Somebody put Hitler's picture in the toilet you once said.

'Oh aye, Hitler, he was all over the place. They had one in the dining room where we were at the factory. We took the bugger out and hung it up in the toilet! At the brick works.'

Were they mad?

'Why aye! But they didn't know who did it. It had an inscription at the bottom: "Mein Glaube ist die Liebe ver mein Volker" I'll always remember that. It means: "My faith is my love for my people," roughly translated.'

Did you see many German soldiers in the village?

'Oh, hell aye, we used to se any amount of the buggers on leave. We just used to march up the street and there'd be people walking about on each side. I think we'd be about the first British prisoners they'd had. At first everybody would be: "Englander? Englander?"

They'd be pointing?

'Umm. We just used to walk up the street on a morning and back down. In fact we used to speak to some of them, "Guten Morgen" But some of the daft buggers: "Guten Morgen." "Heil Hitler!" "Guten Morgen." Heil Hitler!"

'They used to meet and they always used to shake hands. If you met somebody German like that, you'd shake hands and then you'd shake hands again when you left him. And then you might see him half an hour later and you'd shake hands again!

'Oh, it was always "Heil Hitler" Oh, they never used to say it to us, but to each other. Aye, on a morning, "Guten Morgen" "Heil Hitler!"

Did you see much of the SS or the Gestapo?

'I've seen a few of them. I was travelling to hospital, to Wittenberg. I had carbuncles all over. They used to take us to hospital a couple of times a week. I used to have to get on a train you see, with all the civvies and the guard used to take us on the train up to Wittenberg. And we used to get off and it was like a big station and we used to have to walk to this, it was like a school, but they'd made it into a hospital for POWs. There was Russians, French, there was all sorts in the different rooms, big rooms like a school and I used to see a lot of civvies. I used to get togged up to go there. Used to borrow somebody's belt and somebody's gaiters and get cleaned up. We were there one day and I was standing on the platform with the guard and this bloody high ranker, officer, comes over and he walked right around us and he was looking, peering'

Pulls a stern, puzzled, increasingly annoyed face.

'And he said to the guard, "Englander? "Ja, Mein Herr!'" He just shrugged and walked away.

They eventually found out you were a bricklayer?

'This bloke he had this big factory. What the hell was it? A chemical factory, used to make these containers, I G Farben. He was a manager on something at the factory. He owned the brickworks. He came out and he dug this big hole and they put this wall up, the foundations, and he got this wooden hut and he put it on the top. He was living there, to get out of--it was one of these places they were getting hammered [bombed] practically every bloody week. And he had a family, he had a wife and two bairns and they used to live there, in the brickyard. But when they were building it I was up one day and we were waiting of the guard coming to take us home and this bloke, he'd gone for his dinner, the bricklayer. So, I went down and all the stuff was there, the trowel and everything, the lines, and I put a course of bricks on and jointed them up. He was amazed when he got back!

'So, anyway, the bloke that was in charge of the lads that used to work in the Stadt, in the town, he got wind of it and he had some manholes to put in at the camp where these women were billeted. "Strength Through Joy". They used to have a uniform. I went up there and I had to build two or three manholes for them.

'And then I got another job at the brickyard. When they used to fill up the kilns with the clay bricks to burn, you used to have to wall the front up. There was like an opening at the front of the kiln, you used to have to wall that up, like two walls and I used to have to wall in like a pipe with glass so they could see how things were going. I got that job, doing that, walling up the front of the kiln. Well, it was better than digging clay, especially in the winter, because it was red hot in the brickyard. Inside, oh, it was lovely and warm. The last few months, anyway, I was on that.'

And they let you use the explosives in the brickyard?

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