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Japanese Liberators of Dachau Join in Yom Hashoah Ceremonies

April 29, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Fifty Japanese-American veterans of World War II who helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp will participate in the Holocaust memorial ceremonies here preceding Israel Independence Day this week.

The veterans will attend the opening of an exhibition of snapshots they made when they entered the death camp in Germany 47 years ago.

The exhibit, assembled by the San Francisco Holocaust Oral History Project, was mounted under the patronage of Bnai Zion, an American Zionist fraternal order.

It is the first time the photographs have been publicly displayed.

The veterans, whose average age is 72, were recruited from among the Japanese-Americans incarcerated in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Their division of Nisei, Americans of Japanese descent, became the most decorated unit of the U.S. armed forces in World War II. It received a total of 18,000 citations, an average of three per soldier.

For reasons still shrouded in mystery, the soldiers were forbidden, on penalty of court martial, to speak of their Dachau experience while still in the armed forces.

Since then, however, much attention has been focused on their exploits and a recent reunion with local Jewish survivors of Dachau in the San Francisco Bay Area attracted national media interest in the United States.

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