I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a World War II veteran for an oral history project with the National World War II Museum. The man was in the second wave of troops who landed at Normandy; he was in the 84th Infantry (“Railsplitters”) and saw heavy fighting, including at the Battle of the Bulge. He was a medic, and saved many lives. He claimed that medics were not supposed to be armed. However, he disobeyed this rule and carried a pistol at all times, a Luger which he took off of a German prisoner. He said he was sure that he would be killed if captured by the Germans, because he was Jewish, so he would rather shoot it out with them than allow himself to be taken prisoner.
First of all, was there really an official rule that medics weren’t supposed to be armed?
Was it assumed that a medic would not be shot at by the enemy?
Would Jewish soldiers fighting for the US (or Russia) against the Germans be summarily executed, or sent to concentration camps? Or would they be taken as POWs in the same that a non-Jewish prisoner would?