Zelda Abramson Profile picture
Nov 11, 2021 15 tweets 13 min read Read on X
My father was a survivor of #DachauDeath March. #RemembranceDay2021
The viciousness endured during #DachauDeathMarch is unimaginable. Dressed in threadbare striped uniforms, some had wooden shoes, others barefoot, they were paraded through 18 Bavarian towns in Southern Germany. #RemembranceDay2021
May 1, 1945, my dad tells: “We were travelling for three days. They took us in a group to shoot us. We laid down. We laid calmly. It was cold, there was frost. When we woke up in the morning, we saw no one. The guards ran away. We started running and the Americans liberated us.”
10 cms of snow had fallen. The #522ndFieldArtilleryBattalion of US Army travelling towards Austrian border to capture Hitler's vacation home . 64 km south of Dachau, they stumbled upon bodies lying in fields covered in snow or like my dad, wandering aimlessly along the highway
522nd battalion was a segregated, all #JapaneseAmerican (#Nisei) unit. Many of Nisei volunteers from US mainland came from internment camps, set up by the American govt for unfounded reasons of national security. #RemembranceDay2021 @njamemorial @DenshoProject @gv_jcca @ushmm
When Masao Watanabe was asked (in a 1998 interview for the Densho Encyclopedia) why he volunteered for the US Army, he answered: “I did not know which was worse, being locked up in camps or going to war. In my mind barbed wires aren’t very inviting.” @njamemorial
Nisei soldier, Clarence Matsumura described what he witnessed:
In an open field, we found several hundred prisoners lying, in many cases unable to move.
"Some were shot, and some were dead from exposure... [We] saw that these people were starving, and we tried to feed them and they couldn’t take the food. Some of them died in my arms, unable to swallow the food that we had given them. I cried. @njamemorial
@DenshoProject @ushmm
"I still feel guilty to this day…. For the next three days, we camped in the small town of Waakirchen. We worked day and night to carry these ex-prisoners into barns and into buildings. " @njamemorial @DenshoProject @gv_jcca @ushmm #RemembranceDay2021
Days before the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion liberated the Death March prisoners, Nisei soldiers also partook in the liberation of at least two #DachauConcentration subcamps; this has largely gone unacknowledged. @njamemorial @DenshoProject @gv_jcca @ushmm #RemembranceDay2021
#NiseiSoldiers were ordered by their commanding officers to never reveal their part in the liberation of Dachau and the Dachau Death March prisoners. @njamemorial @DenshoProject @gv_jcca @ushmm #RemembranceDay2021
We can only speculate that the US command would not allow any public recognition of the #JapaneseAmerican soldiers for their heroic service. @njamemorial @DenshoProject #RemembranceDay2021
The Jews of Dachau were incarcerated for no other reason than being Jewish. They were saved by Japanese American soldiers whose own families were incarcerated for no other reason than being of Japanese ancestry. @njamemorial @DenshoProject @gv_jcca @ushmm
Months after end of the war, #NiseiSoldiers returned to the US as unsung heroes and helped resettle their families. There still continues to be a lack of acknowledgement of their remarkable contributions in World War II. @njamemorial @DenshoProject #RemembranceDay2021
I for one am deeply grateful to the JapaneseAmerican #NiseiSoldiers for the liberation of the #DachauDeathMarch Jews
@njamemorial @DenshoProject #RemembranceDay2021 @gv_jcca @ushmm
#VeteransDay2021 #justice

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