A Wartime Prison Camp Log

“This is my story of survival and perserverance as a POW in Stalag VII-A in Moosberg, Germany. It is taken directly from the wartime log that I kept during those trying times.”

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Robert C. Jackson

Fourth Edition

Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of our liberation from Stalag VII-A on April 29, 1945

Bob Jackson was born and raised on a farm in central New York during the depression. He attended a one-room country elementary school until the age of twelve, when his father passed away and the family moved to Ithaca.

Approximately three years later his mother remarried and the family moved to Morrisville.

There, Bob met Irene, his high school sweetheart. In 1943, he graduated from high school. Shortly after, his mother passed away. Months later, Bob enlisted, joining fellow GIs to fight World War II. The bright moment that year was his engagement to Irene before shipping overseas and joining the 34th Division.

Bob Jackson

Excerpts

Page 135
April 30, 1945
This is the day after we were liberated. It was the first time we had french fries since being captured!

Page 136
May 1, 1945
Although the day was rainy and snowy, we remember it as a bright and beautiful day because General George Patton drove into our camp in a jeep that day!

General Patton

Credit to the Moosburg archives.

Acknowledgements
& Testimonials

Many of us have read through the various editions countless times, so we were surprised to find how many errors our editor, Audry Camacho, picked up in this fourth edition. She made important changes while keeping the tone of the notes from my original log.

My special thanks to those who read the previous drafts and editions of the Log and encouraged me with their responses. Their comments are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Excerpts from some of these comments appear in the Acknowledgements and the back cover of the book. Click on a name to see the comments in their entirety.

“I couldn’t put down Bob Jackson’s story of his World War II battles, injuries, capture and imprisonment. His difficult journey, and his love for family and the girl back home, kept me involved non-stop from beginning to end.”

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQS
Actually, it was very useful. It had roads, rivers and villages in great detail. You would want to use secondary roads and pathways to avoid capture.
As a result of a question my nine-year-old granddaughter, Nicole, asked me in 1998.
While in the service I had a habit of writing letters or notes whenever we had a break. I kept a secret daily record or “Log” of our experiences and used this for an accurate reference as I wrote this story.
No! German rations generally were limited to some very poor military black bread, watery soup, and 2 or 3 small potatoes, and ersatz coffee, per day, if we were lucky. This critical problem was obviously a major concern for our existence.
No, I had only one letter – just 16 days before we were liberated. After we were liberated I received only 5 letters that Irene had written three months earlier. She had written to me every day.
We were supposed to get one food parcel per man per week, but that never happened. The contents of the various Red Cross parcels from different countries and how we split up a parcel between several hungry POWs is detailed in this Log. I honestly do not believe I would have survived without the Red Cross parcels.
Generally the weather was similar to what I experienced in central New York, except the winter of 1944-45 set record low temperatures in Germany.
Terrible! They varied some from one compound to another; but were poorly constructed. These unheated, un-insulated, one-story buildings housed over twice the number of POWs for which they were built.
If you can call them “beds.” We called them stacks. They were wooden and wire-framed units holding twelve bug-infested POWs. More graphic descriptions are in the Log.
I have to grit my teeth and hold my tongue when asked this type of question. I believe I had three showers while a prisoner. We had one slow-flowing water faucet for 240 men. The Aborts (outside latrine) cannot be described politely here – my book does a better job.

A true story

A Wartime Prison Camp Log