©2005, 2009 Bruno Ehlich
The story you are about to read is almost impossible to believe were it not for the almost daily contact through e-mail and the telephone over a two-year-span since the fall of 2002. It may be difficult to read for some because of its stark and graphic portrayal of events as they occurred. Mr. Ehlich is gifted with an almost vivid photographic memory and we are the richer for his part in the preservation of history as it occurred in his area of the world in the closing days of the demise of the Third Reich.
Mr. Ehlich originally made contact with Mr. Dee Eberhart, publisher of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division Regimental Colors, a biannual compilation of stories and letters of interest by veterans of the 242nd Infantry Regiment. His original thought was that men of this division were the liberators of his adopted village in April 1945. Mr. Eberhart's further investigation led to the belief that it may have been the 90th Infantry Division. Since my brother Vern was a replacement in that division I immediately contacted him. The rest is history.
I am grateful for the friendship of both Bruno and Josie Ehlich. We have been privileged to visit by phone for hours at a time, shared videos of our lives and the almost daily surface and e-mail contact to include photos. I know his story to be true and factual as far as the memory of a 9-year-old would allow under the chaotic conditions endured in the final days of World War II. Vern also saw the result of the tortured victims of Flossenburg. My division history book is replete with firsthand graphic photos of the tragic reality its men experienced as they liberated the Dachau concentration camp in the days following.
The author welcomes any information historians or veterans may have which more clearly verifies his memory of events and sheds further light on the exact unit that made combat contact in his village.
Glenn E. Schmidt
"A" Company, 242nd Infantry Regiment
42nd Infantry Division