The Master Sergeant Was a Modest Hero

Roddie Edmonds

A nightmare for every Jewish GI serving in the European Theater of Operations was to be captured by the Nazis.  For a group of American Jewish POWs on January 27, 1945, their worst nightmare seemed about to come true.  The Commandant of Stalag IXA, Major Siegmann, had ordered the Jews among the thousand Americans to report outside their barracks the next morning could be imagined.  Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, a resident of Tennessee, was the ranking NCO at the camp and he was not going to allow the Nazis to murder some of his men.  He ordered every American to show up outside the barracks and informed the astonished Commandant that they were all Jews.  The Commandant exclaimed that they could not all be Jews and took out his pistol.  Edmonds remained calm:  “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 Commandant turned around and stalked off.  No further attempts were made by him to get his hands on the Jewish GIs. (more…)

Published in: on January 27, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Master Sergeant Was a Modest Hero  
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