Eisenhower: ‘The things I saw beggar description’

From the yellowed pages of history, this April finds the observance of the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. On the outside of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, there is a plaque bearing a famous quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower: 

“The things I saw beggar description…The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering…I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.” 

In the featured image, abive, General Eisenhower is viewing the gallows at Ohrdruf.

The Ohrdruf camp had been abandoned on April 2, 1945 and the survivors had been marched to the main camp at Buchenwald. American soldiers discovered the abandoned camp on April 4, 1945; the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus were left out for a month, so that American soldiers could be brought to the camp to see them. Here, one soldier was photographed in front of the dead.


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