FIRST ON 13: Retired Hudson Falls teacher finds amazing Holocaust rescue footage
It was 78 years ago that American soldiers – including one from Johnstown – freed 2,500 Jewish prisoners from their German captors. For the first time on local television, film footage is out from that momentous day.
The film is silent, but speaks volumes about what happened that day in April 1945.
Tracks had been blown up, and some of the 2,500 Jewish people being held captive on the train were starving and sick with typhus.
With the war nearing the end, the Nazis were considering blowing up the train or killing all the people on board. However, they got word that the Americans were nearby, and the German soldiers took off.
A couple of Americans in a tank showed up around an hour later. One of them was a guy from Johnstown named Carroll “Red” Walsh. They’re credited with liberating the Jewish prisoners.
As the recently uncovered silent film shows, not a moment too soon. Some of them were worse off than others, but all were starving. The film shows them pushing up against the soldiers, begging for what little food they had.
This is a story that author and retired Hudson Falls history teacher Matt Rozell has been telling for 22 years, ever since he interviewed Red Walsh for an oral history project. Now he has the moving pictures to go along with the moving story.
See the video and meet one of the people who was liberated that day by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.