The Soviets liberated Auschwitz – what was left of it – not the Americans. Perhaps he meant to say Dachau? Perhaps his uncle was in the Red Army? See below the split for entire list of camps liberated by Americans, and by which units.

The story broke May 27 (I knew that) and according to one of our comments (by Jason) Obama corrected himself the same day. I do not agree that a person can mix up Birkenau and Buchenwald. I do believe that he could have heard this as a young kid and consequently mixed it up. This story did not hit my radar – for whatever unknown reason – so mea culpa on commenting on old news. However – I pointed this out to show that people mix up names all the time and that Obama if he wants to win better get the record straight. That is if he is going to be critical of McCain’s grasp of complex issues in Iraq. If any one has a clip of this retraction I would like to see how Obama handled it. However, lets please not slip into shoot-from-the-hip reactions whenever Obama is criticized — that will not help is completing a regime change.

To commemorate the unveiling of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2004, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum once again honors the brave men and women who risked their lives to free their fellow human beings from bondage.



1st Infantry Division
Liberated Falkenau an der Eger (Flossenbürg subcamp)

2nd Infantry Division
Liberated Leipzig-Schönefeld (Buchenwald subcamp)
Spergau (labor education camp)

4th Infantry Division
Liberated Dachau subcamp

8th Infantry Division
Liberated Wöbbelin (Neuengamme subcamp)

26th Infantry Division
Liberated Gusen (Mauthausen subcamp)

29th Infantry Division
Liberated Dinslaken (civilian labor camp)

36th Infantry Division
Liberated Kaufering camps (Dachau subcamps)

42nd Infantry Division
Liberated Dachau

45th Infantry Division
Liberated Dachau

63rd Infantry Division
Liberated Kaufering camps (Dachau subcamps)

65th Infantry Division
Liberated Flossenbürg subcamp

69th Infantry Division
Liberated Leipzig-Thekla (Buchenwald subcamp)

71st Infantry Division
Liberated Gunskirchen (Mauthausen subcamp)

80th Infantry Division
Liberated Buchenwald
Ebensee (Mauthausen subcamp)

83rd Infantry Division
Liberated Langenstein (Buchenwald subcamp)

84th Infantry Division
Liberated Ahlem (Neuengamme subcamp)
Salzwedel (Neuengamme subcamp)

86th Infantry Division
Liberated Attendorn (civilian labor camp)

89th Infantry Division
Liberated Ohrdruf (Buchenwald subcamp)

90th Infantry Division
Liberated Flossenbürg

95th Infantry Division
Liberated Werl (prison and civilian labor camp)

99th Infantry Division
Liberated Dachau subcamps

103rd Infantry Division
Kaufering subcamp

104th Infantry Division
Liberated Dora-Mittelbau


3rd Armored Division
Liberated Dora-Mittelbau

4th Armored Division
Liberated Ohrdruf (Buchenwald subcamp)

6th Armored Division
Liberated Buchenwald

8th Armored Division
Liberated Halberstadt-Zwieberge (Buchenwald subcamp)

9th Armored Division
Liberated Falkenau an der Eger (Flossenbürg subcamp)

10th Armored Division
Dachau subcamp

11th Armored Division
Liberated Gusen (Mauthausen subcamp)

12th Armored Division
Liberated Dachau subcamp

14th Armored Division
Liberated Dachau subcamps

20th Armored Division
Liberated Dachau


82nd Airborne Division
Liberated Wöbbelin (Neuengamme subcamp)

101st Airborne Division
Liberated Dachau subcamp

For further information about the origins of this program, see Edward J. Drea, “Recognizing the Liberators. U.S. Army Divisions Enter the Concentration Camps,” Army History. The Professional Bulletin of Army History, Fall/Winter 1992/1993, 1-5.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Yes, this story broke on May 27, so RY was only one week on spreading the news. Unfortunately he leaves out the rest of the story.

    On the same day that speech given in the above video was made, Obama corrected himself stating that the actual camp was Buchenwald, not Auschwitz.

    When we realize that the actual name is Auschwitz Birkenau, we might accept that it is possible for someone to confuse the similar sounding names of Birkenau and Buchenwald.

    Who knows how often this story is spoken about at Obama’s family reunions and holidays. I’m sure that every Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and birthday in a gentile household involves retelling stories of nazi atrocities and the American soldiers who fought to liberate those camps. It turns out that Obama also used ‘Uncle’ when he really meant ‘Great-Uncle’. So Obama may have been told this story once or twice at a young age, mixed up Buchenwald with the more commonly mentioned Auschwitz Birkenau, and always remembered the wrong name. With both of his parents having passed, who knows how often Obama asks his remaining family about this history, if they even are of the generation that would have experienced WW2 and known the story first hand.

    So in the end it turns out that the ‘Great-Uncle’ was with the 89th Infantry Division, and which liberated Ohrdruf (Buchenwald subcamp). Ohrdruf, another tough name that I would never expect a child to remember about where a family member had once visited. A reasonable person would not fault telling the story using Buchenwald instead of Ohrdruf, because no one has heard of Ohrdruf but would recognize Buchenwald if you used that name.

    It is one thing to post old news that might have slipped through the cracks. But this story was well commented in the news one week ago, as was the same day follow up of the corrected camp name which should have been included in your original post, if you still actually felt it worthy to post the full story about someone who mixed up two names of nazi camps in the process of telling a story about his heroic relative.

  • Thank you Jason. I’d also like to add a big BFD to this whole kerfluffle.

  • Funny how the Obama camp considers this a distraction, but goes on purposefully and deliberately spinning how McCain “mixed up two names” of Muslim terrorist groups (Shia, Sunni) as well as the out of context quoting of his “100 years” comments in DNC ads, which according to is a”rank falsehood”.

    On the other hand, I’ve read some suggestions that this was information his aids dug up for him about his family history he probably did not know. It shows one of three things: 1. a poor memory, 2. information that was new to him, meaning he hadn’t practiced it or told it too much, and/or 3. that he is bad at ad-lib.

    Either way, I respect his great uncle for his service and for his work in liberating a death camp. I just hope that with Obama’s poor understanding of history and naivety, he doesn’t accidentally allow another Shoah to occur, if in the position of POTUS.

  • Have to agree with 2 and 3 here. This wasn’t a big deal and it was explained away reasonably. Also, it’s old news.

  • To me, the really odd thing about Barack’s mistake was his apparent notion that US troops got anywhere close to Poland in the last months of WWII. If only.

  • To me, his mistake is the intensity and somewhat dirty tactics with which his supporters attack his opponents.

  • Hope you haven’t crossed paths with Dee Dee Myers…

  • Alex, the difference is one is pertaining to current international politics and thus it is important to know the distinction. That McCain continues to insist that Iran is aiding Al-Qaeda in Iraq is symptomatic of this. The other is, well, BFD if he mixes up the details.

  • For once I have to agree with Alex; if Obama mixed the names up, that bit of information re: his family history cannot have been too familiar to him. He keeps trying to evoke “personal connections” as a basis of qualification, but one doesn’t turn into an expert philosopher from remotely knowing Muffti or into a skilled baker from eating rolls.

  • Since reading your posts I’ve become a dessert chef, froylein.

  • Is anyone going to liberate my gorgeous Jewish Soldier, who is now 29 from Iraq? I don’t care what political party they belong to? He went from Guantanamo to Katrina to Iraq. Yes, he volunteered…no draft. Yes, he thought they would pay for his college education.

    But why couldn’t he just default on his student loans like all the Kollel guys do? In the 5 years he’s been actively deployed he could’ve gotten Simicah and he’d be in my bed right now and I wouldn’t be a frustrated MILF.

  • Let’s talk about Obama and his great foreign policy credentials vis a vis his kerfuffle with the “Jerusalem Issue”. Compared to Bush, Billary, McCain, and Kerry, Obama may just break a record in flip-flops. We know they all do it, but with such frequency and ease?

    “Unfortunately, in learning a lesson on foreign policy, Obama managed to anger both parties and forced them into making public demands that only make diplomacy more difficult later. This is what happens when candidates with no experience in diplomacy and foreign policy think themselves experts in both.”

    And WTF about the Start of David lapel pin?!? You have got to be kidding me.