Mr. Katz


Arya Bazl


I interviewed a man that served in World War II. His name was Mr. Katz. He lived in Wingate Nursing Home in Needham. I never met him before, so at first I was a bit uncomfortable. When he came down to tell me his story he complemented me on my Patriots jacket and asked me who I thought was going to win the Superbowl. I told him the Patriots and once we stopped talking about sports, and got to know each other better I asked him what did he do in the Army and he told me that he was a gunman who never had to shoot anybody. He told me "it's one thing to hold a gun , but it's another thing to shoot a gun" 

Birkenau after the war

Birkenau Concentration camp

When I asked him if he had ever seen a concentration camp he told me that after the war he went into one and found thousands of Jews that were skin and bones and he saw hundreds of piles of dead bodies and skeletons the described it as " Hell on earth". He said the name of the camp was Birkenau.  He said that he saw the furnaces and it was "inhumanity to man"

I asked him if he considered himself a hero. He told me that the true heroes are the ones that enlisted into the Army. He didn't consider himself a hero because he was drafted into the army.

Reactions to the war

He said he went into the war after Pearl Harbor and all of his friends were joining so he felt peer pressure to join even though he got drafted. Also he told me that his feeling towards the war weren't anything special he said "I just wanted to do my job and get the hell out of there alive." But he always told me to not join the Army; he told me that it is hell. 

When I asked him about Hitler he told me "everyone wanted to kill the bastard"  and he told me about the hatred towards Hitler. He said that people in the U.S. were very upset with Hitler and they wanted him dead.

He also told me after the war he wanted to serve to the Air Force so that he could reenlist but later he got discharged. 

Mr. Katz wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force
My new friend

Mr. Katz  was a very kind man. After I interviewed him I was so surprised about how kind he was that I wanted to come in and visit him more often. So I volunteered at the local nursing home and I went in there and saw Mr. Katz on a regular basis. When I went into the nursing home to see how he was I talked with him a lot because he had a lot of stories to tell about his life, and I helped there by reading letters to him and I also played poker with Mr. Katz and his friend Dennis. But sadly Mr. Katz passed away on January 29th and I will always remember him as a great man who was kind and an American hero.