Our division overran a concentration camp located in the path of our advance. The last town I visited before this location was Augsburg in southern Germany. It has been several days since its capture when I visited it.
The camp is located about 300 yards off a main road. It’s not hidden or out of the way. The shacks resembled the OCS barracks which you saw at Aberdeen — the tar paper ones. But for sleeping quarters the prisoners lived on the dirt floor with nothing but some dirty straw.
But how can I describe the actual inhuman, unbelievable sights: I saw dead men lying inside of these shacks. I saw them lying in the fields and on the ground.
They were naked. How had they died? They were starved and tortured to death. They were skeletons with skin. Their hideous faces appalled me, but I wandered about almost refusing to believe that I was not dreaming. I saw men with their arms broken into all shapes; men with arms and legs cut off; men with their throats slit; men with their heads cut off; men with their legs twisted and misshapen. I personally saw 50 or 60 of these creatures which once were Human beings. There were some shacks which the Nazis had burned and I saw the charred bodies.
When I had seen all my mind and stomach and heart stand, I left. Others of the company who explored the area found long ditches for graves which were littered with dead bodies which had not even been filled with dirt.
First Lieutenant Albert Gaynes, April 30 1945
March 06, 2011, 3:00pm / 83