Scrapbookpages Blog

April 29, 2013

Holocaust survivor was standing in line for the gas chamber on the day that Dachau was liberated.

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:45 pm

Today, the United States Holocaust Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary. You can read about it online here.

This quote is from the news article about the USHMM:

For 20 years, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has reminded visitors of atrocity, grief and survival.

On Monday, nearly 4,000 supporters joined 843 Holocaust survivors and 130 veterans to celebrate its 20th anniversary and hear speeches from President Bill Clinton and museum founding chairman Elie Wiesel.  Under a large tent outside the museum, just south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., survivors talked with American soldiers who liberated concentration camps, sharing their stories.

Ernest Gross, who survived the Dachau concentration camp, searched for years to find a camp liberator. He found one in Don Greenbaum of Philadelphia. The two traveled to Washington to attend the ceremony together.

“I was transported from Camp 7 to Dachau to be gassed and to go into the ovens,” Gross told ABC News just before the ceremony, from his seat next to Greenbaum.

“I was standing in line, and I was close enough that I was able to see the ovens, and all of a sudden I see the German soldiers are throwing their weapons down,” Gross said.  “I didn’t know why I turned around, and I saw the American Army liberating the camp, and for 67 years I looked for somebody who liberated me to thank him.”

The USHMM website has a page about Ernest Gross, which mentions that he was a prisoner in the Kaufering VII sub-camp of Dachau.  In the last days of the war, the prisoners in the eleven Kaufering camps were evacuated to the Dachau main camp, except for Kaufering IV which was the camp for sick prisoners.

Now we know why the prisoners were brought from the Kaufering sub-camps to the main camp.  It was not to allow them to be liberated by the American Army which was on its way to Dachau.  No, Ernst Gross and the rest of the Kaufering prisoners were brought to the main camp to be killed in the gas chamber.  Ernst was saved in the nick of time.