Imagine owing your life and the lives of your entire family to one man who lives halfway across the globe. That is the relationship between Marcel Levy and Sid Shafner.
Levy, 90, is a survivor of the Dachau Concentration Camp – the first camp opened by the Nazis during World War II. Dachau was used to house inmates during the Holocaust, when Nazis attempted to imprison and kill certain groups in Europe – particularly the Jewish and Romani populations. Shafner and Levy were both young men (23 and 19, respectively) when they were brought together in 1945. Shafer was among the American soldiers that liberated that camp, saving the lives of 30,000 people – including Levy.
Since then, Levy has credited Shafner for making it possible for him to live a full life and start a family. The two survivors met for the first time in 20 years last week, when Shafner traveled from Colorado to Israel to attend a Holocaust memorial. Their most recent reunion was particularly emotional because, with both men being in their 90s, it could very well be their last.
The two were met with applause from a gathering crowd as they hugged and greeted each other as old friends.
Both were overcome with emotion as a tearful Levy thanked Shafner for saving his life. “Everything I have today — all of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren — is due to you.”
EMOTIONAL REUNION: WWII veteran reunited with Holocaust survivor he freed from concentration camp 71 years ago. “Everything I have today, all of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, is due to you." http://abcn.ws/27wWT5k
Posted by ABC News on Tuesday, May 17, 2016