Thursday, May 21, 2015

One of the people I ran into when I drove cab

 was an older German that had been injured on the Russian front and was assigned light duty as a guard in a couple of German POW camps.

I don't remember how I got him to open up but he spoke with me at length about his experiences as a guard in a few different camps. What was interesting is that he had his kids wth him and his kids listened carefully. His daughter later told me it was the first time she had heard any of it.

After getting injured on the Russian front and sent back to Germany to recover he was reassigned for a brief period of time to a POW camp guarding Russians who he claimed were pretty docile. He was also assigned to guard British and American army types for a while until he was assigned to a Stalag to oversee American and British aviators, mostly officers.

He said the most boring duty was manning a machine gun tower at any of the camps although he preferred it at the Russian camps. It kept him away from the horrible stench of the Russian prisoners.

I asked him what his worst duty was and he stated without any hesitation at all that it was guarding American and British aviators. I asked him why.

He pointed out that American and British aviators were volunteers to begin with and were pretty adventuresome and self confident to begin with. When you couple that with the fact that the air services of both countries generally got the pick of the best and brightest of the lot you had a recipe for trouble and mischief. American and British officers were constantly up to something.

For one thing they were alway plotting an escape and when they were not doing that they were constantly letting the enemy think they were trying to escape.

He said that it never ceased for even an instant.

Once the Commandant once announced that they were aware that there was a radio in the barracks somewhere and that it was to be turned in. He said it was turned in an hour later. The fact that it was turned in told him that there were most likely a dozen other radios in the camp.

They never seemed to let up.

It was interesting spending a few minutes with this guy and I wish I could have spent more time but he had places to go.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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