Monday, July 6, 2015

Hollywood Went to War

Eleventh in our series Hollywood Went to War, is an American entertainer who, like Bob Hope, entertained the troops during WWII.

German troops. That would be...Mel Brooks!

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Brooks was born Melvin James Kaminsky on June 28, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.

Brooks enlisted in the army in 1944 at the age of 17. He later served in 1104th Engineer Combat Battalion, a unit that braved sniper fire and shelling to build bridges, clear blocked roads and deactivate landmines ahead of advancing Allied forces. Ever the comedian, Brooks once used a bullhorn to serenade nearby enemy troops along the German-French border with the Al Jolson song “Toot, Toot, Tootsie”—and received a round of applause in return. He would go on to lampoon the Third Reich in 1968’s “The Producers,” which includes the famous tune, “Springtime for Hitler.”

Corporal Kaminsky, we salute you for your service.

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