What it was about

“On April 19 [1945], we occupied Oranienburg, a city of 25,000 people about 35 miles from Berlin. In the middle of town was a walled compound called Sachsenhausen. Originally built for political prisoners, it was the first concentration camp, older than Dachau. For the first time we came upon survivors—just barely surviving. The majority were women from all over Europe, Jewish and Christian. They were in deplorable condition, incoherent, afraid, crying uncontrollably because they did not know who we were, with our Polish uniforms. I tried all my languages to assure them that they were safe and in good hands now. Some Hungarian women spoke German with an accent, and I told them that we were Polish and that I was Jewish. We gave them food and water from our kitchen and told them that more would be coming. That was very gratifying. I felt that if I died the next day, it was worth it to know that at least I had saved somebody.” – Bernhard Storch (interviewed by Jon Guttman in “Polish Artilleryman on the Eastern Front”)

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