Jack Nemerov

Jack Nemerov was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 17, 1917. He was raised in a Jewish family of four. Growing up, he spent most of his time attending school and working for his father's hat company.

Jack volunteered for service at the age of 25 in December of 1941, one day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was enlisted into the army the following month and called to active duty in April of 1942. Jack spent his first few months in basic training at Camp Sutton, North Carolina and Camp Perry, Ohio. He was then assigned to help form the 9th Armored Division in Fort Riley, Kansas. From there, Jack attended and graduated from Officer Candidate School in Aberdeen Maryland. Jack spent the following two years creating assembly lines to rebuild engines in Georgia, California, and England. The assembly lines he put together turned out to be very successful at each location he was transported to.

Jack was overseas from February of 1944 to June of 1946. During this time, he experienced life-changing events. In June of 1944, Jack survived the landing at Omaha Beach. The following year, he helped to liberate Dachau Concentration Camp. After spending four years in the service, Jack was rotated back to the States with the rank of Captain.

Soon after he returned to Minneapolis, Jack married his first wife and became a father to four sons. He worked as a manufacturer’s representative until he retired and moved to Sun City, Arizona in 1982. A few years later, Jack began traveling to high schools throughout the Valley, educating students about his experiences at Dachau and teaching what tolerance and hate could do to a society. This was the first time in fifty years that he had spoken publicly about the events. Jack continued to take part in this organization as well as many other powerful programs for around twenty years. Although Jack passed away in May of 2015, he will continue to be remembered for the amazing life he led and the inspirational man he was.

Now travel back in time to take the same journey that Jacko had during World War II. Learn more about the places and people that Jack interacted with during the war.

Early Life

Jack Nemerov was born on September 17, 1917, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was born into a Jewish family of four consisting of his parents, Isadore, and his older sister, Edith. They lived in North Minneapolis which was a highly Jewish populated area…

Called For Duty

Jack was officially called to active duty in April 1942, when he was transported to Camp Sutton in North Carolina (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). Jack described the camp as being relatively “sprung out of a swamp” (Jack Nemerov, We Remember History Oral…

Firing Practice

Jack was transported to Camp Perry, located just a few miles outside of Toledo, Ohio (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). Jack and the other young men were kept terribly busy during their time there. Every day, they drilled, exercised, and completed the…

A Failed Maneuver

Jack and a few other men were selected from Camp Perry to help form the 9th Armored Division in Fort Riley, Kansas (Jack Nemerov, We Remember History Oral Interview). The officer personnel at Fort Riley had no concept of modern-day warfare, which was…

Officer Candidate School

Beginning in March of 1963, Jack attended Officer Candidate School in Maryland, in the class at Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). The objective of O.C.S. was to find out if the young men had the nerve to stand up under adverse…

Building a Line

Jack took the train to Atlanta, Georgia, and was then driven ten miles to the Chandler Warehouse building (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). His immediate task was to build assembly lines in order to start rebuilding engines. Assembly lines had already…

Adding to the Lines

Jack was then sent to Pomona, California to create assembly lines for the California/Arizona maneuver areas (Jack Nemerov, We Remember History Oral Interview). Upon his arrival, Jack again found the assembly lines already into production in…

Severe Consequences

In February of 1944, Jack was sent with his men to Salisbury Plain, England to build assembly lines in preparation for the upcoming invasion. A few weeks before their departure, Jack’s outfit had been assigned a New Executive Officer, Major Smiley…

The Invasion

Jack was classified as an observer for the invasion (Jack Nemerov, We Remember History Oral Interview). His duty was to observe the value of waterproofing and getting equipment through the water upon the shore. He was put in a command position,…

Continuing Production

Jack was moved from Salisbury to Paris in late September, soon after its liberation. He was transferred from First Army to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces, also known as SHAEF (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). They began to take over…

Liberation of Europe

Jack’s next assignment was to immediately report to Munich, Germany and take over the B.M.W. plant, where his outfit would rebuild tanks for the Allied Forces (Jack Nemerov, We Remember History Oral Interview). During his inspection of the…

Final Assignment

In December of 1945, Jack was informed he had been classified as essential personnel and would be transferred to Frankfurt, Germany for an assignment (Jack Nemerov, WWII Memoir). On his way to his assignment, Jack stopped at the I.G. Farben…

Returning Home

In May of 1946, Jack received his papers to be rotated to the states. After four years, Jack had received multiple Service Awards including “Good Conduct; European Theater w/ 1 Bronze Star and 1 Arrowhead (for first wave on D-Day) American Theater…

Teaching Tolerance

In 1982, Jack retired at the age of 65. He moved to Sun City, Arizona three years later. For his first few years, Jack spent his time relaxing and playing golf. Around the early ’90s, he got involved with an organization delivering talks on “Teaching…