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Back to Buchenwald
Mr. John Mitchell Williams' letter recounting
his experience photographing Buchenwald was interesting. I was at Buchenwald
prior to Mr. Williams '49. I was a member of one of the infantry companies
"liberating" Buchenwald. We had been alerted of the possibility
of finding a distressing situation. The camp was approached from the northwest
corner, almost diagonally opposite the entrance to the camp.
The companies ahead of mine surrounded
the camp to capture the SS company and protect the prisoners. My company
had the unpleasant task of preventing the prisoners from escaping. We
were told to have no contact with them or give them any of the rations
we carried. It was heart rending to see the men wearing little covering
standing in the cold begging for food and help.
Specially trained units followed us. After
the camp had been secured and the SS unit imprisoned, the special units
entered the camp to assess the prisoners' needs and to manage the task.
Then, we were withdrawn. How long we watched the prisoners is not remembered;
it seemed about five or six hours. It actually might have been only three
or four hours.
Eventually we retreated to the town of
Fulda. Fifty years later, I visited Buchenwald. The return occurred on
a rainy day. Leaving Weimar, the bus approached a foggy scene. The higher
up the hill, the worse the fog became. At the camp, visibility was, at
most, 25 feet. The camp became a mirage. A quick check of the area was
made before retreating to the Bahnhof. With the rain increasing, it was
impossible to walk around Weimar.
While waiting in the station to return
to Leipzig, an old man tried to talk to university students lunching there.
From what I overheard, he tried to convince the students to become Nazis.
The students were uninterested but he was insistent. The scene had the
potential of a conflict until the students put him in his place.
Robert A. Sporre '57 (MFA)
St. Paul, Minn.
A question of tolerance
I know that it was stated in the fall
issue that there were to be no more letters on the "C" in TCU, but after
reading the letters in that edition and the feature article on Elie Weisel,
I felt I had to respond.
According to the rationale presented by
the Christian conservative letter writers, Mr. Weisel and the Holocaust
victims pictured at Buchenwald would not be eligible for salvation, but
the Nazis, many of whom professed to be Christians, would be. And isn't
the idea of an "intolerant God" somewhat of an oxymoron?
Bob Dougherty '73
Let me first say that Coach Franchione
did a wonderful job turning our football team around. I enjoyed the winning
streak as much as the next Horned Frog. That is why it was especially
upsetting to me, and I'm sure many others, when the coach abandoned his
team in the manner he did.
I have no problem with the man taking a
job somewhere else for more money, but to dump his players before their
final big game, and then to show up at the game, irked me off more than
I care to express in this forum. I was particularly ticked when he decided
to wear a red tie to the Heisman banquet. I thought this man had class.
During his years at TCU, he definitely
knew how to win. It's a pity his entrance was better than his exit.
David Alan Hall '87
TCU quietly lost a treasure last year when
Roberta Corder retired. Although she also served as a general studies
advisor, it was her passion for study abroad as the Study Abroad Coordinator
that led our paths to cross.
Roberta literally changed the course of
my life, and so many others, through her continual encouragement of student
travel abroad. She committed her professional life to TCU and the University
is a better place because of it. She continues to inspire me to seek out
international educational opportunities, and I have adopted her passion
to encourage others.
I hope that someday my children will be
lucky enough to have someone like Roberta in their lives. A person that
reminds you that anything is possible -- if you just open your eyes and look
at the world.
Kyla Martin '92