of the project officer
name is Mathieu Gitzhofer and I live in Le
Ban-Saint-Martin, a suburb of Metz, freed by the 378th
Infantry Regiment of the 95th Infantry Division in the
middle of the month of November 1944.
I am currently 20 years old; undoubtedly the same age as
many of the GI's were when they fought in France for our
Although I don’t have anybody in my family who’s in
the army, I have been interested by "khaki"
since I was 7 years old. It was around my 14th birthday
that I started more particularly to be interested in the
American Army, the army that liberated my country 60 years
ago.After having carried out historical research, looked
at many photographs of that time, I concluded that the
95th Division was the division to which I owed the most
respect: It was this Division that had taken part in the
combat of my region, at the price of heavy casualties.
This idea was confirmed when I was in the American
Cemetery of Saint-Avold where I observed thousands of
graves which were engraved with the names of many soldiers
of the 95th ID. I said to myself that I must honor this
Division, these men; for all that they had done. It is,
without any doubt, thanks to them, that I owe my freedom
célébrations pour la Libération de Metz en Novembre
permirent de rencontrer pour la première fois des vétérans
américains. (Ceo E. Bauer, Stephen J. Bodnar, Anthony
The celebrations for the Liberation of Metz in
November 1999, were for me a great opportunity to establish, for the first time, bonds
with some American veterans (including George E. Bauer,
Stephen J. Bodnar, Anthony Vittiglio and others.). I'm
actually member of the Association Thanks GIs.
In November 2004, a delegation of veterans returned to
France to take part in the commemorations of the 60th
anniversary of the Liberation of Metz and the Moselle
River Area. A
few times before, I had been in contact with Seymour
Schnuer (a veteran of Company
‘L’’ 377th Inf. Reg.)
This commemoration enabled me to meet him in person.
In August 2005, Seymour Schnuer invited me to visit with
him for more than 2 weeks in the USA in order to visit the
East Coast of the United States.
He taught me some of the History of his country (War
of independence, Civil War etc.).
During this trip, we went to the 56th Annual Reunion of
the 95th Infantry Division where I met a considerable
number of veterans, plus many children and grandchildren
my return to France, my intention to perpetuate the memory
of this Division was stronger than ever. To make an
Internet site worthy of all these cordial people an idea