Last-living WWII Nuremberg trial typist in town

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- A rare witness to a dark chapter in world history spoke to around 250 people Thursday evening at an event in Mt. Pleasant. Larry Tillemans is thought to be the last known living American clerk typist during the Nuremberg trials held after WWII in Germany to judge Nazi war criminals.

Tillemans was just 19 years old when he worked the trial of the century.

"The trials were held in the American zone and I was a typist. Not too many soldiers typed too well back then," said Larry Tillemans. "Somehow or another it was decided that I have the part of the interviews talking about the Holocaust in the Nuremberg trials because I was there."

Now 87 years old, Tillemans recalls interviewing Holocaust survivors about the horrors that took place in the Nazi German death camps.

"I'd go to bed and cry at nights," Tillemans remembers. "It was horrible what had happened. Most of them were starved, most of them went through the gas chambers and died."

Despite being deeply affected, Tillemans said he knew he had a job to do in order to get it all recorded so that no one would ever forget or deny what happened.

"I know I'm only one, but at least I told my story," Tillemans said.

The WWII vet has given nearly 500 presentations and talked to 30,000 people about his story. Tillemans said he'll go on speaking to anyone willing to listen as he has a profound wish to prevent future holocausts.

"Never forget the Holocaust. The Holocaust was evil and evil will thrive if the good men say nothing," he said.

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