2/Time Magazine reporter Sidney Olsen (1908-1995) was with US troops at liberation. Olson’s account of the horrific conditions at #Dachau was part of the most graphic coverage of the war to date. His family hopes to turn his writings into a book. https://time.com/5812523/liberation-of-dachau-time-reporter/
3/Some info on my grandfather. Born in 1906 in Columbia, PA. His parents were both emigrees from Germany who came to US in 1890s. Ordained as Rabbi from Hebrew Union College ( @HUCJIR) in 1931. Went to MA & then AR.

His maternal uncle was killed by Nazis in #Dachau.
4/In 1937, attempted to enlist in Abraham Lincoln Battalion to fight on Loyalist side in Spanish Civil War. Turned down bc he "could do the Loyalists more good supporting their cause as a rabbi in Arkansas than by adding one more soldier to the Loyalist Army."
5/Immediately after Pearl Harbor & US declaration of war against Japan, my grandfather volunteered for military service. He was initially declined bc of poor eyesight but @USArmy ultimately decided German bullets make no distinction. Entered as Chaplain (1st Lt) in 1942.
6/Reported to duty at Camp Croft Army Infantry Replacement Training Center in South Carolina in July 1942 & spent 22 months to train & provide religious services to troops awaiting deployment to Europe & Asia.

Assigned to XV Corps under command of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade_H._Haislip.
7/In June 1944 he sailed on #QueenMary to UK (meeting Gen Eisenhower's son David), ultimately landed on #OmahaBeach on July 10, 1944. Accompanied 1st, 3rd & 7th Armies as they fought through Normandy, Battle of Bulge, crossed Rhine River & eventually moved into Germany.
8/He spent months searching French towns for surviving Jews, sadly rarely finding any. In Oct 1944, he held #YomKippur services in Luneville, a town still under German occupation. He was amazed to see 350 "battle-grimed Jewish fighters came to the synagogue for Kol Nidre."
9/He wrote: "I tell you unashamedly that, for the first time since I have been in France, I broke down and cried. No matter what I had seen before ... I had managed to steel myself against tears, but this was too much."

Over 10% of those who attended services died in next days.
10/In March 1945, he crossed into Germany. Had 1st Passover service on west bank of Rhine w/175 men. No food. Just wine & matzos. "I've never had a Seder like it before and never will again probably."
11/XV Corps took Nuremberg on April 20 (Hitler's birthday). Visited POWs in Stalag 13 on April 21st. On April 22nd, drove "the little jeep with the big Magen David" into Zeppelin Stadium. Site of many major Nazi events.
12/ Beneath gold-leafed swastika where Hitler had stood & decried Jews, they held religious service w/rescued Torah & "pledged renewed fidelity to the cause of Israel and the worship of Israel's God."

Then they blew up the swastika sky-high!
13/ https://twitter.com/MarkSZaidEsq/status/760188112744157184?s=20
14/Blowing up the swastika which my grandfather witnessed.
15/Yesterday, 75 years ago, American troops entered #Dachau's main camp. A Jewish Army Chaplain was among them. Today, 75 years ago, my grandfather entered Dachau to take over as the Jewish Chaplain at the camp. He stayed abt a week ministering to the living & dying.
16/As those who have studied the Holocaust know, what our forces came upon was unexpected. Few knew how horrific these camps were. There is nothing within my grandfather's letters or military reports that gave any indication of what he expected to see upon entering #Dachau.
17/Let me tell you in his own words what he saw upon his arrival:

"We saw the 39 boxcars loaded with Jewish dead in the Dachau railway yard, 39 carloads of little, shriveled mummies that had literally been starved to death; ...
18/...we saw the gas chambers and the crematoria,still filled with charred bones and ashes. And we cried not merely tears of sorrow. We cried tears of hate. Combat hardened soldiers, Gentile and Jew, black and white, cried tears of hate. ...
19/...Then we stood aside and watched while the inmates of the camp hunted down their former guards, many of whom were trying to hide out in various places in the camp. We stood aside and watched while these guards were beaten to death,...
20/...beaten so badly that their bodies were ripped open and innards protruded. We watched with less feeling than if a dog were being beaten. In truth, it might be said that we were completely without feeling. Deep anger and hate had temporarily numbed our emotions.....
21/...These evil people, it seemed to us, were being treated exactly as they deserved to be treated. To such depths does human nature sink in the presence of human depravity."
22/On personal level, my grandfather's text - a man of God - emotionally stuns me. No different any time I read it. Deep sigh is necessary. The human race in the form of Nazis & their collaborators sunk to depths that prevented any religious feeling. Only human hate is left. Sigh
23/Early b/w (no sound) film footage of my grandfather at #Dachau.
24/My grandfather, perhaps recognizing how his prior words - especially from a Rabbi - abt the deserved fate of Nazis, could sound, added the following in his report:

"A few paragraphs back, I wrote of deep anger and of hate. In harboring such thoughts, one must be sure that ...
25/...he is directing his thoughts towards those who are really guilty and not toward those whom he presumes to be guilty. Every time I hear some thoughtless person say that the only good German is a dead German, I think of the hundreds of Germans and Austrians I met inside ...
26/...the concentration camps, priests and ministers, lawyers and doctors, Socialists and pacifists, workers and farmers, living skeletons with eyes that burned with an imperishable prophetic fire and a boundless love for their fellow-men....
27/...I think of many Germans whom I knew who had saved Jewish lives at the risk of their own."

He then tells incredible story of SS Mann Gerhardt Schmidt. I have tried for years, to no avail, to verify this account. No one at @HolocaustMuseum, @yadvashem or #Dachau knows info.
28/Schmidt was described as perfect Nazi. Tall, blond & handsome. Luftwaffe pilot. Shot down, wounded & forced into SS. A patriotic German who loved his country but hated #Hitler, #Nazis & everything they stood for.

In my grandfather's words:
29/"In the spring of 1944, he was sent to the Jewish section of Allach [note: Dachau sub-camp] as 'block fuehrer,' section leader. He protected his Jewish flock in every way within his power. Every evening he listed in secret to the broadcasts of the BBC ...
30/...and kept the hopes of the Allach Jews buoyed up by informing them of the progress of the Allied advance. When he learned that certain Jews were destined for extermination, he hid them until the danger had passed. When a Jewish inmate would contract typhus, ...
31/...which was a one-way ticket to the gas chamber, he would smuggle the sick person out of the camp in one of the camp's straw wagons, take him to his home in Dachau where the patient would be nursed back to health by Schmidt's wife and then be smuggled back into the camp....
32/...Three days before the American liberators arrived, he hid two machine guns and bandoleers of ammunition in his straw-wagon, brought them into the camp and buried them in the Jewish section. He informed his Jewish brethren (and, God bless him, I write that word deliberately)
33/...that he would fight with them to the death against the other SS if they attempted to massacre the Jews before they retreated. Fortunately, the other SS left so fast that there was no attempt at massacre."
34/My grandfather recounts how Schmidt did not flee. He took off his uniform & went home. 3 days after liberation he returned to Allach & told US guards he was a German soldier. He was taken into custody & was going to be sent to POW camp. But the Jews of Allach intervened.
35/They told US forces they "would be grateful and happy for the privilege of taking their German comrade into 'protective custody'". They crowded around their beloved "fuehrer," hugging him, kissing his face, his hands, his feet....
37/On May 1, 1945, 75 years ago today, my grandfather went to Allach, a sub-camp of #Dachau, abt 5 miles away. It was divided into separate sections of Gentiles & Jews, abt 3,300 Jews & 6,000 Gentiles. 1st day he was there, 40 Jews & 5 Gentiles died. This became common theme.
38/Death was commonplace, even aft liberation.

"Naked bodies lying outside of barracks waiting to be carted away were a familiar sight. And the bodies not smell. There was no meat on them to rot, just skin and bones."

Occurrence became secondary, as evidenced by these words:
39/"While I was sitting on the corner of a bed in the Allach "lazarett" [hospital] talking ... the man on whose bed I was sitting died. A doctor came along, saw that the man was dead, covered his head with a sheet ...
40/...and [individual] and I continued our conversation as calmly as before. Just like that. I did not even get up from the bed."

"Poor fellow," said [individual]. "'At any rate, his worries are ended. It was a fitting eulogy.'"
41/Many times along my grandfather's journey in France to find surviving Jews, local townspeople presented him with Torahs they had hidden away from the Nazis in the hopes their friends would one day return. He presented one of them to the Jews of Allach, and they held a service.
42/"After the service, literally hundreds of people crowded around me, kissing my hand and begging for an 'autogram.' It was a very embarrassing experience. I felt it was I who should be humbling myself before them & honoring them for that which they had suffered and surmounted."
43/"I kept reminding myself that it was not I to whom they were paying homage but to the wonderful American Army which had delivered them from certain death and from physical and mental tortures worse than death....
44/...To die from a bullet is so easy and so quick, many said. But to die slowly, in mind and in body, from torture, humiliation and hunger is much worse."
45/My grandfather wrote very little of the service he conducted at Allach camp. I literally just posted all he wrote. But fortunately one witness to the service, Lt. Chester Kaplan, described it in detail in Sept 1945 issue of Jewish Chaplain. Let me share some of what he wrote:
46/"Yes, this is another story of a concentration camp. But not of the horrors or atrocities committed there; nor of the sickness or death. It is a story of beauty and everlasting faith and devotion to God, by a few plain, simple people, just like you or I."
47/"In appearance, the camp at Allach is not too different from all the others. Perhaps it is a little more crowded, as it is a predominantly Jewish camp. They had no crematorium, or death chamber, since all the executions were done about ten miles away at Dachau....
48/...Therefore, the air was comparatively fresh and the smell of death was hardly discernable until one actually went inside the enclosure."

"Our welcome ... was heart-rending and sincere as our desire to help these people, Jew and Gentile alike."
49/The survivors asked for a favor: "to attend a real Jewish service once more." My grandfather, "feeling that such devotion could not go unrecognized, determined to give them his Torah....
50/...At this announcement such a shout for joy arose as has not been heard since the Brooklyn Dodgers won two consecutive games....[W]ithin 30 seconds (or less) word had spread through the camp and inmates were gathering for the great occasion."
51/"Never was a more solemn and beautiful service held in a less pretentious setting. The straw mattresses were pushed back against the wall and a table secured and covered with a once-white cloth as an alter...About five hundred were able to crowd into the small barracks..."
52/"I was amazed to discover that this was no different from thousands of services at home in America. Here amongst these strangers, representing some thirty countries throughout the world, I was hearing the same words, ...
53/...feeling the same reactions as I had on the innumerable Saturday mornings I had attended the synagogue with my father in Kansas City many years ago."
54/"I felt someone kneeling at my feet and kissing my hand. For a moment I could not suppress a shudder of revulsion at the sight of this dirty, lice-ridden, typhus-infected skeleton of a man kneeling before me."
55/.But the tension of the atmosphere was irresistible. Michelango, himself, could hardly have done justice to the holy, radiant picture they presented in the half-light of the flickering candles....[t]hey knew that once again a Jew could hold his head high throughout the world."
56/On May 2, 1945 - 75 years ago today - my grandfather spent a second day at Allach, a sub-camp of Dachau. Administration of Allach was in the hands of a non-Jewish American officer, Lt. Schreiber, & small group of American soldiers.
57/My grandfather wrote these Americans moved heaven & earth to get food & medicine quickly to the starving & the sick. They were aided by some of the surviving inmates. Lt. Schreiber as in his early 20s & described as "toughened combat soldier" with "the heart of a saint."
58/The torah I mentioned in #41,49 that was used at Allach had been given to him by local official in Treuchtlingen who had hidden it in town hall the night of Kristallnacht ("Broken Glass") when Nazis burned the synagogue & killed the Jews there or chased them into the woods.
59/On May 3, 1945 - 75 years ago today - my grandfather returned to #Dachau after spending two days at its subcamp Allach. He was placed on temporary duty as a member of camp staff and would remain there for four more days.
60/He roomed in Army hospital that was set up outside the gates, but almost all of his time was spent inside the camp compound. Typhus was prevalent so he received an injection of anti-typhus serum. Every time he went out of camp, 3x-4x/day, he was doused with anti-louse powder.
61/As he wrote:

"By nightfall I was so full of powder that the inside of my clothes and my body were lily-white. And I certainly needed the stuff. Whether it was the son of the Gerer Rebbe or the melamed from Palenstine or the merchant from Prague ...
62/...or the plain ordinary Jew from Lodz, all the inmates were emaciated, filthy and lice-ridden. Only the Jewish doctors were clean. In some semi-miraculous way, the physicians had maintained standards of cleanliness demanded by their profession....
63/...Another exception to this condition of disease and dirt was the barracks of Hungarian, Greek and Italian Jewish girls, 160 of them, who had been brought to Dachau just a week before....
64/...Some of them had been workers in factories and farms, some had been used in German military brothels. They had been treated with so little consideration by the Germans that most of them had lost the female's normal sense of modesty....
65/...When, from time to time, my duties brought me into their barracks, they continued to dress or undress in my presence as though I were not there....
66/...I used a room in this barracks as a sort of headquarters, not because of the situation just described but because it was the only sem-cheerful spot in all of Dachau. The girls had not been in Dachau long enough to be afflicted ... and, occasionally, some of them smiled."
67/My grandfather noted that, unfortunately, when these girls were given thorough medical examinations in the ensuing weeks, it was discovered that many of them, who looked healthy outwardly, were actually afflicted with tuberculosis.
68/He wrote further:

"I did what I could, in the short time at my disposal, to bring what comfort and cheer was possible to the approximately 2,600 Jewish men and 225 Jewish women who remained among the 34,000 inmates of Dachau....
69/...I visited every barracks in where there were Jews, talked to the bed-ridden, miserable unfortunates and tried to raise their spirits. I also tried to act as a liaison between the Jews, the camp's International Prisoners' Committee and the American military authorities...
70/...At both Allach and Dachau, I supervised the gathering of a list of the names and addresses of all the Jews in the camps. The overwhelming majority of the Jews at both places were Hungarian and Polish. I met only one German Jew and a few French and Belgians."
71/In his report, my grandfather describes a "very unpleasant experience" he had soon after being assigned to Dachau staff. After liberation, many inmates left the camp & invaded the town of Dachau. They took whatever food they could find from frightened Germans (no tears here).
72/The inmates ate and ate and ate. "Their emaciated bodies could not stand the strain. A number of them literally gorged themselves to death." US medical authorities decided, in order to protect inmates, to forcibly detain them w/i compound. Proper medicine & food amounts needed
73/"The effect of this on the inmates is not difficult to imagine. Many of them were not in the proper state of mind to understand the necessity for this action and they thought that their liberators had suddenly become persecutors."
74/His description of having to deal w/inmates in this way is gripping. I'll let his words explain:

"The doctors ordered me to see to it that no inmates for out of the sections in which most of the Jews were quartered....
75/..Armed guards were placed around the fences to make sure [] this order was obeyed. Some [] inmates were still bringing food they had 'liberated' in Dachau back to the compound by means of bicycle, wheelbarrow, donkey cart or any other type of vehicle they could commandeer....
76/...Finding the gates locked, the would scurry up to the fence, throw the food parcels over the fence to those on the other side and then quickly scurry away. I was told by the medics that this would have to be stopped....
77/...I instructed the guards to frighten away the food-bearers by shooting over their heads. This worked quite well for a while, but, when the food-bearers discovered that the soldiers were not aiming directly at them, they continued their well-meant but harmful tactic....
78/...Reluctantly I was compelled to tell the guards that they would have to actually hit one of the offenders in a non-fatal spot on his anatomy in order to protect the health of those in the compound. This was done....
79/...The next fellow who tried to throw food over the fence got a well-aimed bullet through his leg, was taken off to the hospital and eventually recovered from the wound. This drastic measure halted all further efforts to get any more food over the fence."
80/May 4, 1945 - 75 years ago today - was a Friday. That morning my grandfather, along with two Protestant chaplains, represented the American Army at a mass recited by the Polish priests of #Dachau in honor of those US soldiers who had given their lives to liberate the prisoners
81/That afternoon my grandfather held services in the women's barracks, which he described as "a very touching experience". After the service, he was approached by an Army Lt. Col. who had been standing at rear of the room & approached him with tears "streaming from his eyes."
82/He introduced himself as George Stevens & he was in charge of the Signal Corps unit which is taking the official Army pictures of Dachau. He wanted to film another service for the historical record. I don't know if my grandfather knew at the time, but Stevens was a big deal.
83/He was Hollywood producer/director who had already been nominated for Academy award in 1943 for The More the Merrier. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stevens

Stevens had with him US Army b/w film equipment that recorded sound, but also his own expensive color silent film equipment.
84/My grandfather told him that a camp-wide Sabbath service was planned for next morning & that he could film it. Service was to start at 10 am in main square of the Dachau compound.
85/The International Committee promised to have platform decorated w/flags of every nation represented in camp (28). And every nationality was planning to send a delegation to the service "as an indication of its brotherly sympathy for the Jewish people."
86/It is May 5, 1945 - 75 years ago today. My grandfather arrived at 9 am to planned 10 am service. He wanted to make sure everything was ready. To his surprise, no preparation of any kind had been made. He sent for Charles Baum, a young Belgian Jew on International Committee.
87/I'll let my grandfather tell remainder of story.

"Greatly embarrassed, Mr. Baum informed me that the service would not be held in the main square. The Polish non-Jewish inmates had threatened that, if a Jewish service were held in the square, they would break it up by force..
88/...(Thius was only one of a number of ways in which the Poles of Dachau showed hostility for their fellow Jewish sufferers. I was informed that, when the Polish Red Cross distributed food packages to the Poles of Dachau,...
89/...the packages were given out on the basis of one to every Polish Christian and one to every two Polish Jews.) Rather than cause a disturbance, the Jews had decided to cancel the service in the square and to hold the service, instead, in the camp laundry,...
90/...which was only big enough to accommodate about 80 people and could, therefore, hold only a very small percentage of the Jews who would want to be present. While I was not pleased with the decision, I raised no strong objection as I felt that the Jewish inmates were more...
91/...knowledgeable in this particular situation than was I and should be allowed to do what they considered proper. So I set up an altar in the laundry and prepared for the limited service....
92/...While the service was in progress, in a jam-packed room with hundreds of others outside crowded around the open doors and windows, Colonel Stevens came in, elbowed his way to my side and demanded to know why the service was not being held in the square....
93/...His cameras and crews were ready for action and he wanted the event to go on as scheduled. I stopped the 'davaning' long enough to tell him that I would explain, after the service, what had happened. He waited outside until the end of the service to hear the explanation....
94/...After hearing the 'inside story,' he exploded in anger. 'I did not give up a good job in the movie business in Hollywood,' he bellowed, 'to risk my life in combat for months and months in order to free the world from the threat of Fascism...
95/... and then stand idly by while the very victims of Fascism seek to perpetuate its evils. I am going to do something about this.' And do something about it he did. He took me to the Camp Commandant...and with loudness of voice and much banging on the table...
96/..., George Stevens repeated his anti-Fascistic sentiments. The Commandant readily agreed with Colonel Stevens. It was decided that the service would be held next morning, Sunday, May 6, at 10 a.m. under the protection of an American military 'guard of honor.'...
97/...As an added 'movie' touch, Colonel Stevens requested that I teach some of the girls in the women's barracks to sing 'God Bless America' at the service. I did as he asked....
98/...That Saturday night I spent two hours teaching a choir of fifteen Hungarian Jewish girls to sing the Irving Berlin composition; and they learned to sing it quite well, even though they knew not one word of English."
99/Today, May 6, 2020 is 75th anniversary of my grandfather leading a major camp wide Jewish service at #Dachau concentration camp for the survivors of Nazi atrocities. #NeverForget #NeverAgain

Let me tell you the rest of the story.
100/Thanks to the instincts & fortitude of Col George Stevens, the camp-wide service was held in the main square. It was attended by every Jewish male and female whose health permitted. Every nationality was rep'd by flag & delegation. Estimated 2,000 ppl attended the service.
101/"And ringing the outer rim of the service with faces turned away from the platform and with loaded rifles and fixed bayonets was the American military 'guard of honor.' They were prepared to deal with a situation which did not develop." No untoward incident marred the service
102/"The program of the day was as follows: The opening remarks were made by Mr. Kuci, formerly Albanian Minister of Propaganda, chairman of the inmates' International Committee, who said that all the inmates of Dachau were very much aware of the exceptional intensity of Jewish..
103/...suffering there and elsewhere under the Nazi yoke and that all freemen rejoiced that the Jews of Dachau were, at long last, able to resume their religious life without hinderance....
105/...When I finished, one of the loveliest of the Dachau girls presented me with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of Dachau Jewry. Then a Palestinian 'chalutsa' came up to the platform bearing a Zionist flag and made an impromptu...
106/...speech in beautiful Sephardic Hebrew to me and the assembly. Little American and Zionist flags made by the girls from their precious store of remnant materials were presented to me as priceless 'souvenirs' of this never-to-be-forgotten occasion....
107/...My talk, given in English, was then translated into German by one of the inmates. He must have made what I said sound good because the crowd's response was very generous. Then my girls' choir sang 'God Bless America' sweetly and enthusiastically....
108/...Then Mr. Baum spoke in French and German, thanking all the non-Jewish delegations for coming to the service and also expressing the hopes and aspirations of the Jews of Dachau. The latter part of his speech was so moving that it gave everyone a chance to have a good cry...
109/...The assembly joined in the singing of 'Ha-tikva,' after which I ended the program with a benediction. The entire service, about forty-five minutes in length, was filmed with sound by Colonel Stevens and his crew....
110/...While the service was in progress, a wagon-load of naked dead came past the assembly on the way to the crematorium. Colonel Stevens ordered the cameras turned on the wagon and a filmed record made of this weird though temporary addition to the audience...
111/...For an hour after the service, I was mobbed, kissed, photographed and signed so many 'autographs' that I vowed then and there to give up completely and absolutely whatever chance I had of becoming a movie star....
112/... It was a tiring and, as mentioned before, highly embarrassing experience...."
113/Here is the actual beginning of my grandfather Chaplain #DavidMaxEichhorn's remarks in English as filmed by Col Stevens in #Dachau 75 years ago today.

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675068324_Jewish-religious-services_David-M-Eichhorn-speaks_people-gathered_people-listen
114/Additional film footage (no sound) of my grandfather, including receiving the bouquet of flowers mentioned earlier. The faces of the survivors, their tears, and even the makeshift flags, are emotionally overpowering.

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675073858_inmates_Dachau-concentration-camp_Jewish-services_flags-of-Allied-nations
115/Short film segment of many of the attendees and the platform from which my grandfather spoke.

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675055298_American-Jewish-Services_political-prisoners_flags-in-background_chaplain-at-dice
116/Film footage (with sound) of Dr. Ali Kuci, former Albanian Minister of Propaganda, at beginning of Jewish services held at #Dachau to introduce my grandfather 75 years ago today.

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675068322_Jewish-religious-services_civilian-speaks_people-gathered_people-hold-flags
117/More film footage (no sound) from the service. Take notice of the wagon cart full of shoes of the victims. #Overwhelming #NeverAgain #NeverForget

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675073855_Jewish-chaplains_Dachau-concentration-camp_conducting-church-services_individuals-weeping
118/Even more film footage (no sound) of that day at the service 75 years ago today. Warning: dead bodies in this segment.

Amazingly, I had actually not seen some of these segments until today. 😥

https://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675073855_Jewish-chaplains_Dachau-concentration-camp_conducting-church-services_individuals-weeping
119/The film (with sound) of the opening of the service where my grandfather Chaplain #DavidMaxEichhorn recited Shehecheyanu and benshed Gomel. 75 years ago today at #Dachau.
120/This is incredibly chilling and stunning to watch knowing it happened today, even those many years ago. #NeverAgain #NeverForget
121/Several years aft WW2, my grandfather was invited to Army Pictorial Center in Astoria, Queens, to watch the film from that day. The "staged" singing of "God Bless America" was still there. But the dead-wagon scene was gone.
122/"We had to take it," he was told by one of the movie people. "It seemed so improbable that a viewing audience would suspect that the scene had been 'staged.'"
123/The complete edited, b/w sound film of the Dachau service that my grandfather saw in 1948 has apparently disappeared. @USNatArchives has five reels (out of seven we believe) of raw, unedited footage, some of which I posted in this thread. But I have never found it all.
124/I began my search for the film in 1993 when I learned @HolocaustMuseum had approx 23 seconds of the silent color film footage from the service on display. Portions of footage aired in @PBS 2003 documentary "The Perilous Fight: America's WWII in Color"

https://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/ 
126/Unfortunately, we have never been able to locate all of the film footage, but I will continue to look. If anyone has any knowledge of it, please do contact me at [email protected]
127/I can share what little color film footage I have (fair use courtesy of The Perilous Fight). This was taken with Col Stevens' personal equipment. The segment features the group of Hungarian girls singing "God Bless America," which my grandfather taught them the night before.
128/Unfortunately the above clip was shortened by Twitter for size. I will try to post the color clip of my grandfather as a shorter section.
129/Color clip of my grandfather Chaplain #DavidMaxEichhorn at #Dachau.
130/The short video clips I posted only displayed a little less than half of his actual speech to survivors. Let me share with you the rest of his speech:
131/"We know that upon you was centered the venomous hatred of power-crazed madmen, that your annihilation was decreed and planned systematically and ruthlessly. We know, too, that you refused to be destroyed, that you fought back with every weapon at your command ...
132/...that you fought with your bodies, your minds and your spirit. Your faith and our faith in God and in humanity have been sustained. Our enemies lie prostrate before us. The way of life which together we have defended still lives and it will live ...
133/...so that all men everywhere may have freedom and happiness and peace. I speak to you also as a Jew, as a rabbi in Israel, as a teacher of that religious philosophy which is dearer to all of us than life itself....
134/...What message of comfort and strength can I bring to you from your fellow-Jews? What can I say that will compare in depth or in intensity to that which you have suffered and overcome?...
135/...Full well do I know and humbly do I confess the emptiness of mere words in this hour of mingled sadness and joy. Words will not bring the dead back to life nor right the wrongs of the past ten years. This is not time for words, you will say, and rightly so....
136/...This is a time for deeds, deeds of justice, deeds of love ... Justice will be done. We have seen with our own eyes and we have heard with our own ears and we shall not forget. As long as there are Jews in the world, 'Dachau' will be a term of horror and shame....
137/...Those who labored here for their evil master must be hunted down and destroyed as systematically and as ruthlessly as they sought your destruction...And there will be deeds of love. It is the recognized duty of all truly religious people to bestir themselves immediately ..
138/...to assist you to regain health, comfort and some measure of happiness as speedily as is humanly possible. This must be done. This can be done. This will be done. You are not and you will not be forgotten men, my brothers. In every country where the lamps of religion...
139/... and decency and kindness burn, Jews and non-Jews alike will expend as much time and energy and money as is needful to make good the pledge which is written in our holy Torah and inscribed on that marker in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love....
140/...We know that abstractions embodied in proclamations and celebrations must be followed by more concrete, more helpful fulfillment. We do not intend to brush aside the second part of the Divine promise: 'V'shavtem ish el achuzawso v'ish el mishpachto tawshuvu.'...
141/...Every man who has been oppressed must and will be restored to his family and to his rightful place in society. This is a promise and a pledge which I bring to you from your American comrades-in-arms and your Jewish brethren across the seas...
142/...
You shall go out with joy, and be led forth in peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before
you into singing;
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands;
143/...

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
And instead of brambles myrtles shall spring forth;
And God's name will be glorified;
This will be remembered forever,
This will never be forgotten. [Isaiah 55:12,13]"
Amen.
144/May 7, 1945, 75 years ago today, XV Corps moved to Salzburg, Austria. My grandfather was ordered to return & "obeyed the order very reluctantly. I knew [] military necessity required me to be with my men but, for many days, my heart remained with the Jews of Allach & Dachau."
145/Before he left #Dachau, my grandfather asked 7th Army Hdqs to assign a Jewish chaplain to camp immediately. Chaplain Abraham Klausner, in Paris awaiting assignment, was ordered to Dachau, where my grandfather said he "functioned "magnificently."
147/Before we leave #Dachau, let me tell you abt Chaplain Gustave Schellhase, a Lutheran & my grandfather's superior office. 75 years ago he wrote a letter to his wife telling her of Dachau. It is worth sharing:
148/"Dearest Sweetheart,
I wonder if you want to hear about my visit to (Dachau)? If you don't, then put this aside. I want to tell you about it because I have figured out the real reason why I am over here. I never knew the real reason why, but I see it now ...
149/...and believe me I am sure my stay over here is not too long to help make sure that such treatment will never be given to any people by any nation...[There follows a description of the things he saw at Dachau, concluding with:]...
150/...Do you see, Sweetheart, why I have to fight to keep hate out of my heart? I don't want to hate anyone but God help me to keep from hating these Germans!"
151/Following #Dachau, my grandfather attended to his regular duties from Austria. He made frequent visits to liberated concentration camps, particularly #Mauthausen, #Ebensee, #Leonding, #Hoersching, #Kammer, #Landeck, #Neustift & Displaced Persons hdqs.
152/In a May 26, 1945, letter to our family, he wrote: "V-E day has finally come and the war in Europe is over. Now we must stay here and try to win the peace as well and it is not very likely that I shall return to the States very soon....
153/...There is too much work of reconstruction to be done here in which we must play a part."

In same letter, he notified family that he had been awarded the Bronze Star Medal. It was pinned on by Lt. Gen. Wade Haislip, his Corps commander. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade_H._Haislip
154/I proudly possess my grandfather's Bronze Star & accompanying citation.
155/On July, 1945, XV HQ moved back to Germany in prep for deployment to Pacific Theatre in Sept. My grandfather was to stay in Europe w/HQ XXIII Corps & continue DP work. Pacific war ended & XV Corps was deactivated & sent to US. He was relieved of duty & started towards home.
156/After numerous delays, my grandfather was reunited w/family in NYC on Christmas Day, 1945. He was promoted to MAJ, joined Army Reserves in 1948 & served until 1966 when he retired as a LTCOL. He continued to work w/Jewish Welfare Board until 1968 & spent his time btwn NY & FL
157/He was a prolific author & authority on interfaith marriage. His last book "Joys of Jewish Folklore: A Journey from New Amsterdam to Beverly Hills and Beyond" (1981) is still available from the publisher: http://www.jdbooks.com/jddetails.cfm?Book=175

He died in 1986 at the age of 80.
159/In closing, let me share some of my afterword to the book: "The message and tone of my grandfather's World War II correspondence reveal a person who was a husband to one, a father to four, and a colleague to many. When I first read his letters and reports,...
160/...and even when I reread them, I could not quite equate their contents with the individual I had known. I think that, in many ways, the person who wrote those documents never returned to the United States; the man who came home was different somehow....
161/...In that sense, no doubt he was like many of his fellow soldiers. War has an effect on people, and those who have not had the experience simply cannot understand it. I cannot imagine what my grandfather felt at the time....
162/...Nor can I detail what he felt after the years had passed. Like many concentration camp survivors and liberating soldiers, my grandfather rarely discussed with his family the horrors he had seen at Dachau and else in Europe...I have little doubt that although the several...
163/...days he spent at Dachau understandably changed him forever (especially after learning that his own uncle had died in the camp), there are not the experiences my grandfather would choose to reflect his contributions to the U.S. military or the Jewish community worldwide....
END/...In fact, my guess is that he would view his entire wartime service as the time of his greatest contribution as an American, rather than as a Jew."

Thank you for allowing me to share his experiences during this important time with you.

Stay safe and healthy everyone.
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