522nd Field Artillery Battalion
Min Tsubota describes how the Dachau survivors were all just "skin and bones." (Run time: 2:38)
They were all just skin and bones, sunken eyes. I think they were more dead than they were alive because they hadn't eaten so much because, I think, just before we got there the S.S. people had all pulled back up and they were gone. But, we went there, and outside of the camps there were a lot of railroad cars there that had bodies in them. I had the opportunity to go into the camp there, but you could smell the stench. The people were dead and piled up in the buildings, and it was just unbelievable that the Germans could do that to the Jewish people. I really didn't think it was possible at all actually. It was really unbelievable. Like I mentioned, when they started coming out of the Dachau camp and they looked at us, they couldn't understand because we looked Oriental. Some of them did say later that they thought that Japan had capitulated and had joined the American army. But, we explained to them that we were Japanese Americans, and we were born and raised in the United States and wearing American uniforms. It didn't take long, they understood. They accepted our chewing gum, chocolate, whatever little we could give them because we were strictly under orders not to feed them at all. The American Red Cross would come along shortly after and take care of them because we knew that the minute they ate something, they would die. As I mentioned, we bivouacked there that night right by the gate there. The mess sergeant would make an open pit where we throw all the potato peelings and whatever leftover food. We had it roped off, but a few of them came in there and ate and just died right there. They just couldn't stomach it. It was a good thing we were told not to feed them because a quite of few of them would've died. Otherwise, we had a few K rations and C rations, but we just gave them a little bit to sustain them, and they were very happy. But, they were just skin and bones. They were more dead than alive I think at that time.
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