Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Oral History Archive

Learn about War, Trauma, and Humanities

NEH Grant Supports new course “War, Trauma, and the Humanities”

As an update for my upcoming work on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant (Dialogues on the Experience of War), I wanted to share with you all the very cool poster promoting the new college course for this fall.

The course will be given at Governors State University, located in Chicago, and is overseen by Dr. Andrae Marak. The goal of “War, Trauma, and the Humanities” is to promote a greater understanding of the impact war and trauma has upon veterans. Students will learn about this important topic through literature, film, and group discussions with veterans. This interactive and multi-disciplinary course will conclude with a televised town hall discussion involving students, veterans, and members of the public.

My contribution to the course will be to lead a discussion on oral history interviews of veterans as evidence of trauma as well as to educate students on oral history interview techniques. Feel free to contact me (patrick@makehistoryproject.com) if you would like to learn more about this course, or if you would like to participate in future projects involving this topic.

war trauma

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock

Vetean Oral History InterviewVeteran oral history interview for WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock is now available.

Patrick Russell completed this interview on February 10, 2015, in Lima, Peru.

WWII Veteran Harald Mayrock is a German Paratrooper from the 7th Paratrooper Division, 1st Company. Harald was born in Lima, Peru. As fate would have it, Harald’s father, who was German, took Harald to Germany to enroll him in a prestigious school right before WWII broke out. In fact, Harald’s parents were on a ship ready to leave when they were ordered to disembark just prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland. After the start of World War II, Harald was drafted into the Luftwaffe and served in a heavy mortar platoon in Holland, Yugoslavia, and Germany.

During this interview, Harald reflects upon his childhood, how he arrived in Germany, the state of Germany prior to the war, his military service, the end of the war, his time as a prisoner of war, and his fantastic journey to reunite with his family and then return to Peru.

 

World War II Veteran Stan Saltz Interviewed

WWII Veteran Stanley SaltzOn June 18th, I was honored to meet and interview World War II Veteran Stanley Saltz in Delray Beach, Florida.  PFC Saltz served with the 75th Infantry Division as a combat engineer.  Stanley Saltz was primarily responsible for finding and disabling mines and boobytraps.

Stanley participated in the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhine River crossing, and the liberation of the notorious concentration camp, Dachau.  The most memorable memory for PFC Saltz is his rescue of a German police dog on Christmas Eve during the Battle of the Bulge.  After patching up the wounds of the dog, Stanley named his new friend “Santa” and swears that Santa saved not only his but the lives of his squad countless times.

For his service PFC Saltz received the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and the French Legion of Honor.  Stay tuned for a video excerpt of the oral history interview.