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John C. McManus 

When: Mon., July 25, 7 p.m. 2016
Price: free admission
A soldier's lot during wartime is risk, fear and death. These troops are trained to believe that the side they fight for is morally right, allowing for no doubts about the justification of the killing their government has ordered them to do. But the end of WWII in Europe presented a select group of soldiers with something their training hadn't prepared them for. When the Ohrdruf concentration camp was captured by American soldiers in April 1945, they saw firsthand the atrocities the Nazis had committed against the Jews, the homosexuals and the Roma people. These horrors may have proved the morality of the Allied side, but that knowledge paled in light of the unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity the soldiers were forced to confront. Historian John C. McManus examines the lives of these first responders after they faced the ultimate evil in his new book, Hell Before Their Very Eyes. He discusses and signs his work at 7 p.m. tonight at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or Admission is free.
— Paul Friswold


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