Guy I knew came up in the occupied territories of Poland back in the day. Occupied by German settlers for hundreds of years.
Towards the end of the WW 2 the Red Army put the run to any German settlers still holding the fort in those occupied territories.
It was an ugly business.
Buddy was one of those German settlers.
Buddy told me that as a child of no more than twelve, he served as a spotter for a Wehrmacht sniper on a train leaving for the coast. A train full of fleeing German settlers heading for the shore and a maritime evacuation. A train that had to make its way through areas already in the hands of the Red Army.
In those dying days of the most deadly of wars, many more people had to die before that which had been obvious for at least the past couple of years played out to its brutal end.
The Russian front broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
At an incredible cost.
That's one reason it's so obscenely off-side when poseurs on the world stage talk about today's Russia being just like Nazi Germany.
Buddy survived his brief career as the sniper's apprentice. He survived die flucht. He survived those five or six years camping in Denmark. He survived as the DP wandering man in Germany and eventually found his way to Canada.
After that, everything was child's play...