18 November, 2017

Floeter, Ernst

Service: ArmyUnit: Wehrmacht

Ernst was born in 1925 in Berlin Germany. In the early 1930s he watched many American cowboy movies. These instilled in him a strong desire to one day travel to America. I have known Ernst for about two years and he is a joy to talk to about everything, even something as horrible as World War ll. Ernst told me (Larry Martin) that in 1942 he was told that all men born in 1925 were going to be put in the SS. He did not want to go into the SS and eventually found a way out of it. Ernst later went into the Wehrmacht. In 1943 he ended up in Normandy on the 6th of June, 1944 (D-Day). He tells what it was like to look up and see many planes that he thought were bombers that would fly over their positions to go to Germany, but instead, to his great surprise they were C-47s full of Paratroopers from the 101st and 82nd Airborne. Even though the Germans knew there would be an Allied attack somewhere, Ernst did not think it would be the night of June 6th because the weather was so bad. It is fascinating to hear what D-Day was like from German point of view. Ernst was wounded three times before he was captured. After his capture he was sent to America which he really enjoyed. He told me of the older Germans who threatened to kill him because they had fought in North Africa and they did not feel that he, as well as some of the younger German men, were good enough to be Nazi troops.

Later, he picked cotton, vegetables, and other crops in the American west that he had wanted to see since the 1930s. Ernst was sent back to the Russian part of Germany in 1946 and it took him until 1953 to go to the American section of Germany. Then, in 1957 a church in East Lansing Michigan sponsored him and his wife to come to America where they settled and lived happily until her death. Ernst speaks of what it is like to live here with all of the freedom and blessings we experience here in America.

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