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Philip Herzig

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Sergeant Philip Herzig, United States Army, is a “World War II veteran and entrepreneur, was born on New Year’s Eve in 1924 and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. His studies at Princeton University were interrupted during his sophomore year when he was drafted into the 405th Infantry Regiment and was sent to Europe. He received a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge for participation in the European campaigns. After his discharge, Herzig returned home to graduate from Princeton with honors. Upon graduation, he married Helene Phillips, his roommate’s sister, and settled down to start a finance firm and to publish a newsletter called “Gold Dustings.” The father of two daughters and a son, he enjoyed 54 years of marriage with his wife, Helene. Herzig passed away at 79 in 2004.”  Phillip Herzig is the author of YOUR LOVING SON, Philip: Letters From an American Soldier in World War II May 1944-June 1946.

According to the book description of YOUR LOVING SON, Philip: Letters From an American Soldier in World War II May 1944-June 1946, “With vivid detail Your Loving Son, Philip takes us back to the lives of the GIs in Germany at the end of World War II. Philip Herzig, a 19-year-old studying at Princeton University, was drafted in 1944. For the next two years he wrote home every other day, describing his life, first in boot camp, then in Germany, first in battle duty and then in the army of occupation. Philip describes everything from the guns issued during boot camp to the desolate surroundings of bombed out Germany. He even spends a day at the Nuremburg Trials. His mature observations about the German personality, about the GIs fraternizing with German frauleins-the enemy-and politics in the US are all fascinating and honest. At the same time, this boy misses his family greatly and doesn't hesitate to fantasize about their trips in the family car, the cookouts and his parents' loving personalities. After showing his sister Pat's photo around to his friends in his company, he warns her that she may be getting a lot of phone calls when the war is over.

 

The book includes photos of Phil and his buddies as they travel around Germany and their posturing in the mountaintop ruins of Hitler's headquarters in Berchtesgaden. He describes his surroundings -from the Riviera when he's on deserved leave after action that led to a Purple Heart to the house of a family that hosted him in Holland to the shower the company gets to take in a deserted monastery. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph J. Ellis says in his Preface: "Your Loving Son, Philip is a major memoir from the World War II generation, distinctive for its literacy, its palpable recovery of the ordinary routines amidst those extraordinary times, the distinctive voice of a coming-of-age American man-child who has been hurled into the greatest military venture of the twentieth century...Philip is always disarmingly honest, never poses, never embellishes for effect. This is the genuine article."

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