A Hardin County veteran has donated an artifact to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Dave Jarrett recently donated a letter written on Adolf Hitler’s stationery to the museum. The letter was by his uncle, Sherman Carpenter, who served with the U.S. Army during World War II.
Carpenter was a member of the 45th Infantry Division and served in the U.S. Army division that liberated the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Jarrett said his uncle remained in Munich after V-E Day and was out by himself and wandered into Adolf Hitler’s office.
“He knew it was Hitler’s office because when he opened the door, it was a nice hardwood floor, a desk, two chairs ... (and) a stand-up framed painting of Hitler,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett said Carpenter opened a desk drawer and found Hitler’s personal stationery and then wrote three letters: one to his wife, who was Jarrett’s aunt, his Baptist minister and another nephew. The one to the Baptist minister described the conditions of the Dachau concentration camp and was dated 1945. The minister gave the letter back to Carpenter once he returned from the war.
More than 188,000 people were imprisoned and at least 28,000 died in the camp with the full number unlikely to be known, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Prisoners were forced into labor and were worked to death. Many also died of hunger and cold.
“I wish every American could witness this sight in order to be really convinced what we were fighting. This was one of many such camps in Germany,” a passage from the letter read.
Jarrett, who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said he received the letter from his uncle about 40 years ago and kept it framed and in a safe. Jarrett, 72, said he didn’t want the artifact to go to waste.
“I don’t want to die with this piece of history sitting in a pile of paper and somebody picks it up and throws it away,” he said.
Jarrett reached out to the Holocaust Museum earlier this year and administrators indicated they were interested in the artifact.
“The letter is amazing in what my uncle wrote in there,” he said.
Jarrett donated the letter in late October when he visited Washington, D.C. It is physical proof the Holocaust happened, debunking the false claims the Holocaust never occurred, Jarrett said.
“I tell you there was no conspiracy. It happened,” he said.
This article is provided via the Kentucky Press News Service.