A group of Hungarian Holocaust survivors on Sunday thanked American troops who helped rescue them from a train that was taking them from one Nazi concentration camp to another 70 years ago.
“We thank the heroic American soldiers for being able to live meaningful, useful lives-we are grateful for being able to grow old,” Julia Kadar, who was 6 years old during the transport and organized Sunday’s commemorative meeting in Budapest, said in a Skype conversation with Lt. Frank Towers, the liaison officer of the 30th Infantry Division that liberated the train near the German village of Farsleben, the Associated Press reported.
On April 13, 1945, American troops rescued approximately 2,500 Jewish prisoners, including 560 children, who were being transported from the Bergen-Belsen death camp to the Theresienstadt camp. The commemorative meeting was attended by 20 Holocaust survivors who had been rescued from the train.
“This is my reward,” Towers said in his conversation with Kadar. He said the Holocaust survivors “had nothing and they have risen up from the ashes and have become doctors and lawyers, engineers, all high-level professional people.”
Yet during the commemorative meeting, many of the survivors “rejected being photographed,” Kadar said, due to fears regarding appearing on camera at a time when anti-Semitism is rising in Hungary. The country’s neo-Nazi political party, Jobbik, won 20 percent of the vote in last year’s parliamentary election.