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Archive for December 2018

Pause to Remember 11 Black Soldiers Killed Today in The Battle of the Bulge

The Wereth Eleven - Docudrama
Among the greatest "unknown stories" from WWII is that of the Wereth 11. Shortly after the outbreak of Hitler's Ardennes Offensive or Battle of The Bulge in 1944, members of the all-black 333rd Artillery Battalion were just eleven miles behind the front lines. With the rapid advance of the Germans the 333rd was ordered to withdraw further west but C and Service Battery were ordered to stay behind to give covering fire to the 106th Infantry Division. 

On Dec 17th the 333rd were overrun with most killed or captured. The remnants of the unit were ordered to Bastogne and incorporated into its sister unit the 969th Field Artillery Battalion. Both units provided fire support for the 101st Airborne Division in the Siege of Bastogne, subsequently being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

11 soldiers, however, from the 333rd were separated from the unit shortly after they were overrun by the Germans. These men wound up in the little Belgian hamlet of Wereth, just 25 kilometers southwest of Malmedy, Belgium, site of another much more well known WWII atrocity.

At about 3 pm on Dec 16, 1944, the 11 men approached the first house in the nine-house hamlet of Wereth, owned by Mathias Langer. A friend of the Langer's was also present. The men were cold, hungry, and exhausted after walking cross-country through the deep snow. They had two rifles between them. The Langer family welcomed them and gave them food. But this small part of Belgium did not necessarily welcome Americans as “Liberators.” This area had been part of Germany before the First World War and many of its citizens still saw themselves as Germans and not Belgians. 

Word leaked out from a Nazi sympathizer in the area that the men had been sheltered and were hiding in the Langer home. When the SS troops approached the house about 4 pm that day, the eleven Americans surrendered quickly, without resistance. The Americans were made to sit on the road, in the cold, until dark. The Germans then marched them down the road and gunfire was heard in the night. In the morning, villagers saw the bodies of the men in a ditch at the corner of a cow pasture. Because they were afraid that the Germans might return, they did not touch the dead soldiers. The snow covered the bodies and they remained entombed in the snow until January when villagers directed members of the 99th Div. I&R platoon to the site. 



In the official US Army report it was revealed that the men had been brutalized, with broken legs, bayonet wounds to the head, and fingers cut off. And It was apparent that one man was killed as he tried to bandage a comrade's wounds.

In 2001, three Belgium citizens embarked on the task of creating a fitting memorial to these men and additionally to honor all Black GI’s of World War II. With the help of Norman Lichtenfeld, whose father fought and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, a grassroots publicity and fund-raising endeavor was begun. The land was purchased and a fitting memorial was created There are now road signs indicating the location of the memorial, and the Belgium Tourist Bureau lists it in the 60th Anniversary “Battle of the Bulge” brochures. The dedication of the memorial was held in 2004 in an impressive military ceremony. 

It is believed that this is the only memorial to Black G.I.s, and their units, of World War II in Europe. Norman's goal is to make the Wereth 11 and all Black G.I.’s “visible” to all Americans and to history. They, like so many others, paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Please visit his site www.wereth.org where you can learn more about this dark and virtually unknown chapter from WWII.



I am completing the screenplay adaption this month of the Lost Eleven novel. It will soon be sent to major film studios for their consideration. It was always the dream of my co-executive producer, Joseph Small, that this story become a "movie: and the good Lord willing, it will.

Both the Wereth Eleven docudrama and the Lost Eleven novel are available everywhere around the world.
Monday
Posted by Robert Child

Film and TV in Development - New Section of the Website

Since I write and direct as many television and film projects as I write books I have added a new section to my website, Film and TV in Development where there's a drop down menu to three exciting projects I have in the Pipeline. One is not listed there yet.

If you have a chance check out these new forthcoming projects.





The Psychic Cop:  Justice Never Dies™ (Status: Pitching, Preproduction)

10x1 Docu-Reality Series Produced by RSC Media Group, LLC
Chuck Bergman, Host, Robert Child Exec. Prod., Director

A former police officer uses his heightened psychic abilities and confessions from the dead to crack cold cases, locate missing persons and solve crimes in the critical first 48 hours.

Learn More.



GUIDES (Status: Casting, Dev., Pitching)
Proposed 10x1 Procedural Drama
Creators: Susan Sanderford, Milt Sanderford, Robert Child 

Writers: Robert Child, Susan Sanderford

Guides is written along the lines of dramas such as “God Friended Me” with its self-empowering message of finding the faith to face life’s challenges along with the courage to follow your own path.

GUIDES dramatizes life-altering challenges we confront here on earth and how, behind-the-scenes, Spirit GUIDES help, encourage and remind us that we always hold the power to make things better. The hero coming to save you —is you. 

Military and veteran’s stories will be a frequent theme woven throughout the series to illustrate sacrifice and heroism. 


Elijah and George  (Status: Casting, Pre-production)
90 Minute Family Feature Film, Prod. Company 1663 Media Arts, LLC
Producers: Andrea Clarke, Michael Dooling
Screenwriter, Director: Robert Child

Based on letters and diaries from the period, “Elijah and George” is an adventurous, at-times humorous, heartfelt story about family, freedom, and home. I was commissioned to write and adapt the original screenplay from the popular Illustrated children’s book “George Washington’s Army and Me” by renowned Author and Illustrator Michael Dooling.


Sunday
Posted by Robert Child

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Joe Small Exec. Prod. - Wereth Eleven
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