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At end of war, a return to synagogue

William Schwartz, now of Bellingham, stands atop rubble in Frankfurt, Germany, after World War II ended in Europe. A dentist in the military, Schwartz was assigned to Gen. Eisenhower's headquarters in Frankfurt soon after V-E Day on May 8, 1945.
William Schwartz, now of Bellingham, stands atop rubble in Frankfurt, Germany, after World War II ended in Europe. A dentist in the military, Schwartz was assigned to Gen. Eisenhower's headquarters in Frankfurt soon after V-E Day on May 8, 1945. FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

World War II ended in Europe on May 8, 1945. All of the American soldiers stationed in Verdun, France, marched down the main street celebrating. The French people threw flowers in our path. (Three years later, on that same date, my son Harvey was born.)

Shortly after that I was transferred to General Eisenhower's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. I did dental work for many of the soldiers on his staff.

That fall I went to a synagogue for the Jewish High Holy Days. The synagogue had been spared destruction during the war because the Nazis used it as a grain silo.

There was an immense crowd that spilled onto the street. The few non-uniformed congregants were German Jews who had somehow survived. It had been many years since there were formal Jewish services in Germany.

Many of the survivors from the death camps were transferred to Frankfurt and got jobs with the American government.



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