Individual Portrait – Eric Landau

Eric Landau

Eric Landau

(1914 – 2011)

b. Kamburgs-Krono, Germany

Wartime Location: As a U.S. serviceman- Algiers, Algeria; Tunisia; Sicily, Italy; liberated Buchenwald concentration camp, Weimar, Germany

“I was out in a field on a Saturday, it was raining and it was cold. We were digging field mines in Alabama [for basic training]. It was miserable. I was digging holes and covered in mud and a guy came driving up in a jeep. He was an officer and he said, ‘The colonel wants you; I don’t know what it is about you but they don’t want you doing any heavy work. They want you for something special …’ The rest of my company stayed in the states for the whole war. Me, the poor yid, I got a steel helmet, a new uniform, and after several stops, I ended up on a ship with a book, “Welcome to Africa” and landed not far from Casablanca. From there I went to Algiers. We had just taken Algiers … I was assigned to translate stuff from German into English. One night they woke me, 2:00 in the morning. There was a note from the desk of Adolf Hitler. I was told this was very important that I translate this immediately. All it said was, ‘The soup was too salty!’ “

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