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Veteran Publishes Book Documenting The Discovery Of Concentration Camps
John Regnier Publishes Book Documenting What He Saw At Ohrdruf Concentration Camp
By Glen Moberg
Friday, July 4, 2014, 1:58pm
A World War II veteran from Stevens Point is sharing his memories and photographs of the Nazi concentration camps he helped liberate in an effort, he says, to expose the lies of Holocaust deniers.
John Regnier was just 23 years old when he documented the horrors of the Ohrdruf slave labor camp in Germany. Even his experience working in a field hospital in General George Patton's army didn't prepare him for what he saw.
“This was April 12, 1945, a beautiful spring day, and the grounds were full of corpses,” he said. “They had these people come out of the barracks and machine gunned them, and then they had two mass graves quite filled, but there were still bodies scattered all over the grounds. It was the most shocking thing we could ever imagine.”
Regnier met his first Holocaust deniers that day — the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife, who were forced to tour the camp.
“He initially denied knowing, but there's no way you could believe that,” said Regnier. “After they had been forced to go through the camps, the next morning they both committed suicide. They (hanged) themselves in the basement of their home.”
“‘I want the world to know what we're seeing,’ was his comment,” said Regnier. “I really had tremendous respect for General Eisenhower. He recognized very early in the game that there would be deniers of the slave labor camps and the Holocaust.”