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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LV Vet Roundtable to Host Hitler Youth Who Survived Dresden

If you like the History Channel, you'll love the LV Vet Roundtable. Military history buffs like Paul Fiske and Mike Sewards are collecting the fascinating stories of the men and women who served in our military, especially WWII vets.

Last year, I had the honor of listening to Emmaus Everyman Bob Kauffman share his experiences as an 18 year-old replacement who was thrown up against Germany's most elite combat unit, the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. "We got the crap kicked out of us," this unsung hero bluntly admitted. Kauffman has also written a book about his combat experience, The Replacement.

If you have time on Thursday night at 7 PM, drop by the Lehigh County Senior Center. This month's guest, like my father, endured the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden in February 1945. Today, he's the Reverend Dr. Manfred Bahman, the pastor of St. Joseph Lutheran Church in Allentown.

When Dresden was being fire-bombed, my father was a POW, cowering inside a slaughterhouse with author Kurt Vonnegut, who later wrote Slaughterhouse Five. As the bombs began to explode around them, Vonnegut claims that one of them wisecracked, "I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight." I am certain the source of that dark humor is my father.

Unlike my father and Vonnegut, Dr. Bahman was a member of the Hitler Youth, and his father was a Nazi.

Dr. Bahman's story is one I'd never miss.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Is Northampton County having a Veterans day thing on Friday this week?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, When I find out exactly what it is, I will post a blog about it.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Bernie for posting information on this upcoming meeting.
We are also opening "The Mid=Alantic Regional Veterans Assistance Center 118 N. 9th St, Allentown later this year. It is the second phase of the 'Round Table. Call me I would be happy to show you around and tell you all about it.....PJF

Bernie O'Hare said...

Paul, I'll speak to you about that Thursday night.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Bernie, Look forward to it. Bring a friend or two. There will be a full announcement about the Center prior to the Speaker, and pass-outs of the Mission statement.
See you Thursday evening.....PJF

Bernie O'Hare said...

i will ask some people i know.