Holocaust survivors meet liberators
Posted 30 March 2008 - 06:18 AM
Updated: 03/28/2008 03:28 PM
By: Ilin Chen
FAYETTEVILLE -- Several Holocaust survivors gathered in Fayetteville for a special reunion on Friday. They got to meet the American soldiers who helped free them during World War II. It was a meeting that was important for both groups.
Elisabeth Seaman was 6 years old in April of 1945. She was being transported by train from the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp when she encountered her first American soldier. But it’s not the green of his uniform she recalls most.
"What I remember was getting off the train, and I have this memory of wildflowers or grass, and it was really the first time that something really showed up in color because my memories of the camp were all kind of in black and white,” she said.
The conditions under which they were held were deplorable. For Seaman and about 2,500 other prisoners, that was the day they were liberated by the soldiers of the 30th Infantry Division.
"We gave them candy, and adults cigarettes, and the little bit of food that we had extra. And these people were very thankful for their liberation by the Americans,” World War II veteran Frank Towers said.
Now 63 years later, several survivors finally met and got to know their liberators.
"For me to look back, I had a part in the liberation of these people and getting them started on a new life and bringing them up to where they are today,” Towers said.
Those people include a neurosurgeon, an educator, and a conflict mediator, lives that now have color even if some of the memories are in black and white.
"I just want to give these men a big hug and a big thank you because they gave us our life essentially we felt at the time,” Seaman said. “Ever since then, I've just been so admiring of the U.S. and anything American."
The Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp was the same one that Anne Frank and her family were held at. The 30th Infantry Division's reunion continues through the weekend. Artifacts are on display at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux, and the public is invited to come.
News 14 | 24 Hour Local News | Sandhills | Holocaust survivors meet liberators
For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.
Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:24 AM
Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:59 PM
Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow"
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