Table of Contents Notes & Quotes Liberator Units Cover Page Drawings

Testimonies from the Midwest

Notes & Quotes

There are those who would debate the term ‘liberator.’ Were survivors found more than they were liberated? Was the liberation of camps less by design and more by accident? These are worthy questions beyond the scope of this text. The soldiers profiled in this book were not asked to provide nor did they claim heroic feats in regard to their camp encounters. They were asked for witness testimony as a collaboration to survivor testimony. Although many of the soldiers profiled in this text are from officially recognized liberator units, I chose not to use the term ‘liberator’ in the title simply in respect of those with differing perspectives on the word.

As the reader will see, these soldiers came home from the war and  put their own lives back in order, looking ahead instead of dwelling on events past.  Thus, the soldiers profiled here did not come forward without extensive research and subsequent encouragement on my part. As a fellow South Dakotan and an American, I am touched by their stories as I hope the reader will be. They have lived worthy lives.


The following is a benchmark in the South Dakota 9-12 History Standards.


demonstrate an understanding of the origins and effects of World War II with emphasis on the rise of totalitarian regimes and the response of the United States and other European nations prior to the outbreak of war such as isolationism, appeasement, and debates; the impact of mobilization for war, home and abroad; major battles, military turning points, and key strategic and foreign policy decisions; the Holocaust and its impact.


As one of the goals for this outreach project, I wanted to take a standards-based approach to supplement student learning in the state of South Dakota. This book attempts to address this global event with a local perspective as a unique supplement for teachers and students in South Dakota.

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your  eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and  you shall make them known to your children, and to your children's children.

Source: Deuteronomy 4:9


Here we will learn that each of us bears responsibility for our actions and for  our failure to act. Here we will learn that we must intervene when we see evil  arise. Here we will learn more about the moral compass by which we navigate  our lives and by which countries will navigate the future.

 Source: George Bush, 41st President of the United States, February 15, 1991


We who did not go their way owe them this. We must make sure that their deaths have posthumous meaning. We must make sure that from now until the end of days all humankind stares this evil in the face...and only then can we be sure it will never arise again.

 Source: Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, Remarks at the Site of the Future United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, October 5, 1988.


Out of our memory...of the Holocaust we must forge an unshakeable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide....we must harness the outrage of our own memories to stamp out oppression wherever it exists. We must understand that human rights and human dignity are indivisible.

Source: Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, Remarks at the Presentation of  the Final Report of the President's Commission on the Holocaust, September 27, 1979.


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