ND World War II Vet Donating Medals, Patches to Holocaust Museum(WDAZ-TV) - A World War II veteran from Webster, ND, is returning to the country he helped liberate 67 years ago. He's bringing pieces of his army life with him to donate to a Holocaust museum.
By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ
(WDAZ-TV) - A World War II veteran from Webster, ND, is returning to the country he helped liberate 67 years ago. He's bringing pieces of his army life with him to donate to a Holocaust museum.
87-year-old Bill Anderson wants to keep the memories of the Holocaust from fading and he says he doesn't need the items he's giving up to remember what he saw in Austria after the fall of the Nazi regime.
"You don't forget it," Anderson said. "Piles of dead bodies. Unbelievable."
But Anderson's daughter Elaine Dosch says people are forgetting.
"This is history. People think that the Holocaust never happened. Well dad is living proof that it did," Dosch said.
Anderson has pictures from Camp Guesn, a Nazi concentration camp he helped liberate after V-E Day. And on a regular visit his doctor in Cando, Giora Praff, asked for copies.
"I emailed the pictures up to Dr. Praff, up in Cando, North Dakota, and the next morning I had an email from Brussels, Belgium," Dosch said.
Now those pictures are in museums from Texas, to Austria, to Israel. The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Mauthausen, Austria contacted Anderson about donating items from his army days.
"They were ecstatic that dad had offered to donate these items to the museum, and they said 'he ministry offers to pay for you and your dad to fly over to Austria,'" Dosch said.
"Chance of a lifetime for me, to go over with my family," Anderson said.
Anderson will deliver medals and patches to the museum in May, along with his military ID card. His pictures and his memories are spread around the world, which he hopes will keep those memories alive and well after he's gone.
"Well it seems like people don't believe it. That it happened, and I'm here to say it did," Anderson said.
Anderson was a medic in the army. He wasn't allowed to carry a weapon, even in combat situations. He says all he had to defend himself with was a syringe.