At a Beverly Hills hotel last Tuesday, retired Sergeant Rick Carrier retold how he stumbled upon Buchenwald, one of Hitler’s largest concentration camps, at the end of World War II.
He was scouring the captured territories for engineering supplies abandoned by the Germans when a priest told Carrier of a nearby SS prison. When he drove a jeep up to the wrought-iron gates of Buchenwald, he was shocked at what he saw: “I was a battle-hardened soldier but I never never ever witnessed anything as horrible as this. Walking skeletons, bleeding fingers clutching at the rusty barbed wire. Sunken eyes staring at me, filled with puss and tears.”
The next day, Carrier led an armored tank back to the camp and blew the main gate off. Soon after that, hundreds of soldiers arrived to safely liberate the prisoners.
As Carrier told his story at a gala hosted by March of the Living International, an educational program that takes Jewish students to Poland and Israel to learn about the Holocaust, he was joined by Irving Roth, a survivor of Buchenwald, who told Carrier, “I was there on the day that you opened the gates and saved countless lives. Thank you. Thank you very much for saving us.”
The 87-year-old sergeant responded with the vigor: “I would do it again in a moment!” Read more.