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Maurice Rosenberg’s Liberation Diary

Caption: Carl Adickman (left) & Maurice Rosenberg (right) at a French Hunting Lodge near our bivouac, south of Rozay-en-Brie

Maurice Rosenberg was born Sept. 3, 1919, in Oswego, New York. He volunteered for the Army in 1941 and served in Europe until 1945, assigned to a variety of duties. With the military government in occupied Germany, he helped repatriate millions of slave laborers conscripted by the Germans from their conquered territories: Italy, Yugoslavia, Belgium, France and Poland. After the war, he had a path-breaking career as a legal scholar dedicated to promoting judicial reform in the United States, and served as a faculty member at Columbia’s School of Law for 39 years. He died August 25, 1995. 

Read Maurice Rosenberg’s obituary: 

His son, Dr. David Rosenberg, is a longtime Pittsburgh resident and historian. David generously shared these entries from the journal his father kept during liberation, and is mentioned on the 6th page as having taken his first steps. 

These entries from early 1945 give accounts of military battles and movements, run-ins between soldiers, and the day-to-day changes in the landscape in the final months of World War II. Presciently, Rosenberg mentions himself and another soldier taking bets on when the war will end in Europe: 

“Byrnes says it’ll be in March. I’m committing myself that the end will come (except for the post-hostilities fighting) by the 2nd week in June.” Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 8, 1945.

Journal Scans: