At the Dallas Holocaust Museum, American POWs and Concentration Camp Survivors Meet
So notes our very own Danny Fulgencio after his visit Friday afternoon to the Dallas Holocaust Museum in the West End, where former American prisoners of war spent part of their annual reunion touring the museum and visiting with concentration camp survivors.
The POWs are among the American officers once imprisoned atOflag 64
, a camp in Szuban, Poland, built on the campus of a boys' school; it opened in June 1943 with 150 prisoners, and by January 1945 it held 1,471 men, among themAmon Carter Jr
. But by thenthe Soviet army approached
, and most of the prisoners were marched to Germany; dozens escaped, but many were shot during the snowbound sojourn.
The surviving kriegies of Oflag 64 hold a reunion each year; last year's took place in Fort Collins, Colorado. This year they chose Dallas, in part because of the Holocaust Museum -- because, truth is, most of the American POWs had no idea Jews were being slaughtered in the nearby concentration camps. And so they chose to come to Dallas and spend their Friday visiting with survivors, among them Jack Repp, a Polish-born Jew now 87.
On Friday, Danny notes, Repp recounted for the former soldiers his vivid memories of 1939: "The day turned to night, the sky turned to blood." When he was finally liberated from a concentration camp, Repp was 21 years old and weighed 69 pounds. More photos from Friday follow.