In a generous move, 83-year-old Holocaust survivor Bernard Darty is expressing his gratitude to the United States Army, which saved him back in the 1940s. The French-born Darty explained that “since World War II, I’ve felt a deep connection to American troops for saving my life.”
Darty, along with his wife, is specifically is giving to the Services for Armed Forces program of the American Red Cross and the Wounded Warrior Project.
This is Bernard’s “way of giving back, thanking previous generations of warriors for helping me. I hope this inspires others to give back as well.”
Bernard’s parents moved the family from Poland to France escape persecution. Unfortunately, this all ended when the Germans invaded France and started promulgating anti-Jewish policies.
His parents were captured, while he was passed off to be hidden. His mother sadly perished in Auschwitz, perhaps the most infamous Nazi concentration camp. In 1942, he was essentially alone as a 7-year-old, hiding.
This is why the arrival of American troops in 1944 was so momentous for Bernard.
“I vividly remember the arrival of the hundreds of thousands of American troops who landed in Normandy to liberate us in June 1944. They were our saviors, doling out packets of sweets to half-starved, war-weary children who had almost given up hope for freedom,” Bernard reflected.
“The gratitude I feel to these men is beyond words. They freed our country and they saved our lives. Without American troops, my family and I simply would not have existed. I think of that every time I look at our family photos,” Bernard explained.
Bernard now has a vacation home in Florida, and is very happy to be able to be in America with American friends. It’s important to remember a lesson from him: “even though more than 70 years have passed since my rescue, it’s not too late to give back.”