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Letter: Honor and courage

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I recently read a newspaper article about the effort being made to honor another World War II soldier. He was a master sergeant in the Army named Roddie Edmonds from Tennessee. Israel recently honored him for his bravery while he was in a German POW camp. He happened to hold the highest rank among the American prisoners when the Nazi officer in charge ordered all Jewish POWs to report the next morning in front of the barracks.

In defiance, Edmonds ordered all POWs—Jews or non-Jews—to stand together. An estimated 1,100 men assembled in front of the barracks that morning on Jan. 27, 1945. The German officer said “they cannot all be Jews.” Edmonds replied, “we are all Jews.” The German officer pulled out his pistol and threatened to shoot Edmonds.

Edmonds said “if you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes.” The officer gave up and left. That day, 200 Jewish-...

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