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A Veterans Story

Article about: If anyone here has read Balkan Nightmare by Fred Umbrich, he is a personal friend and his book is one heck of a story. No war criminal, just a scared kid like most of them. I went to school

  1. #1

    Default A Veterans Story

    Today i stopped into a local sewing shop owned by an old man named Karl. I purchased a ww2 british helmet not 10 minutes before at the antique shop next store for a whopping $5 . I stopped in to the shop to ask if he could sew a pair of pants. He noticed the helmet and asked to see it. I said showed it to him and he said the british helmet did not offer as much protection as the one he was issued. I asked if he was in the U.S army or marines. He said no the german. My jaw dropped i asked if he served during ww2 he answered with a quick yes. After a long talk i had learned he served in the 12th panzer division. It took a little while but he oppened up to me. He kept going on how his helmet was to big for him. He also thought the helmet covers were a nuscence. His got ripped and he discarded it. He was captured in normandy of 1944 and after the war moved stateside and opened the sewing shop in 1953. He also told me his older brother went MIA in russia. He had slight tears in his eyes as he talked. I could see the memories flowing through his mind. He also assured me he commited no war crimes or anything. A stop that was supposed to be only 5 minutes turned into 2 hours. I am glad i stopped in and thanked him for sharing his story. This encounter reassured me that not all germans during WW2 were nazis. After all these years of getting things sewn there i never knew his story until today. I am glad i heard it Please if anyone has any other cool stories please share them!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    nice story im sick of the rule every german was a nazi war criminal most of them like this old lad was just doing his duty for his country and could have been conscripted without choice for all we know , lets not forget that many died doing their duty on all sides without any thoughts to politics

  4. #3

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Quote by panzerjaeger44 View Post
    nice story im sick of the rule every german was a nazi war criminal most of them like this old lad was just doing his duty for his country and could have been conscripted without choice for all we know , lets not forget that many died doing their duty on all sides without any thoughts to politics
    You are right ,many German soldiers save lifes of US service men.

  5. #4

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Thats a nice story, just because someone was an enemy in the past doesnt mean that they are now. Back then they would have had friends, families the same as allied soldiers, they arent less human than the people they were fighting against.

    Thanks for sharing the story

    Danny

  6. #5
    ?

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    The company where my wife used to work in Tottenham was an engineering firm, one of the women was a german called Ava, she was a very stern looking woman and worked in the accounts dept, this was just before we got married, so she was always going on about marriage and what the war did to her parents, what with her father being away for so long, so i asked her what it was like for her family back then, she described some terrible stories of when the russians took over the various areas leading to Berlin, then showed me a tattoo on her arm that she had done when she joined the Hitler youth, she was badly brutalised by what she described as a mongol soldier, as well as her two sisters,who were forced to watch , her mother picked up a very heavy iron pan and hit this soldier over the head so hard that she killed him.During the night no one had come looking for him so they dragged the man through some rear gardens into a bombed house and half buried him in the rubble, they then pulled on some broken wall and it collapsed on his body burying him completely, they spent the whole week down a cellar waiting for more russian troops to come but they were too busy advancing, after the war it was nearly a year before her father came back, he had been a prisoner of war in britain,since D day.

  7. #6

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Quote by GasMasksUK View Post
    Thats a nice story, just because someone was an enemy in the past doesnt mean that they are now. Back then they would have had friends, families the same as allied soldiers, they arent less human than the people they were fighting against.

    Thanks for sharing the story

    Danny
    no problem

  8. #7

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Quote by davejb View Post
    The company where my wife used to work in Tottenham was an engineering firm, one of the women was a german called Ava, she was a very stern looking woman and worked in the accounts dept, this was just before we got married, so she was always going on about marriage and what the war did to her parents, what with her father being away for so long, so i asked her what it was like for her family back then, she described some terrible stories of when the russians took over the various areas leading to Berlin, then showed me a tattoo on her arm that she had done when she joined the Hitler youth, she was badly brutalised by what she described as a mongol soldier, as well as her two sisters,who were forced to watch , her mother picked up a very heavy iron pan and hit this soldier over the head so hard that she killed him.During the night no one had come looking for him so they dragged the man through some rear gardens into a bombed house and half buried him in the rubble, they then pulled on some broken wall and it collapsed on his body burying him completely, they spent the whole week down a cellar waiting for more russian troops to come but they were too busy advancing, after the war it was nearly a year before her father came back, he had been a prisoner of war in britain,since D day.
    thats an amazing story!

  9. #8

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Ok, here is my family's story, My step kids dad is half German and half Ukrainian. His mother lived in Berlin during WW2, she had two brothers, whom she had some photos of. These photos she gave to her son, my step kids father, one of the photos shows his Uncle in black panzer crew uniform, the other Uncle is photographed in his Kriegsmarine uniform.
    I get on very well with my step kids father, I will ask him if I can show these and other photos he has of TR Germany on this site
    Regards to all, Simon.

  10. #9

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Nice story, most guys were just doing their duty for their country. This seems like a good time to tell a story that I have and have not shared. I never knew my real father, my step-dad's name was George C. Smith. He wasa WWII vet of the 101st Airborne. When I was growing up he would tell me stories of his time in the army. A few of the specifics were of being a paratrooper and having to walk into Bastogne and bayonetting his own Sergeant when he woke him up one night unexpectedly, he told me it was a mistake as the Sergeant had a German rain smock on. My step-dad was wounded in Bastogne and was discharged as a MSG in 47. He passed away in 1989. A couple of years ago "Band of Brothers" came out based on a true story, this is long after George passed away. Lo and behold I'm watching it and I admit that paratroopers walking into battle isn't unusual but the incident of Pvt. George C. Smith bayonetting his own Sergeant is in there and even the reason, the Sgt. had a German rain smock on. As I'm watching it I was thinking that growing up I just thought they were stories being told by an old guy to impress (when you're 8-9 yrs of age anyone over 30 is old). You never know what is behind someone"s wizened face. I'm 63 now and some day I'll open up and tell my son about some of my adventures. The only thing they had wrong in Band of Brothers is the state George was from, he was from N.J. Thanks for starting this thread

  11. #10

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    my grandfather was in the raf in coastal command till transfer and subsequent crash on india in 1944 he was badly burnt but survived against the odds he was actually a navigator and was trained in a us airbase down in georgia in late 1941 included in his album which is american lol is a pic of a rugby match between the upper class and lower class spitfires vs huricanes and a few cheerleader pics of interst is the date which was dec 7 1941 all these smiling people with no clue as to whats happening at pearl harbour i have his photo album here and if anyones interested can add some pics from both the match the training ground and from india my grandmother served onboard a minesweeper in the bristol channel thats how they met originally both posted in the same area just thought id share it

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