Monday, April 27, 2009

The Beginning

I first heard the stories below about the 94th Infantry on Craig Crawford's Trailmix blog. Kathleen Cowley and I are among the regulars who gather there to discuss politics among a host of other things. As most of you know, the voices in print can become personal relationships as you get involved in the day to day lives of people whose messages you read.

The following are some of the items she has posted as part her campaign to gain Liberator status for her father's Army unit. (My writing is in regular text. Kathleen's is in Italics. The letters of the men of the 94th are block quoted. Letters to and from Senator Kennedy's office are offset between lines). You can see some of the original letters in articles below.

I don't know what FDR knew, but I can tell you that the soldiers of the 94th Infantry Division were never prepared for what they were to witness. Here is a bit of what my father wrote to his parents on April 29, 1945.

"I haven't seen too many of their "atrocities" but I've seen enough to know that there is some basis to all this talk. There is nothing kind about the Nazis whatsoever. They've starved their slave labor & lived so well themselves that its' pitiful. Too bad there isn't some way to make them pay for what they've done in the last six years."

Very shortly thereafter the soldiers were provided with pamphlets containing questions to ask of any victims they came across. My father, a huge supporter of Israel, just the other night said "I wish we had set up the Jewish State somewhere they wouldn't have to put up with this, like in Utah.

Please attention - (I have been working to get the 94th recognized as liberators with Sen. Kennedy's office since the fall of 2007 when I came upon the letter, part of a collection of over 200. I was told by the Holocaust Museum the letter is sufficient documentation to pursue Liberator status for the 94th.

As advised, my father and his comrade gave their testimonies of what they witnessed. It was very painful for them, neither had spoken of that day and the horrors they witnessed for nearly 60 years. Neither wanted to do it until they were told that the end result would be hanging the 94th flag at the Holcaust Musuem. iesSure would like to see this happen before they all die.

Some idiot "bureaucrat from the Ct. for US MIlitary History" has since interpreted the requirements to read that the camp liberated must be a concentration camp. There were NO "concentration camps" in Germany yet many divisions have liberating status for liberating camps in Germany. I have heard a rumor that the Army has flatly decided that no more units will be recognized regardless.. This is miserable, shabby treatment of our troops, specifically the 94th who bravely persevered under terrible conditions at Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge. We are losing more than 1000 WW!! Vets a day.

Please - anyone reading this that might be able to help put history to rights & assist the 94th to receive the recognition they are due, please contact me. ("Any nation that does not honor its heroes does not long endure" - Abraham Lincoln).

Jamie and Flatus- thank you for your input, should let you know what I have done. I contacted Sen. Kennedy and he submitted the request. After the Army guy turned it down, Sen. Kennedy submitted the application to Congressional Research Center and it has been there since the spring. The regiment was originally named "The Boston Regiment" another reason why I involved Sen. Kennedy. According to procedure, regiments are not recognized only Divisions. A request is to be submitted, then the Center for Military History is to verify the location of the Division, then the Holocaust Museum does their research. The name of the camp is not necessarily required.. In early June a historian at the Holocaust Museum believes he found the camp they liberated. They actually liberated 3, but this was the first and worst.

1 comment:

Kathleen Cowley said...

Jamie- I don't even know how I can possibly express my gratitude for what you have done today, although I'll try, somehow words don't seem enough.

My father use to teach a course in aesthetics, one class was about the words "heroic" and "sublime"

Sublime (philosophy)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Sublime.
In aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis ([looking up from] under the lintel, high, lofty, elevated, exalted) is the quality of greatness or vast magnitude, whether physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual or artistic. The term especially refers to a greatness with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation. This greatness is often used when referring to nature and its vastness.

You are not only a force of nature and bandwidths, but your efforts are heroic and you my dear friend are sublime. Thank you.