|A World War II veteran whose unit helped liberate a
concentration camp and helped one of the survivors obtain a new dress
was reunited with her more than 65 years later via the Internet June 13
at Fort McCoy. The reunion was done over Skype at the Fort McCoy Welcome
Center. Fort McCoy personnel agreed to serve as the go between and offer
the use of suitable computer equipment.
Harry Hendersin, a World War II
veteran, uses a Skype connection at Fort McCoy to reconnect with
a Holocaust survivor he hadn’t seen in more than 65 years.
Harry Hendersin, 89, of Sparta was with the 506th, 101st Airborne
Division in 1945, when unit members helped liberate the survivors at the
Dachau, Germany concentration camp. Dachau is about a 20-minute train
ride from Munich, Germany.
Hendersin and the woman, Marie Lipstadt-Pinhas, who was then a young
girl of 14, and now is nearing 80, never saw each other again after
their war encounter.
The memories came back to both during the reunion via Skype.
Through her daughter, who was present at the reunion, Lipstadt-Pinhas
told Hendersin she “was very grateful he got me the dress at a German
store because I was very badly dressed at that time,” she said. “I was
dirty and ugly (after the time in the concentration camp.) I would like
to thank you for the dress.”
The war was not over at that time, so Hendersin had to return to his
unit and continue serving in the war, and he and Lipstadt-Pinhas had no
contact since 1945.
Lipstadt-Pinhas often speaks to school students in Belgium about her
experiences in the concentration camp and mentions Hendersin’s kindness.
“Harry is well-known in Belgium,” her daughter said.
Lipstadt-Pinhas’ daughter said her mother never forgot Hendersin, and
for many years, she attempted to find and thank him.
Hendersin’s granddaughter, Kim Meyer, said his unit fought in Bastogne,
Luxembourg, which was a part of the Battle of the Bulge, and he also
parachuted with the 101st into Normandy on D-Day.
Lt. Col. John Jacobi of the Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison said it was an
emotional reunion between the two. The woman expressed great gratitude
to Hendersin and to other Soldiers who helped liberate the camp.
It made the Soldiers present appreciate what their services can mean to
other people in addition to the nation they serve, Jacobi said.