Bravery. Leadership. Humanity.
God Bless all American soldiers, past and present.
“It was German policy to single out Jewish POWs and send them to extermination or slave labor camps. Accordingly, in January 1945, the Germans announced that all Jewish prisoners in Stalag IXA would report the following morning. Twenty-five-year-old Master Sgt. Edmonds, who was responsible for all the POWs in Stalag IXA, ordered all prisoners, Jews and non-Jews, to fall out. When the German officer in charge, Maj. Siegmann, saw all the prisoners lined up in front of the barracks that next morning, he said to Edmonds: “They cannot all be Jews.” Edmonds responded: “We are all Jews here.”
“Siegmann then pointed a pistol to Edmonds’ head, but Edmonds, refusing to back down, replied: “According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank, and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes.” The German major turned and walked away. Edmonds had saved the lives of the roughly 200 Jewish prisoners among the 1,275 American POWs.”