Holocaust Survivor and Veteran Reunite After 71 Years
ABC News was on hand to capture an incredible moment in the lives of two brave men: the reunion of a World War II veteran who helped liberate Dachau (the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany) and a man who was imprisoned there.
“Everything I have today, all of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, is due to you,” Levy told Shafner during their reunion.
During the emotional meeting, Levy presented Shafner with a plaque that read, “You came like a warrior angel … and carried me into the light.”
The video of the men’s tearful reunion has recently gone viral on the ABC News website and to date has been viewed nearly 14 million times and shared over 400,000 times.
Although the pair have spoken since the liberation, this was the first time Shafner and Levy had seen each other in nearly two decades. Shafner, who resides in the United States, often makes the trip to Poland and Israel, but this was the first time he was united on the trip with one of those he liberated.
Peter Weintraub, who leads the Friends of Israel Defense Forces, a major sponsor of the trip Shafner took, told the media of the story Shafner often tells, “Sid tells the story that his convoy was stopped by a Jew named Marcel. Marcel tells him in Yiddish that ‘You have to leave your route and divert to help us,’ which he did.”
Weintraub added that Shafner was crying tears of joy to be reunited with Levy.
The viral video has racked up tons of positive comments, including those who felt uplifted by the video. One Facebook user said:
“Everyday we are bombarded with the worst humanity has to offer. FINALLY an example of the best. Many blessings & positive energy to both of these men.”
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.