• Title: The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust
  • Author: Michael Hirsh
  • Released: 2010-03-16
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 384
  • ISBN: 0553807560
  • ISBN13: 978-0553807561
  • ASIN: 0553807560
From Over the past five decades, newsreels and army films showing the stacked bodies, gas chambers, crematoriums, and skeletal survivors have been viewed by millions, so graphic images of the horrors of the death and slave labor camps are not new. What makes this account so valuable is its effort to convey the sheer shock of those American, British, and Canadian soldiers who encountered these camps, often by accident, on their way to another military objective.This moving but unsettling book is the fruit of more than 150 interviews the author conducted with soldiers who liberated these camps in the closing weeks of the war. Some of these men seem curiously detached in their recollections, but Hirsh points out that these were battle-hardened men who had already been exposed to the brutalities of war. But other witnesses, years after the war, stlll express their disgust and outrage and even their thirst for revenge upon the perpetrators of these monstrosities. An excellent addition to Holocaust literature. --Jay Freeman

Review "These eyewitness accounts are powerful, detailed and horrifying. Of particular note is the last chapter, in which some of the veterans record what happened to them after the war; decades later, many still struggled with nightmares and rage." –USA Today

"The survivors of Nazi concentration camps can never forget – and, as Michael Hirsh shows in his spellbinding work, neither can the young soldiers who liberated them." –The New York Post

"Never forget is the message that these vets and survivors carry to schools, churches, and synagogues, and other places…Hirsh’s The Liberators helps [them] carry on that important work." –Philadelphia Inquirer

"Hirsh should be commended for the diversity of his interview subjects, which include former GI and Ohrdruf liberator Charles T. Payne, President Obama’s great-uncle, who gained fame during the 2008 presidential campaign. . . . A worthy tribute to these soldiers and a valuable historical document. A necessary history."
Kirkus Reviews

"A fine and necessary addition to the lexicon of Holocaust literature…A powerful and emotional telling of the trials these soldiers faced."
Roll Call

"Hundreds of often chilling, heartbreaking but ultimately exalting stories of ordinary soldiers from all across the country who banded together to not only defeat a great military threat to the entire world, but to battle for something even deeper – the very soul of humanity…an intimate look at the common men who had come from farms and factories, cities and small towns, to places such as Dachau."
–The Chattanooga Pulse

"The victory over Nazism is given a first class presentation by noted military historian, Michael Hirsh, himself a veteran of US military service in Vietnam. In…The Liberators, Hirsh gives full vent to the searing experiences that our young and untutored American troops faced at the liberation of Buchenwald and numerous other Nazi slave labor camps in Germany during the closing days of the war. In a heart-rending series of biographical sketches and interviews with many of those GIs, the author graphically details the human and emotional trauma that many of them experienced and the horrific emotional and even spiritual toll this took on "our boys.""
–The Jewish Star

"Hirsh allows us to see the terrible atrocities through the then young eyes of the Americans who rescued the survivors and buried the many dead, memories that remained vividly compelling years after the historical Allied liberation of Europe from Nazi control. By telling these dramatic untold stories of the  first young American soldiers to discover Hitler’s death camps, [he] has written  a must-have addition to any library on the Holocaust, and another ringing rebuttal to the shrinking cluster of die–hard holocaust deniers."—Peter Arnett, Pulitzer Prize-Winning War Correspondent and author of Live from the Battlefield
 
"The Liberators delivers a riveting reading experience. The memoirs are deeply personal: Sixty-five years after the end of World War II, the images, sounds, and smells as experienced by the Nazi-death-camp liberators provide compelling testimony to man’s inhumanity to man and capacity for evil as well as good and kindness. This is an extraordinary book that is strikingly important in its ability to deliver the scope and gravity of the war.—Thomas Tradewell, commander in chief, Veterans of Foreign Wars

"A striking catalogue of inhumanity."—Richard C. Hottelet, member of Edward R. Murrow’s CBS Radio reporting team during World War II

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