Research

Goldberg, Arthur

Liberator
Buchenwald

A Detroit, Michigan, native, born in 1922, Goldberg was drafted by the U.S. Army. He served initially in the U.S. Army Air Force and then was assigned to the Specialized Training Program at Georgia Tech University. When that program ended before the conclusion of his training, he was assigned to the infantry and subsequently to a Combat Engineer Battalion. Goldberg entered Europe at Le Havre about a month after D-Day and was involved in the European campaign through France and Germany as part of HQ Company, 1270th Combat Engineer Battalion, Third Army. While near the city of Weimar, his outfit came across a walled-in enclosure opposite a small, neat German village. The company was ordered to enter the enclosure. Until that point, Goldberg did not know that he was entering Buchenwald concentration camp, nor did he have knowledge of the existence of any concentration or labor camps. Goldberg believes his company was the second U.S. military unit after the initial liberators to enter the camp, probably a few hours after liberation. Upon entry he saw a mass of emaciated, bewildered people, mostly in striped uniforms wandering around the courtyard. He was approached by a number of them, who in Yiddish asked him to contact relatives in the United States. On the outside of a building, determined to be the crematorium, he saw a large pile of bodies. He took photographs of this scene, which he displays during the interview. A few years before the interview, Goldberg met a former inmate of Buchenwald, now known as Rabbi D. Kane, who claims that the German guards mined and booby trapped the camp prior to their departure. The first Allied forces to reach the camp were warned of these explosives by the camp inmates and disarmed them before they could explode. Following the end of hostilities, Goldberg served with Military Headquarters in Frankfurt and was discharged in 1946.

Interview Information:
Date: November 24, 1993
Interviewer: Hans R. Weinmann
Length: 37 minutes
Format: Video recording