POWS in Gummersbach, Germany
During April 1945 the 78th division captured almost 50,000 German POWS. Dad took these near Gummersbach, Germany. He recalls a large field where thousands of the prisoners were kept. It had a small stream running down the center of the field, which the men waited in line for hours to drink or bath from. Officers were kept on one side of the field and enlisted men on the other. Some enlisted men tried to get over to the officers side of the field as the wait to get to the water was less, Dad Saw a GI club a Nazi with his rifle who would not get back to his side of the field. The Germans were also loaded into trucks and drove farther to the rear, here some Germans would not get on trucks and he saw them whacked with walking canes to force them on to the trucks. GI's with machine guns guarded the corners of the fields waiting for a German to try and escape. A lot of the Germans were young boys and old men, they were happy to be captured as they new the war was lost and did not want to get shot at any more.