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POW CAMP EXPERIENCES - R. G. McCurdy

When Dick was in the German Prison camp WWII they knew that their camp was going to be liberated soon. They could hear the artillery in the distance. The German soldiers that guarded them were mostly older men. Dick called them the good old guys. They got along pretty good with them.

Several times they were sent from the prison camp to work on a runway of an airfield. They were to walk across the field and pick up rocks as they did this they also picked up wild onions. They took the wild onions back to the prison camp and put them in the stew to add a little more to it.

Each morning and evening they would have a head count. The prisoners would get out for the count [and] if anyone was a straggler the other G.I.'s would hurry them up. When the count was over they could go back to their barracks.

They knew that the Allied Troops (Russians) were getting close. The Germans were going to move the prisoners closer to Berlin. When the day came to move the prisoners the guards called for them to assemble for a head count in the yard [but] none of the prisoners came out. The guards went to one of the barracks and got the prisoners out in the assembly yard. When the guards went to another barracks to get those prisoners the first group went back into their barracks.

The prisoners would watch the guard towers to see if the guards were giving any orders to shoot. (there were no phones in the towers) [so] the Germans would send a runner to the towers to [relay] the orders.)

After some time of this with the prisoners going in and out of the barracks some German SS troops arrived. The prisoners assembled for the march out of the camp. They were about two miles from the camp when they ran into a Russian tank column. The Russians fired on the prisoners (not knowing that they were prisoners of war.) and killed some. Dick did not know how many died. The Germans returned to the camp. At that time most of the German guards and the Colonel of the prison camp shot themselves not wanting to be taken prisoner by the Russians.

Dick went from there to Poland then to the USA. He was home on VE day.

[author unknown family member]

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