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July 22, 2016 6:49 pm

US Army Officer Who Rescued Jews During Holocaust Dies at 99 (VIDEO)

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Lt. Frank Winchester Towers in a 2013 interview. Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

Lt. Frank Winchester Towers in a 2013 interview. Credit: YouTube Screenshot. A U.S. officer who helped liberate 2,500 Jews during the Holocaust has died at the age of 99.

On April 7, 1945, Lt. Frank Winchester Towers, who was the division liaison officer of Regiment 743 of the 30th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during World War II, approached (with his regiment’s tanks) a stopped train in which there were 2,500 Jewish prisoners bound for the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The Nazis stopped the train because they were ordered to destroy it and drown the passengers in the Elbe river.

When the U.S. regiment approached, the passengers shouted, “We’re Jews!” Towers helped his regiment rescue the prisoners by mobilizing ambulances and other vehicles, and helped the freed prisoners get to an American-run field hospital.

“I feel pride and joy to know I had a small part in their release,” Towers told Yedioth Ahronoth in 2010. “They rose from the ashes like the phoenix.…It warms my heart,” said Towers, who also took part in the invasion of Normandy and helped liberate Jews from a labor camp near Magdeburg.

In 2011, Towers visited Israel, where he met 55 of the 700 children who were rescued from the train to Theresienstadt. Later, he was able to contact 226 survivors from that train. He has spent his later years speaking at Holocaust events throughout the U.S.

Watch an interview with Towers below:

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  • G-d bless Mr. Frank Towers – may he rest in eternal peace. He will always be a hero that we will forever keep in our hearts. At about the 40 minute mark in this video, he speaks about meeting my father, Ernest Kan, z”l, at a special event in Magdeburg celebrating the 60th anniversary of the liberation. When I heard his description of their initial meeting, I broke down in tears. I had heard the story before from my father, but hearing it again in this video really brought the moment to life for me. What a glorious moment for the both of them! I know how deeply my father felt for this hero who literally restored life and dignity to those he liberated. G-d bless him and his entire family. We are forever grateful for all that you did for us personally, and for all humankind.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    If saving one human life is like saving a universe, imagine the eternal reward for saving thousands of lives.

  • David Craft

    Humanity was lifted by the weight of those 2500 souls. G-d bless Mr. Towers’s memory.

  • Alan Wasserman

    Thank you very much for posting this very important interview with liberator frank Towers, very clear very articulate in his retelling of his experience probably one of the best recounts by survivors and liberators iv listened to so far , thank you for your service sir and for your role in the liberation of Europe and the liberation of holocaust survivors RIP . TEACHING HISTORY DOES MATTER LEST WE FORGET!

  • Joy D. Brower

    Stories like this always warm my heart, but this one, in particular, gave me a sense that one man (leading others) can do so much good, if motivated – and he certainly was! God also granted him a wonderful long life and the opportunity to meet so many descendants of the people he rescued from annihilation. May he forever rest in peace!

  • sam cohen

    Great Man. May his memory be blessed!

  • mary

    Mr. Frank Towers showed the qualities of what is the best in humanitarianism. Thank you very much, Mr. Towers.