45Dachau 194545
  • Felix A. Cizewski's story
  • 45th Division News
  • SS Gate Photo

  • "The world goes on being awash in wickedness, arrogance, mediocrity, but Antelme showed us that the business of living may be accomplished with goodness, with modesty, and with nobility."

    Robert Antelme was a French writer and resistance worker. He was one of the over 30,000 inmates liberated from Dachau by the 45th Division. He died in 1990.  From Edgar Morin, "Homage to "Robert Antelme," Le Monde, November 2, 1990.

    From Alex Kershaw's The Liberator.

    As a member of the 45th Infantry Division at the time of the liberation of Dachau, Felix A. Cizewski is recognized as a liberator.

    However, on behalf of my late father whom I am sure would agree with this qualification, the hard work of liberation was done by the combat troops of the 45th who defeated the SS guards who resisted liberation.

    Felix was a member of the 45th Signal Company and was providing communications support for he combat troops who were fighting to liberate Dachau.

    However, the 45th Signal Company arrived at Dachau the day after liberation.

    The combat troops appreciated the support from troops such as my father. One shared that it was the luck of the draw who ended up in the combat units and who was assigned to support units such as my father.

    Dachau SS camp gate

    On April 29, 1945, "Task Force Sparks" which consisted of elements of "I" and "L" Companies of  the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Division supported by elements of the 191st Tank Battalion liberated Dachau. During liberation, some of the SS guards were killed in combat resisting the liberation, some were killed by inmates, and some were executed by GIs.The inmates also killed inmates suspected of being informers.

    The 45th Infantry Division is recognized as a liberating unit of Dachau by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U. S. Army Center of Military History.

    The first photos were taken by by T/4 Arland B. Musser, 163rd Signal Photographic Company, Seventh Army. Motion pictures were taken by Special Motion Picture Coverage Unit of the Signal Corps.

    PFC Felix A. Cizewski was in the 45th Signal Company at that time. On April 29th, the day of liberation, the 45th Signal Compnay was moving from Schrobenhausen about 39 miles (63 kilometers) by road north of Dachau to Haimhausen, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) by road northeast of Dachau. On  April 30th, the day after liberation, the 45th Signal Company moved to Feldmoching, Munich, about 7 1/2 milies (12 kilomters) by road southeast of Dachau.

    "Immediately after Dachau's liberation, U.S. Army authorities and other Allied representatives began treating the sick prisoners, implementing health and sanitary measures to curb the typhus epidemic, and bringing in tons of food to feed the starving prisoners. The local townspeople were brought in to give the dead prisoners a proper burial." From United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia's entry The 45th Infantry Division.

    Felix would have had the opportunity to visit Dachau. As he was fluent in Polish, he would have been able to converse with inmates.1

    The 45th Division was stationed on occupation duty in Munich area near Dachau from May until late July, 1945.

    After VE Day, May 8, 1945: General Patton became military governor of Bavaria, which included Dachau and the 45th Division, and ordered that no charges be brought against the GIs involved in the execution of guards

    Felix never spoke of Dachau before his death in 2004. Dachau meant something to him as he kept a copy of the 45th Division News with the report of the liberation and a photo of the gate to the SS camp.

    1 In The Liberator, Alex Kershaw reports 9,082 of the surviving inmates were Slavic Polish. He does not specify the citizenship of the 2, 539 surviving Jewish inmates some of whom were also Polish citizens.

    In Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944 author Richard C. Lukas reports as many as 8,900 Poles among the liberated survivors of Dachau.

    Lukas sites as his source: Jan Domagala, Ci Ktorzy Przeszli Przeszli Przez Dachau (Duchowni w Dachau). Warsaw: Pax, 1957.

    Dachau related links

    INDEX: Cizewski, Lovetere, Musbach, & Robinson Family History
    All material not in the public domain
    2010 - 2015 Leonard H. Cizewski
    Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

    Last Updated: April 24, 2015
    Last Reviewed:

    hosted by ibiblio