About the Project
In 2016, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission approached Texas Tech University with the task of creating an educational tool by which students across Texas would be familiarized with the liberation of the concentration camps in the European Theater of War during the Second World War. The commission provided access to the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University’s collected oral histories of Texans who were veterans of the Second World War and who played a role in the liberation of concentration camps across Europe. Using these testimonials, the team at Texas Tech University developed a digital app to help share the stories of the Texas Liberators with high school students across the state. Texas Tech created a narrative by which students could come to understand the extremes of savagery and fanaticism, humility and humanity of the Second World War from the perspective of the American soldier.
The Texas Liberator Project includes the app, this website, a large format, display quality book featuring the narratives of 21 of the Texas liberators, and an exhibit at the Museum of Texas Tech University. Led by Dr. Aliza Wong, Associate Dean of the Honors College, and faculty mentors Mr. Jiawei Gong, Mr. Christian Pongratz, Dr. Robert Peaslee, and Dr. Randy Reddick, teams of Texas Tech University undergraduate and graduate students took on the gargantuan task of honoring the men and women who sacrificed so much to ensure the liberation, survival, and memory of the Holocaust.
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) is to promote awareness and enhance understanding of the Holocaust and other genocides in the world. Since its founding in 2009 by Senate Bill 482, the THGC has dedicated its resources, energy, and expertise to the education of teachers and students to better recognize and acknowledge the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy. This commission was created to reaffirm the commitment of the State of Texas and its citizens to choose right over wrong, good over evil, and through those choices to continue to fight the malevolent forces that would perpetrate genocides and make us question our own humanity. Through education and engagement, the THGC seeks to remind the public of its collective responsibility in not only preventing but ending, once and for all, this type of human cruelty.