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5,000 Jews Among 31,000 Survivors at Dachau, JTA Correspondent Finds; 200 Women There

May 7, 1945
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Three thousand Jews from all over Europe are among the 31,000 prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp liberated by the American forces. Among them are 200 women and a handful of boys.

Six-thousand Jewish adults were evacuated from here a few days before the camp was freed, and, of them, 4,500 survivors were found by advance U. S. units at call wayside villages along the railroad line leading from here. At one time, there were about 400 Jewish children between the ages of three and fourteen confined here, but they were sent away during the last few months. Most of the youngsters, a Jewish telegraphic Agency correspondent was told, originally came from Vilna.

Raphael Lewkowitz, of Lyon, a former president of the International League Agsinst Racism, who is one of the survivors, explained to the correspondent that a salf-unloaded train which is standing at the gates of the camp contains the remnants of a transport of 4,000 Jews who started out from Oswiecim on foot last winter dressed only in pajama-like prison uniforma. About 2,000 survived a 1,300-kilometre march, only to be loaded onto open cars for a four-day train ride during which their only feed was a few potatoes. The trains arrived here loaded with dead.

Dr. Adolph Heitner of Morawska-Ostrawa in Czechoslovakia, related to the correspondent how a transport from a camp at Kauffering arrived here after a three-day journey without food. At Kauffering, he said, 12,000 of the 18,000 inmates died within six months. Another newcomer to this camp, who arrived about eight days ago, is Alix Gurevitch of Kieltza, Poland, who is a nephew of Chaim Orbach of Brooklyn. He said that he came from Flossenberg on an eight-day march during which all but 83 of the 2,000 Jews who started out perished.

Dachau contains the usual “examination” rooms, crematoriums, asphyxiation chambers and torture instruments, which were used, survivors estimate, to kill off 1,000,000 people from the time the camp was first established. Although most of the U.S. guards have escaped, a few were caught dressed in prison uniforms and trying to slip away. Some were killed trying to escape.

Chaplain David Eichorn of Talahassee, Florida, arrived here with the first contingent of troops and has been working among the Jewish survivors.

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