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War years

In March 1942 Wolfram was drafted by the state, at first to serve in a Reichsarbeitsdienst camp in lower Bavaria. The experience was in sharp contrast with his previous months in Oberammergau.
He felt like a total stranger, living in a world where none of the things which mattered to him had any importance and where individuals were brutally quashed by the system.
In the summer of 1942, Wolfram arrived in the Crimea after a week-long voyage in a goods train through occupied Russia.
His group of conscripts were employed as the ground force in an airport close to the front line.
This work was interrupted when he contracted diphtheria: it called for the strongest treatment. He only just survived a paralysis of the nerves - a likely side effect of the treatment in military hospitals in Ukraine and, later, in Marienbad.

In the summer of 1943, he was considered well enough to be redrafted. He was selected for the artillery and trained as a communications operator. He was based in Normandy from January, 1944, onwards.
It was while he was here that he had first-hand experience of D Day, in all its horror. He became an American prisoner-of-war and, after a short stay in England, spent two years in a prisoner-of-war camp in Oklahoma (USA).
After being employed picking cotton, he worked in the car repair workshop in an American military camp. With makeshift tools he managed to make toys for American civilian employees.
In the summer of 1946, he was released and returned to Pforzheim – his hometown - which had been completely destroyed in an RAF bombing raid.
He was lucky to find his parental home intact and his immediate family alive.

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