Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice



Walter M. Danziger passed away on Nov. 6, 2016, at the Emory L. Bennett State Veteran’s Nursing Home in Daytona Beach, Fla., at the age of 92. He was born on March 23, 1924, in Berlin-Koepenick, Germany, to Georg and Charlotte Danziger.

Walter’s bar mitzvah in Berlin-Koepenick was the last one in that community’s synagogue (which his grandfather had helped to build) before it was destroyed on Kristallnacht.

The Danziger family had applied to emigrate to the United States in 1936, but because of the Quota System could not anticipate when a visa would be granted. So Walter was sent to England on a Kindertransport before the war. When the war began, Walter was interred as an “enemy alien.”

After his family came to the U.S. in 1941, Walter eventually joined them in 1942, and in 1943 he was drafted and soon became a combat medic in the Army of General Patton, who gradually conquered Germany. Walter also acted as an interpreter, but he then joined other battle-hardened veterans on a troopship headed for the Panama Canal and eventually to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately, Japan surrendered, and Walter’s ship headed for New York.

Walter, who had been unable to complete high school, earned a degree in accounting under the GI Bill, and then worked for 20 years as an auditor for the state of Maryland. He had to retire on disability after sustaining left-sided paralysis from a stroke at the age of 45.

He had a hard life, but he always remained religious. As a soldier, he conducted Jewish religious services for his fellow combatants whenever a Jewish chaplain was not available.

Walter is survived by his brother, David (Sara) and their four children—Deborah, Daniel, Lisa and Rosanne; and their four grandchildren—Brandon, Danielle, Eliana and Aaron.

Graveside services were held at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Winter Park, with Rabbi Dubov of Chabad officiating. Members of the Florida National Guard conducted the Flag Ceremony in honor of Walter’s wartime service. He had been awarded the combat medical badge with three battle stars.


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