Thank you

I support your work. I love that you go all out to support our troops and the freedom of religion in our country.

I was uncomfortable when I saw the following:

Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Texas and Utah contain graves of German prisoners of war with swastika-adorned headstones and messages honoring Hitler.

I am with you in that we need to be diligent about these symbols in our country today.

I have finally come to understand my discomfort. These POW’s died in our country far from home. When they were buried those symbols were put on their graves. To me if the people of that day could honor them and their sacrifice then, we can do no less that support our United States of America veterans.

This is a teachable moment for all of us. That the people of the day put those symbols on the headstones was a decision made generations ago, please honor that.

Sincerely with my support on almost everything you do,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On May 25, 2020, at 7:45 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

Thank you for your civil communication.
 
Swastikas are symbols of horrible hatred & hideous holocaust of 6 million Jewish children, women & men by the psychopath Hitler & his Nazi henchmen. Swatikas also serve as rallying signs for neo-Nazis here whose stated purpose is to kill all American Jews. National data shows hate crimes against Jewish people & property are increasing. Germany even bans public display of Swastikas & makes it a crime.
 
Swastikas & Ayranism accolades have no place in American military cemeteries with Americans who fought in World War II (over 400,000 sacrificed their lives) to defeat the evil Third Reich whose leader was the Fuhrer, symbol the Swastika & criminal ideology the extermination of all human beings born of Jewish mothers (like Jesus).
 
The iron cross originated with the Prussians. The Nazis co-opted & desecrated it with their Swastika. Holocaust museums accurately preserve the history of the Nazi gruesome genocide.
 
These are some of the reasons why many Americans of all races, religions & regions find the grave headstones offensive & the Military Religious Freedom Foundation stands with them. Moreover, the headstones can be easily & economically replaced with appropriate identification of the deceased.
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 26, 2020, at 12:33 AM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi  (name withheld),
 
Thanks for your support.
 
I’m afraid we disagree on this one. It was a mistake back then and it remains a mistake until it is rectified.
 
I think if you look you’ll find that if they were to be shipped home the German Government would no longer
allow such artifacts of the evil the Nazis did to appear in government-sponsored facilities.
 
Our position remains the same.
 
Best,
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
On May 26, 2020, at 6:51 AM, Martin France  wrote:

 

(name withheld), I occasionally answer emails for Mikey as an Advisory Board Member of the MRFF.  Thanks for the civil note–that’s fairly rare.  We appreciate the overall support and I wanted to maybe better explain our position.  It’s more complex that a one line excerpt found on Google.

While I agree that the swastika was a symbol of Germany at the time, that symbol has been banned in Germany itself.  So, even though they fought for the swastika and the disgusting ideology it represented, WWII German soldiers in GERMANY don’t have a swastika on their graves.  That’s true in other European countries with German was cemeteries like Belgium, France, and Luxembourg.  I know because I’ve not only been there (I was born in Germany and was assigned in France for two years), but I’ve done the research.  I haven’t looked into Russia, but I’d bet my bottom ruble that there aren’t swastikas on German soldier graves there or in Poland either.
I get your point that it may help us remember the atrocities of the regime, but that’s not the point in this case.  We have plenty of museums and landmarks that can do that.  As an example, go to the Ghetto Uprising Museum in Warsaw–plenty of swastikas there and no move to get rid of them because it’s a historical display.
But having swastikas in a VA cemetery alongside the graves of soldiers that fought against it is beyond the pale.  The Iron Cross is another thing–that does not invoke or represent Nazi ideology.  To me, having swastikas in a US VA Cemetery is akin to burying a dead 9/11 terrorist in a VA cemetery with an Al Qaeda symbol on his tombstone.  They are viewed as enemy combatants as were the Germans, so why not?
This isn’t about political correctness.  It’s about respect for those that fought and died to defend our nation against the heinous Nazis.  If my grandfather had fought the Nazis or my Great Uncles and Aunts had escaped Auschwitz to serve in the US military only to be buried next a swastika-engraved tombstone on hallowed American ground, I would be fighting to have that symbol banished from the site.  Put yourself in the same boat.  You may disagree, which is your right–but I wanted you to understand the MRFF’s position.
 
Sincerely,
M France
Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Thank you so much for your letter.

 
I really appreciate the work MRFF does for our troops so they can have the freedom of religion. Thank you for being apart of such an honorable organization.
 
Sincerely,
(name withheld)

First off, I have no idea why my post looks like it comes for the Washington Post or how to fix it. I’m sorry for that.

 
I appreciate your letter. And I totally understand your point. I am giving this some more thought. 
 
Thank you so much for continuing to standing up for for our troops so they can worship or not as they choose to. I love the work that MRFF does.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
Thank you, (name withheld), for you kind note and consideration.  Cheers, M

 

 

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