Obama's great-uncle recalls liberating Nazi camp
Charles T. Payne had his first close brush with history at the end of World War II, when his infantry division liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Nazis' Buchenwald concentration camp.
Now 83, Payne is experiencing a second brush as the great-uncle of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Payne spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday as Obama, on the other side of the world, prepared to visit the Yad Vashem national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
In May, Obama mentioned"Uncle Charlie" at a meeting with veterans but mistakenly said Payne had helped liberate Auschwitz, when he should have said Buchenwald. Bloggers seized on the error and the Republican Party demanded an explanation.
Obama's campaign corrected the mistake the next day. Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz as they marched across Poland in January 1945.
Payne, with an Obama button pinned to his shirt, told the AP he was"truly
astonished" by the attention paid to Obama's flub. The brother of Obama's
maternal grandmother, Payne figures Obama heard the story wrong from his
grandparents,"whose grasp of geography wasn't always the firmest." He
said at the time he asked friends if he should"try to set the record
straight," but that they advised him to ignore it.
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims