Friday, July 21, 2023

"Tony Bennett’s Nazi Hunting Past Is Just One Reason He’s the Greatest Living American"

Overblown headline, but some noble anecdotes:

After Germany surrendered, Bennett was stationed there as part of the Allied occupying force. It was during this period that he was caught fraternizing with a black soldier—at a time when the U.S. Armed Forces were racially segregated. As a result, an Army captain literally spat on Bennett’s corporal stripes and assigned him to Graves Registration, where he had to dig up the bodies of deceased military personnel.

This brush with institutionalized racism changed Bennett’s life, and informed his decision to sign up with the Civil Rights Movement. He participated in the historic 50-mile Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. To rally the crowd, Bennett sang on a makeshift stage constructed out of dozens of empty coffins.