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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, June 01, 1952, Image 143

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1952-06-01/ed-1/seq-143/

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IN KOREA, Corpl. Carl von Rosenberg-Rosemont poses for o snapshot.
From Wehrmadit to 11S. Inny
By William J. Moyer
r[E LAST WAR was ending rapidly.
Night again had closed in on the
German prison camp east of Berlin
when Carl von Rosenberg-Rosemont, a
tank gunner, started slithering past his
Russian guards.
During the Nazis’ headlong retreat,
a Soviet shell had demolished his tank.
Carl’s companions were killed. He was
captured and herded into an inclosure
with .thousands of other prisoners.'
Three nights later, he escaped, crawl
ing for five hours through muck and
slime. The area was Infested with
Russians. A snapping twig, a barking
uog or an inadvertent cough could have
meant recapture—perhaps death.
But he made it back to the German
lines. It was the start of a long and
laborious trek to even greater freedom
and to his native land—the United
States. For during all those years.
Carl, unknowingly at the outset, was
an American serving by compulsion in
Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
Today, he is Corpl. Rosenberg-Rose
mont, a military policeman at Fort
Myer and a veteran of the Korean
fighting.
But let’s turn back the years.
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; SS ISmb
FATHER Otto died when Carl was an infant.
!—THE WASHINGTON STAR PICTORIAL MAGAZINE. JL'NE I. IM'l
PAGE 12
Carl was born January 4, 1926, in
New York City. His father Otto, dead
these many years, and his mother
Charlotte were naturalized Americans.
Both were portrait artists, but Carl does
not remember his father. He was only
2 and his sister Alfrieda was 4 when
their mother took them to Switzerland.
Carl still was an Infant when his
grandparents took him to Germany.
Other relatives took Alfrieda to Czecho
slovakia. Carl went to German schools.
He knew little of his early childhood,
except that he had been born in
America.
At 17, he joined the Nazi army—
because, he says, his grandparents’
property would have been confiscated
if he hadn’t. He was sent to the
eastern front for the drive toward
Moscow. . . .
Carl was back with his outfit, after
his escape from the Russians, when
Germany collapsed. He was captured
again—this time by the British.
“I believe I am an American,” he
told them when they released him, six
months later. They advised him to see
American authorities.
He did—but to no avail. Even if he
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AT FORT MYER, the much-traveled soldier directs troffic as a military policeman.
had been an American, he had re
nounced his citizenship by serving the
Nazis. Three discouraging years slipped
by. Finally, in desperation, he lied. He
said he had not been in the German
Army.
His passport came through. . . . But
the Consul still was suspicious.
“Will you swear on your honor that
you never were in the Nazi army?”
he asked.
Carl couldn’t do that. He wept. The
truth had gotten him nowhere, he
explained. That’s why he lied.
The Consul believed him and got in
touch with Washington. Finally, word
came that Carl was an American and
since’ he had served the Nazis unwill
ingly, he was entitled to return home.
It was Christmas, 1948, when his ship
sailed past the Statue of Liberty. A
few days later, he found Alfrieda, who
had arrived two years before from
Czechoslovakia.
She had a job and there were happy
hours. He had not seen her for 15
years. But even so, life in America
was not easy. Because of his scanty
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SISTER Alfrieda now is living in New York.

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