Jerry Himmelfarb-“What a Jewish G.I. Thinks About Aid to Europe’s Needy”

Jerry Himmelfarb was a GI from Buffalo, New York. He wrote this letter to his Rabbi, about his experiences. It os one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever read

Jerry, serving with the U.S. Army in Germany, wrote to Rev. Harry H. Kaufman, Cantor of Temple Beth El, telling of what the J.D.C. is accomplishing in alleviating the desperate plight of his Jewish brethren in Europe. The letter, in full,below.

May 15, 1945

Dear Cantor:

You’re going to find this a strange letter. I think, perhaps, you will not understand why I write such a letter – until after you have read it. I have written my parents a similar story. Now I write you – for a little different reason. You’ll see what I mean some pages from here.

The Seventh Army has authorised us to write – has allowed us to say – that we’re in Munich. I’m there now. Munich – Hitler’s cradle-city. It’s damaged and quiet. We’re near Berchtesgarten, but I haven’t been there.

We’re also near Dachau – remember Dachau? It’s Jan Valtin’s Dachau – Jan Valtin of “Out of the Night”. Remember? Dachau – an early mystery place of Nazism. But there remains no aura of mystery today. No, it’s all clear – so very clear.

I met a Polish Jew the other day. He had been liberated from Dachau. He was twenty-four years old – and looked fifty. His face looked fifty – his body was about as healthy looking as a normal patient at Harrisburg, Pa. He had no teeth – but they hadn’t fallen out. Hitler’s S.S. were the dentists. He was just one of the lucky ones. There were other unfortunates.

I haven’t seen Dachau – but all I say is true – I swear it on my own life. Disbelieve me – call me a liar – if you dare! There were found some fifty, fully-loaded boxcars – loaded with bodies. I saw a picture of one – it was overflowing. We buried – with bulldozers – some 4,000. They were from the railroad cars and from rooms in the camp where they were stacked like cordwood covered with lime. We spoke to a Pole who had been forced to throw his parents into the incinerator. And how would you like to hear about these incinerators – it makes for nauseous reading. There was a plaque in front of each one saying something about “ashes to ashes” being better than “dust to dust”. Some compensation for the victims, eh! And they were run in a very businesslike fashion. It was necessary to burn 250 bodies each day to keep the furnaces in good working order. How was the quota met? Easy. They always had at least 150 on a list. But the rest were gotten like this.

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These prisoners were divided into groups of sixteen. These sixteen slept on four shelves, approximately six by six, with six inches clearance between shelves. Any infraction by one of the sixteen resulted in the death of all of them. And infractions were easy. Under the S.S. – the trained beasts – the quota was always met. And how were they Killed? No outright death for them – oh, no! They walked or were pushed, through a door when they fell through a four by four hole in the floor to the cement floor some fifteen feet below. There a noose was thrown about their throats and they were hung on hooks on the wall to meet their God. If any still lived after a reasonable length of time – a “man” with a heavy mallet crushed their skulls. The room – hooks on the wall – accommodated fifteen. Then the furnaces. The heat generated was not wasted, by the way. It was piped to the S.S. barracks for warmth – the barracks, where the S.S. troopers celebrated their 10,000th killing by drinking toasts from the scoured skulls of their victims. A lovely people – the Germans!

And don’t let me forget to tell you about the wife of the Commandant of one of these camps – not Dachau, another one, – there were plenty in Germany. She loved beautiful knick-knacks in her home. So any prisoner who bore tattooing on his or her body was stripped and taken before this woman for her O.K. Then death – next skinning, and curing the skin – and a new lampshade or book cover adorned the lovely lady’s home. What’s wrong – don’t you believe me? Take my word for it – you have to believe me – those who were tattooed can’t tell you!

And that isn’t all. We have some 5,000 people in hospitals here. We’ve lowered the death rate to seventy-five a day. And we have statistics to prove that of these seventy-five – some forty-five are Jews. And even though only 8,000 of the 38,000 prisoners of one camp were Jews – the deaths were some 40% or 50% Jewish. The chaplain told us that the other day – after his return from services conducted over that common grave of 4,000 – there were bound to be some Jews in it – we didn’t know how many. Which brings me to the point of this letter.

The chaplain told us about the American Joint Distribution Committee’s borrowing $10,000,000 on their name – and about setting a goal of $46,000,000 for this year. He asked us to contribute what we could. And he asked us to write our families a letter. I did, but I write to you, too, because you can reach more people. He didn’t suggest a letter like this – I guess it was the farthest thing from his mind. I just decided it was the best kind. Eloquent pleas are swell things – but pictures are better. Maybe this wasn’t a very pretty picture – I didn’t want it to be. I tried to make it as disgusting, as revolting as nauseous as possible without leaving the bounds of conventional decency – without distorting the truth. Believe me I have done neither. Every word is true. I swear that before God.

I know of some people who say, “that money goes into the pockets of the black-coated, pie-hatted men with beards. “I thought so once, too – until I learned this. While the chaplain was reciting the services over that common grave I spoke of before, a convoy of Swiss Red Cross trucks came in. He spoke to the man in charge. The convoy was leaving some fifty tons of food, medicines, clothing etc. – all loaded and paid for by A.J.D.C. – black-coated men, indeed! The stuff comes here.

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Don’t let anyone believe otherwise. It came here. You can supply more statistics on how many Jews still live in Europe and on what remains for us to do – now that it is too late to save the many. That’s not in my line. Neither is putting in a good old-fashioned touch in my line – but I’m doing it. Here it is. You’ve read it. You can see what I’m getting at. Cantor, I beg you – tell this to the well-fed, well-clothed members of your congregation. Read them what I’ve written. Maybe they’ve seen some of these facts in their papers. I don’t know. So, in case they haven’t, read them this first-hand dope. I know you’re going to mention the J.D.C.’s drive – you always do. I know you’ll have your own plea to make. But consolidate mine into yours, will you please. Jolt them right off their seats. Tell them to do something about the cocodile tears they shed and have been shedding for the past ten years. Tell them to stop that, “how awful, tsch, tsch” talk and start some real talk. Money talks. Don’t give them a chance to say, “But -”. It’s too late for “buts” now. Talk is O.K. in its place. The place isn’t here.

We must do something to help these people over here.

We’re not giving only to Jews – I know that. Every poor dog is aided over here. Tell them that, too. If you must get down on your knees and beg them to give, Cantor – do it – for God’s sake – do it! There can be no degradation to surpass what I have seen and heard of. And if the complacent doubts why we won this war – while 4,000,000 died – then read them the 94th Psalm. It was news to me – maybe it will be news to them. Maybe that will let the moths out of their purses.

Yours, Jerry Himmelfarb

source

https://www.testifyingtothetruth.co.uk/viewer/metadata/106545/1/

From Hawaii to the Holocaust-The Japanese Americans who liberated Dachau.

The Japanese who liberated the Dachau Concentration camps complex..

The soldiers were from the 442nd Infantry Regiment an infantry regiment of the United States Army. The unit is most known as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry aka Nisei.
Although some of them had been in internment camps themselves, after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial army, they still volunteered for the US army, and even though many of their family members remained in internment camps these soldiers fought valiantly and were in fact one the most decorated units in the US Army.
The Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was organized as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; but towards the end of the war, the 522nd became a roving battalion, helping out wherever they were needed.


They had the distinction of liberating survivors of the Dachau concentration camp system, from the Nazis on April 29, 1945.
Here are just some of their testimonies.


Technician Fourth Grade Ichiro Imamura: “I watched as one of the scouts used his carbine to shoot off the chain that held the prison gates shut …. They weren’t dead, as he had first thought. When the gates swung open, we got our first good look at the prisoners. Many of them were Jews. They were wearing striped prison suits and round caps. It was cold and the snow was two feet deep in some places. There were no German guards. The prisoners struggled to their feet …. They shuffled weakly out of the compound. They were like skeletons – all skin and bones ….”


Scouts from the 522nd were among the first Allied troops to release prisoners from the Kaufering IV Hurlach satellite camp, one of nearly 170 such camps, where more than 3,000 prisoners were held.


Joseph Ichiuji testimonial: “As we came around the way, there were a lot of Jewish inmates coming out of the camp, and I heard that the gate was opened by our advanced scouts. They took a rifle and shot it. I think it was a fellow from Hawaii that did that. I think it was a Captain Taylor, Company B was one of them, but another person from Hawaii, he passed away. They opened the gate and all these German, I mean, Jewish victims were coming out of the camp”


Minoru Tsubota testimonial: “Then, when we finally opened the Dachau camp, got in, oh those people were so afraid of us, I guess. You could see the fear in their face. But eventually, they realized that we were there to liberate them and help them”
Minoru Tsubota testimonial: “They were all just skin and bones, sunken eyes. I think they were more dead than they were alive because they hadn’t eaten so much because, I think, just before we got there the S.S. people had all pulled back up and they were gone. But, we went there, and outside of the camps there were a lot of railroad cars there that had bodies in them. I had the opportunity to go into the camp there, but you could smell the stench. The people were dead and piled up in the buildings, and it was just unbelievable that the Germans could do that to the Jewish people. I really didn’t think it was possible at all actually”

Sources

https://resourceguide.densho.org/From%20Hawaii%20to%20the%20Holocaust:%20A%20Shared%20Moment%20in%20History%20(film)/

https://www.worldcat.org/title/from-hawaii-to-the-holocaust-a-shared-moment-in-history/oclc/31954150

https://www.timesofisrael.com/these-us-soldiers-liberated-dachau-while-their-own-families-were-locked-up-back-home/

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SPAM

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I am going to Spam this blog and I won’t even apologize for it.

But wait before you delete the post.

On this day in 1937 the Hormel Foods Corporation,  head quartered in Austin- Minnesota, USA,  first introduced the product SPAM The square can of pork, salt, water, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrite that first rolled off the assembly lines 82 years ago during the late depression era. it was invented .as a way to capitalize on  the then-unprofitable pork shoulder.

According to Hormel ,SPAM stands for ‘spiced ham’ and not “something posing as meat”

The product became very popular during WWII.

SPAM WWII

It is actually said that SPAM helped win the war. It went global during World War II, when the US shipped out over 100 million cans to the Pacific, where it made an inexpensive yet filling meal for U.S. troops Millions of cans of SPAM were also  sent to the Soviets and they loved it.

Khrushchev once said “SPAM was a godsend for another hungry group—Russian soldiers in World War II.”

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But how did get SPAM such a bad name when it comes to IT?

We have Monty Python to thank for that. in the 1970s Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a sketch , which is the pop culture Spam reference most people will remember.

The sketch is about a  customer in a restaurant  who desperately tries to order something that doesn’t contain SPAM, only to find that  everything on the menu features it. In the course of his disastrous  dinner, a nearby party of Vikings( It is Monty Python)breaks into song: “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!”

 

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Patton-the Death of a Legend

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Although he was a highly controversial character  there are two things that no one can deny.1. He was a hero,2. he was and is a legend.

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The commander of the U.S. Third Army, General George S. Patton, Jr., took no great pleasure in the end of the war in Europe; he already knew that despite his lobbying of many influential figures in Washington, D.C., he had no hope of being reassigned to the Pacific Theater to command combat troops there. As he put it to his III Corps commander, Maj. Gen. James Van Fleet, “There is already a star [MacArthur] in that theater and you can only have one star in a show.

Patton was also depressed because he knew there would be a rapid reduction in the strength of the U.S. Army in Europe, and he believed this was inviting disaster.

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Patton always had a fighting and competitive spirit, already as a young man.This was even evident in the sports he played.

In 1912 he competed at the Stockholm Summer Olympic games in the fencing event, but he didn’t win a medal.

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On December 8, 1945, Patton’s chief of staff, Major General Hobart Gay, invited him on a pheasant hunting trip near Speyer to lift his spirits. Observing derelict cars along the side of the road, Patton said, “How awful war is. Think of the waste.” Moments later his car collided with an American army truck at low speed.

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Gay and others were only slightly injured, but Patton hit his head on the glass partition in the back seat. He began bleeding from a gash to the head and complained that he was paralyzed and having trouble breathing. Taken to a hospital in Heidelberg, Patton was discovered to have a compression fracture and dislocation of the cervical third and fourth vertebrae, resulting in a broken neck and cervical spinal cord injury that rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. He spent most of the next 12 days in spinal traction to decrease spinal pressure. All non-medical visitors, except for Patton’s wife, who had flown from the U.S., were forbidden. Patton, who had been told he had no chance to ever again ride a horse or resume normal life, at one point commented, “This is a hell of a way to die.” He died in his sleep of pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure at about 18:00 on December 21, 1945.Patton was buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in the Hamm district of Luxembourg City, alongside wartime casualties of the Third Army, per his request to “be buried with his men

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Elvis in the Army

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In December 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army.

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Presley was originally scheduled to be inducted on January 20, 1958. However, due to commitments at Paramount and the filming schedule of his latest film, King Creole, Presley had to personally write to the Memphis Draft Board to request a deferment. He explained to them that Paramount had already spent up to $350,000 on pre-production of the film, and that many jobs were dependent on him being able to complete filming, which was due to begin on January 13. They granted him an extension until the middle of March. When news of the extension broke, angry letters were sent to the Memphis Draft Board complaining about the “special treatment” that Presley was receiving. According to Milton Bowers, head of the draft board and angered by the public outcry, Presley “would have automatically gotten the extension [anyway] if he hadn’t been Elvis Presley the superstar”

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After six months of basic training–including an emergency leave to see his beloved mother, Gladys, before she died in August 1958–Presley sailed to Europe on the USS General Randall. For the next 18 months, he served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant.

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Brothers in Arms-Friends in life and death.

 

Angelo P. Marcaletti and Charles James Jr, who were they?

To be honest I don’t know who they were. However I do know they both lived in New Philadelphia,Ohio, and they both had attended the Dover High school in Tuscarawas County,Ohio.

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I also know they were buddies when they both were inducted to the US Army on October 27th 1942.

And I know they were still friends when they were killed on April 7 1944.

The question really shouldn’t be who they were but what they were. That is an easier question to answer for they both were Heroes. Heroes who sacrificed their lives to afford me the freedom to live my life any which way I wish.

Dear Sirs, I salute you.

Angelo P. Marcaletti

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Angelo P. Marcaletti entered the Army from Ohio. He married Vera Dindo on 18 December 1943 at the Sacred Heart church.

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He was stationed at  Camp Breckinridge in Kentucky at the time of his marriage.His parents and his brother were immigrants from Italy.

Charles James Jr.

Charles James.

Charles James Jr. was a veteran of the US 9th Army’s campaigns in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

He had been awarded the Infantry Man’s medal and the Good Conduct medal. He was born and raises in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Prior to joining  the US  Army he had been employed at the Robinson Clay Products Co. at Parral.

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He graduated from High school in 1939 and was a member of the Catholic Church.He married Louise Martinelli in June 1942.

Both Angelo and James were killed when a land mine exploded under them while they were laying communication lines.

They are both buried in the American War Cemetery,Margraten in the Netherlands.

 

 

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