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Werner T. Angress

June 27, 1920 - July 05, 2010
Werner T. Angress Werner T. Angress 

Werner Angress was a member of the Black Pennant Jewish youth group and began an apprenticeship on the Jewish emigration estate Groß Breesen in Silesia in 1936. In 1937, his family fled to the Netherlands, hoping to emigrate from there to the United States in 1939. As the family could not afford to travel together, Werner went ahead on his own to prepare his parents’ and younger brothers’ emigration. After working in agriculture for two years, Angress joined the U.S. Army in 1941. Having trained with the infantry, he went to Camp Ritchie in 1943 and became one of the Ritchie Boys, a unit set up to study and demoralize the enemy and persuade them to surrender. They were also trained for interrogations. In 1944, he was shipped to England and allocated to a paratrooper unit. His plane took off for France on the night of June 5, 1944, one night before the Allied invasion of Normandy. It came under fire and Angress, who had never made a parachute jump, landed far away from his intended destination. He was captured by German soldiers but soon liberated, and went on to fight in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. On May 12, 1945, he found his mother and his two younger brothers in Amsterdam and learned that his father’s hiding place had been discovered in 1943 and he had been deported to Auschwitz.