Saturday, December 5, 2015

Heroes - Of An Earlier, Even More Insane Time

Raoul Wallenberg
4 August 1912 - 17 July 1947
Oskar Schindler
28 April 1908 - 9 October 1974

I knew of these two men, heroes to me, and to many others.

I had read of Mr. Wallenberg when I was a kid. As World War II was a favorite subject, I read anything about that war (and still do). I remember reading of his efforts to rescue Jews from the Nazis near the end of the war, and how he vanished into Soviet captivity and death.

I did not learn of Herr Schindler until the movie Schindler's List came out. That film tore at my heart yet raised my spirit, all at the same time.

There are those who stand out over the dim reaches of time and memory, those who should be held up as a light to a dark and disturbed world. Not all people are indifferent, or evil. Some will stand against the darkness.

Some will pay the price with their lives, some will survive to live out their lives, often in relative obscurity.

Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, United States Army

I learned of MSgt Edmonds' story only this week, first in this post by superb writer, Robert J. Avrech. (If you're not reading his blog, you should be.) Then after making a note to myself to perhaps write a post of my own, I received an e-mail from one of my readers (thanks Bob) with a link to this post. (Someone I should perhaps start reading on a regular basis.)

The Daily Mail and CDR Salamander have also written of this incredible and brave man. I really can't add any more to this than these fine writers have. So go, read those accounts.

Fullbore, indeed.


  1. I'd not heard of this story before, so thanks very much for posting it.

    In "An Army At Dawn" Atkinson describes naked bodies in the rubble of Medjez, stripped by the locals during lulls in the fighting. He quotes a soldier's letter home describing the incident and his American explanation for the behavior of the north african muslim population. "It's because they never had any bringing up."

    Edmond's generation had bringing up, and that's why nearly all of them were heroes and why some were so conspicuously gallant that there really are no words. There were places where the bringing up was corrupted by uncivilized behavior, and from that perspective, you get a rough idea of how it's possible that there really was a good side and a bad side.

    It seems clear to me that a lot -- almost certainly a large majority -- of the bringing up in today's America is badly corrupted.

    As we sow, so shall we reap.

    1. I found Atkinson's trilogy to be superb. Made me feel like I was there, watching it all in safety but experiencing, even if second hand, the struggles, the suffering and the triumphs of those who fought.

      You're right, back then parents raised their children (for the most part) to be productive and honorable citizens. Nowadays it seems hit or miss.

      My parents (and others of their generation) blamed the popularity of Dr. Benjamin Spock and his book on child rearing. Seeing how things have turned out, I think Spock was wrong. Thank the Good Lord his book came out in 1946 and not a generation or two earlier. I doubt we would have won in WWII.

      That last bit is so true. And now the reaper walks among us, seeking his frightful due.

  2. The first two were lone heroes in an apocalypse. Master Sergeant Edmonds was surrounded by a thousand like him and from what I read, all of them took a step forward with him. My kind of soldiers. I am happily cynical enough to think that even today should the circumstances present, every one of our soldiers would do the same thing except a petulant few like Manning who would go to the grave insisting on their "right not to be a Jew" or some other damned thing. I am glad that history has so many like the men above.

  3. All 3 of those people had a spirit that seemed to transcend earth - they faced death each day for helping Jews and yet they willingly faced it. I would hope that I had such a courage if I were ever tested.

    In the case of Robbie, per Robert's blog, he faced death literally when a camp commandant put a pistol to his head. Did not know that there were American POWs sent to a Nazi death camp.

    1. The Nazis didn't care what country a Jew came from. They were thorough going bastards.

  4. Each a quiet hero... All honors to them.

  5. MSGT Edmonds Courage was the level I always aspired to. Unfortunately or more likely, fortunately I was never provided the opportunity to prove that I had that level. God Bless and Keep him. Oh, and by the way, Lord, we need some more like him, the Evil One is still out and about.


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