Out of Barbed Wire Into a Nazi Death March by Marie Kramer as told by Richard Shearer, Norman Peterson, & Marion Saar
Dick Shearer, raised on a farm near Stuart, Nebraska, is the youngest of the narrators in this book. He entered the Air Corps a year later than the others. Nevertheless, this World War II account of deprivation, misery, death, and heroism begins with his incredible story. Teh B-24 bomber on which he was the radio operator was shot down in October, 1944. After his capture, he was placed in a prison camp which was packed with about 6000 other half-starved prisoners. Dick’s girlfriend, Lily Shearer, waited in Nebraska.
C. Norman “Pete” Peterson up in rural Albion, Nebraska, but now lives in Broken Bow. He entered the Air Corps at age twenty. his B-17 was shot down in February, 1944. He, Akers, and Saar had been in the prison camp for ten grueling months before Dick arrived. Pete credits his “good set of farm legs and the Almighty” for his survival. Wayne Akers from Newton, Kansas, was the engineer on the same plane, and was Pete’s good friend. At that time , Wayne was the only one of the four who was married.
Marion Saar, a ranch boy from near Bassett, Nebraska, was a ball turret gunner on a B-17, and was shot down at about the same time as was Pete and Akers. The three became close friends, and when Dick appeared, they merged into a foursome. Because Saar was smaller than the others and possibly because he was a “bowlegged cowboy without a horse,” he had greater difficulty on the death-filled march that is described in this book.
About Marie & Contact Information:
In June of 2021, Marie Dobrovolny Krysl Kramer will be 98. her short term memory is faltering, but if a visitor asks her to think about “the old stories” from the Dust Bowl or World War II, one might think she has no memory lapses at all.
Marie had a surprise in early 2021 – her assisted living property in York was sold, and residents had to move. That turned out to be a fine nudge – she is moving to Blair, Nebraska where she and the family lived while she finished her degree at Dana College (1968).
Since both Marie and her daughter, Judy, are moving, addresses given now will change soon. To stay updated, check in on Judy’s Facebook page, or send a personal FB message: Judy Krysl.
Marie does not have copies of all her books to share any more. However, for those who wish to know the titles, here is a list:
Homestead Fever, Out of Barbed Wire, Aurora: A Wartime Love Story, Heinrich to Henry, Thirst for Justice, Grandchildren of the Pioneers I, Grandchildren of the Pioneers II
Marie thanks you for your interest in the books over the past thirty years. She wrote them to “save the stories that would be lost.” Having readers gave her rich satisfaction. (March, 2021)
Contact information updated April 2021:
Judy Krysl (daughter). 2038 E 8th Street. York, NE. 68467. firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: Judy Krysl