Bernard Mellman interview for the Faces of the Holocaust Series
MS-215: Emmanuel Ringelblum Collection
Bernie Mellman served with the U.S. Army in Europe in 1945 and 1946. In April 1945 his battalion, the 542nd Field Artillery, assisted in the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau. He was twenty years old and Jewish, and yet like most American soldiers he had no idea that the death camps existed. It was, he remembers, "a soul-wrenching experience for me. . . . I can still see ... starved, emaciated inmates. . . . I remember seeing those ovens and smelling the stench of dead bodies." A few days later Bernie took part in the capture of nearby Munich. He and his wife Beverly lived in Dayton until recently moving to Florida. This interview is from the Faces of the Holocaust, a series created as a classroom resource and curriculum supplement.
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