Shreveport WWII veteran recalls service at German POW camp - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport WWII veteran recalls service at German POW camp


A Shreveport soldier who served during World War II had a big birthday this week, just as the 70th anniversary of a celebrated Allied offensive approaches.

Leon Abramson turned 99 Wednesday. When he was just 29, he served at a POW camp in North Little Rock, Arkansas while the Americans fought against Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

"As an American, I knew he was trying to control the world," Abramson said. "I didn't know about the Jewish element at all. It was very exciting that we were invading Europe and possibly putting an end to this war."

Abramson was stationed at the Camp Robinson war prison during the war. In 1943, it was packed full of German POWs from all over the world.

"When I first got there we had gotten a group of prisoners from North Africa, and they were real Nazis," he said.

"When they came back from their work, they walked five astride with shovels on their shoulders and singing these Nazi songs. It was something to behold. They were wearing the prisoner's uniform."

For Abramson, being a part of the mission to defeat Hitler was instinctive motivation. He was an American, Jewish soldier, watching over a swarm of German POWs.

"I'm proud of it, I'm really proud," he said. "I wouldn't want to go back, but I am certainly glad that I experienced that."

Abramson remembers when he heard about Normandy, the battle that would help lead to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

"It was encouraging that at last maybe we'll see the end of this," he said.

Once the war was over, some of the German POWs actually wanted to stay, Abramson remembered.

"One of them in particular, Oh he wanted me to sponsor him after the war to come back to America," he said. "But feeling the way I did about the Holocaust and all that, I just shut my eyes to everything there and I wouldn't even consider it."

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