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A Memory Retrieved

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My sister gave me a wartime letter and photo, today. I transcribed the letter for the forum .

Please, see it below:


16 Sept. 1998

Hello Sally:

In trying to clean up my desk, I ran into a WWII photo that you may want to use with one of my contributions.

It's a picture taken right at the end of the war in Europe in Eggenfelden, Bavaria. The town was unscathed and so our company decided to camp in the town square awaiting orders to start moving back to California to get ready to invade Japan. My division , the 13th Armored, was scheduled to cross the Pacific and land directly in the Tokyo area. But then there was the atom bomb. So we never left Camp Cooke, California.

As German resistance was collapsing we ran into some ex-slave laborers. On April 19, 1945 [in Mettman ] we picked up four Russian lads and two Polish lads to do KP and other chores for our ordnance maintenance company. We clothed, housed and fed them in exchange for their work. They left us for home on June 10, 1945. There were two of us G.I.s who spoke Russian. I became friends with the Russian men.

In the picture, I am the guy with the keg of beer. The other lad is one of the Russian boys. His name is Alexei.

I don't know what eventually happened to any of the six guests of our company.


Alex Gordeuk



Alexei and Alex Eggenfelden, Germany June 1945



( note: The two kinds of facilities the 13th Armored restored to production first in Germany were for ice cream and beer.)




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The sad thing is many of the liberated soviet pow were either executed by the NKVD or given prison sentences in the gulags.


It was a capital offense under Soviet law to be captured

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