The last weeks of the war in Europe formed a distinct period in the experience of the GIs. The speed of conquest and the chaos of defeat blurred the impressions of Europe’s nature, its soldiers, and its civilians into one surrealist picture. Moreover, the discovery of the horrors of genocide in the heart of the Continent amplified the crash of the Old World’s ruin tremendously. When the American soldiers at last shook hands with their Soviet comrades amidst the rubble of the Old World, they were well aware that their encounter heralded new times dominated by new powers.
KeywordsConcentration Camp Slave Laborer American Soldier Labor Camp Combat Unit
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- 2.Leonidas E. Hill, review of Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, by Robert H. Abzug, Journal of American History 73 (December 1986), 803.Google Scholar