A U.S. Army soldier was reunited with a Holocaust survivor he helped save during World War II. After more than 70 years, survivor Marsha Kreuzman found soldier Joe Barbella and brought him a present for the holidays. Although they are both in their 90s, they shared a special get together and memories of the war.
It is not often that a soldier gets to meet someone he helped save during a war, according to CBS Local. However, Joe Barbella is an exception at the age of 93, and he has now met survivor Marsha Kreuzman. The survivor shares that she found the soldier by chance in a newspaper announcement and decided to track him down.
Joe Barbella helped liberate the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria during World War II, and Marsha Kreuzman was one of the women in the camp. She fondly remembers the soldiers telling her she is free and taking her to a makeshift hospital. They helped restore her health and gave her the chance to live. She is certain that she would have died during the war if the soldiers had not liberated her camp.
Barbella and Kreuzman met in his home, and the Holocaust survivor came with a gift for the holidays. After all of these years, she wanted the soldier to know she was grateful for his efforts during the war. Spending several hours together, the 93-year-old and the 90-year-old have become friends, and they hope to meet again.
Neither Marsha Kreuzman nor Joe Barbella have ever been able to forget World War II, and the memories are still fresh in their minds. Kreuzman lost her entire family in concentration camps while Barbella witnessed horrifying scenes in the medical unit. Each one has been affected greatly by the war but has not allowed it to destroy their lives. Both found their way to the United States and have families. The memories that they have accumulated over the years are impossible to put behind them, yet they have built happy lives in the U.S.
A soldier’s reunion with a survivor he helped rescue is giving others hope that they may be able to thank a soldier who helped them too. Marsha Kreuzman spent many years looking for soldiers who helped save her camp, and it was chance that helped her find Barbella. They are not letting old age stop them from visiting each other or continuing this new friendship.