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“The Holocaust through the Eyes of Liberators and Survivors ”

Presented by Author Matthew Rozell 

September 30th, 2021


“The Holocaust through the Eyes of Liberators and Survivors ”

Historic Salem Courthouse

Noted author Matthew Rozell presented a free program “A Train Near Magdeburg – the Holocaust, through the Eyes of Liberators and Survivors” on Thursday, Sept. 30th at 7 p.m. in the courtroom of the Historic Salem Courthouse on 58 East Broadway in Salem.

June 6, 1944 – Amsterdam

“This is D-Day,” the BBC announced at 12 o’clock. This is the day. The invasion has begun! Is this really the beginning of the long-awaited liberation? The liberation we’ve all talked so much about, which still seems too good, too much of a fairy tale ever to come true?.... The best part of the invasion is that I have the feeling that friends are on the way. Those terrible Germans have oppressed and threatened us for so long that the thought of friends and salvation means everything to us!”

Six days before her 15th birthday, Anne Frank penned those words into her diary in the Secret Annex of her father’s canalside business building in the Netherlands. Sadly, the following spring, Anne and her sister Margot died of typhus at German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, where their bodies were thrown into a hastily dug mass grave.

While they would not live to see the day of liberation, some of her friends did; just a few weeks later, on April 13th 1945, two tank commanders of the 743rd Tank Battalion and their major overran a train transport of boxcars and passenger cars near Magdeburg, Germany, filled with 2500 Jewish concentration camp victims from Bergen-Belsen. This set into motion a chain of events that would culminate in survivors and liberators being reunited six decades later and reflecting on what happened.

Mr. Rozell’s presentation will focus not only on his efforts to reunite his Holocaust survivor friends with their actual American soldier liberators, but also the contextualization of the Holocaust, including Anne Frank’s final days and the moral lessons imparted by the soldiers’ actions in the closing days of World War II.

This presentation is a collaboration between the Ft. Salem Theater, the Bancroft Library, the Historic Salem Courthouse, and the town historian to heighten awareness of the Holocaust with respect to the theater’s upcoming production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” opening on Friday, October 8th. There will also be a display and books pertaining to this topic at the Bancroft Library in Salem.

Mr. Rozell is the author of several books and has been featured as the “ABC World News Person of the Week” His Holocaust teaching experiences have been presented in several media outlets. A major film of “A Train Near Magdeburg” is currently in production.



Salem, NY


Sun.-Thurs. 11-9

Fri. & Sat. 11-10



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Salem, NY

(518) 854-7414




Salem Historian- Judy Flagg introduces Matthew Rozell


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(518) 854-9339

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Matthew Rozell


19 East Broadway

Salem, NY 12865

(518) 854-3555

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Cast & Production Members Fort Salem Theater-  The Diary of Anne Frank

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