A blog from World War 2

January 24, 1944

I’ve returned from work and feel ill, very ill. At 20:00 it’s time for the obligatory shower, but I cannot even move so I stay put. Everyone goes into the dining hall after taking their showers and they eat the usual suppe, but I don’t touch it. My head is burning up, we go to the barracks to sleep. While I’m struggling to get undressed, a barrack guard comes in and touches my hair, he notices it is not wet and I haven’t taken a shower. He yells and orders me, like a true and tried German, to get dressed. I make him understand that I have a fever, but he couldn’t care less, he throws me out in the streets. It’s about 21:00 and it’s freezing outside. Nearby is a Gasthaus where I sometimes go to have a beer. I go there and see a Spanish man who recognizes me, I tell him what happened and ask him to ask the owner if I can take refuge there for the night, even on a chair. The owner says it is out of the question. I leave and head toward the train station. I was lucky because I caught the last train for Lager B.M.W. I get on the tram and go to the barracks where my friends from San Donato live. It’s pitch black out, they barely recognize me by my voice because it has changed… I can hardly speak. They let me sleep in a cot that belongs to a man who works the nightshift.

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