To Those Who Saved Us
"One rainy day, we left the camp and were on a march to who knows where, for unknown reasons . Over the hill came tanks and militia; I thought it was the end of my years of struggling to stay alive . . .
Sgt. Israel Friedman
120th Evacuation Hospital
United States Army
The soldiers approached and were speaking to us in English. I spoke Polish, Yiddish and a little German, but not a word of English. One of the guys came over, I will never forget his name -- Israel Friedman -- and he asked me in Yiddish, "What is your name?" He was Jewish, I couldn't believe it. He told me I was safe now, and that everything was going to be okay. I sat down in the wet grass utterly and completely stunned . . . Was it dream? No, the horror was over, I was free."
Sgt. Friedman was one of 500,000 persons of the Jewish religion who enlisted or were drafted during WWII.
The 120th Evacuation Hospital served in an unusual capacity during WWII rendering medical and surgical aid to those who had somehow survived the atrocities of Hitler's regime. Sometimes they were following General Patton, other instances they were ahead of him
Serendipity Brings About Chance Meeting
When Ben was 74 and living in West Palm Beach, Florida, he decided to talk to a rabbi and receive his Bar Mitzvah -- something that was stolen from him as a child. An article appeared in the local newspaper featuring Ben's story.
A local resident saw the article, and called Ben and said, "my name is Norris Nims, and I was there in Cham Germany when you were liberated. They met, they cried, became great friends, and filmed a video memorializing their stories.
Ben Fainer and Norris Nims
Mr. Nims was in the Infantry under General Patton. During his military service, he was awarded a Bronze Star Metal for his bravery. He was blessed with 100 years of life.
A Debt of Gratitude
Ben had the highest respect for U.S. Veterans and the those who serve in the armed forces. He traveled to military bases and veterans groups to speak and would bring groups to the Holocaust Learning Center in St. Louis to tour the Museum and hear survivors speak.
Ben Fainer and
William “Will” M. Fraser III
General United States Air Force
U.S. Transportation Command
(October 2011 - May 2014)
Ben shared his story with the Air Force Transport Command in St. Louis.