Happy Thanksgiving
November 21, 2012

My dearest Old Bolds and friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you are enjoying the day with your friends and family.

I am here in Schweinfurt with Charley visiting my American friend Chasa whom I haven't seen for some time because she was living up in Tromso, Norway for a while. Now she and her husband and baby are getting used to Schweinfurt, where apparently our boys were incredibly efficient bombing because there are very few old buildings to find around the town.

Tuesday we drove to Saarbruecken to interview a 92-year-old Afrika Korps radioman who was a POW in the US. But he couldn't remember too well, and started mixing things up pretty badly. It's too bad. His wife did however tell us a lot of his stories.

One time he, an artist, and his friends took tin cans from the mess and built a large facsimile of a German tank, complete with fake rounds that exited a faux cannon with fire trails. The locomotion was provided by men inside.

I can just imagine them moving this beast outside, firing their rounds to the delight of the entire contingent of German prisoners. The Americans
running the camp, on the other hand, took a rather dim view of this, as one might imagine.

A story like that, in detail, told from an artist's perspective, would be more valuable than gold to me on tape. But unfortunately, outside of a few foggy second-hand sketches without key details (how did they hide it? What type of Panzer was it? Who powered it? How far did they get?), that hilarious story is now lost forever.

Sometimes it's discouraging! Why didn't I start earlier??


All I can do is press forward. And press on we did, driving on to a suburb of Kaiserslautern, where we had cake and coffee with and then interviewed another Afrika Korps veteran of the same venerable age. He remembered a lot, especially Rommel addressing his troops pressing in on the British defenders in Egypt. "Tomorrow I'll see you all for coffee in Cairo!" he said.

But it didn't work out that way for them, and our new friend eventually ended up as a POW in Canada. One of his younger friends, an amateur
historian, helped us not only set up the interview, but also provided maps and a backdrop of Afrika Korps, Canadian and American flags for the interview.

After our resting day today we push on to Stuttgart to scan in some documents of the Battle of the Bulge veteran we interviewed last summer - the one who kept a journal every day in battle, and who read to us what it was like to be a lieutenant on his first day in combat, to lose all his superior officers, and to have to lead the whole company until replacement officers arrived.

Today I hope you enjoy all the Thanksgiving festivities!



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