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Dee Wolfe

Tennessee Holocaust Commission -

Erin, Tennessee
Born: 1922 Savannah, Tennessee
Witness : Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Dee Wolfe’s military police battalion was ordered to Buchenwald a few days after it was liberated in April 1945. They observed German citizens who were forced to go through the camp. Dee recalls,“It was about two or three miles from the nearby town and the people were made to walk out and observe. Some cried, some didn’t have any feelings, anyway they got to see it.”

Dee remembers being allowed to walk about freely, “When I went in through the gate I saw on the right a big building... with a smokestack that was probably a couple of hundred feet high... When I looked down to my right I saw corpses laying there stacked up like cordwood.” He went into the basement, “I opened the furnace door and found partially burned body parts of people still there.” He saw survivors in barracks that looked like chicken houses, “The places where the prisoners were sleeping were about 6 feet long and 15 to 20 inches high, just big enough for the prisoners to get in and sleep. There wasn’t cover of any kind or anything else and the only thing they had was that little stall, and that’s where they stayed and slept.”

Dee found it hard to see humans desperate for food, and not feed them, “but we’d been given orders not to give them anything so we didn’t.” Their commanders knew from experience that, for dehydrated and starving people, only careful re-acclimation to solid food would prevent the intestines from bursting.