Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2024


College of Arts and Sciences




Liberation, Concentration Camp, Holocaust


Arts and Humanities


On April 4, 1945, the United States Army was tasked with something its soldiers never received training for. As the Allies advanced into Nazi-occupied territory, they began uncovering the horrid realities of Hitler’s regime. No blueprint was available for what to do when the soldiers stumbled across concentration camps. Now, in addition to combat, the American soldier’s job consisted of delousing the survivors, and providing medical care, food, and temporary housing. As the summer progressed, another question arose as to what would happen to the displaced persons in the camps. April to October 1945 is a window of time that until recently, has been overlooked in the overall historiography of the Holocaust, but is the key to understanding how the United States handled the displaced persons’ crisis. Although their efforts were not always perfect, the U.S. Army did the best it could at the time with the resources it had. To this end, the U.S. Army deserves applause for how it handled the crises.