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Former Concentration Camp Liberator and Ohio Teacher Speaks at Holocaust Commemoration

photo of Richard Dutro
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A former northeast Ohio public school teacher and principal is speaking out about disturbing things he’s witnessed in the past. His stories as a liberator at a concentration camp in World War II led the state’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust.

Former Lakewood Public Schools Principal Richard Dutro was part of the 42nd Rainbow Division that arrived at Dachau, Germany, on April 30th, 1945, one day after the Americans invaded. He says he will never forget what he saw there.

“I was at Dachau for five days. I witnessed some of the most cruel, inhumane activities that I have ever seen in my life.”

Dutro says he didn’t speak about the horrors he witnessed at the concentration camp until a few years ago when he realized if he doesn’t talk about what he saw, people will never realize the atrocities and the climate that led to them. Dutro was part of the governor’s 37th Annual Holocaust Commemoration at the Statehouse.