During WWII, Joshua Kaufman was enduring the unthinkable at the hands of the Nazi guards at the Dachau death camp before the American soldiers stormed the facility and rescued the captives. Seven decades later, a German documentary crew found the two men and planned the reunion.
Holocaust survivor Joshua Kaufman saluted World War II soldier Daniel Gillespie, who liberated him from a Nazi concentration camp seven decades ago. Joshua Kaufman was enduring the unthinkable at the hands of the Nazi guards at the Dachau death camp before the American soldiers found the facility and rescued the captives. A German documentary crew found the two men and planned the reunion.
There were tears, as the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor came face-to-face with Daniel Gillespie, the soldier who saved his life. It’s been 71 years since the incredible rescue, but for these two men, the memories came flooding back.
“I love you so much,” Kaufman told Gillespie. Then the Holocaust survivor kissed the hand of the World War II veteran and said, “I have wanted to do this for 70 years. I came out of h**l into the light. For that, and to him, I am eternally grateful.”
He then kissed the feet of the veteran who now uses a walker to get around. The powerful photo has been shared by millions worldwide.
Kaufman said he was nothing more than a “walking corpse” when the American soldier, now 89, marched into the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.
Daniel Gillespie was a machine gun operator in the 42nd Rainbow Division. The unit marched into the Nazi concentration, shocked and mortified at what they saw as the prisoners emerged from their dwellings. Gillespie walked into block 11 of the first concentration camp built by the Nazis in 1933.
Kaufman emigrated to America, became a plumber, married, and had three daughters. After World War II, Daniel Gillespie returned home to become a successful salesman, married, and had eight children.
“Everything I have today, all of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, is due to you, thank you very much,” Kaufman told Gillespie.
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