Cecilia DowdApr 13, 2018, 6:41 pmApr 13, 2018, 8:13 pm

WWII vet: ‘We try hard to forget, yet we tell everybody don’t forget’

Students reflect on the liberation of Nazi concentration camps at Museum of American Armor


OLD BETHPAGE —Long Island students spent the morning learning about World War II, as the Museum of American Armor remembered the liberation of the concentration camps. On Friday, the museum inside Old Bethpage Village Restoration observed the emancipation from those Nazi death camps by providing lessons, including re-enactments, for hundreds of kids.

WWII veteran Seymour Kaplan was one of the first to enter Dachau concentration camp in Germany. He was with the 42nd Infantry Division and said that he went for 50 years without remembering his experience at the camp. Now that he does, the memories are difficult. His story, and those of so many others, now serve as lessons for those born decades after the war.

“The prisoners … they asked me to tell everybody,” he said while reliving the moment he helped liberate those at the concentration camp. He said that he was there because he spoke Yiddish and an interpreter was needed.

“It’s a phenomenon: We try hard to forget, yet we tell everybody don’t forget,” he said. “We’re very conflicted by it.”

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