Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds
Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds (1919-1985) of Knoxville served in the US Army during World War II. He was taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. Edmonds was held prisoner at Stalag IXA POW camp near Ziegenhain, Germany. In January 1945, the Germans announced that all Jewish POWs in the camp were to report the following morning. As the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer, he ordered more than 1,275 American captives to fall out with him and fearlessly pronounced, “We are all Jews here.” He would not waver, even with a pistol to his head, to identify any prisoners by religion, preventing over 200 Jewish soldiers from being singled out for Nazi persecution and possible death. The Nazi commander backed down. For his defense of Jewish servicemen at the POW camp, Edmonds, an Evangelical Christian, was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations, Israel's highest award for non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Erected 2020 by Knox County, City of Knoxville, TN., Roddie Edmonds Family, Knoxville Jewish Alliance and Jewish American
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • War, World II.
Location. 35° 57.809′ N, 83° 55.107′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on Market Street north of West Church Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 Market Street, Knoxville TN 37902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Burn Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Knoxville's Old Custom House / Fiddlin' Bob Taylor (within shouting distance of this marker); Lloyd Branson (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Journal Arcade Building (about 400 feet away); The Everly Brothers (about 400 feet away); Tennessee Ernie Ford (about 400 feet away); Charles Christopher Krutch (about 400 feet away); Tennessee Theater (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Regarding Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds. Master Sgt. Edmonds is the only American G.I. recognized by the Israel National Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem as a "Righteous Gentile". Sgt. Edmonds risked his life to save over 200 fellow soldiers who were Jewish from Nazi persecution and possible murder.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 17, 2020, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 142 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 17, 2020, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. 2. submitted on July 24, 2021, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. 3. submitted on July 25, 2021, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 4. submitted on July 24, 2021, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.