Attention: Senator Durbin


How the Nazis treated prisoners:

Jones Bolt had just destroyed a bridge in June 1944 when his engine quit over southern France.

He bailed out of his plane and opened his parachute just in time to hit the ground — right next to a German command post.

'Germans were all over me. I was scared to death. I'm a 23—year—old kid,' said Bolt, who was among hundreds of veterans honored at Sunday's Carolina Celebration of Liberty, at First Baptist Church in Columbia.....

Bolt was soon moved to a POW camp where conditions were bad but not intolerable, he said. But just a few months later, during one of the worst winters in Germany, he and 10,000 other prisoners of war were marched out of the camp. They spent two to three weeks traveling by foot and boxcar 140 miles to another camp near Munich.

'A lot of guys died' on the march, Bolt said.

Bolt spent the next few months at Stalag 7A, a camp built for 14,000 prisoners. When it was liberated in April 1945 by Gen. George Patton, 130,000 prisoners were there, Bolt said.

Bolt has a vivid memory of the liberation. Emaciated, he was lying on the ground, where he slept while imprisoned. It was the second day of the liberation, and Patton walked past him.

'He asked me, he said, 'Son, can't you get up?'' Bolt said. He assured him that he could, and he said Patton then turned to a comrade and told him to kill the captors 'for what they've done to these men.'

'Tears were running down his cheeks,' Bolt said.

Bolt, who eventually attained the rank of major general, stayed in the military for 31 years, retiring in 1973. He served in Korea and spent two years flying missions in Vietnam.

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