The U.S. Soldiers Who Liberated Nazi Concentration Camps Could Never Forget What They Saw
Warfare History Network
With only weeks left before the surrender, GIs were unexpectedly coming across the concentration camps. These centers of evil and depravity, scattered across Nazi-held territory for all the Allies to discover, explained the need for the war far better than mere words ever could.
Key Point: History would never be the same.
BACKSTORY: The final months of World War II in the European Theater were a harrowing and desperate time for the soldiers who fought there. No one wanted to die when the war was so close to its end. This called for caution in the minds of many, yet the fighting was not over. The forces of Hitler’s Third Reich––still actively resisting the advancing Allies–– simply had to be beaten. Further, they had to be made to understand they were beaten, lest there be another war for the next generation to fight. In the event, the Nazi leadership gave the Allies no choice but to prove that point.
At the same time, American troops were learning why they had to fight this war firsthand. With only weeks left before the surrender, GIs were unexpectedly coming across the concentration camps. These centers of evil and depravity, scattered across Nazi-held territory for all the Allies to discover, explained the need for the war far better than mere words ever could. It gave American soldiers clear reason as to why this war had to be taken to its full and dreadful conclusion.
Leon Tulper of Denver, Colorado, lived through these desperate days. As a young radioman in the 65th Infantry Division, he was at the forefront of the division’s 55 days in combat, from early March 1945 until the war ended. He served as the radioman for the battalion’s executive officer in Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 260th Infantry Regiment.
From this position he witnessed not only combat operations but was also present at the liberation of two separate concentration camps. The first was Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, some 100 miles southwest of Berlin. Later he would be present at Mauthausen in northern Austria. This gave Leon an exceptional perspective on the war. In July 2015, at the age of 90 yet still spry and sharp (he had only retired from work the year before!), Mr. Tulper sat down to tell of his own experiences.
CM: Tell me about your early life, where you’re from, how you grew up.
Mary Previte, Grateful Survivor of a Concentration Camp, Dies at 87 Mary Taylor Previte lived a life of self-reinvention, becoming a teacher, a lauded administrator of a center for troubled youths and a New Jersey legislator. But perhaps her most … read more
Former Nazi concentration camp guard, 93, tells court that killings have ‘haunted’ him A former Nazi concentration camp guard accused of being an accessory to 5,230 murders testified Monday at his trial that he regrets serving in the role — and … read more
Former Nazi concentration camp guard, 93, on trial in Germany as accessory to more than 5,000 murders A 93-year-old former SS private, who as a teenager stood guard in a watchtower in a Nazi Germany concentration camp, began trial Thursday … read more
UPDATE 1-Former concentration camp guard, 93, goes on trial in Germany (Adds suspect’s arrival in court) BERLIN, Oct 17 (Reuters) – A 93-year-old former concentration camp guard arrived in court in a wheelchair on Thursday, in what could be one … read more
Preschool to open at former Nazi concentration camp in Serbia The planned opening of a Serbian preschool at a former Nazi concentration camp – a site that bore some of history’s most inhumane atrocities – has outraged citizens, who call … read more
Pence rips AOC’s ‘concentration camp’ remarks to pro-Israel group, says they’re ‘slander of law enforcement’ Vice President Mike Pence blasted remarks made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., when she declared that the U.S. was running “concentration camps” along the Mexico … read more
Tlaib doubles down on AOC’s concentration camp comments, claims border agents believe it’s a ‘broken system’ Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said she agreed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., about the conditions of detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border and claimed AOC was right to … read more
Ocasio-Cortez repeats ‘concentration camp’ comparison, despite criticism over the remark Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again compared border detention facilities to concentration camps on Tuesday, despite facing criticism for invoking the Holocaust by doing so. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., came under fire last month … read more
Holocaust Museum Slams Concentration Camp Comparisons On Monday, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. issued a statement denouncing any comparisons between the Holocaust and “other events.” The statement came a week after comments made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, … read more
Rosie O’Donnell makes bizarre ‘concentration camps’ comment, says facilities meet the definition Rosie O’Donnell said detention centers at the border qualify as concentration camps, and that there are “over 100,000 camps” in every state nationwide (Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via … read more
Holocaust survivors respond to AOC’s ‘concentration camp’ comments in new video Two holocaust survivors responded to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s concentration camp comments earlier this month, and their feelings were resoundingly negative. AOC, D-N.Y., faced backlash for comparing border detention facilities to concentration camps … read more
Ilhan Omar backs AOC on ‘concentration camps’ at the border comment Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, is backing her freshman colleague, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., over the claim that there were “concentration camps” along the southern border, saying what the U.S. … read more
AOC’s ‘concentration camps’ claim was just tip of the iceberg — Here are some of her most controversial comments Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has only been in Congress for a matter of months, but in that short period of time she’s been … read more
AOC’s ‘concentration camps’ rhetoric is ‘demoralizing’ agents, acting ICE chief says Recent remarks by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., comparing U.S. detention facilities for migrants to “concentration camps” are hurting the agents who care for the children at the border, the … read more
De Blasio calls AOC ‘wrong’ on ‘concentration camps’ comparison: ‘Entirely different realities’ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. was “wrong” to describe migrant detention centers as “concentration camps.” “They are entirely different realities,” de Blasio, … read more
Sen. John Kennedy on AOC’s ‘concentration camp’ comparison: ‘She knows better than that’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is entitled to her opinion, but should know better than to make extreme comparisons, according to Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. Ocasio-Cortez’s remark comparing … read more
AOC continues pushing ‘concentration camps’ label, calls out Japanese internment in US In case you thought Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. might back away from her decision to label U.S. migrant detention centers as concentration camps, she offered a fresh tweet on the … read more
Liz Cheney: Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘concentration camp’ comments must be condemned by Democrats Democratic leadership must condemn Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks comparing detention facilities on the southern border to concentration camps, according to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Ocasio-Cortez’ remarks made during an Instagram live-stream … read more
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The U.S. is ‘running concentration camps on our southern border’ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, on Monday told her Instagram followers that the U.S. government is “running concentration camps on our southern border.” “That is exactly what they are. They … read more
Rammstein criticized for concentration camp-themed music video – USA TODAY Associated Press Published 9:30 AM EDT Mar 28, 2019 BERLIN (AP) — German hard rock group Rammstein is being criticized for a video promoting the release of its new single … read more
Experts object to power concentration in new Hungary courts BUDAPEST, Hungary – The Council of Europe’s constitutional experts say Hungary’s budding system of administrative courts gives too much power to leading officials, with “no effective checks and balances.” The Venice … read more
Former Nazi concentration camp guard deported from US dies in Germany FILE – In this Nov. 20, 2003 file photo, Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi concentration camp guard, stands in front of a building in the Queens borough of New … read more