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Profiles

  • Bernard "Jack" Vogel (1924 - 1945)
    His story as told by CNN Military Enlistment
  • Anthony C. Acevedo
    Anthony Acevedo became the first Mexican-American to be registered with the US Holocaust museum’s survivor database in 2010. A medic assigned to the 70th Infantry Division during the war, Acevedo was...

Background

Berga an der Elster, a subdivision of Buchenwald, was a Nazi slave labor camp that held and tortured 350 American Prisoners of War (POW) after their capture at the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 1944.

While thousands of POWs were captured on that ill-fated day, the Nazis held a subset of 350 American soldiers at Berga beginning February 13, 1945. The American POWs were identified as Jewish by a letter "H" (signifying "Hebrew") marked on the their dog tags to indicate, in the case of death, the appropriate burial service for the deceased. The Germans selected others for “looking” Jewish, having Jewish sounding surnames, or just those they deemed trouble makers and undesirables.

The camp had two primary purposes: 1. to transform, via hydrogenation, brown coal into usable fuel for tanks, planes, and other military machinery and 2. Vernichtung durch Arbeit – extermination through labor; prisoners were intentionally worked to death through inhumane working and living conditions, and starvation.

Fearing retribution from the Allied Forces, in April of 1945 the Germans emptied Berga forcing the surviving American soldiers on what quickly became a Death March. Only 63 survivors were left of the original 350 American POWs sent to Berga.. The Berga GIs were liberated in two groups: the first by the 90th Infantry Division on April 20, 1945, and the second by the 11th Armored Division on April 23, 1945.

As if these American POWs had not suffered enough, the surviving soldiers were forced into silence by the American government to never speak of what happened to them in Germany. Survivors were made to sign a Security Certificate for Ex-Prisoners of War on April 24, 1945. This stated in its first clause, "Some activities of American prisoners of war within German prison camps must remain secret not only for the duration of the war against the present enemies of the United States, but in peacetime as well."

The silence was kept for nearly 60 years until the very few surviving men began to tell their stories.

Resources

Berga American Prisoners of War*

  • ?, Manny
  • Abbett, Henry
  • Abeel, Lavern
  • Abrams, Alvin
  • Acevedo, Anthony (Tony)
  • Adami, John
  • Adler, Arnold
  • Aguilar, Jesus
  • Ancharstan, Gustav
  • Anderlick, Raleigh
  • Aondt ?, Arthur
  • Ascher, Arnold
  • Babcock, Wright
  • Bavron, ? Homer
  • Beau, John
  • Becker, Max
  • Benjamin, Max
  • Berthioume, Albert ?
  • Best, Leo
  • Bibber, Albert
  • Bikultouis?, Edward
  • Black, Samuel
  • Blaiss, Araul
  • Bobonido, Tonelo
  • Boor, Charles
  • Boreding, Advil
  • Boruknid, Jack
  • Bowel, William
  • Branson, John
  • Breun, Charles
  • Brimberg, Manley
  • Broe ?, Charlie
  • Buddeski, George
  • Bullard, John
  • Bullinger, John
  • Bunch, David
  • Burler, Robert
  • Bustamente, Asabel
  • Camarda, Vincent
  • Campbell, Everett
  • Cantor, Jerome
  • Cantu, Cesar
  • Caplan, Bernard
  • Capps, Paul
  • Carter, Charles
  • Carter, George
  • Cartwright, William
  • Catumario, Costa
  • Cember, John
  • Ceon, Homer
  • Christianson, Ray
  • Christpen, James
  • Clark, Charles
  • Cloeffy ?, George
  • Cloeffy, Robert J. ?
  • Coain ?, Jonis
  • Cobene, Walter ?
  • Cohen, Isadore "Izzy"
  • Cohen, Israel
  • Cohen, Seymour
  • Cohen, Stanley
  • Cohen, Stanley
  • Combador, Angelo
  • Coney, William
  • Connors, ? John
  • Conoths ?, Essio
  • Coodin, Walback?
  • Cook, Arlie
  • Cooper, Edward
  • Cortez, Alex
  • Crawford, Glis?
  • Cruz, David
  • Cullina, James E.
  • Czarny, Stanley
  • Dalessio, Joseph
  • Dambrosia, Albert
  • Dandero, Arthur
  • Dantowitz, Philip
  • Dasher, Alfred
  • Daub, Gerald
  • Daub, Leonard
  • Davenport, Willy
  • Deaver, Raymond
  • Diamant, Alexander
  • Dodson, William
  • Donalds ?, Andrew
  • Dove, Alvin
  • Dowell, Samuel
  • Drago, Anthony
  • Drooden ?, George
  • Dubois, John
  • Eaton, Floyd
  • Eckenfeld, Harold
  • Edgar, Joseph
  • Enriquez, Francisco
  • Erwin, Walter
  • Evans, Robert
  • Fahrer, Samuel
  • Farenworth, Russel
  • Feinberg, William
  • Feldman, Alfred
  • Fellman, Norman
  • Fellows, John
  • Filler, Milton
  • Fladzinski, Frank
  • Foallo, Emile
  • Ford, James
  • Fredericson, Paul
  • Frewn, Robert ?
  • Fridman, Arthur
  • Friend, Raymond
  • Fuller, Granville
  • Gabriel, Joseph
  • Gaines, John O.
  • Geyer, Ellie
  • Gillem, Eugene
  • Gillete, Lawrence
  • Gilmore, Jim
  • Goindeb ?, Ernest
  • Goinniac, Edward
  • Goldberg, Howard
  • Goldin, David
  • Goldstein, Jack
  • Goldstein, Morton
  • Gonzales, Andrews
  • Goodman, Sydney
  • Gorenday, George
  • Gorro ?, Lonnie
  • Gorso, Rosario
  • Gougherty, James
  • Graves, Oliver
  • Gray, Robert
  • Green, Edward
  • Greene, Joseph
  • Griffin, John
  • Gritz, Marvin
  • Guigno, Joseph
  • Gusso, Robert ?
  • Hab, Harry
  • Halb, Harry
  • Hamilton, Homer
  • Hanaly, Christian
  • Hanion, Karl
  • Hanson, George
  • Harold, Millon
  • Hart, Harold
  • Harvington, Charles
  • Haughton, Fred
  • Healy, Douglas
  • Hents, Martin ?
  • Herona, Joseph
  • Hildenbrand, Donald
  • Hillsorg ?, Rardy
  • Hoab, Homer
  • Hoffman, Bernard
  • Hoorvar, Edmond
  • Hoovide, John
  • Horton, Robert
  • Howell, Elbert
  • Humphrey, Richard
  • Hutchison, Samuel
  • Hutter, Charles
  • Iosso, Peter
  • Jahr, Clarence
  • Jenkins, Hayward
  • Jerome, Albert
  • Jinston, Jacob
  • John, Richard
  • Johnson, Alfred
  • Johnson, Russell W.
  • Juvato, William
  • Kalas, Edward
  • Kanz, Harold
  • Kasten, Johann
  • Kellz ?, William
  • Kent, William
  • Kerchner, Jesse
  • Kessel, Frank
  • Kessler, Robert
  • Kilmy, Thomas
  • Kinoy, Ernest
  • Knierth, Jessie
  • Kornetz, Milton
  • Kurt, Howard
  • Lahn, Harry
  • Lamb, Robert
  • Land, Joseph A. Jr.
  • Lane, Robert
  • Lang, William
  • Layib?, Eugene
  • Leavitt, Ralph ?
  • Lee, Edgar
  • Leinberg, M. ?
  • Levin, Henry
  • Levkow, Harry
  • Linet, Harry
  • Lipson, Sydney
  • Littell, Joseph
  • Lonergan, Vincent L.
  • Lubinsky, Sanford
  • Madeb, Juan
  • Madigan, William
  • Magliocco, Joseph
  • Magruder, Henry
  • March, Cheaira
  • Markowitz, Joseph
  • Marolla, Edward
  • Martin, Husseb ?
  • Martin, Norman
  • Martinez, Ruvan
  • Masiel, Jaun ?
  • Maxwell, William
  • McDoals, Edward
  • McRath, John
  • Melnick, Bernard
  • Melton, Ellsworth
  • Mento, William
  • Michaels, James
  • Miller, John
  • Miller, Leo
  • Miller, William
  • Millstone, Seymour
  • Minowski, Alexander
  • Mop, ?
  • Morabito, Charles
  • Morris, Russell
  • Morrison, Julius
  • Moser, Ray
  • Muehlonback, Clyde
  • Mulherin, Daniel
  • Mycos ?, Carl
  • Newman, Frank
  • Ofzoub ?, George
  • Osborn, Lawrence
  • Ouiem ?, Thomas
  • Ouimedt, ?, Marcel
  • Parkin, Robert
  • Paston, Mercer
  • Pastor, Irving
  • Pattick, Dale
  • Patts, Albert
  • Pens, John
  • Pentan, Oscar
  • Peterson, Harold
  • Phillips, Thomas
  • Philoseph, Benjamin
  • Pingol, Joseph
  • Poove, Fred
  • Porter, Harry
  • Porter, Tommy
  • Porter, Vernon
  • Puminy ?, Leroy
  • Puty ?, Stanley
  • Rabin, Arthur
  • Ramsay, John
  • Ray, Raymond
  • Reader, Donald
  • Reifenrath, John
  • Reyner, Alan
  • Rheoffer ?, Carl
  • Rhodle, Russel
  • Riby, Charles ?
  • Robart, Harrison
  • Rodgers, Walter W.
  • Ronenfeld, Leo
  • Roper, Edward
  • Roseman, Samuel
  • Rosen, Arthur
  • Rosenberg, Aaron
  • Rosenberg, Winfield
  • Rothman, Hilton
  • Rowe, Donald
  • Rozzo, Joseph
  • Rubenstein, Stanley
  • Rudnick, Robert
  • Ryan, John
  • Salkain Samuel
  • Schmeiser, Fredrich
  • Schulman, Morris
  • Schultz, Julius
  • Schweitzer, Stephen
  • Scrugge, Wiley
  • Sedrish, Murray
  • Sensel, Harvey
  • Settz, Edward
  • Shapiro, William
  • Silberstein, Harold
  • Silvavin?, Morton
  • Sincox, John
  • Sinner, Ernesto
  • Slotkin, Edward
  • Smith, Merle L.
  • Sniegocki, Chester
  • Snyder, George
  • Sohol, Stove
  • Spognola, Richard
  • Stahlex, Franklin
  • Steckler, Daniel
  • Stephens, Clifford
  • Stewart, Kenneth A.
  • Stoan ?, Carl
  • Stolon, Milton
  • Stone, Ray
  • Strada, Ernest
  • Strohanam ?, Norman
  • Stuart, Arthur
  • Sullivan, Robert
  • Sullivan, Willfried ?
  • Sureyham ?, Erwin
  • Suter, Laroy
  • Swack, Myron
  • Sweet, Alvin
  • Tabelo, George ?
  • Thompon, Giard ?
  • Thorcalson, Bosny ?
  • Tillton, Carvin
  • Trachtman, Lion
  • Tudman, Gottnad ?
  • Turner, Charles
  • Urman, Anthony
  • VanHorn, Paul
  • Varagosa, Oresto
  • Varnalda, Dedimond
  • Vensob, Clarence ?
  • Vincent, Chester
  • Vincent, Edward
  • Vogel, Bernard "Jack"
  • Wagner, Charles
  • Walter, Robert
  • Watkins, Homer
  • Weiseberg, Alexander
  • Weller, John O.
  • Wells, Karl
  • West, Melburn
  • Whlazar ? Joseph
  • Widdicombe, Robert
  • Wiggins, Granville ?
  • Wilbis, Marvin
  • Wildman, Leo
  • Wilhan, Charles
  • Williams, Edison
  • Willifort, Clifford
  • Woliogg, ? Richards
  • Wood, Joseph
  • Wozniak, Walter
  • Young, David
  • Young, Louis
  • Zaccaria, Leo
  • Zamora, Juan
  • Zebrowski, Thomas
  • Zimand, Gerald

*List obtained from PBS with small amendments based on my own readings