Oral History

Harold Herbst describes meeting a prisoner on the verge of death (known as a "Muselmann") in Buchenwald

After studying medicine at Wayne State University in Michigan, Harold joined the army in 1942. He was attached to the 107th Evacuation Hospital. The unit trained in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and then tracked the US First Army after the June 1944 Normandy invasion. Harold was attached to the US Third Army under George S. Patton in December. He went to Buchenwald shortly after the SS guards fled the camp in April 1945.


Critical Thinking Questions

How can personal testimonies and oral histories provide insights into the challenges Allied forces faced when encountering and documenting the evidence of Nazi atrocities?

Why are survivor testimonies important in studying the Holocaust?

How do oral histories differ from other primary sources such as artifacts, documents, and photographs? What can we learn from different types of primary sources?


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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