April 17, 2024
Holocaust Liberator Charles Ferree | Jewish-American Heritage Month | USC Shoah Foundation

Holocaust Liberator Charles Ferree | Jewish-American Heritage Month | USC Shoah Foundation

Holocaust Liberator Charles Ferree | Jewish-American Heritage Month | USC Shoah Foundation

Author: USC Shoah Foundation via YouTube
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Holocaust Liberator Charles Ferree | Jewish-American Heritage Month | USC Shoah Foundation

“We need as much powerful documentation as we can to overcome the attempts on the part of the revisionists to tell us that the Holocaust never happened at all, or that they didn’t kill 6 million Jews and 10 or 15 million other people, that they never gassed any people on German soil, that they never shot little babies in the head in their mothers’ arms and blew their brains all over their mothers. All these things happened.”

Charles Ferree was born to a Roman Catholic family in Arizona, USA in 1924. He served in the United States military during World War II, and participated in the liberation of four concentration camps: Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Mauthausen. Charles was a first lieutenant in the 9th Air Force, which flew officers from General Eisenhower’s headquarters into the camps as they were liberated.

Charles was also involved with investigating and documenting Nazi atrocities after the war. He was strongly concerned about Holocaust doubt, and opposed to attempted Holocaust denial.

In the 1970s, Charles was active in the civil rights movement, and wrote a book about the Holocaust. In his retirement years, Charles served on governmental advisory boards and commissions, and was president of a racial relations organization.

Charles was interviewed by USC Shoah Foundation in 1997.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the innumerable contributions Jewish people have made to American life for over 350 years.

The idea for an annual commemoration of Jewish Americans originated with President Jimmy Carter, who in 1979 established a Jewish Heritage Week. In 2006, Congress unanimously passed a resolution expanding the tribute to encompass the entire month of May.

The celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month coincides with the anniversary of the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in North America in 1654.

In the time since 23 Sephardic Jews disembarked in New Amsterdam (now New York City), Jewish Americans have added to American society in every conceivable way—be it as Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress, in military service or as leaders in business, academia and the arts.

USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains more than 52,000 testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust. In this first of three installments, we celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month by sharing the testimonies of Jewish Americans who embody the vibrant and diverse culture that has immeasurably enriched us all.

Memorial Day in the United States takes place on May 29 in 2023. Memorial Day honors and remembers those who bravely served in the United States military.

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About USC Shoah Foundation:
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education develops
empathy, understanding and respect through testimony, using its Visual History Archive of more than 55,000 video testimonies, academic programs and partnerships across USC and 170 universities, and award-winning IWitness education program. USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive programming, research and materials are accessed in museums and universities, cited by government leaders and NGOs, and taught in classrooms around the world. Now in its third decade, USC Shoah Foundation reaches millions of people on six continents from its home at the University of Southern California.

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