Corporal Hans Israel Rosenfeld, who served under the nom de guerre John Peter Rodley and was known as 'Max', was a soldier of the British Army who died during the Second World War.
He was born in Germany, the son of Richard and Minna Rosenfeld (née Loewenstein). Rosenfeld studied mathematics at university before escaping Nazi Germany in 1939 with his 11-year-old sister, Ruth. His parents remained in Germany, and did not survive the Holocaust, being murdered at Minsk on 28 July 1942.
Rosenfeld enlisted in the British Army, and later qualified as a paratrooper. Although he broke his leg during jump training, Rosenfeld served with 21 Independent Parachute Company in North Africa and Italy. His unit was trained as pathfinders, preceding the main drop to mark drop zones with directional beacons known as Eureka radios. In September 1944, the company formed the vanguard of Operation 'Market Garden', parachuting into Holland on the 17th and forming a defensive perimeter at Oosterbeek.
At Oosterbeek, the paratroopers found themselves isolated and in an increasingly untenable situation. They came under sustained attack, suffering heavy casualties and seeing their ammunition dwindle. On the 20th, German troops shouted for the defenders to surrender, a call which had become a frequent occurrence. This time 21 Company's commanding officer, Major Bernard Wilson, instructed Rodley to reply that they were too scared to do so, and that they should send a party to collect them. About 50 duly emerged, and, when they did not respond to Rodley's calls to lay down their arms, were cut down by Bren fire. Rosenfeld died on the 23rd, killed instantly by a burst of machine gun fire while in a slit trench at No. 8 Stationsweg.
Buried initially in his trench, Rosenfeld is now interned at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery. He had married in 1939, to Rachel Kantorovitz. Their son, Nigel, became a noted international lawyer.
- ↑ Minna Rosenfeld, db.yadvashem.org. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- ↑ Rodley, Nigel & Pollard, Matt (2009), The Treatment of Prisoners Under International Law, p. v.
- ↑ Leighton-Langer, Peter (2006), The King's Own Loyal Enemy Aliens: German and Austrian Refugees in Britain's Armed Forces, 1939-45, p. 74.
- ↑ 21 Independent Parachute Company, pegasusarchive.org. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- ↑ Bowman, Martin (2013), Shrinking Perimeter, p. 128.
- ↑ Guard, Julie (2007), Airborne: World War II Paratroopers in Combat, p. 241.
- ↑ Bowman, Martin (2013), Shrinking Perimeter, pp. 87-8.
- ↑ Urquhart, R.E. (1958/2011), Arnhem, p. 99.
- ↑ John Peter Rodley, paradata.org.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Rosenfeld, Hans, cwgc.org. Retrieved 18 August 2015.