From the Annals of the Righteous Amongst the Nations

Israel has honored the late Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds for risking his life to save Jewish American soldiers during World War II. What can you say about such a man?

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.

Seventy years later, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native is being posthumously recognized with Israel’s highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. He’s the first American serviceman to earn the honor.

You don’t have to be Jewish to be a mensch.

23 thoughts on “From the Annals of the Righteous Amongst the Nations”

  1. A Kenyan did a similar thing recently when a bunch of the adherents of the religion of peace raided a bus and started separating out the infidels from fellow adherents. The Kenyan paid for it with his life, though.

  2. Sort of on-topic, this story I wrote out from a book gets me 2-3 orders of magnitude increases in visitors to my blog every year or so when reddit or somebody links to it. It appears mine is the only version online, probably because I typed it out from a fairly obscure book.

  3. Maybe he had heard about the King of Denmark?
    But even if unoriginal his courage and leadership deserves plaudits.

  4. Tim Newman re the man on the bus in Kenya.

    The explanation is clearly that the Germans still had a shred of human decency in them

  5. John F – only when it came to non-Jews… As far as one can gather there was a substantial gulf separating their treatment of Amis and Brits compared to Jews Russians poles and other “subhumans”.

  6. As a Catholic who fumes at our little priests arranging trips to “The Holy Land” and won’t say the word ‘Israel ‘ unless in the phrase “The State Of Israel” or “The Israel State” I do believe anti-semitism is the deserve thay won’t go away. These stories must be told over and over. The Israelis have learnt history’s lessons, they will keep on telling them.

  7. I have heard rumors on Twitter that Israel is experiencing net immigration from Europe again. With soldiers being posted at Jewish schools and other establishments in France and Germany going the way it is, perhaps a few of them are thinking it may be a good thing Israel exists this time around.

  8. Tim,

    One thing that bothers me – there;s a hell of a lot of Jews on the intellectual left arguing for mass immigration.

    We don’t have an Israel to escape to…

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “A Kenyan did a similar thing recently when a bunch of the adherents of the religion of peace raided a bus and started separating out the infidels from fellow adherents. The Kenyan paid for it with his life, though.”

    Allegedly.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “It is a signal honour from the Israeli State. They are usually really quote careful about whom they give it out to.”

    The question is why is the secular state of Israel handing them out at all. It is a brilliant piece of marketing.

    Ironman – “I do believe anti-semitism is the deserve thay won’t go away. These stories must be told over and over. The Israelis have learnt history’s lessons, they will keep on telling them.”

    And what is history’s lessons? That we must accept mass immigration and the mass rape that diversity brings, but Israel must reject assimilation, living with others, multi-culturalism and so on? Is this the lesson that history teaches you Rusty?

    I have a suggestion – whatever lessons history teaches the Jewish State, they also teach us. Just as Israelis quite sensibly see the need for a haven where they can be safe from people who hate them and wish them ill, so too do British people. We could call it Britain.

    How do you reconcile your support for Open Borders for us with Zionism for Them?

  11. “A brilliant piece of marketing.”
    So that’s your reaction to this.
    All the human brings on this blog get it; you don’t.
    Nothing more to say.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “So that’s your reaction to this. All the human brings on this blog get it; you don’t.”

    A very good reaction it is too. I think that people ought to be cynical about the cynical exploitation of the Holocaust for political ends.

    “Nothing more to say.”

    So you are sticking with your line that we should accept every refugee from every Third World sh!thole regardless of the physical safety of the British population, but Israel is entirely right to reject multiculturalism and work towards an ethnically homogeneous monocultural state where Jews can be safe? That is, seriously, your position?

  13. One thing that bothers me – there;s a hell of a lot of Jews on the intellectual left arguing for mass immigration.

    That’s always been the case. A good chunk of the Gulag’s inmates were enthusiastic supporters of communism and Stalin right up until the gate clanged shut behind them.

  14. @TimN, Germany is experiencing net immigration from Israel at the moment. It’s causing quite a stir over there.

    @SMFS, have you actually ever been to Israel, or are you merely a renowned world 0.2 of a Professor on the place (like you are on everything under the sun), from the armchair in Tunbridge Wells you have seemingly never left?

  15. The question is why is the secular state of Israel handing them out at all.

    Israel is an explicitly Jewish state, defined as such in one of its Basic Laws – their constitution. Why would there be any question about Israel honouring someone for protecting Jews?

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    dcardno – “Israel is an explicitly Jewish state, defined as such in one of its Basic Laws – their constitution. Why would there be any question about Israel honouring someone for protecting Jews?”

    Because it reflects on what Israel means by “a Jewish state”. Israel usually insists on people drawing a clear distinction between “Israelis” and “Jews”.

    But here we are talking about an American protecting other Americans from Germans in Europe years before Israel was even created. A secular state is adopting a religious concept to pass judgement on foreigners. It is not obviously an issue for a Middle Eastern country to become involved in.

    It is made worse by the fact that the party in power in Israel was inspired by Fascism and tried to ally itself with the Germans during the War. But it does mean that Israel can continue to guilt White liberals into supporting whatever Israel does.

  17. Israel usually insists on people drawing a clear distinction between “Israelis” and “Jews”.

    Citation, reference, please?

    But here we are talking about an American protecting other Americans specifically Jewish Americans from Germans in Europe years before Israel was even created

    There, fixed that for ya

    A secular state is adopting…

    Why do you say this, given that Israel is an explicitly Jewish state?

    It is not obviously an issue for a Middle Eastern country to become involved in.

    But it just may be an issue for an explicitly Jewish state to be involved in, no? Besides which, I guess it’s really up to the government (and ultimately, the citizens) of Israel to decide what they should be involved in

    …the party in power in Israel was inspired by Fascism and tried to ally itself with the Germans during the War…

    Really… I mean, you really expect anyone to believe that that?

  18. Israel usually insists on people drawing a clear distinction between “Israelis” and “Jews”.

    It’s quite easy really. Not every Israeli is Jewish; not every Jew is Israeli.

    The fact that a democratic state honours citizens and non-citizens for going above and beyond the call of duty shouldn’t be that remarkable. Neither should it be remarkable that some of those honours are grounded in the official religion of that state. Or would you tell HMQ that she’s not allowed to give out Maundy money any more?

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