Times of war and conflict can reduce humanity and opportunities for genuine joy to nothing more than distant memories.
However, a reddit post by Imgur user AccidentllyUpvotes demonstrates that kindness can be found in even the darkest of places.
Like for example, a prisoner of war (POW) camp. For Nazis.
AccidentallyUpvotes uploaded images of a book that was sent to their grandfather-in-law by one of the POWs. You see, he had been a Jewish-American officer who oversaw Nazi POWs during the Second World War in France.
The illustrations depict everyday life for prisoners in the camp; there are images of POW’s eating, socialising, and working.
German POWs were also obligated to be part of a ‘re-education’ program, part of which included watching a film about concentration camps, forcing them to confront the atrocities of the Third Reich – atrocities they helped to commit.
The post wrote:
My grandfather-in-law was a Jewish-American Officer who oversaw a German prisoner of war (POW) camp in WW2 France. ‘Pop’ treated everyone with respect and was quite popular as a result. Years after the war he received this illustrated book from one of his prisoners in the mail.
I found it rummaging through my in-law's basement this past weekend and wanted to share what I perceived to be a good primary source of history.
In light of the ‘on all sides’ rhetoric I found this to be a poignant reminder of how people on opposing sides…could come together.
I never had a chance to meet Pop, but from what I'm told he was a gentleman and a scholar who was even more popular with the ladies than he was with the Nazis.
I didn't know this, but apparently they made the German POWs watch film taken from the liberation of concentration camps. I could only imagine the deep shame some of them must have felt to realize that they were on the wrong side of history.
Here's the book, titled: 'POW’S LIFE', by Obergefreter K Roedelbach
You can use the arrows to view all the images.