6-Sentence Remembrance Day
|Photo used under Creative Commons from dougbelshaw|
In honour of the day and the men and women who have served or suffered in war, my six sentences today are from another work in progress. Tentatively called Walking from the Soviet Union, it's the story of my father-in-law, Maurice, who was drafted into the Soviet Red Army just before Nazi Germany attacked in June 1941. A lieutenant, he commanded 12 men in an anti-tank unit. He was captured near Kharkiv, Ukraine in September, along with thousands of other troops.
This excerpt deals with his imprisonment in the POW camp called Coal Mountain.
Maurice dropped his sledgehammer and joined the lineup for supper. The sun was already down and the air was chill, but no one had enough energy to complain. They shuffled to a Luftwaffe private ladling soup from a barrel into small metal bowls. No bread, just what the Germans called soup for the prisoners on the eastern front: fish heads floating in water. The Nazis gave the British and French prisoners on the western front twice the amount of calories daily, compared to the starvation rations for the untermenschen, the sub-human Slavs.