JCRC Mourns the Passing of Joel Glotter, z’’l
March 25, 2021
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement mourning the passing of Joel Glotter, z’’l:
“We mourn the passing of Joel Glotter, z’’l (April 17, 1925 – March 21, 2021) who, as a member of the Greatest Generation, served our country and the Jewish people with courage, honor and decency. After World War II, Joel was the quintessential community member raising his loving family and becoming a successful architect—designing many hospitals and buildings critical to providing medical services in the Twin Cities.
“We extend our deepest condolences to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“Joel’s journey to the war began after graduating the old West High School in the Spring of 1943. Eventually he was sent to boot camp in Alabama. Ultimately he became an infantryman with the 89th ‘Rolling W’ Division of the Third Army.
“Joel participated in some of the toughest fighting in the European Theatre of Operations. He arrived in France during the Battle of Bulge; crossed the Rhine in plywood boats under heavy fire; and participated in the breaching of the Siegfried Line and ultimately the destruction of Nazi Germany.
“As a Jewish GI in the 89th Division, he was part of the first American unit to discover a German concentration camp—Ohrdruf (a sub camp of Buchenwald)—on April 4, 1945. Joel recalled American officers bringing German civilians from nearby towns to view their country’s depravity in this ‘little slice of hell’ as described by United States military historian John C. McManus.
“Discharged in the fall 1945 and met by his father and brother in New York City for a car ride back to Minneapolis, Joel was the embodiment of the observation of Historian Debra Dash Moore in GI Jew: How World War II Changed a Generation: ‘Serving in WWII made American Jews feel both more Jewish and more American.’
“Post war life included Joel enrolling at the University of Minnesota under the ‘GI Bill.’ He became an architect working for the pre-eminent firm, Liebenberg & Kaplan. Joel married Joanne in 1952 (Joanne passed away in June 2016).
“Joel developed an expertise designing hospitals including: the Minneapolis Veterans Administration; Hennepin County Medical Center; North Memorial and an addition to Mt. Sinai Hospital. (On a personal note he designed my cousin and fellow World War II veteran Dr. Robert Rotenberg’s, z’’l clinic—McNair Medical.)
“Joel is survived by survived by children, Mark (Debbie) Glotter, Toni Glotter-Dachis; grandchildren, Adam Dachis (Richard Cardenas), Ali Dachis, David (Shiran) Glotter, Rachael (Jonathan) Snitzer, Michael (Neili) Glotter and 7 great-grandchildren.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.