3rd BCT remembers the Holocaust, victims

| April 18, 2013 | 0 Comments
Maj. Randall Wahlberg, 3301st Mobilization Support Battalion, studies an exhibit at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, held by 3rd BCT, 25th ID, at the Sgt. Smith Theater, April 11.

Maj. Randall Wahlberg, 3301st Mobilization Support Battalion, studies an exhibit at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, held by 3rd BCT, 25th ID, at the Sgt. Smith Theater, April 11.

Ceremony ensures Soldiers never forget horrors of World War II

Story and photos by
1st Lt. Zachary Kohl
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 442nd Regimental Combat Team Soldiers from Hawaii approached the train cars in Dachau, Germany, April 29, 1945.

They saw months of combat during World War II, but nothing had prepared them for what they found inside the cars — their first look at the human tragedy of Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, hosted a Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony at Sgt. Smith Theater, here, April 11, to ensure the memory of the Holocaust is never forgotten.

“I wanted (Soldiers) to remember what happened in World War II with the Holocaust, and I wanted them to realize that guys just like them, Soldiers their same age, stepped up and did the right thing and liberated these camps against tremendous odds,” said Lt. Col. George Hammer, commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery, 3rd BCT, which spearheaded the event.

Seymour Kazimirski speaks to members of the 3rd BCT, 25th ID, about his family's history with the Holocaust.

Seymour Kazimirski speaks to members of the 3rd BCT, 25th ID, about his family’s history with the Holocaust.

Seymour Kazimirski, the son of a Jewish mother who survived the concentration camps, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker and opened his speech by telling Soldiers the chilling story of how his family was affected by the Holocaust.

“Everybody was killed,” said Kazimirski of his extended family.

Only his mother survived.

He spent a good portion of his remarks discussing the importance of U.S. Army personnel rescuing the Jews from Nazi Germany by specifically highlighting the history of the 442nd Combat Team, the famous “Go for Broke” Soldiers from Hawaii, who also helped liberate the camps.

The complete cruelty practiced by the Nazis is hard to fathom, but the story is also a testament to why it is so important to be an American Soldier.

Maj. Dick Winters, 101st Airborne Division, realized the motivation for why he fought in World War II when his unit liberated a Nazi prison camp, explained Hammer.

“Dick Winters was fighting to stop evil, and that is what we do now,” Hammer added.

Pvt. Trevor Daily, Battery A, 3-7th FA, 3rd BCT, said he left the event moved and inspired.

“It would make an impression on anyone,” Daily said.

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Category: News, Observances

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