Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth, pp. -30
Broehm 26 prisoners into our house to eat. Hesitantly the prisoners agreed. "Boy, did those guys eat," he said, "and they were so appreciktive."'° "When the word got out that we had German POWs working on the farm, the neighbor boy came by and asked if he could take a look at them." Karl laughs, "About twenty minutes later the neighbor boy came back and looked so disappointed. He said, 'They look just like us!' From listening to radio programs, he imagined all Germans would be like Hitler with mustaches and hair parted down the middle!"101 According to most comic strips and radio programs, Americans could win battles alone. Allies were not necessary and the enemy was a pushover.02 In reality, this was not the case. The first six months after Pearl Harbor were disastrous. The Japanese captured Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Malaya. In Europe, the Allied cause was hardly more encouraging. The Axis victories in the Pacific, Russia, and Africa made it clear that the war would be long and costly. The United States military was concerned. Not only were they suffering from heavy losses of soldiers, but found that the new recruits were often "soft and flabby" and "deficient in mathematics and basic sciences."'03 "When the minimum draft age was twenty, there was time for training following the completion of high school," says John W. Studebaker, U.S. commissioner of Education He points out that "preinduction 1oo Karl Kappelman, interview by Barbara Broehm. 101 Karl Kappelnan, interview by Barbara Broehm. 102 Blum, 37. 103 U.S., Congress, Senate, A Bill To Provide for the Preparation of High-School Students for Wartime Service, S. 875, 78th Cong., 1st sess., 1943, 7.
This image cannot be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the Manitowoc Public Library. For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright