Anthony Del Duca was born in 1926 in the town of Chieti, Italy to a Catholic family, but mainly grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He had quite a few Jewish friends while growing up. When he was eighteen years old, Anthony was drafted into the army.
After his training, Anthony was shipped overseas to Le Havre, France. He participated in a number of battles including Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge, and received numerous honors for his bravery including the purple heart and three bronze stars for valor. As the war was drawing towards its conclusion, Anthony was told about the concentration camps. Reportedly, there were over one thousand murders of prisoners per day which created a sense of urgency for Anthony. In May of 1945, Anthony and the troops liberated the concentration camp Mauthausen-Gusen.
This particular camp was considered to be one of the worst camps. A variety of disgustingly brutal actions were forced upon the prisoners, including injecting women with cholera and typhus for experiments. The guards there were known to force prisoners off the edge of a cliff. They sprayed prisoners with water and left them to freeze to death. Anthony and the other soldiers were enraged by these stories and the conditions they witnessed. They guarded the camp for three weeks.
Anthony eventually moved to Naples where he and his son had a cement business. Even decades later the memories of the war still haunted Anthony.
Anthony Del Duca discusses the first moments when he arrived, as a soldier, at Mauthausen.