|Notes from YMCA Log Book:
April 30 - Himmler
visited camp to decide if we should march out. Camp is turned over to us at
10:30 PM. Germans move out during nite. Germans start blowing up
radar school and air field at noon. We dig trenches to use in case of
strafing by enemy planes.
May 1 - Americans in Guard towers this morning. Russian POWs hide in
woods to avoid marching out. Everyone is happy again to be free but
tense due to wild Russian advance. Col. Spicer who was sentenced to be shot
April 1st was freed.
May 2 - Contact is made with advancing Russians, we are ordered to
be ready to march out with six hours, but fail to do so. Col. has men
destroy fence and towers because Russki Col. did not like our calm attitude
after being liberated. Tex and I visit Barth in evening witness
Russians pouring thr city. 5 Americans killed. 5 people found shot on
May 3 - One American blown to bits by land mine - total dead to date, 17.
England has supposedly been contacted. Saw three women and 2 children who
were killed. Two more found killed on other side of camp. P-47
planes fly over. Hope for rapid evacuation is high.
May 4 - Air field is ready for planes to evacuate us. Mines, bombs
and booby traps have been removed. Americans find dungeon under
barracks where French prisoners are held. Conditions unbelievable. Aid
is being given people at concentration camp. Russians form M.P.
patrol, military law exists in Barth. All are awaiting arrival of
May 5 - Three Russian Generals visit camp. American Col.
drives three in jeep. Plans for evacuation are under way. Air
field is ready for planes. Many are walking toward our own line.
May 6 - Had beef steak last night which boys in mess hall got.
Liberation thanksgiving services held. No planes yet.
May 7 - Russians bring in several hundred cows to be killed, I volunteer
to butcher, but was out when called to help. Grand concert was given
by Russian Army troop. 25 men in chorus, 3 girl dancers, a 10 piece
orchestra and a leading army band. Russians treating us fine.
Claim we will be out in a couple of days. British Col. visited camp
also G-2's. Hear over radio that war is over claim nearest of kin were
notified of our liberation. Celebrate victory by shooting flares.
May 8 - Walked to Airport and concentration camp, which was surrounded by
electric fence. Saw many German planes. People have returned to their homes.
Some seem happy, others bitter. Officials discover mail from
Nov. on in building.
May 9 - Had beef steak for supper. No sign of getting out yet. Had
big bonfire, burned guard towers and shot flares by the hundred in
celebration of victory.
May 10 - Nothing new.
May 11 - A man in the next room to me was shot through shoulder while
sitting at table eating breakfast. A stray bullet hit him.
May 12 - First B-17 arrives at 2 o'clock to start evacuation.
May 13 - Left Barth in B-17 at 2:00 arrived at Leon 5:15 then road truck
to Reims, about 40 miles. Left Reims next morning. Crossed
Hamburn on the Rhine.
May 14 - 15 Spent day on train, ate dinner at chow lines.
Arrived at St. Valery afternoon of 15th. Deloused and assigned
May 16 - Sent cablegram to folks & Bernie.
May 18 - I met Dick Timey.
May 20 - Met Bowling who went thru Kingman when I did, he had seen
Barwick. While POW in Germany
May 21 - Drew clothing.
May 23 - General Eisenhower and two other generals visit.
Eisenhower gave POW's talk. Senator Wheeler and another senator were present
May 24 - Sent 15 word cablegram to folks.