Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27, 1945

70 years ago. Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Red Army of the Soviet Union. There aren't many survivors left--and most were children then. And there aren't a lot of us left who knew the survivors when we were growing up and listened to their stories. Some were victims of Soviet oppression in the Baltic states; others of the Nazis. Many churches were still resettling people in the 1950s. I went to college with young adults who were children rescued by American soldiers and later immigrated to the U.S. My husband's college roommate was an Italian war orphan. Mine was an escapee from Communist China.

In the early 1980s I became friends with a woman from Bexley (Columbus suburb) whose husband, although born in the U.S., was a child of his parents' second marriage. Both had been married and each had 3 or 4 children in the 1930s, but lost spouse and children in the Nazi concentration camps. After liberation they met each other in a camp and married, came as refugees to the U.S., started a second family for both, and had 4 more children. We are so fortunate to have this type of strength and faith as our foundation for American citizenship.

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