Oral History

Leon Bass describes his feelings about joining the US Army

Leon Bass was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1925. He joined the US Army in 1943 and served as a member of the all-Black 183rd Engineer Combat Battalion attached to General Patton's Third Army. Leon's unit was involved in the Battle of the Bulge as well as the liberation of Buchenwald. After the war, Leon went on to receive his doctorate, teach, and speak about the Holocaust and racism. 

In this interview, Leon describes the racism and segregation he faced in the United States during the 1940s and how it impacted his feelings about having joined the US Army.



  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Resource Center at Kean University
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