A former World War II prisoner of war shared his unbelievable experiences with students at the Jeff Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport on Thursday.
Claude Letulle grew up in Paris, and was drafted into the French army in 1939. One year later, he was captured by the Germans, and spent four years as a slave laborer in various camps.
As punishment for threatening to kill a guard, Letulle was forced to work in a hospital. There, he witnessed Nazi doctors who tortured prisoners, and performed medical experiments on them. Letulle says he was present when the doctors castrated men, crushed prisoners' fingers to study broken bones and performed sadistic forms of sexual perversion.
Letulle says it's important for students to hear about such atrocities from someone who has lived through the horror. Letulle says it hurts him sometimes to talk about his ordeal, but the students need to know what happened. He says they only learn from the history books. He spent 4 years as a prisoner and he knows what the Germans did to other human beings.
In 1944, Letulle was repatriated to France as part of a prisoner exchange. He fought in the French underground until the end of the war.
Letulle has written a book, telling his personal story as a survivor of the Holocaust. It's titled "Nightmare Memoir." He has received numerous medals of bravery. Letulle is a retired chemist who currently lives in Jackson, Louisiana.