69.1 F
Fort Worth
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Government Foe, now friend: Germans find place at D-Day sites in France

Foe, now friend: Germans find place at D-Day sites in France

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — A vicious foe is now a trusted friend. The epitome of evil is now a cornerstone of postwar Europe. On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Germans are now welcomed instead of shunned and despised like the Nazis who came before them.

Now, a soldier wearing the German flag on his shoulder can stroll under a star-spangled flag at the Normandy American Cemetery, symbolizing the mending that’s occurred since allied nations fought their way onto French beaches held by Adolf Hitler’s forces on June 6, 1944.

“This is the most important thing, for which we are forever grateful: That we can be here wearing our German uniforms and that we meet friendly people,” said Daniel Pommer, a member of a German mechanized infantry battalion that visited the U.S. military cemetery and memorial two days before the anniversary.

Standing amid 9,388 pristine white crosses, most of them for Americans killed during the D-Day landings and the fighting that followed, Pommer said the fallen buried at Normandy American Cemetery “freed Europe, and that includes Germany.”

U.S. Army veteran Pete Shaw, 94, who served with the 283rd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II, bore witness under the same American flag half an hour earlier, teary eyed as he thought of friends he lost fighting ferociously against the Germans during the Normandy offensive.

Asked whether he hated German troops during the war, Shaw answered “Oh, yes! Oh yes!”

More than 10 months after D-Day, Shaw’s Army division participated in liberating Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp outside Munich where tens of thousands of prisoners died.

His eyes widen as he describes pits and carts “full of bodies – Jews, Germans, prisoners of war or anybody that didn’t agree with Hitler.”

“How could one man do that,” Shaw said of Hitler. As for the German troops he hated, the veteran now says “half of them they didn’t know what was going on.”

The occupying forces in France were referred to as “les Boches” (the Germans) for long after the war. In recent years, there has been an effort to make a distinction between the Nazis and their supporters, and other Germans.

In the same way, Germany now is considered the cornerstone of a stable continent and together with France, the driving force of the European Union.

“We can be glad that at the end of this terrible World War II that was started by Germany, we have an order that produced the European Union, that secures our peace, that secures our stability,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week.

Latest News

US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

By ERIC TUCKER and FRANK BAJAK Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of...

Nonprofits invited to apply for $1.3 million in funding

From the City of Fort Worth: Social service agencies are invited to submit program...

Renderings released for Stop Six’s Cowan Place

Fort Worth Housing Solutions and development partner McCormack Baron Salazar have finalized architectural renderings for Cowan Place, the mixed-income, senior living community...

5 takeaways from the government’s lawsuit against Google

By The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's lawsuit against Google alleging antitrust violations marks the government's most significant attempt...

McConnell warns White House against COVID relief deal

lBy ANDREW TAYLOR Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Washington negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief bill took a modest step forward on Tuesday,...