For 20 years, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has reminded visitors of atrocity, grief and survival.
On Monday, nearly 4,000 supporters joined 843 Holocaust survivors and 130 veterans to celebrate its 20 th anniversary and hear speeches from President Bill Clinton and museum founding chairman Elie Wiesel. Under a large tent outside the museum, just south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., survivors talked with American soldiers who liberated concentration camps, sharing their stories.
Ernest Gross, who survived the Dachau concentration camp, searched for years to find a camp liberator. He found one in Don Greenbaum of Philadelphia. The two traveled to Washington to attend the ceremony together.
“I was transported from Camp 7 to Dachau to be gassed and to go into the ovens,” Gross told ABC News just before the ceremony, from his seat next to Greenbaum.
“I was standing in line, and I was close enough that I was able to see the ovens, and all of a sudden I see the German soldiers are throwing their weapons down,” Gross said. “I didn’t know why I turned around, and I saw the American Army liberating the camp, and for 67 years I looked for somebody who liberated me to thank him.”