Richard Bradford Elberfeld (1923—2010)
B.S. in Business Administration Miami University, Class of 1947
Yearbook photographs of Richard Elberfeld, 1943 and 1947
Richard was born in Pomeroy, Ohio and attended Miami University before volunteering as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in 1943. He served with the British in India and was transferred to the European theatre of war in 1944. His ambulance unit was part of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945. Richard spent four weeks taking care of camp survivors alongside the British Army. As part of his responsibilities, he helped clean and delouse survivors, oversaw their recovery, and arranged for the burial of victims. In his testimony after the war, Richard describes the abject horror he witnessed during his time at Bergen-Belsen and his difficulties coping with the trauma. After being released from the American Field Service in June 1945, Richard returned to Miami University and graduated in 1947. He was later honored as a Liberator by the U.S. Holocaust Commission.
Front cover of Nazi Hel SS, 1945 and Inside cover of Nazi Hel inscribed with the names of British and Canadian soldiers who liberated Bergen-Belsen
Richard’s story is one of ten extraordinary personal journeys of Miami alumni and faculty told in the exhibition, Bearing Witness: The Holocaust and Jewish Experience at Miami University, co-hosted by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives and Hillel at Miami University.