|Born||9 Jan 1900|
|Died||13 Apr 1942|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAnton Schmid was born in 1900 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. In the 1930s, after working some years as an electrician, he opened up a shop selling radios. He was married to Stefi Schmid, with whom he had one daughter. In 1940, he was drafted into the German Army. He was initially posted to Poland, and later saw action during the invasion of the Soviet Union. By the fall of 1941, at the rank of feldwebel (sergeant), he was posted to Vilnius, Lithuania in charge of a unit responsible for linking up soldiers returning from the rear to their units. As his post was at the Vilnius train station, he witnessed the deportation of Jews. He wrote to his wife:
ww2dbaseWill Dir noch mitteilen, wie das ganze kam: hier waren sehr viele Juden, die vom litauischen Militär zusammengetrieben und auf einer Wiese außerhalb der Stadt erschossen wurden, immer so 2000 – 3000 Menschen. Die Kinder haben sie auf dem Wege gleich an die Bäume angeschlagen. Kannst Dir ja denken.
ww2dbaseI will tell you how this came: there were many Jews here, who were rounded up by the Lithuanian militia and were shot in a field outside of the city, always around 2000 - 3000 people. The children were already killed on the way by bashing them against trees. You can imagine.
ww2dbaseSchmid attempted to save the Jews by employing some as forced laborers for his unit, by releasing a small number of them on false reasons, by transporting them out of Vilnius in military trucks, by issuing false identification, and by hiding a small number of them in his apartment and in his office. By the end of 1941, he had become active in the Jewish resistance. He was warned by Jewish resistance leaders that his superiors had now known of a certain Austrian who was friendly toward the Jews, but Schmid refused to lessen his efforts. He was caught in late Jan 1942 and was tried for treason. "I only acted as a human being and desired doing harm to no one", he wrote to his wife in his final letter. Found guilty, he was executed in Apr 1942.
ww2dbaseIn 1967, the Yad Vashem of Israel declared Anton Schmid a Righteous Among the Nations.
Anton Schmid Timeline
|9 Jan 1900||Anton Schmid was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.|
|31 Dec 1941||Anton Schmid hosted the leadership of the Dror Jewish underground in his apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania to celebrate the new year.|
|13 Apr 1942||Anton Schmid was executed by his superiors in Vilnius, Lithuania as a traitor; he had helped about 250 Jews escape from certain death.|
|16 May 1967||The Yad Vashem of Israel declared Anton Schmid a Righteous Among the Nations.|
|8 May 2000||Germany renamed a military base in Rendsburg in northern Germany Feldwebel-Schmid-Kaserne in honor of Anton Schmid.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945