Thursday, December 22, 2011

The German Series #19 - Henry lalane

Following yesterday's post, today a story from the other side. Henry Lalane came from the small village of Guinarthe-Parenties, halfway between Pau and Bayonne, in the south of France.
 After the German occupation of France in 1940, Lalane was made a forced labourer, a farmhand at the Maurer's farm in Berschweiler. Father Willi Maurer had died, so widow Maurer and her 5 and 6 year old sons could well do with the help. Lalane was treated as a member of the family, only having to return to the parish hall at night to sleep with fellow forced labourers. He was familiar with the work on the farm; feeding the animals, ploughing the fields, get firewood from the forest and harvesting the crops.  
March 1945 his long-term captivity ended and Henry returned home, to France. All the Maurer family had to remember him by was a photograpph, Basque beret on his head, cigarette hanging from his mouth and the two boys at his hands.
Until 2010...
Read the full story here (in German).

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