Minnesota Liberators of Concentration Camps Oral History Project: Interview with William Kamman
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: William Kamman was born in 1924 in St. Paul and graduated from Marshall High School in 1941. Kamman, who is Jewish, had close contact with the Jewish community while growing up, and about half of his high school classmates were Jewish. He was drafted and entered the service in 1943, where he was assigned to a reconnaisance unit. In December of 1944 he went to Europe and moved through France and Germany in the winter and spring of 1945. While moving quickly through Germany in April of 1945, Kamman came to Dachau and a scene of much confusion including American soldiers, German civilians and prisoners wandering the countryside. He was there only a short time before continuing on reconnaisance assignments, and later he was involved in liberating people at other camps, including Polish people in forced labor. After the war Kamman spent some months in California but entered the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1946. He graduated in July of 1949 with many other students using the G.I. Bill, and became an accountant. During college and until the interview he rarely talked about his experience in liberating the concentration camp. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Reconnaisance duties; confusion at the recently liberated camp; searching for German SS soldiers, and giving confiscated German weapons to camp prisoners so they could search for SS men; physical condition of the prisoners; giving K-rations to the prisoners to eat; uniqueness of the experience and the war's effect on his life, including nightmares about being drafted again; bonds between Jewish people; his general dislike of German people and difficulty in dealing with them; anti-Semitism during junior high and high school.
7 pages transcript
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Kamman, William
Interviewer: Lewin, Rhoda Greene
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 52.5 (Library Call Number)
AV1996.48.5 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Liberators of Concentration Camps Oral History Project'