th Armored Division's website and newsletter.
1 sound file (30 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (15 p.)
Scholar Commons Citation
Critzas, John E. (Interviewee) and Hirsh, Michael (Interviewer), "John E. Critzas oral history interview by Michael Hirsh, September 5, 2008" (2008). Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center Oral Histories. Paper 41.