November 5 2019

Obituary: Forced German Conscript, Escaped Russian Captive, Decorated U.S. Army Soldier, Edward Weiss, 91

By: Rich Hosford

A Burlington man who at a young age survived a situation most people couldn’t imagine enduring has gone to his final rest. 

Edward William Weiss, a true patriot, passed away at Care One in Lexington on Friday morning, November 1 at the age of 91. He was the beloved husband of 52 years to Anne (Connarton). 

Ed was born in Meriden, Connecticut as one of three children born to the late Theobald and Martha Weiss. Ed and his family lived in Michigan until 1938 when an attempt to help a family member would upturn their lives. 

According to his obituary from Sullivan Funeral Home, at the young age of eleven Ed and his family moved to Germany to help a Jewish relative flee Germany during World War II.  

“What was to be a short trip ended up being a long, and very painful, journey for Ed and his family,” his obituary reads.  

Ed was taken by the Germans and forced to become a soldier in Hitler’s Army where he was sent to fight with Germany against Russia. At the age of 15, he was captured by the Russian Army. As a prisoner of war, he was forced to participate in the “death march.” 

“With strength and determination Ed eventually escaped and walked over 600 miles to eventually reach the American lines,” his obituary states.  

Most people would likely seek a life of ease and comfort after such an ordeal but not Edward Weiss.

“Being the true patriot that he was, after returning to the United States, he joined the United States Army,” his obituary reads. “He served his country during the Korean War and was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal.” 

Ed chronicled his experiences in Germany in a book called "2 Shades of War".  

Ed would meet his future wife Anne through mutual friends and they married in 1968. They made their home in Burlington where they would raise their three children.  

Ed had a long and successful career as a Field Services Engineer working for the Federal Bank in Boston. He was also a handy man and, his obituary says, there wasn’t anything that he couldn’t fix or repair from things around the house, computers and even cars.  

He was a loving and supportive husband and father. As a family they enjoyed taking trips to Florida, Germany or just simple ski weekends in New Hampshire.  

“Ed was a people person and enjoyed being in the company of family and friends,” his obituary says. “He was affectionately known as ‘Opa’ by his grandchildren who brought him great joy. He also had a love for animals, most especially his cats. Ed will be remembered as a man who had great love for his family and his country.”


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