Gabriel Vacca interview for the Faces of the Holocaust Series

Streaming Media

Creation Date



MS-215: Emmanuel Ringelblum Collection


Major Vacca was a fighter pilot whose squadron was stationed at a captured base in Weimar just before the end of the war. He was one of the first Americans to see Buchenwald when it was liberated, and he witnessed a famous event: hundreds of civilians from Weimar were rounded up and brought to see the death camp. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Gabe joined the army in 1941 and worked as an aircraft mechanic. He then went to flight school and was trained as a fighter pilot, sent to England, and then to France after the Normandy invasion. His 406th Fighter Group provided air support for the 3rd Army. After the war he visited Israel six times, and developed a strong interest in Jewish history and culture. He died in 1999. This interview is from the Faces of the Holocaust, a series created as a classroom resource and curriculum supplement.


Gabriel Vacca


Renate Frydman

Document Type

Oral History


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