New York – Rabbi Abraham J. Klausner, the first Jewish chaplain in the United States Army to arrive at the Dachau concentration camp after its liberation in 1945 and a strong voice for thousands of Holocaust survivors who remained in displaced persons camps for years after the war, died on Thursday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 92.
Rabbi Klausner was “the father figure” for the more than 30,000 emaciated survivors found at Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, after it was liberated on April 29, 1945, and later for thousands more left in camps as the Allies tried to determine where they should go. It was in May 1945, three weeks after Dachau had been liberated, that Lieutenant Klausner (he would later be promoted to captain) arrived at the camp with the 116th Evacuation Hospital.
“He was a rabbi in an American uniform,”. “He was horrified by the fact that the survivors were still living as virtual prisoners. When they didn’t have adequate bedding or enough food, he got it for them; he got kosher provisions for those who wanted it.”
Rabbi Klausner wrote letters of protest about conditions in the camp and sent them up the chain of command. He listed every survivor at Dachau and made sure the list was posted at other camps.
“He brought hundreds and hundreds of families together [nytimes]