‘Cousin Bob’ tells Jewish soldier’s WWII story

With around 70,000 or more books written about World War II, it’s hard to provide a fresh perspective, but Nick Wynne and Joe Knetsch, a writer and historian from Tallahassee, manage to do just that in Cousin Bob: The World War II. Experiences”. by Robert Morris Warren.”

Reading the opening chapters of this book, it soon became apparent that the story involves more than a chronicle of major European battles from a soldier’s perspective.

Wynne, who lives in Rockledge, Fla., and Knetsch seek to understand why a middle-class Jewish man (Warren), a practicing Detroit lawyer, would choose to enlist as a private in the Army infantry when he could easily have received an officer’s degree. commission.

The book provides valuable context in Depression-stricken Detroit and covers political and Zionist movements of the time.

The idea for the book was born during the peak of the COVID pandemic. In early 2021, Wynne’s wife Debra was going through her late father’s papers and found a cache of 33 letters from a close family friend, Robert Morris Warren, affectionately known as “Cousin Bob”.

Warren had been a decorated World War II soldier, political activist and prominent Detroit lawyer.

“On the surface there was little to distinguish this small collection of letters from hundreds of others I have seen in a 50-year career as a professional historian,” Wynne wrote, “but reading them reminded me of the conversations I had with my stepfather from growing up in Detroit and the people he had known.

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