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Arthur Corder collection

Identifier: 2019-007-h-r

Content Description

The collection comprises of material acquired by Arthur Corder during the liberation of Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration camp on May 5, 1945. Corder had the clearance to take seized items back to the United States. There are four watches found in the camp commandant's desk, the owners to the watches are unknown. The watches include SYT wristwatch, Benrus wristwatch, Eska wristwatch, and an unidentified wristwatch.

The collection contains an Agfa Billy-Clack Camera and the case. Corder used this camera to document the liberation, health state of the victims, and conditions of the concentration camp. Additionally, there are two photocopies of the original photographs from the liberation of Mauthausen-Gusen. There is a photograph of five men positioned around a Nazi flag. The other is a company of soldiers in front of a building, watching an exercise of seven men crawling on the floor. The collection holds another photograph of Arthur Corder later in life standing with his son Craig.

Within the collection contains Third Reich relics including Sturmabteilung (S.A.) Standard Dagger produced in 1933, a small Nazi flag perhaps used in front of an officer automobile, a Nazi armband, and a large Nazi flag with the canvas grommet side removed. Corder implied the Dagger and armband were formally removed from a camp commandant during the liberation.

Of particular interest is the Certificate of listed captured military equipment dated May 9, 1945. This document certifies Corder the permission to mail the seized objects, including a knife, German Bible, German coins, Nazi flag, and Nazi armband.


  • 1945 - 1945

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Blanchard Corder was born August 30, 1917, in Independence, Kansas to Edith and Arthur Corder. He is named after his father, who died one month before his birth. His father served in the American Torpedo Company in World War I, an explosion of nitroglycerin killed him.

Arthur enlisted in the United States Army on October 22, 1943, at Fort Leavenworth. By the end of 1943, commanders and staff of 26 Infantry Division, airborne and cavalry divisions had trained as teams at the school of Fort Leavenworth. The Infantry landed in France at Cherbourg and Utah Beach, on September 7, 1944, but did not enter combat as a Division until a month later on October 1944.

The 26 Infantry Division saw combat against the German offensive in the Ardennes, in the Battle of Bulge. Corder served on the front lines, where enemy fire shot him in the leg. Due to a significant injury, the medics determined that Corder could not return to active combat. As of a result of Corder's injury, his assignment as a truck driver to haul ammo to the front lines and bring the injured and deceased back to the base.

In March 1945, the 26 Infantry Division was reassigned to XII Corps of Lieutenant General George S. Patton's United States Third Army. In May 1945, the Division assisted in the capture of Linz, Austria. On May 5, the Division overran the Gusen concentration sub-camp in conjunction with the 11th Armored Division, liberating the main Mauthausen concentration camp, both located in Linz, Austria.

After the liberation, Corder as a truck driver was assigned to load and transport food from a nearby town to help feed the starving prisoners in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Additionally, Corder was given a camera and ordered to take pictures of camp conditions for documentation that was sent to the United States Army European Headquarters. Following his service in World War II, Arthur Corder settled in Santa Ana, California. He married Alma Mae Ennis, and they had two sons, Arthur Michael Corder (1947-2008) and Thomas Craig Corder (1951 – 2018). Arthur owned ABC Blueprint in Santa Ana, California for many years before his retirement.

Arthur Blanchard Corder passed away on May 5, 2007, in Apple Valley, California, 62 years to the day after the Mauthausen concentration camp liberation. He left behind for his son Craig a box that contained the information about his Army service, which he never spoke about after returning home.


2.38 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection encompasses items from Arthur Corder’s service in the Second World War. He was assigned as an aide to one of the officers who were among the first Allied military into Mauthausen Concentration Camp on May 5, 1945. Corder had the clearance to take seized items back to the United States, these includes watches, documents, photographs, a camera, and Third Reich relics.

Physical Location

Located in the Oskar Schindler Archive

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Cook. In Memory of Arthur and Craig Corder

Finding Aid for the Arthur Corder collection
Tiana M. Taliep
August 30, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Oskar Schindler Archives Repository