The tattered journal, its pages yellow with age, contains the painful memories of a U.S. medic, a man who recorded the deaths of soldiers who survived one of World War II's bloodiest battles yet met their end as slaves in Nazi Germany.
Last Saturday, a young African-American president used eloquent prose to challenge the world to learn from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust at Germany's Buchenwald concentration camp: "To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened -- a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful. This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts; a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history."
Hobbled with age, weathered with time, the World War II veterans stood at attention. One by one, a two-star general delivered flags flown over the Pentagon in their honor. He looked them in their eyes and snapped his right hand in salute.
President Barack Obama made an emotional visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany, Friday, saying that the camp should serve as a reminder of humanity's duty to fight the spread of evil.
I don't know whether to be sad or angry -- or both. The recent exposé of the fact that Herman Rosenblat's Holocaust memoir is a hoax was no surprise to me. From the first time I heard the story of his "miraculous" survival during the Nazi era, I doubted that it could be true.
James Hoyt delivered mail in rural Iowa for more than 30 years. Yet Hoyt had long kept a secret from most of those who knew him best: He was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first see Germany's Buchenwald concentration camp.