Hank Lunn shares his experience with German P.O.W.'s

By Rebekah Schade | Jun 11, 2018
Photo by: Rebekah Schade Hank Lunn closing with the poem "The Man He Killed," written by Thomas Hardy.

Lincolnville — Hank Lunn shared his story of having German prisoners of war work on his family’s potato farm on Wednesday, June 6, at the Lincolnville Public Library.

Lunn grew up on a farm in Littleton, and was 13 years old in the year 1945. Now, at age 86, Lunn is a retired school counselor and is married with children. Most of his stories are about his time on his family’s farm, surrounded his two older brothers, and one younger sister.

Lunn explained that German prisoners of war were sent over from England in 1945 to POW camps scattered around America. There were three in Maine, and one of those was in Houlton, near Littleton. This particular POW camp held 2,000 of the 425,000 German prisoners in the U.S. at this time.

Lunn’s family received eight men, because he explained their farm was not very big and you received men based on need.

Lunn’s stories of this time in his life were full of heartache, and the belief that these POWs were just boys, and not the depictions of German soldiers they had been taught. Lunn disclaimed that he was trying to glorify anyone or any situation, but rather just share his personal experience with what America led him to believe, and how he found that to be false.

The men who worked on Lunn’s farm ate dinner with his family on their porch every night, dinner that his mother cooked them. They showed them compassion and care, and the men showed nothing but gratitude and kindness back.

Lunn not only shared information about the way they acted on their farm, but just how they acted in general. They loved horses, they loved to play music and write plays, and they loved to sing. Lunn claims their favorite song to sing while they all marched along together was “Don’t Fence Me In," by Gene Autry.

They made 18 cents per day working. They were required to pick 25 barrels of potatoes a day; Lunn claimed picking 60 barrels a day was the average for a child. Lunn told an anecdote about how his father convinced the men to work more, which included Lucky Strikes cigarettes, which the men loved because that is what they had in Europe.

Overall, Lunn’s stories were filled with affection and he really seemed to enjoy sharing his story. Although it took him until his adult life to share these experiences, now he has multiple talks and presentations sharing his story with the public, and sharing how these eight men went “From Friend to Foe."

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 17, 2018 16:03

Hank, you always could tell a good story and I agree with J. Sanderson, you surely are 86 years young. For I am now 88 and you could always keep up the Irish banter with me, for sure! Greetings to Federated and all my friends. Living in Arizona now and snow is a dream. I have sunshine and love to swim in the outside pool daily. Was home for funeral last year but only a brief visit, sadly. Love to Federated friends for me. Mickey |:)



Posted by: J Sanderson | Jun 17, 2018 10:09

I think Mr. Lunn is now 86, not 76!

 



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