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  • Hell Before Their Very Eyes

  • By: John C. McManus
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Hell Before Their Very Eyes

By: John C. McManus
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
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Summary

On April Fourth, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the Fourth Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler's Germany.

These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and - perhaps most disturbing of all - the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes.

Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts - including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections - Hell before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.

©2018 John C. McManus (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Hell Before Their Very Eyes

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Devastating Listen

This is a devastating listen due to account from different soldiers & companies/platoons who liberated these sickening camps wether it was a concentration camp or a killing camp..they both held unbelievable evil that was done in them. To come across something like this would’ve shook even the strongest man, seeing malnourished and sick prisoners. Prisoners crying due to being saved from the despicable sight that they came across.

I agree with another reviewer…this should be mandatory reading and we should never forget this happened.

I got this title free to listen too through the Plus Catalogue but will end up buying it via cash or credit.

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Mandatory reading

This book should be made compulsory reading, by every teenage student worldwide. Especially in view of political and humanitarian events happening around the globe

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Very good.

A very interesting book, based on the eye witnesses who helped liberate the concentration camps.

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  • A. Adams
  • 11-10-20

loved it

it is an interesting view from the soilders view instead of the inmates. I have read many memoirs from survivors and even accounts of the guards, but to liberators shine a new light on the camps. very well written.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 10-11-20

Too bad it's a rough draft

There is great information in this book from an important viewpoint. The soldiers' perspective might even help the some of the right-wing holocaust deniers , who claim to support the military, see the truth. There is also some good writing in this rough draft, and it truly is a rough draft.

the book is sometimes disjointed. There are more than a few places were the information repeats itself. That's understandable in a rough draft, but this is supposed to be a finished book. In the beginning when this occurred, I thought imy phone had been jarred causing it to move back. Toward the end , when I again listened to the same information about a Nazi wife, my eye rolling was producing some muscle pain.

Editing the book would have brought it down to a long article, but it probably would have been a well-written, valuable piece.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-21

Unique perspective

Important & thought-provoking. Meticulously written and perfectly narrated. Even hardened soldiers were brought to tears in disbelief of what they saw.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Saedre edick
  • 14-09-22

awesome

a fascinating insight to the thoughts of the American GIs finding the concentration camps.

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  • Kari and Rik
  • 08-09-22

A great book well researched

Another great work by Mr. Mc mantis and outstanding narration by Joe Barrett thank you both

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  • Jay Voigt
  • 24-08-22

I Hate Nazis & Fascism

If you currently despise the Nazis and their fascist, racist, violent, ignorant, hateful ideology. Get ready to expand that hatred 10 fold.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-22

Fascinating account of Holocaust liberation

I visited Yad Vashem years ago as part of my college education. This account of the liberation of some of the concentration camps by American soldiers at the close of WW2 is unique and thought provoking. Mr McManus did a terrific job in writing and Joe Barrett's performance was perfect for this subject matter.

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  • Firemedic
  • 25-01-22

Never forget

I found this to be an amazing account of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of the troops who liberated them. This should be required reading for high school seniors so our future generations never let this tragedy happen again.

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  • tara395
  • 28-03-21

Good.

Worthwhile. Brought me closer to my deceased parents experience of Germany in WW II. Thanks.

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  • Nana to all
  • 16-03-21

well written

the collective memories within this story are well worth hearing. there was a raspy quality to the narration that made listening difficult.