From New York to the “Siegfried Line”
In early 1942, Paul Rosenblatt, a young Jew from New York, was working in the US Army engineering unit for aircraft production and repair. Although he was considered an essential part of the workforce, he enlisted as a combat soldier, wanting to fight the Nazis head-on. After basic training, he passed a tank repair course, and was attached to the 9th Armored Division of the US Army.
In July 1944, the division landed in Normandy, and within 6 days, they had crossed France and stationed themselves on the “Siegfried Line”. In December 1944, Paul fought in the Ardennes Battle (Battle of the Bulge). In March 1945, his division was famous for capturing the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen – the Allied forces’ first conquest within Germany.
Before Germany’s surrender, Rosenblatt’s division was sent to join Red Army forces near the city of Carlsbad in Czechoslovakia. In May 1945, they returned to Germany, where they were put in charge of the German ammunition storehouses in Marktredwitz, Bavaria. Paul and his fellow soldiers helped themselves to “souvenirs” from there, including Nazi insignias, military equipment and rifles.
In September 1945, Paul returned to the USA, and in February 1946, he completed his army service and returned to his previous job. He got married, raised a family, and continued to work for the US military. He came to Israel as a US army employee, and after he retired, he stayed in Israel.
Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Donated by Paul Rosenblatt, Haifa, Israel