Did many German soldiers escape captivity at wars end

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Did many German soldiers escape captivity at wars end

Post by rob » 01 Apr 2002 05:19

The father of the wife of a distant cousin of mine simply walked home at the end of the war and wasn't a pow. He had fought on the eastern front and at the end of the war somehow just wandered safely home back in the Ruhrgebiet. I'm wondering how many German soldiers were able to accomplish this and escape captivity.

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Post by Ebusitanus » 01 Apr 2002 05:38

My grandfather was with a Luftwaffe Flak regiment and the war finally caught up with him at the Ruhr also. As a Oberfeldwebel he was thrown into action till the orders came to break ranks and try to reach home. He just told me how they got rid of everything looking military and dressed up (him and a friend) as priests. Walking by night and sleeping at day they were making good progress towards the south when they got cozy and began walking during day time too. Soon enough they got caught by some GIs on a Jeep and sent to one of the big prisoner camps along the Rhine. He saw thousands die of hunger there as he explained me how their daily ration was of three hard spagetti and three raw chicken peas a day, plus hourlong wait in line to get a mouthful of water at the only spiggot in camp. The french came then asking for "volunteers" to rebuild their nation as a way of getting home quicker and with more nutrition. Some of his collegues did volunteer, rom them only one came back. After years he told him how they were sent to work in mines instead of rebuilding and how they died in droves there too.
My grandfather got lucky in that he was a mason by trade before the war and thus useful for the Americans, after some work with them he was finally released to go home.
My grandmother still tells me how he was pure skin and bones at his return. Thats what you get for being cozy!

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Post by Starinov » 19 Apr 2002 18:05

I know that less than 6000 men who fought in Stalingrad returned from soviet captvity to Germany 1955. 100 000 were taken prisonners.

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hi all

Post by rkoy » 19 Apr 2002 18:17

a person known to me does not like his id revealed...... was a vet of the 5th ss wiking div and surrendured to the americans... he stayed in a pow camp till he got food and medical attention, then took his wool blanket, made some clothes out of it and walked out of the camp and never heard nothing about it.................

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Post by Annelie » 20 Apr 2002 00:28

I wish more could have done this.
Especially one I am thinking of.
What a difference it would have made in some people's lives.


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Indra Ross
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Other Losses by James Bacque

Post by Indra Ross » 20 Apr 2002 02:37

I was just lent this book by my friend who was a member of a U-Boat crew. I will sure post a summary of it.
It summarizes the deaths of German Prisoner of war at the hands of the Americans and French.

This is one book he insisted he needed back so I will post the summary.
Maybe we will all learn something from it.


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Post by Lady From Hell » 20 Apr 2002 05:10

Annelie wrote:I wish more could have done this.
Especially one I am thinking of.
What a difference it would have made in some people's lives.

Hi Annelie: :wink:

Well yes it would of been good But dead people dont eat & consume etc.
it is not my way but as A Soldier in WW2 the idea of taking prisoners was a problem etc . So it was the same as to wether thess Guys Who had not been imprisoned was a blessing as prisoners under the Geneva convention it would of meant we would have had to look after them so now we in many ways ignored them . Except S.S .& War criminals as such. :D

Yes They just went back tpo there familys as best they Could Now as for the Russians they had there own way in dealing with this problem. :wink: :(

Cheers : Lady From Hell. ( L.F.H.) 8)

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Post by HaEn » 21 Apr 2002 03:56

Hello LFH, I notice you are not on your way yet to get your medal from the Dutch. Are they sending it to you or handing it out via their embassy ? They do that sometimes you know.
Anyway, in regard to your post, keep in mind that by personal orders of General Eissenhower, the status of german p.o.w.'s was changed to something like DEF (defeated enemy forces).
This enabled them to circumvent the Geneva convention and left these guys high and dry, or as in this case, low, wet, muddy and hungry. There actually were very few that just "walked home".
One exception I know about was that at one point, the guard troops of the Harskamp had suddenly disapeared; they either had been shipped out during the night (to Indonesia) or had ????. That morning the interned prisoners took charge (such was still our discipline), and guarded themselves, until 14th Rgt.Inf. pf the Royal Dutch army took over. In between though several prisoners had just walked out, went to the empty barracks and helped themselves to left behind uniformparts. Two "soldiers" one 14 and one 15 and brothers, were brought back by their mother a few days later, because she did not want any trouble with a couple of Canadians her daughters were cavorting with.
Gr. HN

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