Irving Adler Second World War correspondence
This collection contains two copies of one letter, handwritten and typed transcription, from Cpl. Irving Adler, USA to his parents during the Second World War. The transcription was typed by the author. The correspondence discusses his experience of liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Of note is the fact that the original correspondence was written on Army stationery with his name and rank.
The letter was written April 17, 1945 and Cpl. Adler begins by saying what he saw was "not battlefield action or anything as humane as that, (although this was more representative of all this war means than any actual combat could be)..."
He then goes into vivid detail about what he saw at the camp, discussing the condition of the living and the dead, body parts, the crematoriums, and the stories he had been told from those that could speak the language, or speak at all. He specifically mentions a twelve year old boy and his experiences, as well as a husky Russian. The Russian was a soldier and remained healthy by working in the bakery and stealing food. He told Adler the story of the last days when the prisoners mounted a rebellion against the Nazi SS soldiers that had yet to retreat and the hope they felt when they heard the allied artillery, a hope they had not felt since an American bombing took out their factory buildings the year prior without hitting the camp at all. He also mentions the nearby city, a population of around two thousand, being forced to march to the camp and witness what had gone on so close to them over the past several years. He closes by apologizing to his parents for the dark tone, but needed to tell them so they can relay the information to the non-believers back home.
- 1945 April 17
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Biographical / Historical
Corporal Irving Adler, United States Army (b. 12/4/1924) was born in Queens, New York and attended high school at Brooklyn Tech. It can be inferred from his letter to his parents that he is of Jewish ancestry. He was drafted into the Army after high school and served in the European Theater of Operations in Belgium and Luxembourg, participating in the Battle of the Bulge. He then went to Germany as a Corporal and saw the concentration camp at Buchenwald. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Adler married Shirley Moses in July 1948 and moved a few years later to Syosset, New York where they raised a family. In 1990, Adler retired from a successful business career and he and his wife moved to Boynton Beach, Florida where they still reside as of April 2019.
0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
Language of Materials
This collection contains two copies of one letter, handwritten and typed transcription, from Cpl. Irving Adler, USA to his parents during the Second World War discussing his experience of liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Irving Adler.
- Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945 Subject Source: Local sources
- Jewish Holocaust (1939-1945) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War (1939-1945) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War (1939-1945) -- Concentration camps -- Germany Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Finding Aid for the Irving Adler Second World War correspondence
- Andrew Harman
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Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository
Orange CA 92866 United States