Saturday, April 26, 2014

Slave labor is never a good idea

Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II. He tells this story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany , and the unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. "Our B-17, the Tondelayo, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit."  "Later, as I reflected on a 20 millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Clinton White, told me it was not quite that simple. "On the morning following the raid, he had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck." "The crew chief told White that not just one shell but 11 had been found in the gas tanks.......11 unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had parted for us. A miracle, I thought." "The shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that when they opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as harmless." "Empty? Not all of them! One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl written in Czech. We had no idea of what it said.  The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually they found someone to decipher the note. Translated, the note read:               "This is all we can do for you now.........using Jewish slave labor is never a good idea."

Clearly the Germans had been outwitted and Czech-mated by slave laborers.