In his splendid book Monuments Men Robert Edsel tells the following tale about the liberation of Buchenwald….Walker Hancock when he got to the vicinity of Buchenwald was visited by a Jewish chaplain ministering to to the surviving victims in Buchenwald. Hancock had recently recovered a Torah scroll, and when the Jewish chaplain visited, he lamented that what the persons in the camp most longed for, was the symbol of their faith and spiritual life— a Torah scroll. Hancock, fortunately had the wisdom to share what he had with the Jewish chaplain after which he reported how it was received– “the people weeping, reaching for it, kissing it overcome with joy at the sight of seeing the symbol of their faith” (p. 310 in MM).
Having seen the horrors of the camp, and for that matter all the maimed German soldiers in the area in April 1945 just as spring was arriving and the flowers were blooming he was struck by the juxtaposition of beauty and human evil….”All such an exaggerated picture of the man-made way of life in a God-made world. If it all doesn’t prove the necessity of Heaven. I don’t know what it means. I believe all this loveliness showing through the rubble and wreck are just foreshadowings of the joys we were made for.” (p. 311 MM).