While Dan Cuddy was recognized as a banking giant, his death has brought out other aspects of his life, which are not as well known, such as his service during World War II.
In 2012, Cuddy shared the Alaska Jewish Museum’s Shalom Peace Award with Rachel Gottstein, a holocaust survivor. Cuddy was among the troops who rescued her uncle from the Buchenwald concentration camp.
Rabbi Joseph and Etsy Greenberg shared the moving remarks of Cuddy and Gottstein captured on video at the Jewish Cultural Gala in 2012, as well as this letter explaining the significance of the award.
The Alaska Jewish Museum & Jewish Cultural Gala join fellow Alaskans in paying tribute to the life of a legendary Alaskan pioneer, Mr. Dan Cuddy.
Mr. Dan Cuddy, a WWII veteran who assisted in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp, was a recipient of the Shalom Peace Award at the 2012 Jewish Cultural Gala, along with Mrs. Rachel Gottstein, a holocaust survivor of three concentration camps, and were honored as “Alaska’s Greatest: WWII Liberator & Survivor” for being “Sparks of Light in the Darkest Chapter of Human History”.
As a young man from Valdez, Alaska, Mr. Cuddy voluntarily interrupted his studies at Stanford University to return to Alaska in order to enlist at Ft. Richardson. He was later sent overseas to fight under General George S. Patton, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was among the troops who helped close down the infamous Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald, Germany.
It was an unforgettable and historic event in Anchorage and all participants were moved to tears by Mr. Cuddy’s personal testimony as an eye witness to the greatest atrocity in human history, and Mrs. Rachel Gottstein’s heartfelt expression of gratitude to him and to his fellow American veterans for assisting in the liberation of holocaust survivors from the Nazi death camps.
Mr. Cuddy will be remembered for being a great testament to Alaska’s humanitarian spirit of freedom and liberation.
Rabbi Joseph & Esty Greenberg