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Liberator, Veteran, and Friend: The Service of Edward Geiser

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by Smiley 2.0, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    That would be a fitting addition to this thread. I hope it happens soon.
     
  2. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I have been informed that the set date for the interview will be May 28th. If something happens on that date, such as if a family member can't get that date to work out for them for example, the back up date will be May 29th. I also have been informed that the magazine will also be interviewing myself as well, along with Mr. Geiser.

    To be honest, I am a little nervous about this. I just have to prepare myself for everything.
     
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  3. Muley

    Muley New Member

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    Smiley,

    I think you are doing a great thing! Hope the interview goes well.

    I checked the U.S. army OOB at the CMH website, and found out the 63rd ID was attached to Seventh Army throughout the war. This means the division did not take part in the Battle of the Bulge. After some more checking I found that Seventh Army apparently received credit for fighting in Alsace and Lorraine against Operation Nordwind, another German offensive. This explains the army's naming the campaign Ardennes-Alsace.

    To me this does not lessen what the men of the 63rd did during the war.

    Good luck with the interview.
     
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  4. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Thank you for the fact checking Muley! Looking at a 63rd Division divisional pamphlet that I have, it does mention they "had been in the line continuously since Dec. 22." It was a fact that I mistakenly overlooked and something that I should have noticed. ;)

    With this interview, it is always important to go over my facts and get my facts checked several times to make sure everything is correct. I do appreciate you mentioning that.
     
  5. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    The interview with the local magazine is tomorrow. Wish me luck ;). I will post an update after the interview.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Good luck Smiley! Look forward to the update.
     
  7. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Thank you Takao ;)!
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Here, too. You'll do well.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Good luck Smiley. The interview is a great thing. I look forward to the result,
     
  10. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I will post about the interview soon (it went well), but I thought I would share a picture someone took of me and Mr. Geiser after the interview was done. I did get a lot of fascinating information from this interview that I will share soon as well.
     

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  11. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Great. Looking forward to it.
     
  12. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    My dad's work had their daily mass which Mr. Geiser likes to go to. Before mass, when I saw him enter the mass he seemed to be in a goofy mood. He softly ran his electrical wheelchair into the chair of one of the nurses with a smile on his face and he said to me "I had a good day today." I said, "Really?" And he said "I got to run into the nurse." And he and the nurse and I had a good laugh. However since its been a while since I last saw him, he could not remember me. Which is understandable for his age. But when he came across my dad later on before the interview my dad told him that I was at mass and sat behind him and Mr. Geiser made the connection.

    When Mr. Geiser arrived at the area where we were doing the interview with one of his sons and one of his daughters, they took notice of my 63rd Division pin that I was wearing and Eddie got a big kick out of that

    When the reporter, whose name is Walt, arrived, another man was with him and he told us that this man was a photographer who would be taking some pictures during the interview. I think he got some good pictures.

    The interview itself went alright. The reporter would sometimes ask me the same question but would ask in a different way as to get just a little bit more information. It caught me off guard a little but I answered the questions as best I could. There was a moment, out of a bit of nervousness, my mind sort of went blank when Walt asked me a question and I couldn't answer it for a second. But I pulled through with it well and I felt better. Walt was a nice guy, and he was certainly fascinated with Mr. Geiser's story. A lot of new fascinating information came out from this interview. Mr. Geiser had a little bit of trouble answering a couple of the questions and his son would come in to help fill in a little bit. But Mr. Geiser answered the questions real well and accurately.

    When we got to the day Mr. Geiser's unit liberated the concentration camp, Walt asked him if Eddie could remember how many people were in that camp and Mr. Geiser said that "There was so many people, I couldn't keep count." He did come across German guards and was given strict orders not kill any of them. He also remembers there being Jews being at the camp and he said that there was also a number of communists at the camp. He also says that he can't sleep at night sometimes because what he saw there keeps haunting him.

    Mr. Geiser mentioned a sad fact at one point saying that out of all of his friends that he went to war with in his unit, there was only eight remaining of his original friends and of the original company left. He talked about how when the Germans would send the Luftwaffe to bomb their positions, they seemed to target churches a lot. And during the fighting he would see stacks of dead bodies from both sides.

    Those are just some of the highlights of the interview. His son gave me a document that he printed that contains a lot of the stories that Eddie told them of his service. I plan on sharing some of those soon. Overall the interview went very well. Walt had at least 15+ pages of notes in his memo book.

    During the interview Walt asked me what I will do with this story, and I told him that one day I hope to pass it on to someone else so that they will also pass it on and that this amazing story will remain forever.

    I am unsure of when the story will be published by the magazine, but when it does I will make sure that I post it for all to see. ;)
     
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  13. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    A nice summary, Smiley. The picture is a nice touch, as well. I look forward to the article. Can you get a transcript of the interview? That would be as much fun to read as the article. Well done.
     
  14. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I will check into that. I know for sure that Walt did record the entire interview, but I'm not quite sure if he is making a transcript. But I will definitely look into that Lou.
     
  15. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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  16. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Today is Mr. Geiser's birthday. He turns 95 today! :)
     
  17. Historyfixer

    Historyfixer New Member

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    [SIZE=12pt]Hi Smiles. Would you mind giving me Mr. Geiser's contact information or giving him mine? I am the [/SIZE]author of the Battle of Buchhof and Stein and I am looking for more people to interview for the next book. I was able to interview all of the German civilians who remembered the battle when I went over for the 70 anniversary in April.
    [SIZE=12pt]Best regards [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12pt]Tim Malone [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12pt]Historyfixer@aol.com[/SIZE]
     
  18. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    @Historyfixer: Let me get back to you on that one. I will have to ask first about that but if I do get the okay I will let you know ;). PM if you have any questions, and thank you for your interest. When I found out about how Mr. Geiser received his Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Stein, I did a little research on the battle and during my search I came across your book. It looks like a good read :)
     
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  19. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Wish him a very Happy Birthday from us! Do you have an ETA on the interview article yet?
     
  20. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Unfortunately I do not yet know when the article is to come out. My dad saw a preview of the upcoming edition of the magazine and did not see the story yet. I apologize about that :(
     

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