This link tells the story of a German Jew who got out of Germany barely in time, and how he wound up in the US military as an intelligence officer: “Holocaust survivor to receive top military police medal … When Frank Cohn, a 95-year-old retired Army colonel, first enlisted in 1943, he had already fled Nazi Germany after being targeted by the Gestapo.”
Imagine being a Jewish boy in third grade and seeing your teacher arrive for class in a nazi uniform – and begin indoctrinating your schoolmates into the Hitler Youth. His father transferred him to a private school for Jewish children.
Frank’s father had to sell his sporting goods store because “The minute Hitler came into power, uniformed Nazis picketed the store with signs that said, ‘Don’t buy from Jews’, Cohn said.” His father left for the US on an immigrant visa hoping to find a way to bring his entire family over – just before the gestapo arrived at their home with an arrest warrant for his father.
Frank and his mother escaped to Holland, where Mrs Cohn bribed a consulate official to get an “excursion trip” visa to the US. They arrived in America with ten deutschemarks. That was the equivalent of about $2.00 US at that time.
They arrived in the US a few days before Kristallnacht.
The rest of the story is just as wild and exciting! Read about the “coincidences” that allowed Cohn mother and son to get into the US without going through Ellis Island, which would have resulted in them being sent back to Germany, what FDR did that further prevented them being sent back, Frank’s enlistment at age 18, his assignment as an intelligence officer, presence at the Battle of the Bulge, being mistaken for a German espionage agent … You won’t be bored!
Thank you, Frank Cohn, for your service.
From KDKA 2 Pittsburgh : “BROUGHTON, Pa. (KDKA) – The South Hills community of Broughton commemorated the life of a local hero today. The volunteer fire department laid to rest 96-year-old Joe Ferrelli, its former chief and decorated World War II veteran … Serving under General George Patton in Europe during the Great War, Joe was corporal in the engineering division, building bridges for troops across France and Germany and was decorated five times for heroism, receiving five Bronze Stars … he returned home to serve his community, immediately becoming a volunteer firefighter and then serving as chief in Broughton for 27 years.”
Thank you, Joe Ferrelli. May God give you rest and peace.
On September 18, Fort Rucker, Alabama held its POW/ MIA ceremony. Due to COV19 restrictions, the in-person audience was limited, but the ceremony was broadcast over Facebook Live.
“Brig. Gen. Stanley E. Budraitis, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker deputy commanding general, spoke at the event …” He chose as a focus the account of Captain Emil Kapaun, a chaplain and former POW who earned a Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War. General Budraitis reminded the audience that “Chaplains were not required to serve on the front lines, but Captain Kapaun did, of his own choosing.”
Kapuan was ordained as a Catholic chaplain in 1940 and served in China, Burma, and India before volunteering again for service during the Korean War. The man’s military conduct in the war zone is astonishing for courage and persistence:
“The chaplain earned a reputation for fearlessness and moral conviction in the India and Burma theaters, the general said … ‘It was said Kapaun survived multiple Jeeps being blown out from underneath him by landmines,’ Budraitis continued. ‘… at some point he was told he wasn’t getting another Jeep. [I laughed out loud at that!] So, he found an old bicycle and he would ride it in whatever direction he heard gunfire.’ “
When his 1st Cavalry Division had to surrender or be slaughtered, Captain Kapuan helped arrange the terms of the surrender and continued to bring honor to his God and his uniform. He helped carry stretchers of the wounded, intervened to save a soldier about to be executed, and in the POW camp, ” ‘… he violated prison rules and risked his own life to sneak around at night and forage for food for his wounded comrades,’ [General Budraitis] added. “He was brutally punished, but he continued on, undaunted.’ “
There is so much more at that link describing this Chaplain’s selfless, patriotic actions and attitudes. Please honor him and other POWs by reading the full account.
“The nation’s POWs and MIAs are true heroes and they will never be forgotten, the general said … ‘The annual POW/MIA recognition day reminds us that our nation will never forget and will continue to search the Earth for those yet accounted for,’ he said, adding that the country continues to dedicate significant resources to honor its solemn promise to those who serve.”
That day will come, and God will be the One Who finishes the final accounting.
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” (1st Corinthians 4:5)
Thank you to all our troops and veterans serving now or veterans of the past. True Americans are grateful for the freedom you fought for and grateful for your sacrifices.