"Anyone can go to the Holocaust museum [in Washington DC] but not everyone gets this experience." ~A. Speitel (student, 17)
The Holocaust Awareness Museum Reunites A Survivor and a Rescuer (With Video)
As Holocaust survivors begin to pass away, reuniting them becomes more difficult. This also relates to reuniting survivors and their rescuers.
On April 26, 2009, the Holocaust Awareness Museum was able to reunite Survivor Hans Salomon and Rescuer Tracy Strong at an emotional ceremony at Lafayette-Redeemer in Northeast Philadelphia. Until this date, the two men had met once before since World War II, in 2004, in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, where Strong was received as a hero. They had written and called each other for decades but because Strong lived in Idaho and Salomon lived in Philadelphia, it was difficult to meet.
In 1941, Hans Salomon and Egon Gruenhut were German refugees interred at Gurs camp in France. Tracy Strong was a 25 year old American relief worker working for the European Student Relief Fund. Though unable to promise anything, Strong told Salomon, Gruenhut and 3 other inmates that, "he was looking forward to being successful in getting us out." Equipped with false identity papers and travel visas, harassed by Nazi border guards and after lobbying the Swiss government for passage, the five refugees arrived in neutral Switzerland. Salomon moved to Philadelphia in 1948 and Strong went on to receive his Masters degree at Stanford.
There are several newspaper articles written by the Philadelphia Inquirer that covered the event:
Philly.com: A Survivor and an Unsung Savior, 68 Years on
Reliving the Holocaust...by Re-enacting it
Here is a video of Hans Salomon speaking about his experiences during the Holocaust: