Friday, March 7, 2008

WW II German Prisoners of War

Because this event concluded with an unanswered question, I post it now. Is there anyone out there who may have a clue?
The last year of the war, Great Western Sugar Co of Lovell, Wyoming, made a contract with the U.S. government to use German prisioners of war to help in the back-breaking job of harvesting the sugar beets. They would come to our farm in Penrose, under guard, to work in the fields. Mother would feed them a hearty, hot lunch, which they always ate outside our house. In the evening they would return to their camp in Deaver, some 8-10 miles away.
Being a curious 5 year old, I would go outside and watch the men work, but always from a safe distance. I was more afraid of the U.S. guard who carried a rifle. than of the Germans.
One of the men used his evening hours at camp to build a small toy dresser with tiny drawers and slots on top to put pieces of paper with the Day of the Week, the Month, and the date number. For materials he used wood from the apple boxes the men were given for firewood. This would not have been easy, considering the crude materials and the lack of tools.
The dresser was given to me because he said that I reminded him of his own little daughter at home in Germany. I played with that dresser for the rest of my childhood and it shows the wear. It is in my cedar chest, a prized possession.
However, in the years since then, I've often wondered what was his name, and if he returned home to find his daughter safe.

1 comment:

Dwight said...

Oh Judy, I forgot about that little treasure. The Curmudgeonly Professor and picked-on by four sisters brother shed a few tears on this one. What a gem. And what an unforgettable testament to the tragedies of sending boys and young men off to war.