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“...and yet he was a good man.”

Heroes Remember

“...and yet he was a good man.”

We had a, a German officer who was... he was a major and in the, in the, in the German army, and he was a doctor. And he came to the door where I lived, and he hammered on the door, and I opened the door and I saw this man in uniform. And I mumbled something to him in Dutch about calling the lady of the house, you know. He, he said something in German. I said something in Dutch. And I called her over, and when I called her over I took off into the woods. He spoke with her. He was looking for a, a place where he could house 40 soldiers, wounded soldiers, and look after them, eh, because they expected fighting in that area. She said, "This house is not suitable because the bunks are too small, it's a children's home." And she was pregnant at the time. He knew exactly what he had stumbled onto. He knew exactly what had happened. He knew that she was trying to get him to go away. He knew that I was something that he should be taking in. He didn't, he didn't know who I was, I just took off... but he didn't. He said to her, "I believe you, don't worry, I will never be back." She had 25 refugees in the house at that time who owe their lives to that man, and he was a German. Now, when you look at it that way, he was a person. He was a person, who was doing a job that he had to do, and yet he was a good man.

Mr. Pochailo describes his encounter with an honourable enemy doctor while in hiding.

Philip Pochailo

Philip Pochailo was born in Rainy River, Ontario, on November 19, 1920. After finishing his education, he worked several years in lumber camps, and finally enlisted in the RCAF in 1942. He went overseas in 1943. After advanced training as a bomb aimer in Great Britain, he was assigned to a British crew in No.1 Bomber Command in April 1944. His aircraft was shot down over the Netherlands and only he and the aircraft's pilot survived. Mr. Pochailo evaded capture and joined the Dutch Resistance Movement where he lived and worked for the next 12 months. He was liberated by Canadian troops in Rotterdam in 1945. Mr. Pochailo returned to Canada after the war and now resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Philip Pochailo
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
#1 Bomber Command
AC2 / Flying Officer
Bomb Aimer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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