Letter from Fred Diamond to his parents
Published in Letters Of The Century
April 13, 1945
Today I was in a town called Ohrduff. It's a nice little town - one of those spared in the engulfment of the area by the roaring tide of allied armor. On a hillside just outside the town one can see what seems to be barracks, but behind the high barbed-wire fences lies a tale of horror beyond the fertile imagination of a Poe.
If you haven't the stomach for this sort of thing, read no further. This camp was another Lublin, where hundreds of innocent Russians and Poles were brutally tortured, killed, and disposed of.
There is the perceptible odor of rotten flesh upon entering this death camp. The "barracks" - stables would be a more appropriate word - are now empty of the survivors and the less fortunate. But the empty shacks still bear the evidence of the heinous deeds committed against people whose only crime was to encounter these barbarous SS troops. Their beds were the filth and straw-covered floor which is still covered with small pools of blood. Around remain a few crumbs of black bread and some weak soup which was all the food they received.
The bodies had been earlier removed from the shed where they had been stacked before their disposal. Now they were laid out atop a small hill in preparation for burial. Their bodies showed the lustful; brutality of Hitler's elite.
The corpses were little more than skeletons. Mere skin and bones, their arms and legs were not thicker than broomstick handles. Their ribs protruded greatly and their abdomens were now hollow pits. Their skin, now turned grey, was stretched like drums over the emaciated bodies.
Starvation was the least of the privation these poor people suffered. Their bodies were covered with bruises, and were enormously swollen particularly in the region of the groin. The heads of many bore lacerations; others had had their eyes gauged out. Others had been stabbed in the chest approximately half a dozen times. Many had their misery ended with a bullet through their heads.
The bodies were being disposed of by the Germans about a half a mile away. The ashes tell the story. Mingled with a pile of railroad ties burned are charred skulls and bones. All one can see in stench filled nearby pits is a protruding charred arm.
This is eugenics as practiced by the Master Race.
There is an epiloque to this story. This evening, some German civilan was guiding some U.S. soldiers around the area. Two Russians recognized him as one of the SS men and immediately began beating him, watched by the Yanks. He now lies with the others, his head bashed in, his body swollen. His chest bears about a dozen bayonet wounds. No one is interested in how these unarmed men got the weapon.
German prisoners - photo taken by Dennis Wile at Buchenwald