Share this article

print logo

DEC. 17, 1917 -- APRIL 7, 2005

Services for Charles R. Sandler of Williamsville, a retired attorney and decorated World War II veteran involved in the liberation of Austrian concentration camps, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road, Getzville.

Burial will be in Temple Beth El Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

Mr. Sandler, 87, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, of natural causes.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Sandler graduated from Lafayette High School, attended Ohio State University and graduated from University of Buffalo Law School in 1940.

As an second lieutenant with the Army's 11th Armored Division he served on court martial boards and was a member of the combat team that liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps in Austria in 1945.

Mr. Sandler subsequently spent seven months with occupation forces in Vienna as a commander and a U.S. representative on the inter-Allied Council governing the international district of the city.

He received several medals, including a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star; the Silver Star was for leading a patrol of 30 men through bad weather and difficult terrain in Belgium, where they rescued an American prisoner, captured 10 German troops and occupied the town of Boeur during darkness.

After the war, he began practicing law in Buffalo and in 1949 became a founding partner of Kavinoky, Cook, Hepp and Sandler. He was the Western New York regional counsel for more than 32 years for the Civil Service Employees Association and was special trial counsel for the Town of Tonawanda and City of North Tonawanda in eminent domain litigation.

He was a member of the New York State and Erie County Bar associations, and a past member and officer of the Erie County Trial Lawyers Association. He retired from practice in 1982 and was honored by the county bar association in 1996 for 50 years of distinguished service to the legal community.

A member of many professional and veterans' organizations, he also was active in the Jewish community. His biography was published in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Jewry.

As a liberator, Mr. Sandler lectured frequently on the Holocaust before educational and community groups. He was interviewed as a witness by the Holocaust Center of Buffalo and for the Steven Spielberg "Survivors of the Shoah" Foundation's permanent worldwide archive.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Gloria Grods of Williamsville; two daughters, Alison of Rochester and Sally Bitan of Falmouth, Maine; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.