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Entering Buchenwald Prison Camp

Heroes Remember

Entering Buchenwald Prison Camp

The train carried on, so on the fifth day the train stopped. The doors opened and wow, what a greeting. We were greeted by dozens and dozens of screaming military uniform people with dogs and whips and rifles and they were actually coming up on the boxcar grabbing people and throwing them on the siding, yelling and screaming and dogs are biting and so we thought, this can't be a prisoner of war camp because we could see what looked like a camp in the distance so the Germans were yelling and pointing and so it was to our advantage to move in that direction because if not you were getting bit by the dogs or hit by the whip or the rifle and as we went in that direction, that the German SS were pointing at, we could see what looked like a camp, we could see barbwire, we could see guard towers and low lying buildings but we didn't see the thing that scared us the most, as we got closer to the camp and out of the wooded area, we saw this building with a tall chimney, smoke belching out of it. And as we entered this camp, then we heard the word, Buchenwald. Buchenwald, the most notorious concentration camp in Germany.

Mr. Carter-Edwards recalls witnessing the sights of buildings with smoke stacks, hearing the word “Buchenwald” and realizing their destination.

Ed Carter-Edwards

Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards was born on April 2, 1923, in Montréal, Quebec, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He enlisted in August 1942, and then joined 427 (Lion) Squadron, 6 Royal Canadian Air Force Group, in Leeming, England. He was a wireless operator air gunner and completed 21 successful missions in a Halifax bomber. On his 22nd mission, Mr. Carter-Edwards was shot down near Paris. He was betrayed to the Gestapo by a collaborator, threatened with execution and forced into the Fresnes prison, near Paris. He spent five weeks in the prison in 1944 followed by a five-day trip in a French cattle car to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. He was there for three and a half months as one of 26 Canadians - 168 allied airmen in all. He was forced to participate in two death marches shortly before the end of the war. Once released from service and safely back home, Mr. Carter-Edwards returned to Hamilton and worked at the appliance manufacturer Westinghouse. He was married in 1946, and he and his wife raised three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 25, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Ed Carter-Edwards
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
4th Medium Artillery Regiment
Wireless Air Gunner

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