Next RMA Meeting Thursday, August 11th in Person and via Zoom

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The Execution of Private Slovik,

by Attorney Bernard Edelson


Perhaps you saw the 1974 movie. The Execution of Private Slovik, starring Martin Sheen and Ned Beatty. Eddie Slovik was one of approximately 40,000 World War Il deserters. However, of the 49 servicemen actually tried and sentenced to death for desertion, Slovik was the only one executed. He was shot by a firing squad on January 1, 1945 in the Village of St. Marie Aux Mines, France – the only American soldier to die for desertion since the Civil War. The execution was ordered by General Eisenhower, who hoped that news of the execution would discourage the widespread desertion during ‘The Battle of the Bulge’. For reasons unknown, the execution was not publicized.
Antoinette Slovik, Eddie’s widow, did not learn of her husband’s execution until 1954, when author William Bradford Hue began researching his book. The Execution of Private Slovik, Join us for a first-hand account, as retired Attorney Bernard Edelson (a 90 year old Framingham resident) shares these events and his personal role in representing Antoinette Slovik as she sought Compensation from the government.
The speaker’s topic is a fascinating part of mostly unknown history. After the trial he appeared on many of the morning talk shows Like Good Morning America. Also write ups in national newspapers. Eddie Slovik was guilty of desertion as were 50,000 more. 49 service man were tried and sentenced to death but he was the only one executed.
At basic training the commander at Ft Dix said this person should not be put into any combat situations; he was deathly afraid of guns and loud noises and should have a support role in the rear. So the question: why was he sent into ‘The Battle of the Bulge’ and why was he singled out to be executed which classified him of being convicted of treason and thus his wife denied any benefits. When Bernard Edelson, an Attorney for over 40 years heard about this after the book and film came out and found out that his wife was denied survivor benefits, he contacted her and said he would represent her in suing the Government for the death benefits she did not receive.
Bernard shares the events of what happened and his role in representing Antonette,
Eddie along with many others were guilty of desertion but should not have been stationed in a war zone per Army records.


Tip for members using Zoom for meetings
The audio is checked before each meeting with a member on zoom.
If your audio is too low or too high, you can adjust on your computer
On many laptops/keyboards there are keys (usually on top row) that
Show a graphic of a speaker allowing increase/decrease or mute.
Audio can also be adjusted in zoom. At far right of control ribbon on
bottom of zoom screen are the audio controls. To adjust levels, click on the up
arrow and click on “audio setting”. Sliders can adjust sound levels.