Flying in a B-24 Liberator through the skies of Germany in September 1944, Hyman Fine had family on his mind. It was his first wedding anniversary, and his first child, a son, had been born the previous month.
A flight navigator and a second lieutenant, Mr. Fine was on his 23d mission. He was flying whenever possible, even when he felt sick, so he could complete enough missions to be sent home, but on that day his plane was shot down. Bailing out with the rest of the crew, he spent the rest of World War II as a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 1, in a town along the Baltic Sea.
As the harsh winter spilled into 1945, conditions deteriorated and rumors spread that the German Army planned to kill all the POWs. Food servings became smaller and little coal was distributed for heat. “Things were pretty rough for a spell here, that is as far as food was concerned,” Mr. Fine wrote in a diary. “From Mar. 7 to the 26, we ate practically nothing.”
His weight dropped from 170 to 115 before Soviet troops liberated the POW camp in May 1945. The German Army “starved us, absolutely starved us,” he told Hal LaCroix for “Journey Out of Darkness,” a 2007 book. “We were so weak we could barely talk to each other.”
(Read the full story by following the link below)