General André DELPECH-Prize
Dee Eberhart receives CID prize
Dear Dee Eberhart
The International Dachau Committee (CID) brings together all the national associations of survivors of this camp and their descendants.
And it decided to give you its highest reward, the General André DELPECH Prize. This award honors the merits of those who have devoted themselves particularly to the objectives of this committe, either directly for the memory of the deportation in this camp, or more generally by fighting against fascism, racism and anti-Semitism and any other discrimination on political and religious grounds.
Dear Dee Eberhart, your fight and your commitment perfectly meet these criteria and you largely deserve this Prize.
Among your only seven predecessors, was the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Unfortunately, the current circumstances with the Corona virus did not allow you to come to Germany, to receive this prize, during the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp, as we planned it. All our projects were cancelled. And we dont know if ceremonies will be possible in 2021.
That’s why, with this video and the help of your children, Katryne and Urban, I come to offer you this prestigious diploma.
First of all, I would like to speak very shortly about You. You are born in 1925 and you joined the US Army on May 1943, just after graduation from high school, at age 18.
While you were still in school at Toppenish, Washington State, you saw a short feature, “The March of Time” about the first Concentration Camp of Dachau. So you were one of the few, maybe the only one of your army buddies who had any knowledge about this camp before your arrival there as liberator.
You became rifleman, in the 242nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Rainbow Division and were sent to France, in the autumn of 1944, at first in General Patton’s 3rd Army and then in Gen. Patch’s 7th Army. You fought in hard combats in Alsace, Ardennes and Rhineland.
And you finally arrived by midafternoon, April 29 with the 3rd Platoon of the 1st Compagny at the concentration camp of Dachau. What you have seen and discovered then impressed you for the rest of your live and you never forgot.
75 years later, we are deeply grateful to you for what you have done in the ranks of the 42 Rainbow Division. And, as retired officer of the French army, I put on specially for you my uniform, to express among soldiers, my grateful respects.
But then, after liberating this camp, you devoted a large part of your life to witnessing this fight for freedom to young people in schools and universities and by keeping the flame of remembrance alive with high national responsibilities within your Rainbow Division Veterans Foundation.
And that’s why, these two reasons, that we wanted to greet you today.
You met personally General Delpech at commemoration in 'DacKau'. A chief and a very nice person.
He was also not yet 18 when whole of France was invaded in 1942 and he joined the Resistance, in a network of which one of the leaders, General Delestraint, was later assassinated in DaKau.
While in high school, he fought clandestinely as liaison officer in the French Interior Forces, with the rank of second lieutenant before being arrested by the Gestapo on May 1944.
And On July 2, 1944, he left Compiègne for Dachau, in the infamous “Train of death”, with my father. They were crammed to 100 by wagons ; without space, without air, without water during 3 days. Out of near 2,500 prisoners, in the suffocating heat, nearly 1,000 were killed on arrival in Dachau’s station.
André Delpech he had the chance to survive and then made a brilliant military career.
President of the Comité International de Dachau, he wanted the memory not to remain the sole preserve of the last witnesses but that the following generations would get involved in the transmission of this history and participate alongside it. He retired after passing the torch and died in 2012.
Here is, in few words, all the symbolic value of this prize. You fought for liberty and you fought for history. You are a true example.
Mister Dee Eberhart, on behalf of the International Committee of Dachau, I have the honor to present to you, in appreciation of your fight for the liberation of Dachau and your participation in the memory of this first concentration camp, the General's Prize André Delpech, with on his medal, the dove of Peace.
I want to express you my deep congratulations. We don’t forget.
Thanks a lot for what you have done.
I hope to see you soon.
General Jean-Michel Thomas, President.