History 09/01/20 “the Last soldiers of Hitler:” who is actually the so-called

most Often, Georg Gartner called in the press “the last soldier of Hitler”. That was the name of the book, which Gartner wrote in collaboration with an American historian. George escaped from pow camp in 1945 and over the next 40 years hiding from the FBI. To locate the fugitive and failed. But in 1985, he showed up himself. It turned out that all this time Gartner has lived and worked in the United States.

Escape and life under a different name

Born in Świdnica (now territory of Poland) Georg Gartner was enrolled in the ranks of the Wehrmacht in 1940. After 3 years, when Gartner was in Tunisia as part of the German Africa corps, he was captured and taken to a pow camp, which was located in the American city of Deming. However, George did not stay there long. When the Second world war ended, the native Germans of lower Silesia were in the Soviet zone of occupation. In this context, Gartner return the Swidnica not too wanted. At the end of September 1945, according to Allen Cronenberg, the author of “Forth to the Mighty Conflict: Alabama and World War II”, Georg gärtner escaped from the camp.

Since then, the Gartner disappeared from the face of the earth for 40 years. Some ex-Wehrmacht soldiers, trying to confuse the trail, traveled down the West coast of the United States. Earn anything: chopping wood, washing dishes. When George was able to be sufficiently fluent in the English language, he composed a new biography, fraudulently obtained social security card in the name of Dennis wiles. This fact is mentioned in his book “Georgia POW Camps in World War II” Kathryn Roe Coker and Jason Wetzel. Subsequently, Gartner started a family and became quite a good American.

the Search for and revelation of the personality

Meanwhile, employees of the Federal Bureau of investigation with lost their legs, searching for a runaway prisoner of war. By the spring of 1947, as he argued Georg Gartner on the pages of his autobiographical book called “Hitler’s Last Soldier in America” (“the Last soldiers of Hitler in America”), written in collaboration with historian Arnold Kramera, posters with his photograph appeared in almost all post offices of the United States.

Gartner knew about it, so I try to remain inconspicuous. However, once pictures of Dennis wiles has appeared in the pages of Life magazine. The fact that in 1952 wiles, being an excellent skier, had participated in the rescue of passengers of a train stranded in a Blizzard in the Sierra Nevada. However, neither one even flashed the thought that the wiles and Gartner is one and the same person.

the very same Georg Gartner to reveal their identity was not collected. However, according to Allan Kent Powell, in his book, “Splinters of a Nation: German Prisoners of War in Utah”, in 1982, when Gartner was already retired and lived with his family in Hawaii, the wife has suddenly made him a huge scandal. Woman frightened by the fact that Dennis never told her about his past. Under pain of the divorce, George told his wife the truth. Later he got in touch with the above-mentioned historian Arnold Crameram. So the story of a soldier of the Wehrmacht became public.

the fate of “soldier of Hitler”

But what to do with Georg Gartner further, no one imagined: to present “the last soldier of Hitler” was nothing. The fact that, as they wrote in the journal “Soldiers” in January 1985, Gartner was not illegal, as they came to the United States is not on their own. In addition, he escaped from the camp after the end of world war II, so the question of his status as a prisoner of war remained open. Yes and no charges to escape Georg Gartner to present was not in time. As a citizen of the United States albeit under a false name, he never violated the laws of this country. The FBI also claims to Gartner had not.

So George Gartner remained at large. Moreover, he proposed to legalize under his real name. The German agreed. However, due to various bureaucratic delays the naturalization process was delayed until 2009. But after that, Gartner had the opportunity to finally visit the homeland. It is noteworthy that while George was in Germany, his wife, by which the truth was revealed, still filed for divorce. Since then, Gartner has lived alone in his home in Colorado. He died only 4 years after became an American citizen. “The last soldier of Hitler” was already over 90.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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