Alan Moskin, age 88, was drafted into the military service at the age of 18 and served in the United States Army during World War II (from September 1944 until August 1946). He was a member of the 66th Infantry, 71st Division, part of General George Patton’s 3rd Army.
Alan’s outfit fought in combat through France, Germany and Austria during which time he was promoted in rank from Private to Staff Sergeant. On May 4, 1945, his Company participated in the liberation of the Gunskirchen Concentration Camp, a subcamp of Mauthausen. After the war ended, Alan remained in Europe until June, 1946 as a member of the U.S. Army of Occupation.
In his enormously powerful talk, Alan recounts with vivid detail, the horror of liberating a concentration camp, on that fateful day back in 1945.
In addition, Alan also addresses the bigotry and racism he encountered as a young soldier in basic training.
Alan Moskin was born in Englewood, New Jersey on May 30, 1926. He attended Syracuse University both before and after his military service in World War II and he graduated in May, 1948. He then attended New York University Law School, graduating with a J.D. degree in June, 1951. He practiced law as a civil trial attorney in New Jersey for over 20 years and subsequently worked in the private business sector until he retired in 1991.
Alan presently resides in Nanuet, New York, and has travelled the country sharing his experiences as an infantry combat soldier and a “Concentration Camp” liberator. He has made video recordings at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and at the Holocaust Museum and Study Center in Suffern, New York. Alan has also participated in programs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, at the German School in White Plains, New York, and has been featured on Russian television, the CBS radio network and on the documentary “The Jewish Americans” on PBS.
Alan has two grown daughters and seven grandchildren. He presently serves as a Vice President on the Board of Trustees of the Holocaust Museum and Study Center and is also Past Commander of the Rockland/Orange District Council of the Jewish War Veterans of the United State of America.
“Very powerful. What an amazing man. He got a standing ovation. The speech was incredible, graphic, educational, and emotional all at the same time.” – Dave Zamansky, Assistant Director, Memorial Union – University of New Hampshire
“…. Your story was so powerful and compelling, so vivid and haunting, I, as well as each and every one of my students, could barely speak about it without choking up. Honestly, it’s beyond us how you are able to speak about such painful memories and hold it together. But I get it – you have to. Somehow you managed, through your words, your candor, to bring us into your story as if we were walking in your shoes. We are all grateful that you chose, on June 10th, 1995, to bravely open the doors behind which you had locked your story for over 50 years and let it flow out. If telling the story of the Holocaust to younger generations is a necessity, then you do a mitzvah with every visit, every talk, every hug you offer kids. My students and I agreed, 90 minutes was not nearly enough time to listen to your story. We could have listened to you for days. And so, others should too. Your story is vital on so many levels. As you will read in the many letters written to you by our students, your message about the importance of family time, the importance of friendships and especially of tolerance resonated like music in their ears. Many of them write how their perspectives on life are changed from listening to you – how they feel more gratitude for the people in their lives, how they intend to open their eyes to the gifts of their lives rather than focus on any gaps. And they all especially appreciated that you spoke to them frankly, not as kids, not ‘sugar-coating’ any of the tough details…it was my honor and one of the greatest pleasures of my life to meet you and listen to your story…You are a treasure.” – Stephen Tesher, Teacher – Nyack Middle School
“I had the honor and privilege to work with Mr. Alan Moskin when he came to speak to the UCA community about his experiences during WWII. Mr. Moskin’s talk was heartfelt, educational, and very moving. I very much enjoyed working with him and have had several requests to bring him back to campus. Though he won’t admit it, he’s a true national treasure.” Kendra Regehr, Director of Student Activities, University of Central Arkansas