A Liberator, But Never Free




 
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May 23rd, 2015  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: A Liberator, But Never Free


A Liberator, But Never Free

An Army doctor helped free the Dachau concentration camp in 1945, meticulously documenting his experiences in letters home to his wife. Hidden for the remainder of his life, the letters have resurfaced, and with them, questions about the G.I.ís we know only as heroes.

By Steve Friess

Photographs by John Clark

May 17, 2015

The silence must have frightened Emily Wilsey. In the seven months since her husband had gone to war, Captain David Wilsey, a 30-year-old anesthesiologist with the 116th Evacuation Hospital, had never gone more than a day or two without sending her a letter. Every step of the frigid, mud-soaked, and bloody Allied advance across France and Germany, he had written to her of his experiences. But now, with victory assured and the newspapers declaring the war in Europe all but over, the letters had stopped.


http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1...tor-never-free
May 24th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I can't even guess what he saw. I visited Belson in the late 70's, the present memorial is only a fraction of the size it once was, it had a very strange atmosphere.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but whats missing is the smell, again I cannot even imagine what the smell could have been like
May 24th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I can't even guess what he saw. I visited Belson in the late 70's, the present memorial is only a fraction of the size it once was, it had a very strange atmosphere.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but whats missing is the smell, again I cannot even imagine what the smell could have been like
I visited Sachsenhausen in 2012 but oddly enough I didn't have any particular feeling about the place and was somewhat detached.

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May 24th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I visited Sachsenhausen in 2012 but oddly enough I didn't have any particular feeling about the place and was somewhat detached.
But would you have been detached if you were actually part of the liberation forces? Somehow I don't think so.
May 24th, 2015  
The Highway Man
 
 
My company HQ was at Hohne, a stones throw from Belsen. The place was eerie, even birds wouldn't fly over!
May 24th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
But would you have been detached if you were actually part of the liberation forces? Somehow I don't think so.
Obviously not but I think the camps were something you had to have seen at the time, rolling up 70 years later and looking at an empty building where something bad happened just doesn't do it for me.

For my family there is no connection to these events (most of the family served in Italy during ww2), the wife is completely different, a quarter of her family were locked up in these places while another quarter was running them so for them there is a connection and I can understand their emotional attachment to these places.

This is why I pointed out in a previous thread that places like El Alamein, Passchendaele, Monte Cassino, Crete and Gallipoli do trigger those feelings as there is both a national and family connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Highway Man
My company HQ was at Hohne, a stones throw from Belsen. The place was eerie, even birds wouldn't fly over!
But there are millions of "eerie" places on the planet, the right conditions and a playground becomes "eerie" as the mind is an incredibly powerful and deceptive thing so was it eerie because it was genuinely eerie or was it eerie because you knew its history and your mind made it eerie.
It is funny because a lot of people look at the photo I posted above and are horrified that I could take a picture of a chimney at a concentration camp when in reality it isn't a chimney but rather a Russian monument built after the war yet in peoples minds they put concentration camp and the shape of the structure together to come up with something bad.
May 24th, 2015  
The Highway Man
 
 
It was eerie in that it was deathly quiet, not a lot to see, but you knew the history of the site, I found it strange the way birds didn't fly over the site, but flew around avoiding the place.
May 25th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Highway Man
It was eerie in that it was deathly quiet, not a lot to see, but you knew the history of the site, I found it strange the way birds didn't fly over the site, but flew around avoiding the place.
If I remember correctly, very little would grow in Belson, the only thing I can remember that did was a very coarse grass, possibly due to the lime that was used. But as HM said, it was extremely eerie.
May 28th, 2015  
marymccurley678
 
Are you allowed to go in the military with type two diabetes? I was just wondering if that possible
May 28th, 2015  
The Highway Man
 
 
and the award for the most random post in a concentration camp topic goes to.........
 


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