View Full Version : A G.I. with a bad conscience...

10-18-2010, 11:25 AM
Just because Christmas is slowly approaching...

In September of 1944 23-year-old G.I. Carl Montgomery from Pennsylvania entered German soil in the course of the allied advance. During the battles in the Hurtgenforest Montgomery, as part of the 28th US Infantry Division, was quartered in the home of the Pauls family in a small village in the Eifel mountains called Höfen.
In the mentioned house Montgomery spotted five family bibles, all manufactured between 1784 and 1880, he thought them to be adequate spoils of war and sent them home to Pennsylvania before he and his unit moved on.
Until 2010 however the presence of the elaborately designed bibles in his house gnawed at Carl Montgomery's conscience. Eventually he made contact to his fellow veteran Dr. Merle Hill who still had connections to his former "host families" in the particular region of Germany and after some exchange of letters the bibles were returned to their original owners after app. 66 years. The honest ex-G.I. even paid about 50 US-$ for postage and packing.
These occurences probably saved the bibles since the house of the Pauls was completely destroyed by a fire in 1960.

The family bibles after being returned to Germany
photo: P. Stollenwerk/an-online