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Born in 1926...
Tommy, Age 12, Easton, CT

Had I been born in 1926 and not seventy years laterÖ?

I would have been about 18 years old, only 51/2 years older than I am now when this happenedÖ

The bombs hit the surface making dreadful noises as they explode. Iím a private in the United States army, rebelling against the German army. My squad is being shot down now, snipers are everywhere, and mines donít seem to stop coming. One after the other, I hear boom, boom, boom and occasionally a cry of pain from someone whom I come close to. My heart is running as fast as a cheetah, and drops of sweat are falling down my chin, as if I just came out of the shower. Scared, I am. I am petrified. My captain delivers our squadís orders; we are to push forward. Iím scared at the thought of doing so, and I listen reluctantly to Captainís orders; however, I have to listen.

I stumble across the field, with my gun tucked into my chest.. Boom! Iím knocked to the ground as a bomb explodes right before my feet.. I lay on the ground as bullets fly over my head; I canít move. Survivors of the bomb retreat quickly, leaving me and others behind. I clutch my gun, scared, and begin to crawl to cover. The Germans keep pushing forward, towards us, and we keep retreating. However, I stay behind not able to move. The Germans soon find me, and I am captured. I am interrogated; asked numerous questions that I can not understand with out the help of a translator. However, I refuse to answer them. I am punished, punched across the face, and whipped with a belt. However, I still refuse to answer their questions. They become enraged, and send me to their prison. In the prison, I see many fellow American soldiers, tortured, and injured and feel sorry for them. I am aware that I most likely await the same fate that happened to them. Iím scared, however, try not to show it. Not only do I see fellow American soldiers, I also see foreign soldiers, Russian and British soldiers who were sent to these far away camps. I know if I stay in this camp I will only be killed. There is only one way out of this camp; I must escape.

I now need to configure a plan, but what? I tell my cellmate I am trying to escape. He laughs at me, however, says he will help. He spreads the word, and soon everyone at the camp is mentally ready for escape. At night, when the guards fall asleep, we whisper our plan to one another through small crevices in the stone walls. We are tense and nervous but realize there is no other way. Several days later, we begin at lunch time. Two people hop over the prison wall, where the wardenís house is; they capture the warden, and take the cell keys. This will soon draw all the attention on the warden, diverting attention away from the cells. While our captors are focused on rescuing the warden, those who stole the key release everyone from their cells. We continue our escape, half of us staying in our cells, keeping them unlocked, while the others split up and take different routes to the wardenís house. I approach the first German in sight; I take him from behind, and steal his gun. I move on, and take cover near the wardenís house, and aim at a soldier. My plan is to take him out, drawing the attention towards me, so from behind, the others can sneak up into the wardenís yard. I fire, itís a perfect shot, I take him out. Attention is drawn toward me; I am nervous, and keep on firing. Before I know it, all my men are in position. The Germans open fire towards me, I return it, my men fire at the Germans from behind them not expecting it. Soon we win the battle; however, we need to leave the prison soon. If we do not, more Germans will soon come; we steal the Germans vehicles and drive off. If the Germans find us we will be sent back to prison to be killed. We drive along the road, and suddenly we realize we are being followed. I become frightened, and we speed up a little bit. Our follower does the same, we pull to the side of the road, and our followers get out. Four Germans get out of the car, and ask us for our identification. They are heavily armed, and we are trembling. I step on the gas and ditch them; they chase us and open fire on our vehicle. My friends, fire back at them, and take out their driver; their car loses control and hits a tree, and I keep driving on.

 
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