WWII veterans share powerful stories of being witnesses to the H - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

WWII veterans share powerful stories of being witnesses to the Holocaust

WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD) WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD)
WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD) WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD)
WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD) WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD)
WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD) WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD)
WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD) WWII veterans share their stories. (Source: KCBD)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Students on the South Plains got an experience of a lifetime as they learned about the Holocaust.

World War II veterans came to the museum at Texas Tech to explore the Texas Liberator Exhibit and sat down to tell their stories.

“The cruelty of the German army and the S.S.S. in particular, it’s just indescribable what they did to people,” said World War II veteran, John William Kongable.

 “There were a million people in that one battle. Half of them German half of them America,” said World War II veteran, Chester Rohn.

“But, the condition of the prisoners and the amount of them was shocking, I would say,” said World War II veteran, Birney T. Havey.

The idea behind the Texas Liberator Exhibit is to introduce younger generations to the history of the holocaust and the liberation, but they also want to honor Texas soldiers who fought in World War II.

“When the guards got ready to do this evacuation there were about 50 or 60 people who were not strong enough to go on the march and they killed them all," Kongable said. "They machine gunned them right there in the courtyard of the camp. And so that was one of the first things we saw going into the camp."

Not just reading the stories on the wall but bringing them to life.

 “I shot a German through the head coming in from a landing, I shot one coming in the door, and I killed two on a machine gun just outside, so I got the silver star for that,” said Havey.

“But we had no idea the extent to which they were actually starving people to death working people to death,” said Kongable.

It is talks such as these that bring people to know some of their experiences.

“You had to smell what was really happening to really appreciate it. It was a combination of rotting flesh, vomit, urine, feces, just the most terrible thing you can ever imagine,” said Kongable.

What these heroes went through to save others.

“You can see pictures of the concentration camps and you can see the bodies stacked around, and you can see the terrible living quarters they had. That people were completely emaciated hardly any flesh on their bones,” said Kongable.

Experiences that they’ll never forget.

“Someone said here is one of our heroes and my comment was I’m not a hero I just happened to be there...something that I’ll never forget,” said Kongable.

The Texas Liberator Exhibit is on display at the Texas Tech Museum until December 3rd.

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