A World War II veteran was reunited with the Holocaust survivor he set free seven decades ago from the Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany in 1945. The symbolic and tearful reunion was part of the Friends Of Israel Defense Force’s (FIDF) “From Holocaust to Independence” delegation to Poland and Israel.
The WWII soldier, Sid Shafner, 94, spent a week visiting both countries in May 2016. During his trip, he had the opportunity to be reunited with some of the countless survivors he and his fellow troops helped save.
According to ABC News, he was honored at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony for his hand, as a young soldier, in helping to liberate some 30,000 prisoners from the Dachau Concentration Camp in southern Germany in 1945.
One of the prisoners that Shafner helped save was Marcel Levy who was just 19 at the time.
Sid and Marcel come face to face for the first time in decades and embraced one another in the emotional reunion caught on video. Check out the heartfelt moment below:
“Sid tells the story that his convoy was stopped by a Jew named Marcel,” Peter Weintraub, president of FIDF, told ABC News. “Marcel tells him in Yiddish that ‘You have to leave your route and divert to help us,’ which he did.”
Following his liberation, Levy kept in contact with Shafner for years after the war. While the two remained close, it had been some twenty years since they last had the chance to see each other face to face.
According to Weintraub, Levy told Shafner during their meetup, “everything I have today, all of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, is due to you, Sid.” Levy even presented Shafner with a plaque that read “You came like a warrior angel … and carried me into the light.”
“Sid is crying tears of joy,” Weintraub added. “We have done this trip several times but never have we reunited survivors and liberators.”