By Bobby Ross Jr. | For The Associated Press
WESTLAKE, Texas — Anna Salton Eisen found the old pictures — wallet-size, black-and-white images of Jewish prisoners who survived the Holocaust — in a folder her late father, George Lucius Salton, kept most of his life.
The Texas woman recognized the names of some of the teens and young men from stories her father told. For three years, the baby-faced captives lived among the dead and dying in barracks and boxcars as Nazi captors moved them from Poland to France to Germany. The skeletal friends said a tearful Kaddish — a Jewish prayer of mourning — after learning their parents had died in the gas chambers.
But suddenly, the familiar names had faces.
“Seeing the faces of all of them really brought the story to life,” said Eisen, who discovered the photos while moving her mother, Ruth Salton, 99, from Florida to the Dallas area this past summer.
Eisen, 62, said she felt compelled to learn more about the confidants who had meant so much to her father, who died at age 88 in 2016.
George Salton was 17 when the U.S. Army liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp in Germany on May 2, 1945. Over the next few years, the survivors scattered around the world. Most lost touch with each other.
But 76 years after American soldiers cut down the barbed wire and fulfilled the prisoners’ impossible dream of freedom, Eisen set out to bring together the survivors’ loved ones.
This story appears on The Associated Press wire.
Featured image: AP photo by LM Otero