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"And after seeing this situation in this death camp […] I felt like I had been given a second life. And when I returned home, I was going to spend the rest of my life working for peace and justice…" (38:09)

   Timuel D. Black, Jr.
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 308th Quartermaster, 1st Division
Service Location: European Theater; Normandy, France; Northern France; Ardennes; Rhineland, Germany
Rank: Private First Class
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Timuel Black was not happy about being drafted into the army in 1943, so much so that he sent back his first draft notice, claiming that he didn’t have an Uncle Sam. As part of the 308th Quartermaster Unit, 1st Division, he participated in the Normandy invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and marched down the Champs-Elysees in Paris on V-E Day. Black was forever changed by his visit to Auschwitz shortly after the camp was liberated. He also witnessed and endured intense racial discrimination during his service, experiences that strengthened his commitment to social justice and led him to pursue community organizing and local politics in his adopted hometown of Chicago.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (93 min.)
 Official Documents
»Honorable Discharge and Report of Separation
More like this
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Seeing Auschwitz; dramatically affected by what he witnessed. (05:28) Two anecdotes of racial discrimination, a sympathetic white soldier and differences of attitudes between white and African American troops. (04:54) Describing his experience on D-Day. (05:18)

Home » Timuel D. Black, Jr.
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  October 26, 2011
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