Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Search to Remember: "He Wanted to Be True to History"

Wonderful essay from Tablet. 

"It was about 40 years ago, and Bernadette O’Connell was 11 and watching the television program Hogan’s Heroes with her brother in the family’s Potomac, Maryland, home, when their grandfather, Pinckney Glasgow McElwee, went ballistic."

“‘This is not the way it was,’” O’Connell, 52, remembered him screaming. “‘I can’t believe they’re making a comedy about concentration camps.’”

“He was shaking out of control,” O’Connell said. “It was very impressive, because he never spoke about it.”

"By “it,” O’Connell meant McElwee’s service in WWII. A colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, he served in the Seventh U.S. Army and was there when the Americans liberated the Nazis’ concentration camp at Dachau, Germany, on April 29, 1945."

"Her grandfather never spoke about his service, but he did take pictures."

Read the whole thing.