Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Awareness - Education - Inspiration

The THGC Presents Oral History Archive to Library of Congress

On March 18th, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) presented the United States Library of Congress a collection of recorded oral history testimonies from Texas WWII veterans who liberated Nazi death camps in early 1945 at the conclusion of WWII. THGC Commissioners Pete Berkowitz and Suzanne Ransleben were in Washington, D.C. to make the presentation of the Texas Liberators Oral History Project.

(L-R) Col. Robert Patrick, Director of the Veterans History Project;
Mrs. Suzanne Ransleben, THGC Commissioner; Kyle Ransleben,
grandson of Norman and Suzanne Ransleben

Completed in conjunction with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History in Waco, the project chronicles the oral histories of 19 Texans who were involved in Nazi death camp liberations. Lesson plans to accompany the project will be developed to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirement for learning about the liberation of concentration camps during WWII.

“On behalf of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, and the people of the great state of Texas, it is an honor and a privilege to present these important testimonies from American GI’s,” said Chairman Berkowitz. “These men displayed tremendous courage during the fighting, and then witnessed the worst human carnage that the world had ever seen.  Their testimonies are a telling reminder of why the fight to combat hate is so critical.”

THGC furnished these testimonies for the Veterans History Project, conducted by the American Folklife Center of the U.S. Library of Congress, which honors American war veterans by preserving stories of their service. The presentation of the Texas Liberators Oral History Project to the U.S. Library of Congress expands their collection of American historical accounts.

Additional testimonies were digitized by THGC for archival collections at the Holocaust Museum Houston, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. The preservation of liberator and survivor testimonies is an ongoing project of the commission, whose mission is to teach about the eight stages of genocide with the hope that this will help prevent another Holocaust and the many other genocides that the world has witnessed.

Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on the Oral History page. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site.