Col. Spicer's Speech

Morning roll call was over. The German Officer, Major Steinhauer had given the Colonel permission to dismiss the Group. Before dismissal he ordered the men to assemble in front of Block 7.

"Lads, as you can see this isn't going to be any fireside chat."

 "Someone has taken the steel bar off the south latrine door. The Germans want this bar back. They have tried to find it and we also tried to find it. We have had no success. The Germans have threatened to cut off our coal ration if this bar isn't found by 12 noon. I don't know if this is a threat or not, but we must return the bar to the Germans. Anyone having any information report to my room after this talk. There will be no disciplinary action taken against anyone."

"Yesterday, an officer (Major Bronson) was put in the cooler for two weeks. He had two counts against him. The first, was failure to obey the order of a German officer that is beside the point. The second was failure to salute a German officer of lower rank."

"The Articles of the Geneva Convention say to salute all officers of equal or higher rank. The Germans in this camp have put out an order that we must salute all German officers whether lower or higher rank, my order to you is salute all German officers of equal or higher rank. I have noticed that many of you men are becoming to buddy buddy with the Germans. Remember that we are still at war with the Germans. They are still our enemies and are dong everything they can to win this war. Don't let him fool you around this camp, because he is a dirty lying sneak and can't be trusted."

"As an example of the type of enemy you have to deal with, the British were forced to retreat in the Arnheim area. They had to leave the wounded in the hospital. The Germans took the hospital and machine gunned all those British in their beds."

"In Holland, behind the German lines, a woman with a baby in her arms was walking along the road evacuating the battle zone. Some British prisoners were passing her. She gave them the "V" for victory sign. A German soldier saw her and without hesitation swung his gun around and shot her on the spot."

"They are a bunch of murderous no good liars and if we have to stay her for 10 years to see all the Germans killed then it will be worth it."

(Loud Cheers from all the men)

The Colonel then turned to the German Major and Non-Coms standing at the side. "For your information, These are my personal opinions and I'm not attempting to incite riot or rebellion. They are my opinions and not necessarily the opinions of the men" 

(More loud Cheers)

Then facing the men again, "That is all men and remember what I have told you."

Within several hours the Colonel was in solitary confinement and Lt Col. Wilson next in command had been threatened with solitary confinement the next day if the crow bar did not show up. Colonel Spicer was put in solitary and did not get out until midnight of April 30, 1945, when Americans took over the camp. He was court marshaled and sentenced to death to take affect in three months. This was the last of Dec, 1944 and April the 1st, 1945 things were so hot in Germany, that the sentence wasn't carried out.

This speech was recreated by Mozart Kaufman, who was with Colonel Spicer in the POW Camp.  He was standing 23 inches in front of Colonel Spicer during the speech and immediately afterwards reconstructed the speech with fellow POWs "word for word."

Colonel Spicer with Sgt Currie (L) and Corporal Hamilton