FORT WORTH, Texas - On a day when people remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, there was a special reunion in Fort Worth for a man liberated from a Nazi concentration camp with the man who had a hand in making his freedom a reality.
Bernie Sutter was part of the 90th Infantry Division 73 years ago. That unit opened the gates at the Flossenburg, Germany concentration camp. Among those liberated was Max Glauben, who settled in Dallas.
The two men had never met face to face. They were among the distinguished guests at the Fort Worth Military Museum for Memorial Day.
Their lives have played an integral part of events that shaped the world and some would save saved the world.
“I’m definitely proud of my dad. I’m definitely proud of all the men that were with him,” said Sandra Sutter-Richards, Sutter’s daughter.
During WWII, Sutter was a heavy machine gunner. The campaign in April of 1945 took him to the concentration camp near the German border with Czechoslovakia.
“His unit, the 358th and some of the 359th were actually the liberators of that concentration camp,” his daughter said.
She now tells his stories because his mind and body have been imprisoned by time.
“I remember a lot of stories that he told as a very young child but he didn’t talk much about the war. He talked most about the concentration camp and the effect it had on him,” she said.
Glauben was among the thousands Sutter helped save. He was so grateful to the Allied Forces when he came to America he joined the military in 1951, serving in the Korean conflict and until 1953.
“And that’s when I met my lovely wife in Dallas, Texas. We got married and have three children, seven grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild,” he said.
Glauben said he was honored to meet the man who helped save so many more lives than just his own.
“The liberation is not a singular one but I have 19 members of my family that lived to replace someone of the ones that were killed by the Nazis. So you see what kind of… in our religion if you save one life it’s the same as if you saved the whole world,” he said.
There are only two members of the 358 Company M still alive. Aside from Sutter, the other lives in Saint Louis, Mo.