On the cusp of 100,000 visits to this site, I am posting three photographs of the liberation of the train near Magdeburg that were discovered earlier this summer, with permission. Gina Rappaport is the subject who appears in two of the photos, along with her sister and her cousin. I think it is shortly before tanker George Gross departed to join the rest of the battalion on Saturday morning, April 14, 1945.
“We were relieved the next morning, started up the tank, waved good-bye to our new friends, and followed a guiding jeep down the road to rejoin our battalion. I looked back and saw a lonely Gina Rappaport standing in front of a line of people waving us good fortune. On an impulse I cannot explain, I stopped the tank, ran back, hugged Gina, and kissed her on the forehead in a gesture I intended as one asking forgiveness for man’s terrible cruelty and wishing her and all the people a healthy and happy future. I pray they have had it.“