6/6/2006 - New Book By An AFS WWII Ambulance Driver
”My experiences in wartime have convinced me that war is hopeless and that if we do not eliminate national hatred there will continue to be war. I am happy that AFS is no longer mopping up after the war, but is acting for peace.”
”Norman Kunkel exemplifies the best of all that is in each and every one of the AFS ambulance drivers.”
We are pleased to announce a new book by Norman Kunkel and his wife Georgie:
”WWII Liberator’s Life: AFS Ambulance Driver Chooses Peace”
By Norman C. Kunkel and Georgie Bright Kunkel, 264 pp. 75 pictures. Copyright 2006 ISBN: 1-59975-447-9
Norman was born in Wessington, South Dakota on September 17, 1918. He attended high school in Yakima, Washington. Once World War II broke out, he tried to enlist, but was rejected becuase of an old elbow injury. He then joined the American Field Service as an ambulance driver in the summer of 1943. In 1943-44 Norman served with the British (Fourteenth Army) in India Burma campaign against Japan and carried the wounded to Dressing stations through the jungles and mountains of the Northeastern India and Burma. From 1944 until the end of the war in Europe in May of 1945 Norman served in Italy aiding civilians. Finally he helped liberate Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany (where Anne Frank died just two weeks before). Norman sorted the living from the dead at the camp bringing hope to hundreds of emaciated survivors.
Before going overseas, he met Georgie Bright with whom he exchanged letters, some of which were included in the book. What followed was a life of marriage, raising a family, becoming an educator, and speaking out about war and the Holocaust. Norman also served on a ship bringing grain to Italy after the war and participated in the United Nations program to upgrade China’s fishing fleet, sailing on a 90 foot boat from Seattle to China.
Always a volunteer following his AFS service, Norman was a guest speaker at the AFS Brazil General Assembly where he was welcomed by the participants who wanted to meet an ambulance driver who was a part of AFS history. After meeting survivors of Bergen-Belsen in Seattle, Norman attended the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. in 1993 and was honored as a liberator at Arlington National Cemetery Amphitheater.
Norman and Georgie are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at High Point Community Center in Seattle, WA on Aprl 29th, 2006.
Your feedback after reading this book will be appreciated. You may share your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To order the book send $21 plus $4 mailing ($5 outside the US) in US funds to Georgie Kunkel, 3409 SW Trenton, Seattle, WA 98126-3743