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Monday, Dennis Wise — 2 Comments

  1. Nothing in war is clear cut and the true history about Hitler and the NSDAP will continue to divide many people. I commend Dennis Wise for his work, but at the same time there are things which I must mention here which have been overlooked…although perhaps not deliberately.
    I know a 51st Highland Division “Death March” veteran who is 95 years old (he is still mentally very sharp and walking too) and who suffered at the hands of the enemy (the Germans at the time) after being captured at the Battle of St Valery in June 1940. Those who survived the battle and then the 500 mile Death March to the various Stalag POW camps (in his case Stalag XXA & B) endured years of hard labour, near starvation and at times torture (hit by rifle butts) and even being killed by the camp guards for various reasons such as disobedience, rebellion and attempt at escape.

    My friend escaped twice and was lucky enough to survive many beatings and five years of near starvation; thanks to the Red Cross parcels they were able to get by.

    In 1945 when the Soviet advanced towards Berlin and the West was gathering pace, German camp guards began to fear for their own future as they had heard of the Red menace should they have also been captured and taken prisoner. As a result of the Soviet advance (in this case-Stalag XXB being located on the border between Poland and Germany) the occupied POW camps were evacuated and a second 500 mile “Death March” ensued back towards the West.
    During both grueling marches in extremes of cold and heat Guards shot POW’s who couldn’t go on, kicked buckets of water set out by maids to refresh the marching and exhausted POW’s, and starved the POW’s to death…so much so that they had to catch and eat dogs/cats and anything that had flesh to keep going.

    If anyone thinks War is just black and white then you’re naïve. It certainly is not! I don’t care who you are, most of you who comment on YT are not old, experienced or humble enough to really know, let alone study it.

    Now, the other side of the coin is that when captured after escaping Spr Johnstone was handed-in to the German Police; there he was treated like a King and revered…it was only when handed back to the camp guards that the hell began again.

    For an accurate account read “Escape Route Green: Flight from Stalag XXA” by Warren Tute and/or “St Valery: The Impossible Odds” by Bill Innes. (If you care enough about history and truth to find out).
    A final point is that Mr Churchill did not respect the hell these men went through so much so that they never received medals to honour their commitment to their country and even today, because St Valery is seen as a defeat the Death March is overlooked compared to Dunkirk or Normandy. The brave men of the 51st Highland Division were ordered to surrender at this battle, not by choice!!!
    My comment is not meant for readers to take sides, it is based on fact and a first hand account from veterans who were actually there, not what people ‘feel’ is right or on a hunch. By the way my grandmother was German and had to change her name to hide being seen as German after WWII.

    As Deanna has said: “the truth does not fear investigation”.

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