GIs Remember

Ernest Greenblatt


Ernest Greenblatt was barn in the Hungarian-speaking section of Czechoslovakia, and came to the United States as a child. He volunteered for the para. troops, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division through Germany.

"In early May 1945, the 82nd reached the Province of Mecklenburg, and found the road flooded with Hungarian women who had been captive in a concentration camp there. German troops abandoned the camp and fled before the advancing GIs.

So I started singing in Hungarian ... and immediately the women mobbed me. There were probably 150 women in this group. One woman started telling me about her relatives in New York. It turned out this woman was my cousin. It was an emotional experience ... she grabbed me and was hysterical.... She asked me to help find out where her husband and two daughters were. I provided her with food and clothing. That was the last I saw of her ... until I visited her in Israel in 1981-82.

She never found her relatives; they never came back.

After this experience I became more attentive to Jewish concerns in my area. I volunteer with children. I feel, if you can get them on the right path, maybe the world will be a better place."


Source: GIs Remember, (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Jewish Military History, 1994).