Countdown to VE-Day: the countdown continues

Seventy years ago, Eberhard Wendler wrote in his diary:

15 April 1945:  bought myself a book – Der Polarwind und die Obrigkeit (The Polar Wind and the Majesty)* from my work-party leader for 20 large cigarettes, and bought a brush from the camp shop for 3s 6d [about 17p.]  In the evening there was a raffle organised by the Red Cross, and I got a cigar.  Ordered a text-book for learning English.         [*by Norwegian writer Lars Hansen]

17 April 1945:  According to the camp newspaper, Werdau has been captured [his home town in Saxony, Germany].

Countdown to V-E Day : 70 years on

Eberhard Wendler’s diary records some of the events which broke up the monotony in the POW camp where he was held prisoner during the last weeks of WW2.

8 March 1945: visited the camp dentist in the morning and walked in the afternoon.

15 March 1945: at the dentist’s again (he extracted one of my teeth, left upper).  I bought myself the book, ‘English in a few days’ – both volumes – for four shillings.

16 March 1945: had my watch cleaned for one shilling and had my two pictures framed.  [Note: many of the POWs had skills which they could barter in this way].

18 March 1945: we received our second uniform.  I got just one coat, and exchanged a pair of socks.  Since 11 March I’ve been attending English classes, Saturdays and Mondays.

26 March 1945: a rainy day – we were all back in camp by 4.00 p.m.  I received two packets from home.

29 March 1945:  I bought myself a large mirror for “1.8 Schilling” [1s 8d – about 8p in decimal money] and two brushes for one shilling [5p].

30 March 1945:  (Good Friday).  We worked till evening.  On 31 March and 2 April there was no work – Easter.

Note from Robin:  the above are actual diary entries from 70 years ago, recording the events in one soldier’s life.  In Hitler’s Last Army you can read about the Big Picture, with events and decisions which affected tens of thousands of German prisoners in the UK!