Monday/ ‘bring jelly, and blankets’

The train tracks leading to Auschwitz’s entrance, on the cover of a 2019 book by Robert Jan van Pelt, Miriam Greenbaum and Luis Ferreiro. We have not (yet) had a World War III after 1945 — and atrocities on the scale of the Holocaust — but man! there have been horrible genocides, in Indonesia (1966), in Cambodia (1975), and in Rwanda (1994), among others, and many, many wars.

The horrors of the Auschwitz concentration camp came to an end 75 years ago. I confess that I did not know that it was the Russians that liberated the people trapped in the camp.

Here is a little bit of what Don Greenbaum (94), says of the U.S. Army Liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp (this was on April 29, 1945).  From German news weekly Die Spiegel :

We couldn’t communicate at first. The prisoners spoke all sorts of languages, German, Czech, just no English. Then we found out that one of our boys could speak Yiddish. He said: “We are American soldiers. We are here to free you. You can go wherever you want.” But where should the poor devils go? We couldn’t even feed the prisoners. People were so starved that they were unable to eat normal food. We said to the comrades behind us: “Bring something to the people here that they can keep with them! Soft food, something like jelly. Anything they can swallow. And bring blankets! “

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