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Continued: Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis

He continued, writing that questions remain on many issues, including the fate of his brother's captors and
"the unwillingness of the Army to publicly document the capture and imprisonment of these soldiers. ... The least is I now know Jack died with friends near him, giving him comfort in his last moments."

The two Berga commanders -- Erwin Metz and his superior, Hauptmann Ludwig Merz -- were tried for war crimes and initially sentenced to die by hanging. But the U.S. government commuted their death sentences in 1948, and both men were eventually set free in the 1950s.

Charles Vogel, the uncle of Bernard and Martin, was outraged at the decision. At the time a powerful Manhattan attorney, he petitioned President Harry Truman, Secretary of State George Marshall and Defense Secretary James Forrestal to overturn the commutation.

Charles Vogel also helped form a group called "Berga Survivors" after the war in which some of the slave camp soldiers would meet to discuss the best way to pressure the government to honor them and allow them to testify against Metz and Merz.

In a bulletin from one of their meetings in early 1949, the "Berga Survivors" appeared optimistic the government would act. "Your cooperation now is doubly important, for things are beginning to break our way," the bulletin says.
"A little enthusiasm, a little more cooperation, a little more action will accomplish a great, great deal now."

It adds,
"You can aid in the campaign to get Washington to procure full justice for us."

More than six decades later, it appears the work of the original "Berga Survivors" group was not in vain. Most have since died, but the few who remain alive say they will never let their fellow soldiers be forgotten.

"It's finally gotten to a point where the Army is coming to their senses after they had ignored us in the past,"

Acevedo said.
"Why the silence all these years? It's time to recognize all these soldiers who sacrificed their lives."

Find this article at:
Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis - at

Re: Continued: Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis

Thank you for that post. My father fought at the Battle of Bulge as a combat engineeer and he never talked about it much. After he passed away in 1989 (he was also a Vietnam Veteran and was in Saigon during the 68 Tet offenive)I would listen to the song "In the Living years" to remind me...

John R...

Re: Continued: Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis

John R. condolences on your father passing many years ago...surely he is looking down on you admiring the man you are...

Merry Christmas