Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

September 2008

Creation Date

2008-09-05

Publisher Information

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

Keywords

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

Abstract

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.

Physical Information

1 sound file (30 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (15 p.)