USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Carl V. Anderson oral history interview

CLICK HERE FOR SYNCRONIZED AUDIO & FULL-TEXT TRANSCRIPT VIA THE OHPI PLAYER ( Related URL )
MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Carl V. Anderson oral history interview
Series Title:
Concentration camp liberators oral history project
Uniform Title:
Holocaust & genocide studies oral history projects
Physical Description:
1 sound file (18 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Anderson, Carl V., 1925-
Hirsh, Michael, 1943-
University of South Florida Libraries -- Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
University of South Florida -- Library. -- Special & Digital Collections. -- Oral History Program
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Concentration camps -- History -- Germany   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Germany   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Liberation   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American   ( lcsh )
World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans -- United States   ( lcsh )
Veterans -- Interviews -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genocide   ( lcsh )
Crimes against humanity   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
This is an oral history interviewer with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Carl V. Anderson. Anderson was a sergeant in the 63rd Infantry Division when it liberated Landsberg on April 29, 1945. The division arrived in France in December 1944 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge before proceeding on the Central Europe Campaign. They encountered Landsberg while en route to Munich and gave the prisoners some of their rations, but stayed at the camp for only a few hours. Anderson describes finding the camp, his reaction to it, and its effects on him later in life.
Venue:
Interview conducted September 10, 2008.
Preferred Citation:
The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust (New York: Bantam Books, 2010) and Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project, University of South Florida Libraries, ©2010 Michael Hirsh.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Michael Hirsh.
General Note:
This interview was conducted as research for The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust / Michael Hirsch (New York: Bantam Books, 2010).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 021795175
oclc - 586109758
usfldc doi - C65-00004
usfldc handle - c65.4
System ID:
SFS0022066:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 201, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript
segment
idx 0
time 00:00:0.0
text Michael Hirsh: First of all, can you give me your name and spell it for me?
1
00:00:4.6
Carl V. Anderson: Its Carl V. Anderson. C-a-r-l V. A-n-d-e-r-s-o-n.
2
00:00:16.4
MH: And youre still at
3
00:00:18.0
MH: Your phone is
4
00:00:19.7
CA: Thats right.
5
00:00:20.0
MH: And your e-mail address is
6
00:00:22.2
CA: Yes, thats right.
7
00:00:24.9
MH: Whats your date of birth?
8
00:00:25.7
CA: 6-5-1925 [June 5, 1925].
9
00:00:28.7
MH: Okay. You were with the 63rd Infantry Division?
10
00:00:32.9
CA: Yes, I was.
11
00:00:34.1
MH: Which unit?
12
00:00:34.9
CA: E Company in the 253 Regiment.
13
00:00:39.7
MH: The 253rd. Can you tell me, where were you before you went in the Army? What was going on in your life?
14
00:00:48.1
CA: Well, I was just out of high school. In fact, they took me from high school and gave me an all-expense-paid trip to Europe.
15
00:01:0.2
MH: Such a deal!
16
00:01:0.0
CA: A deal I couldnt turn down.
17
00:01:3.4
MH: Okay. When did you go in the Army?
18
00:01:7.2
CA: Nineteen forty-three [1943].
19
00:01:11.0
MH: You didnt even mention that you probably got an invitation from the president.
20
00:01:14.4
CA: I think it was something like June they swore us in. I cant remember the exact date.
21
00:01:24.4
MH: When did you go to Europe?
22
00:01:26.3
CA: In forty-four [1944]; we left New York aboutI believe it was in November, and we landed in Marseilles first of December.
23
00:01:46.3
MH: Okay. And that was just before the Battle of the Bulge.
24
00:01:50.9
CA: Yeah, it was.
25
00:01:53.8
MH: Whered they send you once you got to Marseilles?
26
00:01:57.2
CA: Well, we fought along the Alsace campaign, and then up the Rhine River to Sarreguemines, and thats about the time the Bulge broke out. And when [George S.] Patton turned his tanks around and headed north, he needed infantry protection, so they attached us to his Army going up into the Ardennes. We rode tanks up to the Ardennes and into the Bulge.
27
00:02:36.4
MH: You were a rifleman at that point?
28
00:02:39.6
CA: Well, yeah, I was in a rifle company. I happened to be in a weapons platoon of a rifle company.
29
00:02:47.2
MH: Okay, so you were handling what?
30
00:02:49.3
CA: 60mm mortars and light machine guns.
31
00:02:53.8
MH: And your rank at the time was what?
32
00:02:58.2
CA: I was a sergeant at the time.
33
00:03:1.7
MH: What happens to you in the Bulge?
34
00:03:4.6
CA: Well, it was cold, and we did a lot of fighting. I cant really go into a lot of detail, because we were moving around too much. Finally, when the Bulge ended, they sent us back to our original division, which was still based around the Sarreguemines area.
35
00:03:35.3
MH: They had just sent a regiment up there, then.
36
00:03:39.0
CA: Well, Im not sure it was a full regiment; it was our battalion, I know, which was 2nd Battalion. There may have been other parts of the regiment, but we never did know really how many of us were up there.
37
00:03:53.7
MH: Okay. At that point, what did you know, if anything, about concentration camps?
38
00:04:0.1
CA: Not a great deal, except what I had learned about between forty-three [1943] and forty-four [1944] when we went up there, from our newspapers and our counseling in the Army. We didnt know, really, a great deal about them at the time.
39
00:04:27.6
MH: What was the first time you saw one of these camps, or saw any of the prisoners from those camps?
40
00:04:36.3
CA: Well, it was in April of forty-five [1945]. I would say it was towards the end of April, and it was on the western edge of Dachau.
41
00:04:53.9
MH: Was it one of the Landsberg camps?
42
00:05:1.0
CA: Im sorry?
43
00:05:2.6
MH: Was it one of the Landsberg camps, one of the Dachau sub-camps?
44
00:05:6.3
CA: It probably was. There were a lot of prisoners in there. Apparently there was a factory about four to five miles east of there, and they were marched every morning to work and marched back every night to eat whatever they had and lived in a kind of shack.
45
00:05:37.6
MH: So, tell me, what was the first thing you actually saw?
46
00:05:40.7
CA: Well, we actually saw these people leaning over the fence rails as we approached the camp and wavingthose that could; there were a lot who couldnt even get off the ground. And they looked like skeletons, really. It was quite a shocking experience.
47
00:06:8.3
MH: You were walking or riding?
48
00:06:9.6
CA: We happened to be in trucks at the time, but the trucks stopped, and we gave these people anything we had to eat in our possession. The K rations and these chocolate energy bars and water and whatever we had, we just unloaded everything in our pockets and gave it to them. We had to wait for the medical people to come up and start taking care of them, and people to bring up food for them. We were still fighting at that time.
49
00:06:50.8
MH: Whats the conversation that goes on between the American soldiers when you first confront that and when youre dealing with it?
50
00:06:58.6
CA: I dont really know. It wasnt much talk; it was just the disgust that we had for what we saw. I dont know that there was a lot of conversation really carried on at that time, except, Heres someone that needs help, give them whatever youve got, and we did that.
51
00:07:27.8
MH: Did you go in the camp?
52
00:07:29.5
CA: We didnt get far into it, because we were stillhad to move on towards Munich. And we were stopped there for a short time and did what we could to help, and then we were moved on and waiting for the rear echelon to catch up and give them more aid that we couldnt give them.
53
00:07:54.5
MH: What kind of a day was that, do you recall?
54
00:07:58.1
CA: It was an overcast day, almost like weve got here in Waterville today. And it was cool. We had our field jackets on, and it wasnt a warm day.
55
00:08:19.4
MH: What were the inmates wearing?
56
00:08:21.7
CA: Most of them had on these white and red or white and black striped suitsuniforms, I call themand that was about all. And they were digging in the ground for roots and trees to eat, and they were eating grass and anything that was edible.
57
00:08:48.0
MH: Had they come out of the camp, outside the wire?
58
00:08:50.3
CA: No, they didnt come outwell, a few of them did come outside the wire, but a great many of them werent really able to negotiate around the wire or walk around too much.
59
00:09:6.7
MH: How long, in terms of time, did you spend there?
60
00:09:12.8
CA: Oh, I would say we were there maybe two or three hours.
61
00:09:20.0
MH: Was this a place where there were also bodies stacked up as well?
62
00:09:25.4
CA: We didnt get into that, no.
63
00:09:28.5
MH: Okay. What about the smell?
64
00:09:31.3
CA: I told my wife later that the people in Germany and around that area said they didnt know what was going on. I said the smell alone should have told you something was really bad going on. It was bad.
65
00:09:52.4
MH: And you could smell it away from the camp as well.
66
00:09:55.4
CA: Oh, yes, yeah, yeah. We moved on after a couple hours towardsmore towards Munich, because they were afraid Hitlers troops were coming down into the mountains behind Munich, and we needed to stop them.
67
00:10:16.5
MH: How did you feel as you left the place?
68
00:10:20.9
CA: Well, we were mad. We were just disgusted and mad that somebody would do that to people like this.
69
00:10:30.9
MH: How does that play out in terms of what comes next in the war? You fight harder?
70
00:10:41.4
CA: Well, we moved towards Munich, and they held our division up and put a mountain division through us so that if these people got into the mountains, they had a unit trained for us. And we held upwell, we were there until the wars end, which was a few days later.
71
00:11:9.5
MH: Did you ever go back to any of the camps?
72
00:11:12.2
CA: Oh, yeah, yeah. My wife and I visited there, oh, about 1979, and we retraced all the places where we had been, and we went to Dachau and went through the entire area. They have a museum there, and you can go into the barracks where these people were. The furnaces were there. We spent most of a day going through that camp.
73
00:11:50.1
MH: Did you go through or go by the place where you had initially seen the prisoners near Landsberg?
74
00:11:55.1
CA: We probably did, although I cant really recall. Its a number of years, and places had changed. But we spent a couple of days in that area.
75
00:12:13.2
MH: How do you think seeing that thing, that sort of thing, during the war affected your life later on?
76
00:12:20.1
CA: Well, its hard to say. You dont forget it. And you go into how people could do that to other people. I tell my grandchildren the stories about it, so that they know. And it just grinds me no end, these people who deny the Holocaust ever existed. And when we have our reunions, which we had a couple of weeks ago, our division reunionI guess you were therewe talk about it among ourselves. And we make sure our kids know what really happened.
77
00:13:19.6
MH: Do you remember the first time you told your kids about this sort of thing?
78
00:13:23.0
CA: I guess my son was probably, oh, nine or ten years old when we discussed it or he heard us discussing it together, and he wanted to knowhe got curious as to what happened. That was aboutI believe he was around ten years old.
79
00:13:52.1
MH: Which wouldve been when, in the mid-fifties [1950s]?
80
00:13:55.8
CA: Lets see, he was born inyeah, it wouldve been towards the end of the 1950s. Yeah. Then, of course, my grandkidsmy grandson, he was always interested and wanted to know what happened. Of course, with him, Grandpa fought and won the whole war. (laughs)
81
00:14:19.5
MH: Of course. Did you figure out a good way to tell young kids about such a horrible thing?
82
00:14:28.1
CA: No, not really. The subject would come up once in a while, and of course I had pictures and things here, memorabilia, and they would see it and theyd ask about itmy dog tags and pieces of shrapnel and pictures we took during the war, and so forth.
83
00:14:57.5
MH: So, it essentially is using that stuff as a teachable moment: they ask, and you can go a little more into detail.
84
00:15:8.4
CA: Yeah. Yeah, when they would see it, theyd say, Well, what does this mean? and theyd look at the decorations and want to know what they were. Why did you get them and how did you get them? and that sort of thing.
85
00:15:24.2
MH: What decorations do you have?
86
00:15:26.5
CA: Well, I have the Combat Infantry badge, of course, and the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Bronze Star with Cluster, and I guess thats about the main ones.
87
00:15:42.2
MH: Were you wounded?
88
00:15:43.5
CA: No, I wasnt. Somehow, I got through without it. Came close, but they missed.
89
00:15:52.4
MH: Thats a good thing. Do you have a photo of yourself from World War II?
90
00:15:57.6
CA: Yeah, I do.
91
00:16:0.2
MH: Would it be possible to send it to me, and Ill scan it and send it back to you?
92
00:16:7.2
CA: Yeah, well, I can send it. Ive got oneIve got a couple of them here that I could probably send to you.
93
00:16:18.4
MH: Okay, Ill e-mail you my mailing address and that sort of thing.
94
00:16:23.1
CA: Okay. Fine.
95
00:16:24.6
MH: Do you have a current picture of yourself?
96
00:16:26.1
CA: Im sorry?
97
00:16:27.5
MH: Do you have a current picture of yourself?
98
00:16:29.2
CA: Well, yeah; its within recent months, anyway.
99
00:16:34.3
MH: Relatively current. If you could send thatIll send you an e-mail.
100
00:16:39.3
CA: That would be fine.
101
00:16:40.5
MH: Okay. I would appreciate that very much, and Ill scan them and get them right back to you.
102
00:16:44.6
CA: Okay. Now, in the ad book, there was a picture of us before and after, and I dont know whether you mightve had the book from our reunion or not.
103
00:16:58.2
MH: No, I didnt, cause I wasnt there; I just had actually been in touch with one of theI believe it was the ministerVince Stratton.
104
00:17:10.4
CA: Oh, yeah, because I talked to him later.
105
00:17:14.0
MH: I asked him to see try andsee if there were any people who had been at the camps.
106
00:17:18.8
CA: He said someone might call us and ask about it.
107
00:17:22.5
MH: Okay, well, Ill put this in the mail to you. If anything else comes up or you think of anything else you saw at the camp, please feel free to either call or email me.
108
00:17:34.2
CA: Okay. I will do.
109
00:17:36.1
MH: Thank you very much for your time, sir. I appreciate it. Bye-bye.


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader cim 2200601Ia 4500
controlfield tag 001 021795175
005 20120514100204.0
006 m u
m d
007 sz zunnnnnzned
cr nna||||||||
008 100329s2008 flunnnn od t n eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a C65-00004
0 033
20080910
b 3934
035
(OCoLC)586109758
040
FHM
c FHM
d FHM
043
n-us---
e-gx---
090
D805.G3
1 100
Anderson, Carl V.,
1925-
245
Carl V. Anderson oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Michael Hirsh.
260
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
2008.
300
1 sound file (18 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (7 p.)
490
Concentration camp liberators oral history project
5 FTS
500
This interview was conducted as research for The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust / Michael Hirsch (New York: Bantam Books, 2010).
FTS
518
Interview conducted September 10, 2008.
FTS
520
This is an oral history interviewer with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Carl V. Anderson. Anderson was a sergeant in the 63rd Infantry Division when it liberated Landsberg on April 29, 1945. The division arrived in France in December 1944 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge before proceeding on the Central Europe Campaign. They encountered Landsberg while en route to Munich and gave the prisoners some of their rations, but stayed at the camp for only a few hours. Anderson describes finding the camp, his reaction to it, and its effects on him later in life.
524
The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust (New York: Bantam Books, 2010) and Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project, University of South Florida Libraries, 2010 Michael Hirsh.
540
Transcripts, excerpts, or any component of this interview may be used without the author's express written permission only for educational or research purposes. No portion of the interview audio or text may be broadcast, cablecast, webcast, or distributed without the author's express written permission.
FTS
600
Anderson, Carl V.,
1925-
610
United States.
Army.
Infantry Division, 63rd.
United States.
Army.
Infantry Division, 63rd
v Personal narratives.
2
Landsberg (Concentration camp)
650
Concentration camps
z Germany
x History.
World War, 1939-1945
Concentration camps
Germany.
World War, 1939-1945
Concentration camps
Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945
Atrocities.
World War, 1939-1945
Personal narratives, American.
World War, 1939-1945
Veterans
United States.
Veterans
United States
Interviews.
Genocide.
Crimes against humanity.
7 655
Oral history.
local
Online audio.
local
700
Hirsh, Michael,
1943-
710
University of South Florida Libraries.
Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center.
University of South Florida.
Library.
Special & Digital Collections.
Oral History Program.
730
Holocaust & genocide studies oral history projects.
830
Concentration camp liberators oral history project.
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?c65.4
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
FTS
951
10
SFU01:002067070;
FTS