Kent Swig

My Thoughts.

Virgil Westdale: A True American Hero

Virgil westdale and kent swig

Virgil Westdale and Kent Swig

I am in Poland to participate in the 25th anniversary of the March of the Living with an Israel Bond leadership group of 29 people.  On April 19th, we shall march from the Auschwitz concentration camp to Birkenau death camp.

And tonight, April 18th, our group had a very special dinner with 16 retired United States military soldiers who liberated the concentration camps throughout Europe that were set up under the Nazis.

I am so honored and humbled to be sitting next to Virgil Westdale, a true American hero. Virgil is an American of Japanese decent and his father was sent to the American internment camps during World War II because he was of Japanese descent.

Virgil was a fighter pilot during the World War II and then, because of his Japanese ancestry, was demoted to the infantry and sent to Europe to fight in the U.S. Army.

There, he went to Germany and liberated the Dachau concentration camp and saw firsthand the atrocities that the Nazis committed. He freed the Jewish prisoners and then literally went door to door to the local German population and gathered food and clothing and medical supplies for the concentration camp survivors.

His stories are incredible and horrible and inspiring. We all have life and liberty as Americans and in particularly as Jews because of this man and the 15 other retired soldiers (the youngest of whom is 86 years old) who joined Virgil here in Poland to participate in the March of Living, and who joined our Israel Bond group at an intimate dinner with my fellow 29 Israel Bond companions.

These American soldiers all flew over to Poland to march in the March of the Living so that they can personally bear witness to the atrocities committed by the Nazis and to deny and defeat, once again, the evil that continues to be perpetrated by all of those who claim that the Holocaust did not occur.


Written by swigeq

April 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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