Recently Chapman University’s and the Leatherby Libraries Center for American War Letters Archives contributed some materials to a documentary that in conjunction with June Beallor Productions and the USC Shoah Foundation. The documentary, entitled “Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses,” aired May 1 on the Discovery Channel.
This is a documentary about the liberation of concentration camps at the end of the Second World War and the culmination of the Holocaust that focuses on the discovery of the young American and Russian men and women who first entered the camps. It chronicles their sadness and disgust at the reality of what had been occurring all that time. It is a powerful documentary and well researched, mostly from first person accounts.
The Center for American War Letters contributed a small piece of that history at about the 36 minute mark, when ROTC cadets are reading personal accounts of those that saw the camps. One cadet reads a quick sentence, written in an article entitled “A Red Cross Girl’s Memories of Dachau,” written by Elizabeth “Bettie” Walters MacInnes. She says, “To see one of these camps first hand was to know man’s inhumanity to man.”
Seventy-four years after the liberation of the concentration camps, this is a deep and important reminder of “man’s inhumanity to man” and an epic that should never be forgotten.