JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1843TENNESSEE'S SGT. EDMONDS PERFORMS "A RIGHTEOUS ACT"
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) United States Army Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds of Knoxville, Tennessee was honored on International Holocaust Memorial Day this week for his role in saving the lives of two hundred Jewish-American prisoners of war in January 1945.
According to a story written by Michael Collins in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Chris Edmonds of Maryville "accepted the honor in behalf of his father." Roddie Edmonds passed away in 1985.
On January 27, 1945, about 1000 American POWS stood out in front of their barracks behind their highest-ranking officer, Master Sergeant Edmonds. The Nazis, however, had ordered ONLY Jewish POWs to assemble.
A German officer said to the Sergeant, "They cannot all be Jews." Edmonds responded "WE ARE ALL JEWS."
The German brandished his pistol and threatened to shoot Edmonds, but the Sergeant was undaunted by this threat. He said, "If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes."
This bold stance by a young United States Army NCO from Tennessee saved the lives of those 200 Jewish-Americans.
President Barack Obama, speaking at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., called this act "an instructive lesson" for all Christians. The President said, "an attack on any faith 'is an attack on all our faiths.'"
"'We are all Jews': A righteous act," by Michael Collins, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 28, 2016.