I just posted chapter 8 which details Joe’s arrival and first hours in Buchenwald. This was by far the most difficult chapter to write so far. I spent a lot more time on it than the other chapters and a lot more outside research. Joe’s experience of Buchenwald was narrow and of course limited to what he and his fellow aviators were subjected to. But obviously there is a whole lot more to Buchenwald than what Joe and the other flyers experienced. Indeed, while what they went through was horrible almost beyond words, they were spared the fate of thousands of others and the torments of many others. My primary source for information about Buchenwald is “The Buchenwald Report.” This incredible book in the version translated by David Hackett is the first hand record of many inmates. Immediately after the discovery of the concentration camp by Patton’s Third Army, the US Army sent intelligence officers to document and record what they found and to conduct first person interviews with the inmates. Their immediate purpose was to capture evidence for the war crimes trials that were certain to come at the end of the war. The Buchenwald Report is the compilation of these first hand reports.
I have struggled with how much of what was going on in Buchenwald, not personally experienced by Joe, to include in his story. I see the Joe Moser story as a fabulous opportunity to take the experiences of one American hero and put it in context of the greater picture going on around it. But, above all, it has to be an autobiography, and the stray too far from Joe’s story to tell of the broader picture is to lose the essence of Joe’s story and to serve a different purpose. So, my plan is to limit the information to mostly what Joe and his fellow flyers experienced with only limited references to the even deeper horrors occurring around them.
Again, should you stumble on this site, or if you are a returning visitor, I am always interested in your thoughts and ideas.