DU Law Alumnus Helps Establish Monument for WWII General
After the Germans trapped the 101st Airborne Division in Carenton, France, in July 1944, Gen. Maurice Rose led his troops to the rescue. A soldier under Rose’s command told Marshall Fogel (JD ’65) how he lost sight of the general as the troops moved out for the attack.
“The reason I don’t see him is he’s leading us into battle. I couldn’t believe it,” the soldier said.
A 10-foot-tall bronze statue now stands in Denver’s Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park to honor Rose. But the general would have been a long-shot candidate for such fanfare when he dropped out of Denver’s East High School in 1916.
Fogel played a key role in bringing the statute to fruition. A longtime DU supporter, Fogel is the author of “Major General Maurice Rose, The Most Decorated Battle Tank Commander in U.S. Military History,” published in 2018. He has donated his voluminous research on Rose, who became the Army’s highest-ranking Jewish officer in World War II, to DU’s Beck Archives, a part of the Center for Judaic Studies.
Rose died in combat on March 30, 1945, in Germany. For the past 13 years, Fogel has diligently worked to ensure that the memory of Rose’s leadership, bravery and sacrifice lives on.
“He got to be known as the general who leads from the front. He did everything his men did,” says Fogel, a retired trial lawyer who began his legal career as deputy district attorney in Denver. “He earned the respect and love of his soldiers.”
Rose came to Fogel’s attention as a young boy while visiting what was then known as Rose Memorial Hospital. Fogel noticed a portrait of Rose and his bullet-pierced helmet, then on prominent display at the hospital.
“I wondered as a kid, who is this guy?” Fogel recalls. But by 1977, both portrait and helmet had disappeared from the hospital display. Fogel would later learn that Rose had helped expel the Germans from Tunisia in North Africa and then from Sicily. Rose also played key leadership roles in Operation Cobra—the push into France following the D-Day invasion in Normandy—and the Battle of the Bulge.
“After I retired from practicing law, I started to find out about this guy, having no idea of who he was and what he accomplished,” Fogel says. He views Rose’s accomplishments as legendary, considering that he was the first U.S. general to cross into Germany and the first to capture a German city.
Rose even managed to move his troops nearly 100 miles in 24 hours to help surround 325,000 enemy soldiers in the Ruhr region of western Germany, where he died. As a two-star general leading the 3rd Armored Division—also known as “Spearhead”—he was the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed in Europe during World War II.
“He was a national hero, but he got lost in history,” Fogel laments.
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower dedicated the hospital in Rose’s honor on Aug. 31, 1948.
“It was a hospital dedicated to allow minority doctors to practice because African American doctors were not allowed in Denver hospitals, or to do surgery,” Fogel said. “Rose Hospital became the epicenter for allowing doctors of all different faiths and colors to practice medicine.”
Fogel found the Rose painting hanging in a secretary’s office while visiting the Rose Community Foundation. The painting was returned to the lobby of Rose Medical Center in time for the hospital’s 70th anniversary in 2019.
“And then I wondered what happened to the helmet that was on display,” Fogel said. Twenty phone calls later, he tracked it down to a basement at Fort Benning, Georgia—“It’s like the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ in a box.” And now it’s in a place of honor in the new National Museum of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.
The son of Orthodox Jews, Rose was born in Littleton, Connecticut, in 1899. His family moved to Denver, where he grew up, in 1902. He ran away from home at age 16 to enlist in the Army, but his mother retrieved him because he was underage.
At age 17, he reenlisted, serving as an infantry officer at Saint-Mihiel, France, in World War I. After a stint in civilian life after the war, he returned to military service, attaining the rank of colonel by 1941. Gen. Eisenhower promoted Rose from colonel to brigadier general following his distinguished service in North Africa in 1943.
"People need to hear that he never graduated from high school. He serves as an inspiration,” Fogel said. “The country doesn’t guarantee you anything but opportunity. You don’t have to be number one in your class. You don’t have to be on law review. That doesn’t mean you’re going to win.”
And to Fogel, Rose also embodies the importance of service to a higher cause.
“You get more out of life if you give and don’t expect anything in return,” Fogel said. “That’s what Rose did.”