Friday, April 9, 2010

Honoring Liberation

Posted By Ann Rabinowitz

Inmates waving a homemade American flag greet 7th Army troops upon their arrival at the Allach concentration camp, a subcamp of Dachau, April 30, 1945.
(Courtesy USHMM, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD)

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, has designated April 11-18, 2010, as “Days of Remembrance: Honoring Liberation” on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The theme for this is “Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters."

Amongst the stories of individuals who made a difference in the liberation of the camps in Europe are a well-known Jewish genealogist and his twin brother, Howard and Hilbert Margol of Atlanta, Georgia. The twins, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, served in the U.S. Army’s 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division. The Division was commanded by Major General Harry J. Collins and had a Jewish chaplain, Rabbi (Captain) Eli Bohnen.

The Rainbow Division liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945. An account of the Rainbow Division can be found in the book “Dachau 29 April 1945, The Rainbow Liberation Memoirs” edited by Sam Dann and forward by Joseph I. Liberman. There is also a site which has descriptions and photographs of the liberation.

The story of Howard and Hilbert Margol and their participation in the liberation is described in the Atlanta-based Neighborhood newspaper: http://bit.ly/9qxdJx. In addition, the brothers will be honored next week in Washington, DC, along with a number of other soldiers and Holocaust survivors at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

It goes without saying that our gratitude goes to the many brave and resourceful soldiers who put their lives on the line during World War II and especially those who helped with the liberation of the camps and their inmates. Perhaps other JewishGen Blog readers will write in and let us know their names or those of their relatives who also served like Howard Margol and his brother during the War.

Their stories are worth remembering!

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