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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: April 28, 2004
No: 04-14

Survivor, liberator to speak at Holocaust remembrance

NATICK, Mass. -- A Holocaust survivor and concentration camp liberator will be the keynote speakers at the Soldier Systems Center Holocaust Remembrance program at Hunter Auditorium scheduled for April 29 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Max Michelson, a Latvian Jew, and Leo F. Barry, a former Soldier with the Army's 45th Infantry Division, will participate in a program that honors and remembers U.S. Army personnel who fought in World War II, and those who survived and perished during the Holocaust.

Media is invited to attend this event. If interested in attending or for more information, please contact Patty Welsh at 508-233-5945 or Jerry Whitaker at 508-233-5340.

Born in Riga, Latvia, Michelson lived there with his parents when the German Army overran Latvia in June 1941. He was forced into the Riga Ghetto along with the entire local Jewish community, and lived through a number of slave labor and concentration camps after the ghetto was liquidated in December 1941.

At 20 years old, Michelson was liberated in Germany on May 9, 1945, the day after V-E Day. The sole survivor of his family, he immigrated to the United States after World War II, studied electrical engineering at City College of New York and settled in Massachusetts, living in Framingham for many years. He retired as a consulting scientist working on the design of radar systems for Raytheon.

Michelson's memoir "City of Life, City of Death: Memories of Riga", published in 2001 by the University Press of Colorado, describes his childhood and youth in pre-war Latvia and tells of his experiences during the Holocaust.

Barry, a lifelong Boston resident, was inducted into the Army in March 1943 and was shipped to Europe in July. He served with Company E, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, on many of the battlegrounds in the European Theater of Operations, and attained the rank of staff sergeant.

Barry participated in seven campaigns and three beachheads. The 45th Division engaged in 511 days of combat, the second most in the European Theater. At the end of April 1945, Leo participated in the liberation of Dachau concentration camp and occupation of Munich.

At the Faneuil Hall dedication ceremony of the Liberators Monument in April 2003, Barry accepted the dedication on behalf of the servicemen who liberated the concentration camps.

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This page last updated on 23 January 2004.