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Eastern Railroad Discussion > How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?


Date: 05/25/23 05:01
How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: wabash2800

The Sing, Sing thread was interesting. But rather than a prison near the tracks, what about a prisoner on the tracks?

I doubt if if it still there, but the Waterloo, Indiana Depot had some historical photos on display and one of them was very much over the top. (If I recall correctly, you had to ask to see it.) It seems a WWII, SS officer (POW) was on board a New York Central train when it stopped there. Anyway, somehow he ended up under the train with his neck positioned on one rail. And when the train got underway. he was decapitated. The photo (photos?) show the aftermath with his glasses (old fashioned spectacles) still on his face and no loss of blood--just a clean severing of his neck and his head laying on the rail. (Railroaders who have witnessed the aftermath of dismemberment know what I'm talking about.) It was reported as a suicide. How he got away from his MP is beyond me, as I would assume he would have been handcuffed.  

This sounds like what some SS officers would do for duty and honor. The SS officers were really some tough, crazy guys. A German uncle (my mom's older brother) was just a few years shy of joining the war effort in Germany, but was a member of the Nazi boy scouts. Knowing my uncle, I'm sure he would have been an SS officer if he would have been old enough to sign up. Otto had no fear of anything and lived life to the excess legally and illegally. He also drank heavily.

I don't condone anything the Germans did during WWII. This is just a little bit of history.

My mother was seven years old when the war ended, but she remembers the bombing and air raid sirens. Her father, (my grandfather), was in the Kriegs Marine but deserted near the end of the war.  (It is said that my grandfather did tour a U-boat during the war but wanted no part of that.) Reportedly, when he deserted, he took some people with him on the boat he commandeered across the English Channel. His father-in-law (my great grandfather) was very upset when he found out his son-in-law had deserted, as Great Grandfather P. was a proud political member of the Nazi Party. According to my mother, when Frau H. told her father about her husband's desertion (with a nervous laugh), her father slapped her across the face!


Victor Baird



Edited 16 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/23 12:01 by wabash2800.



Date: 05/25/23 05:40
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: Lackawanna484

Many captured Afrika Korps enlisted men served in the sugar fields of Clewiston FL. Quite a few remained in FL after the war.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/25/23 05:48
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: wabash2800

It would be interesting to find about more about this guy, where he was going  and the incident--preferably from a U.S. military file. This guy was hardcore SS. When I get to the National Archives II again, I may see if I can find something in a now declassified file.

Some of you here may know how to access that kind of information from other sources.

Victor Baird



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/23 05:52 by wabash2800.



Date: 05/25/23 05:49
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: wabash2800

Some AK also ended up doing harvest in Wisconsin that I know of.

Victor Baird


Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Many captured Afrika Korps enlisted men served in
> the sugar fields of Clewiston FL. Quite a few
> remained in FL after the war.
>
> Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/23 05:51 by wabash2800.



Date: 05/25/23 07:37
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: colehour

I believe that one German POW went on to become a Catholic priest and theologian. He had the advantage of having learned English in the USA. 



Date: 05/25/23 07:53
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: robj

This was in Chicago area paper. 

German Army prisoners(Afrika Corp)  ended up at farm near west of Chicago.  Lot of produce farms at time Perhaps due to overall heritage of area they were well accepted.

Several stories.  Locals would bring them wood and they would do carvings in exchange for chocolate(a Garman fav).  A young local detailed how a POW tutored hin in English helping him thru school.

On Sunday they would march out of camp branching off to appropriate church for services and some local milling around returning dutifully to camp.  Many retained connections with local poulace thru
correspondence and visits after war.

Bob Jordan



 



Date: 05/25/23 07:56
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: srman

I’m always curious about this. We here in America proudly honor our veterans. Even though the Germans and Japanese were the aggressors do those countries honor their veterans in any way?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/25/23 09:37
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: PHall

srman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’m always curious about this. We here in
> America proudly honor our veterans. Even though
> the Germans and Japanese were the aggressors do
> those countries honor their veterans in any way?
>
> Posted from iPhone

Yes, why wouldn't they?



Date: 05/25/23 10:30
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: Lackawanna484

There's a German and Italian military cemetery at Fort Eisenhower / Fort Gordon in GA. Maintained by the war graves administrations of the two countries.

There are also a number of German naval maritime cemeteries off the North Carolina coast. Where the various U-boats went down.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/26/23 06:24
Re: How about a Prisoner on the Tracks?
Author: howeld

I live less than a mile from a former German POW camp in Celina, Oh It is now a 4H camp and the original bunkhouses are still in use. My children will be sleeping in them in a few weeks for camp.
The prisoners were rented out as farm workers to the local area. Heavy German population here even before the war so they could be directed at work by native speakers without a language barrier.

Prisoners would have likely traveled on the NKP.

Posted from iPhone



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