Monday, May 9, 2011

The POW Diary of John Teune: Staying in the Romanian Village: The Germans are Near

The Teune brothers, all in their Army Air Corps uniforms. John is second from right.

August 25, 1944

Awoke this morning when the people occuyping these rooms came in to listen to the radio; we evidently were sleeping in their living room. Right here there do not seem to be any distinct homes -- just one home built on another, small and old. The man with whom we are living with has something to do with the church. He has two small children. In one corner of the room there is a structure which resembles an altar: that may be, but it is a stove also. There are several pictures of Jesus on the walls, also a picture of his Lieutenant brother and four of his medals. The furniture is old and the bed small for two. There is an electric light but a kerosene lamp is used because of no blackout curtains. Rugs are hung on the wall. These people did not know of our coming and did not know what our purpose was. They are very friendly and hospitable. There seems to be no sewage system. We wash in a pan and throw the waste in the wide dead end walk. After washing and hanging out our web clothes we walked into the main street and entered a small crude restaurant and had eggs.

We then took a walk with the others of our small party -- Foster, Britt, and Smith, who roomed with me. The mud street is covered with dung and one-third of the people walk bare-footed. The buildings, though clean and neat both in and out, are small and old. Everything is backward except the American cars that pass. We seemed to be looked upon with admiration and the people are very friendly -- we are their friends now. We can see the hills aorund us and especially to the north; also a huge new modern sanitarium. We had quite a walk and even met three Germans in a staff car who gave us nothing but a hard look. We ended up on another restaurant and had a fine chicken dinner.

We heard many rumors of Sukas (dive bombers) bombing and artillery shelling Bucharest and Ploesti. We were told by the Captain to remain off the street as much as possible because the Jerry (Germans) might pull thru this noon. I wrote some, had a shoe shine and purchased some fruit which is plentiful. Many of the boys were out wolfing and the girls appear well-dressed. We then heard the news that Romania declared war on Germany. We walk about some more and came across an ancient dilapidated bowling alley. We saw a few refugees pull through. At 7 p.m. we were eating a piece of liver when we were told to clear the streets at 8 p.m. -- fighting was going on 20 miles away. We returned to our room and I rolled up my pack and prepared to leave at any moment.

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