Hobby's Delicatessen & Restaurant
32 Branford Place (Corner of Halsey)
Newark, New Jersey
Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday 7am - 4:30pm;
Saturday 11am - 3pm; Closed Sundays.
Hobby's is open until game time for all Devils' and Nets' home games.
65 Years After D-Day, Samuel Brummer appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor
of the French Republic by the President of France
Brummer Receives the Medal With Fifteen other United States Veterans at an Official Ceremony at the French Consulate in New York City on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 12 Noon.
Brummer, who Emigrated to the United States from Poland in 1939, Proudly Served his New Country in World War II and was Awarded the Bronze Star for that Service in 2006 from Senator Frank Lautenberg
Veteran is the Inspiration Behind “Operation Salami Drop,” a Project Undertaken by His Sons which has Shipped Over 25 Tons of Salamis and Mustard to American Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
Sixty-five years after he landed amidst the carnage of Omaha Beach, Samuel M. Brummer of North Caldwell has been appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic by the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Equivalent to the United States’ Medal of Honor, it is the highest civilian award given by France. He will receive the insignia of the Legion of Honor at the French Consulate on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 12 Noon.
Pierre Vimont, France’s Ambassador to the United States, said the award “is a sign of France’s true and unforgettable gratitude and appreciation for your personal, precious contribution to the United State’s decisive role in the liberation of our country during World War II. This award testifies to the President of the French Republic’s high esteem for your merits and accomplishments.” Guy Yelda, France’s Consul General in New York, added, “We will never forget the commitment of American heroes like you to whom France owes so much.”
Brummer was a cannoneer with the 115th infantry regiment of the 29th Infantry Division. After being pinned for twelve hours in their LST off the coast of Normandy by German shelling, Brummer's unit finally entered the blood-red waters of the English Channel. "To stay in the water meant we were dead men – to survive, we had to get to the path on the beach that led up the cliffs. When we reached the beach, we had to get out of the truck and, while dodging enemy fire, move countless bodies out of our way in order to reach that path," Brummer said.
It was at the top of this path that Brummer experienced what was, for him, one of the most emotionally moving moments of the war. In the first few days as his unit advanced under sporadic enemy fire through the villages dotting the coast, "the people of Normandy lined the narrow streets waving at us, hugging us, kissing us...they braved the enemy fire. Being new in combat, that gave our spirits a tremendous lift. After we were brutally ‘baptized’ on the beaches, it was thrilling to see how brave the people of Normandy were and how thrilled they were at our arrival. When I think about it now I still get emotional."
Fortified by the reaction of the residents of Normandy, Brummer, "number one gun" on his unit's 105mm Howitzer, fought his way through the infamous hedgerows of the Normandy countryside, helping to liberate the town of St. Lo and the port of Brest. At the end of that campaign, Brummer's division was decimated, suffering over 80 percent casualties. Brummer himself lost the hearing in his right ear from the constant blasts of his cannon.
What was left of the division continued on to Germany, where they fought a ferocious battle over the Rohr River. Shell-shocked, they occupied the towns of Aachen and Bremen, where Brummer was assigned to guard German POW's, as well as to serve as a German and Russian translator. Brummer explains, "My last act of the war was to transport Russian civilians – including many women and children – who had been captured by the Germans and used as slave labor, to the border of Poland, where we were met by the Russian authorities.”
After the war, he entered the delicatessen business, working his way up the ladder to own several prominent delicatessens in New Jersey and New York, including the Clifton Deli in Lakewood, Kartzmann’s in Newark, the Globe in lower Manhattan, and finally, Hobby’s in downtown Newark, where he still works almost every day (after three open-heart surgeries) with his sons Marc and Michael.
It was during a ceremony at Hobby’s in 2006 where Senator Frank Lautenberg presented Brummer with the Bronze Star in recognition of the deli legend’s meritorious service to the United States during WWII.
Brummer hasn’t forgotten what it feels like to be a soldier serving away from home. Many times he regaled his wife, Rona, and sons, Marc and Michael, with stories of his friends in the States shipping salamis to him during the war. His buddies would line up for a slab of meat that he would cut off with his bayonet and share. Inspired by their father, Brummer’s sons have since organized “Operation Salami Drop” from Hobby’s. Through donations collected from around the country, Hobby’s has shipped over 25 tons of salamis to American soldiers now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Donations to Operation Salami Drop may be made atoperationsalamidrop.com.