Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp which was a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. It was the first Nazi camp of any kind to be discovered by American troops while prisoners were still in the camp. Previously, in September 1944, Americans had discovered the abandoned Natzweiler camp in Alsace, which is now in France, but it was in the Greater German Reich at that time.
General Eisenhower visited the Ohrdruf camp on April 12, 1945. Who could forget that date? It was the day that President Roosevelt died. Eisenhower was accompanied by General Omar Bradley and General George S. Patton. Their interpreter was a German-American named Captain Alois Liethan.
In a new book by Michael Hirsch, entitled “The Liberators: American’s Witnesses to the Holodcaust,” Private Don Timmer claims that he interpreted for General Eisenhower until the arrival of Captain Liethan, who was late because he was on a different plane. (more…)