Ross Haddix


Ross Haddix was born in Kentucky in 1921. As a soldier in the First Armored Division, he worked with Sherman tanks. At the end of the war he was with the 11th Armored Division in Czechoslovakia. This division liberated one of the worst camps, Mauthausen in Austria. Ross helped set up a pumping system that brought up water from the Danube River for the liberated prisoners. He also visited and photographed the camp at Gusen. He worked for many years as a printer and now lives in Xenia. He has a daughter, two grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Mauthausen is in Austria, near Linz on the Danube. Life there was particularly hard because inmates were forced to work under terrible conditions in a stone quarry. The death rate was very high, and Mauthausen was one of the last camps liberated, on May 5, 1945. About 120,000 died there. It was also one of the starting points for the ‘death marches,’ the forced treks that occurred at the end of the war when the Nazis tried to move prisoners away from the Allied advance.