November 22, 2003 by

Bert Schwarz

5 comments

Categories: Military

Lt. Bert Schwarz, an American war hero, died on Oct. 29 from injuries he suffered in a car accident. He was 87.
During World War II, Schwarz was captured by the Japanese and forced to march 65 miles, in brutal heat without food or water, to a railhead for dispersal to prison camps. Although 75,000 soldiers took part in the Bataan Death March, thousands died en route.
Those who survived, like Schwarz, suffered through years of malnutrition and torture. He also lived through the sinking of the Shinyo Maru, a Japanese prisoner-of-war ship he and other POWs were riding on when American forces attacked it.
A decade after his liberation, Schwarz helped form the AmeriCares Foundation, an organization that delivers medicine and relief supplies to devastated areas of the world. One of the places Schwarz aided? Japan.
In later years, Schwarz shared his war experiences with local high school students and organized the first Memorial Day Parade in Blairsville, Ga.

5 Responses to Bert Schwarz

  1. Roger Froehlich

    Bert was a great friend of my father (Monroe Froehlich, Jr.) and I remember Bert with great admiration and fondness.
    Although he suffered greatly from japanese brutality, he went on to develop close ties to Japan in post war years.
    Bert was the subject of an article in Colliers..”The Greatest Escape of the War”

  2. Kent Naka

    Bert was a close friend of my parents in Kobe, Japan during the early 50’s. In retrospect, his story is remarkable and uplifting, which I didn’t know at he time back then. Anecdote: I was invited to their annual Easter Egg hunt and the one who found the golden egg won a prize. The first year, I won. The second year, I won it again because he hid it in the very same spot the year before. My thoughts go to Gam, Rocky and Sukoshi, whereever they are.

  3. Jack Moye

    Bert was indeed a great American hero. I see that Congress has approved post humus awards of the Purple Heart to former POW’s who died or were wounded while a PW. Family members can submit requests. If Rocky will contact me, I think I can help get the Purple Heart for Bert, to which he is entitled having been wounded by a guard fracturing his hip with a blow of his rifle butt.Please contact me at jmoye1@sc.rr.com

  4. David Lauterbach

    I am so sorry to hear of Bert’s death. I dated his daughter Sukoshi for many years and had the pleasure of spending time with Bert as a result. He was very tolerant of a teenage boy who was really head of heals for his daughter. We arm wrestled (he won) went skiing together and enjoyed the early sixties. He gave me my first car, even after his daughter and I had broken up. Or maybe because we had. I had no idea he was a hero. I know he had a great sense of humor and a generous heart and a very interesting daughter. My condolences to Gahm, Rocky, Billy and Sukoshi.

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