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"It looked like an explosion or an earthquake in a cemetery." (Audio Interview, 21:00)

   James Ray Clark
Image of James Ray Clark
James Ray Clark
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Company B, 317th Infantry, 80th Division
Service Location: England; France; Luxembourg, Germany; Austria
Rank: Sergeant
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In April 1945, as the war in Europe was winding down, infantryman James Ray Clark found himself in the midst of a scene more horrific than any he had witnessed in combat. What he and his fellow soldiers thought was a slave labor camp was actually Buchenwald, a concentration camp that housed, among many other starving Jews and "undesirables," the teenaged Elie Wiesel. Clark's unblinking descriptions of the "walking dead" he tried to help there are both horrifying and heartbreaking. He proudly recalls that many years later, in 1983, Wiesel presented him with a signed scroll in appreciation of the U.S. Army's liberation efforts.

Interview (Audio)
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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