7 wrz 2015

Sidney Thal’s Story – The Announcement

In December 2011, when I sent former Oflag 64 POW Sidney Thal my letter with more than 40 detailed questions mostly regarding his activities in The Little Theater, I did not expect to receive a handwritten, multi-page letter back containing many asides which told the story of his capture, escape attempt and various memories of his life in the prison camp. Sidney, then at the age of 93, wrote: “This is the most I have ever written about my life as a POW. I’m going to make a copy. Thank You!”, so I thought that his story was worth seeing the light of day somehow. When I started my blog, I contacted him again via his daughter, Cheryl, and asked for permission to use it. The permission was granted, so the next few entries will be previously unpublished memories written by Sidney Thal himself. I have only extracted it from his letter, leaving the replies related to The Little Theater for later.

Sidney Thal, June 11th, 2013

I also think that there is nothing better than introducing it with the crowning quote of Sidney Thal’s letter from 2012: “My life as a POW, I believe, has strength of its own which has helped me every day of my life. Some say that your experiences fashion the life you lead. I believe that is true of my life. I was strengthened immeasurably by my experiences and rarely a day passes that some thought of Szubin and 64 enters my mind. How lucky, I should say that I feel to have such a valuable experience. I’m sure it has somehow shaped and even enhanced my viewpoint. However, I don’t recommend it for anyone. I am the sole survivor of a large family. (…).“
…and the latest (updated) sentence: “I am now 96 years old and the last of the original group, looking forward to reaching 100!”

Btw, Sidney isn't the last one of the original group. According to my knowledge, except of Wilbur Sharpe (93 years old), Donald Waful at age of 98 still lives in Syracuse - both were in the original group.

© Mariusz Winiecki

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