By Richard K. Munro
My uncle (Norman Eliasson) served with the 10th Armored Division and used his German to pass through the German lines in December 16, 1944 thus avoiding capture and possible execution. His plan was simple he said, “Achtung!Deutsche Soldaten der 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Hierkommt der Feldmarschall! (“Men of the… here comes the Field Marshall!”) The Germans all stood to attention –obeying orders as my uncle had hoped- so my uncle and his fellow American soldiers drove right through the front lines in their jeep without a single shot being fired until they were long gone !
My uncle did get in trouble getting through the American lines because the American soldiers of the101st Airborne quizzed him about baseball and my uncle who had not grown up in America knew very little about the game. He had been to Ebbets field however and managed to name some Dodger players. But what really convinced them was his knowledge of Jewish delicatessens in New York, the subways and the streets. My uncle had been a delivery boy during high school! And of course, he could speak a little Yiddish as well (very similar to German).