Contact Us

Last Living American Typist During Nazi War Crimes Trials Tells His Story [VIDEO]

Abby Faulkner

ST. JOSEPH – Over ten million people were murdered by the Nazis in World War II, and a St. Joseph man is one of the last remaining American Veterans able to give a first-hand account of the moments when the United States Army handed down justice to the war criminals of the world famous Nuremberg Trials.

65 years ago, Larry Tillemans played a key role in these trials as an evidence clerk and typist. Now, at the age of 85, Tillemans is determined to continue telling the story of what he saw and heard during that year.

Tillemans grew up in the small Minnesota town of Minneota. From an early age, he wanted to become an army soldier. He never predicted that a few typing classes in high school would influence his role in the armed forces, and change his life forever.

I was just out of high school, and they asked, “Well, what do you know how to do?” So, I put down ‘expert typist.

Following the completion of  the War, Tillemans was given the very important duty of  clerk and typist to assist in reviewing, documenting and archiving 360 Holocaust witness testimonies, complete with over 200,000 pieces of evidence illustrating the genocide of over 10 million Europeans. Tillemans said the high volume of evidence made the trials a long affair.

They went from October to October, 216 days or about 11 months. I was on duty for 9 of those months at both Dachau and Nuremberg.

Through these trials, 22 of 24 major Nazi War criminals were convicted of crimes against humanity, 12 of whom were sentenced to death by hanging. Tillemans says the stories and pictures he hear and saw in his 9 months of work, including images of prisoners being taken away to gas chambers, have haunted him through his whole life.

There were men, women, children, all naked, waiting for a shower when they got off those cattle cars. But, instead, they got “a shower.” There were many nights I would go to sleep, crying.

Over time, these memories took a toll on Tillemans’ emotional health. A recovered alcoholic of 20 years, Tillemans continuously speaks to schools, churches and community groups on the harrowing details of the Nazi genocide. He’s delivered his presentation over 400 times in the last 20 years.

As the last living American veteran to archive these harrowing trials , Tillemans feels it is his responsibility to share his first-hand account of the horrible and hateful acts humankind can commit with the hope that it will never happen again.

And frankly, there’s no better day than today to thank veterans like Tillemans who have devoted their lives to fighting for justice.

Here’s a video of short highlights from our visit with Larry Tillemans.

Larry Tillemans: Last Remaining American Nuremberg Trials Typist – YouTube.

More News from WJON

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wjon.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on AM 1240 WJON quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on AM 1240 WJON quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!