Download Hell before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945 Audiobook

Hell before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945 Audiobook, by John C. McManus Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John C. McManus Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Witness to History Series Release Date: February 2018 ISBN: 9781538495254
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On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the Eighty-Ninth Infantry Division and the Fourth Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face-to-face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany.

These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and―perhaps most disturbing of all―the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes.

Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts―including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections―Hell before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most powerful book I’ve read in decades.”

    Washington Times

  • “This is a history that demands to be published. The use of personal witness accounts is the only way to capture the essence of the traumatic experience the American soldiers had to deal with.”

    Daniel D. Holt, editor of Eisenhower

  • “Describes the history of the camps with scholarly clarity while revealing the immediacy of the emotional horror witnessed by the American liberators. Full of vivid quotations, this book will capture the interest of general readers while engaging undergraduates and grounding them in the subject.”

    Michael C. C. Adams, author of The Best War Ever

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About the Author

John C. McManus is an award-winning professor, author, and military historian. He is one of America’s leading experts on the history of modern American soldiers in combat and he has written numerous well received books on the subject. He is a full professor of US military history at Missouri University of Science and Technology and he frequently serves an expert for documentaries. A veteran of many battlefield tours, he has traveled thousands of miles to give lectures on military history and research the realities of combat for American soldiers.

About the Narrator

Joe Barrett, an actor and Audie Award and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials.