Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Holocaust Memorial Program Records, 1945-2009

Historical Note:

The Holocaust Memorial Program was initiated in Oregon State University in January 1987 and is overseen by the Holocaust Memorial Committee. Miriam ("Mimi") Orzech chaired the committee from 1987 until 1994, when Paul E. Kopperman became chair. At that time, the committee was transferred from the auspices of the Provost's Office and Academic Affairs to the History Department. The Committee membership includes Oregon State University faculty, staff and students; teachers or administrators from the Corvallis school district; representatives of the City of Corvallis; and local clergy. All events sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Program are open to the public and are intended to benefit the entire community. The Program focuses on the Holocaust, but also offers lectures and other events that educate the community about the problem of genocide and mass murder.

Hersbruck was a satellite camp of Flossenburg between May 1944 and April 1945, when it was liberated by a unit of the U.S. 3rd Army. Although it was open for less than a year, during that time it was the third largest camp in southern Germany, exceeded in size only by Flossenburg and Dachau. Of the roughly 10,000 prisoners who were confined there at some point, about 4000 died, mostly from overwork (as most were forced to labor at nearby factories), as well as from disease and malnutrion. Shortly before the camp was liberated, most of the prisoners were ordered to march to Dachau. The inmates included political prisoners, Jews, and 23 nationalities. After liberation, Hersbruck served briefly as a camp for German prisoners of war.

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