April 11, 1945 – Allies liberate Buchenwald

I’m going a little, OK A LOT, off topic today. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Allied Forces liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp. The reason I’m highlighting this event is because my grandfather was in the Army Air Force and participated in the liberation.

He never talked about his time in the war with me and he passed away in 1996, so it’s not like I can ask him questions about it. However, over the years I’ve pieced together some information to get an idea of what he experienced. He was a pilot and photographer in the Army Air Force and my uncle found many photos taken by my grandfather when cleaning out my grandfather’s house after he passed.

He was trained at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio as part of the 66th School Squadron. The purpose of his position was to take photographic evidence from the planes, and sometimes on the ground, of the horrors that they found as they marched across Germany. What he saw was insane and he suffered from mental issues for the rest of his life. I assume that in modern times, he would have been diagnosed with PTSD.

These are a few pictures that we found. There were more but much more graphic than necessary for honoring and remembering the lives of the people who perished under horrible conditions.

There is a lot of online information about the Buchenwald Liberation that’s really interesting. In fact, I spent more time than I planned today as I was learning about it myself.

The video above is from the Military.com website, which has some good information.

Also, the BBC did a series on Nazi Germany and included a segment on the Buchenwald camp.

Also, the Local Germany has a post from the 70th anniversary with a lot more background and information.

Thanks for allowing me to venture away from the tax world for this day of remembrance. It’s important that we never forget what happened back in WWII under the Nazis so that it’s never repeated.

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