Rare Footage of Nazi Death Train Liberation Discovered 78 Years Later

By Hamodia Staff

A view of a memorial stone at the former Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in Bergen, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Recently unearthed footage taken by U.S. Army soldiers on April 13, 1945, during the liberation of a Nazi death train has surfaced after 78 years. The train, transporting 2,500 Jews from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to Theresienstadt, was saved by the 30th Division of the U.S. Army.

The train had been ordered to be blown up over the Elbe River if it couldn’t reach Theresienstadt, condemning all the Jewish passengers. However, on April 13, 1945, the train was halted near the town of Farsleben, Germany, due to Allied bombings in the area. The arrival of American soldiers caused the Nazi guards to flee, leaving behind the survivors who rushed to embrace their liberators with cries of joy.

George Gross, the commander of the American tank, recalled the encounter, describing the emaciated and starved appearance of the prisoners and their overwhelming relief upon seeing their rescuers. The poignant footage captures the soldiers distributing chocolate and cigarettes to the prisoners, some of whom were too exhausted to disembark from the train.

The discovery of this video was made during the production of a documentary about the train rescue mission, initiated by Matthew Rozell, a history teacher researching the event and interviewing American veterans involved in the rescue since 2001. The footage provides a unique visual account of the historic liberation, which was previously only documented through still photographs.

In addition to documenting the liberation, the footage also shows a meeting of American, Russian, and English soldiers after the liberation of the city of Magdeburg. It includes scenes of soldiers relaxing by the Elbe riverbank and exchanging battle experiences.

This rare footage not only bears witness to the horrors of the Holocaust but also captures the profound moment of liberation and the emotional exchange between the survivors and their liberators. It stands as a powerful reminder of the atrocities of the past and the courage of those who fought against tyranny during World War II.

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