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Getting Closer to being Liberated

Heroes Remember

Getting Closer to being Liberated

Interviewer: And a term that I’ve heard is the death march, is this what this was called? Yeah, that’s what it was, and you know I just made it to Lübeck, that’s where we ended up at the prisoner of war camp on the Baltic. Just made it. I got dysentery and lousy and dirty, and I figured them Germans were going to do away with us.They told us they were going to take you in and clean you up and we didn’t believe it. I thought as soon as I heard this steam running in this big building, a great big building. Went in there to get all our clothes thrown off and a steam bath and cleaned up and gave us clothes that the Red Cross had piled in there just like a new person. And then, well two mornings after, I woke up and there were no guards, nobody around and I thought oh boy maybe they’ll come back and shoot us. I was trying to crawl under a building. I had no friends, nobody. At this time, I didn’t know anybody, just traveling along. All of the sudden there’s a crash and a big British tank broke into our place, compound, and he had loaves of bread he was throwing just like candies. Just tasted good to us, we were starving.

On the death march, Mr. Couture tells of his thoughts of being free as he witnessed the conditions improving for him and his fellow prisoners.

George Couture

Mr. George Couture was born in Pennsylvania, United States on November 5, 1924. At three years of age his widowed mother moved the family of five children to Selkirk, Manitoba at a time when Canada was experiencing the Great Depression. Signing up to serve his country, Mr. Couture tried two times and on his third attempt joined the infantry with the Winnipeg Rifles. He traveled overseas on Isle de France and through coincidence this was the same ship he returned home on after the war. Mr. Couture volunteered for service which resulted in him being part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, then on June 8th was captured as POW. Spending time in the prisoner of war camps and suffering the life of starvation and disease, Mr. Couture survived and was liberated on April 23, 1945. Returning home to Winnipeg, Mr. Couture continued to serve in the military and volunteered for the Korean War. After thirty years military service he retired from the Canadian military. He now resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 4, 2019
Person Interviewed:
George Couture
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Winnipeg Rifles
Prisoner of war

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