The eldest of twin boys born on February 22, 1924, to a Jewish family in Jacksonville, Florida, Hilbert Margol was a senior in high school when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entered World War II. He and his twin, Howard, enrolled in ROTC at the University of Florida, but their time in college was interrupted when their Army Reserve Unit was called to active duty in April 1943. Briefly assigned to separate units, Hilbert and Howard were reunited after President Roosevelt responded to a plea from their mother. Together, the Margols served in combat as artillery gunners in France and Germany, and they were present at the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945. After the war ended in Europe, they served as a part of the Army of Occupation in Salzburg, Austria, and then returned home with the rank of Private First Class in April 1946. After the war, the brothers built a furniture business together and settled in Georgia, where Howard lived until his death in 2017. Six years later, Hilbert shared his story for the Legacy Series.
Hilbert Margol Interview, September 11, 2023, 2023-09-11, Legacy Series Oral History Program, 2013-, KSU/14/05/03/001, Museum of History and Holocaust Education, Kennesaw State University.
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