When the saw they were losing the war, Nazi guards gave a fateful order which would have doomed every Jew in the camp… and Sgt. Edmonds had a choice to make. That choice made a hero out of him.
Those who love to revel in the perceived failings of Americans can only do so because they’ve become blinded to the amazing stores of the amazing stories of selfless sacrifice Americans have made in service of the greater good.
At 24 years of age, MSG Roddie Edmonds was the oldest of about 1300 Americans in a Nazi prison camp in northwest Germany. The others looked up to him for leadership. He was described as ‘rock-steady’.
They had been held there for more than a month, with exactly the harsh treatment you might expect — minimal rations and forced marches. But the men looked up to Edmonds.
When the writing was on the wall, and the Germans knew the end was inevitable, the guards gave out a critical order.
“Tomorrow morning, at roll call, all Jewish Americans must assemble. Only the Jews. No one else. All who disobey will be shot.
There was no misunderstanding why that order was given. The guards were planning to kill the Jewish American prisoners and expecting the gentile Americans to rat them out to save their own skins.
More than 200 jewish American men in that camp had just heard the pronouncement of their death sentences and were well aware that their lives hung in the balance.
The Nazi guards had underestimated Americans. They hadn’t counted on encountering a devout Christian leader taking an amazing stand against the very guards who were planning to execute hundreds of prisoners the next morning just for being Jewish.
In five short minutes, Tom Cotton tells the story about Roddie Edmonds leaning upon his faith to stand boldly against the guards with a bold plan that forced the GUARDS to make the hard choice.
The story of Edmonds’s dangerous gamble, pushing all his chips onto the table, risking the lives of the many to save the lives of the few. If he died, he had already determined it would not be the death of a coward.