Seth Udinski, FISM News
The world lost another World War II hero this past weekend, one day before the 77th anniversary of the Allied D-Day invasion. This veteran was not present at D-Day, but he was involved in one of the most impactful Allied victories of the war – the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi prison camp. David Dushman, a member of the Soviet Red Army that liberated the prisoners at Auschwitz, died Saturday at a hospital in Munich, Germany. He was 98 years old.
Dushman had miraculously survived several horrific battles during the war, including the battle of Stalingrad. At 21 years old he played a significant role at the liberation of Auschwitz, where he commanded a tank that destroyed one of the electric fences built to keep daring prisoners from escaping. 70 years later, in an interview, he spoke of his ordeal. Like many courageous men who fought for the Allies in World War II, he said that he simply did his duty.
Skeletons everywhere. They stumbled out of the barracks, they sat and lay among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all of our canned food and immediately drove on, to hunt fascists.
Dushman took part in many postwar ceremonies throughout his life. He later helped train various Russian Olympic athletes for many years.
Dushman died in Germany, the country of former enemies. His death was announced by German Jews at Munich who were no doubt eternally grateful for the man who helped liberate their ancestors.