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GIs Remember - Rosalyn Orenstein - Mauthausen

Rosalyn Orenstein, a native of krakow, Poland, was incarcerated in four concentration camps.

"I was first sent to Plaszow, spent three months in Auschwitz beginning in October 1944, several weeks in Bergen-Belsen, and was then liberated from the Mauthausen Concentration Camp by American troops, May 1945.

1 remember that the Germans just walked away on May 4, 1945. The following day, as we were creeping out of a big barn, we saw a jeep with three American soldiers. All of us were surprised because we imagined the Americans to be six feet tall; they were much shorter. Maybe it was because they were in a tank unit.

I can't say enough about their kindness and generosity. They had very little, just K rations. They took clothing out of German homes and gave them to us so that we could dress in civilian garb. I remember there were some Jewish GIs among them who showed me Stars of David they wore around their necks. They were just young kids like we were. I felt sorry for their mothers having to send their kids off to war at age eighteen."

GIs RememberNational Museum of American Jewish Military History