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Julius Reinitzer is a Czechoslovakian native who survived multiple internment and labor camps during and after World War II. He worked undercover in Europe for the United States setting up safe houses before fleeing to America. He later served in the United States Army as a Green Beret.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Reinitzer was born in June 1928 to Jan and Jirina Reinitzer. He lived in the city of Prague along with his twin brother Jan, older brother Jiri, and his parents for the majority of his childhood. His father died of lung cancer early in Reinitzer's life, presumably caused by the carcinogenic chemicals he was exposed to in his job at a printing press. His mother was an editor at a magazine publishing company which her family owned.
In November 1944, at the age of sixteen, Reinitzer and his twin brother Jan were drafted to work in a Nazi labor camp in Poland, which was near the eastern front, twenty miles from the Birkenau concentration camp Auschwitz. He was tasked with digging foxholes and anti-tank trenches along with most Czech boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Eventually he escaped and returned to Prague, where he joined the Prague Uprising for a time.
American military service[edit | edit source]
Reinitzer later moved to America and eventually became a Green Beret. When special atomic demolition munitions were developed, he was assigned to instruct troops on ways to survive in hostile territories. Troops nicknamed him "The Bear".
References[edit | edit source]
- Rawnsley, Adam; Brown, David. "The Littlest Boy". http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/01/30/the-littlest-boy/. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Reinitzer, Ilona (September 2012). The Nine Lives of Julius: A True Story of Survival. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4797-0611-2.
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