Mount Pleasant News

Mount Pleasant, IA

01 Jun 1945




Finds Change in German Greetings

By Frank Miles

In Bavaria (IDPA) -- "Gross Gott" said an old Bavarian with a friendly gesture to correspondents when we met him on a jaunt in the mountains. "God's Greetings" is a free interpretation of a cherished old salutation in this German province.

"It may be deplored that historic old structures and marks of culture have been destroyed by our bombs, but humanity may be thankful that that reverent greeting has replaced "Heil Hitler' which the Bavarians were decreed to say on meeting until our troops came," remarked Edward T. Folliard of the Washington Post, a World War I veteran.

Bavarians whom we questioned when not sure of our route seemed eager to help us.

"My people who stayed here had to do the fuerher's will or be tortured by the SS troopers and the gestapo but they are almost 100 per cent happy Hitler is through and the war is virtually over," a young Bavarian, who had to flee arrest four years ago and had just returned, told me.

Residents of occupied areas of course appear docile on the surface but most Americans among them remained under close cover at night and those, who have to move, were keenly on alert. Near Nurnberg the bullet ridden body of a sergeant was found by a roadside. A captain who had been with him in a jeep, was missing. From evidence pieced together and information from a friendly civilian, it was believed two Yanks had been halted by nazis in American MP uniforms, then fired upon with a burp gun.

Handling and care of displaced person present a problem for American military government. Some were bitter toward their former masters. A few said they were well treated. Feeding them was a real job.

That not all Germans obeyed nazi rationing regulations was revealed by the finding of immense hoards of food in various places.

Location of a huge munitions factory adjoining a maternity hospital on which there was a Red Cross was a form of nazi treachery American soldiers discovered.

My son, Lt. Frank Miles, Jr., a lead navigator-bombardier in the 8th air forces, based in England, wrote me recently he will ever be rocked with wonder. Flying over a German town he saw a Red Cross on the roof of a building. Of course, neither he nor any other American would bomb a hospital. The next day he read in English newspapers that Adolph Hitler and 27 of his henchman had held a conference in that town the day before. From other sources he learned that there was no hospital in the town.

Goebbels used to refer to nazi soldiers as super-troopers, the thousands being taken prisoner look like super-drooppers. The rule of Americans fraternizing with Germans is well obeyed. Violators are guilty of fraternizing, according to the The Stars and Stripes.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, June 1, 1945

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