November 25, 2012, - 7:38 pm
You and I have non-stop free entry to the world’s most interesting, constantly changing museum: Ebay. That’s how I use the site, as I enjoy looking through the old memorabilia of the past, which mark history in a way you don’t always see it in brick and mortar museums. And I recently saw this letter, listed by a seller who often sells the old letters of U.S. soldiers who served in the Civil War, World Wars I & II, Korea, and Vietnam. The letter, by U.S. Army Sgt. Charles Duvall to his wife back home, is chilling in its details of what he saw when they liberated a Nazi concentration camp, the inmates of which were Jews.
An original World War Two letter including the envelope written by Sergeant Charles Duvall. The letter is dated May 6, 1945 Europe and relates to the Holocaust. In the letter he mentions a concentration camp which had mostly Jews. I currently have other letters written by this individual listed. The letter reads [DS: the spelling and grammar mistakes are those of the writer and are presented as is]:
Hi Darling, golly it has been too or three days since I have written……………….Darling have seen so much suffering the past couple of days. It is sights that shall always stay with me it is the most pittyful sight anyone could ever see. we came into a town that had a concentration camp most of them were Jews. They came swarming out of that camp as soon as the American army took it over, they swarmed past our house all night, they raded everything we had looking for something to eat. They were all skin and bones just a mass of bones with a piece of yellow skin stretched over them. Their eyes all sunk back into their heads sores all over them all diseased up dirty and unshaven lice on them. They would mob the American soldiers asking for something to eat. We gave them all we had but there was thousands of them. They wanted cigarettes. They would leave the camp not knowing where they were going some of them were not able to start lots of them were so weak their buddies would help them and after a while one of them would pass out, there he would be left to die. In the camp there was starving babies feeding from their Mothers breast the mother would be lying on the ground dying. They were so hungry they would dig the potatoes that had been planted out of the ground with their bare hands. We would throw some of them a can of C ration one would get it and they would all start fighting for it just like a bunch of beasts. Many of them had blood streaks on them where they had been beaten. It was a sorry mess I had read and heard so much about what the Germans have done had thought it was propaganda but now I know it is true, I guess you have to really see that to believe it. Thank God for a place like America. Golly Darling need a shave bad have not had one for a week no bath for more than too weeks dirty clothes it will be swell if we ever stop and get a chance to clean up and rest a couple of days……………..Chas
I wish the letter gave some hint as to which camp this was. But it makes no difference, as this was the way it was at almost all of them.
As I write this, there are nearly four hours to go on the auction of this letter, and it has already been bid up to $127.50. It’s an important piece of history, an important piece of documentary evidence.
I’m sure the Holocaust-deniers will claim the letter–and hundreds of thousands of others like it, many of which are lost to history and long ago sent to trash bins–are fakes or forgeries, their usual dismissal of the evidence. But we know they are not. We know this is real.
I wonder, if 70 years from now, we will come upon letters from soldiers who saw the atrocities of our current, more resistant strain of Nazis: Muslims who are fomenting conflict and perpetrating terrorism around the world.
Sadly, one of the casualties of our internet/e-mail/Facebook/Twitter world is that few letters are written to save for posterity, meaning there will be less and less documentation of the atrocities the followers of Mohammed commit in the interminable World War IV (as many consider the Cold War to be World War III).
That Was Then . . .
This Is Now . . .
Tags: eBay, Historical Documents, history, Holocaust, Jews, Letters, Nazis, Sgt. Charles Duvall, Soldiers' letters homes, World War II, World War II letters