On April 29th, 1945, Joshua Kaufman was liberated from the hellish Dachau Nazi concentration camp. He had suffered greatly, including seeing many of his friends and family taken or killed. But on that day in April, Kaufman’s nightmare was over.
The Nazi prison guards surrendered to the U.S. Army on arrival, and the soldiers began searching the camp for prisoners. One of the soldiers who helped liberate the prisoners was Daniel Gillespie. As Gillespie began searching the camp, he entered a latrine where several people were hiding from the Nazi guards. The first person he saw was Joshua Kaufman.
Now, 70 years later, the two men were brought together in an emotional reunion.
On the left is a photo of Joshua Kaufman before he and his family were taken by the Nazis. On the right, 70 years after he was freed, Kaufman is 87.
On the left is a young Daniel Gillespie when he was serving in the U.S. Military. On the right, Gillespie at 89-years-old.
Neither man had seen each other since that day in 1945. And as chance would have it, both eventually settled in the Huntington Beach area of Southern California, not more than an hour from each other.
So, a reunion was arranged.
Kaufman expressed how he had been waiting all these years to tell Gillespie how grateful he is that he rescued him that day.
Overcome with emotion, Kaufman bent down at Gillespie’s feet. He stated that Gillespie is the man who gave him a chance at leading a full life.
“When the Americans smashed in the door, my heart did somersaults,” Kaufman said of his rescue. The event had a profound effect on both men.
(via Daily Mail)
Naturally, this was a very emotional meeting. The two men experience one of the greatest tragedies in human history, and to this day express its impact on their lives. Their story will be told on May 31st in a documentary by History Channel Deutschland.