Jewish American Soldiers: Stories from WWII (2017)


“What happened in World War Ii was that American Jews in entering Military Service came to recognize that their Jewishness was within them and that for many of them, their Jewishness had been part of family, it had been part of community, it had been part of friends, and they didn’t particularly think of it as something inside them. But in military service, everybody wore the same uniform, yet inside the experiences were sometimes different and that’s where Jewishness came to be lodged for American Jews and it was a powerful experience because it meant that wherever they went, they took their Jewishness with them.” – Deborah Dash Moore

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Feb 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary that tries to analyze the unique experiences of Jewish soldiers in the US Army during World War II.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and was quite intrigued to watch in order to see how things would play out.

They are able to give us a very unique and very personal perspective of how these ten men were treated during their service as Jewish soldiers during World War II.

These men were integrated into the various kinds of fighting units and each were greeted with much antisemitism and baseless hatred solely due to the fact that they were Jewish.

Most of their unit mates had ever even met a Jew before yet they knew the stereotype and would cause lots of bullying and hatred towards these men.

Each of them found a way to deal with these problems in differing ways which were mostly effective.

The interviews with these men are quite fascinating to watch especially given the fact that they each are in their upper 80’s and early 90’s.

It is so integral to get a record pf their histories since in just a few shorts years, none of them will be around to tell their stories.

The film does let us know that during the time between the interviews and the movie’s release a number of them ave already passed on which makes their stories even more important and poignant to hear.

My biggest complaint about this movie is that it feels too short and I’m sure that they could have given us a more in depth and comprehensive look at the tales of these men and their experiences.

Bottom Line – Great documentary that is able to give us a very unique and personal perspective on how Jewish American men were integrated into fighting units during their service during World War II. The film is able to let us know what their comrades thought of them being different and how each of them dealt with the bullying and rampant antisemitism in different ways. The interviews with these men are quite fascinating to watch yet it is a bit disappointing that this film is so short because I’m sure that these veterans had even more stories to tell us and a more comprehensive look at their experiences. It’s quite remarkable that they have now gotten these histories on video because these men’s stories should be told and since they are rapidly aging who know how much longer they will each have to recount their tales.  The film does let us know that some of these men passed away between the time that they were interviewed and the movie was released which adds so much to things. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Three of the veterans featured were Holocaust survivors who served in World War II. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

Trailer: https://www.fspfilms.com/jas

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