The greatest honor, that an American veteran of World War II can have, is to be recognized as a LIBERATOR of a Nazi concentration camp. The rules that govern this honor say that, to be a liberator, the soldier must have arrived at the camp within 48 hours of the entrance of the first soldiers into the camp.
Leon Bass, an African-American soldier in the U.S. Army in World War II, who claimed this honor, has died at the age of 90. You can read the story on the online Philadelphia Inquirer here.
I previously blogged about the African American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald at
You can read all about the Buchenwald camp on this section of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html
This quote is from the news article:
As a 20-year-old U.S. Army soldier in the all-black 183d Combat Engineers Battalion, Leon Bass arrived at the Nazis’ Buchenwald extermination camp just one day after it had been liberated in April 1945.
Bass saw the living skeletons of those who survived. The camp reeked of burned human flesh. The torture chambers were still covered in blood.
After the war, Bass left the Army as a sergeant, returned to Philadelphia, and eventually became principal of Benjamin Franklin High School. He earned a doctorate in education from Temple University.