1945 letter describes horrors of concentration camp

Courtesy photo: National Archives Starved prisoners, nearly dead from hunger, pose in concentration camp in Ebensee, Austria. The camp was reputedly used for “scientific” experiments. It was liberated by the 80th Division.

Editor’s note: Sixty-five years ago, the German-held concentration camp at Buchenwald was liberated by United States forces. Cpl. Hayley C. Dandridge, a Dora High School graduate, toured the facility less than two weeks after an estimated 21,000 prisoners were freed.

Dandridge wrote about the horrors he saw in a letter to friends, Alan and Freeda Burkett of Dora, dated April 22, 1945. The letter was printed in the May 9, 1945, issue of The Portales Daily News.

The 65th anniversary of the end of World War II seems a good time to publish it again, so that, as Dandridge wrote, we might all, “readily grasp the meaning of total war.”