Re: the smell of burning flesh

From: Kim Johnson <>
Date: Tue Jan 07 2003 - 14:28:44 EST

[sorry, i hit send]

eberhard alsen, in an essay in the march '02 issue of
CLA Journal, follows up margaret salinger's remark
that her father was one of the first soldiers to enter
a liberated concentration camp. she didn't recall the
name of the camp, but quotes him as saying, "you never
really get the smell of burning flesh out of your
nostrils, no matter how long you live."

alsen does some fine historical research, tracing the
movements of the 12th division. he identifies the
camp as hurlach, in bavaria. before fleeing, the ss
guards set fire to the barracks, with the prisoners
locked inside.

alsen feels that the breakdown salinger suffered was
not 'combat fatigue', (since he wasn't an infantry
soldier, and cic men were attached to the command
posts well behind the lines of battle), but due to the
horrors of hurlach.

the camp was discovered in late april, 1945; it was in
may '45 that salinger checked himself into a hospital.


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Received on Tue Jan 7 14:28:46 2003

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