Join Holocaust Museum Houston for a lecture by Dr. Jesus Jesse Esparza in which he highlights the experience of several WWII Latino soldiers from the Houston area who contributed to the Allied victory and who played a role also in ending one of the most heinous and atrocious crimes against humanity, the Holocaust.
When the United States entered World War II, an estimated 16 million persons would serve the Armed Forces; among them were nearly half a million Latinos. On the eve of war, most Latinos had incomes that were underneath poverty level, lived with entrenched segregation, suffered from housing and work discrimination, had little access to health care, and were offered few educational opportunities. Despite these setbacks, Latinos would serve in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and participate in every campaign of this conflict. From the beach invasions in North Africa to the storming of Normandy, France; Latinos were present. From the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific to serving in wartime defense industries states-side or for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corp; Latinos were present.
The Latino soldier is distinguished as achieving the most decorations on the battlefield than any other ethno-racial group involved in this conflict. Yet, lost with the history of World War II are the experiences and accomplishments of the Latino soldier. While a growing scholarship exists on the roles Latinos played in the war, much work is still needed to fill that void. [Organizer's description]