Removal of German references

Hello Mr. Weinstein,

  I just read an article on that discussed your desire to have the 3 German POW’s headstones changed.  As a military Veteran let me just say I understand why you feel as you do, but also am furious over what you are trying to do.  Those headstones were placed to honor those 3 men.  Despite your thoughts, these 3 men died for the very reason depicted.  I believe at the time they died these men would have been honored with that inscription.
If I were in your position to make a difference like you are, I would try to have the bodies returned, and let the nearest survivors decide what is said about them.
No honor comes to veterans by dishonoring other countries veterans.  
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On May 19, 2020, at 6:33 PM, John Compere  wrote:

First & foremost, thank you for your military service.
Swastikas are symbols of racist hatred & genocide of 6 million Jewish children, women & men by the psychopath Hitler & his murderous Nazis. Swastikas encourage & provide rallying points for neo-Nazis & white supremacists whose stated goal is to kill American Jews. National data shows hate crimes against Jewish people & property have increased. Germany even bans public displays of Swastikas & makes it a crime.
Swastikas & anti-American accolades on grave headstones have no place in our American military cemeteries with deceased American men & women who fought in World War II & over 400,000 sacrificed their lives to defeat the evil Third Reich whose leader was the Fuhrer, symbol was the Swastika & central ideological feature was exterminating human beings who were born of Jewish mothers – like Jesus.
Your suggestion to return the remains is reasonable if Germany will accept them & our Department of Veterans Affairs will change their closed mind & cooperate. Otherwise, the Swastikas & offensive language should be removed or the headstones replaced.
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

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  1. Darian

    John, the Swastikas are engraved because they were also engraved on the Iron Cross; as you probably know, the Iron Cross was Germany’s equivalent of the Medal of Honor, and these soldiers were awarded the Iron Cross.

    It is appropriate to adorn their headstones with the decoration, and for it to appear as it did when they earned it.

  2. Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)

    Darian, the Iron Cross originated with the Prussians. The Nazis co-opted & desecrated it with their Swastika. Also, the Department of Veteran Affairs has an official list of 70 authorized emblems for grave headstones in military cemeteries. It does not include an Iron Cross with a Swastika. John

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