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Comments about ‘'That's America': Former German soldier builds new life in U.S. after World War II’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 31 2012 11:00 p.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

This is an absolutely wonderful story. Thanks to DN and Herr Gellerson for sharing it. I hope his story has been recorded by KUED for its Utah Voices series about the war and Utah folks who were in it. Experiences like his need to be kept for the future because there is so much we all need to learn.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

Great story about a full life that has made Mr. Gellerson a human full of gratitude. Good for him.

I wish him well for the rest of his life.

poodlepants1
Salt Lake City, UT

Brother Gellerson is in our ward and he is also a beloved neighbor. He is as adorable and feisty as described! What a great article about a devoted, courageous man!

Kitenoa
Salt Lake City, UT

That is America at its best. For me, as a boy immigrant, my dreams are being realized now, and only in America. I know first hand what it like to live in a third world country in comparison to the opportunities we so often take for granted here in the USA. We don't know how fortunate we are. My children are college educated with opportunities untold. I am so grateful to be a part of the American miracle.

manfredsenkel
Millcreek, UT

Some clarifications from Mr. Gellersen's self-appointed biographer, currently working on his comprehensive life history:
- It was not a Nazi "general" that asked Gellersen's mother if she would be interested in a job cleaning the local party office that was in the same building, but most likely clerical staff (the city of Stade was hardly a center of party or military operations).
- The article suggests Gellersen's unit retreated quickly over a short period of time from Stalingrad to Romania and then on to Lithuania, but this trajectory took place over a two-year period.
- Gellersen was 23 at the end of the war - but 24 at the time he was married and nearly 26 when his first child was born. It was over three years - not "weeks" - between when he was desperate to find milk for the baby and when he began working for the Cream o' Weber dairy after immigrating to Utah.
- Among his grandchildren, which represent many other laudable and productive professions, there are only three that practice in medicine. Gellersen is referring to his entire descendancy, counting his son-in-law and one of his granddaughter's husbands to come up with five doctors.
Frohes Neujahr 2013, Opa!

manfredsenkel
Millcreek, UT

Some clarifications from Mr. Gellersen's self-appointed biographer, currently working on his comprehensive life history:
- It was not a Nazi "general" that asked Gellersen's mother if she would be interested in a job cleaning the local party office that was in the same building, but most likely clerical staff (the city of Stade was hardly a center of party or military operations).
- The article suggests Gellersen's unit retreated quickly over a short period of time from Stalingrad to Romania and then on to Lithuania, but this trajectory took place over a two-year period.
- Gellersen was 23 at the end of the war - but 24 at the time he was married and nearly 26 when his first child was born. It was over three years - not "weeks" - between when he was desperate to find milk for the baby and when he began working for the Cream o' Weber dairy after immigrating to Utah.
- Among his grandchildren, which represent many other laudable and productive professions, there are only three that practice in medicine. Gellersen is referring to his entire descendancy, counting his son-in-law and one of his granddaughter's husbands to come up with five doctors.
Frohes Neujahr 2013, Opa!

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

Greetings to Brother Gellersen from the Russian side. I was born in 1973 and lived in Moscow until 1993. During Soviet times we were taught to hate Germans as well as Americans. I was a bad student - ended up learning English and marrying an American.

America is indeed a land of opportunity and will be as long as we remember that it comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. My concern is that we might lose it as I see steps being taken in the direction of the Soviet Union and our inability to see the red flags where we ought to see them. We get worked up about gun control as if you could challenge a tank with an automatic rifle (I saw an attempt in 1993 in Moscow, the tank won), we get worked up about the freedom to buy beer, smoke cigarettes, and view immorality, but we are oblivious to the erosion of the freedom to achieve and be rewarded for it which is the key difference between America and the Soviet Union.

Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut

They don't make them like Mr. Gellerson anymore. What a guy! I wish I knew him personally.

DonO
Draper, UT

Wonderful story wonderfully well written! Thanks to Doug Robinson. And to the D News for encouraging such uplifting and inspiring stories to be written.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

My generation, myself included, are a cadre of noodle-spined laggards compared to this man. The world was a different place for him and I don't know if we would have the character to come through it this well.

KBertrand
Gloucester Point, VA

I am one of his 11 grandchildren - my Opa is definitely a truly amazing person :)

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Emajor, I'm afraid you're right. I would hope that this generation would rise to the occasion if needed, but I'm fearful that they won't. They have been given to much and don't have a work ethic. I have trouble finding high school graduates who are willing to work, let alone able to. That said; what a wonderful story, and a truly amazing man.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

What a story. This man lived history. I can only imagine what it was like on the Russian Front in the winter. He is right, I believe, sometimes the Lord has to intervene with guys like Hitler.

Joshua Stewart
Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks for the great article. The industry, kindness and generosity that Manfred, as well as many others from his generation, continue to contribute to our community leave a great legacy for the future generations.

"Doc" Cleland
AMERICAN FORK, UT

I met Bro Gellerson this evening at a fireside and he was quick to strike up a conversation and tell me some stories of the past. It was a privilage to meet him and I told him to write a book so we could all enjoy the stories of the amazing man.

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