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Response to ‘Allied War Crimes’

In March 1945, the German Army unit I served with surrendered to American soldiers. I was relieved that the war was finally over and our captors were not Soviet forces. If we had known the misery we had to endure, we would have probably preferred the British or Canadians.

At Remagen, our menu (and other issue) with slight variations consisted of a spoon of milk and eggpowder, toilet paper and some soap at the beginning, no latrines available. An extremely wet spring changed the ground into a muddy quagmire. No cover, no blankets, only the clothes on our bodies. Amongst the masses of POWs one could find amputees, very young boys and old men in their 60s.

In seconds we swallowed our daily ration, thinking about food the hours to come, listening to discussions about the nutritional value of insects, worms and grass. I saw some prisoners eating those.

A tiny percentage was able to join work commands in and outside the camp. My knowledge of the English language made it possible to act as interpreter, which improved my situation somewhat. When transferred to another camp, there were fights for the few slices of bread thrown to us from civilians.

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In fall we were transported to Luneville, France. There we were fed with a watery soup twice a day and a slice of bread. Volunteers who carried the bodies out received an extra ration of soup.

R. MUTZKE, Santa Monica


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