New World War II book has deep local roots

Features the story of Arnold Samuels in his return to Nazi Germany.

Just in time for Veterans Day, a new book is out with significant local connections to commemorate and celebrate those who served during World War II.

“Washington Remembers World War II,” by former Daily World editor and publisher John C. Hughes, features a dozen personal stories from the global conflict that changed who we are, including the powerful story of longtime Ocean Shores resident Arnold Samuels.

Samuels’ family escaped Nazi Germany in 1937, and Arnold returned as an American GI to help liberate the concentration camp at Dachau among other achievements. At war’s end, he served in the Counter Intelligence Corps with another 22-year-old sergeant, Henry Kissinger, as the Allies set up a new government and searched for war criminals.

Hughes is the chief state historian for Legacy Washington with the office of the Secretary of State.

The book is a tribute to the veterans and citizens who lived through horrors most of us cannot imagine—and to the “Rosie the riveters” on the homefront who helped win the war.

”Six-thousand Washingtonians gave their lives to defeat tyranny. They’re more than names on a wall. These are stories to remember,” said a news release from publisher Legacy Washington.

The book features oral history profiles of Samuels and 11 other Washington state World War II veterans.

”Two others I profiled have Grays Harbor roots: the late Robert Graham, our longtime state auditor, who grew up at Copalis Crossing, and Regina Tollfeldt, a Boeing ‘Rosie’ who headed the Vocational Rehabilitation office in Aberdeen for years,” Hughes notes. “The stories are the most compelling of my 50-year career as a writer. I think the book rivals The Greatest Generation (by Tom Brokaw).”

Last Friday, Hughes delivered an autographed copy of one of the first books off the press to Samuels.

The book sells for $22.50, and all profits go to the Washington Heritage Trust, which helps promotes oral history programs by the Office of the Secretary of State.