I was in, I think, 23 altered camps.
The aboriginal affected I came to was Zelenodolsk on the Volga River. We went in with 3,500 guys, and in a bisected year there were abandoned 500 left. The Russians didn’t do annihilation for us.
They let us die deliberately.
In one affected forth the Volga, we were in applesauce beds. I slept in a lower bed with eight guys. We were like sardines in a can. In the morning aback the Russians came into the barracks, they counted how abounding bodies were there and how abounding were dead. We would authority a asleep man up in advanced of us and act as if he was alive, so we would get a allocation of his food.
Every night, six to eight men died and the Russians would say, “It’s still too few. Added of you charge die.”
‘I didn’t appetite to go in the war’
I was built-in in Germany, in Duisburg-Hamborn, beside the Dutch border. My ancestor was a foreman at Thyssen; they did assignment for railroads. He absent one eye in the Aboriginal Apple War. He was one of the aboriginal in the Nazi Party, but afterwards a year or two he left. I heard him say to my mother, “They’re crooked.”
Everybody had to accompany the Hitler Youth. Aback you went in a store, you had to say “Heil Hitler,” and I hated it. Bodies reminded me. “Oh, I forgot.” I was consistently adjoin the system. I hated to be bossed around.
One time my beforehand brother and I didn’t go in the apartment aback we heard the siren activity and the English or Americans were over us, aerial around. We lived on the third floor, and it was fun to attending out and see the bombers. We could see them sometimes in the searchlights.
Every adolescence of 14 was appropriate by Hitler to do one year of assignment on a acreage or in a atramentous mine. My ancestor said: no atramentous mine, go to the farm. It was in Duisburg. I had a appealing acceptable time then. The ancestors had a brace cows, two horses and a lot of pigs and chickens. I had to assignment absolute hard. It was acceptable for me. It fabricated me strong.
When airplanes austere our town, we went to Poznan [in beside Poland] to get away. My ancestor took all his money and bought a big farm. I formed in the appointment at the German railroad as a Junghelfer [an apprentice] and was acquirements how to handle tickets, everything.
On April 20, 1943, Hitler’s birthday, I was drafted. I didn’t appetite to go in the war at all. My training took about eight months. I was a radio and telegraph abettor in a Beobachtungs Abteilung, an ascertainment unit, at Meissen on the Elbe River. The accessories was actual abundant on my back.
After Meissen, I went on a alternation abounding of our soldiers from my unit. We were activity to Russia, the Eastern Front, and there was not one soldier who capital to go there. That was like punishment.
We came into Russia through Poland and catholic for two or three days. The alternation chock-full and we were thirsty. We were continuing around. I said, “There is a abode about a mile away,” and I went abroad alone. I said, “I’m activity to get some water.” But there was no house, abandoned a brace of pieces of copse lying there and annihilation to drink.
Suddenly I heard something. It was a Russian patrol. There were 40 or 50 of them, and they saw me, I bet you — I was in the accessible — but they didn’t care. They apparently didn’t shoot me because they didn’t appetite to accomplish any noise. I lay bottomward in the grass absolute acceptable and kept quiet. It was appealing alarming for me.
We got beneath blaze from the Russians at Mykolaiv. Afresh I was a continued time in one abode area we dug ourselves in and kept celebratory the enemy. We had big glasses, like a periscope, alleged Scherenfernrohr [scissors telescope].
A guy was attractive at me from a abbey belfry a few afar away. I saw the blaze from his scope; he saw my glasses. I alleged in to the Auswertung. They were guys from my accouterments and they were all educated; they were from universities and they abstinent exactly. The arms attempt at the church. One carapace was absolutely over it. I said, “Hit him!” The additional one hit the church. That was the abandoned victim I asleep in the war.
The Russians were acid too much. I had absent my accouterments and was activity to Romania [a accessory Axis power]. I was sitting with addition guy in a railroad car, and there was thermite on the train. Thermite is a actinic they accept to agglutinate railroad advance together. It burns. We were arch a arch over the Prut River and aback I saw a blaze in the wagon, and it got bigger and bigger, and we hollered. I couldn’t jump out; I would accept hit a arch post. But we got over the river and I jumped off.
Captured by a bashed Russian
In Romania, we were active abroad from the Russians. In one abode we were celebratory them and we had to sit one man to a hole. Bottomward in the valley, tanks were advancing and they attempt at us. The guy beside me was attempt in his aperture — my sergeant. He was dead. And a acquaintance of abundance got a splinter in his knee. He charge accept had abhorrent pain. I aerial him and agitated him aback over a hill.
The accomplished advanced bankrupt apart. That was in Galati. The Romanians were actuality in one line, and the Germans in addition line, and a accumulation of Italians. Aback the Russians came through and they infiltrated the accomplished line, and the Romanians were active abroad and giving up. I was lying on a acropolis and observing. I could discount the accomplished place. The Russians came closer. They were advancing up the hill.
I was with a lieutenant, a adolescent guy. He said, “I accept to go now.” “What about the equipment?” “You booty affliction of it.” He capital me to cycle up a blast cable. I said to hell with it. He jumped in a auto and took off. I was captivation assimilate the back, contrarily I’d be dead. Aback we were extensive the German line, I went off on my own.
Suddenly there was a German accepted continuing there. He was accession a big accumulation of Germans to annihilate the Russians.
We had over a thousand people. We were boot on the abandon of a road, and in the average came a car, and there was the accepted continuing in the aback of it. He had a fence column and hit me on my back. I hadn’t done anything. I had marched all day and was arenaceous and hot. I got so mad, I knelt bottomward and aimed my burglarize at him and said, “I appetite to shoot the son of a bitch.” But three guys fell on me and said, “Don’t do that, you’re activity to be killed!” They took my gun away.
I was a acceptable soldier. I did my duty. But I didn’t appetite to be bossed around, alike by a general. I abandoned out of the advance and lay in a field. I begin a big can of adulate and ate it with a spoon.
My compatible was abundant for the summer, and the Germans larboard being lying about in the field, so I best some clothes that ill-fitted me and afflicted into them. I begin a shirt from an officer. It had a argent eagle; I ripped it out. I was a apparent soldier, a Soldat, and didn’t appetite the Russians to anticipate I was an officer. They apparently would shoot me. And I got a brace of dejected jeans that had holes on both knees.
I was with seven added guys aback we were captured [in 1944] by a bashed Russian with a apparatus pistol. He took us to area there were added German prisoners. One day the Russians had us forth the Danube River and it was raining. We were 11,000 guys. They warned us: Don’t angle up; you break sitting there. One guy absent his arch and he got up and said, “Shoot me.” A Russian administrator came benumbed on a horse, pulled a pistol and attempt him appropriate in the head. I saw that.
When we were marching, on my larboard and appropriate were admiral of the German army. We were in a mile-long band of prisoners, bristles guys abreast, and on the larboard and appropriate were Russian guards. If you absolved off, you could bolt a bullet. There was a little backwoods coming. I was activity to run away. The admiral said, “It could be you’re dead.” I said, “I don’t care.” I jumped head-first into the bushes and the Russians were acid at me. They accursed appealing abounding shots.
I crawled fast on my abdomen and heard something. What is that, now? I was afraid. I anticipation the Russians were appropriate there, but no. I looked, and I looked appropriate into my acquaintance Rudi’s face. He was in my unit. He had able from the line, too.
‘He didn’t listen’
Somewhere beside railroad advance on the bend of a apple I got afar from Rudi. I was with seven added guys — they were nervous, beforehand Germans — and we lay forth the clue bed, ambuscade in the darkness. There was a swamp on the added ancillary of the advance and Russian soldiers on patrol, and they all had apparatus pistols. One was walking up and bottomward the tracks, attractive out for Germans. We watched him.
An beforehand guy with us started coughing. I said, “You can’t ahem now. You accept to authority still.” One guy captivated his mouth, but he coughed again, and a Russian angry around. He’d heard us. I got up and ran above the advance and jumped into the swamp. The Russians attempt at me. The bullets were hitting the water. I angry about and saw one of the Russians battlefront at me, but he missed.
I absolved in the baptize for a continued time. It got up to my throat and I anticipation I would die, but it never got college than that. Afresh advanced of me I saw copse ascent out of the baptize and boring I got out, and there was a big island. Rudi was there. He’d had the aforementioned abstraction I had — to cantankerous the advance and go in the swamp.
About 40 Germans were there, and they had a blaze going. They were adulatory because they’d heard we were chargeless to go anyplace we wanted; we weren’t in the army anymore, that Hitler had appear us. I said, “We can’t break here. The Russians saw me. They will appear in the morning and shoot us.” The Germans had annihilation to avert themselves with, but they didn’t anticipate the Russians would do annihilation to them.
One guy, an Unteroffizier [sergeant], asked me, “Can you advice me? I can’t swim, but I appetite to go away, too.” There was a lot of clutter amphibian about in the water. We fabricated a float. We begin a aperture and angry a butt on it with a allotment of acid wire so he could lie on the door. And aback it aloof got light, Rudi and I got into the baptize and we pushed him along. The three of us were the abandoned Germans to leave.
We went about a corner, and from the bushes we could see the Russians above the swamp. Three or four were in a rowboat blame abroad from the dock, and they had weapons.
As we fabricated our way forth the bend of the island, activity in the adverse administration from the Russians, two adolescent Romanian guys on the coffer of the island chock-full us and acicular their rifles at us and fabricated us appear out of the water. They blanket my shoes. I don’t bethink what they took from Rudi and the added guy, but they let us go.
We got aback into the swamp and larboard the island behind. Aback we were further out into the water, I heard a lot of battery on the island. We kept going, but the swamp was abounding of thorns that fell from the Seerosen [sea roses], and with no shoes, I got blood-soaked anxiety and thorns in them.
We accomplished acreage and afresh above it, the absolute Danube came. I don’t apperceive what became of the added guy, but Rudi and I were still together. We stood on the bank and alleged to a fisherman who was in a little baiter on the added side, “Can you get us over?” He came and rowed us across. The added ancillary was Bulgaria [another accessory Axis power]. We went into his house, and his wife bankrupt my anxiety as acceptable as she could and put abrading booze on them and captivated some rags about them.
We had to leave the abutting morning. Russian planes abandoned leaflets putting a amount on our head: Every Bulgarian who easily over a German gets the money.
Rudi and I absolved through the accomplished of Bulgaria — I was barefoot — until we saw the lights of Turkey. We anticipation we’d be safe there, because Turkey was aloof then. Aback we came to a boondocks afore the Turkish border, Rudi capital article to smoke, but of advance we couldn’t assurance anybody, and I told him, “We don’t go in town,” but he didn’t listen. So we went in, and bodies were continuing about us and talked to us. And one woman, she looked apprehensive and went away.
In a abbreviate time, about 20 Russians came on horses and captured us. “Ruki vyerkh!” Easily up!
They brought us to a jail. I looked out a little window and there were German prisoners continuing in a courtyard, and the Russians had a continued allotment of copse they could hardly carry, and they hit the Germans. One guy got hit and it charge accept burst his back.
They gave us annihilation to eat. I sneaked out and looked in a pig afford and ate allotment rinds.
The Russians marched us afresh to Constanta on the Black Sea in Romania. Rudi and I went forth with hundreds, and we had to work. We unloaded American airplanes from ships. And that’s area they cut our hair. Rudi formed about the attic aback he saw me bald, and aback his beard was cut, I laughed. We had our fun.
One day they gave us a little aliment that was for the accomplished week. I kept abundance hidden, and Rudi was so athirst he ate it at already and afresh he had nothing. He begged, “Give me a little bread,” and I gave him bisected of mine.
A brace weeks later, they put us on a big ship, a lot of prisoners, and we went to Odessa. There, we were loaded on a alternation and brought to Mykolaiv. We went about to Stalingrad — there was no added angry there, aloof rubble. It was a continued trip, we chock-full at every little place, and we had no aliment or water. Afterwards a brace days, they gave us a allotment of bread. Every time the alternation stopped, I ran out for article to drink. There was baptize advancing out of the engine, and I drank that.
APRIL BARTHOLOMEW / THE MORNING CALL
After we went through Stalingrad [now Volgograd], we angry larboard and went up the Volga to a big boondocks alleged Kuybyshev, adjoin Kazan.
Near Zelenodolsk, the doors on the alternation were befuddled accessible and we had to get out quickly. I jumped out into snow up to my hips. I had abandoned rags on my feet. They marched us a mile or two to the new camp. It was actual bad. There was annihilation to eat. In a brace days, they had it organized and we got some adulterated soup.
There was an old able-bodied in the average of a courtyard, baptize you couldn’t drink. It was red, rusty. One guy saw snow in amid the two barbed-wire fences that amid the affected and put his easily on it, and a Russian attempt him appropriate through the hand.
I was bringing baptize from the Volga for the soup. We had a sled with three 50-gallon barrels on top of it. We had canteens to eat our soup out of, and fabricated our own spoons out of wood. Every brace days, we had to angle sometimes for four hours alfresco the billet in the abhorrent algid and the Russians looked everywhere. If you had a spoon, they took it abroad from you.
We got some boots, but abandoned what the Russians threw away. Abundance had holes in them. I had no covering and abandoned the beat dejected jeans, and you could see both of my knees.
I was one of the guys who agitated the asleep ones out to the Volga, and we dug the graves through the night, up from the river. And one day, we kept digging and digging and there was a duke afraid out. There were already asleep bodies in the hole. So I told the Russian guy, and he said, “Oh, dump them in the Volga.”
Early in the morning, we went to the railroad base and had to unload the cars with stones for the street. It was adamantine assignment and backward in the black aback we came home. We had about fabricated it back, and the blare blew. The alternation came with a new amount and we had to return.
There was one Russian lieutenant, he was absolutely acceptable to us. He had a little dog and addition blanket it and adapted it. We didn’t like that because it fabricated the abettor feel bad. We didn’t acquisition out who did it.
We got annihilation to eat but bedraggled aliment in the morning and evening. They had a big kitchen with four big kettles, and in the average of the allowance was a chase with bargain white paint. A thousand roaches consistently calm there. We didn’t care. You had to eat or die. The soup was baptize with a brace banknote leaves in it.
Sad and homesick
One day I fell ailing with typhoid fever. I had to break in my applesauce bed, which was annihilation but copse and absolutely rough. Added guys lay on the attic and died.
I had a acquaintance who was a clothier who formed on the Russian officers’ uniforms, and he got a little bit added food. He formed in Vienna at the acclaimed Hotel Sacher; he fabricated all the dresses for Mrs. Sacher. He about adored my life: He gave me some of his soup. You know, I would hallucinate. Aback I was sick, I told him to appear up on the applesauce and eat with me. “Come here, I accept potatoes, appearance and pork chops.”
A guy who was lying beside me was arrant for article to drink. He had agitation and I had agitation too. “Go get something,” he said. There was a Romanian ablution the floor. He had a box with some baptize in it. Aback he went abroad for a minute, I got bottomward from the bed and got some for that guy and for me, and we drank it. It was like mud. He died.
The abbot of bloom for Russia came to the affected from Moscow, and aback he saw me lying there on the top bunk, he ordered me down, but I couldn’t move. They had to lift me down. Afresh he aerial my shirt — abandoned bark and bones. Aback he went over my skin, it fell off like flakes. I was abandoned 68 pounds; my accustomed weight was 145.
“You go in the hospital now,” the abbot of bloom said. He acted like he was apologetic it happened to me and he wouldn’t let us die like nothing.
Rudi additionally had typhoid agitation and he was with me and we went by alternation to the hospital beside Penza, and that’s area I absent acquaintance with him. It was a brick building, I would say bristles stories. It was a nice place, in a way. We were protected; no algid came in. There was copse heat, acceptable abundant to accumulate us alive. I lay in a bed with seven guys, and aback one guy had to turn, all eight of us had to turn.
It took seven months afore I got out of the hospital, I was so run-down. The day I absolved out, my toes were afraid out of my shoes and it was cold. There were others with me. Aboriginal we had to accompany asleep prisoners from the hospital to a grave, and we loaded them on a little horse-drawn wagon. It was the aforementioned wagon that brought the hospital bread. One asleep guy, they had cut off his leg, and it was on the accumulation of bodies with him.
We marched abaft the wagon. The leg fell off. The Russian bouncer hit me with his rifle: “Get the leg and put it on the wagon.” I had to run afterwards the wagon with the leg in my duke and bandy it on. That happened three times. And the aftermost time, aback he wasn’t looking, I larboard the leg in the snow and put some snow over it so I wouldn’t accept to backpack it again.
Before we went in one affected on the Volga, we were continuing three canicule in a alternation car and it was awful. A lot of bodies died. The Russians forgot us. They had put the alternation on a asleep corner. Assuredly they unloaded us.
We had to accompany sulfur from a ship. We had to backpack it or accumulate it in a bassinet on our back, and there were burns on our skin. It was a continued airing on a hot day. My back, aggregate was sore. We had some time off, and it was my birthday, the 3rd of August — it could accept been 1948, but I’m not sure. I was so annoyed of working, I took it easy. I was sitting alfresco and didn’t go appropriate abroad to the toilet, which was a acting architecture of plywood.
Forty prisoners ran into the toilet. It was aloof holes in attenuate boards. Beneath was a pit about 10 anxiety abysmal and it was appealing abounding of [excrement]. The plywood burst beneath them — it wasn’t congenital for 40 — and all the guys fell bottomward into the pit. I heard them screaming. They were all aggressive on top of ceremony added aggravating to get out. Nobody could advice them. All of those guys drowned in the toilet.
It was Christmas in one affected and we had a little timberline in our barracks. It was a foot-and-a-half, fabricated of twigs, and had decorations we fabricated ourselves out of $.25 of paper. The aperture opened and an NKVD guy — that’s a Soviet political administrator — came in. He was mean, a antipathetic fanatic. With one duke he agape the timberline over: “You pigs don’t charge a tree!”
CHRISTA WARDA / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
His wife, a appealing blonde, admired me. She capital to escape with me. I was charwoman a billet and she said, “You appetite to run away. Booty me forth to Germany. I appetite to leave my husband. He is no good.” I said, “I can’t run away. I can hardly walk, and there is no abode to go.”
I was in addition bastille affected forth the Volga, a little one of not added than 50 guys, and had an escape plan formed out. I was acid copse alfresco the camp, up to my waist in snow. Every day for a continued time I came aback a little bit later, and the bouncer thought: That’s him, he’s activity to be late. The day came that I took off. I had two hours’ arch start.
My plan was to get to Lake Ladoga, not that far, and afresh Finland. I had to go over the arctic Volga to Kuybyshev. I begged some bodies for potatoes. I asked a Russian soldier for a streetcar, told him I’m a German prisoner, a specialist, and had to aces up a tractor. I was lying, but he wasn’t suspicious.
I ran afterwards the streetcar but it disappeared, and I asked the soldier area the railroad is, and he acicular the way. I went about three soldiers on horses and saw there was one abode with a light, and I looked into the window and there was a ancestors who had a Christmas timberline with afire candles and there were accouchement about it. I looked at it a while. It fabricated me so sad and homesick.
Then I fabricated it up to the railroad and got on the aftermost wagon of a bales train, on a belvedere alfresco it in the back, and rode it. I was continuing there and the wind was alarming and it was so cold. Through my pockets, the potatoes were arctic like canteen balls, so I couldn’t alike booty a chaw of them. The alternation fabricated a lot of stops. A guy — there were abandoned two guys on the alternation — he chased me about the wagon aback we stopped, but he didn’t get me.
After 20 afar on this train, I got off to booty addition one. I went to a abode at the railroad base and hid beneath it — all the barrio were on stilts. A boy saw me and alleged the police, and the policeman said, “Come on out, I apperceive you’re in there.” He asked me questions and was about to let me go aback the boy said, “Why don’t you chase him?” In my pants they begin a allotment of paper, my own map assuming how to get to Lake Ladoga. They bent me.
I had been on my way for 20 days.
They took me aback to a affected with German prisoners in Kuybyshev, and I was bedraggled and abounding of lice. They put me in a nice apple-pie allowance and I took a ablution and they gave me appropriate clothes, afresh I had to appear out afterwards a brace days. There was a agglomeration of admiral and some women, all sitting on a bank and I was sitting in advanced of them.
They said, “How abounding bridges did you draft up? How abounding women did you rape?” They asked me all kinds of questions, and every time, they hit me in the face with their fists. One woman was absolutely sexy, and she sat there in a way I couldn’t abstain attractive at her, and an administrator sprang at me and hit me and said, “Where do you look?” “I don’t know.” He said, “You’re activity to go home and you should not say we didn’t augment you. You got acceptable food, contrarily you wouldn’t attending at the woman like that.” Stupid things!
APRIL BARTHOLOMEW / THE MORNING CALL
‘You’re activity home’
Then one day, a guy came from the old affected area I worked. He was to accompany me back. He gave me his backpack and I was accustomed it, and he was a big guy. I was abandoned 5 bottom 4. He took one step, I had to booty two steps. We were arch the arctic Volga. I threw all his being bottomward and told him he was amenable for me, and if annihilation happens to me, that gets appear to Moscow. And he was scared. He took all his being and agitated it himself.
On the added ancillary of the Volga, we chock-full at a abode of his relatives. He larboard me abandoned in a room. An old woman came and she accomplished on the shelf for a basin of milk to augment the cat. I was exhausted. As anon as she angry around, I affective the basin and drank the milk.
When we came to a camp, a big one a little further from my old camp, the guy went into the bastille with me and started blame me around. He ran and kicked me absolutely adamantine and I flew adjoin the wall.
The abutting morning they put me aback in with the added prisoners. I had to be punished. I had to assignment all night continued case little potatoes, and in the day I formed in the mountains breaking stones. I didn’t get any sleep. I don’t apperceive how I did it, but it wasn’t for too long.
There was addition affected I went to. It was in the backwoods too, and we had to cut copse down, and the capital allotment from the copse had to be cut absolutely so it fit on the trucks. The assignment was too hard, and we didn’t accept annihilation acceptable to eat.
In one affected I met a German doctor who lived beside my hometown. He was beatific home, and in 1949 he wrote a letter to my parents that I was alive. My mom cried over that. It was the aboriginal time they heard from me afterwards three years.
About a year afore they appear us, I could abound my beard again. I consistently had my beard shaved, because you got so abounding lice. The Russians capital to be a little bit added lenient, and they began to act like animal beings.
One night in 1950, Russian soldiers alleged me to the office. They told me, “You’re activity home.” They had said that so abounding times before, I didn’t accept it. “You get your things ready, whatever you have, but if you booty a blooper of cardboard forth with a name or annihilation accounting on it, you go aback to prison.”
I saw one guy who took a allotment of cardboard and put it in his pants, and he had article accounting on it, and the Russians said afore we went on the train, “The apple is not to apperceive how we advised you.” And he wrote aggregate bottomward and they begin the cardboard and beatific him back.
All of us in the affected were to go home. It was a accomplished train-full. At every station, I ran out and looked for article to eat. I consistently had my eyes open. I was the aboriginal guy, but I could run faster than the added guys, so I consistently calm some food, and the Russian bodies were nice to us.
After a continued trip, we came to Germany. In Frankfurt, I threw my Russian cap away, larboard it blind in a tree.
Then I was sitting in a alternation and aback a religious guy, like a bishop, agape on the window. He gave me a canteen of wine and asked me: “Did you alarm your parents and acquaint them you are advancing home?” I did not alarm them because I couldn’t accept it was over. It was all advancing too fast.
He alleged my pop and mom. They had confused aback to Duisburg.
When I got off the alternation at the Bahnhof, the station, I saw them appropriate away. They came over and hugged me. My mother cried. She was happy, but years earlier, she was consistently bedlam and had a acceptable spirit. That was not my mother anymore. Aback the Russians came into Poznan, they raped German women, and I anticipate my mother was one of them.
We took a trolley car home. It was about 5 miles. The bodies looked at me and said, “Who is that bedraggled bum?”
At my house, my brother, William, was arena the accordion in the kitchen. He had been in the infantry beside Leningrad and was abominably blood-soaked aback he was lying on a apparatus gun and a armament exploded. Four and a bisected years, he was a captive of war in Russia.
For weeks afterwards I was aback in Germany, I woke up screaming.
Walter Warda affiliated a seamstress, Irma Plas. They had a son, Hans Peter, who now lives in Texas. But activity was adamantine in post-war Germany. Warda abdicate a job at a shipyard afterwards a altercation with his boss. With ancestors in Allentown, he approved for three years to emigrate, assuredly afterwards in 1954.
In Allentown, the brace had a daughter, Christa, now a articulate adviser at Muhlenberg College. Warda formed as a welder at Mack Trucks for 33 years. On the side, he was a able woodworker — and still is at age 90. He and Irma, 88, alive in west Allentown and acclaimed their 65th bells ceremony April 21.
Warda’s brother, William, confused to Philadelphia and provided English translations for two books about the German acquaintance on the Eastern Front, “Operation Barbarossa in Photographs” and “Stalingrad: The Defeat of the German 6th Army.” He died in 2005 at age 81.
An amazing about-face of contest absorption on one of the Lehigh Valley’s best alarming crimes reunited Walter Warda and his acquaintance Rudi Sachs afterwards bristles decades.
The Wardas ahead lived in eastern Salisbury Township. Above the artery were the Freemans. In 1995, three associates of the Freeman ancestors — the parents and their youngest son — were murdered. Brothers David and Bryan pleaded accusable to killing their parents, Dennis and Brenda. Their accessory Nelson Birdwell was bedevilled of his role in Dennis’ killing. None of the three was bedevilled in the afterlife of 11-year-old Erik.
The beachcomber of publicity that followed the murders drew a German television aggregation to Salisbury. The Germans were absorbed in the case because the Freeman brothers and Birdwell were allotment of the neo-Nazi baldheaded movement. They sported tattoos that included “Sieg Heil” and wore aggressive surplus clothes.
As allotment of its coverage, the German TV aggregation interviewed the Freemans’ acquaintance Walter Warda.
Sachs, active in Chemnitz in eastern Germany and animate as a academy principal, happened to see the advertisement and accustomed his old friend. He wrote to Warda, and Warda visited him in 1997. They had not apparent ceremony added aback their canicule at the aboriginal Soviet camp, Zelenodolsk, beside the end of Apple War II. Sachs has aback died.
Looking aback at the crisis he faced on the Eastern Advanced and during his continued captivity, Warda believes he survived because God was with him.
“He adequate me in every situation. I had a activity he was allowance me all the time.”
Today, no nightmares affliction him, he said.
But did any acceptable appear from his experience, annihilation that helped him afterwards in his life?
“No, I acquaint you, I didn’t apprentice annihilation — abandoned to survive.”
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