Israel Honors American Soldier Who Faced Down Nazis in POW Camp

BY
02 Dec 2015
History
An undated photo of Edmonds from Yad Vashem.
An undated photo of Edmonds from Yad Vashem.

A Knoxville, Tennessee native was given Israel’s highest honor posthumously for his role in fighting Nazis during World War 2. Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds was captured in the Battle of the Bulge in 1945 and endured 100 days in captivity. When the Nazis tried to separate Jewish POWs from their fellow soldiers, he took a stand. As the AP reports:

The Nazi soldiers made their orders very clear: Jewish American prisoners of war were to be separated from their fellow brothers in arms and sent to an uncertain fate.

But Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds would have none of that. As the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer held in the German POW camp, he ordered more than 1,000 Americans captives to step forward with him and brazenly pronounced: “We are all Jews here.”

He would not waver, even with a pistol to his head, and his captors eventually backed down.

Edmonds’ heroism was only recently discovered. Read the full story here.

 

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