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"Dec. 24. No food or water. Locked in all day. Sang carols and prayed." (Diary)

   Richard A. Hartman
Collection image
Richard Hartman at time of interview [1998]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 590th Field Artillery Battalion, 106th Infantry Division
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Staff Sergeant
POW: Yes
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Four days into the Battle of the Bulge, in December 1944, Richard Hartman and his unit were forced to surrender to the Germans. He spent a miserable Christmas Eve confined to a crowded boxcar on his way to a stalag. He and his fellow prisoners would cheer when they saw familiar planes overhead or heard a report on the camp's concealed short-wave radio of an Allied advance. They also dealt out swift punishment to anyone who committed the great sin of stealing. Nearly five months after being taken prisoner, Hartman was liberated, wearing exactly the same clothes he was wearing on the day of his capture.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) (68 min.)
»Photo Album  (1 photo)
»POW diary, "From States to Europe, 1944-1945."
 Official Documents
»POW record
 Personal Correspondence
»View List (12 items)
 Other Materials
»View List (4 items)
More like this
»POWs in Germany
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
POW conditions; no beatings but miserable. (04:29) A prime spot in the prisoners' tent. (02:11) Getting news of the outside; the approaching Allied advance. (02:32)
Concern over what his loved ones knew about him. (04:22) Emotions of his liberation still with him. (01:04) 
 Personal Correspondence (12 items)
V-Mail to his mother [November 11, 1944] V-mail to his mother [December 4, 1944] To his mother [November 30, 1944]
To his mother [December 7, 1944] To his mother [December 9, 1944] To his mother [December 11, 1944]
To his mother [December 13, 1944] From German POW camp From Adjutant general to Mrs. Nellie
Envelope addressed to him Letter to his mother from a German POW V-mail to his mother [November 23, 1944]
 Other Materials (4 items)
Note accompanying correspondence. Western Union telegram from the adjutant Telegram to Mrs. Nellie Hartman informing her that her son is a prisoner of war [April 23, 1945]
Maps. "Overlays made of Ardennes & 590th FA BN positions in December 1944."  

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  October 26, 2011
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