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

Ed Shames, 'Band of Brothers' vet who toasted son's bar mitzvah with Hitler's cognac, dies at 99


December 10, 2021

(JTA) –When Ed Shames described his Jewish self, he used the term “tough SOB.”

Shames, the oldest surviving member of the legendary Easy Company parachute infantry regiment, could also have added “patient.”

Shames, who died Dec. 3 at age 99 at his home in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1945 secured bottles of cognac designated for Hitler’s use only from the palace of the man who wanted to wipe the Jews from the earth. He waited until 1961 to open one: The occasion was a bar mitzvah — his son’s commitment to a Jewish future.

The exploits of Easy Company were immortalized in the 2001 H...

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