Liberated 1945

I was there.

Vasile was released by the US Army in April 1945 in the Buchenwald camp. After liberation he returned to Cluj-Napoca and tried to start over his life. He went to university to study and became an economist. He got married and has a son. .

Vasile Nussbaum (1929), Romania/Hungary

Vasile Nussbaum (1929), Romania/Hungary

Consider here the life of Vasile after liberation

The March to Buchenwald and the Liberation

In April 1945, Vasile is forced on a death march to Buchenwald. Thanks to the German prisoner Otto Hermann, he escapes alive and is then liberated in the Buchenwald camp by the US army.

1) Listen to Vasile as he talks about marching to the Buchenwald camp and the liberation. Answer the questions.

  • 1a. What does the "death march" mean?

  • 1b. How has Hermann Otto managed to save prisoners from death?

Returning Home

Vasile returns home hoping that the new communist ideology will no longer allow antisemitic violences. He enters university and becomes an economist.

2) Listen to Vasile as he talks about his return home. Answer the questions.

  • 2a. What did Vasile hope for when he returned home?

  • 2b. How did he continue his life after returning home?

Information About Father’s Death

Many years after liberation, visiting the Buchenwald camp museum, Vasile finds out that his father was imprisoned there, where he died in February 1945.

3) Listen to Vasile as he talks about the death of his father. Answer the questions.

  • 3a. How did Vasile learn about his father's death?

  • 3b. Choose 4-5 words from the list below that best describe your feeling when listening to Vasile's story of how he learned about his father's death:

See the list

                     suffering                resignation            anger

                 understanding                sadness              optimism         

           hope               joy                helplessness

                serenity              wonder                 power​​​​​​​

                        weakness              love                 hate

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