BEYOND THE WORLD WAR II WE KNOW For Some Holocaust Survivors, Even Liberation Was Dehumanizing

“If their eyes were mirrors, it seems I’m not far from dead.” After being freed by Allied troops, some former prisoners continued to be mistreated.  

On April 10, 1945, the 84th Infantry Division liberated Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp. Confronted with walking skeletons and cadavers piled in bins, many service members cried and vomited. After inspecting the squalid camp hospital filled with men he described as “catatonics,” Capt. William J. Hagood Jr., a doctor in the 335th Infantry Regiment of the 84th Division, wrote in a letter to his wife, “You have to see it — and you are so stunned, you only say it was horrible. You can’t think of adjectives. We weren’t in the place two minutes before our eyes filled with tears.”

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