I can't believe that Herman
was holding out on me, or maybe I just didn't pay
sufficient attention when he told me of some "snapshots"
he took during WW2.
Herman Chanowitz is an
American who has lived in Naples for many years with his
Sicilian wife. He was part of the WW2 invasion force in
Salerno that fought its way up the center of Italy,
pushing the Germans back from Monte Cassino and making
its way up into Germany.
For his efforts during the
war and for all the time he has contributed as an
ambassador of good will in coordinating visits by young
members of the NATO community in Naples to various towns
in the area that were directly involved in wartime
hostilities, Herman was recently made an honorary
citizen of the little town of San Pietro, not far from
"Anyway," said Herman, "I
have some snapshots I took in WW2."
"Oh." (Vague interest on my part.)
"I have a couple of Vesuvius."
"So do I, Herman."
"Are yours erupting?"
"As in the 1944 eruption?"
"Yup. Took'em from a Piper Club while we were flying over the eruption."
It took Herman only 25
years to tell me that. It turns out that he has
photos from the North African theater all the way to the
Nazi death camps. I feel guilty about not wanting to see
yet more photos of those horrors, but I suppose I will
have a look sooner or later. In the meantime, I settled
for a nice 8x10 glossy of the 1944 eruption of Mt.
Vesuvius. It has the classic dense column of smoke
billowing thousands of feet above the mountain. I am
sure there are other photos like it, but this one is
credits: photo by Herman Chanowitz; restoration by
Tana A. Churan-Davis.]