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Benjamin Cooper [11/23/2010]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 45th Infantry Division
  • Location of Service: Camp Barkeley, Texas
  • Highest Rank: Technician Five
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/79737

View full service history

"But then came the horror and cruelty beyond one's imagination could ponder upon. There was Dachau, Buchenwald, and more camps about, where civilization was simply wiped out." (Video interview, 1:24:04)

Technician Fifth Grade Benjamin Cooper did not write many letters home to his wife during his time serving as a front-line combat medic in operations in France and Germany. The number of comrades he had lost made him superstitious about such things. Once the fighting ended, however, he wrote her a poem that reflected on the horrors he had witnessed. Assigned to the 45th Infantry Division during the drive into Germany that ended the war in Europe, Cooper endured intense combat operations such the Battle of Nuremburg and was among the first American troops to enter the concentration camp at Dachau. As a Jewish American, Cooper was profoundly disturbed by the atrocities of the Holocaust. After staying silent about the war for 45 years, Cooper began speaking to school children about his wartime experiences. In these talks, he emphasized the importance of standing up to bullies and treating others with kindness in our everyday lives.

Interview / Recording

Transcript

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About this Item

Title

  • Benjamin D. Cooper Collection

Names

  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Lyko, James
  • Cooper, Benjamin D.
  • McGuckin, Briana

Home State

  • Connecticut

Headings

  • -  Cooper, Benjamin D.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • White

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 45th Infantry Division
    • Location of Service: Camp Barkeley, Texas
    • Highest Rank: Technician Five
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVD [2 items] -- Oral history interview (collected 2011-06-30)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Photograph: Digital print [1 item] -- Photograph (collected 2010-11-23)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2011-06-30; 2011-08-23)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2011-06-30; 2011-08-24)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of video recording (collected 2011-06-30)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/79737

Cite as

  • Benjamin D. Cooper Collection (AFC/2001/001/79737), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • online text
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Wars & Conflicts

Service Branch

Location of Service

Service Unit

Highest Rank

Service Entrance

Discharge Status

Gender

Race

Home State

Interviewee

Interviewer

Organization/Affiliation

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Central Connecticut State University, James Lyko, Benjamin D Cooper, and Briana McGuckin. Benjamin D. Cooper Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79737/.

APA citation style:

Central Connecticut State University, Lyko, J., Cooper, B. D. & McGuckin, B. (1942) Benjamin D. Cooper Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79737/.

MLA citation style:

Central Connecticut State University, et al. Benjamin D. Cooper Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79737/>.