Former World War II POW Tells His Story Of Torture And Survival - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/26/02

Former World War II POW Tells His Story Of Torture And Survival

A survivor of Adolf Hitler's concentration camps says the leader brainwashed his people by bombarding them with racist propaganda. Hitler's genocide killed 11 million people before and during World War II. Six million were Jewish, and five million were not.

French soldier Claude Letulle survived the death camps. Letulle spent 1, 379 days in four different Nazi concentration camps. It was 1, 379 days surrounded by death, misery, and hunger.

"I was so hungry, some prisoners killed a little doggy and I eat myself the whole meat," said Letulle.

Captured by the Germans in 1940, Letulle and 75 others spent a week traveling inside a cattle wagon that could hold 40 at most. He says the Nazi torture was endless.

Letulle said "One of them put his dirty finger inside my mouth and I spit on his face. A soldier beat me with his riffle and they put me in a cell for 17 days with only a little cup of soup a day."

Stories six decades old brought fresh tears to many eyes. The stories included how a German soldier had held a gun to Letulle's forehead. Then for a few agonizing seconds, he waited to die.

"I opened my eyes," said Letulle. "I looked at him and he said, 'You are okay. Not today. You know why? Because this morning I have a brand new uniform and I do not want to have a blood stain on it.'"

The atrocities Letulle witnessed during World War Two are something he'll never forget or forgive. After he was released from the Germans, Claude Letulle joined the French Resistance to fight the Nazis. In the late sixties he came to the United States. He now lives in Louisiana and has written two books about his experience as a prisoner of war.

by Danielle Thomas

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