Tears as Dachau survivor reunited with US veteran who saved his life

Tears as Dachau survivor reunited with US veteran who saved his life

Israeli charity reconnects 90-year-old Marcel Levy with US veteran Sid Shafner, 94, after 21 years apart.

Patrick Maguire is a reporter at the Jewish News.

A Jewish survivor of Dachau enjoyed an emotional reunion with a US soldier who was among the first troops to liberate the concentration camp.

90-year-old Marcel Levy – incarcerated by the Nazis as a teenager – met World War II veteran Sid Shafner, 94, in Israel yesterday.

Shafner is the last surviving member of the platoon that he says was among the first Allied troops to reach Dachau – where at least 28,000 died – in April 1945.

He met Levy, an Israeli grandfather-of-eleven who was the only member of his family to survive the Shoah, at an Israeli military base – the first time the men had seen one another in person since 1995.

Shafner’s kindness saw the orphaned youngster securing a job as a dishwasher – a small gesture which Levy says saved his life.

In tearful scenes recorded for US TV, he told his liberator: “You know, everything I have today is because of you. You saved my life.

“Because you had the patience to speak to me, to take to me.”

His daughter added: “All our life, we heard about, we dreamed about you.

“We know that because of you we have this nice family. And we are very appreciative and we thank you.”

But Shafner, who also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his trip, refused to take credit for saving Levy.

Fighting back tears, the former US Army corporal said: “Don’t praise me. If it wasn’t me, it would’ve been someone else.”

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