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February 15, 2014

 

During the closing days of World War II in Europe, the 82nd Airborne liberated the Wöbbelin concentration camp, a few miles from the town of Ludwigslust, Germany.

 

Of the population of 5,000 prisoners, roughly 1,500 died over the space of ten weeks, most as the result of starvation and disease. Among the liberators of the Wöbbelin camp was a man named Roy Kouski, from K Company of the 325th Glider Battalion. An incident that happened to Kouski at the Wobbelin Camp forever affected his life and it is his desire to try and find a Jewish survivor that he met there from Budapest, Hungary.

 

Soon after liberating the camp, Roy and other men in his platoon were ordered to round up survivors and send them to a displaced persons camp near Ludwigslust. He needed help to do this, so he asked a group of survivors if anyone spoke English. A twelve-year-old Jewish boy from Budapest, Hungary stepped forward. Roy asked the boy, whose name was Paul, if he could help him get the group into the truck that would take them to the displaced persons camp.

 

Paul said he would help if Roy would not place him on the truck with the others. Roy agreed, but after the truck was loaded, he told Paul to get in the truck with the rest of the survivors. Roy was following orders, but he also knew that Paul's best chance of survival was to go to the displaced persons camp with the other survivors. He felt he had to make Paul go, despite his promise. Feeling betrayed, Paul glared at Pvt. Roy Kouski with great anger.

 

Roy never saw his young helper, the boy Paul, again. To this day, Roy Kouski thinks of Paul and wishes he could explain to him why he made Paul get on the truck that day. He would like to explain to Paul that he did what he thought was best to keep him safe. Roy did find a picture of Paul in the German newspaper - a treasure he has kept all these years.

 

Today, we ask for everyone's help in locating Paul in order to make this connection possible. Roy Kouski is 91 years old and still wants to find Paul, if Paul is still alive. Mary Jean Eisenhower (grand daughter of the late President) wrote a letter to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. asking for their help with this soldier's request.  A teacher who has researched this particular camp extensively found her letter on file recently and has been using his knowledge and connections to try to find the boy. To date, no luck.

 

Paul was 12 years old in 1945 and was from Budapest, Hungary. He had been seen earlier in the town of Ludwigslust, helping a group of Red Cross volunteers who were operating a soup kitchen. Paul spoke several languages, and may have come to Wöbbelin concentration camp on a transport in late April from Ravensbrück or Sachsenhausen--or he may have arrived at the camp on a death march.

 

We are turning to the Facebook audience to ask for help in locating Paul, who today would be in his early 80s. If you have any idea who Paul is, or how we can find him, please send us a message.  God bless you all.

 

 

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