On Veterans Day, Trump told story of US POW who saved Jewish comrades from Nazis
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On Veterans Day, Trump told story of US POW who saved Jewish comrades from Nazis

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds defied a Nazi command to identify which of his fellow American soldiers were Jewish; ‘We are all Jews,’ said Edmonds, who was not Jewish

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds refused a Nazi command to identify Jewish American soldiers. (Yad Vashem via JTA)
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds refused a Nazi command to identify Jewish American soldiers. (Yad Vashem via JTA)

NEW YORK (JTA) — US President Donald Trump told the story of an Army sergeant who defied a Nazi command to identify which of his fellow American soldiers were Jewish.

During his Veterans Day speech Monday in New York, Trump told the story of Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, Military.com reported.

Edmonds, who died in 1985, was a senior noncommissioned officer in a German prisoner of war camp in 1944. When the camp commander ordered all the Jews to step forward, he refused to allow it.

“We are all Jews,” said Edmonds, who was not Jewish.

Threatened with a gun, he said, “You can shoot me, but you will have to shoot all of us, and when the war comes to an end you will be tried as a war criminal.”

The commandant turned and walked away.

US President Donald Trump speaks at the opening ceremony of the Veterans’ Day Parade on November 11, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Trump pointed out that two people connected to Edmonds were in the audience: his granddaughter Lauren Matthews and former Staff Sgt. Lester Tanner, one of the Jewish soldiers saved by Edmonds.

Tanner gave testimony that helped Edmonds get posthumously recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a Righteous Among the Nations. He was the first American soldier to receive the award.

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