Joe Rosenblum of Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland

ROOM 9D: LIBERATION: DACHAU
 

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First-Hand Account

 

From Joe Rosenblum's autobiography, "Defy the Darkness: A Tale of Courage in the Shadow of Mengele":

   "I fell asleep around midnight. I dreamed of being liberated, of the Germans disappearing and the Americans taking care of me and all the other walking skeletons we had become. I dreamed, and I hoped. Probably not more than two hours later, I woke up. Judging by the wheezing and the snoring, I was the only one awake. I heard the grinding and bouncing of armored cars, of tanks, of people talking.

I ran outside the barn. The night was inky black. I didn't see the guards, who had disappeared from the barn floor. I heard talking, but not the guttural accents of the Germans. I knew a little English, and I'd heard it quite a few times...I saw tanks the size of houses.

     I ran outside the barn. The night was inky black. I didn't see the guards, who had disappeared from the barn floor. I heard talking, but not the guttural accents of the Germans. I knew a little English, and I'd heard it quite a few times...I saw tanks the size of houses.
   I walked toward the sounds, which were perhaps twenty-five feet away, not even trying to conceal myself. I figured even if it were the Germans, I had nothing to lose. I was cold and wet, and I didn't care anymore. But I also felt in my gut that it was somebody else.
It was the Americans.
   As soon as I stepped onto the highway, the soldiers covered their eyes and cried out, 'Oh my God, oh my God.' They kept marching, but they had food in their pockets and bags, and they held it out to me, pleading, 'Here, take it; put it into your pockets...'
   Prisoners started dribbling out of the barns--first in ones and twos, then threes and fours, and then huge swarms of frail and hobbling human beings. They limped over to the Americans.
   'Americans, Americans, Americans. We're liberated. My God, we're liberated,' they screamed.
   We all started kissing each other and jumping up and down, the closest to a full-fledged jig our weakened bodies would allow us..."

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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