Dachau 29 April 1945: The Rainbow Liberation Memoirs

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Sam Dann
Texas Tech University Press, Jan 1, 1998 - History - 266 pages
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On the 29th day of April 1945, the forward battalions of Rainbow Division, 42nd Infantry, were moving swiftly toward Munich. Confident and optimistic, they had survived four months of costly and bitter combat, and soon, it would all be over. But then the road led to Dachau and the worst day of the war. In their collected memoirs, the Rainbow soldiers, almost half of whom were only eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, tell how they were confronted suddenly—without preparation, without warning—by horrors beyond human imagination. This book is by and about the American liberators, who have since discovered that no one who was involved in any capacity can ever be truly free of the past that was Dachau. In the most complete eyewitness account ever available, editor Sam Dann, himself a Rainbow soldier, weaves their stories, official reports, other documents, and the reminiscences of several survivors with whom the Division has maintained contact for more than half a century. I have had the honor of meeting some of the veterans of the Rainbow Division…. Like so many of their generation, they simply say, "We had a job to do, and we did it." But in doing it so courageously and so well, they demonstrated that to be human was to be capable of great acts of courage and goodness, even in the face of unspeakable cowardice and evil. —U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
  

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Contents

SIX OFFICIAL REPORTS
11
The General
12
The Aide
17
The Guest
26
The Battalion Commander
29
The International Prisoners Committee
35
An American Inmate
38
THE RAINBOW DIVISIONS OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENTS
41
DACHAU FROM WITHOUT
167
JUST OUTSIDE OF DACHAU
187
STORIES FROM BEHIND THE WIRE
191
THE RAINBOW AFTER DACHAU
215
A Conference at Drew University
217
Dachau Reconsidered
220
Dachau Revisited
225
Oud Dachauers
227

GENERAL LINDENS GROUP
49
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE ARTIST
61
COMPLETING THE PICTURE
67
Sunday April 29
68
Monday April 30
144
THE CHAPLAINS
155
Dear Americans
230
Humanitarian Aid Projects
232
TWO ROADS TO DACHAU
239
NOTES
243
INDEX
257
Copyright

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Page 1 - On Wednesday, March 22, 1933, the first Concentration Camp will be opened in the vicinity of Dachau. It can accommodate 5,000 people. We have adopted this measure, undeterred by paltry scruples, in the conviction that our action will help restore calm in our country, and is in the best interests of our people. Heinrich Himmler, Commissioner of Police for the City of Munich."1 This was Himmler' s original order establishing Konzentrazionslager (KZ) Dachau.

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About the author (1998)

Dann-Since WWII has had a long career as a writer for radio, stage, and television and has taught visual and dramatic writing as an adjunct professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

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