Summary: My Last Work Day At Camp Cooke

856 Words4 Pages
Early in March 1946, we left Camp Cooke by train and passed through the southern states to Fort Eustis, Virginia. We stayed at this camp for about a week while attending a course designed to deepen our understanding of democracy. We then moved to Camp Shanks, New York, for a few days before boarding a ship that sailed to Le Havre, France. Arriving at the port city on April 7, we went by truck to Camp Bolbec [in Le Havre] for three weeks. At the end of the month, we reached the discharge center at Bad Aibling [Germany] in the American zone. A week later we traveled in a truck convoy to the discharge center at Munsterlager in the British zone. Here the British told us loud and clear that we were now under their control and would be sent to England to…show more content…
About this time, we were grouped according to our hometowns with respect to the occupation zones in which Germany had been divided. I was reassigned to another company in the camp with fellow POWs whose hometowns, like my own, were now in the Russian occupation zone. In preparation for leaving the camp, we were directed to wear our black uniforms with the familiar white letters “PW” painted on them. We were allowed to take all our belongings. Cigarettes were hoarded even by nonsmokers because these would later become valuable bargaining chips in Germany. All of us were elated to be going home, but at the same time apprehensive of what we would find when we got there. On March 16, we left Camp Cooke by rail and five days later arrived at Camp Shanks, New York. During the ride the guards constantly reassured us that we were going to be shipped directly to Germany. I don’t think that most of us believed the journey would be direct to the homeland. In any event, our travel cross-country was made more memorable by one of our guards who pointed out cities and areas of scenic beauty. For me, this was another sad reminder that we were parting from a great and beautiful
Open Document