“Pfc. Abraham Mirmelstein of Newport News, Virginia, holds the Holy Scroll as Capt. Manuel M. Poliakoff, and Cpl. Martin Willen, of Baltimore, Maryland, conduct services in Schloss Rheydt, former residence of Dr. Joseph Paul Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, in Münchengladbach, Germany on March 18, 1945. They were the first Jewish services held east of the Rur River and were offered in memory of soldiers of the faith who were lost by the 29th Division, U.S. 9th Army.”
Hans-Georg Henke – 16 Year Old German soldier crying after a Soviet war correspondent informed him, “Hitler kaput. Go home,” May 1945: -
A sixteen-year old German antiaircraft-er of the Hitler Youth, Hans Georg Henke, taken prisoner by the soldiers of the 9th U.S. Army in the city of Giessen, Germany. He was a member of the Luftwaffe anti-air squad who burst into tears as his world crumbled around him. His father died 1938 and his mother in 1944. He joined the Luftwaffe to support himself. When the war was coming to an end he walked 60 miles to try and reach American lines only to be captured by the Russians. Henke believes the photograph was taken by either a Polish or Soviet war correspondent who informed him, “Hitler kaput. Go home” before he was captured. Near Rostock, May 1945. Henke was later captured by the Russians and joined the East German Communist Party. Luckily, he and his 2 brothers all survived the war. He went on to live a full life and died in 1997.
He was a member of the Luftwaffe anti-air squad who burst into tears as his world crumbled around him.
American soldiers of the 84th Infantry Division, 333rd Regiment, move through the streets of Geilenkirchen, Germany, with support of M43A Sherman tanks, 19 November 1944.
During WWII, “Operation Clipper” was an Allied offensive by British XXX Corps (which included the U.S. 84th Infantry Division) to reduce the Geilenkirchen salient in mid-November 1944. Clipper was a part of a wider Allied operation, named “Operation Queen” to gain control of the Roer valley and the Hürtgen Forest.
Geilenkirchen is situated on the Wurm river, some 20 km (12 mi) north of Aachen. The surrounding area is undulating, alternating between woodland, farmland and industrial villages. The area was crossed by a network of passable minor roads, some major roads and a railway line. The Wurm is the major geographic feature.
The salient was a German position on the Siegfried Line (or Westwall) at the boundary between the British 2nd Army and the U.S. 9th Army. It was a restriction to the movement of Allied forces and a potential threat.