President Trump’s State of the Union address gave an emotional mention of two special people sitting in the audience. Joshua Kaufman, a Holocaust survivor who survived the Dachau Nazi death camp and a US soldier, Herman Zeitchik, who arrived on the beach of Normandy on D-Day, who liberated Lawrence and his fellow prisoners in Dachau. It was a very touching moment for all to witness, with a standing ovation for those two heroes, alive to be present in Congress for the speech.
Joshua Kaufman was 15 years old when he experienced the hell of the Nazis, first in the Auschwitz death camp and then in the Dachau death camp, where he was finally liberated and saved. At Auschwitz, Kaufman volunteered for one of the worst jobs in the camp in order to try to remain alive. He lugged dead bodies out of the gas chambers, pulling them apart as they stuck together during their murder.
“It was a way for me to stay alive and to see what was going on around the camp,” Kaufman related to the author and journalist Orit Arfa. Born in Hungary, he eventually made it to Israel, where he served in the IDF. He got married at age 47
Kaufman lost most of his family in the Holocaust. After he was liberated, he made it to Israel where he served as an IDF soldier and later fought in the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
He later emigrated to America, settled down in LA, got married, had three daughters and became a
Testifying in Germany
At one point Kaufman had the opportunity to testify against a Nazi SS guard.
He went to Germany to testify against the guard. But in the end the German court did not let him testify, saying that it wasn’t needed. Afterwards, his daughter said that “he was disappointed and shocked that he was not able to speak in court, but he always looks for the positive and lives his life learning how to adapt to situations that don’t always go as planned. He doesn’t hate anyone and doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him. He is grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity. He entered the court proudly with his daughters by his side, self-confident knowing that Israel is our country and we are no longer homeless or hopeless. He was called on a mission and he went wholeheartedly. Yes, it didn’t go the way he expected, but sometimes in life you gain more from those experiences then you could have ever imagined.”