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For the first time in two decades, World War II veteran Sid Shafner was able to give his friend Marcel Levy a hug. The pair first met 71 years ago, when Shafner set Levy free from the Dachau concentration camp. Shafner, 94, lives in Colorado, and recently returned from a trip to Israel and Europe. During his journey, he was reunited at an Israeli military base with Levy, 90, and surrounded by friends and family, the two greeted each other with a warm embrace. Peter Weintraub, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, which sponsored Shafner’s trip, told ABC News1 that in 1945, when Shafner entered the camp, he was stopped by Levy, who said in Yiddish, “You have to leave your route and divert to help us.”

Shafner did, and the two quickly became good friends. Levy was the only person from his family to survive the Holocaust, and Shafner invited him to join his troop as a dishwasher.

Both went on to have families, and Weintraub says when Levy and Shafner embraced, Levy had a message for his old friend: “Everything I have today, all of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, is due to you, Sid.” Catherine Garcia2


  1. ^ told ABC News (
  2. ^ Catherine Garcia (

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