My father, Richard Bradford Elberfeld, was a member of the American Field Service, attached to a British unit who liberated Bergen Belsen.
Richard was born in Pomeroy, Ohio and attended Miami University before volunteering as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in 1943. He served with the British in India and was transferred to the European theatre of war in 1944. His ambulance unit was part of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.
Richard spent four weeks taking care of camp survivors alongside the British Army. As part of his responsibilities, he helped clean and delouse survivors, oversaw their recovery, and arranged for the burial of victims. In his testimony after the war, Richard describes the abject horror he witnessed during his time at Bergen-Belsen and his difficulties coping with the trauma. After being released from the American Field Service in June 1945, Richard returned to Miami University and graduated in 1947
Many years later, he was honored by Ellie Wiesel for his contribution.
There are memorial plaques there now, at my request, to honor the liberators.
Submitted, with thanks, by Anne Cole
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