World War II Veteran Describes How Killing A German Soldier Stayed With Him

History

A video going viral this week shows a veteran of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge describing how he shot a German soldier, and the effect it has had on him since.


In the video, World War II Army veteran Joseph Robertson describes hiding behind a fallen tree in the Battle of the Bulge and being able to see German soldiers crossing a field from his vantage point.

“And I saw this young kid crawling up a ditch straight towards my tree,” Robertson says.

“So I let him crawl. I didn’t fire at him. But when he got within three or four foot of me, I screamed at him to surrender, and instead of surrendering, he started to point his gun towards me, which was instant death for him.”

“But this young man, he was blonde, blue eyes, fair skin; so handsome,” Robertson says. “He was like a little angel, but I still had to shoot him.”

Robertson says the shooting didn’t bother him the first night, because he was so tired, but the second night he woke up crying, “because that kid was there.”

“And to this day I wake up, many nights,  crying over of this kid,” Robertson says.“I still see him in my dreams, and I don’t know how to get him off my mind.”

The Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 was the last major German offensive of World War II. German leader Adolph Hitler was attempting to split Allied forces through a surprise assault. American forces commanded by then-Lt. Gen. George Patton, however, were able to halt the German advance, despite heavy casualties.

The story was first recorded in July 2005 by StoryCorps, an organization that works to preserve and share humanity's stories through audio recordings. This recording was then animated and shared to the group’s YouTube channel in 2010.

It is certainly worth preserving. Watch below:

Screenshot from YouTube
US Marine Corps

Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."

"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.

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Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.

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"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."

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U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS

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"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."

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