I once found myself in a conversation with a much older lady at 4 AM one morning in a snowstorm. Her name was Bonnie. Delays caused us to sit together in a warm car. She was originally from northern Louisiana and was raised in a town that had a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.
Bonnie worked in the camp’s cafeteria for a year or so. She told me how fearful she was when she first started working there. Everyone in town had heard stories of how vicious the prisoners were.
But to her surprise she found the prisoners to be young, homesick boys much like the boys she grew up with. Over time the overheated stories faded and most of the town came to accept their “visitors” out there in the camp.
As the war came to its end many of the prisoners expressed a desire to stay in America. And it came to pass that many did. Some even settled right there in her town because of the good treatment they had received from the locals. Some returned to Germany but found their way back over the next few years. Some brought their wives and children. Others came back and married American women.
Bonnie married one of those who returned. They had two children before he died in the late 60’s in a car accident. Isn’t life strange?