99-year-old Rochester vet shares experience as liberator of concentration camp
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) -- 99-year-old Sol Goldstein is one of a few Holocaust liberators in Rochester, New York.
“He can’t forget the horror that he saw, ever,” Marilyn Greenberg, Sol’s daughter said. “He talks about that all the time. And it’s a very sad memory.”
Born in Rochester, Goldstein was drafted at 26.
He trained for 17 weeks, when he was ordered to liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
He recalls dozens of railroad cars filled with dead bodies.
“How can men do that? Stack bodies up there? And kill them? They showed us how they burned the bodies, burning bodies one by one,” Goldstein explained. “Terrible things, terrible. Terrible things. What the Germans did was terrible.”
He helped free nearly 1,000 prisoners.
“I couldn't take it anymore. I had to open the gates for them," said Goldstein.
The strength of his comrades helped him through.
“You don’t think of anything, you’re just going. We're all in the Army together, everybody marched on. You have no choice. You’ve got to follow orders,” explained Goldstein.
Freeing the camp made him deeply appreciative of his freedom. He came back to America, devoting his life to community service.
“Doing it for our country, he was always so proud of the U.S.A. Really proud,” his daughter said.
On this Veterans Day, he looks at pictures with his daughter, grateful his story of bravery will not be forgotten.
"Never forget,” Goldstein said.
Talking about these memories was tough for Goldstein. But he says talking about it is important to remember how horrific the camps were so those heinous acts don't happen again.