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I Bore Witness John E. Dolibois

John E. Dolibois (1918—2014) 

Military Intelligence Officer and Nazi Interrogator, Luxembourg

B.A. in Psychology Miami University, Class of 1942 

Jean “John” Ernst Dolibois was born on December 4, 1918 in Bonnevoie, Luxembourg into a strict Catholic family. After John’s mother, Maria, died, the Dolibois family struggled through the economic depression. They emigrated to Akron, Ohio in 1931 where John excelled in school. He earned a scholarship to Miami University and graduated in 1942. Drafted into the U.S. Army in November of that year, John trained to be an interrogator at Camp Richie, Maryland. On April 13, 1945, John arrived in Europe for his first military intelligence assignment. En route to his post at the interrogation center in Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, Dolibois visited Dachau concentration camp and helped distribute food and water to recently liberated inmates. During his three months at Mondorf-les-Bains, John interrogated high-ranking Nazis captured during the war, including Hermann Goering and the antisemitic publisher, Julius Streicher. He also provided additional intelligence support during the Nuremberg Trials. John served as the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1981-1985.

Identification pass of John E. Dolibois, Nuremberg Trials, 1945 front (blue side) and back (yellow side) Courtesy of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center.

Daily Prison Log, Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, 1945. Courtesy of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center.

Dolibois’s story is one of ten extraordinary personal journeys of Miami alumni and faculty told in the exhibition, Bearing Witness: The Holocaust and Jewish Experience at Miami University, co-hosted by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives and Hillel at Miami University.