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Ettlinger ended up going to high school for 4 years and when he graduated, he and every other fellow male student entered into the Armed Forces. In fact, his valedictorian enlisted in the Army in order to become a pilot. He eventually died when he was shot down as a gunner in the Pacific in 1945.EttlingerÂ’s grandfather had a great influence on him. One of his hobbies was as a collector of prints, especially book plates, because in the 1800's and 1900's a lot of people collected books and libraries in their homes. And on the inside cover page there was a picture or words indicating that this was a collection of some sort; these are called Ex Libris. [Annotators Note: Ettlinger has parts of his collection all over his home.] His grandfather had about 3,000 of them. He moved to the town he was brought up in, and moved to the resort town of Baden-Baden. Ettlinger saw his first Americans there. Wealthy people went to Baden-Baden.Before he left Germany, Ettlinger and his brothers were taken into his grandfather's study, there he made two statements. One statement was "you boys are going to become Americans." While his grandfather had never set foot in America and was not a genius, he had read enough to know that freedoms Americans have, the Ettlingers did not have in Germany. The other statement was, at the time when everything was developing with the Japanese and the Rape of Nanking, and also with the development of the Nazi party, he said, "your enemy, as Americans, is going to be" and he put his finger not on Berlin, but on Tokyo.The ironic thing was that his grandfather and grandmother got permission to come to the United States and he landed in New York Harbor on 8 December 1941, 18 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was one of the few people who realized that Americans were going to be in a war with Japan and he was not even American. When Ettlinger told his friends, "hey my grandfather says we are going to be at war with Japan," people would laugh at him because at the time Americans were isolationists.
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