Felix A. Cizewski and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Dachau

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Felix A. Cizewski’s copy of the Dachau Liberation Edition 45th Division News, pages 1 & 3.

Click on image for more larger edition.

Public domain images from originals donated to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Seventy years ago, on April 29, 1945 after a battle with the SS guards “Task Force Sparks” liberated Dachau.

”Task Force Sparks” consisted of elements of “I” and “L” Companies, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division supported by elements of the 191st Tank Battalion.


While the combat units were liberating Dachau, my late father, Felix A. Cizewski, was in the 45th Signal Company on the road from Schrobenhausen about 39 miles (63 kilometers) by road north of Dachau to Haimhausen, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) northeast of Dachau.

Every member of the 45th Division at that time including Felix officially share the recognition as liberators by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U. S. Army Center of Military History.

Felix would want to be very clear that his and the other members of of the 45th Signal Company role in the liberation of  Dachau was providing communications support for the front line combat troops.

The combat troops would add that they appreciated the support from troops such as my father. One shared that it was the luck of the draw as to who ended up in the combat units and who was assigned to support units such as my father.


“Immediately after Dachau’s liberation, U.S. Army authorities and other Allied representatives began treating the sick prisoners, implementing health and sanitary measures to curb the typhus epidemic, and bringing in tons of food to feed the starving prisoners. The local townspeople were brought in to give the dead prisoners a proper burial.”

– From United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia’s entry The 45th Infantry Division

On April 30, the day after liberation, the 45th Signal Company arrived at Feldmoching, Germany on the northwest edge of Munich, less than 8 miles southeast of Dachau.

The 45th Division was stationed on occupation duty in Munich area near Dachau from May until late July, 1945. The 45th Signal Company and the 45th Division would have been able to assist in the care of the liberated survivors.

As Felix was bi-lingual English-Polish, he may have been called upon to assist in the care for the about 8,900 Polish speaking survivors.


My late father never spoke of his experiences at Dachau.

Dad was a very private and shy man. He said little about his service and nothing about Dachau.

Dad would be both a bit embarrassed while quietly proud of my sharing of his service.

The liberation of Dachau may have been one of the most powerful and traumatic experiences of my father’s life.

Because of that for the rest of his life Felix may have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


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Felix A. Cizewski’s photo of the entrance to the SS training camp and garrison for Waffen-SS soldiers, located west of the prison compound. It was about five times larger than the concentration camp.

Click on image for more larger edition information

Felix wrote on the back:”Dachau Germany Prison Camp”. This is from his collection but not one of the photos he took.

The original has been donated to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Watermarks on images

Several years ago an image of the 45th Division News from my family history site was copied and posted on a Nazi sympathizing, Holocaust denying site.

As the 45th Division News is in the public domain, I have no control of its use.

Adding watermarks to images I post may discourage their misuse. Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers may be reluctant to use images with a 45th Division Thunderbird watermark.


Links, sources, and more information:

Felix A. Cizewski and Dachau: Includes links to larger images of the Dachau liberation edition of the 45th Division News.

Felix A. Cizewski: An Unrecognized and Uncompensated Disabled Veteran?

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Assessing Atrocity


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p5ZvuU-17
Revised:

FBI Director Erroneously Calls Poland A “Holocaust Accomplice”

On April 15, 2015, FBI director James B. Comey delivered a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 2015 National Tribute Dinner entitled “Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum”.

While he accurately cited Nazi allied Hungary as Holocaust accomplice, he erroneously included Poland an accomplice.

In response to Director Comey’s error the American ambassador to Poland was summoned for a meeting with the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish ambassador to the U.S. has asked for an apology.

I suggest that Director Comey join his agents on their training visits the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and spend time in the library to develop an accurate knowledge of the Holocaust.

Director Comey would then learn that rather than being an accomplice, Poland was the major victim of the Holocaust.


Among the reasons that  Director Comey’s error is so painful to Poland and Poles is Poland will never fully recover from the damage done by the Holocaust.

Poland will never again be a Slavic-Jewish nation.

Prior to the Holocaust, the population of Poland was about 10% Jewish and Poland was the world center of Jewish life, learning, language, culture, literature, religion, and politics.

Almost the entire Polish Jewish population of about 3 million was exterminated. After the war, the Soviet occupiers and their Polish Communist puppet government failed to provide security for the returning survivors so most fled.

Almost 3 million other Poles were also killed, many as part of a concurrent Nazi extermination campaign against Slavs.

Almost six million Poles of all ethnicities and religions were killed by the Nazis.


Director Comey’s error is a Cold War remnant of the Soviet Union’s successful anti-Polish propaganda campaigns. The Soviet allied Communist Party USA and their supporters and sympathizers embedded that false Polish history in popular culture and public consciousness.

Among the goals of that campaign was to divert attention from the Soviet Union’s major responsibility for the Holocaust as a Nazi ally for about the first two years of WWII.

That Soviet complicity is rarely mentioned while erroneous statements about Poland are almost routine are a lingering effect of that very successful propaganda campaign.

Repeating that error continues the pain of ½ century of Soviet oppression of Poland.


In previous posts I have detailed both the Soviet’s and Hungarian’s complicity in the Holocust:

SOVIET UNION

HUNGARY


Holocaust History and the Unofficial Archive of the Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII

I occasionally post about Holocaust history on the Unofficial Archive of the Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII blog to honor the members of the Signal Corps who provided direct communications support for the liberation of some of the Nazi concentration camps.

Among them was my late father Felix A. Cizewski who served in 45th Signal Company which provided support to the 45th Infantry Division’s combat units who liberated Dachau.

After liberation he was stationed near Dachau for about 2½ months on occupation duty. He may have shared in the care of the liberated survivors. He was fluent in Polish and  almost 9,000 Polish speakers were among the liberated survivors.


Links, sources, and more information:

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Assessing Atrocity


Revised: April 21, 2015

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-mw