In Conversation with Alexis Scott, Former Publisher, Atlanta Daily World
In No Surrender, Chris Edmonds tells the unforgettable and inspiring story of his father, Roddie Edmonds, a humble American soldier from East Tennessee. Captured during the Battle of the Bulge in the waning days of WWII, Roddie became the highest-ranking American soldier at Stalag IXA, a Nazi POW camp near Ziegenhain, Germany. His courageous actions there would ultimately save the lives of nearly every American infantryman in the camp, many of them Jewish. Faced with an order to have the camp’s Jewish prisoners present themselves at a morning roll-call, Roddie instead ordered every one of the 1,292 prisoners to form up in front of their barracks. “We are all Jews here,” he told the German major, who responded by pressing the barrel of his Luger to Roddie forehead, threatening to shoot him on the spot. The officer backed down when Roddie warned him, “You’ll have to shoot all of us.” More than 70 years later, this act of courage earned him Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations—the highest honor a Gentile can receive from the State of Israel—and bipartisan support to have Roddie posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal.
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