Thursday, Mar 19, 2020
3163 Regent Avenue
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
The soldiers of the 104th Infantry, the famed “Timberwolf” Division, slogged through the worst winter in Europe in fifty years and were under continual bombardment night and day for three months. They passed bodies of Nazi soldiers in the ditches along the roads and went through burning, abandoned villages and bombed-out cities. Nothing, however, could have prepared them for the piles of emaciated corpses and the walking dead that they met at two concentration camps. Chaplain Ernest Tonsing, who was with the headquarters unit of the Timberwolves, was one of the first to enter Nordhausen—a death camp, and Dora—the underground factory that used slave-labor to build the V-1 and V-2 rockets that rained down upon England. His son, Dr. Ernst F. Tonsing, CLU Professor Emeritus of Religion and Greek, will tell about what his father saw in these camps, will share some unpublished photographs that the chaplain took, and speak about the emotional consequences for his father of his encounter with the Holocaust.
Photo: Portrait of Ernest B. Tonsing, 1943. Courtesy of the Tonsing Family.