Sgt. Yorkstein

Labadie, MO – It was bravery at the highest level: William Shemin defied German machine gun fire to sprint across a World War I battlefield and pull wounded comrades to safety. And he did so no fewer than two three times.

Then, with the platoon’s senior soldiers wounded or killed, the 19-year-old American took over command of his unit and led it to safety, even after a bullet pierced his helmet and lodged behind an ear.

Yet Shemin never earned the nation’s highest military citation, the Medal of Honor — a result, many suspected, of the fact that he was Jewish at a time when discrimination ran rampant throughout the U.S. military.

Now, nearly four decades after his death, Shemin may finally get that medal, thanks to the tireless efforts of his daughter, whose long quest to see her father decorated also opens the door for other overlooked Jewish veterans of the Great War.

“A wrong has been made right here,” said Shemin’s daughter, 82-year-old Elsie Shemin-Roth of Labadie, Mo., a small town about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Last month, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains a tiny provision known as the William Shemin Jewish World War I Veterans Act. It provides for a Pentagon review of Jewish soldiers and sailors who may have been overlooked for the Medal of Honor simply because of their faith.

Shemin’s daughter was the driving force behind the measure, an effort that began a decade ago when she read news accounts of a similar law that provided for review of Jews possibly denied recognition in World War II. She was horrified there was no similar mechanism for World War I veterans.

So she began gathering military records, photos, commendations and firsthand accounts of her father’s heroism. Eventually, she enlisted the help of her congressman and support from both U.S. senators from Missouri.

Retired Army Col. Erwin Burtnick of Baltimore, who is active in the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., helped get the bill passed. He also reviewed Shemin’s war record and will present the case on his behalf to the Pentagon.

“I believe, based upon the criteria of World War I, the level of heroism exhibited by Sgt. Shemin will rise to the Medal of Honor,” Burtnick said.

Elsie Shemin-Roth holds a photo father, William Shemin, taken during World War I, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, at her home in Labadie, Mo. Thanks to the tireless effort of his daughter and nearly four decades after his death, Shemin may finally be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, but never received, many believe because he was Jewish. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Elsie Shemin-Roth holds a photo father, William Shemin, taken during World War I, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, at her home in Labadie, Mo. Thanks to the tireless effort of his daughter and nearly four decades after his death, Shemin may finally be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, but never received, many believe because he was Jewish. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

At the time, the enlistment age was 21, but Shemin lied about his age and got in at 18. A tall, strapping athlete who played semi-pro baseball at age 15 and later played college football at Syracuse, Shemin was sent off to France. On a hot day in August 1918, he and his platoon were doing battle near a river in Burgundy.

One of his superiors, Capt. Rubert Purdon, later wrote in support of a Medal of Honor: “With the most utter disregard for his own safety, (Shemin) sprang from his position in his platoon trench, dashed out across the open in full sight of the Germans, who opened and maintained a furious burst of machine gun and rifle fire.”

Shemin didn’t stop there. Casualties were heavy. Many senior platoon leaders had been killed or badly hurt, so the young sergeant led the group out of harm’s way over the next three days.

Along the way, a German bullet hit him in the head, went through the steel helmet and lodged behind his left ear. Shemin eventually collapsed and was hospitalized for three months. The wound left him deaf in that ear.

His heroics did not go unnoticed: Shemin was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest military honor.

“My father told me there was a lot of discrimination, but he didn’t dwell on it,” she said.

But once, when another soldier paid a visit, Shemin’s daughter was struck by something the man told her.

“He witnessed my father’s actions,” said Shemin-Roth, who was then 12. “He told me, ‘Your father never got the medal he deserved because he was a Jew.’ I thought to myself how terrible that was.”

Shemin was 78 when he died in 1973. His sense of determination clearly rubbed off on his daughter. Her first husband died when she was just 43 and a mother of five. She went to college and became a nurse.

Since then, she’s done volunteer work in war-torn areas around the world. Back in Labadie, she heads a nonprofit animal-rescue group, and her property on a rural hilltop is home to dozens of rescued animals, from cats and dogs to donkeys, geese and fish.

The new law may have arrived too late to recognize many Jewish heroes from World War I. They’re all gone now — the last surviving American World War I veteran died last year. Even many of their children have died or are well into their 80s and 90s, Burtnick said, making it less likely that surviving relatives will have enough documentation to prove worthiness for the Medal of Honor.

So far, Buttnick said, the only veteran whose case will be presented for review is William Shemin.

A decision could come by spring. If the Pentagon approves, the president would present the medal on Shemin’s behalf to his daughter in a White House ceremony. Just the thought chokes her up.

“I try so hard to think of what my father would think of this,” she said. “He was such a humble man. All I can see in my head is this big handsome man sitting down, tears in his eyes.”

(end Holocaust music)

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7 Responses to Sgt. Yorkstein

  1. Barney says:

    What a holocaust! That poor innocent lying bastard! It saddens me to see so many of the one or two heroic jews and niggers over our entire history failing to get the recognition they deserve. (cue violins)

    I know. Lets do what jews do best. Give every jew a medal and a bucketful of shekels to go with it – – – – and then string the lying bastards up from the nearest lamp-post, tree or bridge, whichever happens to be most convenient.

    Btw, I read somewhere that shekel, or shek-el, means “little god”. It wouldn’t surprise me, but does anyone know if it’s true?

    • melgibstein says:

      We need to give this jew a reward for killing one of our people who were trying to stop Jews in their own jew infested country. What a tangled mess when you dont know the Jew.

      The word shekel was around before todays so called Jews even existed. Todays Jews speak Yhiddish not Hebrew. They even try to pass the shekel off as the “Israeli” currency.

      Israeli monetary unit (monetary unit in Israel)

      Israel is the 12 tribes- Jews dont want to even talk about them. Jews want you to think they all mixed in with mongrels when its the jews themselves that are mongrels. God did not create the hooked nosed neanderthal from himself.

      • Barney says:

        Very true Mel. This is unlikely to be word perfect, but …

        You are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father you will do“.

        He [father of the jews] was a liar and a murderer from the start and abides not in truth for there is not truth in him“.

        Even worse, today’s jews aren’t even (as far as we can tell) biologically descended from those “biblical” judeans or judahites (or whatever they were called before the word “jew” was invented), but chose to imitate their evil ways and impersonate them. They are of their true father, the devil.

        Presumably there really is an evil spiritual entity that will possess any group that’s sufficiently evil and take them over completely, so they’ll act with one mind against all that’s good (of God). I used to believe God would never allow a “real” devil to exist. I now believe I was wrong. The devil may not have horns and a tail, but he does have a hooked nose and a repulsively ugly face.

        I’ve long been aware that ugly people are physically ugly, whereas a good, kind, caring personality always shows in the face, making that face attractive, however basically plain the person may otherwise have been. Beauty, or ugliness, is much more than skin deep.

        I once knew two very different sisters with very similar facial features. One was truly angelic and an incredible beauty, whereas her sister, the one who had chosen the wrong path, was very plain, bordering on ugly, despite the fact that both had pretty much the same basic features, to such an extent that the evil one, caught in a (very) rare good mood, could occasionally be mistaken for her beautiful sister, but then the evil showed through again and the difference was obvious.

        It just goes to show God has marked both the good and the bad in ways we can recognise if only we can break free of that “all the same under the skin” nonsense.

  2. melgibstein says:

    You know the web of deception of the Jew Federal Reserve and how it is designed to make things look bigger than they are and how it weaves in and around making it complicated. Thats exactly how they have weaved around history and religion. The truth is always the same, they are deceivers and they deceive wrapped around something already in place. They are the weed and not the plant. They invent nothing but BS, they steal, cheat, murder, impersonate, parasite off of everything that is pure. Without purity they are dead maggots. Without latching on to truth and twisting it they starve. Without others to mingle amongst they revert back to their original form and easily recognizable. The more you stay separate from them the easier they are to identify in all categories.

    Whites history has been wiped out, yet still right there. The truth is always there if you are willing to keep digging. Things arent erased or foggy for nothing. I remember those jew teachers used to say “there are no stupid questions” but there are a lot of antisemitic questions that will never be answered by them. Those are so called “hateful” questions that expose their hate which in turn make them look stupid.

    • melgibstein says:

      “I’ve long been aware that ugly people are physically ugly, whereas a good, kind, caring personality always shows in the face, making that face attractive, however basically plain the person may otherwise have been. Beauty, or ugliness, is much more than skin deep.”

      We have to use what we know to be true in our lives already such as what our good friends, uncles, relatives looked like and how they acted and or still act. There is a fine line to discern what is genuine and what is not. If I see Irish eyes I know it, if I see a European I usually know it, anything in doubt is already built in, although they have some that could walk right in and do their thing. Looks are a huge alarm, but Satan is no doubt all to familiar with the looks game. Always keep in mind the whole 9 yards and never trust anyone until you have had some extended vino with them (truth). Make sure they swallow it.

      • Barney says:

        A sensible warning Mel. Looks tell us a lot, but “lucifer can appear as an angel of light” (or something like that anyway). The devil knows his job, and they don’t call him “the deceiver” for nothing. Believe nothing, question everything and then question the answers. The only people we can really trust are those we know well, and even these will sometimes betray us.

        Usually though, we pick up on something else, something we can’t define, when we meet a true comrade (perhaps not the best word, but it will do for now).

  3. melgibstein says:

    In other words its in the gut or more to the point, the soul.

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