Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas' Story

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Can you help Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas find the US soldier who helped her in 1945?
Pouvez-vous aider Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas à trouver le soldat américain qui l'a aidé en 1945?

The above request has been on this website since June 2004.
La demande citée ci-dessus est sur ce site Internet depuis juin 2004.

We are absolutely delighted to report that Lorrie & Phil Green from Sparta, Wisconsin have helped Marie find that soldier. See below.
Nous sommes très heureux de vous informer que Lorrie et Phil Green de Sparta, dans le Wisconsin, ont aidé Marie à trouver ce soldat. Voir ci-dessous.

To view Channel 8 TV News video footage of Marie's story aired on 25 & 26 Aug 2010 see A Soldier and the Dress Part 1 and A Soldier and the Dress Part 2.

Marie pictured with British servicemen on Saturday 05 June 2004
Marie avec soldats britaniques le samdi 5 juin 2004

Translation Of "My First Dress" Published In Daily Newspaper "La Libre Belgique" 10th Sep 1969

This letter is probably the most emotional that we have received. We publish it in full.

27th April 1945. The cannons thundered the whole night and it was early in the morning that American troops liberated our concentration camp near the village of Tuerckheim, in Bavaria. No outburst surely, in enemy country, but for us, the final certitude to be free and alive. Only fourteen years old and already for me to be aware of all human cruelty - I should say inhuman cruelty, against us.

A little lost, naturally - what to do with this new freedom? - I walked in to Tuerckheim, looking for somebody friendly, when a G.I., very tall, addressed me sharply. I didn't understand English, so I showed him my forearm on which he could clearly see my tattooed concentration camp registration number.

Then, very simply, without comment, he took my hand and led me into a well stocked clothes shop on the village place. Standing me in front of a mirror, the G.I. gave me one dress after another, one too long, the other ugly. I was very moved with gratitude for this man, who during this terrible war, was concerned enough to want to find a nice dress for a young girl, who was wearing rags after being liberated from concentration camp.

We took a dress, without paying, while the shop keeper looked at us in a hostile manner. The soldier was apparently very satisfied to see that I was now nicely dressed. With a strong voice he said, "Bye bye", leaving me and walking off into the distance.

I don't remember his face, but in my mind is imprinted the memory of this soldier who gave me back the appearance of a free girl.

If he is still alive - and I hope it so much - I would like him to know that I often think about him, and it would be marvellous if he could recognise himself in this story.

Mrs. Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas, Brussels, Belgium.
Liberated from Turkheim (Dachau) concentration camp on 27th April 1945 by the 7th U.S. Army, 10th Armored Division.

To My Liberators

One day, as a child, I lost my name
I was only a shadow, a number
Drowned into a bottomless pit
Out of which it seems that no one could ever emerge.

For month and month I struggled
Calling you for help, so often, liberty
With all my strength in this battle thrown
At last I have seen the miracle come true

Thank you, all of you who didn't know
For whom exactly, you were fighting for
It was to give back a name and life
To a little girl whose name was Marie

A Mes Liberateurs

Un jour, enfant, j'ai perdu mon
Je n'etais plus qu'une ombre, un numero
Plongee dans un abime sans fond
D'ou semblait-il on n'emergeait jamis

Des mois et des mois, j'ai lutte
T'appelant au secours, si souvent, liberte
Toutes mes forces dans cette bataille jetees
J'ai vu enfin le miracle s'exaucer

Merci, o tous qui ne saviez
Pour qui, au juste, vous vous battiez
C'etait pour redonner nom et vie
A une fillette qui s'appelait Marie

Marie explains her story to British Servicemen
Marie raconte son histoire aux soldats britaniques

12 Jun 2010 Update: We have found the soldier who Marie has searched for for over 65 years - Harry Hendersin
12 Juin 2010 Mise à jour: Nous avons trouvé le soldat que Marie a cherché pendant plus de 65 ans - Harry Hendersin

Harry Hendersin (left) and his brother Charles Hendersin (right) in approximately 1945
Harry Hendersin (à gauche) et son frère Charles Hendersin (à droite) aux environs de 1945

Click here for photos of the 13 Jun 2010 Skype video reunion.
Clique ici pour les photos du 13 Juin 2010 réunion vidéo sur Skype.

To Ms. Lipstadt-Pinhas,

I am writing from Sparta, Wisconsin. My husband, Phillip Green, has been given the honor of being a guardian for Mr. Harry Hendersin on a trip to Washington, DC, on what is called “The Freedom Honor Flight”, to visit the World War II memorial on June 19th, 2010. Mr. Hendersin (Harry), now 89 years old, was with the 506th, 101st Airborne Division.

Harry is one of Phil’s heroes. Phil has known Harry since he was a child, Harry being Phil’s 4-H leader, guided him in his junior years. Of course, in those days, Phil had no idea what great sacrifice Harry had made. In preparation for this trip Phil visited Harry in the nursing home. While visiting with him today, Harry handed Phil a hand typed sheet of paper of an article that was said to have been published in a newspaper called “La Libre Belgique”, September 10th, 1969. Although communication with Harry is a challenge, Harry knows exactly what is going on. Phil questioned Harry, if he was the man who took the girl to the dress shop. Harry responded, “yes”. In turn Phil asked if he could take it and make a copy and brought it home. Thinking we would like to search for Ms. Lipstadt-Pinhas for Harry, I went to the computer and found your website with the exact article that we had in hand, and, that you are looking for help in finding this man.

We believe Harry is this man. Whatever the case, we would love to hear from you. Time is of the essence here.

Lorrie and Phil Green
Sparta, WI 54656 USA
Sunday 06 June 2010 16:35

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Mme Lipstadt-Pinhas,

Je vous écris de Sparta, dans le Wisconsin. Mon mari, Phillip Green, a reçu l’honneur d’être le gardien de Mr Harry Hendersin, lors d’un voyage à Washington D.C., pour ce qu’on appelle « Le vol de le Liberté d’honneur », pour visiter le mémorial de la deuxième guerre mondiale, le 10 juin 2010. Mr Hendersin (Harry), qui a 89 ans à présent, était le 506ème de la 101ème division de l’air.

Harry est l’un des héros de Phil. Phil connaît Harry depuis son enfance. Harry, qui était le leader 4-H de Phil, l’a guidé pendant ses jeunes années. Evidemment, à l’époque, Phil ne se doutait pas des grands sacrifices que Harry avait faits. Pour préparer leur séjour à Washington, Phil a rendu visite à Harry dans la maison de retraite où il se trouve. Lors de sa visite aujourd’hui, Harry lui a tendu une feuille tapée à la machine, relatant un article qui avait été publié dans « La Libre Belgique », le 10 septembre 1969. Bien que la communication avec Harry soit un peu difficile, Harry a toute sa raison. Phil a demandé à Harry s’il était l’homme qui avait conduit la fille dans un magasin de vêtements et Harry a répondu « oui ». Phil lui a demandé s’il pouvait emporter la feuille pour en faire une copie. Nous voulions faire des recherches pour retrouver Mme Lipstadt-Pinhas pour Harry. Je me suis donc mise à l’ordinateur et j’ai trouvé votre site internet, ainsi qu’exactement le même article que nous avions en main (que Harry a donné à Phil) et nous avons découvert que vous recherchiez cet homme.

Nous croyons que Harry est bien l’homme en question. Quelque soit la situation, nous aimerions entrer en contact avec vous.

Lorrie et Phil Green
Sparta, WI 54656
Sunday 06 June 2010 16:35

To Viviane Bauherz,

My name is Lynette Meyer and with great honor and respect to you and your mother, Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas. I can't tell you what an HONOR THIS IS FOR MY DAD to finally have contact once again with that young girl he bought that dress for. That is correct Harry Hendersin is my dad and as a little girl I remember him telling me of a story of a young girl that he took to a dress shop and brought her her first dress after Belgium had won it's freedom. I can assure you that my brothers and my dad's grandchildren are all very excited about them finding each other once again.

With warmest regards

Lynette Meyer
(Harry Hendersin's daughter, La Crosse, Wi 54601 USA)

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Pour Viviane Bauherz

Je m’appelle Lynette Meyer et avec grand honneur et respect envers vous et votre mère, Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas je ne peux pas vous dire à quel point c’est un HONEUR POUR MON PERE de pouvoir enfin contacter la petite fille à qui il a acheté une robe. Il s’agit bien de mon père Harry Herdersin et, quand j’étais petite, je me souviens de l’histoire qu’il m’a racontée, d’une petite fille qu’il a emmenée dans un magasin de vêtements et à qui il a acheté sa première robe, après la libération de la Belgique.

Je vous assure que mes frères et les petits-enfants de mon père sont très excités à l’idée de cette rencontre.

Toutes mes amitiés

Lynette Meyer
(la fille de Harry Hendersin La Crosse, Wi 54601 USA)

My name is Kimberly Meyer and I am the granddaughter of Harry Hendersin. I wanted to send you an e-mail so I can introduce myself to you. I was very shocked when I read Maria's letter for the first time that was sent to me by Lorrie Green. Growing up as a child my grandfather told me stories about WWII and I know that it allowed me the chance to appreciate what the soldiers did for not just our country but for the Jews as well. I also know that when I read her letter for the first time I was in tears and this last week has been wonderful because it has given me a new look on life. I now understand how something as simple as a dress could change someone's life forever.

I will be with my grandfather on Sunday for the "skype" video call which will be good since he has a difficulty talking. Growing up with my grandfather I learn more then just the normal things that family members normally taught kids growing up and it allowed me the chance to look at life from another aspect.

I have attached a photo of my grandfather. My grandfather is on the left and his brother is on the right when you look at the picture.

Have a wonderful evening and please tell Marie and her daughter that we are looking forward to talking with them on Sunday!!

Kim Meyer
(Harry Hendersin's granddaughter)

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Je m’appelle Kimberley Meyer et je suis la petite fille de Harry Hendersin. Je voulais vous envoyer un e-mail pour me présenter. J’étais vraiment surprise lorsque j’ai lu la lettre de Marie pour la première fois, lettre que Lorrie Green m’a envoyée. Toute mon enfance, mon grand-père m’a raconté des histoires de la deuxième guerre mondiale et je sais que cela m’a donné la chance d’apprécier ce que les soldats ont fait, non seulement pour notre pays, mais également pour les juifs. Lorsque j’ai lu la lettre pour la première fois, j’étais en larmes. Cette semaine a été merveilleuse parce qu’elle m’a donné une autre perspective de la vie. Je comprends maintenant comment quelque chose d’aussi simple qu’une robe peut complètement changer la vie de quelqu’un.

Je serai avec mon grand-père dimanche, pour la conversation sur Skype, ce qui sera avantageux puisqu’il a des difficultés à parler. En grandissant avec mon grand-père, j’ai appris plus de choses que les autres enfants apprennent normalement et cela m’a permis de voir la vie sous un autre aspect.

J’ai envoyé la photo de mon grand-père. Mon grand-père est sur la gauche et son frère (Charles) est sur la droite.

Je vous souhaite une excellente soirée et veuillez dire à Marie et à sa fille que nous attendons avec impatience de leur parler dimanche !!

Kim Meyer
(Harry Hendersin's granddaughter)
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