Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Great Uncle

Frank manning a 50 caliber anti-aircraft battery - Germany, 1944

In front of a destroyed German tank
(Germany - December 1944)

Koslar, Germany - February 15, 1945

Six years after being admitted to the Bar, my great uncle Frank interrupted his law practice when he heard what was happening to the Jews in Europe and enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 1943. Although Frank could have requested deferment at age 36, he did not. In April 1944, he was assigned to an anti-aircraft battery attached to the 9th Army, then stationed in England. In the days immediately following D-Day, Frank arrived on the European continent and served as an anti-aircraft gunner shooting down German planes until the war's end.

Today, on his yahrzeit, I remember him; Froim ben Nochum z"l

3 Comments:

At June 10, 2007 at 12:31:00 PM EDT, Anonymous moshe said...

My great grand father Dovid who I'm named after volunteered for the Russian army in his 40's during 2nd WW. He wasn't very fit at that age and on one of the marches got so tired that he lost a part of his gun. The army put him on trial and wanted to give him the death sentance (that's how it is in russia...)! I'm not sure how he got out of it. May their memory be for a bracha.

 
At June 10, 2007 at 4:51:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

My father also served with the Ninth Army. His 701st Tank Battalion trained in the US and Wales with top secret tank weapons, but found, when they arrived in France, that a change of plan had given them ordinary tanks. At any rate, most of their action on the Continent was in support of the 102nd Infantry Division of the Ninth Army. They attacked the Germans across the Roer River (Operation Grenade), crossed the Rhine, and reached as far as the Elbe River by VE Day.

They got to witness many terrified German soldiers and civilians trying to swim or float across the Elbe to escape the Russians.

They also came across the site of a famous German atrocity at Gardelegen, where Jewish and other concentration camp prisoners were burned alive just before the US Army arrived:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10006173

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_ph.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10006173&MediaId=3825

 
At June 11, 2007 at 6:19:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Moshe: Amen!

Bob: That is very interesting. To my knowledge my great uncle was never involved with the liberation of any concentration camps, however he once did show me an anti-Semitic text book with pictures for children that he brought back from Germany. I wish I had asked him more about his experiences in Europe while he was still alive...

 

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