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Old 26th June 2005, 19:02
Tom Semenza Tom Semenza is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 569
Tom Semenza
Re: Jewish airmen in WWII


I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "the difference between a Jew and a person of Jewish origin," but I assume you are taliking about observant Jews or someone who considers himself to be Jewish. Well certainly there were many Jewish servicemen in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, which is not to say there was no prejudice against them within those forces.

It is interesting that there were a number of Luftwaffe pilots whose Jewish ancestry made them anathema to the powers that be, however the ancestry seemed to have been remote enough to keep them out of the concentration camps. One in particular who comes to mind is Horst Rippert who was long relegated as a lowly Obergefreiter flight instructor with JGr. Süd. He came to note in the spring & summer of 1944 with the Einsatzstaffel of JGr. Süd (later JGr. 200) claiming 19 Allied aircraft over Southern France. Presumably this sufficiently proved his loyalty to "Volk und Führer" as he subsequently was posted to IV./JG 27. He remained an Obergefreiter until at least March of 1945. In April 1945 he as a Feldwebel serving in II./JG 27 against the Soviets, surviving the war with a total of 28 victories.

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