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Camps in Germany

Heroes Remember - The Second World War

They sent us up there to guard the camps, all the guards were gone and that, and they sent us up there. And we couldn't let em out eh, we couldn't, we had to keep the outfit locked cause we were waiting for the, the arrival of one of the medical field units to come up, the medical. They wouldn't let us go in there to, you know, do anything for ‘em and that. So just stay there until the medics come up and then we'll open the gates. But then medics went in and they sprayed them and everything else, Holy, and it was, how anybody could treat people like these people were treated, God. The kids and that they were so skinny and so oh what you see on the movies is right, on the TV, if anyone tells you there was no Holocaust, by jeez. So we were there only, you used to get relieved because they wouldn't let you stay there too long because I guess I don't know disease or whatever it was but the medics were in, they were, a whole wack of them come in there and fixed ‘em up because they were jeez they were lying down they couldn't even get up you know. I remember it and I don't want to remember it. It was, oh God, walking skeletons, and people lying all around the place and you didn't know if they were dead or alive and you know you could only see from out the barbed wire, there were no guards or anything there, they were all gone. Interviewer: But they must have been happy to see you versus...... Oh yes you see they come rushing see but we had to try and get them to stay back, stay back because same time there on barbed wire eh they were hurting themselves on the barbed wire and it was worse, you know. And they didn't have the strength to, oh it was a bad...

Mr. Colbourne talks about guarding a camp in Germany and how difficult it was to see how the people had been treated.

Gerald Colbourne

Mr. Colbourne was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, in 1924 but at the age of one his family moved to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, so his father could work in the mills. Mr. Colbourne enjoyed growing up in Corner Brook where he went to school and played hockey and basketball. When not in school he enjoyed fishing and hunting. In March 1944, he joined the Infantry branch of the Army and was sent overseas a short time later. He arrived in London for his first look at war and then moved on to join his regiment in Italy and worked from Italy through to Holland and Germany until the war ended.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gerald Colbourne
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Ontario Regiment
Tank Driver

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