This woman survived a gas chamber, three Nazi concentration camps, testing by the infamous Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele, a death march, and shared a barracks with the dying Dutch teenager Anne Frank.

Alright, bullet points.

  • Second oldest of 9 dirt poor, no electricity, no plumbing Swedish hillbillies.
  • Drowned in a well when he was three, revived by grandmother.
  • Fell through ice skating on homemade skates when he was nine. Rescued by passersby.
  • Used a gun to save his father from being murdered outside a bar at age 11.
  • Left home at 12 to go to sea asa cabin boy. Landed on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Was on a ship in Gdansk harbor when the first shots of WWII were fired.
  • Jumped ship, worked construction as an illegal alien in NYC.
  • Immigration caught him, his choice was deportation or join the US Army.
  • Joined Army, landed D-Day on Utah Beach.
  • After liberating Cherbourg stepped on TWO nazi landmines outside St Lo. Blew right foot off.
  • Young medic started puking, dad had to cut through his own flesh with bayonet so they could bandage.
  • Amputated 6-8 inches below right knee.
  • In Lawson General Hospital (Atlanta) became friends with baseball HOFer Luke Appling.
  • Became friends with rich local lady who let the boys use her property.
  • Was asked by same rich lady to "shoot a nigger" who had swam in her pond. Refused.
  • Got a job working heavy construction (dockbuilder) in NYC through a congressman who pushed them to hire disabled.
  • Determined to do the work of two men to prove his worth. Always in demand, never unemployed.
  • Met and married my mom, 5 kids, 14 grandkids, 10 greats.
  • In early 1960s while working on a Long Island Railroad highway overpass was struck by train.
  • Train was going full speed through construction zone. Dad went up 50 feet down onto shoulder of highway.
  • Fortunately train hit prosthetic leg. Shattered femur and hip. Rebuilt with rods and pins, back to work.
  • LIRR's lawyer "offered to represent dad free of charge". What a prince! Settled for lost wages and hospital bills.

There are more stories but that's the lions share. I should write a book.

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