Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Pvt. Edward A. Gilpin – December 20, 1944

Like many of the war casualties whose obituaries appeared in The New York Times, information about Private Edward A. Gilpin of Manhattan appeared well after the end of the war in Europe: In November of 1945.

Notably, the Times erred in reporting that Pvt. Gilpin was killed in action of the 16th of December, 1944, during the opening day of Germany’s Ardennes Offensive, more popularly known as the “Battle of the Bulge”.  In reality, he lost his life on the 20th of December, as can be seen in this image below (contributed by FindAGrave member Glenn), of his matzeva at the the Long Island National Cemetery (Section J, Grave 14546) in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Though Pvt. Gilpin’s obituary appeared in the Times on November 8, 1945, his name appeared in an actual Casualty List that was published two weeks later, on November 21.

Private Gilpin’s name can be found on page 320 of American Jews in World War II.The image below is a Google street view of the Gilpin family’s wartime residence, at 125 West 16th Street. 

Pvt. Edward A. Gilpin, 30-year-old former organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, was killed in action in Germany on Dec. 16, 1944 [error], in the Battle of the Bulge, the War Department has informed his widow, Mrs. Reba Gilpin of 125 West Sixteenth Street.  He was attached to a machine gun company of the 112th Regiment, Twenty-Eighth Division.

Private Gilpin was long active in theatrical affairs.  He was graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts here.  He had acted on the stage and in radio shows and had produced and directed various plays in a stock company theatre in Saugerties, N.Y., and at the Roerich Museum here.

Besides his widow, he leaves two children, the Misses Tovia and Margaret Gilpin; his mother, Mrs. Mary Gilpin of Philadelphia; a sister, Mrs. Carl Freedman of Miami, Fla., and a brother, PFC Leonard Gilpin of the Army, now in France.

The image below is a 2016 Google street view of the Gilpin family’s wartime residence, at 125 West 16th Street in New York.

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Some other Jewish military casualties on Wednesday, December 20, 1944, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Bass, Robert M., T/5, 33601453, Purple Heart (Lae, New Guinea)
United States Army
Mr. Joseph H. Bass (father), 4613 Conshohocken Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1924
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot A, Row 5, Grave 58
The Jewish Exponent 8/24/45
American Jews in World War II – 510

Bernstein, Mike, Pvt., A/487
Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Irish Regiment of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Max and Sarah Bernstein (parents), Sgt. Leonard Bernstein (brother), 61 Markham St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Born Toronto, Ontario, 2/16/23
Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, Bagnacavallo, Italy – III,A,5
The Jewish Chronicle 8/10/44
Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume II, 10

Blank, Sara Rachela Shoshana, Sgt., W/PAL/203880
England, Auxiliary Territorial Service
Ramleh War Cemetery, Ramleh, Israel – W,32
The Jewish Chronicle 1/12/45
We Will Remember Them, Volume 1 – 64, 239

Cohen, Gerald I., Pvt., 36649720, Purple Heart
United States Army, 106th Infantry Division, 423rd Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Helen Cohen (parents), Lawrence (brother), 6622 North Ashland Ave., Chicago, Il.
Born 9/7/24
Westlawn Cemetery, Norridge, Chicago, Il. – Buried 6/13/49
Chicago Tribune 6/12/49
American Jews in World War II – 96

Devor, David, Pvt., B/103198
Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Irish Regiment of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Kate Devor (parents), John, Sidney, and Berko (brothers), 59 Havelock Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Born 1924
Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, Bagnacavallo, Italy – II,A,4
Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume II, 10

Ehrenkranz, William, 2 Lt., 0-925973, Co-Pilot, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb Group, 740th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Dora Ehrenkranz (parents), 16 Edwin Place, Newark, N.J.

Possibly from Toms River, N.J.
MACR 14245; B-24J (serial number not listed); Pilot: Capt. William J. Stewart, Jr.; 10 crewmen – no survivors
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Ky. – Section E 229
Casualty List 3/8/45
American Jews in World War II – 231

Lt. Ehrenkranz was the co-pilot of a B-24 Liberator which crashed – due to very poor visibility – eight miles north of San Marco, Italy, while returning from a mission to the Pilsen Skoda Works in Czechoslovakia.  The collective grave includes the following crewmen:

T/Sgt. Robert L. Rausch – Radio Operator (Aurora, Il.)
S/Sgt. Joseph P. Schulte – Flight Engineer (Okmulgee, Ok.)
Capt. William J. Stewart, Jr. – Pilot (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
F/O Harold A. Thompson – Navigator (Detroit, Mi.)

Fortgang, Leo, PFC, 32295977, Purple Heart
United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 306th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sarah Fortgang (mother); Murray Fortgang (brother), 100 Columbia St., New York, N.Y.; Mrs. Carol Sommers (daughter)
Born 1/29/15
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section J, Grave 15584
Casualty List 3/20/45
American Jews in World War II – 312

Glick
, Philip Paul, Pvt., 32944161, Purple Heart

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, K Company
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob and Margaret Glick (parents), Hudson, N.Y.
Born N.Y., 6/29/25
Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson, N.Y.
Times Union (Albany) – 6/4/46
American Jews in World War II – 322

Goldberger
, Stanley R., PFC, 36633963, Purple Heart

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Alexander Goldberger (father), 3319 West Cullon Ave., Chicago, Il.
Born 1923
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot H, Row 12, Grave 65
American Jews in World War II – 100

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Gross, Samuel (Samuel Yehuda bar Mordechai ha Kohane), Sgt., 33470424, Gunner (completed 6 missions)
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 484th Bomb Group, 825th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Edith Gross (wife); Samuel A. Gross, Jr. (son), 5440 Tabor Road, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Max (4/1/53-74) and Pauline (2/5/79-83) Gross (parents), 2655 S. Fairhill St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 7/29/22

No Missing Air Crew Report; Aircraft: B-24 Liberator
Mount Sharon Cemetery, Springfield, Pa. – Section K; Buried 11/28/48
The Jewish Exponent 1/26/45
Philadelphia Record 1/19/45
Philadelphia Inquirer 12/26/48
American Jews in World War II – 527

The photos show the matzeva and military grave marker of Army Air Force Sergeant Samuel Gross (Samuel Yehuda bar Mordechai ha Kohane). 

Comparing the information on the grave marker – denoting that Samuel served in the 825th Bomb Squadron of the 484th Bomb Group – with the photographic portrait (in remarkably good condition after seven decades) mounted in Sgt. Gross’ matzeva presents a quandary: 

Samuel’s uniform carries the emblem of the Army’s 13th Armored Division (the Black Cats), rather than the winged “15” of the 15th Air Force. 

Perhaps he was initially attached to the 13th Armored, and then transferred to the Army Air Force?

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Grossman, Mordecai M., Pvt., 36598374, Purple Heart (Wounded 12/20/44; Died of Wounds 12/23/44)
United States Army, 5th Infantry Division, 11th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Leo Grossman (father), 2688 Glynn Court, Detroit, Mi.
Born 1/3/25
Wayne State University student
Machpelah Cemetery, Ferndale, Mi. – Section L, Lot 16, Grave 503D; Buried 4/26/49
The Jewish News (Detroit) 1/26/45, 2/9/45
American Jews in World War II – 191

The articles below are from the above mentioned issues of The Jewish News, of Detroit.  A transcribed version of Abraham Caplan’s tribute to Mordecai – the ethos of whose life seems strikingly reminiscent of that of Jochanan Tartakower (“The Brief War of An Only Son”) – is presented below.

To Mordecai Grossman

Killed in Action in France
December 23, 1944

BY ABRAHAM CAPLAN

Slacken not the tempo of the Hora,
Though he no longer sets the pace of the dancing.

It was not the dance which so enthralled him;

This whirling of young people was but the token
Of a nation, old so long, coming again into flower.

Tall, broad-shouldered, kerchief around his neck.
His untutored voice singing his beloved Hebrew.

He looked beyond the driving preparatory tasks
Assigned to him by other fervent youths
To fruitful exertions as workman and Halutz
In the land which was sweeter to him than very life.

This restless child of freedom who divined his mission
Hurled himself into the battle at the enemy’s gates
And challengingly fought his war and died
For majestic liberation – Israel’s and the worlds.
_____

Slacken not the tempo of the Hora.
You who knew and greatly loved him.

Remember the sacrifice which daringly he brought
And keep the name of your fallen comrade glowing
With the unabating flame of pure, adoring hearts.

_____________________________

This picture, by KChaffeeB, shows Mordecai’s matezva at Machpelah Cemetery, in Ferndale, Michigan.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

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Halperin, Abraham, Pvt., 32905614, Purple Heart
United States Army, 106th Infantry Division, 423rd Infantry Regiment
Mr. Barnett Halperin (father), 1401 Bryant Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot I, Row 6, Grave 25
American Jews in World War II – 340

Hanzel, Abraham, PFC, R-1764 (Dunkirk, France)
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, 1st Armored Brigade
Czechoslovakia, Sokolovce, okres Piesany; 10/29/16
Adinkerke Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium – H,10
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php
Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé – 246

Lackovic, Ladislav, Pvt., J-935 (Dunkirk, France)
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, 1st Armored Brigade
Czechoslovakia, Šarfia, okres Modra; 3/27/18
Adinkerke Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium – H,11
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php
Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé – 246

Laderman, Matthew A., Cpl., 32882335, Gunner (Waist), Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 459th Bomb Group, 757th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Celia Laderman (parents), 25-12 Steinway St., Long Island City, N.Y.
Born 1/12/25
MACR 10691; Aircraft: B-24J 42-51837; Pilot: 2 Lt. Joseph A. Doyle, Jr.; 10 crewmen – 2 survivors
Wellwood Cemetery. Farmingdale, N.Y.
Casualty List 3/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 370

Levy
, Raymond D., PFC, 11048119, Purple Heart

United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, C Company
Winthrop, Ma.
Cemetery Location Unknown
http://www.ww2-airborne.us/units/504/504_honor_kl.html
American Jews in World War II – 170

Mand
, Ben, T/Sgt., 32971808, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Previously wounded ~ 10/20/44
Mrs. Sonia Mand (wife), 1450 Parkchester Road, Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1911
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot H, Row 4, Grave 25
Casualty List 3/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 386

Masor
, Joseph, Pvt., 42103947, Purple Heart

United States Army, 10th Armored Division, 3rd Armored Tank Battalion
(parents), 108 Oraton St., Newark, N.J.
Born 1914
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium – Plot E, Row 13, Grave 9
American Jews in World War II – 246

Ojalvo, Leon Joseph, S 1C, 7120266, Purple Heart
United States Navy, LST-359
Mr. Joseph Ojalvo (father), 1476 Wilkins Ave., Bronx, N.Y.

Tablets of the Missing at Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France
American Jews in World War II – 401

Pilnick
, Eugene, PFC, 12226924, Purple Heart

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 347th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Robert Pilnick (father), 376 East 98th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 10/25/25
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section H, Grave 8616
Casualty List 2/15/45
American Jews in World War II – 405

Reidman
, Samuel, Pvt., 42037464, Purple Heart

United States Army, 101st Airborne Division, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Battalion
Mrs. Beatrice Reidman (wife), 215 Mount Hope Place, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1915
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot B, Row 44, Grave 30
Casualty List 2/22/45
American Jews in World War II – 411

Rosen
, William, Pvt., 32693280, Purple Heart

United States Army, 10th Armored Division, 54th Armored Infantry Battalion
Mrs. Ruth Rosen (wife), 508 Horne Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1922
Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium – Plot F, Row 13, Grave 37
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Veytsman
, Lev Lazarevich (Вейцман, Лев Лазаревич), Sergeant [Сержант]

U.S.S.R., Military Air Forces – VVS, 109th Riga Red Banner Aviation Regiment – Long Range
Aerial Gunner / Radio Operator
Aircraft: Probably Il-4
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V – 338
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том V – 338]

Zelmyer
, Milton L., T/Sgt., 31034748, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 307th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sarah Zelmyer (mother), 8 Edgemont Road, Brighton, Ma.
Born 1919
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot D, Row 16, Grave 126
American Jews in World War II – 186

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Lieutenants Kaufman and Silverman were passengers in a C-47A (43-16066) of the Army Air Force’s 815th Base Unit, which crashed 6 miles south of Ironton, Missouri.  Piloted by 2 Lt. James E. Gibson, there were no survivors among the aircraft’s five crew and passengers.  This incident is described in Volume 3 (covering August 1944 through December, 1945) of Anthony Mireles extraordinarily comprehensive Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945.

Kaufman, Julian, 2 Lt., 0-819534, Navigator (flying as passenger)
Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. and Fanny Kaufman (parents); Bernard, Maurice, Mildred, Sheldon, and Stanley (brothers and sister), 921 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 5/2/22
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y. – Section 1, Block 5, Harry & Meyer Kirschenbaum Society – Buried 12/24/44
Brooklyn Eagle 4/28/43
American Jews in World War II – 212, 359

Silverman, Harold, 2 Lt., 0-711037, Pilot (flying as passenger), Purple Heart
Mr. Joseph Silverman (father), 3652 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Oh.
Born Cincinnati, Oh.; 10/11/15
Walnut Hills Cemetery, Cincinnati, Oh. – Section 7, Lot 34, Grave 7
American Jews in World War II – 500

______________________________

Like Lieutenants Kaufman and Silverman, Lieutenant Julian E. Berger and Corporal Stanley Saffer lost their lives during a flying accident in the United States.  Their aircraft, B-24J Liberator 42-109686 of the 112th Army Air Force Base Unit, Squadron E, piloted by 2 Lt. James E. Webster, crashed  2 miles south of Granby, Massachusetts, while on a training mission.  Both airmen, along with bombardier 2 Lt. George E. Bennett of Brockport, New York, jumped from their aircraft in an attempt to parachute to safety, but the three did not survive.  The incident was reported in the Syracuse Herald-Journal, Niagara Falls Gazette, The Knickerbocker News (Albany), and Malone Evening Telegram.

Lt. Webster, his co-pilot, and an aerial gunner were seriously injured when the bomber crash-landed, while four others crewmen received injuries in parachute landings.  Akin to the C-47 mentioned above, the loss of this aircraft is also chronicled in Volume 3 (page 1003) of Anthony Mireles’ massive reference work, Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. 

Berger, Julian Edwin, 2 Lt., 0-2070237, Bombardier
Mr. and Mrs. William M. and Annie (Reamer) Berger (parents), 2804 Hilldale Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Miss Elaine Berger (sister)
Born 1925
Oheb Shalom Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.; Buried 12/24/44
Baltimore Sun 12/22/44
Jewish Times (Baltimore) 12/29/44
American Jews in World War II – 135

This portrait of Lieutenant Berger appeared in the Jewish Times (of Baltimore) on December 29, 1944.

Saffer, Stanley, Cpl., 12226364, Gunner (Nose Gunner)
Mr. and Mrs. Albert [died 9/13/80] and Della (Forman) [died 9/16/68] Saffer (parents), 200 Marcy Place, Bronx, N.Y.
Patricia Douglas and Steve Saffer (niece and nephew)
Born 1925
Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, N.Y. – Path 18 Right, Gate 4, Grave 43, Rostover Society; Buried 12/24/44
American Jews in World War II – 425

This portrait of Corporal Saffer can be found at his commemorative profile at the Registry of the World War II National Memorial.  The image was donated by his niece and nephew, Patricia Douglas and Steve Saffer.

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Many names are listed above. 

Even more names – of men taken prisoner by the Germans on December 20, 1944 – are presented below. 

The large number of POWs is attributable to these men (primarily from the famous 28th “Keystone”  Infantry Division) having been captured on the fourth day of the Battle of the Bulge. 

Prisoners of War (United States Army – Ground Forces – European Theater)

Aronowitz, Bernard, Pvt., 42134961, 103rd Infantry Division, 409th Infantry Regiment
Baskin, Jack, Pvt., 35912487, 103rd Infantry Division, 409th Infantry Regiment
Bayarsky, Joseph, S/Sgt., 32248209, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Bernstein, Albert J., PFC, 36014907, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Bloom, Nathan, PFC, 32248834, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Brill, Leonard, Pvt., 32248813, 8th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Regiment
Epstein, Melvin, Sgt., 42046239
Falstein, Lawrence I., PFC, 36694283, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Feldman, Hyman, Sgt., 31038475, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Flatow, Joseph, Pvt., 32937317, Luxembourg, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fox, Irwin, Sgt., 42044375, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fried, Philip K., Pvt., 12220163, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Friedman, Arthur, Pvt., 35913924, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Golden, Max, PFC, 42126564, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Goldstein, Jack, Pvt., 32086599, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, Headquarters Company
Goodman, Julius L., Pvt., 36694176, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Gottlieb, Eli D., PFC, 42045939, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Grainsky, Milton, 2 Lt., 0-1017355
Greengold, Martin, PFC, 32247936, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Gross, Sidney, PFC, 42130690, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Herzstein, Norman J., PFC, 32071886, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Himmelfarb, Solomon, T/4, 32866308, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Horowitz, Aaron, Sgt., 32885417, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Hurwitz, Harlan E., Pvt., 31261986, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Jaffie, Herman, PFC, 32970744, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Kaplan, Frank L., Sgt., 36266213, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Katz, Sam, S/Sgt., 32257570, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment

______________________________


Kimmelman
, Benedict B., Capt., 0-351208, 28th Infantry Division, Headquarters Regiment, Silver Star, Bronze Star medal
Dental Surgeon
POW at Stalag 4B (Muhlberg)
Mrs. Rita (Apfelbaum) Kimmelman (wife); Mark (son), 2930 N. 8th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Dr. Simon Kimmelman (father), 2127 Pine St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa.; 7/20/15 – Died 8/5/99
The Jewish Exponent 3/23/45, 11/30/45
Philadelphia Inquirer 4/24/45, 5/27/45, 6/8/45, 6/14/45
American Jews in World War II – 532

This photo of Captain Kimmelman (incorrectly captioned “Kinnelman”!) appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin on June 15, 1945

I had the good fortune to meet and interview Doctor (formerly Captain) Kimmelman in January of 1991, concerning his experiences in the Army – “in general” – and as a Jewish prisoner of war of the Germans, in particular.  Our talk touching on a variety of related (and perhaps not-so-related!) topics, as well. 

I hope to present audio files of our conversation in the future.

Until that hopeful moment (!), here is a photo of Dr. Kimmelman in dental school, which I received as a memento of our meeting.

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Kuttner, Arthur P., Pvt., 42036123, 8th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Regiment
Leibowitz, Nathan, PFC, 32248777, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Lenetsky, Benjamin, T/4, 33051351, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Levine, Jack E., Pvt., 32903168, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Osterman, Horace, Pvt., 12221283, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Perlman, Julius, PFC, 42131929, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Plushner, Sam, PFC, 42129871, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Pupkin, Saul A., S/Sgt., 32244156, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Rotaple, David, Pvt., 32883105, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Sagat, Milton S., Pvt., 36771506, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Samuels, Jack I., PFC, 35055434, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Schmertzler, Jack, PFC, 42036661, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Schwartz, Melvin, PFC, 32084390, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Segal, Robert, Pvt., 13178319, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Seiden, Morton, PFC, 42093573, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Silvey, Mortimer I., Pvt., 32785612, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Spector, Sidney, Cpl., 32218375
Stern, Paul, T/5, 12110879, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Stresow, Daniel, PFC, 32105789, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Wolinsky, Harry, PFC, 32195287, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Wormser, Donald L., S/Sgt., 32247980, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment

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Of soldiers captured on December 20, 1944, the eleven men listed below, part of a contingent of 350 men (entirely Privates and PFCs) would, after having been imprisoned at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb, Germany) be segregated from their fellow POWs and sent to a sub camp for American POWs at Berga an der Elster (also known as “Berga-am-Elster”), Germany, known as Arbeitskommando 625.  This event is one of two known incidents in which the Germans separated American Jewish prisoners of war from their fellow POWs.  The group of 350 was comprised of soldiers known to have been Jews (77 men), the remaining 273 having been men with – in the perception and belief of their captors – “ethnic” surnames; individuals who were “trouble makers”; and, soldiers simply arbitrarily chosen to complete the contingent. 

Of the 350 soldiers, 76 did not survive, a fatality rate of 22%.

A similar event – with an altogether different conclusion – occurred at Stalag Luft I, at Barth, Germany, in January of 1945, and involved the segregation of an undetermined number (probably the majority of) the approximately 300 Jewish POWs at that camp.  In the case of Stalag Luft I, however, the Jewish POWs remained at the camp until its liberation by Soviet Troops.    

The ordeal of the 350 POWs at Berga-am-Elster has been covered in two books and one documentary film.

The books – both released in 2005 – are:  Soldiers and Slaves : American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble, by Roger Cohen and Michael Prichard, and, Given Up For Dead : American GIs in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga, by Flint Whitlock.  A review of Whitlock’s book by John Robert White can be found at H-Net Reviews, under the title Fitting Berga into the History of World War II and the Holocaust.  

The documentary, Berga: Soldiers of Another War, was the subject of reviews and discussions by the International Documentary Association (Kevin Lewis – Remembering the POWs of ‘Berga’: Guggenheim’s Final Film Celebrates His Army Unit) and The New York Times (Ned Martel – G.I.s Condemned to.Slave Labor in the Holocaust).  The last project of documentary film-maker Charles Guggenheim, Soldiers of Another War was released in May of 2003, eight months after his death.

The eleven men listed below, all of whom survived captivity, were among the 350:

Blaiss, Amiel L., Pvt., 7008153, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Dantowitz, Philip, Pvt., 11120234, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fahrer, Samuel, Pvt., 32720856, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company

______________________________

Goodman, Sydney L., Pvt., 36889334, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, M Company
POW at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb) and Berga-am-Elster
Mrs. Grace K. Goodman (wife), 3250 Calvert St., Detroit, MI. (Townsend 8-9766)
Mr. Nathan Goodman (father)
Born Detroit, Mi., 9/4/17; Died 12/26/05
Casualty List 6/4/45
Jew News (Detroit) 4/6/45, 6/8/45, 1/5/2006
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

The image below shows Private Sydney Goodman and his daughter in front of the family home on Calvert Street, well prior to Sydney’s departure for Europe. 

______________________________

Lemberg, Meyer, PFC, 36607755, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Levkov, Harry, PFC, 32262238, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Lipson, Sidney Jacob, Pvt., 11083155, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment, L Company
Lubinsky, Sanford Melvin, PFC, 35555186, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Melnick, Bernard, PFC, 32828896, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company
Shapiro, William J., Pvt., 42040855, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Steckler, Daniel D., PFC, 32961312, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, M Company

______________________________

A small number of the Jewish Privates at Bad Orb managed to avoid being segregated and sent to Berga-am-Elster, thus remaining at Stalag 9B until the camp’s liberation.  Among these fortunate men was Private Edwin H.J. Cornell (family name originally Cohen) of Rochester, New York, who received the moral support, solidarity, and practical advice of his very good friend Private First Class Frederick Stetler Roys of Michigan.  Also a member of K Company, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, Frederick was likewise captured on December 20, 1944.

Cornell, Edwin H.J., Pvt., 42028822, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, K Company
POW at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb, Germany)
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon H. and Helen E. Cornell (parents), S1C Harvey B. Cornell (brother), 383 Barrington St., Rochester, N.Y.
Born Rochester, N.Y.; 10/20/22
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 5/11/45
Rochester Times-Union 10/20/43, 5/15/44, 4/19/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

An article in the Rochester Times-Union, on May 3, 1944, showing Edwin, his sister Arlene, and brother in law Sergeant Fred B. Kravetz.

Old Newspapers

Edwin’s portrait, as it appeared in a Rochester Times-Union news item of April 19, 1945, announcing his liberation.   

Edwin 47 years later, in 1992.  He passed away on October 24, 2014.

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Edwin’s friend, Private Frederick Roys at home in Muskegon, Michigan, prior to being deployed overseas. 

Postwar:  Fred’s marriage to Catherine A. Wrege on November 18, 1945, at Percy Jones Hospital, Calhoun, Michigan.  Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Everett and Elfrieda (Stetler) Roys in February of 1925, Fred passed away in Michigan in August of 1994.  Two years before – in 1992 – Fred related his wartime (and postwar) story to me in very (very) great detail.  Perhaps someday I’ll add excerpts of that interview to this post…

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Wounded in Action

Kane, Morton, Pvt., 42058863, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster (in Germany)
United States Army, 103rd Infantry Division, 411th Infantry Regiment, A Company
KIA subsequently – on 3/21/45
Mrs. Esther B. Katz (mother), 1273 Clay Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1924
Casualty Lists 3/12/45, 4/17/45, 4/19/45
American Jews in World War II – 355

Farkowitz, Eugene, PFC, Purple Heart (in France)
United States Army, Armored Division
Wounded previously – ~ 10/20/44
Mr. Adoph Farkowitz (brother), 63-139 Alderton St., Forest Hills, N.Y.
Born Austria, 1915
Butcher in brother’s Manhattan shop
Casualty Lists 12/20/44, 4/12/45
American Jews in World War II – 305

Evaded Capture – Returned to Duty (Circumstances Unknown)

Ginsburg, Howard A., 2 Lt., 0-2056696, Bombardier
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb Group, 741st Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Anna N. Ginsburg (mother), 609 West Washington St., Chicago, Il.
MACR 10714; Aircraft: B-24G 42-78166, “Rosalie Mae”; Pilot: 1 Lt. Donald L. Bone; 10 crewmen – all survived
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

References

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom – Compiled by the Bureau of War Records of the National Jewish Welfare Board, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Kulka, Erich, Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé, Naše Vojsko, Praha, Czechoslovakia, 1992

Mireles, Anthony J., Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945 – Volume 3: August 1944 – December, 1945, Appendices, Indexes, McFarland & Company Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2006

Morris, Henry, Edited by Gerald Smith, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945, Brassey’s, United Kingdom, London, 1989

Canadian Jews in World War II – Part II: Casualties, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1948

Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V [Surnames beginning with А (A), Б (B), В (V), Г (G), Д (D), Е (E), Ж (Zh), З (Z), И (I), К (K)], Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1998

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