To the editor:
If you are not a subscriber to this newspaper then you are the loser. Their articles, pictures and other news items you never forget, such as the coverage of the German prisoners who were held at the local VA and were discussed at length in the Times.
I remember driving a 1940 DeSoto at that time down the back street of the home when I came across the prisoners getting ready to march to work. They were lined up four across and 12 lines deep. One of our soldiers stood in front with a rifle on his right shoulder. I witnessed this many times.
Sitting there in the car, I was impressed with the size of those dudes. Were we winning the war when the Germans had such talent? They were perfect specimens of youth at that age. The other thing that struck me was they appeared to enjoy their incarceration. When the whistle blew for them to move forward, there was no indication they were goose-stepping warriors. They were keeping straight lines but talking in the ranks. You cannot talk in ranks in our Army and I am sure they would not have done so in their own army.
The other thing I wondered about was that they did not seem to be escape-minded. I sat looking at the back line and it would seem to me to be a simple thing to disappear from the formation. From what I knew, they were not interested in leaving the good deal that had been forced upon them.
The food was delivered to them from the kitchen across the street. All accommodations had been supplied, such as clothes, medical attention, personal needs, etc. They were even given musical instruments. I was walking by their barracks one evening, which was surrounded by a 10-foot chain link fence, when I witnessed they were having a musical conclave.
One day coming from the south entrance to the station, I noticed the prisoners were cleaning up Lake Jeanette. They looked like a bunch of locusts. Some were cutting grass with push mowers, some were standing in the lake cutting out the water lilies and some were trimming the trees with small hand saws. It was amusing to see one of the guards with a rifle over his shoulder helping the prisoners load the branches and other debris into a truck.
I bet that these particular German prisoners took back with them a very good opinion of America.