US soldier Aaron A. Eiferman, with the 12th Armored Division, writes a letter to his wife describing conditions in Kaufering IV, one of the Nazi concentration camps in the Landsberg area.
As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Throughout the spring of 1945, American and Allied forces liberated numerous concentration camps as they closed in on Berlin. The battle-hardened Allied soldiers were shocked at what they discovered. As Eiferman wrote,
We have seen what can be called the living dead
Some five months after the D-Day invasion of western Europe, the 12th Armored Division entered France through the port of Le Havre and quickly made its way eastward toward Alsace by early December. In March 1945, the “Hellcats” advanced into the Rhineland and captured the city of Ludwigshafen on March 21. Deploying southward, the unit took the city of Würzburg early the next month. By the end of April, the 12th had advanced well into Bavaria and had reached the Danube River. The division ended the war in Austria.
During its penetration of southern Germany, the 12th overran this Dachau subcamp in the Landsberg area on April 27, 1945.