Segment 14


Baum recalls the POWs at Hammelburg and the concentration camps victims they encountered. They brought their replacements through Ohrdruf [Annotator's Note: part of Buchenwald concentration camp], a camp they had liberated, to show them what type of an enemy they were fighting. He says it gave them more of a will to fight. Hammelburg was the first POW camp that he encountered. The men taken prisoner at the Bulge were still clean when they got to Hammelburg. The men from Oflag 64 [Annotator's Note: German POW camp for officers near Szubin, Poland] had been prisoners for nearly 5 years. Some of these officers in the camp tried to implement rules for the POWs to bolster their self respect. The Oflag guys were really regimented, very close, married to one another. They've had a convention every year since the war, with 200 or 300 attendees. They asked Baum to speak once and he's gone most years afterwards. Baum spoke with Waters about the raid when they were in the hospital together. They talked about the raid and how he got hurt. Waters asked if they were there because of him; Baum did not have the heart to tell him that it was the truth. Baum did not resent Waters at all, they became good friends. Patton would never tell Waters if he knew that he had been in Hammelburg. He became friends with Waters' sons. Pat Water also became involved with Oflag 64. Pat was a warm, nice person who was in the Navy. He was a maverick. Baum was impressed by the men that he liberated from Hammelburg that were still willing to fight. They were still eager, but many were inexperienced in terms of combat. Lyle Bouck [Annotators Note: 99th Infantry Regiment Intelligence & Reconnaisance Platoon, also interviewed by the NWIIM] is mentioned as is Bob Thompson and the diamond story [Annotator's Note: Thompson buried a box of diamonds he found in Hammelburg and recovered them after the war].


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