George Sherman: “We discovered Mauthausen”
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: When the 11th Armored Division of the American Army discovered the Mauthausen concentration camp in May, 1945, how many Spanish prisoners did they find there?
George Sherman was 17 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge that winter and in May, 1945, was a tank gunner in the 11th Armored Division. They were in Northern Austria, looking for the Russian soldiers they were supposed to meet, when they came upon Mauthausen concentration camp, which they hadn´t known existed. His unit drove into the camp and stopped, seeing the barracks, the dead bodies, and the surviving prisoners; they radioed back to headquarters, and their officers joined them shortly afterward.
It took decades for Sherman to begin to speak about the experience, and now he has made it his mission to educate younger generations about the Holocaust, speaking to school and community groups around the world, and also participating in teacher-training programs.
In 2010, more than 100 former U.S. soldiers who liberated Nazi death camps during World War Two were honored at a special ceremony in Washington.