Longform

Foreign Correspondence

Page 12 of 12

Except for a stint running an ASU-sponsored Peace Corps program in Brazil, from 1964 to 1967, this is where the Creasmans remained. Creasman became the school's director of university relations in 1967. He came to be known as "Mr. ASU" for his long service with the school. He led the successful ballot effort in 1958 to change the school's name to Arizona State University. For years, he showed up at just about every Saturday home football game to be the voice of the Sun Devil Marching Band. He retired from the university in 1984, but kept an office there for years afterward.

Creasman had been right about Dachau. He carried it with him the rest of his life. Whenever a book was written about it, he bought it. Whenever he came across articles featuring old Rainbow Division soldiers recounting their experiences at Dachau, he wrote to them. He kept dozens of photocopies of the article he'd written for the Rainbow Division's newsletter and distributed them to anyone who asked. He also kept photographs of the terrible things he witnessed there.

Dachau was the first thing he mentioned to me about the war when I met him in the alley two years ago. The thoughts and images it stirred up still made him shake his head. "I just had no idea," he told me. "All those bodies and the smell. You just couldn't have imagined anything that perverse."

In the few months before he died, Creasman had very little strength, his grandson Robert Miller, an attorney with the state Attorney General's Office, told me recently. "He couldn't get out of bed, and he couldn't speak very loudly at all. Yet he talked over and over about Dachau and what he had seen there. And he kept the books about it right there beside his bed."

Creasman died last August, at age 85.

Contact Edward Lebow at his online address: [email protected]

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Edward Lebow
Contact: Edward Lebow