The diary of John P. Sandford

31 January - 11 February 1945

JAN. 31. to Tempelburg [Czaplinek]: 14 km 8.4 miles 92.4 total miles  

March by large lake and up long steep hill ... see many German vehicles being towed - group split in two - sleep in eaves of barn - some cheese for cigar - milesk - thaw.

FEB. 1. to Heinrichsdorf [Siemczyno]: 6 km 3.6 miles 96 total miles  

Last attempt with sleds - most break down loads - a few hardies pull on - sleep in barn with reaper for ramp .. slippery hill ... long haul for water and wood - rain late afternoon - potato peeling detail finds jars of food - potato and soup issue with many slipping and falling - bread stolen from goon truck.

FEB, 2. to Zuelshagen [Suliszewo]: 17 km 10.2 miles 106.2 total miles  

A few sick left behind but all urged to make the march if possible since CO of district is Nazi. Billeted in attic of small church - floor covered with school charts ... maps of Germany - two small charts of a MG defensive position. Cart straw for bedding.

FEB, 3. layover:

Town full of SS troops who accuse O's of stealing - situation momentarily tense roadblock of logs built during night - Germans live off the land - butcher hogs - soup issue - rain.

FEB, 4. to Gienow [Ginawa]: 17 km 10.2 miles  116.4 total miles  

March via Dramburg [Drawsko] ... Janikow [Janikowo] - quartering party sent ahead - small village barns in quadrangle - herd of registered cows - sleep in loft - Henkenhagen [?].

FEB, 5. to Zeitlitz [Siedlice]: 21 km  12.6 miles 129 total miles  

Via Wangerin [Wegorzyno] ... Ruhnow [Runowo] (R.R. & Troop Train). Barn and cluster of buildings. 180 leave by boxcar. 550 O's left in group.

FEB, 6. to Regenwalde [Resko]: 22 km 13.2 miles 142 total miles  

Marine barracks - 1/6 loaf of bread - soup and oatmeal.

FEB, 7. to Lebbin [Lubinek]: 20 km 12 miles 154.2 total miles  

Via Plathe [Ploty] - crowded barn - no aisle - issue of spuds - 1/8 loaf bread

FEB, 8. to Stuchow [Stuchowo]: 20 km 12 miles 166.2 total miles  

Via Greifenberg [Gryfice] - Russian, English, Canadian POWs herded along road at fast pace -guards beating them with rifle butts - forlorn sight. Stay at large estate & farm "Castle House" Russian Arbeiter in dirty cramped quarters give cottage cheese with sugar, boiled potatoes, bread. Young woman sobs while we eat - show snapshots assure them the war will soon be over - they refuse to accept cigarettes. German issue of soup.

FEB, 9. to Stresow [Strzezewo] (Outskirts): 14 km 8.4 miles 174.6 total miles  

Via Justin [Gostyn] - French POWs pass on road. Sleep in barn - shifting hay - Bill (Warthen) has G.I's. Issue spuds and gravy.

FEB, 10. to Dievenow [Dziwnow]: 17 km 10.2 miles 184.8 total miles  

Via Fritzow [Wrzosowo] - scenic "tourist" country - neat, trim cottages named - town chock full of children of the Goering Home for Children - stay in barracks at airport for seaplanes on island - air school with many singing marching youths in attendance.

FEB, 11. to Neuendorf [Wiselka]: 15 km 9 miles 193.8 total miles  

Via Leimbrink [Granik] (Resort town) - cottages with trim blue shutters - neatly stacked conical wood piles - farm on miniature lake - sleep in loft with no "aisle" space.


(Map by Ulrich Koch, Berlin - Germany)

2002 Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2021-07-10