Memoirs of an American POW

Memoirs of an American POW

In his memoir on being a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, “Cigarettes for Bread” (2007), Paul W. Church writes (p. 5) that a German officer “was trying to find out what materiel the Allies had and what amounts, but was not very successful, as evidenced by his frame of mind…. I was interviewed along with a Jewish boy, and he asked this lad how many tanks we had at the front in his sector. ‘Tanks?’ was the response. ‘Why, I don’t know that we have any.’
“‘Oh, come,’ said our interrogator, ‘when was the last time you saw a tank?’
“‘Well let’s see (deep thought), I remember seeing one in Naples.’ That was six months past. At this the Jerry almost had apoplexy and he said, ‘Do you know what we do with people of your race?’
“The boy paled a bit, but looked at the Nazi steadily and said, ‘I am also an American soldier.’ That was enough. We were dismissed altogether.”

p. 18

In Munich, many prisoners were wearing striped prison garb. “These puzzled us for a while until we found out that they were Germans who refused to fight. Many of them were Jews and these were treated worst of all. When Munich finally fell to the Allies months later, I was overjoyed to hear that these men rebelled and had been instrumental in helping the overthrow from within.”