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Holocaust survivors visit museum with World War II veterans

Holocaust survivors visit museum with World War II veterans. (ABC7)

Les Aigner's trip to the United States Holocaust Museum proved to be even more meaningful than he could have imagined.

Aigner, a Holocaust survivor, has walked the halls before, but this time he was joined by World War II veterans.

"Everyone who served, I consider my liberators because this war was won by them," said Aigner. "If it wasn't won I wouldn't be here."

Aigner and his wife Eva, who is also a survivor, traveled from Oregon for the “Journey of Heroes” put on by the Vital Life Foundation and the Wish of a Lifetime program.

"Their wish was to come on this trip to meet other veterans and thank them for their service," said Steven Glaser with Wish of a Lifetime. "Each and every veteran they see, they feel indebted to."

The Aigners were both torn apart from their families.

Eva Aigner's says her father was murdered in a labor camp. She was just seven years old when she says she was lined up on the banks of the Danube River by Arrow Cross Militiamen. They were executing the Jewish population from the Budapest ghetto.

She says it was a miracle that she was spared.

"My mother found out we were taken down to the riverfront and she pulled out the one and only prescious thing she had-- her wedding ring and bribed the guard to let us out of the line," she said.

Les Aigner was seperated from his family and shipped to Auschwitz and ended up Dachau. He was there April 29th, 1945 when US soldiers took the camp. He remembers his liberation day vividly.

Seeing the museum's newest exhibit: "Americans and the Holocaust" made the trip even more significant.

"It's not easy to go through," said Aigner. "It's sort of reliving it, but it gives us a closure."


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