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March 30, 2015

African-American soldier who liberated Buchenwald has died at the age of 90

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:21 am

The greatest honor, that an American veteran of World War II can have, is to be recognized as a LIBERATOR of a Nazi concentration camp. The rules that govern this honor say that, to be a liberator, the soldier must have arrived at the camp within 48 hours of the entrance of the first soldiers into the camp.

Leon Bass, an African-American soldier in the U.S. Army in World War II, who claimed this honor, has died at the age of 90. You can read the story on the online Philadelphia Inquirer here.

I previously blogged about the African American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald at

You can read all about the Buchenwald camp on this section of my website:

Leon Bass, an African-American soldier who liberated Buchenwald

Leon Bass, an African-American soldier who liberated Buchenwald

This quote is from the news article:

As a 20-year-old U.S. Army soldier in the all-black 183d Combat Engineers Battalion, Leon Bass arrived at the Nazis’ Buchenwald extermination camp just one day after it had been liberated in April 1945.

Bass saw the living skeletons of those who survived. The camp reeked of burned human flesh. The torture chambers were still covered in blood.

After the war, Bass left the Army as a sergeant, returned to Philadelphia, and eventually became principal of Benjamin Franklin High School. He earned a doctorate in education from Temple University.

April 14, 2010

African-American soldiers who “liberated” Buchenwald

So many American soldiers have claimed that they were “liberators” of a Nazi Concentration Camp that the US Army and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have gotten together to make rules regarding which soldiers can claim the honor of liberating a camp. Only soldiers who arrived within 48 hours of the first soldiers to enter a camp can claim to be liberators. That means that only the 6th Armored Division and the 80th Infantry Division are the official liberators of Buchenwald.

African-American soldiers from Headquarters and Services Co. of 183rd Engineers Combat Battalion, 8th Corps, Third Army arrived at Buchenwald on April 17, 1945, too late to be given the honor of being liberators of Buchenwald. Among these soldiers was Leon Bass. (more…)