Seventy-two years after Nandor Katz was freed from Gunskirchen concentration camp, WJCS made it possible for him to meet his liberator Alan Moskin. The two sat next to each other last Friday in a meeting of a lifetime at the Mt. Kisco Hebrew Congregation. Katz, through his daughter's voice because of halting spoken English, recounted the horrid conditions and his near-death experience at Gunskirchen, while Moskin relived events leading up to D-Day. The touching reunion was arranged by Halina Rosenkranz, WJCS Holocaust survivors' groups counselor.
Katz was born December 30, 1925, in Czechoslovakia. He is the last survivor of six children, two of whom perished in Auschwitz along with his parents. In 1944, when the Germans invaded Hungary, Katz was deported from Budapest to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria where two of his brothers also were held. Several months later, in early 1945, they were marched to Gunskirchen where they were left to die, starving and ill, until Moskin and company liberated them. Katz's family eventually came to the US, settling in Pennsylvania. He subsequently moved to Mt. Kisco and held a variety of different jobs from making bagels to silk screening. He provided well for his family and put his daughter Raya through medical school before retiring.
Moskin was drafted into the US Army at age 18 and served during World War II from September 1944 until August 1946. He was a member of the 66th infantry, part of General George Patton's 3rd Army. His outfit fought in combat through France, Germany and Austria and he rose from private to staff sergeant. In May 1945, his company participated in the liberation of the Gunskirchen concentration camp, a sub-camp of Mauthausen. After the war ended, Moskin remained in Europe until June 1946 as a member of the U.S. Army of Occupation. He later returned to the US, was a lawyer for 40 years until retiring in 1991and now travels the US teaching and speaking about the Holocaust.
Rosenkranz leads the WJCS Holocaust Survivors’ Support Group, which helps members share memories, sort out the traumatic events of the past, find inner peace, and deal with the reactivation of old fears created by current events. WJCS also thanks UJA-Federation of New York Teen Philanthropy, The Blue Card: Providing Aid to Needy Holocaust Survivors, Claims Conference (Conference on Jewish Material Claims... and Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center for their support of Holocaust survivors.
WJCS' Susan Lewen, chief development officer, and COO Bernie Kimberg, right, flank Westchester County Legislator Francis T. Corcoran, holding proclamations he presented at the event.