NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Holocaust survivor living in Livingston, N.J. has been reunited with one of her liberators 68 years after she was freed from a Nazi death camp.
Marsha Kreuzman weighed just 70 pounds when the troops came in to liberate Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria in May of 1945. She was 18 years old at the time.
WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot spoke with Kreuzman, now 90, about finding one of the American soldiers who helped rescue her.
She said she was reading the local paper in October when she came across a name in a wedding anniversary announcement. The listing said Joe Barbella had helped liberate Mauthausen as a soldier during World War II.
Kreuzman looked up Barbella, 93, and after a tearful conversation, visited him at his Union Township home.
“I was crying and I was kissing him and I was hugging him and I was kissing his hands,” Kreuzman told Cabot.
Kreuzman said her entire family was killed in the Holocaust and didn’t think she’d survive.
“When I was liberated, I was lying on the crematorium door waiting to be shuffled to crematorium. I was sick and when the American soldiers picked me up, I looked [and] he looked like he was in heaven because I was on the floor and he was a very tall man,” Kreuzman said.
She said she fainted when he picked her up and carried her to freedom.
Kreuzman said she brought the Barbellas Christmas gifts last week.
She had spent decades looking for the men who helped liberate her.
Kreuzman said she’d tried to meet two other liberators but said they died before she was able to track them down.
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