Sugar, Maurice David
Sugar was born in 1924 in Detroit, Michigan, of Jewish parents. He enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps and in July, 1942, was called to active duty performing his basic training in the infantry. At the end of 1943, he was sent to southern France as a member of “A” company, 222 Regiment 42nd Division (Rainbow Division).
The campaign of the 42nd Division took Sugar through France and southern Germany. Near Munich his company was ordered to march in formation through the village of Dachau into the adjacent concentration camp. Sugar recalls working along the railroad track next to the camp, opening boxcars holding the bodies of prisoners in striped uniforms. All were apparently machine gunned. The boxcars were identified as containing Jews by the Stars of David painted on them. Sugar believes his company entered the camp on the day of its liberation. The camp’s inmates were in tattered clothing and very emaciated.
Photographs are displayed during the interview from the Regimental history book showing scenes from Dachau. His military discharge paper is also shown identifying his military unit and indicating that Staff Sergeant Sugar received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service.
His military unit stayed at the Dachau camp 4 to 5 days, primarily functioning as a guard company while the inmates of the camp were being processed for release. He relates that some of his fellow soldiers discovered some former SS men wearing striped uniforms and pretending to be prisoners. They were detected because of their good physical appearance in comparison to the real prisoners. These SS men were promptly shot by some of the liberators.
Sugar completed his military service among the American occupation forces in Vienna, Austria. After returning to the United States, he studied dentistry and recently retired from a practice of orthodontics. He believes the liberation of the Dachau camp deeply affected him and that everyone should visit the exhibits at the Holocaust Memorial Center to learn about the history of Nazism and its inhumanity to mankind.
Date: February 10, 1993
Interviewer: Hans R. Weinmann
Length: 30 minutes
Format: Video recording