I have received an e-mail from George Scott who doubts that Stephan Ross is in the photo below, which was included with his e-mail message to me. Stephan Ross has identified himself as the young boy on the far left, but was he actually at Dachau on the day that the camp was liberated?
This quote is from the e-mail message that I received from the son of George Scott:
“The young boy on the left” in this picture is NOT Stephen Ross, it is my father, George Scott. I have reached out to his family who have not ‘cleared the miscommunication”. His son Michael P. Ross sits appointed by President Obama…
The photo above is from a book about George Scott, who has identified himself in a photo taken at the Dachau liberation.
The reason that I am putting this up on my blog is that it is possible that Stephan Ross is receiving honors that should go to George Scot.
I have a whole page on my website devoted to the story of Stephan Ross because, frankly, I don’t believe his story.
The story told by George Scott is more believable: he mentions that he was a prisoner in one of the 11 Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau. In the last days, before the Dachau camp was liberated, the prisoners in the Kaufering camps were brought to the main Dachau camp.
This quote, regarding Stephan Ross is from my website:
According to the book “Dachau 29 April 1945, the Rainbow Liberation Memoirs,” edited by Sam Dann, Stephen Ross (real name Szmulek Rozental) was one of the lucky few who was rescued in the nick of time when Dachau was liberated. Ross was interviewed for the book and according to his own story, he was one of the 1,800 prisoners who were crowded into one quarantine barrack, which was designed to hold only about a hundred prisoners.
Ross said that the prisoners in the quarantine barrack had not been fed for two weeks before the Seventh Army arrived. Food was scarce, and according to Ross, the prisoners were fed only occasionally when they were given “a biscuit, hard as a rock and covered with mold.”
From the quarantine block, Ross said that 80 to 100 prisoners a day were carried out and put on the pile of dead bodies near the barbed wire fence, from where they were taken to the crematory.
According to Ross, the quarantine block was where the German SS Doctors Sigmund Rascher and Klaus Schilling selected prisoners for their ghastly experiments. The doctors “removed thirty to forty prisoners on a daily basis for experiments” according to Ross.
Ross said that he “had been isolated in quarantine for experiments since 1944.”
On the day of liberation, Ross made his way to the main gate, although he said that he “was very weak and hardly able to walk.”
With the help of his brother, who was also in the camp, Ross made it to the front of the crowd and was included in one of the most famous photographs of the liberation, shown at the top of this page.
The photo above shows Stephan Ross with his son Mike Ross in June 2002.
Quoted below is the continuation of the article on my website about Stephan Ross.
After the liberation of Dachau, Ross had to stay in the camp until the typhus epidemic was brought under control. When he was released, he made his way to Munich where he was hospitalized for 6 months and treated for tuberculosis.
He was then sent to a Displaced Persons camp for orphans at a former forced labor camp in Landsberg am Lech, near Munich. Finally, he was brought to America where he was able to recover his health.
Stephan Ross is the founder of The New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston.
Like so many others Stephan Ross suffered terribly. His back was broken by a guard who caught him stealing a raw potato. Tuberculosis wracked his body. He once hid in an outhouse, submerged to his neck in human waste, to save himself from being shot. At one time he was hung [by his arms] for eating a raw potato. At age fourteen he was liberated from the infamous torture camp Dachau by American troops. Stephen will never forget the soldiers who found him, emaciated and nearly dead. They liberated him from a certain death.
When Stephan and his older brother, Harry, the only other surviving family member, were released from the Dachau Camp to seek medical attention, they came upon a U.S. Tank Unit. One of the soldiers jumped off his tank, gave Stephan and Harry his rations to eat and put his arms around Stephen. Stephan fell to his knees, kissed the G.I.’s boots and began to cry for the first time in five years.
The soldier took out of his pocket a piece of cloth and gave it to Stephan to wipe his tears. Stephan later found out that it was a small American Flag with 48 stars. This small flag is a treasured item and it will be kept by Stephan and his children as a symbol of freedom, life, compassion and love of the American soldiers.
At the age of 16, Stephan was brought to America in 1948 under the auspices of the U.S. Committee for Orphaned Children. He was illiterate, having had minimal education prior to the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939. Over the years, he managed to earn three college degrees. Stephan made a new life in the Boston area and has worked for the City of Boston for over forty years.