Rev. John Gilbert Gaskill

Dublin Core

Title

Rev. John Gilbert Gaskill

Creator

Paul Lindemann

Date

1942–1947

Type

Person

Person Item Type Metadata

Occupation

Pastor

Biographical Text

Reverend Gaskill's pastorate to First Parish was interrupted by the call to service in the second World War. (His wife, Eleanor Gaskill, assumed temporary pastoral responsibilities 1944–45 while he served as an Army chaplain.) His infantry division was among those who liberated the prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp, and he his believed to be the first American clergyman to witness the atrocities there. Very early, he assisted with the construction of a makeshift chapel and celebrated communion with the newly liberated Polish priests and others. There was no bread or wine for the sacrament, so they used pantomime in order to participate in communion, acting out the serving and receiving of the sacred elements.
See his own detailed descriptions of his experiences in Germany at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.