STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — A Holocaust survivor recently came face-to-face with a U.S. Army veteran who helped liberate him from a Nazi concentration camp 70 years ago.
Joshua Kaufman, 86, now lives in Los Angeles and met Daniel Gillespie, now 89, just a few weeks ago. Gillespie helped free Kaufman and others from the death camp in 1945.READ MORE: Driver Tries To Run Over Beverly Hills Officer, Sparking Pursuit; One Arrested
“I promised one day if I will come to America, any American soldier who I will see, I will fall down on my knees and I will hug him and I will kiss him,” Kaufman said.
And he did just that when he saw Gillespie, who now lives in Orange County.
The History Channel Germany arranged the reunion and captured Kaufman kissing Gillespie’s feet in a documentary scheduled to air May 31. It’s a picture seen around-the-world and on the Daily Mail UK.
Kaufman’s daughter says he always wanted to show that level of respect to the soldiers who saved him.READ MORE: E.G. Daily On 'Rugrat's New Holiday Special "Traditions": 'We Embrace Everyone And Everything'
“In all the years, he saluted. He’s kissed hands. But he never kept his dream of actually kissing feet of veteran,” Rachel Kaufman said.
Kaufman was only 15 when he was forced into a Nazi concentration camp.
Next month, he plans to celebrate his 87th birthday beside his four adult daughters and their children. He credits it all to the U.S. troops who freed him when he says he was just days from dying.
“I know what he went through in the war, and he survived and I survived,” Kaufman said of Gillespie.MORE NEWS: Angels Reportedly Re-Sign Closer Raisel Iglesias To Four-Year Deal
Kaufman lost most of his family in the Holocaust, including his mother and all three of his siblings.