Maurice Chapnik

U.S. Army 1953–1955


Nazis invaded Maurice Chapnik's home town of Mons, Belgium, when he was 7. Surviving under Nazi occupation, his family hid that they were Jewish and helped people escaping the Third Reich. Maurice's older brother, Jacques, joined the Resistance, and the last the family heard was that he had been captured in France and been sent to Auschwitz. When the Liberation came, Chapnik felt a debt of gratitude that he would try to pay back the rest of his life. After moving to America, he was drafted to serve in Korea, but the Army decided that his skills were better suited as an interpreter in France. Chapnik took the oath of allegiance to the U.S. in the same building in Poitiers, France, where his brother was last known to have been.

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