(Ray Leopold, 1945)
From Ken Burns’ “The War”, American soldier Ray Leopold recalls this chilling conversation with a young Nazi solider captured during the Battle of the Bulge:
In the process of this battle we took about 18 or 19 German prisoners. A young man approximately 24 years of age turned to me, and in a voice completely accent-free, he said, “Where are you from?”
I said, “I’m from the United States.”
“Where… in the United States?”
“The Northeast,” I said.
I said, “I’m from Connecticut.”
“Where in Connecticut?” He was persisting.
I said “Yes, I’m from Waterbury, Connecticut.”
“Ah, yes,” he said, “Waterbury, at the junction of the Naugatuck and Mad Rivers.”
Now you have to know a bit about the area. The Naugatuck is a fairly substantial river, but the Mad River is a little stream that you can jump across without any trouble. Anyone who knew this… I was puzzled.
I said, “How did you possibly know that?”
He said, “I was in training for the administration.”
“The administration of what?” I said.
He said, “The administration of the territories.”
My blood ran cold. I couldn’t imagine that Hitler, in his wildest imagination, not only had figured he practically had Europe in his grasp, but he also figured that he would control America, too.