Summer 2018

The Mission

Now that we have brought Graham and Charley together in England, and Charley attended the Sherwood Ranger’s Tank Regiment ceremonies on June 6 and 7 on Gold Beach and Bayeux, it’s time to start developing the mini-documentary of Graham and Charley’s friendship.

With the help of many generous donors, we brought two World War II Veterans – one British and one German – who took part in the fierce fighting in Tunisia 75 years ago, and who are now best friends, together again. Their moving reunion has been filmed for a mini-documentary for the public and for students learning about World War II. No longer enemies, Graham and Charley have become as close as brothers. Their friendship is deeply rooted in honor and respect, and demonstrates peace in action.

We are still gratefully accepting donations to support the travel costs and costs of putting together the mini-documentary.

The Veterans

Graham StevensonDesert Rat Graham Stevenson, 93, fought in the desert from ages 17 – 19 in Grant and Sherman tanks at El Alamein, the Mareth Line, and Tunis as a part of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry Tank Regiment. In late June 1944, he came in on Gold Beach and was severely wounded by German machine gun fire on his first day of hedgerow fighting in Normandy.

Charley KoenigAfrica Corps Panzermann Charley Koenig, 94, served in a Panzer IV long-barrel tank crew fighting the British and Americans at the Mareth Line, in the mountains at Medjez-el-Bab, and around Mateur-Ferryville. He was taken as a POW from Africa to the U.S., Belgium, and then England. In 1991 he sought out the Sherwood Rangers, who became the best friends of his life and welcomed him as a brother into their Old Comrades’ Association.

Graham and Charley have been heartfelt friends for over a decade.

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Every day thousands of World War II veterans around the world pass away, and their stories die with them.

We at the World War II History Project are passionately dedicated to ensuring that some of the rich tapestry of these incredible experiences from World War II survives. Between 2010 and 2015 we interviewed 200 veterans from all sides of the European war; we are transcribing and verifying hundreds of hours of testimonies so that they can be used in film, books, curricula and museums.

Graham and Charley are unique. Their long-standing friendship and reconciliation sends a powerful message about war at a very personal level.

 

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