The library holds a very few recordings of local presentations on Indian and local history and culture, and is in the process of identifying and acquiring more, especially material from Alvin himself. The Library of Congress lists 62 audio recordings Josephy made in the Pacific as a WW II Marine journalist, and another dozen concerning Tammany Hall criminal affairs made in 1938—presumably for WGN Radio in New York. As materials are acquired and cataloged they will be made available to the public; currently, any material in hand is available for library use.
To view our video archives of brown bag cultural lectures & other events, click here.
Live Guam NBC Broadcast reported by Sgt. Alvin Josephy –
Jack McClaran and the Liberation of Buchenwald –
Jack McClaran grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch in Snake River country in Oregon, and graduated high school in Lewiston, Idaho in the spring of 1944. Just nine months later he was a US Army tanker involved with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.
Jack came home after the war, went to college at the University of Idaho, and came back to the Snake River to the family ranch. The sheep are now gone, and three granddaughters–the fourth generation–are now running the cattle ranch.
Jack and Marge McClaran met Alvin and Betty Josephy while Alvin was researching his book on the Nez Perce. The Josephys bought a small ranch near Joseph, Oregon, and the friendship grew. It was a long and important friendship, and I know that one of the reasons that Jack decided to tell his story to a rapt audience of more than 100 in the Oddfellows Hall in Enterprise was that Alvin had written a memoir that included details of his war in the Pacific. Alvin told Jack there were holocaust deniers out there, and he and their generation needed to get their experiences on the record now.
Jack, Marge, Alvin and Betty are all gone now, but that record of a young man’s searing experience of the death and destruction at Buchenwald are not. And Jack’s words are as haunting now as they were on that night on April 14, 2009 at the Oddfellows Hall in Enterprise, Oregon.