Meeting a German Soldier

Our time in Western Europe was almost over as we left Italy.  Heading north, we crossed the Alps again on our way to Munich.  It was dark when we exited the autobahn, and we worried that we should have stopped sooner to look for a room.  Then we saw a zimmer sign which led us to a two-story house where we met the Frazers.  We intended to stay just that night and move closer to Munich, but the Frazers were such lovely people, and served such wonderful breakfasts, that we spent our time in Germany with them. The fact that they spoke fluent English allowed for many great conversations.  From their home outside Holzkirchen, we drove into Dachau one day and into Munich on another.

In their den on our first morning, I noticed the picture of a young man in the uniform of a German soldier, and asked if he was Mr. Frazer. He was. He had been an American prisoner of war, in Iowa, for 17 months and came away from that experience with  respect—even fondness—for Americans.

Talking to Mr. Frazer of his American experience made me proud of my country.   Mr. Frazer did not spend his days locked up, but helped with farm work and local construction where his interactions with Iowans were positive.  He was paid something less than a dollar a day for his labor, but was glad to be well fed, productive, and to know he would survive the war.

Author: kaychaudhriwriter

In 1976, I accepted a position teaching chemistry and other sciences at Bahrain School. I intended to stay only a year or two, but remained until 1989 when I transferred to Germany. Crowded with Voices describes my experiences and the Middle East I knew.

One thought on “Meeting a German Soldier”

  1. When I was in West Germany in 1965, my travel agent representative, on learning I was from TX, asked if I knew “so-and-so.” I explained that TX was a very big state, that I didn’t, then asked why he wanted to know. He told me the man in question was his guard when the travel agent was a POW. “He was a very good man,” he told me.” I felt a similar pride. Sometimes we DO get things right.

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