France awards American WWII vet who single-handedly captured 21 Nazis

J. Herman Sitrick, pictured in the 1940s as a U.S. Army soldier serving in World War II. (Ron Sitrick)


FOX: In January of 1945, J. Herman Sitrick was caught in the midst of a snowstorm in Belgium when he encountered an unarmed German soldier.

Sitrick – a U.S. Army infantryman who was part of the 610,000 troops involved in the decisive Battle of the Bulge – approached the soldier, who begged him in German not to shoot.

“Don’t shoot! I have three children,” Sitrick recalled the German soldier saying. Sitrick understood enough German to take pity on his enemy and, instead of shooting him, took his prisoner to a bombed-out farmhouse to wait out the storm.

Sitrick put the German in the basement of the house and then settled down to ride out the bad weather. But as the storm wore on, more German soldiers kept stumbling upon the farmhouse and Sitrick found himself taking in more and more prisoners.


7 Comments on France awards American WWII vet who single-handedly captured 21 Nazis

  1. The younger generation of French and Americans may not honor what these men accomplished, but I think the older generation does.

    A few of my former coworkers were at the training center in Eindhoven in the Netherlands during a 60th anniversary of the end of the war. No work that day and these Americans were shown appreciation, especially by the older Dutch, for what America did for them. In their words they couldn’t buy their own beer or meals during the parades & other celebrations, someone insisted on paying for them.

  2. I once met what was then a 17 year old BF-109 pilot at a WWII bomber’s convention in Fort LiquerDale. The only reason he didn’t die in the battle of the bulge was that he was shot down and broke both of his legs the week before. Otherwise it was a complete routing of the German forces. What an interesting man to chat with. The majority of the air force had no idea what the internment camps were about.

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