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First Person

David Cohen

Witness to the Holocaust

Shortly after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, David Cohen volunteered to join the Army. As a radio operator for the 4th Armored Division of Patton's Third Army, David witnessed much of the World War II European front. His division relieved D-Day soldiers in Normandy, France, and then charged across Europe, playing an instrumental role, for instance, in the Allied success at the Battle of the Bulge. Near the end of the war, he saw and photographed the Nazi labor camp at Ohrdruf and the Buchenwald concentration camp. David Cohen makes clear that through the course of his life's journey, he has witnessed both the great good and the unspeakable evil of which humanity is capable.

View a timeline of David Cohen's life

David Cohen's Stories

WWII poster warning of Nazi threat


David Cohen's early life:
His youth, the Great Depression and his education

tank driving down town street


World War II:
From D-Day to V-E Day, the Allied Forces sweep across Europe

three generals in uniform


Patton's Army arrives at the Labor Camp at Ohrdruf, and the Buchenwald Concentration Camp

lighting the eternal flame

1945 - Present

Life after World War II:
Izzy's story, teaching, and remembering the Holocaust

Listen to David Cohen's full interview.

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