Friday the 13th of April, 1945
A view outside of the Farsleben train at the moment of liberation, Friday the 13th of April, 1945. Two American tank commanders in Sherman light tanks and their major in a jeep liberate the train, deep in the heart of Nazi Germany. Stunned survivors come to the realization that they are saved from imminent death. Major Benjamin snaps the photo.
…New York History teacher, Matthew Rozell… in July 2001 interviewed World War II US Army tank commander Carrol Walsh… [about the] Farsleben train and a good friend named George Gross who had the negative of this photo as well as ten others. … Rozell found Mr. Gross… took down an amazing narrative, and after posting that narrative and photos on the blog, he figured the project was more-or-less over.
A few years later, people who either were ON that train or related to someone who was started to reach out. Mr. Rozell had created a space that allowed these people to connect, and since then the group has collectively tracked down 275 survivors and have helped organize or support 10 reunions.
One of the only group photos showing many of those liberated. If you look closely, you’ll see some over-joyed children there toward the front!
mindful webworker commented
Thank you for the Farsleben link. How heartwrenching to see these people, having at the last moment been snatched from certain death. Joyous for their sake – especially those beautiful children – and for all those freed that they represent, but also evoking the agony, for all those not spared.