Finding Aid for the Irving Adler Second World War correspondence 2019.035.wc.r
Center for American War Letters Archives
Orange, CA 92866
Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Irving Adler Second World War correspondence
Identifier/Call Number: 2019.035.wc.r
Physical Description: 0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
Date: 1945 April 17
Abstract: 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.
Language of Material: English .
Container: Resource Copies 1
This collection is open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Irving Adler.
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.
[Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], Irving Adler Second World War correspondence (2019.035.wc.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.
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.
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Subjects and Indexing Terms
Jewish Holocaust (1939-1945)
World War (1939-1945)
World War (1939-1945) -- Concentration camps -- Germany
Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945